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Who Said That?

"I'm for morality, but morality goes beyond sex to human freedom and social justice. . . Evangelists cannot be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle in order to preach to all people, right and left. I haven't been faithful to my own advice in the past.  I will be in the future."

You know the drill!  Leave your guess in the comments section below.  Please, no google searches!

Also, you can check out past "Who Said That?" posts by clicking on the "Who Said That?" at the bottom of the post.

Reader Comments (37)


Whats wrong with moralized politics? That is if all references to the Decalog are left out. By the way, when the natural way of 'doing it" is secondary to a person's preference, what is wrong with demanding that Adam and Steve refrain from their method. We seem to forget that replenishing the earth with little ones was the original plan, and honoring God with a loving relationship based on human harmonal and anatomical differences. Of course I could be reading in something different in Gen 1 and 2.
August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
Jim Wallis?

or maybe Joel Hunter?
August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDonato
Zrim picking a fight? nah - couldn't be.
August 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjim r
jim r,

I take it you are being sarcastic. I am fairly new to responding on this site so I am not privy to the viewpoints of the other regular respondents and their tendencies. I am sure I will learn that in due time. I do like the dialog that takes place here and am interested in the issues brought up. Let us fight on and agree to disagree when needed. We learn the most through our antagonists.
August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel

The Liberals were at least forthright about how they believed "the world sets the church's agenda." I find that conservative religionists never own up to it. I used the "Adam and Steve" thing as an example of how rightist culture sets the church's agenda, to which I might add most forms of pro-lifism; it is my opinion that these have at least as much to do, if not more, with sexual ethics and culturally punishing particular sinners as with "saving babies and the family." Of course, evangeliberals like Rick Warren would circumvent such charges by simply broadening which moralisms and social ills politics should seek to remedy, but this only exacerbates the problem by making it bigger.

I didn't mean to get into whether Adam and Steve should be able to marry. For what it's worth, I don't think they may. I think that may be another discussion though. Suffice it to say that my reasons have little in common with what I perceive, right or wrong, to be the moralized politics of cultural rightists.

Re your apolitical point, I'm "involved in politics." Besides the conventional activities of voting, etc. as a Christian situated as an American, this kind of exchange is but one small but different example. I bring my theology to bear on it heavily. Two kingdom theology is highly political, just not the way we naturally think. Of course, being counter-intutive it doesn't translate the way yours seems to. It doesn't tell me how to vote, etc; I don't come out the other side in certain shades of red or blue or endorsing particular politics.


The problem with a moralized politics is that it is a form of legalism. I know we Reformed types only seem to think legalism has to do with certain forms of substance use as tout our stogies and Drambuie, but it is more complicated than that. Moralized politics are a function of social gospel.

...that was more fun than guessing the bad guy. And Graham is a bad guy.
August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
I believe it's R Warren. If I remember correctly Issues etc did a segment on him and they referenced this quote (or at least on similar). It sound like his call for a modern reformation for 'deeds not creeds'.
August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterC T Hall
Alright Zrim, please tell me what the Church's agenda should be in the political and cultural realm. How do you counter and differ from the "rightist agenda?"What are your qualifications and why should I listen to you? I take what you mean by "saving babies and protecting the family" that there are perhaps more important issues than just those two. Tell me what they are? When you reflect about it those are two very important issues. How do you propose we go about fighting the entrenched power politics mentality of those involved in governing us. Perhaps you should be our next presidential candidate representing the counter-intuitive two-kingdom theology crowd.

I am familiar with a two-kingdom theology but I am unclear what point you were trying to make about my apolitical rant. You have no idea what my political views are so how can you say "being counter-intuitive it doesn't translate the way yours seems to?" I guess you were saying that if I understood two-kingdom theology then I would not be "almost apolitical." There might be some validity in that but I was mostly making the point about my frustration of those involved in politics and that it seems at times that it is an "impossible nut to crack." In order to change it almost has to come from someone who has been involved in the political struggles but then has like an Apostle Paul conversion and already has an inside position in the political scene.

My reformation theology places me outside the ranks of those rightist who mostly come from a revivalist, Arminian, and dispensational perspective. Get your facts straight before you make statements like that.

One last point, in regards to the Adam and Steve issue you did mention that the rightist agenda is to make sure they remain single- this implies that you think it is OK if they get married. You should be more careful about the words you use and the implications which any rational person would draw from them.

Shoot back at me if you so desire- as they say on Issues etc.- "we are big boys, we can take it"
August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
the answer is definitely Billy Graham.
August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRyan Ross
Well, from the quote, it appears to be contemporary English.
He specifies "Evangelists" not pastors as well. Why? I would think a pastor couldn't be that stupid to exclude himself when demanding this of an Evangelist, so the author of the quote must be an Evangelist.

But, he says what he's going to be doing in the future. I don't see Billy Graham making such a statement today. Unless of course it is an older statement....

So, could be Graham if Kim for example would have said this took place in 19__.

If a recent statement?
How about:
Franklin Graham
John Ankerberg
Jack Van Impe
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIvan

I was thinking about your comment that two-kingdom theology is counter-intuitive. The Gospel is counter-intuitive but the Law is intuitive. Is not the cultural and governmental sphere intuitive then? Do we not appeal to natural law (which can be a confusing concept to defend without referring to God as establishing it) when we discuss political issues in the public square? In creation, we all have a relationship with God which is based on the intuitive law which we all have a sense of but which we have a strong desire to suppress. It demands us to behave in ways which we cannot and do not want to. So, in a sense you cannot get around the legalistic nature of dialog in politics. The key question is whose law do we want as the most effective way of governing people and maintaining order in society? It is possible for Christian unbelievers to have a greater sense of this natural law then Christian believers. Plus, they think this life is all their is so they have a greater incentive to try to establish their sense of justice in this life. This is the desire in the best of Christian unbelievers- however, this quickly disintegrates into power struggles and justice takes a back seat. Politicians can be quite elegant in their rhetoric about justice but then get sucked into the partisan politics. And there is a very powerful suction in the political sphere.

I guess my point is that I would want you to elaborate more on what you mean by two-kingdom theology being counter-intuitive and how you would get around the legalism and moral agenda's that seem to me to be unavoidable in the realm of politics.
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel

You beat me to the punch. I went to post my response to your first post and saw that you had piped up again (!) I’ll split up my responses.

In response to your first post:

I am not sure what more I can say that I haven’t already, but I’ll try.

My main point is that I don’t see how an orthodox Calvinism has any stake in any particular politics, or how true religion has an in/direct bearing or obvious implication for earth. So why do we find conservative Calvinists in the ranks of cultural rightists so often?

Jesus said his kingdom was not of this world, so how does anyone get from that that we are supposed to come up with ways to “propose we go about fighting the entrenched power politics mentality of those involved in governing us”? That sounds like you think Christianity is relevant. Isn’t that what the crowd thought when they told Jesus to come down off the cross? Isn’t that what the old Liberals thought when they said the world sets the church’s agenda? Isn’t that what Rick Warren thinks? So, what’s wrong with all those folks? I mean, I’d assume like most conservative Reformed you’d agree that the doctrines of relevancy are in left field (tell me if I am wrong). If relevancy a la Osteen is wrong, why does it sound like you think true religion has some burden on it to fix the world’s ills instead of simply holding out the gospel in Word and sacrament (which is what salt and light is all about)?

In response to your second post:

I guess I am not sure what a “Christian unbeliever” is. But much of what you say is quite agreeable to me. I think there are two kinds of legalism, good and bad. The good kind understands that the world is governed by law, the bad kind wants to bring gospel to bear on law. The good kind wants to maintain what is right, true and good, the bad kind wants to punish sinners. Another quality of the good kind, yet way overlooked, is that it tolerates losing, the bad kind can’t stand it.

I think un/believers can work together for the right, true and good. And, in point of fact, contra your idea that they are to be feared when it comes to justice, I would contend that unbelievers are better at it than believers precisely because they think “this world is all there is” (a sloppy way of putting it, but I get your point). It seems to me that, given a serious doctrine of sin, once true faith makes a believer out of an unbeliever it does weird things to him and he usually mucks things up by trying to fuse heaven and earth. One example might be the believer who wants the judge to pardon his daughter’s murderer in order to demonstrate Christian mercy. This usually betrays just how confused sinners can be about the categories of law and gospel. The world is governed by law, not gospel.
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim

I guess I see what you are saying, but am not really sure. So, there really is no moral agenda for a reformed Christian who chooses to go into politics as his vocation? He simply upholds the Law as a way of hoping that this will draw those governed to the Gospel? Is that what you are saying? The conservative Reformed Christian only brings his conception of God's Law to bear on his political views? I am getting more confused the more I think about what you are trying to say.

The term Christian unbeliever was meant to distinguish between a Muslim unbeliever, a New Age unbeliever or a Jewish unbeliever. I wanted to be more specific about the rejection of Christianity in particular rather than just God in general. Many people are believers in God but reject the particular creedal form of Christianity we are talking about. I am not sure why you made an issue about that. Perhaps I was not clear enough.

You seem to be a bit angry with Christians who have a conception of politics that is different than yours. Those who confuse the Law and the Gospel. Actually, I think I understand where you are coming from and can relate to it. But it is also possible and probably likely that I still have some confused concepts running around in my head. That is why I like this type of dialog. First of all, I have to think about the issues and then write them down so others can critique them. Can anyone else out there enter into this political debate and bring a bit more clarity to the issues we have been discussing? The" Who Said That" blog this week has to do with politics and a Christians role in the political scene does it not? I am not sure Zrim and I are comprehending each other. Help us to reconcile or correct either of our viewpoints.

I did not use the word feared in regards to an unbeliever and his easily being drawn away from justice into partisan politics. I think we as sinners are all easily drawn away into abusing our power when put into positions of authority. It is in our fallen natures.

I also think that you are probably correct that believers easily get swayed into trying to fuse heaven with earth. Although B.B. Warfield was pretty optimistic that reason had a conquering part to play in our conflicts with unbelievers here on the earth. Without good solid biblical exegesis, sound teaching in doctrine, etc. we are easy prey to bad ideas. That is why I think doctrine and theology are so important and why I think reformational theology brings more light and clarity to issues than anything else out there.

Excuse my "sloppy" way of expressing myself. Come on Zrim, you have got to do better than that. How should how I have stated "this is all there is" less sloppily? Maybe I am not as big a boy as I think- I can't take that LOL
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
I meant to say How should have I stated not How should how I have stated-
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
HI ZRIM and John Yeazel:

I thought that you both might find this interesting from our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS.NET) website. In our Q & A section, someone wrote in a question regarding the the roles of the church and state: Please let me quote our answer:

"It is appropriate for Christians to vote, to hold public office, to be involved in politics, and to speak out on political issues. When they do so they are wearing the hat of a Christian citizen. In his life of sanctification he will want to be the best citizen he can.

When Christians gather together as church, they are wearing a different hat. The church does not have the commission to wield the law as curb in society or to interfere with the role of the government. Our Savior commissioned the church to proclaim the gospel and administer the sacraments, not to establish a political kingdom on earth."

Our Augsburg Confession puts it like this:

"The powers of church and civil government must not be mixed The power of the church possesses its own command to preach the gospel and administer the sacraments. It should not usurp the other's duty, transfer earthly kingdoms, abrogate the laws of magistrates, abolish lawful obedience, interfere with judgments concerning civil ordinances or contracts, prescribe to magistrates laws concerning the form of government that should be established. As Christ says (John 18:36): 'My kingdom is not of this world.' And again (Luke 12:14): 'Who set me up to be a judge or arbitrator over you?' And St. Paul says in Phil: 3:20, 'Our citizenship is in heaven."

Christians may participate in civil affairs, - "Concerning civic affairs they teach that lawful civil ordinances are good works of God and that Christians are permitted to hold civic office, to work in law courts, to decide matters by imperial and other existing laws, to impose just contracts, to hold property, to take an oath when required by magistrates, to take a wife, to be given in marriage. Church and state have each been institued by God and given power to exercise. The state has the power of the sword. The church has the power of the Gospel. Church and state are not to be confused."

"This power (of the church) is exercised only by the teaching or preaching of the gospel and by administering the sacraments either to many or to individuals, depending on one's calling. For not bodily things but eternal things, eternal righteousness, the Holy Spirit, eternal life, are given... Therefore since this power of the church bestows eternal things and is exercised only through the ministry of the Word, it interferes with civil government as little as singing interferes with it. For civil givernment is concerned with things other than the gospel. For the magistrate protects not minds but bodies and goods from manifest harm and constrains people with the sword and physical penalties. The gospel protects minds from ungodly ideas, the devil and eternal death."

There is a lot more on this issue in the Book of Concord, in the writings of Luther, and Lutheran theologians.
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd

First, kudos to KR for allowing this exchange. Thanks.

Let me try and condense this further. All of what Lloyd quoted above, obviously, says it well. What I am specualting on in general are some of the broader implications of what I consider classical two-kingdom theology in our 21st century American context. I find 2K to be a system primarily concerned with categories of jurisdiction, not moral categories. So how is it that Lutheran and Reformed believers are so often found sympathetic with those whose agendas are primarily moral?

Let's try an example. If "life begins at conception," how is it that orthodox Augustinian-Calvinists agree that the implication here is that said life "must be protected at virtually all costs," instead of the implication being that all human beings, no matter how small, are equally subject to the injuries of life, up to and including death? In other words, why are Calvinists found amongst the pro-lifer moralists who typcially assume everything from the basic innocense of human beings to the notion that some members of the population are entitled to a form of protection no other human being is? Isn't that odd to you? I know the typcial framing of this issue is cast into two parties: pro-life and pro-choice, but shouldn't Calvinists not be found slaves to one side or another? Why is it that Calvinists are found amongst those intolerant of imperfect human policy that results in some people (unborn) dying instead of those who understand the world isn't perfect? Why are we found amongst moralists and activists?

Now, this isn't to suggest that one believer can't have his politics and be sympathetic to certain conclusions, etc. My question is why any of it is presumed on the rest of us who aren't so persuaded that Calvinism implies obvious politics.
August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
This has been a great exchange with some thought provoking issues brought up. Thanks Lloyd for the appropriate remarks. That certainly was helpful to reconcile and correct the exchange between Zrim and myself.

I am going to tell you something Zrim that I probably should not tell you but I am going to anyways. Dr. Kim told me to not be shy about giving it to you but not to be surprised if you shot right back at me. I do not know if he emailed you too but so be it. I guess that is why he allowed this exchange. As you said, this is more fun then just trying to guess the bad guy- plus you learn a lot more in the process.

I also have to tell you Zrim that I have this image of you that I cannot get out of my head. I knew this guy named Paul Zrimski in high school who had this enormously large head and a frail and thin body. Needless to say, every one used to give him a hard time. He was a science nerd with a very high IQ. As Dr. Kim told me you are a good guy who happens to like to bring up controversial issues. Anyways, it was a worthwhile dialog and you are probably nothing like that guy I knew in high school. Not that this all really matters but I thought I would mention it.

That is interesting what you said about the abortion issue- I will have to think about that a bit more deeply. Your point about Lutheran and Reformed Christians hopping on the morality bandwagon also needs to be thought through by myself- thanks for helping me see a different perspective. Hope we can continue our dialog when different issues are brought up in future "Who Said That" blogs. God Bless!!!
August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
I agree. It is great that Dr. Riddlebarger lets us have our good natured theological debates.

Iron, does indeed sharpen iron!!!
August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd

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