IX Marks Jonathan Leeman’s “Political Church”

Barbara Aho
February 1, 2019

IX Marks is the church planting organization of Mark Dever, the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist, a Southern Baptist church located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. six blocks from the United States Capitol. Jonathan Leeman is the Editorial Director of IX Marks which ministers to a network of over 4,000 churches internationally.

Jonathan Leeman has Masters degrees from the London School of Economics and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also has a Ph.D. in “political theology” from the University of Wales which was established by Royal Charter in 1893 and whose Chancellor is Prince Charles of Wales. The London School of Economics is not found in Leeman’s various biographical profiles probably because it was funded in 1894 by the Third-Way socialist/fascist Fabian Society which established the LSE to educate and train an elite workforce to carry out the schemes of the British Eugenics Society. IX Marks, the organization of Cambridge-educated Mark Dever, equips pastors and church leaders to preach and put into practice the Social Gospel. Most of the Reformed leadership have advanced degrees from universities in the United Kingdom—Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, University of Edinburgh—whose liberal theology and politics have liberalized the Church of England and the UK.

Graduates of these institutions of Marxist learning have migrated to the U.S. as agents of social change. They have infiltrated our seminaries, colleges and denominations for the purpose of shipwrecking Christian faith in America, especially the faith of university and seminary students. The Reformed New Calvinist movement has theologically and often physically taken over Christian churches. Posturing as the “conservative resurgence” (launched in the late 70s by Banner of Truth Trust UK) Reformed operatives are now peddling every liberal theological and political position of the radical Left, including sexual perversion, abortion, Marxism, Gnosticism, racism, illegal immigration, etc. (See Thomas Littleton’s articles in the side bar.)

In the photo below, Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman are speaking to pastors at the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention on the need to abandon their conservative convictions, such as pro-life, in order to advance political agendas for social justice. (See “9Marks Dever & Fabian Socialist Lecture Pastors on How to Ditch Your Pro-Life Voting Habit”)

Apparently in the Reformed Calvinist SBC a doctorate in “political theology” from a secular university qualifies one as a theologian who is competent to counsel Christian ministers on moral issues such as abortion. Jonathan Leeman’s political theology degree appears to be a religious cover for political operatives to move conservative Christians away from sound doctrine into liberal theology and politics. Interesting that Dever and Leeman chose to publicly advocate for pro-abortion voting as a Christian option just months before the 2018 elections which filled the vacated Republican seats in the House of Representatives and many state governments with radical liberals. Who knew that the prospect of legalizing infanticide would follow in the soon to be euthanized USA? Did Dever and Leeman have prior knowledge of this plan to legalize the murder of newborn babies? Abortion leading to infanticide will pave the legal road to euthanasia which will lead to the mass extermination of Christians, which is the subject of this report.

There are many such left-wing political operatives in the New Calvinist movement. Having assisted the ruin of the faith and morals of future generations with their pseudo apologetics, the New SBC Calvinists are now positioned to offer their predetermined alternative to conservative Christianity and Western Civilization through their Fabian Socialist spokesman, Jonathan Leeman, who also advocates for revolution in his book, Political Church: The Local Assembly as Embassy of Christ’s Rule:

“I am not positive there is biblical license for overturning an unjust government, but I think there probably is, and I believe that Genesis 9:5-6 provides that licence…

“Rebellion is justified not according to the withdrawal of consent (since consent is not what creates the obligation to obey); rebellion is justified when the government fails to do what God has obligated it to do (since God creates the obligation to obey by assigning government with its task).

“In other words, the formally designated holder of the sword has no authority to set aside the demands of the justice mechanism in the process of fulfilling its mandate, lest it boomerang back and strike him as it does the vigilante. The mere fact that a particular government is in place by God’s secret providence does not mean that all its actions or directives are morally legitimate. God gives authority to government for certain ends only, and its rule is legitimate to the extent it pursues just ends by just means. A characteristically unjust government, by virtue of its injustice, has exceeded its authorization and self-refuted its own mandate, thereby triggering the operations of God’s Noahic justice mechanism to strike back. And precisely because Scripture does not specify how a society must form a government, it just might leave a society with the freedom to topple an unjust ruler and to establish a new one by just means.”

Leeman, Jonathan. Political Church: The Local Assembly as Embassy of Christ’s Rule (Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture) (pp. 195-196). InterVarsity Press.

Political Church is not a theological treatise of “Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture” as stated in the subtitle. It is political propaganda which advocates for the replacement of secular governments, which have not produced the desired utopia, with a global theocracy. The book promotes the Jewish Polity (government by theocracy) of the Old Testament, with a flimsy, legalistic application to the New Testament Church. (Polity; 1. a form or process of civil government or constitution. 2. an organized society; a state as a political entity. New Oxford Dictionary)

“…my political theology depends upon a doctrine of two ages… Just as the state is a political institution because it has been authorized by a King to borrow and wield his own sword in the ‘age of creation’ upon rebellious subjects, so the local church is a political institution because it has been authorized by a King to borrow and wield his own office keys for declaring who is and who is not a citizen in the ‘age of new covenant.’…. Local church membership, like good works, is the mark, proof, badge or, to use citizenship language, ‘passport’ of a true Christian.” (p. 295)

This description resembles the “political theology” of the Roman Catholic Church which blended Old Testament theocratic rule with Babylonian worship. We have seen how their “church polity” has turned out. (See Mystery Babylon: Catholic or Jewish?) In fact, political theology is a course of study in Catholic universities such as the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

Jonathan Leeman’s Political Church is calculated to Judaize and politicize the Christian Church. Leeman conceives of the New Testament Church as a political institution having a legal contract with God—a ‘new covenant’ which is an extension of the old covenants between Yahweh and his former ‘subjects.’ Leeman’s version of the new covenant minimizes the personal and intimate relationship between the Jesus Christ and His Church. Salvation is a legal arrangement, a contract, after which the Christian is ‘tasked’ as a ‘citizen’ installed in the ‘body politic’ of Jesus’ ‘regime’ with the civic duty of displaying God’s righteousness to the world.

THE POLITICS OF JESUS AND HIS PEOPLE

“Jesus. We start with Jesus. The New Testament declares Jesus to be the new Adam, the offspring of Abraham, the true Israel and the son of David who will rule over Yahweh’s new covenant body politic….

“I will argue that Jesus Christ came as the new Adam to execute God’s kingdom rule through the new covenant in the salvation of God’s people, thereby establishing them individually as God’s citizens and corporately as his model body politic before the nations….

“Jesus Christ, as the new Adam, manifested God’s rule through the prophetically promised new covenant by saving God’s people, the church. Specifically, he fulfills these prophetic promises by declaring that the nations belong to him, forgiving once-rebellious subjects by offering a new covenant in his blood, installing them as citizens within his regime, tasking them with displaying the heavenly Father’s righteousness and justice in their political life together before the onlooking nations, and granting them his Spirit to these ends.” (p. 297)

Jesus’ regime? The language is absurd, portraying Jesus as a military dictator instead of a Savior. Did God so hate the world that he sent his only begotten Son to establish a ‘regime’ and a ‘political institution’ to improve his image and enforce his commands in the world?” Maybe in The Political Bible but not in the inspired Word of God.

The problem is with Leeman’s Reformed Calvinist theology, which is the man-centered Dominionist / Reconstructionist philosophy of Rousas Rushdoony that the Church must create an earthly Kingdom of God before Jesus returns. Jesus Christ is not the “new Adam,” as Leeman avers, but the “last Adam” according to Scripture. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” 1 Cor. 15:46 (KJV) The accurate translation of this verse is crucial to understanding the Cross, the Gospel and Christian sanctification. A very helpful exposition of 1 Cor. 15:45-47 is found in Watchman Nee’s classic, The Normal Christian Life:

“The death of the Lord Jesus is inclusive. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is alike inclusive. We have looked at the first chapter of I Corinthians to establish the fact that we are ‘in Christ Jesus’. Now we will go to the end of the same letter to see something more of what this means. In I Corinthians 15:45,47 two remarkable names or titles are used of the Lord Jesus. He is spoken of there as ‘the last Adam’ and He is spoken of too as ‘the second man’. Scripture does not refer to Him as the second Adam but as ‘the last Adam’; nor does it refer to Him as the last Man, but as ‘the second man’. The distinction is to be noted, for it enshrines a truth of great value.

“As the last Adam, Christ is the sum total of humanity; as the second Man He is the Head of a new race. So we have here two unions, the one relating to His death and the other to His resurrection. In the first place His union with the race as ‘the last Adam’ began historically at Bethlehem and ended at the cross and the tomb. In it He gathered up into Himself all that was in Adam and took it to judgment and death. In the second place our union with Him as ‘the second man’ begins in resurrection and ends in eternity—which is to say, it never ends—for, having in His death done away with the first man in whom God’s purpose was frustrated, He rose again as Head of a new race of men, in whom that purpose shall be fully realized.

“When therefore the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross, He was crucified as the last Adam. All that was in the first Adam was gathered up and done away in Him. We were included there. As the last Adam He wiped out the old race; as the second Man He brings in the new race. It is in His resurrection that He stands forth as the second Man, and there too we are included. ‘For if we have become united with him by the likeness of his death, we shall be also by the likeness of his resurrection’ (Romans 6:5). We died in Him as the last Adam; we live in Him as the second Man. The Cross is thus the power of God which translates us from Adam to Christ.” (The Normal Christian Life)

Jonathan Leeman’s reference to Jesus Christ as the ‘new Adam’ and ‘second Adam’ is calculated leave to the office of ‘last Adam’ vacant, to be filled by another. As Thomas Littleton wrote, “On the issue of the Last Adam – the idea of a second Adam – as if to leave the door open for another looks like the perfect door for anti Christ. There is no need for another to come. No need for a second but for the last Adam – because this is the resurrected Christ – the Prince of Life whom death could not hold, talked about in the great Resurrection chapter – 1st Corinthians 15.”

Leeman must resort to misquoting Scripture to support his false “second Adam” teaching. His misleading interpretation of the Cross of Christ continues:

“Recommissioned in Adam’s office. For our purposes here, we are interested in the fact that the church identifies with Christ in his Adamic office, and that the church is deputized as possessing a renewed Adamic commission. Just as Adam played the role of Everyman and federal head, meaning that all humanity received the commission given to him, so Christ plays the role of second Everyman and second federal head for a new humanity (see Rom 5:12-19). If, then, Adam’s office transmits to Christ, it would seem that the same office likewise transmits to Christ’s people. Greg Beale observes, It is important to recall that Jesus’s titles ‘Son of Man and ‘Son of God’ reflect respectively both the OT figures of Adam and Israel. This is because . . . Adam and Israel are two sides of one coin. Israel and its patriarchs were given the same commission as was Adam in Gen. 1:26-28. . . . The church is also identified with what it means to be the true Adam, especially in its identification with Jesus, the true Israel and last Adam.

“Just as the church receives Christ’s righteousness, so the church receives Christ’s perfect Adamic sonship. All Christians are declared and named ‘sons’ of God and the new humanity (e.g., 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 3:26, 4:6; cf. 6:16). This is our identity by virtue of the new covenant and new birth. And just as the church ‘puts on’ Christ’s righteousness, so the church ‘puts on’ Adam’s political and priestly vocation. This is our authority and work, again, by virtue of the new covenant and new birth. This combination of identity, work and authority is nothing other than an office, and it is an office for every Christian. Scripture, by referring to Christians as ‘sons’ and ‘born again’ and ‘new creations,’ commission every saint to occupy the office of priest-king with Christ.” (pp. 303-304)

“We also saw that God intended to use a special people to model for the nations what a true politics looks like. When Israel failed at this task, it was handed to the divine Son, who came to do what Adam and Israel could not do. This second Adam, new Israel and Davidic son came to rule obediently by laying down his life for the sins of the nations and rising from the grave. In so doing, he offered a new covenant in his blood, so that all who would repent and believe might receive a pardon from sin and a share in his kingly authority. To that end, he granted them the keys of the kingdom, enabling them to fulfill their covenantal responsibilities to identify themselves with God and one another, distinguish themselves from the world, fend off any serpentine intruders and pursue together the life of righteousness and justice that rightly represent the Son, the Father and the Spirit.” (p. 390)

But God’s Word does not say, “the church puts on Adam’s political and priestly vocation.” Leeman’s political theology, which is liberal theology, gives him license to expound a social gospel which is about fixing this world system. Note well the reference to tikkun olam (the repair of the universe) in the excerpt from his book below. The social gospel fosters preoccupation with worldly affairs and law-keeping… instead of the believer’s heavenly citizenship with all spiritual blessings in Christ.

Jonathan Leeman seems to have a low view of the ‘new covenant’ (lower case) as being inferior to the old covenants. The new covenant is merely added onto the series of God’s covenants—the Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic—which are incorporated in what is (falsely) termed the Noahic Covenant.

“After the fall, God’s rule was given institutional expression through common and special covenants. His rule exists comprehensively by virtue of the fact that he is creator, which means that human life is intrinsically and comprehensively political, but these political realities formally institutionalize through the covenants. The biblical covenants provide the “constitutionalization’ and “institutionalization’ of human relationships. Daniel Elazar writes,

“The Bible necessarily holds that the covenantal relationship is the only proper basis for political organization—that is, the structured allocating of authority and power among humans—as well. In a political sense, biblical covenants take the form of constituting acts that establish the parameters of authority and its division without prescribing the constituting details of regimes.

“Thus, the Sinai covenant establishes once for all God’s kingship over Israel and the partnership between God and Israel in tikkun olam* (the repair of the universe). It does not establish any particular political regime.

“We can therefore define politics as the mediating of God’s covenantal rule, a definition that encompasses the concept both narrowly conceived (in reference to a society’s governing institutions) and broadly conceived (in reference to all of life).

“Politics narrowly conceived implements God’s sword-wielding covenantal rule invisibly through the justice mechanism of the Noahic covenant (Gen 9:5-6) and visibly through the oaths and institutions of the special covenants.

“Politics broadly conceived is the acknowledgment that all of life exists within the jurisdiction of God’s comprehensive rule or judgment (as indicated in the Adamic covenant), yet it awaits the visible performance of that judgment in the eschaton (the larger share of the Noahic covenant: Gen 9:1-3, 7-17).

“Also, a righteous politics gives rise to righteous and just political communities. The common covenants call all humankind to the citizen’s life of righteousness and justice; the special covenants bear the purpose of putting this just body politic on display as a model to the nations. They make God’s rule visible through (1) the covenantal signs, (2) the terms of the covenants and (3) the activities of salvation or judgment that they either enact or anticipate. Salvation and judgment represent the execution of God’s rule, or the asserting of his royal prerogatives.” (pp. 236-237)

[*‘Tikkun olam’ (Hebrew for ‘world repair’) has come to connote social action and the pursuit of social justice. The phrase has origins in classical rabbinic literature and in Lurianic kabbalah, a major strand of Jewish mysticism originating with the work of the 16th-century kabbalist Isaac Luria.” (Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World)]

Citing the work of two Jewish professors of political science, Leeman elevates Jewish polity over Christian and other traditions which, they claim, emphasize “structure” or “regime” over relationships:

“The Bible does not moralize the manner in which a government should be formed or the earthly foundation of its sovereignty. In this regard, Christian political philosophers have something to learn once again from Jewish counterparts. Daniel Elazar and Stuart Cohen offer an instructive word from their own tradition: The Jewish political tradition, like every other political tradition, is concerned with the question of power and justice, but it differs from the political traditions growing out of classic Greek thought in that it begins with a concern for relationships rather than structures. More specifically, it is less concerned for the best regime than with the proper relationships between power and justice, the governors and the governed, and God and man.” (pp. 189-190).

“Elazar and Cohen argue the same. They spend the entirety of a book, The Jewish Polity, chronicling the precise path of institutional change in both the Jewish Bible and post-biblical Jewish commonwealth, while observing the common threads that run through all such changes. They observe that “no single form of political organization is mandated by Jewish law or tradition”; rather, “a Jewish polity is one which embodies a proper set of political relationships rather than any particular structure or regime,” and “there is latitude in choosing the forms of government as long as the proper relationships . . . are preserved.” (p. 230)

Was the Jewish nation on display in the Old Testament a just body politic until God overthrew their political and religious system in 70 A.D.? What about the “post-biblical Jewish commonwealth”? Have the Jewish people been a stellar example of righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ since they crucified their Messiah? By what standard does Jonathan Leeman evaluate “a proper set of political relationships?” Does God require a “proper set of political relationships” or does He require people to be in a proper relationship with Himself through faith in His Son?

Under the Noahic Covenant, the stated divinely ordained purpose of human governments is to enforce the worship of God and the religion of the Old Testament.

“Specifically, I will argue (1) that God rules over all humanity after the fall as a king over subjects with the power of the sword, requiring obedience and worship; (2) that he uses covenants to enact and publicize that rule; (3) that he specifically uses the common covenants to command all people to worship him by acting as his image-bearing citizens; and (4) that he specifically uses the special covenants to create a people who will model true citizenship and worship. The key lies in properly relating the common covenants (the covenants with Adam and Noah) and the special covenants (the Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and new covenants)…” (pp. 180-181)

“Seventh, the governments of this world exist to aid and abet the cause of true worship by providing the platform for the activity of Adamic citizenship… The proximate goal of government may be judgment. But this proximate goal must not be separated from the ultimate goal, which is to help subjects become citizens and worshipers.

“…it makes no sense to say that the Noahic covenant as a whole merely serves ‘common cultural concerns’ and not the cause of worship or religion. Governments invisibly mediate God’s rule over matters of temporal judgment for the larger purpose of abetting God’s plan of salvation. They exist to implement his judgments, which is why Oliver O’Donovan goes as far as to say that ‘within every political society there occurs, implicitly, an act of worship of divine rule. When people assent to a government’s decisions, they implicitly assent to God and thereby honor him. Indeed, this is the very nature of mediated rule. Also, relatedly, common cultural concerns like politics can never be separated from worship. People’s political and cultural convictions always root in their valuations of who or what deserves worship.” (pp. 208-209)

Jesus, however, said that true worship is in the Spirit and according to the truth, not in religious ceremonies to be seen of men…“the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” John 4:23  God rejects worship that is coerced, however, Lucifer will force all mankind to worship himself during the Tribulation period. “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Rev. 13:15

God does not command all people to worship Him but He does command all men everywhere to repent. Acts 17:30

Where did Jonathan Leeman come up with his Judaized version of Christianity?

The Chabad Lubavitch Worldwide Institute of Noahide Code presents the same false interpretation of the Old Testament covenants that Jonathan Leeman presents in his book, except the Chabad does not mention their plan for the New Testament Church.

The Noahide Code

“G-d gave the first six commandments to Adam and Hava (Eve), the first human beings.

“These commandments were repeated to Noah, and a seventh commandment was added, when, after the Flood, G-d established the Covenant of the Rainbow with Noah and all of the world’s creatures. This covenant is not dependent on mankind’s observance of these Seven Laws of Noah. Rather, the Noahide Code established the context and the eventual goal for a renewed world in which this covenant could be the open and enduring expression of G-d’s love for His creation…

“The entire Book of Genesis, and the Book of Exodus up to and including the arrival of the Israelites at Mount Sinai, were dictated by G-d to Moses when they arrived there. There was then a first covenant made between G-d and the Israelites on that first part of the Written Torah, which included their acceptance of the Noahide Code. Thus, the Divine moral code of Seven (Universal) Commandments was renewed, after it had become neglected by the rest of the nations. That was four days before the Ten (Jewish) Commandments were spoken openly by G-d to all of the Israelites, at which point they became the Jewish people.

“At Mount Sinai, G-d taught the essentials of the Torah’s precepts through Moses, and this is called the Oral Torah. Included in this are the details of G-d’s directive for all Gentiles to observe their Seven Noahide Commandments. These details, as G-d specified them to Moses, are the true foundation of the universal Noahide Code. A righteous Gentile merits to receive a place in the eternal future World to Come, in the Messianic Era, through observance of these commandments. That is a Gentile’s part in the Torah of Moses, which is G-d’s “Tree of Life” (Proverbs 3:18). It all begins with recognizing the perfect Unity of the Creator.”

The Institute of Noahide Code is an NGO in Special Consultative Status of the United Nations.  Watch the video: Universal Noahide UN in UN for Universal Peace

On the list of UN NGOs is also the Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. As previously mentioned, Jonathan Leeman is the Editorial Director for the IX Marks church planting operation of Mark Dever, who is pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist which is Southern Baptist. Leeman also has a Masters degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is an adjunct professor and lecturer at SBTS and is affiliated with the ERLC.

Professor Leeman does not enumerate the laws contained in the Noahic Covenant except to state that they incorporate the commands of the covenants God made with Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham and David. The Jewish Encyclopedia states that 7 Laws were derived from the Torah by Jewish Rabbis who codified them as the Seven Noachian Laws and made them binding on all mankind. These seven laws actually originated in the Babylonian Talmud.

THE 7 NOAHIDE LAWS

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