R2K and Early Church apologists...

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One thing to keep in mind concerning the R2K mantra that the civil magistrate must choose to enforce either neither or both Tables of God's Law  is the argument made by Early Church apologists that the Roman Empire's persecution of those who refused to honor the Roman Pantheon of gods actually dishonored those gods because it produced lip service rather than true devotion.

As no man loves insincere service, even less does God. ...No one can be compelled to worship against his will. ...even sacrifice calls for willingness. - Tertullian, Apologeticum 24:6.

Church fathers defending the Christian faith used to say that any god worth his salt desires true devotion from sincere hearts, not hypocrisy. And while it's debatable which commandments of the First Table of God's Law necessitate more or less sincerity, it's clear sincerity is essential to the First Table in a way it isn't to the Second.

For the civil magistrate to forbid mothers and the Planned Parenthood ghouls they hire from slaughtering little babies does not require the mother to feel good about not murdering her baby...

nor does it require the Planned Parenthood ghoul to search his soul and come to a heart-conviction that his loss of the blood money is actually a good thing. Who cares how those denied the privilege of murder feel about being denied that privilege? The simple command is "Thou shalt not murder!" That's where civilization starts and we go from here. (Or nowadays, I should say we return to there and start all over again.)

On the other hand, the civil magistrate doesn't require every one of his citizens to become disciples of Jesus Christ; to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and to obey everything Jesus commanded. Such a law would pervert true religion by making it a matter of lip rather than heart service. It would turn every man into a hypocrite and leave every true believer heartsick over the perversion of the Sacraments which, because of the civil magistrate's law, would no longer be able to carry out one of their primary functions: namely, the physical differentiation of God's Covenant People from worldlings.

Categorical declarations that sincerity matters with the First Table and doesn't with the Second fly in the face of the Sermon on the Mount. Yet sincerity matters with the First Table in a way it doesn't with the Second, and that's why Christendom has never hesitated to codify the Second Table even while being engaged in perpetual controversy over the extent to which the First Table should or should not be codified.

What we must keep in mind is that those men who say that those who call for laws protecting our nation's babies must also call for laws requiring the demolition of Jewish synagogues do so, not because they want Jewish synagogues demolished but because they want baby-slaughter to remain legal. Why?

Because they love liberty first, justice second, and mercy not at all. We must fix that in our minds.

These men are opponents of the Second Table having a place in our civil compact.

Tim Bayly

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

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!