Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Of the Civil Magistrate

From the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.

Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate
1. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, for his own glory and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers.
(Romans 13:1-6; Ps 82:1; Luke 12:48; 1 Peter 2:13-14;Gen 6:11-13 with 9:5-6; Ps 58:1-2; 72:14; 82:1-4; Prov. 21:15; 24:11-12; 29:14,26;31:5; Ezek. 7:23;45:9;Dan.4:27;Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Tim. 2:2; 1 Peter 2:14. Gen 9:6; Prov. 16:14; 19:12; 20:2; 21:15; 28:17; Acts 25:11; Rom 13:4: 1 Peter 2:14)

2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate when called there unto; in the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain justice and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each kingdom and commonwealth, so for that end they may lawfully now, under the New Testament wage war upon just and necessary occasions.
(2 Samuel 23:3; Psalms 82:3,4; Luke 3:14; Exod 22:8-9, 28-29; Daniel; Nehemiah; Prov. 14:35;16:10,12; 20:26, 28; 25:2; 28:15-16; 29:4,14; 31:4-5; Rom 13:2,4,6; Rom 13:4)

3. Civil magistrates being set up by God for the ends aforesaid; subjection, in all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake; and we ought to make supplications and prayers for kings and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.
( Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14,17; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Prov. 16:14-15; 19:12; 20:2; 24:21-22; 25:15; 28:2; Titus 3:1; Dan. 1:8; 3:4-6, 16-18; 6:5-10,22; Matt 22:21; Acts 4:19-20;5:29; Jer. 29:7; 1 Tim. 2:1-4)

Sam Waldron's comments on this section begins wonderfully.

Does it surprise you that the Confession contains a chapter on the subject 'Of the Civil Magistrate'? Are you inclined to ask, 'What does politics have to do with Christ?' If that is something of your response, may I suggest that you are a victim of a religious background which has retreated from its social responsibilities under a wrong view of separation of church and state? Such an attitude has virtually denied the sovereignty of God over all areas of life. To restrict Christianity to the 'spiritual' realm is, ultimately, to destroy it. - A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, p. 284.

More to come...

Striving for the Kingdom,

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