In chapter 7, Of God’s Covenant with Man, we read “life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity” (WCF 7:2). Which again affirms the nature of God’s covenanting as, by its familistic dimension, hereditary. Or, at the least, we must say it validates lineage as a good. The divines confirm said lineal covenant to redound to a national expression in “the people of the Jews” (WCF 7:5), and later extending similarly “[u]nder the gospel … to all nations” (WCF 7:6).
This is how the Puritans could teach that the books to be opened on the last day are genealogies delineating the godly lines by sept, clan, tribe, nation, and race.
Of course, modern Alienists object, insisting that the the new covenant’s encompassment of the nations means the abolition of the nations. But the notion that the divines referenced the nations come into the covenant only as a means of denying their existence is pure numbskullery. As is the determination to take the word ‘nations’ as meaning an indifferentiable mass of atomized or homogenized humanity. This, the patent resolve of today’s PC pulpits, violently imposes upon the text of the confession – and the Bible back of it – something conspicuously absent from, and frankly contrary to, the text.
Section 4 of the same chapter emphasizes the “covenant” as a “testament” of the “Testator,” Christ. But this begs consideration of the historic dismay of missionaries and Bible translators at finding African tongues bereft of equivalents for our words like ‘oath’, ‘promise’, ‘bond’, ‘covenant’, ‘testament’, ‘contract’, etc. Because the dearth of such verbiage in the collective languages of that race bespeaks a conceptual and ultimately a noetic vacancy. The same goes for the notorious case of the Pirahã people of South America — the only ethnic group known almost entirely bereft of abstract concepts like covenants, or even the past, future, and numbers. Lacking these essential prolegomena to evangelism, genuine conversion to Christianity proves, to date, impossible for them.
Though the gospel has been announced to all nations, to pretend that it has been, or can be, embraced by all ethnicities equally is supported neither in Scripture, history, nor common experience. The mandated genocides of the Cainites and Canaanites, the divorce and collective reprobation of Israel, and apostolic missionary emphasis on the Levant and Europe, all militate against it. Alienists may delude themselves to the contrary, but the Westminster fathers, in their very Calvinist doctrines of nations and providence, and whose lives were defined by opposition to Rome and Spain, did not believe every ethnicity had an equal relationship to the Kingdom of God. They, like the continental Reformers and all Christians of their day, used the ethnic terms “Turk” and “Jew” as synonyms for reprobate. These were the presuppositions they garnered from Scripture. Because “[r]ighteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any race.” (Prov. 14:34)
All of which is merely to say that the Westminster Reformers did not conceive supersessionism as entailing any abolition of the nations or ethnic distinctions. Plainly, their verbiage ‘to all nations’ (7:6) assumes the opposite. For if they had intended to convey the idea that all nations are abolished in the covenant, they wouldn’t have written in terms of the nations plural.
Chapter 8, Of Christ the Mediator, outlines in section 1 His offices as Prophet, Priest, and King. Two of these offices in the Scripture are limited explicitly to kin-rule (Lev. 21:14; Deut. 17:15). And any minor exceptions notwithstanding (yes, Balaam’s ass prophesied), even the office of prophet was ostensibly limited to ethnic Israelites.
8:2 goes on to say that the Son of God did “take upon Him man’s nature, with all the essential properties” by way of His birth “of the virgin Mary, of her substance” specifically. But is physical birth from the substance of the line of Mary an essential property of manhood in which we all share? Clearly not. Albeit, the genealogical exemplar it provides is. Nativity in the context of race, nation, tribe, clan, and house are qualities normative to mankind. So in this respect, and this only, do we share this essential property with Christ. It is in this way that His lineage can represent all nations and tribes, generically. Because we belong to our own, just as He did.
And He had that specific and guarded lineage because “He was made under the law” (8:4), which includes various ethnic codes for the insulation and preservation of the covenant nation. Which of course, provided the template for the anti-miscegenation codes taken up roundly by the covenant nations of Christendom.
Whether in consideration of Scripture or the historical observance thereof, the typical rejoinder to anti-miscegenation codes today is a denial of the meaningfulness of all lineages on account of common descent from Adam, Christ’s atonement, or a future homogenization in heaven. But in the same section we read, “He arose from the dead, with the same body”: meaning the body born to the tribe of Judah and the royal house of David, according to the laws of consanguinity. And that Israelite body presides from the throne forever. The significance of ethnicity is, then, according to the confession, eternal. Which comports with John’s vision of distinct “tribes, nations, and tongues” (Rev. 7:9) in heaven.
To deny these things contradicts the confession directly when it says, “Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures, by each nature doing what is proper to itself” (8:7). Obviously, Christ was not descended from David in His Godhood, but in His manhood. And in His manhood, He was part of a race, nation, tribe, clan, and house. And He fulfilled His duties under the law with respect to that identity as a patriot zealous for His kinsmen (Matt. 10:5; 15:26).
In chapter 9, On Free Will, we read “Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.” (9:3)
Oh, many Alienists may superficially affirm this, but only by vacancy of mind or dishonesty. For they not only regard heretics like Martin Luther King Jr. as saints, but ascribe to him and his like highest honors. They affirm him a Christian hero/martyr in spite of his overt denial of the virgin birth, Trinity, deity of Christ, and most other core tenets of the Christian faith. Inconceivable as it seems, Rich Lusk’s view is typical — that MLK’s heresies are irrelevant because the purity of his social doctrine is so much more important!
Under Alienism, modern claimants of the confession generally affirm the salvation and holiness of men based on conformity not to orthodox faith, but to political correctness. By contrast to which, they anathematize orthodox Christians for variance from the liberal zeitgeist without reference to the confession or the slightest glimmer of Christian conscience.
Back of all this is the implicit affirmation of the zeitgeist — the same egalitarianism of the secular humanist — as the bar of genuine sanctification. In spite of the fact that it was introduced not by Christian theology, but from heathen without, egalitarianism has become their cultural mandate. Which is to say that in direct contradiction of the confession, they affirm unbelievers to do ‘spiritual good’ and recognize no spiritual good possible in orthodox Christians apart from heathen social ethics. And that implies a very different view not only of sanctification, but of justification and regeneration too.
Tacit though it be, the Alienist’s lived doctrine in these respects is a clear repudiation of the confession. For if he truly held thereto he would condemn not just MLK himself, but the entire warp and woof of his anti-Christian faith too. If the unbeliever cannot will ‘any spiritual good’, King’s social theory cannot be true religion, nor the fruit thereof.