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Published on June 22nd, 2011 | by Bojidar Marinov

68

The Two-Kingdoms Theology Goes “Expert”

An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less, until he knows everything about nothing.

- a Murphy’s corollary on Nicholas Butler’s definition

These last several days many of my Reformed Baptist friends are disappointed and confused. The reason for their disappointment and confusion is Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Considered “Reformed” by many in the Baptist churches, Mohler is believed to be an authority, a great preacher and Bible teacher, and a scholar. I haven’t met a single Baptist that would venture in any way to question Mohler’s conservative Biblical commitment.

And yet, Mohler these days seems to be changing his position on a very important issue: sodomy, aka “homosexuality.” True, he doesn’t go so far as to openly declare that sodomy is not a sin. But many of his other statements about sodomy do contradict the unequivocal position of the Bible. He uses rhetoric borrowed from the vocabulary of the enemies of God: “homophobic.” (Would he also criticize those of us that are “cannibalophobic,” “murderophobic,” “sexual-offender-phobic,” and “thievophobic”?) He also calls it “sexual orientation.” (Theft in that case is “economic orientation,” and murder can be classified as “relational orientation.”) He uses arguments promoted by the defenders of sodomy: that “homosexuality is more than just a choice.” (Same can be said about murder, theft, kidnapping, false witness.)

And then, at the end, he says that,

…there is no way anyone in fair mindedness can be confused about what I believe about homosexuality…

He is very wrong there. It is the fair minded that will be confused. Those that uncritically accept Mohler as a theological authority won’t care. In any case, both groups will certainly be surprised at the change in Mohler’s rhetoric about sodomy. As one of the major denominations in this nation, the Southern Baptists have always maintained a very conservative, Biblical, uncompromising rejection of sin, unlike Presbyterians, Methodists, or Charismatics. The surprise and concern of so many Baptists can not be ascribed to their supposed “lies about the nature of homosexuality” and “homophobia,” as Mohler would have it. Quite the opposite. It is Mohler’s position that is unacceptable. And we should expect many of them to be surprised.

I am not surprised. For one, I have never accepted the claim that Mohler is Reformed, even if he pays lip service to Calvinism and the TULIP. Reformed Christianity is much more than TULIP, it is, in the words ascribed to Bucer, “the Christianization of every aspect of life”; or what was later proclaimed by Reformed Christians as “building a City on a Hill.” Reformed Christianity can not be boiled down to a few theological propositions about man’s individual salvation; it is the Gospel of the Kingdom, a comprehensive cultural, historical, economic, political, etc. change based on the Bible and its law. The Reformers didn’t simply build churches and seminaries; they built cities and cultures and nations; and their preaching was directed to changing all of life, from individual souls to government policies and economic and cultural practices. But Mohler won’t have any of that. He is one of the most vocal proponents of an ideology that limits the Gospel to a small part of man’s life and practice: the Two-Kingdoms Theology.

And my case here is that Mohler’s Two-Kingdoms Theology is the basis for his soft views on sodomy. He is consistent with his theology when he abandons the firm position of the Bible concerning sodomy; if one believes in the Two Kingdoms, he can not do anything else but have increasingly lax views on any kind of sin, not only sodomy. My Baptist friends should examine Mohler’s theological views more closely; in those views they will discover the seeds of the same theological liberalism that is plaguing other denominations, and will soon knock on the doors of the Baptist seminaries and churches too.

The Two Kingdoms theology, as explained by its own adherents, has the following tenets:

1) Every Christian in this life is a citizen of two distinct kingdoms, the Church and the state (aka “the common kingdom”).

2) The two kingdoms are under two separate systems of law. The Church is under the special revelation given in the Bible, and its main goal is personal salvation. The state is under the natural law, revealed to all men; its concern is government, not salvation, and therefore the Bible can not be its sole source of authority and legitimacy.

3) Since the church derives its authority only from the Bible, and the state doesn’t, the church should never trample on the authority of the common kingdom institutions.[1]

If we ignore the fact that “nature” contains no identifiable moral or judicial law for government, this looks like a very sound system, theoretically, if both the church and the state accept the theology of the two kingdoms and act accordingly. But here is the problem for the Two-Kingdoms Theology: There has been no state in history that has subscribed to a two-kingdoms theology. Civil rulers are always one-kingdom in their ideology. That one kingdom, if they are Christian rulers, is the Kingdom of Christ, and therefore they look for the source of law and justice in the Word of God, working to submit their kingdoms to Christ. If they are pagan rulers, their laws are the laws of men, and they seek to subjugate everyone in their realms – including the Church – to those laws of men. A two-kingdoms state is a delusion, and the deluded party are the church leaders who believe that it is possible to establish boundaries for the state power once the state is declared a kingdom independent from the revelation given in the Bible. A civil power that has been given the theological endorsement to be based on the vague and undefinable notion of “natural law” will always re-define this “natural law” to mean anything necessary for the expansion of state power. Eventually even the areas that the church considers its own realm will be consumed by that ever expanding state power. And the church will have nothing to offer to oppose it.

Therefore, in a society where the church believes in a “two-kingdoms” delusion we should expect the civil government to constantly demand more and more areas to fall under its jurisdiction. Again, no civil government actually believes in a “two-kingdoms” ideology, and therefore the existence of another independent “kingdom” within its realm will always be considered a threat against the official state ideology. We should expect then the church and its teachings to be the central target for any non-Christian government; and we should expect the civil government to use its power to make laws based on the “natural law” to encroach steadily onto the moral authority and the institutional integrity of the church. We should expect the state to “politicize” and absorb areas that were formerly “moral” and therefore within the jurisdiction of the church. Family, education, religious views, sexual morality, etc. will be gradually declared by law “political” issues, or “civil rights” issues, or “practical” issues; and the state bureaucracy will use the law to advance its power over these areas, pushing the church out of them, step by step, generation after generation.

And if the church has a Two-Kingdoms Theology, it won’t have the theological tools to defend itself or to stop the civil government’s invasion. According to one of the tenets of the Two-Kingdom Theology I mentioned above, the church should not trample on the authority of the state. And since there is never a clear cut definition as to what falls under the “natural law,” the church will have to retreat every time the state claims an area of life to itself. Thus the kingdom of the church will go “expert” by the definition I gave above: It will be forced to deal with an ever shrinking jurisdiction, governing less and less, until it finally has absolute power over nothing.

And indeed, what do we see when we trace the position of the civil government on the issue of sodomy? It used to be a punishable crime in the past, as it is according to the Gospel, as Paul informs us in 1 Tim. 1:8-11. Then the civil government, abandoning its Christian roots and ideology, refused to enforce the laws against sodomy. Then sodomy was removed from the list of punishable crimes, and left to the church only, as a moral transgression to deal with. It seems that here we would have had our perfect “two-kingdoms” situation, if the civil government stopped there. But, like we saw above, no civil government is “two-kingdoms”; if it hates God, it won’t stop until all its laws reflect that hatred. Sodomy then became a “social” issue, a “civil right.” This effectively freed sodomy from the moral demands of the Law of God and moved it in the realm of “natural law.” And then, of course, since the civil government is the guardian of that “natural law,” according to the Two-Kingdom Theology, the protection of sodomy now became a political and judicial issue; and if it becomes a political and judicial issue, the government will use its power to punish those in its realm who by their convictions and sermons stand on the wrong – the “illegal” – side of that political and judicial issue. Once sodomy is a protected political issue, the church must stop preaching against it.

What can Mohler do to oppose this development? Nothing, if he wants to remain faithful to his ideology. Anything he says will fall under the heading of the church “trampling” on the authority of the common kingdom institutions. His own ideology prevents him from openly confronting the government. The only option remaining is for him to gradually abandon the field to the state, as the church has done to many other fields – family, education, economics, etc. Mohler, while claiming to be Reformed, will have to look at sodomy “through new eyes,” the eyes of the “natural law,” since it is no longer the church’s domain, and therefore the Bible can not be the only standard there. He can’t do it immediately or he would lose his credibility. He must keep saying sodomy is sin. But at least he can start sowing the seeds – by excluding the Bible from the discussions of sodomy, and introducing a humanistic, “natural law” way of looking at sodomy.

And indeed, that’s exactly what he has done when discussing the suicide of Tyler Clementi. In a lengthy article where Christians are accused of not doing enough to save Clementi from his suicide, Mohler asks if there was no one – i.e. no Christian – that “could have stood between that boy and that bridge.” Very emotional; and very weak as an argument. If the argument was valid, Jesus would have asked if there was no one to stand between Judas and that rope; or between Ananias and Saphira and the Holy Spirit. Or between the Jews and the Roman legions in AD 70. Or between Paul and the man whom he delivered to Satan for the destruction of his flesh. The argument that Christians haven’t done enough to make Clementi understand that homosexuality is sin and that he has worth in Christ is a mere manipulation. People in foreign lands who never heard of Jesus before turn to Christ at one word by a missionary; Clementi lived in a land where there is an abundant number of Christian TV stations and radio stations and churches and Christian books etc. . . . How probable is it that he never heard about Jesus and God and the salvation from sin and death? How much is “enough” effort for Mohler? How much worth is his argument that Christians should feel guilty for not saving from suicide a man who knew very well he was in sin, and had ample opportunities to repent and turn to God?

What is more important, in the article full of emotional arguments and tear-jerkers Mohler never produces a single Bible verse to support his analysis of the story. Yes, you read it correctly, the president of a large seminary didn’t produce a single Bible verse to support his position on a very important issue. While the Bible is generally mentioned as “condemning homosexuality,” Mohler is silent as to what exactly that “condemnation” amounts to. Had he quoted it, he would be forced to admit that there is only one verdict in the Bible against sodomy: Death. Had he gotten that far, he would have had to admit that Clementi’s suicide was God’s direct justice in a matter where the civil government refuses to obey God. Had he admitted that, he would have had to use the Bible to tell the civil government what it is supposed to do according to the Bible. And Mohler can not afford that, unless he wants to abandon his Two-Kingdoms Theology.

And therefore Mohler had only one choice: Comment on the suicide of a sodomite without ever going to the Bible, thus following the pagan state’s agenda of freeing sodomy from the demands of the Law of God, placing it in the realm of the “natural law.” My Baptist friends shouldn’t be surprised: Mohler is only acting out in practice his theology. His theology demands that he abandons the field every time the civil government invades it and politicizes it. After surrendering so many areas of life, sodomy is the next to surrender. The task is not so difficult, given how much emotionalism can be employed in justifying the retreat and the betrayal against the Word of God.

It is time for the Southern Baptists – and for the Presbyterians as well, and every one else – to understand that the source of the theological liberalism in the church today is the Two-Kingdoms Theology. As Albert Mohler’s strange change of heart testifies, the more consistent a person is with the Two-Kingdoms Theology, the more they will have to abandon one area of life after another to the pagan state; the jurisdiction of the “kingdom of the church” will have to shrink until the church has jurisdiction over nothing because everything will be politicized and under the control of the state. If this dualistic doctrine continues in our seminaries, we should expect more and more to hear from our pulpits sermons that do not even touch the real life, that only rely on emotionalism and not on the Word of God; because every mention of the Word of God will more and more become an open challenge to the ever expanding state, a challenge that contradicts the tenets of the Two-Kingdoms Theology.

Contrary to Mohler, the two kingdoms in history are the Kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of Satan. When a preacher doesn’t openly proclaim the law of Christ revealed only in the Bible over every aspect of life – including civil government, economy, justice, etc. – that preacher by default helps the expansion of the kingdom of Satan, however noble and good his intentions are. Only the Gospel of the Kingdom – one Kingdom, in every area of life – can bring righteousness and justice back to our land, and give hope to the sinners. It is time for teachers like Mohler to be confronted and forced to stop seducing the Church with another gospel.


[1] I have taken the tenets of the Two-Kingdom theology from David VanDrunnen, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2010). Al Mohler highly praises and advertizes VanDrunnen’s book.

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About the Author

A Reformed missionary to his native Bulgaria for over 10 years, Bojidar preaches and teaches doctrines of the Reformation and a comprehensive Biblical worldview. Having founded Bulgarian Reformation Ministries in 2001, he and his team have translated over 30,000 pages of Christian literature about the application of the Law of God in every area of man’s life and society, and published those translations online for free. He has been active in the formation of the Libertarian movement in Bulgaria, a co-founder of the Bulgarian Society for Individual Liberty and its first chairman. If you would like Bojidar to speak to your church, homeschool group or other organization, contact him through his website: http://www.bulgarianreformation.org/



68 Responses to The Two-Kingdoms Theology Goes “Expert”

  1. Gene says:

    In my mind Two kingdom theology resolves the conflict between Matthew 5 and Romans. Anabaptist adherence to an ethic of love for even our enemies is in tension with the need of the state to impose order. seems perfectly logical to me.

  2. Jared Myers says:

    I just have two requests:
    1) View this video: http://sbcvoices.com/al-mohlers-response-to-peter-lumpkins-the-complete-video/
    2) Show me one area where Al Mohler is wrong. Just one. Frankly, I don’t believe you’ll find it.

    Marinov states (and I quote) “And then, at the end, he (Mohler) says that,
    ‘…there is no way anyone in fair mindedness can be confused about what I believe about homosexuality…’
    He (Mohler) is very wrong there. It is the fair minded that will be confused.” (end quote)

    Not if you actually viewed the video and heard Mohler IN CONTEXT.

    Marinov also says (and I quote): “What is more important, in the article full of emotional arguments and tear-jerkers Mohler never produces a single Bible verse to support his analysis of the story. Yes, you read it correctly, the president of a large seminary didn’t produce a single Bible verse to support his position on a very important issue.” (end quote)

    That is demonstrably false and proves that Marinov merely read the article and did not view the video. Watch the video.

    Last time from Marinov (and I quote): “It is time for teachers like Mohler to be confronted and forced to stop seducing the Church with another gospel.”

    Whenever you point a finger, there will be 2 or 3 pointing back at you. Get your facts right and take the log out of your own eye before trying to get the hypothetical speck out of Mohler’s eye (assuming a speck is even there). It seems as if Theonomists will take even the weakest of opportunities to proclaim their point of view. It also seems as if Mohler understands grace a tad better as well.

    Just watch the video, and you’ll see this entire article is unnecessary.

    • Actually, Mohler is wrong on many issues in that video:

      1. Evangelicals – the conservative ones, I mean – have not lied about the nature of homosexuality. Mohler has.
      2. Sodomy – like every other sin, whether murder, theft, adultery, false witness – is not “more than just choice.” It is choice, self-conscious choice.
      3. The churches’ job is done when we proclaim the Kingdom of God, not when we do everything to manipulate sodomites to “sit in the church,” and compromise our beliefs in the process.
      4. “Homophobia” is a pagan term, and it denotes the pagan resentment against our righteous hatred of sin. Mohler is wrong to use it – the term has no redeemed or redeemable use.
      5. Mohler is conveniently vague as to what that “ministering” to sodomites might be, other than proclaiming that sodomy is sin. When someone is declaring he is addressing a problem but he is conveniently vague about the solution, then he is sending you on a guilt trip. Mohler is sending his listeners on a guilt trip.
      6. Mohler does mention “grace,” but he talks nothing about God’s sovereignty in relation to sodomy. Which shows he is just another Arminian in Calvinist clothes. The issues is, it is God’s job to bring the sodomites to repentance and then into the church. Our job is to proclaim God’s Word – and calling sodomy “more than a choice” and accusing Christians of “homophobia” is proclaiming not God’s Word but pagan lies.
      7. Mohler never goes to the Bible to show where in the Bible his particular version of “ministering to sodomites” is described. The Bible wants us to hate sin, and to stay away from the disgusting abomination of sodomy – and from the sodomites too, given what the Law of God says about them.

      So now that I watched the video, I see that not only this article was necessary to warn the Southern Baptists that they have a wolf in sheep’s clothes among them, but much more needs to be written about Mohler and his deceit.

  3. Robert says:

    Good article!
    Here’s another question for your Baptist friends: Why is Richard D. Land, the long-time “president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), which is the moral and ethics concern entity of the Southern Baptist Convention,” a member of the anti-Christian Council on Foreign Relations?

  4. SBC says:

    I find it interesting that many are commenting without the slightest idea of what is happening in the SBC or of Mohler’s role in it. Consequently, for non-SBCer’s and uninformed SBCer’s here is the context.

    Mohler and several other institutional leaders in the SBC promoted, passed, and are implementing a program known as “The Great Commission Resurgence”. The GCR was sold to the rank and file by the leadership as a way of making more efficient use of Cooperative Program funds for evangelism. Of course, anyone who follows SBC life carefully knows that expanding “evangelism” is the Swiss Army Knife of justifications within the SBC. “Evangelism” has, in fact, been used to justify just about every action the leadership of the SBC has wanted to take, irrespective of whether the action has much of anything to do with evangelism.

    As was feared by many, the GCR increasingly appears to have been a gambit for bringing Acts 29 into a position of prominence with the the SBC, giving younger pastors the “seats of honor” some of them have been clamoring for, directing more funding toward certain institutions, and, most important, moving the SBC in a more culturally liberal direction. Regarding this last point, Mohler’s statements have to be seen against the backdrop of the SBC leadership’s recent embrace of a form of amnesty for illegal immigrants, embrace of environmentalism, embrace of affirmative action, and attempt to inject elements feminsm quietly into the SBC by having LifeWay promote a gender neutral translation of the Bible.

    Mohler’s various statements regarding sodomites are incohent. I think he understands that. The contradictions inherent in his statements may well be intended to create the sort of intellectual confusion that will make it possible to get the SBC to slowly change its position on this subject. Moreover, Mohler’s remarks are exactly the sorts of things that were said in Mainline and other denominations beginning about 30 years ago to begin the process of getting them to abandon Biblical standards regarding sodomites.

    With membership, baptisms, and giving declining in the SBC, the GCR leaders undoubtedly think that they can reverse the trend by combining cultural liberalism with a theology that proclaims Biblical inerrancy. Clearly, this is just a marketing ploy – one that I predict will create a civil war within the SBC or the splintering of the SBC, or both.

    Here are two final points. First, accepting the claim in ABP story that Mohler isn’t softening his stance is naive. The ABP is the liberal Baptist counterpart of the SBC’s Baptist Press. The ABP, CBF, and similar organizations were started by or are staffed in large part by liberals who were pushed out of the SBC leadership and agencies during the Conservative Resurgence. These people are never going to admit that the SBC is turning in a more liberal direction because that would mean that they have lost their raison d’etre. I know the author of the ABP piece, and he has in many instances written pieces portraying SBC positions are being far more conservative than they were for this very reason.

    Second “kind” and “patient” appear to be confused by many with “nice”. Sometimes harsh words are the “kindest”, and repeating them often can be the best form of “patience”. Those who object to Bojidar’s tone might consider that Christ himself might not be considered “nice” enough by many of today’s Christians. After all, Christ thrashed people and called others ugly names, undoubtedly injuring their “self-esteem”.

  5. A. Sharpe says:

    “He uses arguments promoted by the defenders of sodomy: that “homosexuality is more than just a choice.” ”

    Nevertheless, Sin is inherited, the will is free but only that in the sinner it freely sins, and Torah alone, when God finally confronts the believer with it – God, not Man – the believer is defeated – and must receive the Spirit of Adoption, again in God’s timing.

    Non-believers – that is the sodomites of Sodom – are not encumbered with Torah.

    Consequently, any attack upon Mohler from the above quote is not based upon Scripture or Reformed dogma.

    The notion of Counter-compulsion is a fleshly carnal construct that flies in the face of the truth of Romans 7 and the solution – namely in the indwelling Christ – that is to say, “Christ in you, the hope of Glory”.

    Only the carnal are confused by the warts and spots wqith which God cloaks the Body of Chirst – the ekklesia.

    The SBC is generally homophobic in their response to that “particular” panoply of sin. That is a consequence of their systemic denial of the power of God, through the Holy Spirit by His presence – both in the assembly and the members thereof. The consequence of denial makes them Ichabod – which is their current condition, with some exceptions.

    If BM was correct in his notions of Perfection immediately upon belief, which is what he is espousing – like a Weslyan – and his notion that “just say No” is a viable spiritual ministry, which is the argument of Arminians, semi-Pelagians and the like – there would be no persistent and continuing need for “revival” within the Body.

    Finally, BM himself is categorized in the passage of I Cor 6:9-11, along with the sexual categories of Sin – as a “slanderer” and one who uses “abusive speech”. Always alluding to his service as a “military man” – (now there is a butch profession – always in the company of men, never home with the wife and kids) – he now uses words as bullets, indicating that he has never taken James to heart.

    Also, he is a gossip, quoting “unamed” sources as the root of his concern – which is always and ever the entree of those who seek to slander with ad hominem attacks. Who is most like Satan in his whining, slanderous attack upon Job? BM or Al Mohler?

  6. Robert Hagedorn says:

    Sodomy in the Bible? For a surprise, do a search: First Scandal.

  7. Albert Mohler wrote that “homosexuality is more than a choice.” I believe he is in error as his statement implies that for some people homosexuality is not a choice but for them it is normal. This implies that GOD made a mistake by making them nihilistic. GOD does not make mistakes. HIS very first command in the Holy Bible is that man be fruitful and multiply by joining with his female wife as one flesh. The Bible has many writings about casting seed on barran ground. Clearly, if we are to accept the inerrancy of the Bible, homosexuality is a choice and not normal for anyone.

  8. John R Bloxson Jr says:

    I believe Paul covers the Grace in 1st. Cor. 6 sin is sin and was sinand will be sin until thGreat White Thrown Judgmet at the end of time. Tat said I also believe that no sinner is unable to reent and through God’s grace be saved. The one who dies in their sin are successful rebels and will reap the Eternal seperationin and torment in Hell that they chose. I pray for all sinnes lost and without Jesus Christ but I will not comprimise the message of God’s Word just to put bodies inthe pews, Homosexuality is a sn as is Adultery, promiscuity, sex before marriage, beastiality all ar sexual deviations from the natural. Needless to say there are other sins but all sin deserves one Penalty Death that penalty was paid at Golgotha for all who will call on the name of Jesus Christ in repentance of their sinfulness.

  9. steve says:

    I think more study needs to be done on the subject of homosexuality, rather than outright condemnation of people; ergo, I would be in support of Dr. Mohler’s terminology and views.

  10. Nathan says:

    These attacks on Mohler are simply ridiculous. Mohler was right, any fair-minded person would know that Mohler has been an outspoken defender of the Gospel for decades, yes, decades and has been pointed in his condemnation of homosexuality as sin, even in this statement. He reformed Southern Baptist Seminary back to its original confession, one of the few times conservatives ever took back a seminary. To take away his work on behalf of the Gospel over one or two statements, even if they were flat out false, is ridiculous, and, whether he wants to admit or not, Bojidar Marinov would fail that standard.

    Two Kingdom thought is wrong, but it does not deny the Gospel. Furthermore, the author shows himself to be absolutely ignorant of actual Two Kingdom theology. Two Kingdom Theology does not say that Christianity should have no influence over civil government, or that it is independent of God’s authority, just that the church and state represent two extremely bifurcated jurisdictions. Church leaders can, however, criticize the state for actions taken contrary to their duties. Some forms of Two Kingdom Theology are practically indistinguishable from a Theonomic outlook given that they say the natural law is equivalent to God’s law and the state has a duty to enforce it. However, Theonomy is more consistent Biblically and practically.

    • Two Kingdom Theology does not say that Christianity should have no influence over civil government . . . Church leaders can, however, criticize the state for actions taken contrary to their duties.

      Based on what? On the Bible? The civil government is not constituted on the basis of the Bible therefore it doesn’t have to – and it shouldn’t – listen to the Bible, only to the “natural law.” Can church leaders criticize the state from the position of the “natural law”? VanDrunen says they can’t: Their authority comes only from the Bible.

      Some forms of Two Kingdom Theology are practically indistinguishable from a Theonomic outlook given that they say the natural law is equivalent to God’s law and the state has a duty to enforce it.

      Give me names of authors, please, and book titles.

      • Nathan says:

        John Eidsmoe has some good resources, and he is a Two Kingdoms thinker. One book of his is God and Caesar: Biblical Faith and Political Action, very thin and is representative of what many Two Kingdoms people I know think. It isn’t perfect and it’s a bit dated (he talks about what America’s role in the Cold War ought to be).

        Also, one need only trace the history of natural law thought. It’s the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” Many Natural Law thinkers felt that the Ten Commandments was the basic embodiment of the Natural Law. I’d encourage you to get Christianity, Law, & Culture series from Vision Forum. The lectures from Eidsmoe and Dr. Paul Jehle on the Constitution and the Law of Nations, respectively, are good. I’m not sure of Jehle’s theology as far as two kingdoms, but he explains natural law thought that is a foundation for Two Kingdoms thinking.

        • I know John Eidsmoe and I have read many of his books. I doubt he would agree to be placed in the same crowd with Mohler. And I doubt Mohler would like it either. The only resemblance between the two is the use of the term “Two Kingdoms.” (For that matter, I also believe in two kingdoms – Christ’s and Satan’s.) To use Eidsmoe to defend Mohler is unfair to Eidsmoe, because of what I read of Eidsmoe, he would disagree with most of the views of Mohler concerning the Kingdom of God. And Mohler will disagree with Eidsmoe as well.

          I come from a thoroughly Marxist background, and I know very well the history of the natural law thought – in fact, I can trace it from Classical Greece, unlike most seminary professors today. And I know well what Mohler believes about natural law. Mohler will be the first to deny that the Natural Law is the same as the Law of God. Again, to use a Vision Forum’s book to defend Mohler is unfair to Vision Forum. Mohler does NOT believe that the “natural law” is the same as the Law of God. In fact, Mohler specifically denies that the civil government must be led by the Biblical revelation.

        • Nathan says:

          Didn’t I say “some forms”? There are many different forms, obviously, just as there are disagreements in the Theonomic community. I was not using Eidsmoe to defend Mohler, I was simply saying that he is Two Kingdoms (at least in the books I’ve read of his, but I have no idea what he’s saying today). I was defending Two Kingdoms there, not Mohler. If you noticed, my first paragraph defended Mohler. My second was slightly defensive of Two Kingdoms Theology, even though I disagree with it.

          Mohler’s work stands on its own. Also, please point out where Mohler has ever said that Natural Law is unagreeable to the Law of God. You might have a point if he has seriously said that. I’m just having trouble with the fact that you are condemning Mohler without even giving him the benefit of the doubt here. He has done many good things for the Gospel, like help take back the Southern Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Seminary. Should I throw those things to the wind because some comments about reaching out to homosexuals?

          We can have disagreements with each other without claiming that other individuals need to be sacked immediately without due process. It’s not like Mohler came out and said the Bible wasn’t inspired or proclaimed an antinomian message, or otherwise proclaimed heresy. Last I checked, attempting to reach out to homosexuals wasn’t a heresy.

        • This was a very confused post. “I was defending Two Kingdoms there, not Mohler. If you noticed, my first paragraph defended Mohler. My second was slightly defensive of Two Kingdoms Theology…” May be you need to first decide what exactly you want to say before you say anything.

          Also, please point out where Mohler has ever said that Natural Law is unagreeable to the Law of God.

          He actually says that they are different laws. Given the fact that you are quite confused even about what you are trying to say, I will leave you to study Mohler on your own.

        • Nathan says:

          Nice, you can’t differentiate the purpose of separate paragraphs in posts on the internet, and you demand I post resources for you, but cannot locate Mohler’s two kingdom thought for me. Remember, you’re the person that knows so much about Al Mohler’s supposedly heterodox beliefs, and I’m just giving him the benefit of the doubt.

      • Nathan says:

        Also, in the irony department, Mohler put out on an article yesterday condemning state action and homosexuality.

        http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/06/22/when-the-church-bows-to-the-state-gay-bishops-in-the-church-of-england/

        • Based on what standard? Does Mohler quote the Bible when condemning the state action? He doesn’t. But he is a minister of the church, not of the “natural law,” and he can only use the Bible to condemn. Does his theology allow him to be a prophet of the “natural law” to the state? And why should the state listen to him, and not to its own experts? Where in the “natural law” does he find a condemnation against the state action?

        • Nathan says:

          He actually referenced the Bible as much as you did in this article:

          The Bible makes clear that even this attraction is demonstrable proof of human sinfulness. [See Romans 1: 18-32] The Gospel is our only rescue from sin, and this certainly includes the sin of homosexuality and the problem of same-sex attraction.

          You, on the other hand, made an offhand reference to I Tim. 1:8-11, and that’s it.

          It’s clear that Mohler is coming from a Biblical perspective in the article.

        • I did not measure how much he referenced the Bible. I asked the specific question: “Does Mohler quote the Bible when condemning the state action?”

          Obviously, I want to know what Bible verses Mohler uses to condemn state action. Does Romans 1:18-32 say anything about condemning state action? Or is it just an “offhand reference”?

          What verses in the Bible does Mohler use to condemn state action?

  11. Kathleen says:

    Mr. Mohler should not be in the position he is in with his opinions. As a Southern Baptist, I think we deserve someone who believes The Word Of God.

    • Nathan says:

      Mohler helped bring your denomination back from the brink of liberalism, and yet everyone wants to cast him out of the kingdom because he made some debatable comments about homosexuality. All he said was that Christians need to be better at reaching out to homosexuals. Agree with him or disagree with him, he said nothing heretical.

  12. Chris Warshaw says:

    I find this statement by Mr Marinov is very distressing:

    “While the Bible is generally mentioned as “condemning homosexuality,” Mohler is silent as to what exactly that “condemnation” amounts to. Had he quoted it, he would be forced to admit that there is only one verdict in the Bible against sodomy: Death. Had he gotten that far, he would have had to admit that Clementi’s suicide was God’s direct justice in a matter where the civil government refuses to obey God. Had he admitted that, he would have had to use the Bible to tell the civil government what it is supposed to do according to the Bible”

    This young man’s suicide was a tragedy, not “God’s justice”
    How presumptuous to pretend to discern God’s imposition of the Law’s penalty.

    Jesus came to seek and save that which is lost, and shed his holy blood to satisfy God’s justice, the propitiation for our sins, not drop a hammer on lost people
    Show me one instance in scripture of Jesus railing on the sinner.
    He saved his harshest criticism for the hypocrites, Pharisees and phonies, those good, religious, people that were self righteous and had no need of the great physician.

    The law is a schoolmaster to show our sinfulness and let me say this, even as a saved person God does not have to look very hard to find sin in our lives now.
    If we want to enforce the death penalty for sodomy, then we need to enforce all 613 commandments.
    If we break one point of the law, then we are guilty of the whole, are we not?
    Have you ever looked too long at an attractive woman? Hate someone? The Lord said you are just as bad as someone who has killed or committed adultery.
    Paul struggled with the sin nature and I doubt any of us are more spiritual then Paul.

    There is an element of homophobia among the brethren, and if a particular sin is not something you personally struggle with it is easy to bring condemnation.
    Under the law a person who broke the Sabbath was to be stoned along with those that use divers weights, yet how often is that penalty called for today?
    Sodomy is just one sin of many that was a capital offense, and thank goodness we are under grace, not the law.

    I think that it is easy to rail on the homosexuals because it is not a sin that many of us have not had to struggle with and because of their attempts to legitimize their behavior.

    We misrepresent the Lord when we do not speak the truth in love, he loved the lost when he walked on this earth and if his Holy Spirit is leading us we will love them despite how offensive we find their particular sin.

    Ezekiel 16:49 gives an interesting viewpoint on the sin of Sodom:
    “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

    The Lord had a problem with the pride of the people of Sodom and let me say this, pride was, and still is the primary and most offensive sin of all.

  13. Patrick says:

    The way of the world is to gradually get people (Christians) to lighten up with their strong judgmental (sic) vocabulary: adultery became an affair; murder of the unborn baby became a woman’s choice to remove an inconvenient fetus; homosexuality became a choice of sexual orientation or simply being gay. This ploy is an obvious process so as to make a moral society desensitized toward grievous sins, thereby making their practice seem less destructive. But they are all destructive. Opponents would say, “Not nearly as destructive as self righteousness.” But we would respond, ” Yes! Just as destructive.”

    As we search the scriptures there is nothing found in them which glosses over the sin of homosexuality, or any other sin. This is something peculiar only to the world and a compromising religious philosophy.

    “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin a man commits is outside the body, but he that commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6: 18

    There are two kingdoms alright, and they both fight for the hearts and souls of men. They both want to be involved in the political process in any government; both seek to establish the definition of moral standards in the church and society at large; and both desire to influence the education of each new generation. Which kingdom do we serve?

  14. RK Willey says:

    Let me say upfront, that I’m very disappointed in the tone of some of the responses that have been posted here on this subject. The vitriol that has been spewed out is very disconcerting. In our fight against the evil tenants that are being purported in our world today is very noticeable that the evil one continues to win many the battles by getting brothers in Christ to fight against each other. In a quest for the truth we oftentimes fail to implement those truths in our individual lives. No wonder we have a difficult time reaching the unbeliever for Christ as they watch us fighting against one another.

    I have followed this controversial issue with interest over the past couple of days. In talking to other brothers about what Dr. Mohler said, I have found that there are different interpretations concerning what he actually espoused. It appears to me that most of us want to hear what we want to hear. We allow our fallen human nature to think the worst of others which falls right in the hands of Satan. I find it interesting that when we find an apparent flaw in someone’s thinking that everything else that that person stands for is negated. Many of us who want to be instruments of righteousness seem to fall short of our goal. In our zealousness for the truth we fail to practice that righteousness.

    I agree, that Dr. Mohler could’ve chosen a better way of communicating his concern for the church in reaching the homosexual for Christ. I also feel that because of our fear of not being able to maintain a pure church that we are willing to keep at arms-length the sinners that Christ Himself die for. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is not up for interpretation that so many have tried to do over the years. We have to stand firm on the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord, but in so doing we cannot forget the lost.

    It cannot be said of me, then I am fully of the Reformed persuasion, but I do believe in the “Doctrines of Grace” and i God using me as an instrument in sharing that grace. It’s great for us to sit around defending the truth, but it’s even greater for us to share that truth just as I did this morning sitting across from Muslim who believes that his good works are going to get him to Heaven

    So please, let us have more servility and love for each other as we fight to maintain the truth of God.

  15. Larry says:

    Hey Mr. Mohler there’s NO such thing as compromise when it comes to GOD’s word. The BIBLE is never changing and never will. If you are for compromise and homosexuality then you need to LEAVE the Southern Baptist organisation immediately and seek whatever you practice elsewhere. GOD’s word is never to be compromised in any way by anyone period. In most cases the one who doesn’t oppose something is GUILTY of doing the same. Finally and again LEAVE the Southern Baptist NOW before your sick ways pervert them. The Church is having enought problems without someone making things worse. The LORD JESUS never comprosmised anything.

  16. Rafael Vazquez says:

    Mr. Marinov.

    It would be more Christian-like to take Al Moler at his word, than to openly sentence him like you have done here. The only Kingdom that should reign in all of us is the Kingdom Of Jesus Christ, which affects the issues of the heart, and not have a theological debate that fires words as flaming arrows into the lives of those offering their views. Its bad enough for those struggling with the sin of Homosexuality, trying to understand; why is it that some religious people call themselves reformed, yet they act like those who brought the prostitute to Jesus who understood the power of sin and offered advise. They were sinners just as bad, only that theirs was hidden, and her sin was exposed.

  17. Ithamar says:

    The Bulgarian has struck another blow against our modern practical infidelity. May the Lord direct his sharp sword to other cancers in our Western Christianity. Mohler and Richard Land will do much harm to the moral influence of Southern Baptist upon our society with such non-biblical nonsense.

  18. Bojidar, great to see you exposing the two-kingdom heresy.

    “The two-kingdom concept is in reality a fictitious impossibility – one realm inevitably rules over the other realm…. Because of the Constitution, Amendment 1 in particular, Christians have adopted the two kingdom concept, ultimately relegating civil authority – the most powerful realm as it concerns earthly dominion – to the non-Christians. Either non-Christians will be ruled by Christians or Christians will be ruled by non-Christians. The more powerful body’s judiciary determines conflicts between the two. It is no wonder that under today’s Constitutional Republic that the tide has turned against Christianity. There is only one kingdom taught in the Bible, which provides that only Christians rule, judge, preach, and teach.”

    Excerpted from “Amendment 1: Government-Sanctioned Polytheism.”

    • Ithamar says:

      The 1st Amendment must be understood in its historical context. Actually, each state constituted its own Christian government where Christian law ruled. The 1st Amendment precluded the federal government from interfering with those state Christian institutions by perverting the federal compact. Today, the Federal government acts as a non-Christian state declaring its rule over state jurisdiction.

      • Ithamar says:

        Correction: the last sentence should read “The 1st Amendment precluded the federal government from interfering with those state Christian institutions. Today, by perverting the federal compact, the Federal government acts as a non-Christian state declaring its rule over state jurisdiction.

  19. Wilbert Jennings says:

    It is simple!!!!! Homosexuality is liken unto a V-8 motor with two of the spark plug wires on the wrong plug. The motor runs but is missing not unlike a homosexual or lesbian. They try to compensate by being overly feminate or with lesbians masculine. Look at a homosexual queen, he talks and acts like a women but to the extreme. I know very few straight women that act as feminate as a homosexual guy. Take the lesbian dyke, they are much more manly then the average straight guy.Now their homosexual and lesbian partners look very much the part of a normal stright partner. The homosexual and lesbian persons mimic the rolls of the straight couple because they want a normasl life style and one of the partners is male and one is feminate in both homosexual and lesbian relationships. I think we as a nation as well as a people should be looking for a cure not acceptance. This life style results in more pain then a hetersexual relationship. Gay bars afford multile partners in one evening compared to a straight bar with a possible one night stand. If a child where born with a clef pallst we wopuld perform surgery and correct the problem. If con joined twins where born we would detach the twins if possible. If a child is born with alcohol and drug with draw we treat this as well. The homosexual argument of being born this way has some truth but we need to find out why plug wires on on the wrong plug so these people can have a normal life. A lot of people think that Homosexuals and lesbians are just funny or entertaining but it isn’t it is a major problem and should be addressed as a medical concern not simply as a genetic uncorrectible problem. By the way how is it some of those that thought they where homosexual or lesbian are now straight and with loving spouses as well with their own children. It is because they got their wiring right.

  20. Jim Moorhouse says:

    From studying this to Biblically conclude: Homosexuality is a sin and those that practice it are sinning. Some are more predisposed than others and recognizing one as being born this way or coming in to it later is not the issue. The church has made it one. That is not addressed in Scripture. Obedience to God’s Word is fundamental in the Believer’s walk. Could it be that Mohler is attempting to reconcile this thinking that the church has held and is not compromising in any way Scripture’s stand on it?

  21. Most men like Mohler are so smart they are stupid. First of all, they don’t even understand God’s Covenant with Abraham, or why Jesus had to come and die to fulfill it – http://goo.gl/95ODQ

    Next of all, they fail to look at the image of God in Genesis – he created them “male” & “female” – it is when the two are one, that you see the image of God. I remember Dan Boone – now President of Trevecca Nazarene University – preaching from this point in Genesis while pastor at College Hill Church of the Nazarene (now Trevecca Community Church of the Nazarene) during my college days while attending is Church on Sundays. Rev. Dan Boone mentioned that God took the divine paternal masculine qualities and placed them in man, and divine maternal feminine qualities and placed them in woman, and together they reflected the image of God – “let us make man in our image.”

    I then returned to Benson dorm to share the insights of the sermon with my friend “Mike” who was the son of a Baptist Minister from Columbia, TN, and he replied in his typical southern accent and mannerisms “Well, no wonder you parents aren’t perfect . . . at best they are half God” – I’ve come so much to enjoy his simplistic outlook & wisdom over the years.

    God gave man and woman the ability to share in his procreation by being able to give birth.

    The sexual revolution of the 60′s which included the homosexual movement was anti-family, and was SELF or “ME” centered – there was no godliness to it at all. If not for AIDs in the 80′s and the continuing threat of it today, and the necessity of money from taxes and inheritance which is the biggest issue, I doubt seriously marriage would even be an agenda for homosexuals.

    What is disturbing about the movement it is now gone beyond tax & inheritance issues, and now it’s an official agenda for everyone to accept them as though they are part of the traditional nuclear family.

    This is the height of schizophrenia in my opinion – why do you want to get married as homosexual and have or adopt children? Part of the damaged soul that is damaged by sin, doesn’t realize it’s a cry to return to the vacuum created by departing from the image of God in the first place.

    If they are blindly looking for real “Holiness” as found in a real Christian family & more importantly the image of God from which they came, then we need to return to Genesis, we need to discuss the fall, we need to discuss God’s Covenant with Abraham, and the price it demanded which was Jesus’ death on the Cross to make atonement for sin.

    To do anything less is to be a blind guide leading the blind; Mohler in my opinion falls into this category.

  22. Don Confalone says:

    Ok, I need ask someone here to help me understand. Jesus was confronted by men about a women caught in the act of adultery. The law says she must be stoned. Why did Jesus refuse? If you say that the men were with sin well so are all of us. The Old Testament gives no such qualification.

    Also I think we humans have tried the Church making laws thing, didn’t work out so nice. I thought one of reason we came to this “Christian Nation” was to get away from that type of Church. Yes Bo you can say, but we reconstructionist have God figured out and they were wrong. As a matter of fact everyone else is wrong but us.

    One last thing, God hurts badly when any of HIS children die, let alone kill themselves. It almost sounds as if you welcome it, desire it even. Now I know we can’t be like God, so loving and caring and all, but this seems rather easy, not desiring a creature made in the image of God to die.

    • John B. says:

      Briefly, Jesus turned the attempt at tricking him on its head. This was a terrible miscarriage of justice and had little to do with the woman’s sin or guilt. It was much like the Muslim belief, today, that women are the fault of their own rape.

      Levitical law demanded that both then man and woman involved be brought for punishment. Where was he? Had he even forced her into the situation? Men are to take the prime responsibility in the relationship.

      This was a total setup by those present. Was Jesus accusing these men of sin for totally twisting and abusing their own Mosaic law and thus sinning?

      This is just a start. I didn’t have time to check my material on this passage. Hopefully this helps a bit.

  23. alex alexander says:

    Bojidar: Keep speaking the truth.
    Aaron: Keep wrestling with the truth.
    May God bless you both.
    Alex A
    UK

  24. Splashman says:

    Mr. Marinov, thank you for the time and effort you put into this explanation of the two-kingdoms theology. I haven’t yet encountered someone who espouses that theology, but after reading your article as well as several others I googled, I feel prepared for a conversation when it happens.

    In the past, I have read some of Mr. Mohler’s writings, and sensed the problem you identified. That led me to stop reading him, without being able to identify why. I’m glad I now know why.

  25. I’ve read Rev. Marinov’s piece several times. It’s a good explanation of the problems of the two-kingdom approach. It’s a good explanation of the truth of the Reformed position. However, I don’t see how Mohler actually steps into error of the magnitude Rev. Marinov accuses. I’ve read Mohler, read the originating article, and I just don’t see the problem of admitting that our visceral reaction to homosexuals (which is often not rooted in Scripture) has kept us from presenting the Gospel in a consistent way.

    I don’t understand Rev. Marinov’s confusion about Mohler’s position on homosexuality, either.

    Having said that, let the gospel be loosed in Bulgaria and beyond, by Baptists and Presbyterians alike, and the elect among the gay and straight communities will be glad when they hear it.

    Robert

    • Aaron Siver says:

      I agree with you, Robert. Thank you for your modest articulation of the matter.

      Blessings,
      Aaron

    • I will answer here both Robert and Aaron.

      First of all, I am not the only one concerned about Mohler’s position. The article in Associated Baptist Press shows clearly that others – Southern Baptists, at that – are concerned too. “From the mouth of two or three witnesses…” Many of my Baptist friends are concerned too. No, I am not the kind of man that will hide behind public opinion surveys; I said what I said. I only want to point out at the very beginning of my reply that you have a bigger crowd to talk to, and many of them are naturally favorable of Mohler because they are Baptists too.

      They have a good reason to be concerned. Mohler is a president of a seminary, not a janitor in a chapel, and it is very unlikely he didn’t know what he was doing when he used anti-Christian terminology to bash Christians. The terms “homophobia,” “sexual orientation,” “more than just a choice,” are not general terms, nor are they morally neutral; they were coined based on a specific worldview, for a specific agenda. I am not saying that we should trash every term and phrase that unbelievers use in a twisted way; but we should be wise to realize that there are terms that have very specific anti-Christian and anti-Biblical origin and meaning. For Mohler to use those specific terms means one of two things: 1) either he is intellectually unable to discern, which makes him unqualified to be a Christian teacher; or 2) he is using those terms deliberately, which justifies all my concerns and all the concerns of my friends. I have no reason to believe Mohler is intellectually deficient. Therefore, I must come to the conclusion that Mohler is softening his position on sodomy and is preparing the ground for a moral retreat on that particular issue. Any other conclusion – given the choice of words – must be based on emotionalism, not on wisdom and a sound analysis of the situation.

      Then we need to discover whether Mohler is right in bashing Christians for having un-Scriptural attitude to sodomites. In order to know that, we need to find the Biblical verses that declare the Scriptural attitude. Can anyone quote me the verses? They are not that many, and they all say one thing only. Does Mohler believe he is “wiser” than the Bible? I doubt it. Or is he ignorant about what the Bible says about sodomy? I doubt that either. Doesn’t he know he needs to support his accusations against Christians with Biblical verses? He certainly does. What is the conclusion then? Only one: Mohler is softening his position on sodomy. Not all at once, granted, but step by step. We’ve seen this in other leaders and denominations. Who would have thought a generation ago that the PCUSA would do what they did in the last several weeks? Who would have thought in 1973 that the PCA would tolerate socialists in its midst? Rushdoony saw the signs back then and warned about it. And here, a generation later, it is happening. Who would have thought in the early 1900s that the UMC and the PCUSA will supply atheist Marxist rebels throughout the world with money to buy weapons? A wise man sees the signs ahead of time and reacts accordingly; whether we believe in prophecies today or not, the prophetic ministry and obligation of the Church is still valid, and we must act accordingly.

      What do we do with those that struggle with the “compulsion”? A very legitimate question – and its legitimacy is what makes Mohler’s sin even graver, because he is using a legitimate issue to sell his illegitimate solution. The worst thing when dealing with a repentant serial killer is to tell him that his murderous actions were an “orientation,” and to blame the others for not being willing to accommodate him. The disgust, the revulsion of the others to the sin of homosexuality is righteous, and it is necessary. And there is no guilt that can be ascribed to Christians for the suicide of an unrepentant sodomite. There is no Biblical principle that accuses Christians for hating the sin of sodomy; and no one can legitimately accuse them of “homophobia” or “hatred” or “insecurity.” They are obligated to openly proclaim that it is a grave sin, and to openly require the civil government to impose the Law of God in that area. Only then sodomites will know how grave that sin is and will have the opportunity to repent of it. Giving them emotional unbiblical terms and sending Christians on a guilt trip because they haven’t done enough won’t help anyone.

      We only have the obligation to accept into the church those that have repented; and we do not have the right to bar them from our fellowship just because they struggle with “compulsion.” The refusal of the civil government to impose the Biblical laws against sodomites must be accepted by both sodomites and the church as an extended grace from God in history. Former sodomites in the church must be accepted and yet the influence of their former life must be anticipated. And yet, we need to understand and teach that in essence the life of a former sinner is not a struggle between “compulsion” and “volition” but between one choice and another choice, between one decision and another decision. There are choices to be made, and true, our old nature is still very much alive in us; but our nature is not “orientation,” and in the final account it is our choice that matters. And that’s what a minister of God must preach, and therefore Mohler is wrong.

      • Aaron Siver says:

        Hello Bojidar,

        Thank you for your thorough reply. The Scripture I would offer as one governing how we out to go about our dealings in ministry is this one.

        II Timothy 2:22-26 – So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

        Firm but gentle. We Reformed folks have almost a pathological problem with the “gentle” part. But by the grace of God, we’ll work though it.

        Blessings,
        Aaron

    • Practically, I have a solution to your “compulsion,” and I have seen it work very well. I am a military man and my solution comes from my military experience. It is called “counter-compulsion.” Athletes use it extensively; they need coaches to force them to work out when they have the compulsion to rest. Every military uses it extensively. I used it when right after I became a Christian I wanted to overcome my addiction to smoking. I have seen drug addicts in Bulgaria that have overcome their addiction by hard work; and I have a friend who got rid of his drug addiction in a Protestant-run drug-rehabilitation community in Spain by hard work.

      Aaron, there is so much work to be done. I don’t know if you are married but if you aren’t, you need to start your own family. Find a job that is exhausting; and find a ministry that takes much of your time. If I was your pastor, you would have a harsh taskmaster who won’t let you go to bed unless he was sure you were exhausted enough to go to sleep immediately. Both Proverbs and Paul say that idleness is a fertile ground for lust and sin. I have come to the conclusion that compulsion to sin can be most effectively fought by the opposite of idleness. (A waiver: work doesn’t necessarily produce righteousness.)

      And here Mohler has another problem: Under the Two-Kingdoms Theology, he has to shrink the areas where a Christian can work as a Christian, as I pointed in the article. Banking, civil government, economics, education, science – all these areas are now in the “natural law” realm, and therefore he can’t say much about them anymore, neither can he direct and train young Christians to work in them as Christians, on the basis of the Biblical revelation. Mohler has no solutions, is what I am saying, on the basis of his own ideology.

      • Aaron Siver says:

        Hello Bojidar,

        Yes, I concur with your concept of counter-compulsion in some form or other. I have had a great and godly community of believing friends and pastors for the past 13 years who have been very faithful, offered a great deal of counseling and resources, and have provided many articulated forms of the sort of counter-compulsion you described. I concur that idleness is one of the biggest openings in my life that can foster any sort of sinful attitude. I am currently courting a godly young lady and hope to marry and have a family. My career consists of research science and engineering, which certainly keeps me busy. And if my job doesn’t fill in all the gaps, two weekly Bible studies (one of which I lead) and Sunday school plus all the accompanying email correspondance answering theological questions from people at church and all the time I’ve enjoyed mentoring some younger men takes up most of the rest of my time. In the gaps that remain, I do a lot of reading, writing, and drawing, and I try to work in a little bit of purposeful rest and recreation. :-)

        Thank you for your concern and your wise advise.

        Blessings,
        Aaron

    • Old Prodigal says:

      Mr. Barnes, You say let the Gospel be loosed in Bulgaria and beyond, and the ELECT among the homosexual (I refuse to use GAY to describe a deadly life choice) and straight communities will be glad when they hear it . Sir who are the elect in the homosexual community ?

      • Wouldn’t it be fair to say that (regardless of your word for “abusers of themselves with mankind”) there are elect among all manner of sinners, or else how would any man be regenerated?

        What did Paul mean when he said, “such were some of you”? He listed a group of sinners that included those abusers. So, it seems reasonable from the context to assume that some homosexuals will be converted to the Kingdom of God (without regard to those that seem to be particularly reprobated [cf. Rom. 1.28]). I don’t know that it is terribly important to get into the issue of monikers. Euphemisms and dysphemisms trade places in history continually. “Retarded,” “handicapped,” “colored,” and other names used to be used favorably, and have slowly taken on a different tone, even to the point that people dislike their use altogether. The opposite is true in the case of the words “suck” and “scumbag”. Do I need to use the term “abusers of themselves with mankind” every time I talk about them? Sodomy (from my time in the military) is confusing to me, and I will presume others, because (in the UCMJ) it is used to mean anything that is not that most productive form of intercourse. I think the intended and received meaning is more important than the rigid use of a particular term.

  26. John HC Niederhaus says:

    Al Mohler’s blog for today: http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/06/22/when-the-church-bows-to-the-state-gay-bishops-in-the-church-of-england/ is an interesting read in light of your column today. What do you think?

    • What a coincidence, as John Calvin would say.

      Well, John, I must say in this article Mohler is running into the same problem: According to his Two-Kingdoms Theology, what else can the bishops do but bow to the State? What other action can he recommend? Rebellion against the State? Disobedience against the State? Tell the State what it should do and what not? On what authority? As bishops, they can only go to the Bible for their authority, but the State – according to Mohler’s very ideology – has more than the Bible to regulate its policies. It has the natural law. Why should the State listen, and why should the bishops “trample on the authority of the State”?

      In his article, Mohler seems to imply that the State has overreached. But how does he know it has? Does he know it from the Bible? Couldn’t be, because we know that the Bible only applies to the “kingdom” of the Church. Or may be he learned it from the “natural law”? But where in the “natural law” do we have the limits of the State specified? And why would Mohler, who is a minister of the Church, claim to be a prophet of the “natural law”?

      Dualism is schizophrenic. And it is obvious from Mohler’s own articles. His ideology declares one thing, his own articles then refute it.

      • John HC Niederhaus says:

        I went back and re-read Mohler’s blog for today. It seems that he is saying because the Church of England is an established church, that is, in the same circle as the state, it has no option but to obey the state, if it is to remain an established church. Mohler decries such a position. He speaks of it as a “fatal inconsistency,” and says the “truly ominous issue is the Church of England’s subservience to the state.” One of his concluding statements is this: “When a church or Christian institution bows to the authority of the state on a matter of such direct biblical importance, it is destined to lose biblical fidelity.” I take all that to mean that Mohler is not pushing for gay rights or gay legitimization, but rather is saying the church must be willing to hold to biblical truth regardless what the state may say or what punishments the state may impose. His call is for biblical fidelity, not bowing to the state. Obviously, he is not where you are in his thinking, but I don’t believe he is in the position you are seeking to place him.

        • The “position I am seeking to place him” is based on other articles by Mohler, not on the one of today. And I specifically said that Mohler can’t immediately jump to full-fledged acceptance of sodomy or he would lose credibility. The mistake you are making is that you expect Mohler to walk the full distance to the liberal position for you to declare him theologically liberal. Mohler’s change of rhetoric and definitions doesn’t seem to be of concern to you. But John, public persons or organizations seldom make abrupt ideological leaps to the opposite side. It all starts with innocent little re-definitions, emotional appeals, re-interpretations of terms and principles, appropriation of the wrong terminology, etc. No smart person would try to boil a frog by dropping in hot water; the way to go about it is drop it in cold water and then heat it up slowly.

          Concerning today’s article, I only said that based on his theology, he has nothing to advise the bishops because he can not define “matters of direct Biblical importance” vs. “matters of common natural law.” Why would the government care about “biblical importance” if by Mohler’s own theology the government is not based on the Biblical revelation? On what basis will he advise the church to disobey the government? Can the church that the government’s policy is wrong? On what basis? The Bible? The government is not based on the Biblical revelation, according to Mohler. The “natural law”? The church has no authority speaking in the name of “natural law,” the government does.

          And I did not say that Mohler was “pushing for gay rights or gay legitimization.” I said that he will be forced to retreat when the government pushes for it because his own theology doesn’t allow him to oppose whatever the government does. His liberalism is not of the active form; it is a passive liberalism, one that lets evil triumph only because the righteous have no theology of resistance and therefore do nothing.

  27. RJ Cain says:

    This is a fantastic further articulation of the Two-Kingdoms issue and it’s eventual pitfalls. I will be studying this article and adding it’s refinement of the argument as a foundation for my own personal future discussions on the topic.

    I have been telling all who will listen for some time that the “Together for the Gospel” crowd and it’s ilk are only more of the same 20th century evangelicalism with a little Calvinism sprinkled in. If you look at the large swath of people associated with or around T4G it is an alarming circle of highly questionable persons who are teaching a form of Christianity that is leading to exactly what Bo’s last paragraph is stating.

    Christian Celebrity has blinded Christian discernment. Most Christians these days seem to be more interested in who they know that what they know.

    Thanks again Bo for a masterful job.

  28. Here are some of my thoughts on the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. This is the reader’s digest version (nice and to the point).

    1. Before the cross I see Satan offering the authority of the kingdoms of this world to Jesus.

    Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” Luke 4:5-6
    This authority is probably the authority that God gave to Adam. God has always been the ultimate authority of the world. Jesus did not question Satan’s right here. Notice that this offer which was rejected by the Christ, is accepted by the Antichrist (Rev. 13:4)

    2. After the cross I see Jesus saying that “all authority has been given to me in heaven and earth.” Matt. 28:18

    3. Although “the works of the devil” were destroyed at the cross (1 John 3:8), the whole world was still “under the sway of the wicked one” prior to AD 70 (1 John 5:19). Satan was still allowed to be “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2), the “god” of the pre AD 70 age (2 Cor. 4:4). This was the already/not yet of the kingdom of God.

    4. It is at the AD 70 destruction of those who were destroying the Land of Israel that God fully implemented his power and reign. (The word usually translated as “earth” in Revelation is often better translated as “Land,” the land of Israel.)

    <b<Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their throne fell on their faces and worshiped God, “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and destroy those who destroy the earth.
    Revelation 11:15-18
    This was the time that Jesus “sat on the throne of his glory” Matt. 25:31ff (cf. Matt. 16:27-28).

    5. One final thought. Most dispensationalists are still waiting for Satan to be thrown out of heaven. Thus, they would have to say he is still accusing us “day and night” before the throne of God (Rev. 12:10). My Bible says that Satan was cast out of heaven at the cross (John 12:21-32). Satan is no longer allowed to accuse us before God’s throne; praise the Lord for that!!! Notice in Revelation 12 (which is showing us the ascension of the Messiah to God’s throne, vv. 1-5) that the kingdom of God is fully established in heaven at this time, at AD 30, v. 10) but not yet on earth (v. 12, or more correctly not yet in the earthly realm; God’s kingdom is not an earthly kingdom, cf. John 18:36). This gets back to the already/not yet of the kingdom (of AD 30-AD 70). The new covenant mother and her children (cf. Is. 66:7-11; Gal. 4:24-26) would need protection from the serpent until the AD 70 end of “a time, times and half a time” (doesn’t exactly support the idea of Satan being bound at AD 30, does it?). Scripture consistently shows the end of this time of a time, times and half a time as being AD 70 (Dan. 12:7).

    6. AD 70 was the time of the full establishment of the kingdom of God (Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45; 7:23-24, 25-26, 27) at the end of the age (Dan. 11:36-12:13). It was the time when the saints fully possessed the kingdom of God (Dan. 7:21-22; cf. Luke 19:11-27). For a fuller discussion of Daniel 2, 7, and 11:36 see my book The Antichrist and the Second Coming. See here http://www.amazon.com/Antichrist-Second-Coming-Preterist-Examination/product-reviews/1615790373/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1. Or you can get it for half price (8-10 bucks) in e book format (just google the name of the book and “kindle” or “google e book”).

  29. Aaron says:

    Bojidar, you need to shut your mouth and be “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). There is no need to pigeon-hole everything through your idiosyncratic disdain for a radical caricature of the Two-Kingdoms model. It seems as though you’d rather throw the baby out with the bath water than abide the presence of dirty water. Al Mohler is not softening in the slightest on the issue of sodomy; he’s calling Evangelical Christians to be wiser about it and not as militantly simplistic as we have been. As a conservative Presbyterian, I’m one of many conservative Christians who embraces the totality of biblical revelation without exception, and I’m also one of many conservative Christians who is still being sanctified while struggling with the foul and unwanted reality of homosexual desires. You apparently have little or no idea (and don’t care to find out) how grievously complex the sinful entanglement between a poor or non-existent nurturing of one’s gender in their upbringing and sexual perversity (often brought in through childhood molestation and abuse) makes for an extremely engrained and self-destructive desire. Try having your God-given need to be masculine tied by habit of thought to your sexual biology and see how difficult and painful that is to untangle. The average conservative Evangelical is quite right about what Scripture say concerning the condemnation of sodomy, but he’s also a hateful and insecure jerk that needs to repent and be sanctified himself. He’s not encouraging those who suffer from this sinful desire to confide in him and ask him for help, since he appears to have none to offer and wouldn’t want to anyway.

    • Aaron,

      I am disappointed that you are so militantly simplistic about my article, and not wiser, as Al Mohler advises. It is obvious that you refuse to understand me, and you refuse to understand that writing this article is more than just a choice, it is a deep inner struggle. You are not encouraging me to confide in you and ask you for help, since you appear to have none to offer and wouldn’t want to anyway. If you were a true Christian, you would have seen that I am one of many conservative Christians who is still being sanctified while struggling with the foul and unwanted reality of the validity of the Law of God as revealed in the Word of God. Why did you have to act as a hateful and insecure jerk?

      Finally, I am haunted by the one question that seems so obvious and clear in the account of writing my article. In those days of crushing anguish, humiliation, and confusion, was there no one who could have stood between me and that keyboard?

      • Aaron says:

        Dear Bojidar,

        My apologies. Let me begin again. Please forgive me for introducing the matter in such a hurt and angry manner. I agree with you on your concerns about the Two-Kingdoms model, on the meaning of “Reformed” Christianity, and many other issues (as I have shared your previous material with many friends). I ask only that you look past my ungracious tone and consider the substance of my comment: that Al Mohler is correct to saying that human sexuality is not as simple as an on/off switch. With that, I would grant all the necessary cautions about adopting secular terminology to talk about these issues and would reaffirm that this in no way negates of downplays responsibility on the part of the individual. I’m just concerned that holding the line to call any sort of compulsive sinful behavior merely choice is dangerously nebulous. Yes, volition is involved, but yes compulsion has been engrained as well. Such behaviors are symptomatic of greater problems, as even Jesus indicated: adulterers start with a lust problem and murderers start with an anger problem.

        Do that make sense?

        Blessings,
        Aaron

      • Jim O'Brien says:

        Dear Bo,

        I was disappointed at how sharply, even sarcastically, responded to Aaron’s first post. Clearly he is a young Christian man who responded inappropriately. Since you appear to be an older and more mature believer I would have expected more kindness, patience, tender-heartedness, etc. in your response to him. You even went so far as to question his conversion. Aaron’s subsequent response to you showed astonishing humility, yet you did not reply at all. You should have been the one to show grace in the first place and after he repented, you should have graciously acknowledged his repentance. Its all well and good to be a crusader for Christ’s cause on the internet, but we also have a responsibility to be careful not to crush the little ones for whom Christ also died. Respectfully, Pastor J. O’Brien

        • Michael Keene says:

          Pastor O’Brien, you want “kindness,” “patience,” and “tenderheartedness” from a Reformed writer, and a rather militant one at that? Good luck with that! (I can already sense Bo’s fingers itching to craft out some wonderful retort to this, perhaps along the lines of “I’m arguing from the Word, so I don’t NEED to show kindness and patience.”) Sigh…….

      • John W. Mergel says:

        Bojidar,
        You have said some good things in this blog and some no so good things, but you will totally lose credibility with myself and many others when you say silly things like “If you were a true Christian, you would have seen that I am one of many conservative Christians….” So what you are saying is that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is not a true christian, that is one of your guidelines for who is or isn’t a christian. Wow! I think I will look at a person’s profession of faith in Christ and his or her obedience to the Word of God and thus their fruit of the Spirit before I can make an educated judgement on their eternal destiny. Of course I am being facetious because or I should NEVER question another’s christianity based on them not agreeing with us on a single non-soterilogical matter and even then EXTREME caution must be taken. Calling people “simplistic” and questioning their christianity is way out of the “gentleness” method describe in 2 Timothy. Read James 3:1-8. I like a lot of what you have written but I think you have a lot to learn when it comes to dealing with those who differ from you on Biblical matters. Grace and peace to you.

        • John,

          Calm down. Read my post carefully. Then read Aaron’s first post carefully. Then read Mohler’s articles carefully.

          What you will notice is that in the post you quote I am only parroting their own arguments against themselves so that Aaron can see how much worth their own arguments are. I am demonstrating the absurdity of their own position by turning it on themselves. Every single sentence in the post that you criticize is taken from Aaron or from Mohler – not a single one of those sentences is an argument I will ever choose on my own. The “simplistic” is taken from Aaron, obviously. The “true Christian” is taken from Mohler.

          I did not reply to Jim O’Brien because I do not reply to false general accusations as a principle – false accusers have God to deal with. I am replying to you because you seem to be lost in the translation; I am trying to save you from crossing the line into being a false accuser. Again, these are not my arguments, these are my opponents’ arguments turned against them so that they can wake up to their absurdity. This is a completely legitimate tool in a debate; Jesus used it extensively.

          Aaron is an intelligent and wise man; he understood. I suggest that you do the same. Do not let your heart fall in sin because of unbridled emotions.

        • John W. Mergel says:

          Nice try, but I don’t think anyone is buying that. But by all means keep stroking your ego. Calmly yours, John W. Mergel. :)

    • RJ Cain says:

      Aaron,

      With all due respect (I mean that), it is quite obvious you are being subjective vs. objective in you comments.

      Bo hasn’t displayed any malice, he has simply articulated the facts. and very well I might add.

      Try and learn from what he is saying, it will be of great advantage to you if you are wiling.

      • Aaron says:

        Hello RJ,

        Oh, I do regard much or what Bojidar has said to be quite valuable. And I personally, agree that the Two-Kingdoms model isn’t the best and can gravitate toward such tendency. I regularly share Bo’s writings with other, because they’re very insightful. But I have to say that the characterization of Al Mohler as somehow slipping toward theological liberalism and countercultural impotency based on the content of the linked article from the Associated Baptist Press is mischaracterization. The ABP article goes to considerable lengths to show that Mohler isn’t softening in his stance on morality because is become wiser in his approach.

        Blessings,
        Aaron

  30. Erik says:

    As Mr. Marinov indicates, there really is no such thing as a Reformed Baptist. It would be more accurate to simply describe them as Sovereign Grace Baptists or Particular Baptists as they used to be called. Apart from the Two Kingdom Theology I wonder how much of Freemasonry’s universal brotherhood principles have infected SBC thought, given that the quasi-denomination tolerates having pastors, deacons, and lay members that are masons. After all, as long as a homosexual man acknowledges the GAOTU and practices charity he can have a prayerful relationship with his god, right.

  31. Daniel Gazzuolo says:

    Just do the kingdom and forget about opinions and debates. Just do it.

  32. Steve Macias says:

    What an Excellent Article!

  33. Paul says:

    Hitting the Nail on the head!! This is a problem in all churches even baptist churches. Great article Bo.

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