Episode 431: Church and State Theological Polity Muddle

Church and State Theological Polity Muddle

– Mayhew, Stiles and Schaeffer

See the link for the video of ‘Church and State Theological Polity Muddle’ at Rumble or YouTube

How is the history of 1766, 1783 and 1976 tied to the ‘Church and State Theological Polity Muddle’ of our present day? To get the perspective I delve into the 1766 Sermon by Johnathan Mayhew, the 1783 Sermon by Ezra Stiles and a 1976 book from Francis Schaeffer.

My marked and commented Mayhew sermon.

I want to be clear that I was researching this effort to educate on this topic longer than the present evangelical controversy that is playing out across the web-sphere. Although, the relevance of our present age is not new when it comes to how mankind addresses culture, government, politics and church polity; the root of how truth is treated is centered at how a culture, a nation or the church view the absolute sovereignty of God.

This week I introduce us to the ‘Repeal of the Stamp Act’ as delivered by Rev. Jonathan Mayhew. We will only get into the very first part of the historic colonial view as Mayhew relates it. In this, I interject the same inferences of injustice, influencers of government decisions and the responses of the Colonists. I also mention the intersection of Ezra Stiles and Francis Schaeffer as part of a trifecta that sets the stage for our present dilemmas.

Opening Comments

If you don’t understand what is happening in the United States Evangelical churches at present you can go to the references for what I believe is one of the best explanations and considerations of situation. This is a church theological polity muddle. Yet, there were similar jumbles, mishmash and confusion brought on by the Tory pastors during the whole of the Colonial Founding Era. Interestingly, Sam Adams addresses some of that confusion in a series of Articles.

In this podcast / vlog, I introduce quotes from Francis Schaeffer and Ezra Stiles that help set some of the tone for the connection between Mayhew’s sermon, the past and to the present lessened about fifty years.

Jonathan Edwards’ sermon establishes that the people properly engaged in remonstrance in fighting the Stamp Act. They knew their English constitutional rights. They also had faith in the complete sovereignty of God over all that is. In segments two and three, I delve into the initial key points of this sermon and their relevance for us today.

Somewhat our of context for the flow of the program but pertinent to the cultural political situation of our nation, Schaeffer in 1976 implored US, specifically Evangelicals, I paraphrase these quotes:

‘Please repeat the term, “Establishment elite” in your mind until the term is permanently stuck there.’

‘Whether it is a Left Wing elite or Establishment elite, the result is exactly the sam. There are no real absolutes controlling either. In both cases one is left with only arbitrary absolutes set by a totalitarian society or state with all the modern means of manipulation under its control. Both the Left Wing elite and the rising Establishment elite are a threat.’

Remember, defining the ‘elite’ as such was in 1976. How foolish we have been for not heading and having the afore mentioned term ‘permanently stuck’ in our minds.

But there is hope in Truth of a nation as Ezra Stiles preaches about in 1783 with the formation of the Articles of Confederation:

I. What reason we have to expect that, by the blessing of God, these States may prosper and flourish into a great American Republic, and ascend into high and distinguished honor among the nations of the earth. “To make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.”

II. That our system of dominion and civil polity would be imperfect without the true religion; or that from the diffusion of virtue among the people of any community would arise their greatest secular happiness: which will terminate in this conclusion, that holiness ought to be the end of all civil government. “That thou mayest be a holy people unto the Lord thy God.”

To conclude these opening comments: Our nation is a mess because of the Theological Church Muddle of the 20th Century being carried into our present time. Yet, there is hope for ‘true religion’ and ‘the diffusion of virtue’ if there is true reformation in the church.

Then the political, State Muddle can clear.

Get the full Context at on the podcast / vlog.

Sam Adams Wisdom


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 173-577.] BOSTON, July 31st, 1771.

‘In this colony we are every day experiencing the miserable effects of arbitrary power. The people are paying the unrighteous tribute, (I wish I could say they were groaning under it, for that would seem as if they felt they are submitting to it,) in hopes that the nation will at length revert to justice. But before that time comes, it is to be feared they will be so accustomed to bondage, as to forget they were ever free. Swarms of locusts and caterpillars are maintained by this tribute in luxury and splendour, and a standing army, (not in the city thank God, since the 5th March 1770, but within call upon occasion). While our independent governor is found to crouch to his superiors, and to look down upon and sneer at those below him, he is from time to time receiving instructions how to govern this people, to govern! rather to harass and insult his country in distress. . .where his adulating priestlings are reminding him he was born and educated, forgetting perhaps if they ever knew, that the tyrants of Rome were the natives of Rome. Among other edicts which have been lately sent to this governor, there is one which prohibits his assenting to any tax-bill, unless the commissioners and other officers, whose salaries are not paid out of moneys granted by this government, are exempted from a tax on the profits of their commissions. Nothing that I can say will heighten the resentment of a man of sense and virtue against such a mandate; and yet our governor would have us think it is a mark of his paternal goodness. Another instruction forbids the governor to give his assent to grants to any agent, unless he is appointed by a law of the province, or a resolve of the assembly, to which his excellency consents. And a third requires him to refuse his assent to a future election of such councillors as shall presume to meet together as a council, without being summoned by him into his presence. These instructions, so humiliating to the council, the secretary by the governor’s order has entered on their journals

It has been observed that the nearer any man approaches to an absolute independence, the more he will be flattered; and flattery is always great in proportion as the motives of flatterers are bad. These observations are so disgraceful to human nature that I wish I could say they were not founded in experience. Perhaps there never was a man in this province more flattered, or who bore it better, I mean who was better pleased with it, than Governor Hutchinson. You have seen Miss in her teens, surrounded with dying lovers, praising her gay ribbons, the dimples in her cheeks or the tip of her ear! In imitation of the mother country, whom we are too apt to imitate in fopperies, addresses have been procured and presented to his excellency, chiefly from dependants and expectants. Indeed some of the clergy have run into the stream of civility, which is the more astonishing, when it is considered that they altogether depend upon the ability and good disposition of their parishes for their support. But it is certain that not a fifth part, some say not an eighth part of the clergy, were present. It cannot, therefore, be said to be the language of the body of the clergy, and all ages have seen that some of that order have ever been ready to sacrifice the rights as well as the honoured religion of their country, to the smiles of the great. It is a sore mortification that the independent house of representatives, and the town of Boston have refused to make their compliments to a man, whose administration since the departure of the Nettleham Baronet, they can by no means approve of. From hence you will judge whether these addresses speak the sentiments of the people in general, or are any more than the foul breath of sycophants and hirelings.

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1. Definitions: Webster 1828 Dictionary

POL’ITY, noun [Gr.] The form or constitution of civil government of a nation or state; and in free states, the frame or fundamental system by which the several branches of government are established, and the powers and duties or each designated and defined.

Every branch of our civil polity supports and is supported, regulates and is regulated by the rest.

With respect to their interior polity our colonies are properly of three sorts; provincial establishments, proprietary governments, and charter governments.

This word seems also to embrace legislation and administration of government.

1. The constitution or general fundamental principles of government of any class of citizens, considered in an appropriate character, or as a subordinate state.

Were the whole christian world to revert back to the original model, how far more simple, uniform and beautiful would the church appear, and how far more agreeable to the ecclesiastical polity instituted by the holy apostles.

MUD’DLE, verb transitive [from mud.] To make foul, turbid or muddy, as water.

He did ill to muddle the water.

Also, To intoxicate partially; to cloud or stupefy, particularly with liquor.

2. Jonathan Mayhew sermon of 1766 ‘REPEAL OF THE STAMP-ACT.’ In Patriot Preachers of the American Revolution

3. Ezra Stiles, The United States Elevated to Glory and Honor (1783) – Belcher Foundation

4. The Church At The End of the Twentieth Century, 1976, Francis Schaffer

5. Evangelical moral controversy: Alistair Beggs The Question – Doug Wilson

In this, I attended Begg’s church for several years. My only question in this controversy is, If the teaching and study was to that which Edwards and Stiles viewed regarding God’s complete Sovereignty, then why did the Grandmother even need to ask the question?

This Weeks News Articles Resources

1. The Two Views of Civil Government: Puritanism vs. Pietism By Jay Rogers, May 2008

Article #1 relates to the present Evangelical Church Muddle.

2. Criminal FDA Declares Informed Consent Null and Void

BY TDB Respecting the Science™ requires that you shut your filthy masked mouth.

* A note: Francis Schaeffer writes, the problem is that ‘you cannot trust scientist just because he wears a white coat. …he is still a fallen man.’ and from the Establishment elite, ‘… Another student called up on the phone and said, ‘Give me a chance to speak.’ But the answer was ‘No, just shut up-I’ll never give you a chance to speak.’

3. Jim Jordan Whips Out Subpoena, Devastates Fani

4. Political Prisoners: Republicans Call to Repeal FACE Act as More Pro-Life Activists Face Prison Time. Biden Weaponizes DOJ Against Opponents

5. WATCH: Alderman Blasts Chicago for Paying Illegals More than $9,000 a Month in Freebies…

6. BREAKING: FOIA Documents Reveal Government Officials Notified of Election Fraud in Michigan Following Election Day in 2020 by Jim Hoft. Feb 2, 2024

7. This did pass the House last night: Johnson Sets Vote on ‘Trojan Horse to Expand Welfare’ for Illegal Aliens

8. Mind the Gap: America Needs an Office of Technology Net Assessment by Vivek Chilukuri Feb 2, 2024

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