That is totally uncalled for Fred. There isn't anything in my post, which I went back and reread before posting here, that would cause you to make such a statement. I don't think John is "some sort of lesser Christian, because he may make some postive remarks about the Gibson film". But I do think he is mistaken if he embraces the postion that the film is not a violation of the 2nd commandment. That is what I was implying and I think that is clear from my post.

(Fred) Gerry, forgive me if I came across rather curt toward your post, but the remarks you made did appear to be saying that you think John is muddle headed because he takes a different conclusion on the 2nd commandment than you do, or the Reformed faith does. These are your concluding remarks from your initial response to me:

Thanks, in advance, for being clear on this, because I for one don't want to waste my time if John is going to steer his hearers away from the historic reformed faith as evidenced in the Confessions, and indeed in the Word of God itself as it is quoted here

Maybe it is just my wounded sensibilities, but I read that statement to be saying something like: "John is going to be leading people into theological error, so thanks for the warning so I can make a point not to watch CNN all day just in case I may accidently see him making positive comments about Gibson's movie." It is as if John has nothing valuable to say in defense of Christianity and that it might as well be James Dobson doing that interview. My thought is that such thinking is unnecessary separation akin to the attitudes displayed in the very fundamentalist church that you deride.

I also think it is clear from my post that the position you have espoused with respect to NCT, if that is the consensus in the McArthur camp, would make it reasonable to assume, or surmise, that John might take a more tolerant view of violations of the 2nd Commandment. Thus, my question was based on a reasonable assumption about the possibilities and I was asking for a clear statement from you in that respect. While your response wasn't clear, it was directionally what I expected and I will make other plans for the time slot.

(Fred) John is not NCT. My convictions are my own, so let us make that clear so as to not have any further confusion. I would never think to speak for him in any official capacity, unless I knew what he believed for certain.

I will just add that having come from an antinomian environment, and having seen the effects such a belief can have on a congregation, it seems unwise to use the term "boogy man" to describe this heresy. I have chosen my view of the case entirely apart from the WCF statements on the issue, having as my authority the scriptures and having seen the outworking of a softening of position on this critical doctrine. As I have said elsewhere, it was evident to me that there was something very wrong long before I knew that there was a "boogy man" called antinomian that was responsible. So for me the issue is far more important that Democratic vs Republican politics. But then, to many professing Christians, nothing is really more important than politics, for in there heart of hearts, that is where their trust and faith really lie.

(Fred) I believe "boogey man" is a truly appropriate term, because like I have stated in previous posts, the convictions displayed here concerning the 2nd commandment are creedal traditions, not the application of biblical exegesis. Granted, it is a noble creedal tradition, but it is not the infallible interpreter of scripture. Everyone is good about quoting Exodus 20:4, but ignore the clarifying statement of verse 5, which says you shall not bow down to them nor serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God The issue is not the making of graven images, but the use of those graven images in worship and as a replacement for God. If it was the making of graven images that is the violation of the 2nd commandment, then, like I stated elsewhere, how does the cheribum on top of the ark fit into your understanding of the 2nd commandment? They are images of things in heaven, are they not? I don't believe God contradicted himself. What about the bronze serpent God tells Moses to make in Numbers 21? It is an image of an earthly creature, is it not? It comes down to the intent of those images: were they for worshipping God faslely or serving false gods? Later, in 2 Kings 18:4, that same bronze serpent was destroyed by Hezekiah because the Israelites had transformed it into an object of worship. It had become a relic of sorts.
I feel what you are saying when you speak of those congregations that are weak on conviction and have no theological anchor because they are not taught scripture by the pastors. All of their knowledge of the Bible comes from shallow quarterlies that rush the sunday school class through the Bible on some 3 year jet tour schedule. The depth of the sermons preached are 3 point evangelisitc presentations that are really just 30 minute torture session of a passage cruelly removed from its context. The convicition the people convey are legalistic and ascetic vice based upon a list of supposed dos and don'ts derived from misapplied verses and personal preferences elevated to the authority of scripture. Honestly, I have heard just as much negative reaction toward Gibson's film from the fundamentalist, antinomian crowd and they base that reaction on the 2nd commandment. However, just because you come across other Christians who believe you are misapplying the 2nd commandment and do not conclude the same thing as your personal convictions, does not mean they are antinomian, don't respect creeds and confessions, nor are they to be equated to those anemic congregations you escaped from. I believe Christians should have a standard to which to hold them accountable, and creeds and confessions do a fine job of that and I would readily receive them as a doctrinal statement. But, our ultimate doctrinal statement is the word of God rightly interpreted, and when any creed or confession wrongly applies a Bible verse or promotes priniciples that are misapplied due to a certain reading into the Bible, then that is where the creed and confession should be laid aside.


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns