Theological critique of Escondido Two Kingdoms Theology (II): Sodomy now, incest later...

(NOTE: This post is part of a series showing the errors of so-called Two-Kingdom Theology. We refer to it as "so-called" Two-Kingdom Theology because what the church historically has meant by "Two-Kingdoms" bears little resemblance to what Escondido Theology men mean when they write it today. Thus sometimes we write "Two-Kingdom Theology," but more often we write "Radical Two Kingdom," "Rigid Two Kingdom," or "R2K.")

So with many other exhortations he preached the gospel to the people. But when Herod the tetrarch was reprimanded by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the wicked things which Herod had done, Herod also added this to them all: he locked John up in prison. - Luke 3:18-20

Where are the men of God preaching the Gospel today by reprimanding our civil magistrates for their incest and sodomy and adultery—as well as "all the other wicked things they have done?"

Among the brave and Reformed, we read this account of Godly John and learned our lesson, so we invented R2K to justify the betrayal of our calling. Right now it doesn't seem so very bad since it's just gayness being condoned and gayness has become mainstream, but what other sins will we find ourselves supporting out in the naked public square a few years from now?

Far afield from Scripture and historical Reformed theology, the R2K (Radical Two-Kingdom) movement is a modern novelty perfectly suited to our decadent age. This is the reason R2K men are currently arguing for the repeal of sodomy laws and the passage of sodomite marriage rites instead of arguing for the repeal of laws against incest and bestiality. The mainstreaming of the sodomite perversion is all around us right now whereas the mainstreaming of bestiality and incest are still down the road a piece. Take any R2K argument for the legality of sodomy and sodomite marriage, replacing the sin of sodomy with the sin of "bestiality" or "incest," and clarity of thought will return.

Thus R2K men arguing for sodomy rights and rites are demonstrating now where they'll be in twenty years. Whatever form of wickedness liberals are working to normalize right now is the wickedness R2K men will argue for right now. They just go with the flow. Having argued that Christian conscience and charity should be entirely private with respect to sodomy, they'll port their arguments to the normalization of whatever sexual perversion... is up next. Europe's decadence is a good indication of where we're headed. Soon R2K men will be moving on to arguing in favor of laws lowering the age of consent. Then they'll move on to lend their support to the repeal of laws against incest, laws against bestiality, and so on.

Of course, they'll nuance their rebellion against God's Perfections and Law so the simple Christians in their pews aren't scared off. This requires the Teddy Kennedy/R2K Shuffle:

While I am personally opposed to same-sex intimacy, we live in a democracy in which we have adopted the foundational principle of separation of church and state. Thus no woman or man has the right to impose her or his morality on others. While I myself choose not to engage in same-sex relations, that's strictly my own personal choice and I have no right to choose for anyone else, nor do I have any right to benefit from laws privileging my choice over the choice of others. Thus I support legislation extending the same rights to gays and lesbians that heterosexuals have long enjoyed.

And so on—we all know the footwork very well from decades watching all the Roman Catholic politicians arguing for and voting to protect that child-slaughter they called "abortion."

Now move the language down the road a few years to the approaching battle to legitimize incest and watch how well the Teddy Kennedy/R2K Shuffle works for that abomination, also:

While I am personally opposed to fathers having sex with their little daughters, we live in a democracy in which we have adopted the foundational principle of separation of church and state. Thus no woman or man has the right to impose her or his morality on others. While I myself choose not to have sex with my little daughters, that's strictly my own personal choice and I have no right to choose for anyone else, nor do I have any right to benefit from laws privileging my choice of my wife over the choice of others for their little daughters. Thus I support legislation extending the same rights to men who enjoy having sex with their little daughters that the man who prefers to limit his sexual relations to his wife has long enjoyed.

Note not only that the crime being normalized in the paragraph immediately above still has the ability to cause us to blush and seeth with anger, but we can't help but think, "No way. R2K men would never seek to normalize the abomination of child rape the way they have worked to normalize sodomy!"

But stop for a second and put yourself in your parents and grandparents' thoughts. Would they ever have been able to conceive of the day when their pastors and elders would argue in favor of civil rights and marital rites for sodomites because their Westminster and Calvin and Covenant Seminary professors told them God's Law had no place in these United States of America? That the foundation of our civic compact is separation of church and state and the only way the Christian church can hope to get along is to go along? They would have been horrified. That their own pastors and elders would seek the repeal of sodomy laws would have shaken them to their roots. Why, even the language of the battle today would have shocked them: what happened to cause us to replace the language of shame and Biblical warning that centuries past used to refer to this crime with soft and effeminate terms devoid of shame and moral condemnation like "gay," "lesbian," "queer," "same-sex attraction;" or better yet, simply "SSA," and "SSM?"

The simple truth is that the logic and arguments R2K men have used for repeal of sodomy laws and defense of marriage legislation will next be used for the repeal of incest and pedophilia and bestiality laws. If laws enforcing God's Creation Order revealed through the creation of Eve—not Steve—for Adam are now to be understood as private revelations binding on Christians alone, then laws enforcing God's Creation Order revealed through the creation of woman—not wombat—for man are also now to be understood as private revelations binding on Christians alone.

And what a mess it will be! Or I should say, what a mess it is!

It would have been inconceivable to every single generation of Protestant or Roman Catholic Christians across two millenia that there would come a day when followers of Jesus Christ would claim that the sexual order God created in the Garden of Eden—that is in the state of perfection prior to the Fall—was not universal, but rather a private revelation to Christians alone, and that it is, therefore, not binding on men and nations. It would have been inconceivable to every last generation of Christians across two-thousand years that the day would come when legislation enforcing God's Creation Order and prohibiting the abuse of man's body parts would be opposed by Christians as sinful and wicked, and that they would support their condemnation of God's Creation Order enforced in the public square because their nation had adopted that law defending the pantheon of gods called "separation of church and state."

There is no place to run, no place to hide from the hatred for the Father Almighty all around us today. The problem isn't us. The problem isn't that we haven't nuanced the Gospel effectively enough. The problem isn't that we fail to understand our nation and our laws. The problem isn't that we went to Bob Jones University rather than Hillsdale College. The problem isn't that we are confusing the Kingdom of God with the kingdoms of this world. The problem isn't that we have allowed our political aspirations to displace our Gospel witness. The problem isn't that we aren't smart or degreed or educated enough in the finer points of logic and ethics and political philosophy.

The problem is the holiness of God and the wicked rebellion of man. Thus as long as Christians call men to repent of the sins of their day and flee to the Cross of Jesus Christ, they will be hated and persecuted. Efforts to avoid this hatred and persecution are as easily understood today as they were in the Early Church and Calvin's Geneva. Nothing complicated about them at all. As old as the hills and three times as dusty.

Our choice is clear and Jesus explained it long ago:

The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. - John 7:7

R2K men tell us not to testify to the world that its deeds are evil. R2K men say that civil law should not testify to the world that its deeds are evil. R2K men tell the world they believe in separation of God and state. R2K men tell the Church to sit down and shut up or there will be a riot. R2K men are predictable once we understand that they sit at the very point of rebellion chosen by their day and age crying peace, peace where there is no peace.

Anyone who takes up his cross and follows Jesus in testifying to worldlings that their deeds are evil will be hated now as He was hated then. We're left then with the question whether we will run from persecution by embracing the Teddy Kennedy/R2K Shuffle?

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, "A slave is not greater than his master." If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. - John 15:18-20

This is the second in a (so far) eleven-part series opposing the liberal theology called "Two Kingdom," "Radical Two-Kingdom," "Rigid Two Kingdom," or "Revisionist Two Kingdom," and abbreviated here simply as "R2K." Here's the first in this series, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh, the eighth, the ninth, the tenth, and the eleventhAnd here's a post subjecting R2K to an historical critique.

A change to the title has reset the social networking stats at zero.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Please keep beating the drum and working out these lines of thinking. The most loving thing that one can do is not always the most appreciated.

It takes boldness to do what you are doing, and I pray and hope that more Christians and ministers will have your boldness to speak the entire counsel of God, in the church of course... but also to our fellow neighbors who don't believe.

Thank you for your service.

<cite>It takes boldness to do what you are doing</cite>

I'm not bothered by boldness but I am bothered by tone and an overly aggressive approach that denigrates another person, in this case (unnamed) Christian brothers. Is this how Christ taught us?

I'm going over to Old Life and going to ask whether Hart is

<cite>arguing for the repeal of sodomy laws and the passage of sodomite marriage rites</cite>

Dear David,

In case you missed it earlier, the documentation of what various R2K proponents are saying has been laid out in detail here. You can ask DGH what he thinks, but it is perfectly fair to characterize the R2K position as "arguing for the repeal of sodomy laws and the passage of sodomite marriage rites." Even if some don't, they do argue that: Christians can differ about these things; and the church must not say anything about these things. So those who don't argue for the repeal of sodomy laws do argue that it's a perfectly biblical and godly argument to make. In other words, "I'm personally opposed to abortion gay marriage, but men of good conscience can and do differ over this. We must not make it a test of orthodoxy."

Also, you might want to read how Jesus spoke to the religious leaders in Matthew 23:27 (and elsewhere). Oh, and check out Paul's tone as he argues against "(unnamed) Christian brothers" in Galatians 5:12 (and elsewhere). Talk about aggressive!

In Christ,


That needed to be said......the churches' influence has been neutered by R2K fanatics long enough. Yet those that Biblical truth applies to all are called fanatics. The day I cowtow to their blustering is the day I throw my Bible into the fireplace.

I meant "those that think Biblical truth applies to all are considered fanatics"

We have lawless men in our government today because we have cowards in our pulpits.

Dear David Palmer,

You wonder if the R2K men think it fair to be labelled as favoring the repeal of sodomy laws or the legality of civil unions? Of course they object. No one ever understands their position. (And it's reciprocal—a large portion of the commitments they ascribe to their opponents are straw men, but years ago I gave up trying to stamp out their fires.)

Back when Covenant Seminary's Professor David Jones called publicly for the repeal of sodomy laws and I wrote President Chapell in protest, I was assured Prof. Jones' work to repeal sodomy laws was not in any way to be construed as support for sodomy. No no, of course not. Distinction noted. And yet I never have been able to get it out of my head that support for the repeal of sodomy laws promotes sodomy.

Still today, I expect men who argue for Christian freedom to work for the repeal of defense-of-marriage legislation are adamant that this is not to be construed as support for same-sex marriage. No no, of course not. Distinction noted. And yet, still, I'm not able to get it out of my head that support for the repeal of defense-of-marriage legislation promotes same-sex marriage.

"I think bestiality laws need to be repealed. Please understand, though, that my work seeking the repeal of bestiality laws is not to be construed as support for bestiality." "I think rape laws need to be repealed. Please understand, though, that my work seeking the repeal of rape laws is not to be construed as support for rape." "I think incest laws need to be repealed. Please understand, though, that my work seeking the repeal of incest laws is not to be construed as support for incest." "I think murder laws need to be repealed. Please understand, though, that my work seeking the repeal of murder laws is not to be construed as support for murder." "I think infanticide laws need to be repealed. Please understand, though, that my work seeking the repeal of infanticide laws is not to be construed as support for infanticide."  And so on.

There's no way to parse these matters so closely that support for the legalization of the crime is not support for the crime. As we saw with Teddy Kennedy, "personally opposed to abortion" just doesn't cut it.


Over the last week or so, I've been perusing the appropriately titled "Old Life" blog and have found R2K proponents arguing, not merely that sodomy laws ought to be repealed, but all laws associated with sex ought to be repealed...bestiality was specifically listed.

While I'm waiting for a reply over at Old Life, a response to Joseph.

In the first place thank you for your response. While you are entitled to draw attention to passages like Matt 23:27 and Gal 5:12, I would think we should be ever so cautious following suit, my motives would never be as pure as our Lord's and I would not want to label these people as Pharisees and are they really legalists that we can speak so pungently of them? The Bible text that comes to mind is the one I was reading in my own devotions this morning, Roms 13:8-14.

I think the issue of "the repeal of sodomy laws and the passage of sodomite marriage rites" is more nuanced than this wording suggests.

In Australia, unfortunately, it must be 3 decades ago that homosexual relations were decriminalised. Perhaps in the States it is different? Anyway, in current circumstances there is no going back on that one any time soon, at least here.

However, there is another issue short of marriage and that is removing a number of legal impediments for homosexual couples and that relates to the treatment in law as to state benefits made available to children - should not the children who no fault of their own be excluded from such benefits because they live with and are being raised by a homosexual couple? We may deplore such a living arrangement (as I most certainly do personally) but I suggest we can view this as unfair discrimination and grant that the State may choose to rectify as has happened in Australia without in anyway approving of homosexual relationships (I'm skirting the 2K issue here a bit but someone said on this blog I was more akin Baylyblog than 2K). The same thing can be raised about next of kin issues. However this is a grey area and there are w/o question domino effects and so we can fall one way or the other over specific issues. The only point I want to make is at the least from a Christian in the State perspective the issue is arguable.

What is unconscionable is the granting of marriage rights to homosexuals, whether called marriage or marriage look alike civil unions and the reasons are multiple. First it is hard to deny support for ssm is not approval of homosexuality; Second, homosexual relationship is condemned and under God's judgment, it is a specific outworking of sin originating with our first parent that needs to be repented of; Third there are any number of natural law arguments we are all familiar with: historical cultural patterns do not support ssm - even Greek men who took young men were always expected to take a wife and produce offspring; children need a mother and a father, natural circumstances always permitting; in respect of all our organs we are complete within our selves save the organs for reproduction, marriage is the union of difference not sameness and on we can go.

Our current problem is that none of our arguments are working with the elite who get to change the law. We argue principle, they emote.

Anyway I'll see how they answer my question over at Old Life

Dear David,

Romans and Galatians aren't in conflict with one another, and I'm happy to be reminded about how we are to interact with love for one another. Thank you. I want to urge you to realize that warning sheep away from dangerous teachers and calling those teachers to begin to be faithful requires the sort of intense language that both Jesus and Paul used. Paul required Titus to silence the "many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers" who were "upsetting whole families" and to "reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith" (Titus 1:10-14).

I've actually had a family led out of my church by the teaching of DGH and similar men. They left the church for a place where the preaching wouldn't address their conscience. Pastors who refuse to call people to repentance in the world can be safely counted on to refuse to call people to repentance in their church as well. And such men are hirelings who will flee when the wolf comes at the expense of the sheep.

Regarding the rest of your comment, I'm not aware of any legal benefits for children that depend on having married parents. Maybe I just don't understand what you're saying. If you could get any R2K person to say in public *anything* remotely like your paragraph starting "What is unconscionable…"  I do believe I would immediately retract everything I've said about them.

I count you a brother in arms.


It is a very sad thing when a supposed Christian preacher avoids speaking publicly about the sin of homosexuality. It's hard to believe these R2K guys are actually doing that. Maybe they don't raise their voice on CNN as well as they could. But to avoid it as a matter of principle??

I personally do not see anything good at this time in having the smallest civil infraction for homosexuality. In another time surely. It depends upon the kind of public discussion a democratic society is capable of having. As it is I'm not very optimistic for the immediate future. We cannot even settle basic disagreements in the Church. 

On the other hand, if we were talking about a king who is converted to Christ, then that is something else. I would like to imagine that first he would lovingly and thoughtfully appeal to his people about Christ. Much like a father raising children, and disciplining with love, wisdom, and patience. And also sacrificing great amounts of wealth, time, and energy in order to win as many as possible.

I am still hopelessly lost on the R2K issue, still don't quite understand it, but Colorado has passed civil union for same sex couples and I posted comments to an online article about the legislation that when politicians ignore natural law and don't protect the citizenry from evil (but willingly lead others into it), God will not be mocked and they will reap what they sow. I posted a number of other replies after others said I was "judging people, and this is not what Christianity is about." I replied that Christianity is about salvation, and that truth is the best defense. Readers can rate comments, mine get lots of negative votes, which means that the message is getting through.

Thanks for an excellent post, Tim.  I've been studying the history of the Church lately and I've come to the same conclusion:

> The problem is the holiness of God and the wicked rebellion of man.

To put it another way, (and as you've said elsewhere) it's all about authority.  The world doesn't care what you believe in your private life, but it cares very much when man's humanistic authority is challenged and they are called to account for their rebellion against the true God.

In the Roman empire, you could privately believe in any god, so long as you acknowledged Caesar as god; that is, the supreme authority.  Christians were killed as enemies of the state during this time for two reasons.  First, because they asserted there is a higher king over all, Jesus Christ; and second, because they regularly called out other citizens for their idolatry and rebellion.

During the Reformation, you could hold widely divergent views and still be accepted into the Roman Catholic church so long as you recognized the Pope as the supreme earthly authority.  Our forbears were martyred because they refused to do so, instead preaching everywhere that the Word of God is the ultimate authority because it comes from the Creator.  

Christians have never been persecuted for keeping their faith private.  They have been persecuted precisely because they will not be silent.  Thousands, millions perhaps, have died for asserting the supreme authority of Christ and God's word over everything, thereby holding the world to account.

To use favorite R2K terms, we are "exiles" and "strangers" on the earth with "no true home" exactly because we testify of the world that its deeds are evil. We are persecuted for our witness to the authority of Christ to judge the world for the very sins we see all around us.

Any theology which attempts to deny the authority of Scripture over any area of life is dangerous.  Such was not the faith of the martyrs.

> And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:18-20


NOTE FROM TB: Another comment by Erik who doesn't stop commenting despite his commenting privileges being removed. Please go elsewhere, Erik. Thank you.

Dear Daniel, Thank you for your encouragement. You have hit the nail on the head concerning the parallels between the American and Ancient Roman Empires. My fear is that not being faithful in the little things of witnessing against homosexuality and same-sex marriage and abortion will result in Christians not being faithful when all that's left between them and the martyr's death is bowing the knee publicly to pluralism and pluralism's president. If you haven't read Workman's "Persecution in the Early Church," get it and read it. You'll find it strengthening to your soul. Love,

Though I was not aware of this R2K, the arguments that they put forth are gaining traction throughout evangelicalism.  It does remind me of the Islamic controversy some missionaries are propagating that if a Muslim comes to faith in Christ, they still can go to Mosque and pray five times a day, act like nothing happened, even though something did.

Keep up the good fight...I do appreciate the work you all are doing here.

Soli Deo Gloria

I just read Part 1 of this series, and wanted to say "Thank you, it was very encouraging."

Add new comment