The Home-Church Model of
89. What is "Theonomy"?
From the Greek meaning "God's Law," it governs every area of life.
90. What is "Law"?
A word of varied uses, we distinguish God's Law from man's law. Since God's Law is comprehensive, it forms the pattern for a complete social order, rendering man's law superfluous at best.
91. Every Man a Lawyer
We know we love God if we keep His Law. We know we love others if we obey God's Law with respect to them. Thus, Christians should be masters and practitioners of Biblical Law; Lawyers, but not lawyers.
92. The "Theonomic" Lawyer
A contrast of the "lawyers" mentioned in the New Testament and a Godly Lawyer concerned with God's Law.
93. The "Judicial Law"
Theologians have often divided God's Law into categories: "moral," "ceremonial," "civil" (or "judicial"). Closer study shows that "the judicial laws" cannot be distinguished from otherwise-abiding "moral laws" and that there is a sharp distinction between God's Law as a whole and pagan law codes; God's Law has no distinct "judicial law."
94. Unconditional Surrender and the "Attorney"
The term "attorney" comes from a term in Feudal Law which signified the turning or transferring of one's homage and allegiance from one lord to another. Christianity is a legal "Unconditional Surrender" to God as Lord, as Gary North, in his book by that title, has observed. A Christian "attorney" would thus seek to avoid the role of mediator (I Timothy 2:5), and would encourage his fellow believer to "attorn" directly to God.
95. The Sacerdotal Attorney
Failing to do so, the non-Christian attorney, acting as a mediator, prevents the client from becoming a mature son of God by obstructing direct access to the Throne of God and the Blueprints of Godly dominion. God-like control is exercised over the client instead, to the monetary profit of the attorney and the spiritual destruction of both.
Now we parallel our discussion of the "Pastor's" duties by examining the same list of duties in "The Form of Presbyterial Government" and showing how those responsibilities are particularly incumbent upon any who would take upon themselves the mantle of "Christian Attorney."
96. Lawyers: Keys and Closed Doors
The "Keys of the Kingdom" represent the inScriptured Law-Word of God. Jesus said the "lawyers" of His day had these keys, but sacerdotally kept them to themselves in order to exercise control over the people.
97. The Shepherding Lawyer Must Pray
The Pharisaic lawyers relied on their own strength (or the strength of neighboring empires) to overcome personal and national crises. Will the Christian Lawyer make the same mistake? Can the client's "local church Pastor" pray as specifically and knowledgeably about the client's legal problems as the Christian Lawyer?
98. Study Questions
99. The Pastoring Lawyer Must Read the Bible. All have this duty, but for one who holds himself out as a "professional" or a "counselor," the duty goes beyond mastering the ability for himself, but developing creative ways to encourage clients to do the same. As forgiveness and reconciliation are to be pursued rather than litigation before the pagans, it is obviously essential that the Christian Attorney know God's Law regarding this duty and disciple clients in the ability to search the Scriptures for themselves to understand Kingdom Law.
The Pro-nomian Pastor Must Feed the Flock
As a defender of God's Law and shepherd to the immature and lost, the Christian Attorney must vanquish spiritual malnutrition and Biblical deficiencies in those who seek his help.
101. Study Questions
102. Pastoral Lawyers Must Catechize We focus on one of the most important legal issues confronting the Church of Christ today: the State vs. the Family. Home education is an area where the Spiritual responsibility is increasingly clear to Families, but their training is inadequate (or so they think), and this opens them up to secular attack.
Additionally, whereas catechisms have traditionally been limited to sacerdotal or "theological" topics, students of God's Law must be at the forefront of the drafting of whole-life catechisms, teaching full-orbed obedience to God's Law in every area of life The Westminster Larger Catechism's exposition of the Ten Commandments is a step in this direction.
103. Study Questions
104. Christ-like Attorneys Must Comfort
The work of Christ, the Paradigm Attorney, is accomplished by the work of the Spirit, called the "Comforter" or "Paraclete." Lawyers must work to obey God's Law in being able to comfort clients in crises.
105. Study Questions
106. Shepherding Lawyers Must Exhort
"Comfort" and "exhort" are related words. In times of difficulty, we speak of the need of "comfort." When standing against the pressures of pagan society or working for Biblical reconstruction we speak of the need to be "exhorted." How can we exhort someone to stand against lawlessness and press on toward reconstructed lives and societies if we don't know God's Blueprints, if we don't know the "eutopian" goal set before us?
107. Study Questions
108. Pro-Nomian Patriarchs Must Convince.
This command is the basis for the entire concept of Christian Reconciliation and Mediation. The word is found in Matthew 18:15. Lawyers who neglect this command have shunned God's Law and have relegated themselves to the status of "heathen and revenue agent."
109. Study Questions
110. Shepherding Attorneys Must Teach To fail to teach the Law after holding oneself out as "A Christian Lawyer" is to attract men to one's home by holding out the Keys and then hindering them from entering the Kingdom by refusing them the Keys.
111. Study Questions
112. Pastoral Lawyers Must Preach
The word for "preacher" comes from a Greek word which speaks of a legal representative of the Emperor who heralded the jurisdiction of the Empire over his hearers. To judge the world, as we are commanded (I Corinthians 6:2), is to herald the establishment of a Spiritual Kingdom and the reign of King Jesus. "Preaching" is thus a legal term, and Lawyers should be preachers of the Gospel -- the "Good News" of the Reign of Christ.
113. Study Questions
114. Christian Attorneys Must NOT Be Mysterious
Some believe that the professions must cultivate a mystique. This may serve the profession, but it only intimidates and disheartens and does not help the client grow.
115. Shepherding Lawyers Must Administer the Sacraments
116. Baptism -- The Covenant Sign of Unconditional Attorn
The Covenant is a legal relationship/document. It is a peace treaty between God and Man, and the terms of surrender are spelled out by the Victorious Party over the conquered vassals. Baptism is a sacramental sign of personal subjection of oneself and all in one's household to those terms. If, after prayer, Bible reading, and rebuke (Matthew 18), the client becomes converted, no one is more peculiarly fitted to baptize the client than the agent of God's Covenant, the Lawyer-Preacher. To delay baptism is to suggest a "zone of neutrality" in which the client can temporarily act outside of the Treaty or receive its protection without visibly and publicly coming under its terms.
117. Study Questions
118. The Lord's Supper -- Communion and Government When the Peace Treaty is signed, the Covenant Lord invites the vassals to an act of personal contact and a sign of intimate friendship: He invites us to sup with Him. Eating is thus an important legal act, and we are not to eat with those who self-consciously repudiate the Government of God while continuing to use His Name. To do so would be an act of insurrection against Christ and His Community. Thus, if reconciliation between parties occurs, all parties should celebrate the work of the social Presence of God through the "love feast."
119. Study questions
The relationship between the two traditional sacraments (baptism, Lord's Table) and the Old Covenant is considered in the context of the duties of the Christian pastor and of all believers.
120. Theo-Nomic Pastors Must Bless "Blessing" is best understood in conjunction with its opposite, "Cursing." See Deuteronomy 28. It is a Covenantal/Legal act, thus fittingly performed by the Christian Attorney. (Have we lost sight of our original point, viz., that these are duties which cannot legitimately be monopolized by the institutional "church officer"? [Nor dumped on them by "Lawyers" who are "too busy."])
121. Pastoral Lawyers Must Take Care of the Poor
Even the "establishment" legal authorities are increasingly vocal on the need for more pro bono work by lawyers.
122. Justice and Poverty But God's Law says more. (1) The Biblical view of the poor (powerless) and the deprivation of justice they experience at the hands of the powerful is stirring in its call for action from those who "sit at the gates," i.e., those who have legal expertise and power. (2) Many methods of increasing wealth involve economic practices condemned in Scripture. Redistribution of wealth (theft) from the poor or working classes to the privileged through the "Fractional Reserve Banking" process must not be practiced. (3) Thus in the Bible the pre-eminent index of justice in a society is theonomic treatment of the poor and powerless.
123. Study Questions
124. Shepherding Attorneys Must Be an Example
The Christian Lawyer puts himself in a position of leadership and authority with every client. This is a deep, confidential, and personal relationship. This fact, and the need to protect it from abuse, undergirds Canon 4 of the A.B.A Code of Professional Responsibility. Removing pagan concepts of "professionalism" only increases the urgency of Christian Attorneys recognizing that they are never mere scriveners, but epitomize the social order they are working to create, and thus are models of what is moral in the modern world.
125. Study Questions
126. Patriarch/Lawyers Must "Oversee"
Failure to carry out the duties all believers have to watch over one another can be particularly costly in a legal/financial relationship such as the Christian Attorney seeks to cultivate.
127. Study Questions
128. The Servant-Lawyer Must Shepherd
The concepts of Shepherding and Ruling are interchangeable (see "The Legal Pastor," below). Shepherding by intimidation is condemned in Mark 10:42-45.
129. Study Questions
130. Doctrinally-sound Attorneys are Worthy of Double Honor
Under the Duties of the Pastor we discussed remuneration of those who disseminate sound doctrine, and the concept of double "honor." The economic-legal implications of the "free" Gospel are considered here.
131. Law and Doctrine
"Doctrine" in Scripture is not something which is merely "believed," but is also obeyed. Thus, like all of God's Law-Word, "doctrine" has a legal character. Theonomic Attorneys thus are among those "who labor in the Word and Doctrine."
132. Working for a Living
Spiritual responsibilities, such as those discussed in this book, are often neglected because "I have to work for a living." That slogan is examined.
133. Study Questions
134. Law, Religion, and State
"Law" (as in the phrase, "Open up, in the name of the law") is religious. It is the social-legal externalization of a religion. A law-order can thus be created by State, Priesthood, or Family.
The Attorney as Patriarch
135. Government and the Patriarch Every social function necessary for "a well-governed society" can be provided for by the Family. In fact, if the Family does not carry out its responsibilities, a "paternalistic" State is inevitable.
136. Elders, Lawyers, and Judges
Israel was seduced by Egypt. Her Patriarchs failed. Elders were appointed as "judges" in Israel (Exodus 18). Before 70 A.D. the New Israel also had "elders." A comparison of the two groups of elders helps us understand our duties today.
137. Levites and Lawyers
Levites taught the Law of God to the people. What is the New Testament counterpart to the Levite? How does the Levite differ from the Elder?
The Lawyer as "Church Officer"
138. The Myth of the "Separation of Church and State"
The origin of a doctrine helpful to those who wish to escape responsibility under God's Law.
139. The Lawyer as Priest
Explores the nature of the priest, the corruption of the priesthood, the Priesthood of All Believers, and the Lawyer as Burden-Bearer.
140. The Magisterial Pastor
"Pastor" originally meant a king, or legal ruler. The True Pastor, Jesus the Great Shepherd, performs the tasks claimed by pagan pastors: the gathering of autonomous local populations into unified kingdom citizenship, and world/cosmic renewal. There is thus no longer any need for "Pastors," but all must work to achieve the ends of the Great Shepherd in extending the reign of His Kingdom.
141. The War of the Pastors
Modern "church pastors" are legal incompetents, knowing only of "doctrinal" speculations and nothing of social and legal realities. They lash out against those who attempt to exercise true "pastoral" responsibilities. "The Heresy of the Faithful."
142. Excommunication and the Lawyer
"Church officers" are not the only ones who can excommunicate. Grounds for excommunication occur most frequently in the course of legal disputes.
The Lawyer as Reconciler
143. The Legal Pimp
Christians are not to sue. Imagine getting paid money to help someone commit this sin!
144. The Theonomic Lawyer
The essence of God's Law is reconciliation and voluntarism. The commands of God (cf. Matthew 23:23) concerning justice (re: the wrongdoer), mercy (re: the wronged), and faith (re: both, spontaneously and joyfully obeying from the heart) must be emphasized.
145. Resolving Disputes in the Home Church
The Christian Lawyer in action, in a non-institutional community setting.
Legal Mediation and Arbitration in I Corinthians 6
146. The Arbitrators
The "wise men" who mediate disputes are not to be "ordained church officers" alone. (They may be such, but only if they happen also to be Spiritually [Theonomically] qualified.)
147. State Enforcement of Church Arbitration
How does this differ from placing the Christian Community under the jurisdiction of the pagan State? How does this escape the prohibition of exacting vengeance?
148. Arbitration and the "Rash Vow"
Can Christians in a dispute take an oath to agree to have other Christians hear their case and abide by the decision? Prof. Jay Adams (not our "Professor" above) says this would be a "rash vow," because the outcome is not certain and may involve a promise to sin. Discussion.
149. The "Local Church" vs. The Christian Conciliation Service
How "Pastors," in an attempt to retain their control over congregations, attack voluntarist organizations such as CCS in their attempt at extra-judicial and extra-ecclesiastical problem-solving.
150. Punishment, Criminal Defense, and Patriarchy A survey of a projected fifth book in The Christian Conciliation Manifesto.
151. Gary North: "Family Authority vs. Protestant Sacerdotalism"
- A Self-Guided Review
152. James B. Jordan: "God's Hospitality and Holistic Evangelism"
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