Theonomy & the Constitution Party?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by rlvaughn, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Is "theonomy" a widespread view held by members of the Constitution Party? The article below was written by the Vice-Chairman of the Constituion Party of Ohio:

    Theonomy, the Only Biblical Government

    I am not particularly interested in anyone arguing the merits or demerits of such a view, but would like to know from those most familiar with the party if this is widely-held by members of the party. How would theonomy be implemented in a Constitutional Republic? The author concludes "such a government could only be established after a great spiritual awakening."
     
  2. JGrubbs

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    If a Theonomy is a Theocracy, I would not support it.

    I believe our founding fathers were right in setting up a Constitutional Republic based on Biblical values and principles.

    Dr. Johnston is entitled to his opinion, but I don't think we will ever see a Thonomy or Theocracy in the United States.

    Michael Peroutka's campaign theme is "Restore the Republic, not "Establish a Theonomy".

    [ March 17, 2004, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: NetPublicist ]
     
  3. Conservative Christian

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    There's nothing in the Constitution Party national platform that mentions support for establishing a theonomy or theocracy.
     
  4. Jeff Weaver

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    Scary stuff. Who would be the arbiter of what the Bible says? Did you peruse any of the theological articles and arguments? We of a Calvinistic bent, might be the first to get the chop.
     
  5. rlvaughn

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    Let me clarify. I am only wondering if there are many individuals in the party that espouse such a viewpoint, rather than whether it is part of any state or national party platforms. The author's position could possibly indicate that others in Ohio are theonomists, considering they have chosen him to be Vice-Chairman of the State Party (assuming that is how one becomes Vice-Chairman in Ohio).
     
  6. JGrubbs

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    I have been an active member of the Constitution Party for four years now. I have never spoken with anyone in the party that claims to be working to set up a Theocracy.

    The overwhelming majority of the men who founded our country were practicing Christians of various denominations, not agnostics or Deists. Of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were Episcopalians (Anglicans), eight Presbyterians, seven Congregationalists, two Dutch Reformed, two Lutherans, two Methodists, two Roman Catholics, three Deists, and one unknown.

    The framers of our American form of government sought to limit government by the supreme law of the land — the Constitution. And this they did as Christians, mindful always of Christian teaching and moral law.

    We have freedom OF religion here in America. Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, etc. have a right to practice their religion here, but have to repect the fact that this nation was founded on Biblical principles, and that Biblical law applies to everyone in the legal forum.

    As you walk up the steps to the Capitol Building which houses the Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building a row of the world's law givers and each one is facing one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view...

    It is Moses and the Ten Commandments!

    As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door. As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see the wall right above where the Supreme Court judges sit a display of the Ten Commandments!

    There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington, D.C.

    James Madison, the fourth president, known as "The Father of Our Constitution" made the following statement...

    "We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

    Patrick Henry, that great patriot and Founding Father of our country, said ...

    "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians ... not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

    The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said ...

    "Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers."
     
  7. Pennsylvania Jim

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    I have had personal exposure to some of the party leadership and membership. My take on this is that you will find folks with a wide variety of Christian theologies. Theonomy would be one of them. I don't want to guess at percentages but if you were to attend a large meeting there is little doubt that you'd meet several Theonomists.

    Having said that, in attending a major party function, it is fair to say that the things discussed and encouraged are very much in line with what is represented on their website.

    Edited for spelling
     
  8. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Why not? Serious question here. Just want to read your perspective as to why you think a theonomy as a theocracy would be bad for America.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  9. JGrubbs

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    Why not? Serious question here. Just want to read your perspective as to why you think a theonomy as a theocracy would be bad for America.

    Joseph Botwinick
    </font>[/QUOTE]If a Theonomy or Theocracy is the government decided what doctrines are right and which interpretation of the Scriptures is right, then I wouldn't support it.

    I was raised in the Independent Fundamental Baptist church, served the last four years as a Southern Baptist youth pastor and work full time at a Charismatic publishing company. I don't agree 100% with Calvinism or Arminianism, even though I was taught to believe the Pre-Trip rapture, I now believe in the Pre-Wrath viewpoint.

    I feel the problem with a Theocracy would be that you have so many different doctrines, dogmas and denominations within Christianity, who would say which was the correct interpretation of the Scriptures.

    When it comes to religion there are many things we just have to agree to disagree about, and I don't want anyone in Washington trying to tell me what doctrine is right or wrong.

    If that is not a Theonomy, then I guess I need to study the concept more to better understand it.
     
  10. Joseph_Botwinick

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    What was the Biblical model of government before Israel rebelled against God's wishes and demanded a monarchy?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  11. Conservative Christian

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    Scary stuff only to Chicken Little types.

    Since its inception, the Constitution Party has advocated a drastic reduction in the size of the federal government, and abolition of the IRS and federal income tax.

    If the Constitution Party were really interested in establishing a theocracy over the entire nation, they'd be calling for more centralized federal government power and more taxes, in order to enforce their will.

    Anybody who honestly thinks a theocracy could become a reality in America, is a tad daft.

    Many prominent Calvinists in history have promoted the idea of a theocracy, and giving other sects "the chop".

    However, I'm not the least bit worried about them either.
     
  12. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Again, let me ask: Wasn't theocracy originally God's plan for his people before they rebelled and demande a more secular monarchy?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  13. rlvaughn

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    NP, PJ, thanks for some insight on the views of party members on this subject.

    Though the author of "Theonomy, the Only Biblical Government" clearly spelled out some of the practical implications of his idea, I felt the initial explanation was a little vague - "A theonomy is defined as a government ruled by God (the God of the Bible). The basic principle of theonomy is that everybody should obey God's Word, whether they be kings, governors, congressmen, senators, or judges" - as to how such a government would actually look. So I also need to study to better understand the concept, at least as defined by this writer.

    Talk of theonomy for me initially conjures up visions of Zwingli and the Zurich City Council drowning Felix Manz in the River Limmat because he opposed infant baptism; King James and church authorities burning Edward Wightman at the stake because he, among other things, believed "that the baptizing of infants is an abominable custom; that the Lord's Supper and baptism are not to be celebrated as they now are in the Church of England; and that Christianity is not wholly professed and preached in the Church of England, but only in part;" and Massachusetts Bay Colony authorities imprisoning and whipping Obabiah Holmes for conducting an illegal worship service. So I need a little clearer explanation when someone raises the issue.

    I don't imagine anyone thinks a theocracy is really going to be established in America, and personally don't know if that's what Mr. Johnston means anyway. For me, though, I am interested in how many in the Constitution Party would advocate theonomy, and what they would mean if they did.
     
  14. Kiffin

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    Theonomy, would require us to trash the current US Constitution and betray the Founding Fathers view of Church and State. Theonomy type governments are nothing new. Cromwell's Puritanical government that persecuted and butchered Roman Catholics is one example. Zwingli's Zurich which murdered countless Anabaptists is another. Theonomy is in direct opposition to Baptist principles on Separation of Church and State. Supporters of Theonomy seek to use the State to moralize people and this will ultimately be a failure. Only the Gospel can change hearts, not Government power. Theonomy would prove that, the Cure is worst than the Disease.
     
  15. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Which government best describes God's will:

    1. Theocracy
    2. Monarchy
    3. Democracy
    4. Republic

    Please, quote scripture to back up your ideas.

    Thanks,

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  16. JGrubbs

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    I'm no expert on the issue, but from the little bit of research I have done on the issue it looks like many that endorse "Theonomy" are very active in the modern Reconstructionism which is an outgrowth of Calvinism, and can be traced to R. J. Rushdoony's 1973 magnum opus, "Institutes of Biblical Law".

    As a "post-millennialist" school of thought, Reconstructionism holds that believers should work toward achieving God's kingdom on earth in the here and now, rather than expect its advent only after a second coming of Christ.

    Politically, Reconstructionists have been active both in the GOP and in the Constitution Party.

    I do know that Rushdoony spoke at one of the early meetings of the Constitution Party, about 10 years ago when it was still the U.S. Taxpayers party, so I would assume there are some Reconstructionists in the party that would support Dr. Johnson's endorsement of a Theonomy.

    But, there are others in the party like myself who disagree with Reconstructionists like Rushdoony and Gary North, the whole "post-millennialist" school of thought and the idea of setting up a Theonomy as our form of government.
     
  17. rlvaughn

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    Bro. Joseph, would you mind starting a separate thread for discussion of which government best expresses God's will? I think that would be interesting, but is somewhat off topic of the original question. Nevertheless, if the majority wish to discuss it on this thread, so be it. Thanks.
     
  18. Joseph_Botwinick

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    What scriptural support do you use to support your oppostion to a theonomy / theocracy?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  19. Conservative Christian

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    Most of the theonomists I've come across are Republicans. They realize that the Republican Party's great political power and proven devotion to a strong centralized federal government best fits their plans.

    The Constitution Party's objectives of a drastically reduced federal government, and abolition of the IRS and federal income tax---are inimical to establishing a theocracy, which would require a powerful central government and significant taxation, in order to wield the power necessary to enforce its will.
     
  20. JGrubbs

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    I cut and paste from some of these posts and sent a message to the Constitutionalists email group that I am a member of with the subject "Theonomy & the Constitution Party?"

    There are many Constitution Party members and leaders in this group. I am waiting to see the response I get.
     

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