THE PURITANS’ NETWORK
TOWARDS REPENTANCE AND REFORMATION IN THE CIVIL REALM by J. Parnell McCarter
God has endowed the visible church in its church officers to
speak with a certain authority on Biblical doctrinal matters that are lacking
in other bodies and private individuals, which is why He calls the church “the
pillar and ground of truth”(I Timothy 3:15).
This includes on doctrine relating to civil government, which is why the
reformed confessional standards (Belgic, Westminster, Helvetic, etc.) have chapters relating to the civil
magistracy. Political leaders,
candidates and voters need to know God’s will regarding civil government in
order to make proper decisions. This
need is especially true in America,
where a majority still in some sense profess Christianity, but where there is
widespread declension since the founding of New England, New Netherlands, etc.
here in North America.
In addition, the church needs to protect itself against
false allegations. Although it is
believed sodomy and so called “gay marriage” are wrong, that does not mean it
is believed that individual Christians should take the law into their own hands
and try to stop it in that way.
The Belgic Confession and the
Westminster Confession, as received and subscribed by the reformed churches in
the Netherlands and Scotland
respectively in the 17th century, accurately describe the Biblical doctrine on
civil government. These standards
especially address such doctrine in Article 36 of the Belgic
Confession and Chapter 23 of the Westminster Confession. They provide the guidelines towards
repentance and reformation in the civil realm.
We ought to study them, and then seek to implement them in practice,
that Christ's kingdom might come.