Lawless Christianity is Christless
San Francisco, Calif.: Last week at my Catholic church in northern California, numerous people got up and walked out when the pastor urged the congregation to vote for Proposition 8 during his sermon.
If you think there should be one, where should the line be drawn today between church and state on issues like Prop 8 and others?
Rev. Dr. Michael S. Horton: There is a big difference between preaching, teaching, and applying God's Word to God's people and enforcing that Word through specific policy prescriptions. As a minister, I can say that's it's a strange and terrifying thing to step into a pulpit and speak in God's name. It's downright dangerous, not because of the people's judgment but because of God's. Am I really saying what he has told me today, right here in this passage today? Or am I full of hot air? Am I respecting the limited authority he has given me by his Word or am I using it as my own bully-pulpit to vent my opinions?
I am obliged by this Word to teach that marriage is a divine ordinance established between one man and one woman, but I do not believe that I have any divine warrant for binding the consciences of God's people to vote for or against a particular policy regarding the state's proper ordering of the common life of my neighbors. I've discussed this proposition with a number of friends and colleagues and even though we hold the same view of marriage as divinely instituted, there are differences over specific public policies.
Wow, unbelievable. Horton would countenance the wholesale redefinition of marriage in the public square. Horton's distaste for ethics devoid of the law Old Testament leads to a complete disregard for the 7th Commandment.
Horton's thoughts are a long way from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon:
"I long for the day when the precepts of the Christian religion shall be the rule among all classes of men, in all transactions. I often hear it said, ‘Do not bring religion into politics.’ This is precisely where it ought to be brought, and set there in the face of all men as on a candlestick."
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 27 (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1882), 225
Seems as though Christianity may be Christless if it ignores His Word: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
HT: Thanks to Bret McAtee, who I shamelessly ripped off.