The Warrenton Declaration or the Warrenton Rationalisation?

Has anyone seen “The Warrenton Declaration on Medical Mandates, Biblical Ethics, & Authority”?

It’s a statement that defines the limits of government authority and then declares that Christians are not required to submit to the government on matters outside those limits - medical mandates in particular.

They use the example that the government cannot tell a person what job/profession they must follow, and if they did, Christians should not submit.

I’m not agreeing with these guys. I’m seeing a rationalisation for individualism and rebellion.

What do others think?

Oh, and here is their conclusion:

“If you are not sure where your local church officers and community stand on these issues, do not be afraid to raise questions in a respectful manner. If you have good and Godly leaders, you won’t be criticized or dismissed for raising them. If you have been neglected or mistreated by your current local church on these grounds and appeals have not been heard, we encourage you to find a community where medical liberty is understood and practiced.”

Bunk. Highfalutin drivel. Rebels with a cause. It’s a doctrinal declaration claiming ecclesiastical authority (it better be), so note that lots of women dared to speak thusly. Note also that they rejected God’s naming of the race “Adam,” instead delicately choosing “human.” It will be wonderfully popular in the same way Miriam’s trashing of Moses and his Cushite wife was.

Post Covid argumentum ad populum. Paraphrasing Twain, “hain’t we got all the fools on our side, and hain’t that a big enough majority in any reformed church?” Love,


“They use the example that the government cannot tell a person what job/profession they must follow, and if they did, Christians should not submit.”

I didn’t know that the stories of Joseph and of Daniel, et al. were meant to be negative examples.


The reason we can’t get away from what’s called theonomy is that the church has a duty to teach the civil magistrate the law of God, while submitting to him. But these theonomists use their theonomy to teach that we don’t have to do what the civil magistrate says. This second thing is not an extension of the first; it’s in opposition to it.


They could have saved some pixels and just said, “My body my choice.”


As i read it, the problem is not that it wouldn’t be helpful to think through the limits of jurisdiction and civil government but rather that this is entirely too broad. Even though I have had disagreements with some of you all here on masks and things, I couldn’t sign this.


Thank you for the link.

The unlimited authority of God, and the limited authority of man.

The statement is definitely worth reading.

One of my heroes, a fruitful and productive pastor … who stole infant bodies out of abortionist dumpsters … was shot at… who provided Christian burials to the murdered children… signed it.

Along with dozens of brethren from multiple denominations and nations.

I’ve tried to understand the authoritarian position asserted by the preponderance of Sanityville posters. My thinking has been refined over the months, but I find I’m further away from agreement with you now than I was when I walked in as a visitor last year.

One of the fruits of the Spirit, self-government… is foundational to Liberty… whether it is exercised within a family, a congregation, or a state.

The fruit of the Spirit is “self-control.” Earlier translations have “temperance.” Elsewhere “continence.” The Literal Emphasis version has “inner control.”

I’d ask why you replaced that clear word with the far more ambiguous “self-government,” but the reason is obvious.

It certainly is foundational to liberty to be able to control the inner impulse which says “You’re not the boss of me,” and instead submit to the authorities God has placed in our lives. Without such self-control said authorities might well lock you up, depriving you of your liberty.

Regardless, let me reply to just one point in the statement:

Powers are assumed to exist unless explicitly denied rather than regarded as absent unless firmly established by Scripture.

WE AFFIRM that disobedience is also permissible should any command be given outside of the jurisdiction of the particular authority. For example, throughout history, civil governments have sought to force individuals into certain vocations, … obedience is still not morally obligated since these commands are outside the jurisdiction of the authority making the commands.

Yet Solomon conscripted forced labor to cut wood from the sons of Israel to build the Temple of God. Is the civil magistrate able to force individuals into particular labor or was Solomon acting immorally and over and above his jurisdictional authority when he built God’s temple?


Good question: I would think that those who hold that American slavery was inherently evil and that the North was justified in attacking the South, that they would argue that yes it was immoral for Solomon to have used slaves.

I don’t hold to the abolitionist position but perhaps a case could be made that Solomon acted wickedly in enslaving his own people and that this in part contributed to the civil war that divided that kingdom in to two.

I don’t know that I would defend Solomon here and then use that to say that our own civil government could force us into certain vocations. Not every narrative account in the Bible is an imperative.

I agree that this statement overreaches but I’m not sure it does do by denying the civil government of the United States the authority to choose your vocation or force you to be vaccinated.

Do you have any category for tyranny by the civil government that isn’t them telling you to directly disobey a commandment by God.

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  1. These were not slaves, although Solomon did do that with others. These were Israelites who were temporarily forced into certain labor. I chose that example precisely to avoid the issues you brought up, but perhaps I should have been more explicit.

  2. My response is mostly aimed at those who hold the necessity of “resisting tyranny” by refusing to submit to those who overstep their jurisdiction. And especially when they are so certain exactly where those lines of jurisdiction curve around so that exactly what they care about is what they get (property owners can make any rules they want, but the government is so limited it’s not even allowed to care about public health.)

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The spirit oozing from this statement is defiance and rebellion. It is so obvious that one feels stupid saying so. I tweeted earlier today:

Fathers of household, church, and nation will be judged by God on their protection of bodies and souls of the members of their flock. Each is father of his household and each is owed obedience by members of his household #goodshepherd

That any Christian, let alone a church officer, would argue against the above shows their bondage to the rebellious spirit of our age. What’s interesting is the particular tack they think will work in fomenting rebellion among Reformed Christians. Just as was observed above, “Our bodies, ourselves!” This comes in the middle of the Covid lunacy of government, which is the seedbed of Reformed fury today.

The Westminster Standards reveal the king is the father of his subjects and owed respect and obedience under the Fifth Commandment:

By father and mother , in the fifth commandment, are meant, not only natural parents, but all superiors in age and gifts; and especially such as, by God’s ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family, church, or commonwealth.

The Larger Catechism adds his duties towards his citizens:

protecting, and providing for them all things necessary for soul and body.

Reading this, we all should be responding, “Duh!”

But today, anyone bringing up the Fifth Command in connection with Covid gets cried down with the smear “authoritarian.” What a joke.

The problem with the civil authorities’ efforts to protect the bodies of their citizens from Covid was not that they were trying to protect their subjects bodies from Covid, but the specifics of those protections. What was not problematic was masks, which is where the personal fury and belligerating is most intense, but refusing to allow in-person corporate worship and singing in corporate worship. These for starters, and many more could be added. In other words, the civil authorities overreached in their efforts to protect their subjects’ bodies while using that very duty as cover to harm (and often) destroy their subjects’ souls—a crime committed by civil and other authorities habitually in our time.

After my above tweet, I followed with another:

Chicago Public Schools will now supply condoms to 5th to 12th graders: “Schools that teach grade 5th & up must maintain a condom availability program. Condoms are provided at no cost by Chicago Dept Public Health.” This is abuse of authority, but why? Think carefully #authority

What’s going on with the above men and women in their screed-posing-as-declaration is an equivalent overreach to that of the civil authorities in protecting their subjects from Covid. They could have exposed the nature of that overreach by showing the rightness of the intent and wrongness of some of the applications, but clearly that was not their goal. Love,


Numerous are the errors. This reads like a rant that a bunch of guys in their 20s would have at about 3 in the morning. (I.E., the kind of rant I used to have quite frequently.)

oftentimes churches have defaulted to almost reflexively acquiescing

Almost reflexively acquiescing. Nailed it.

The reasons given for following such policies and mandating them in the local church are not typically justified by a well-rounded and systematic understanding of the whole counsel of Scripture on authority

Not typically. Meaning what? That there are those who have a Biblically justified reason for following orders? Are they leaving room here for brothers who disagree with them not being “mouthpieces for government health agencies”? Not likely. Just sloppy writing.

the Christian may choose to obey some unjust commands…because compliance with the command is done under duress, because compliance is expedient, or because compliance is rendered in an exaggerated fashion

Choice - the true god of this age. Their writing decries their allegiance. It is the same as everyone else today. And the reasons we can choose to obey unjust commands? Duress, expediency, or mockery. Never just obedience to authority.

WE DENY that the only reason one may lawfully disobey an authority is if they are commanded to sin by that authority.

Stated but never expanded. What exactly might we “choose” to disobey? Anything we consider unjust? Anything that isn’t expedient? Anything that isn’t under duress? Anything that isn’t mockery? Ah, there’s the problem. Jaywalking is only a crime if I decide it is. I’m free. Long haired, hippy people need not apply.

WE AFFIRM that individuals are free to restrict their own movement about society to this end should they deem it wise to do so. They may not lawfully demand that civil government employ force on their behalf to restrict the liberty of others.

I suppose context might be cited, but this could easily mean you can’t file for a restraining order. It’s like one guy just riffed and ranted and they wrote everything down and no one said “hey, you know, this maybe doesn’t sound right.”

WE AFFIRM that a biblically faithful view of the civil government sphere as well as the ecclesiastical government sphere provides no lawful jurisdiction for civil magistrates or ecclesiastical authorities to mandate or in any way coerce individuals to inject substances into themselves or their children or cover their mouths, noses, face, or any combination thereof, with masks.

“It’s not about masks!!!” they scream. Then they quietly say, it’s about the masks.

They may regard the wearing of masks as bearing false witness

If they are so worried about violations of the 9th commandment then they’d better don the masks because almost everywhere it now says “please wear a mask if you are not fully vaccinated.” Bit of a catch 22 for the folks who say wearing one is lying about being sick - now not wearing one is explicitly lying about not being vaccinated. I suppose their consciences are ok with that lie.

the ecclesiastical office does not hold jurisdiction over personal or familial health decisions.

My body, my choice again. What about counsel and warnings given about end of life decisions? What about talking about STDs and abortion and sex changes and…No jurisdiction. Keep your mouths shut, pastors.

WE AFFIRM that maintaining personal health and personal health decisions, including decisions about which medical interventions to adopt or forego, are the role and jurisdiction of each individual and their family.

For the last time, pastors be quiet.

WE DENY that parents are guilty of neglect or abuse if they choose to forego a given medical intervention such as a medical procedure or vaccine due to the fact that they are not convinced of the short and long term risk profile or effectiveness of the action.

Might want to rethink this one. They try to qualify it in the next one by saying that the “faith healing” churches don’t get a free pass, but neglect and injury are not exclusive to those communities. Many people are unconvinced of certain medical procedures - that doesn’t mean they aren’t committing real harm on those under their care.

we encourage you to find a community where medical liberty is understood and practiced.

Medical liberty. The mother of all the liberties.


Along the same lines, I was laughing at the way they casually declared heroine use a personal decision with the government having no right to make laws.


BTW, my original response above started by stating my appreciation for George Grant, and sadness to see him associating himself with this. Then I lost the original and forgot to add that once more, so here I’ve said it now. Love,