The bounds of freedom of conscience
Freedom of Conscience and The Establishment Principle
Toleration of heresies is a licence for heretics to war against the Most High
Even the light of nature proves that magistrates should support the true religion.
God still requires magistrates to punish evildoers and to legislate the true religion
and so false religion casts a nation into the depths of depravity
Christ is King of the nations
Implications of the fifth commandment
Further reasons to uphold the biblical requirements of magistrates.
Magistrates must suppress evil if good is to come.
If murder ought to be punished as an injury and dishonour to God, why not also public blasphemy, idolatry, and heresy, …
Magistrates, using the Word, should judge in matters of church schism and error.
Magistrates should not force “conversion” but they should restrain evil.
Civil laws relative to the external concerns of religion should be based upon the law of God.
Scripture makes it plain that magistrates sin and cause harm when they give licence to promoters of false religion.
John Brown of Haddington unearths the heart behind tolerating false religions: atheism.
Magistrates ought never attempt to force men to believe with their hearts… but…
Authorities must govern within certain limits
The greatest good occurs when authorities are harmoniously working together. When an authority neglects its duty, another authority may take on some of those duties.
Although all persons in authority must promote godliness and oppose ungodliness, each must do so within his own sphere of responsibility.
Reformed Confessions, particularly the Westminster Confession and the Scottish Church confessions, uphold the civil magistrate’s authority to suppress false religion.
How did the idea of civil toleration of false religion enter the Reformed Church?
A primer on John Brown’s essay on toleration.
Here is a man that a surprising number of Reformed Christians have never heard of.