Also Sprach Qohelet

Qohelet--A redneck philosopher? A mad man with a Muse? An urban legend? Just one more griper with a keyboard and an ISP? Read on and find out. Qohelet opines on politics, religion, culture, and even sports. Qohelet is a modern renaissance man.


A plethora of punditry, a smorgasboard of smack.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Reformers? Puritans? Pragmatists? Pyromaniacs?

Because I can comment here without getting deleted and because I never got an answer to my questions over at Pyromaniacs concerning Dan's last post, and because Paul and Candy have convinced me that they are not all of them mean over there, I thought I'd post a couple of comments over here.

I never said which side of the debate I was on. I did say that I celebrate Christmas, and that I did so for many of the same reasons that Dan put in his post. However, what Dan and Frank both fail to do over there is to take into account the regulative principle. If you are not familiar with the regulative principle, then I recommend you go over to that particular link and read it. If you're like me, and don't like running all over the Internet and back before finishing one particular article, then here is a snippet from that page which I think sums up the regulative principle well:
"Simply the Regulative Principle States this: True worship is only commanded by God; false worship is anything not commanded. This was the Puritan’s view of worship."
Now, with that in mind, it is easy to see why the Puritans rejected the celebration of Christmas as a "holy day." It was not just that it smacked of Rome and that they were distancing themselves from all things Rome, although I don't dismiss the idea that this may have been at work as a psychological factor. No, they had Scripture and sound reason for their rejection of Christmas. It was the same argument, by the by, that they used to dismiss all of the Roman Catholic holy days and saint days. That reason was this: none of those holy days was commanded.

The arguments Frank and Dan make for the religious celebration of Christmas, are the very same arguments that Rome made--against the Puritans and Reformers who held to the regulative principle--for all of her holy days and saints days. They are pragmatic arguments. Ironic, isn't it? John MacArthur has for a long time spoken out against the pragmatism that drives much of evangelical enterprise, pointing out its dangers, calling the evangelical church back to principle. Yet, on Phil Johnson's blog, the one that promotes all things MacArthur, they have taken the opposite stand on this issue. They ignore biblical principle--specifically the regulative principle--and argue for Christmas based on purely pragmatic arguments. Am I wrong in my assessment? TeamPyro is arguing against the Puritans and using Rome's arguments to do so.

That's not an attempt at guilt by association, by the way, either. Not everything that Rome says or does is wrong. Rome does, for example, make eloquent arguments for the Trinity and the deity of Christ and the hypostatic union. Not everything Rome does or says is wrong, obviously. But wouldn't you agree that it is at least noteowrthy that in this particular case, those whom Boar's Head Tavern patrons refer to snidely as the "truly reformed" are taking their stand with Rome and against their Puritan forbears on this issue?

God gave us holy days, said the Puritans, fifty-two of them. It is presumptious for us to go beyond what is commanded and add to that. When we do, how are we different than the two sons of Aaron who brought strange fire into the tabernacle and offered it on the altar of incense? I'm sure they had pragmatic reasons for doing so also. The bottom line is, we don't worship God the way we want, we worship God the way He commands.

I post these thoughts here because they can't be deleted by the hyper-sensitive and because I don't think that those two sanctimonies over there have even thought this thing all the way through. I think that Dan even takes it as a personal affront if anyone even questions his assertions or conclusions. I could be wrong.

Now, please pardon me while I go take down my Christmas tree and put up decorations. Have a nice day.


Blogger The D.O.G. House said...

Yes, I do believe you have hit the proverbial nail on the head...more than once in this post! In fact, I think you drove it deep. I don't know if you caught my 'final word' on that thread, it is;

DOGpreacher said...

Actually, in this case (the argument from silence), I think the silence is deafening. This would not technically qualify as an argument from silence anyway (When Paul tells about his labors as a tent maker, while continuing to preach every sabbath, this tells us what he did with the other days of his week). The silence I am hearing is that NO ONE has dealt with the scriptures that I ask them to look at.

"Mark" responded with an insightful piece of commentary...that DID NOT address what I was talking about. BTW, "Mark" I am in agreement with you concerning ordinances. My point was that in Baptist life it (Christmas) seems like the unofficial 3rd ordinance & viewed as being outside orthodoxy, and something one dare not question.

"farmboy": I am familiar with your commentary on many previous posts, and have always found them thoughtful, some insightful, and within the spirit of Christlike dialogue. That said, I will respond to your questions: (1)No (2)N/A (3)I didn't address Mr. Turk or Mr. Johnson. Pertaining to Mr. Phillips...yes, I believe so (at least that is my perception). (4)Once again, only in regards to Mr. Phillips. I read the comment from "qohelet" that is still on here, as well as the one that WAS here and is now gone. what was so incendiary about THOSE 2 comments? I don't believe our saviour would have censured those comments. So...yes to this question(#4). As for leveling serious charges...No, I am not. I am simply saying that kind words and solid exegesis are preferrable. As for my responsibility, I call them like I see them...and remember, at the first of my comment I mentioned that I just usually read here. When one is not in a haste to comment, but just to read, it is fairly easy to see where people have misunderstood others comments, then get a little defensive with some tongue-in-cheek sarcasm. The person who was misunderstood then attacks back, and it's on...and on...and on.

BTW...NOBODY addressed the part of my comment about the things I asked the congregation to do this Christmas (If we are going to call ourselves reformed, we had better start with Christmas [i.e. the worldly aspects of the holiday that we have brought into the church]). Did that hit to close to home?#:<) OR was that just not as eye-catching?

I have appreciated so many wonderful posts here, and will continue to, and did this one except for the tie-in to Christmas, which is romantic but a stretch in my opinion.

9:00 PM, December 27, 2006

Hey, thanks for the communication, and I also have a "spot" @, and I look forward to checking out your posts.

The DOGpreacher

1:52 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home