Beware of shepherds justifying their heartlessness...
(Tim: I've made significant changes to this post since it first went up.) It's been my observation Reformed men who justify silence in the public square under the rubric of "two-kingdom theology" and "the spirituality of the church" are usually unconcerned about the sexual anarchy, oppression, and bloodshed of innocents that has long been the foundation of our civil compact here in these United States. They simply don't give a rip.
It's self-evident on any terms a civilized man accepts for the foundation of common law that sending wives, sisters, and mothers off to fight our enemies is evil, but see if spirituality-of-the-church men address the civil magistrate condemning this evil? It's self-evident on any terms a civilized man accepts for the foundation of common law that ripping unborn babies apart in their mothers' wombs is an evil as great as the world has ever known, but check out whether the two-kingdom men you know write about it on their blogs, speak against it in the public square, preach against it in their pulpits, or show up at the killing place to lift a finger to stop it.
And that, dear brothers, is the error. Thus, proving one has not fallen into this error is the easiest of matters. It only requires a two-kingdom man to give a regular witness against injustice and bloodshed in his public ministry. But if an officer of Christ's Church today is not...known, as all the Christians were known in the ancient Roman Empire, for taking up the cause of the children being slaughtered and loving the little ones as their Master does, he merits no reading, no listening, no following as a teacher of the church or shepherd of souls.
Under the Third Reich, were the true shepherds silent in the midst of the slaughter of millions of Jews, sodomites, mentally handicapped, gypsies, and Christians? Then, what about us? When the day arrives and the light reveals our work as shepherds, will it be seen that we have been faithful witnesses against the anarchy and bloodshed all around us? Or will it become clear we have built with wood, hay, and straw?
There are many church officers today who are collaborators employing doctrine to justify their silence. Let me be clear: I am not saying these men are unconverted, but rather that they are unfaithful.
Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)