If God’s sovereignty causes it to happen, it must be grace-which is why you were born a Christian and an American

Douthat–“That’s not who we are.” So said President Obama, again and again throughout his administration, in speeches urging Americans to side with him against the various outrages perpetrated by Republicans. And now so say countless liberals, urging their fellow Americans to reject the exclusionary policies and America-first posturing of President Donald Trump. The problem with this rhetorical line is that it implicitly undercuts itself. If close to half of America voted for Republicans in the Obama years and support Trump today, then clearly something besides the pieties of cosmopolitan liberalism is very much a part of who we are.”

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/kingdom-through-covenant-a-review-by-michael-horton

Mike Horton–Hebrews assumes a category of covenant members who are in some sense beneficiaries of the Spirit’s common work through the means of grace. They are covenant members “who have once been enlightened” (ancient church documents use “baptized” and “enlightened” interchangeably), “who have tasted the heavenly gift [the Supper], and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away” Specifically, they have fallen away from the new covenant… Through their covenant membership they have shared in God’s common grace, and now, if they respond in unbelief, they will bear the curses of the new covenant. A Baptist interpretation cannot account for this category of common covenant beneficiaries of grace who spurn the objective common grace delivered to them and fall away. It is only covenant theology that accounts for this tertium quid between “foreigners to the covenant” and “elect members.” Some non-elect brothers and sisters share the new covenant in common with the elect.

Mike Horton—”Covenant theology does not teach that the covenant of grace itself is “breakable”. God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not… The word proclaimed and sealed in the sacraments is valid, regardless of our response, but we don’t enjoy the blessings apart from receiving Christ with all of his benefits. …..To be claimed as part of God’s holy field comes with threats as well as blessings. Covenant members who do not believe are under the covenant curse. How can they fall under the curses of a covenant to which they didn’t belong? ”

We did not choose to be born in America, so doesn’t that prove that it’s grace to be born in America?

If God’s sovereignty causes it to happen, it must be grace—This is why you were born a Christian and this is why you need to become a Christian?

Was the election of Obama and Trump an accident OR was it OUR mistake?

If American cannot become some better, isn’t that saying that America is equivalent to what America always was?

We made some bad decisions, but that’s not who we are?

If America did something terrible even one time, does that mean that American could maybe do it again?

When we go to the meetings, we say, We are Americans, it’s been four years since we voted

But we were born here, and so we cannot say that we are not Americans anymore (we are not baptists anymore)

We can watch everybody else, but nobody but us can watch us

having a king was not God’s idea
your idea, God told them, but God is still king
and what will happen now with your king
is not God’s will but then again not against God’s will
call it a “hand over”

Since you did not choose your parents, and you did not choose where to be born
therefore it must be all grace, not a choice

so why do you hear so many sermons commanding you to “become what you are”?

Do this because of who you are now or because of who you will become—Those appeals makes sense.

But become what you are?

If we are x, we do not need to become x unless of course there is some kind of “as if fiction” happening.

Because you are justified, become thankful

If you are justified, you stay justified, unless you are in a covenant where Christ is not the mediator.

if you are justified, you don’t become condemned, unless you are in a covenant which is not governed by election and take as good news an atonement which is not governed by election.

Nobody has always been justified, but those who have been justified are not still being justified, unless they are in a covenant where law is grace and grace is law.

http://www.samstorms.com/all-articles/post/four-views-on-eternal-security

Sam Storms: “The contention is that the blessings listed in Hebrews 6: 4-5 are experienced neither by the “saved” nor the “unsaved” but by those persons who belong to the covenant community but who have not been regenerated or come to saving faith in Christ. The contention is that to such persons the warning passages, threatening the consequences of apostasy, are addressed. Other views are faulted for failing to recognize “a category for a person who is in the covenant but not personally united by living faith to Jesus Christ”

Sam Storms– I find this entirely unpersuasive. There is no indication in the New Testament that anyone was regarded as a member of the New Covenant (as promised in Jeremiah 31 ) apart from faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. …

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3 Comments on “If God’s sovereignty causes it to happen, it must be grace-which is why you were born a Christian and an American”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    “We lost our innocence in the Seventies and, for the first time, a war.” Thus lamented New York magazine on the last day of the period in question, December 31, 1979. The lost war is not hard to identify, but the lost innocence is worthy of respectful and inquisitive wonder.

    Conor Cruise O’Brien–The French lost a war (admittedly, not for the first time) in the Sixties, in Algeria, in much the same way and for much the same reasons as those for which the United States, ten years later, lost a war in Indochina. Negative generalizations are usually hazardous, but I offer confidently the proposition that no Frenchman wrote, and no French periodical published, at the end of the Sixties, any claim that France had lost its innocence as well as a war during that period. . . .

    No nation, not even the one that celebrated its two-hundredth birthday four years ago, can plausibly lay claim to such innocence. . . . If on behalf of the United States the valid point were made that all other nations had also committed crimes, I might then rejoin: “That is quite so, but I must stick to the case in hand. Only one nation has submitted a case for canonization.” (Harpers, April 1980)

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/protestprotest/2017/02/many-times-can-u-s-lose-innocence/

    http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2017/02/13/winthrop-and-cavell/

    https://oldlife.org/2017/02/11/america-is-not-america-part-one/

    If you’re going to take political action that is going to compromise the gospel, then you are sealing your own doom. Over the past 50 years, conservatives have spent tens of billions of dollars lobbying, trying to elect candidates, trying to organize in various ways. When I was a kid, I was out passing out literature for Barry Goldwater, back in 1964.

    And what has it gained? Are we any better off, to borrow a campaign slogan – are we better off today than we were 50 years ago? What have all those conservatives and libertarians done with those billions of dollars that has shown any improvement in the political or the moral climate of the country?

    Now, if that money had been put into the preaching of the gospel – the uncompromised, unvarnished, pure gospel, perhaps there would be something completely different to show for it. But it was put into compromised political action, and there’s nothing to show for it. Absolutely nothing. Tens of billions of dollars – when you think of all the campaigns, all the organizations.

    And I’ve been involved – my [PhD] degree’s in political theory, political philosophy. I’ve been interested in politics all my life and have been involved from time to time, working on Capitol Hill. And I learned a very good lesson on Capitol Hill – that what happens there is of little consequence. That if one is interested in changing society, you don’t go to Capitol Hill, you preach the gospel.

    If anybody is operating under the illusion that political action is going to make a significant change in society apart from a sea change in the beliefs in the American people, then they’re condemned to futility. They will waste their lives.

    –John W. Robbins, former Chief of Staff for Ron Paul: The Religious Wars of the 21st Century

    To anticipate an objection, this is not a theocratic argument. It is not the magistrate’s duty to police every sort of violation of natural law and sin. For example, no one but theocrats want the state enforcing obedience to the first table of the law. The magistrate’s natural sphere of concern and authority is in the second table.

    If that is R. Scott Clark’s view, then how is it any different from those who say the state should enforce the second table of the moral law (such as John W. Robbins and J. Gresham Machen)? Answer: It’s not different.

    Clark even states 2K Natural Law does not mean the state should enforce every natural law. Well, if that’s the case, then again, what is the point in making a distinction between moral law and natural law and then saying the church is ruled by one and the state is ruled by the other? There is no point. It is an invalid distinction.

    [Note that D. G. Hart’s precise criticism of Kloosterman in this post http://oldlife.org/2009/12/21/if-not-two-kingdoms-two-decalogues/ is that he divides the the Decalogue into two tables. Thus Hart’s criticism would equally apply to Clark’s natural law position, which Hart is supposedly defending.]

    Batzing says over-reaction http://feedingonchrist.com/theonomy-two-kingdom-and-a-middle-road/

    https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/2k-natural-law-or-theocratic-natural-law/

  2. markmcculley Says:

    We are born in grace, but we still need to work to prove not that we deserve grace but that we still have grace , and those others need to consider state and local rights, and prove they are worthy (not deserving, not meriting anything) by accepting circumcision. While baptists may be into ideological experiences, none of us can be ever be sure that we ourselves are not terrorists and therefore what we need to do and can do is to simply show up every week and keep our mouths shut in order to win the trust of those born here before us. And it’s not up to newcomers to tell us if our nation is defined by corporate capitalism because our answers are not ideological but come from being born here. You don’t earn an inheritance, but those in the covenant can be disinherited. Even if one day we are cursed, even then that curse will be by means of the new covenant and our ancestors , because we don’t any of us have the free will just to walk away from being born Christian.

    Sarcasm alert is on.

    https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/2k-natural-law-or-theocratic-natural-law/

    Mike Horton–”Covenant theology does not teach that the covenant of grace itself is “breakable”. God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not… The word proclaimed and sealed in the sacraments is valid, regardless of our response, but we don’t enjoy the blessings apart from receiving Christ with all of his benefits. …..To be claimed as part of God’s holy field comes with threats as well as blessings. Covenant members who do not believe are under the covenant curse. How can they fall under the curses of a covenant to which they didn’t belong? ”

    http://theweek.com/articles/678395/who-inherit-america

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/millman/not-who-we-are-versus-who-we-want-to-be/

    Josh Barro argues for the need to make the case for a relatively liberal immigration regime as being in the national interest (as opposed to just being “the right thing to do”). And he’s right about that. But before that case can be made, they need to win the trust of those who suspect — perhaps rightly — that immigration advocates see “the national interest” as the interest of a corporate entity known as the United States of America, without regard to what the nature of that entity is, or who it exists for in the first place.

    If they can’t rule questions of identity out of bounds, liberals will be tempted to answer them with ideological definitions of Americanism that implicitly deem large numbers of actual Americans to be less-than-faithful communicants of the national religion (something conservatives have been prone to do at least as much). It’s an approach that is distinctly unlikely to win over anyone not already singing from their hymnal.

    So how can those with a more expansive conception of American identity make their case? The answer begins with a return to that word: posterity.

    From the perspective of the founders, we are their posterity, whether our ancestors are from England, Ethiopia, or Ecuador. They are our ancestors. And what they have bequeathed to us — from our political institutions down to the land itself — is our inheritance.

    We all have varied relationships with our individual parents. Some of us live in awe of their shadows; others of us cringe at their failures; still others of us have spent years working our way through the residue of abusive childhoods. And some of us are lucky to stand tall and proud on our forebears’ shoulders. For all of us, they are still the people to whom we owe our beginnings. We can love them, hate them, live in illusion, or see them for who they are — but we cannot disclaim them.

    The same is true of our political ancestors — and we need to talk that way.

    If we want to share our inheritance more broadly, and convince our cousins to do the same, we need first to be able to demonstrate that we cherish it, that we recognize that it is our inheritance, something we, as individuals, did not create, but was given to us by those who came before, and that we are responsible for passing on. If it is ours, then we have the right to remodel it to better suit the needs of the present and the future — we don’t have to be shackled by the past. But if we care about it as an inheritance, then we’ll show gratitude for what we have received, and make changes in that spirit, even if we know that many of those who came before would have cringed to see just who has taken up residence in what was once their house, and what they’ve done to the place.

  3. markmcculley Says:

    hile many American evangelicals rightly stress the importance of worshipping the true Jesus against false Christologies, I wonder if we sometimes get the wrong Jesus by enslaving Him to our felt needs of security, safety, and prosperity. This isn’t a call to deeds over creeds, to orthopraxy over orthodoxy, but rather to reexamine our creeds and orthodoxy, whether our identity is shaped more by the missionary God of Scripture or by the false messiahs who promise peace and safety by turning a deaf ear and blind eye to suffering humanity. Jesus speaks a better word of peace that liberates the church to not love their lives unto death. Preston Sprinkle

    sarcasm– you can take risks and be stupid if you want when it comes down to only you or even only to religion but not when your family or your great economy and country are involved, in those situations don’t tempt God by looking to God to save your family or your stuff when you can at least do what the pagans do and kill anybody posing a threat to other people, don’t just be thinking of yourself

    It does not take a village to be an individual Christian–sometimes you have to separate yourselves from the village, to come out from among them

    https://www.whitehorseinn.org/article/individualisms-not-the-problem-communitys-not-the-solution/

    at the least, the people who killed Jesus did not like Jesus

    stay unprepared, don’t try defend yourself or Jesus

    Luke 21: 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you. They will hand you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of My name. 13 It will lead to an opportunity for you to witness. 14 Therefore make up your minds NOT TO PREPARE ahead of time, 15 for I will give you such words[f] and a wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will even be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will kill some of you. 17 You will be HATED BY EVERYONE hated by everyone because of My name, 18 but not a hair of your head will be lost. 19 By your endurance gain[g] your lives.

    how can i defend Jesus, if I also hate Jesus?

    leonard cohen—“legal Christianity” aligned with power


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