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.”


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.


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. …

Explore posts in the same categories: covenants, election, liberals

Tags: ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

9 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)




    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/


  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.


    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? ”



    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


    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

  4. markmcculley Says:

    Almighty Over All, RC Sproul —I am suggesting that God created sin … Where, I must ask, does the law of God forbid the creation of evil? I would suggest that it just isn’t there..There are ultimately no “bad” things, since God is completely sovereign.


    But there is a great difference between saying, on the one hand, that God works good out of evil, and on the other hand, saying that that since God is the author of all things, evil isn’t really bad (or that everything which happens ought to be).

  5. markmcculley Says:

    the mighty mighty working power of God—Johnnie Moore has replaced Michael Gerson and Ralph Reed and Cal Thomas


    Was your marriage arranged by those who hold the keys of the kingdom? if not, does this mean you are practicing “freewill”?

  6. markmcculley Says:

    McCain was corrupt. Everyone seems to have forgotten the financial scandals of the 1980’s, an epoch laden with massive fraud and conspiracy, the tip of a Deep State iceberg to be sure. McCain (one of the Keating Five) so deeply wed to the military establishment escaped relatively unscathed. His exoneration by the Senate is itself instructive regarding the good-old-boy system and how (when it comes to systemic issues) the political-party factionalism suddenly blurs and becomes meaningless. The Democratically controlled Ethics Committee whitewashed his deeds. He most certainly was not innocent. While McCain grumbled about congressional ‘pork’ his own record of rather dubious special treatment for donors is as bad as anyone.

    His 2008 campaign was a disaster by all accounts. He deserves a great deal of the blame but also he was running on the GOP ticket at an impossible time. Already I feel like many have forgotten the real public animus directed toward the Bush administration in the final years of his second term. McCain tried to distance himself from the administration but it didn’t work.
    Of course the even greater irony is that Obama ended up supporting the same Neo-Conservative militarist agenda. His style was different and McCain and others made much hay over this but in reality they were always on the same team. The goals were and are the same. The battles are over style and what mechanisms to use. It’s an intramural battle that pretends to be existential and most of the most of the public falls for it.
    If McCain had repented of his participation in the atrocity that was Vietnam I would have respected him. On the contrary he made it his career and an essential part of his identity. He used it as a launch-pad to power which I have always found reprehensible. The more one examines America’s involvement in Indochina the more disgusted one becomes. It was all lies, manipulation and mass murder. It was a shameful episode and the vast majority of Americans have not even begun to understand what happened there, what their country did and how their ‘heroes’ behaved. The same is true in Korea and yet these eras have already faded from memory and the myths and legends have been spun. McCain built a life on this and did rather well for himself. I hope he enjoyed it because it’s the only reward he will ever receive and though the world honours him, he is now the citizen of a country in which none are honoured or praised.
    As bad as Obama turned out to be I am humanly speaking ‘glad’ that McCain never got a chance to be the commander in chief of the US Empire. Obama is dripping in blood and yet I think things would have taken a much worse turn under someone like McCain

  7. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Paul used his Roman citizenship twice:
    Acts 16:37 The first time was after being beaten and imprisoned in
    Philippi. He used it to no apparent benefit to himself. He announced
    his citizenship after his beating and humiliation. The effect was to
    put the public authorities on the spot. Paul got a severe beating-and
    then an apology. He didn’t get, or try to get, an audience with the
    powers. They wanted him to leave town, and he did.

    Acts 22:25-27.The second time Paul “used his Roman citizenship” was after the Jews had tried to kill him, but BEFORE he was flogged. The consequences of this dragged on for the rest of Paul’s life. His Roman citizenship did not keep Paul from being killed. Paul was never safe from Rome again, spending the rest of his time in the Roman legal system/under arrest.

    Philippians 3: 20 our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also
    eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    John 3: 8 The wind blows where the wind pleases, and you hear the
    sound of the wind but you don’t know where the wind comes from or
    where the wind is going. So it is with everyone on earth who is born
    of the Spirit.”

    John 3: 12 I have told you about things that happen on earth

    John 18: 36 “If My kingdom were from this world, My servants would
    kill in order that I would not be handed. But my kingdom on earth
    does not have its source from earth

  8. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Jonah 4: 6 Then the Lord God appointed a plant to grew up to provide shade over Jonah’s head to ease his discomfort. Jonah was pleased with the plant. 7 When dawn came the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, and the plant withered. 8 As the sun was rising, God appointed a scorching east wind. The sun beat down so much on Jonah’s head that Jonah almost fainted. Jonah wanted to die. Jonah said, “It’s better for me to die than to live.” 9 Then God asked Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

    Jonah replied. Yes, it IS right. I’m angry enough to die!” 10 So the
    Lord said, “You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over
    and did not grow. The plant appeared in a night and perished in a
    night. 11 Should I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has
    more than 120,000 people?

    Did “the people” know who the Lord was? Did the unbaptized come to know Jesus? Were they only saved, but not given justification and
    lasting life?

    “God has already predestined everything Trump will do. Therefore
    nothing Trump does is sin and therefore nothing that we do is sin.”
    For the Scripture tells Pharaoh: I raised you up for this reason so
    that I may display My power in you and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth. ‘ Romans 9:17

    We are agreed that we are all still sinners, even those of us who
    know the gospel. I also hope we agree that fatalism is sin and that
    another person’s sin in no way justifies our sin or our approval of

    Jonah 3: 5 The men of Nineveh believed in God. They proclaimed a fast. 6 When the command to repent reached the king of Nineveh, the king got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes. By order of the king and his nobles: No man or beast, herd or flock, is to taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink water. 8 Furthermore, both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth, and EVERYONE MUST CALL OUT EARNESTLY TO GOD. . Each must TURN FROM HIS EVIL WAYS and from THE VIOLENCE HE IS DOING
    9 WHO KNOWS ? God maybe will turn from His burning anger in order that we will not perish. 10 Then God saw their actions—that they had turned from their evil ways— God relented from the disaster the God had threatened to do to them. God did not create disaster for them
    Esther 4. Mordecai to Esther—WHO KNOWS, maybe you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”
    15 Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go and assemble all the Jews and fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, day or night. I and my female servants will also fast in the same way. After that, I will go to the king EVEN IF IT IS AGAINST THE LAW. If I PERISH, I PERISH
    Daniel 3 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king—-God CAN rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and God CAN rescue us from your power of you, t. 18 But even IF GOD DOES NOT rescue us, we want you to know that we will NOT serve your gods.

  9. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Many Republicans are telling me that we are all sinners and argue there is no need to save ourselves (or God) from Donald Trump (because Trump is only another sinner, like the rest of us). And then they explain that it’s perfectly appropriate to kill people or vote against socialism for the poor, as long as we keep that a “separate issue” from the gospel. They will not be trying to keep their country “Christian”, but they will be working to keep their country the way it used to be.

    One Trump supporter deplored what he called “theological perfectionism”— “piety and pragmatism are not mutually exclusive. We are supporting Trump not because he is the best Christian, but because he is the leader best suited to defend Christians.
    This Trump supporter also thinks that making a distinction between universal sufficient atonement and specific sins imputed to Christ is “theological perfectionism”

Leave a Reply to Mark Mcculley Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: