I meant to get back to this earlier, but work has prevented me. I would imagine this overall discussion is winding down any way, but I wanted to respond to Gerry's last post.

I haven't been deriding fundamentalist churches, you have. But I agree with you on the shallow nature of fundamentalism. That is why I was never a member of a fundamentalist church. The church I spent the most time in, and which I have mentioned here as an antinomian church, was a intellectualist church that derided fundamentalism, and prided itself on not being fundamentalist, another trap to be avoided in my view Everyone that accepts the currency of the older confessions with regard to the second commandment is not automatically a fundamentalist.

(Fred) I evalutated your comments as directed toward fundamentalist minded churches based upon the following statement you made in a previous post in which you wrote:

I have had all of antinomianism I want in that dispensational church I was in some 15 years ago.

I am unaware of an intellectualist minded church that would be dispensational, but deriding of fundamentalism. Perhaps there are some. As a rule of thumb, fundamentalism and dispensationalism usually fit together like Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson.
At any rate, I believed I was secure in my assumption that your comments about antinomianism and dispensationalism was aimed at a typical Independent Baptist churches, because usually, when Covenant Theologists employ words like "antinomian" and "dispensationalism" to describe negative attributes of bad Christianity, those words can be code for "fundamental baptists" as I pointed out in my previous post.
That being said, I still believe that even though one may come from a liberal Methodist background, or a Calvary Chapel background, or even a mega-seeker-centered SBC background, they all share the similar characteristics that I pointed out and to equate the "antinomianism" of these typical Churches with the theology of NCT proponents, is in error.

Correction, as has been stated in previous posts, the convictions concerning the 2nd commandment are indeed the application of biblical exegesis. The creeds you mention, and they include more than the WCF, as Pilgrim has pointed out to you, were developed by the best biblical scholars of the times in which they were written, many if not most, of whom are considered by todays best scholars to have attained heights of wisdom and insight into God's word that simply hasn't been surpassed in the succeeding centuries. I'm thinking here of men like Owen, T. Goodwin and so on. It may not be YOUR biblical exegesis, but it most certainly is biblical exegesis.

(Fred) I appreciate your love for those men who drafted the WCF; I myself would agree with their ability and scholarship and would have equal admiration for them. It is important to keep in mind, however, that they are men as fallible as us. This is similar argumentation used by KJV onlies when they insist that the KJV is the superior translation because it was translated by superior scholars. We want to make sure the we are not unduly elevating people to a level beyond what they truly were to which I am sure you would agree. That being said, the men who framed the WCF were not with out their social-religious biases. Their stance on the second commandment, particularly what is outlined in their answer to the 109th question of the larger catechism, is reactionary of the Puritan Reformer's dissent from Roman Catholicism and the Anglican Church. Hence the reason they detail their answer with statements like: all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense. Their answer is meant to convey clearly, and I would argue, rightly so, that the worship presented in the RCC and the Anglican Church of their day (and our day as well) is a violation of the 2nd commandment. I would also point out that the WCF rightly emphasizes the use of images in worship, where I believe the biblical second commandment condemns such uses. That would fall under that category of praying to or bowing down to, etc. I believe that is the intent of their words when they address the issue of making representations of all three members of the Trinity: It is the use of such representations in the purposes of worship.
Thus, drawings of circles and triangles and the like that are found in theological works designed for the purpose of helping to clarify, with the use of illustration, the biblical teaching of the Trinity, is not worshipping an image prohibited by the 2nd commandment. The same can be said about a group of 1st graders in Sunday school looking at a flannel graph cartoon of Jesus feeding the 5,000; they are not engaged in idolatry or the breaking of the 2nd commandment. Granted, the flannel graph Jesus could look way more Jewish than the pale faced, high foreheaded, slicked back hair Jesus often portrayed, but still, the image is not meant to direct the heart in worship to a false idol.

Yes, you have made this statement before, but unlike your assertion here, it has not been ignored. It has been answered. Apparently not to your satisfaction, but it has been answered. Your interpretation of the purpose of the Cherubim and the bronze serpent, as well their application to the issue at hand, not to mention the Lords purpose in providing vs 5 of the context to the 2nd commandment is lacking in my view, as has been pointed out in other posts on this subject. You are of course entitled to another view, but you are rejecting the majority view of the orthodox Christian community for centuries, and I find your basis for doing so quite unsubstantial, if what you have provided here is the whole of it.

(Fred) I am completely aware of the various responses some folks have made, but those responses, I have to say, are not born from the entire text of Exodus 20:4-5 and do not adequately answer my pointing out of the Cherubim on top of the ark. Are you telling me that the high priest dripping blood on the ark during the day of atonement is not worship? Did not Jesus Christ point to the serpent lifted up in the wilderness as a type (an illustration) of what he was to do on the cross to bear sin? The distinction concerning the prohibition of images is not in the image itself, but the worship of that image. The Israelites were guilty of taking the Ark into battle as some sort of good luck charm in 1 Samuel 4-6. They were in essence worshipping the actual box, the image so to speak, not God. The serpent is also another prime example. Because it was turned into an icon by the Israelites, Hezekiah destroyed it. If it is images themselves being condemned, then I hope we are all prepared to burn our copies of Pilgrim's Progress, particularly the illustrated versions that show Pilgrim taking on Apollyon and him crossing the river into the Celestrial City, or perhaps our copies of Moby Dick, where Melville pictures sinful man (Ahab) fighting against God (the White Whale).
Now please, don't misunderstand me; I am not suggesting that we have pictures of Jesus in our Churches or statues of saints and angels decorating the corridor leading down to the fellowship hall. But I am saying that an artistic expression of the children crossing the Red Sea and the fire burning behind them to separate them from Pharaoh's army is not violating the 2nd commandment. Nor is the famous painting of Jesus and the apostles in the sea storm that depicts the disciples freaking out and Jesus calmly seated in the rear of the boat. Those painting only capture historical events and are not designed, nor intended, to be worshipped.
As for my point of view cutting against the majority view of orthodox Christianity, I would say that it may cut against the majority view of Covenant Theology and its application of the 10 commandments, not necessarily the whole of orthodox Christianity. If the historic majority is the determiner of orthodoxy, then we need to go back to Rome.


"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