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NOTR - The News, Cromwell & The Execution of King Charles I - 6.30.17


Chris does a follow up show on the situation in the United Kingdom and the controversies in Northern Ireland.  He also discusses a modern article on the subject of whether or not the execution of King Charles I by Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan government was right or wrong.  The article published on a UK website tackles the controversy from both sides; on the one hand, arguing that King Charles betrayed England, was rightly condemned as a traitor and deserved to be put to death.  On the other side, it is argued that his execution was unnecessary and had been instigated by Cromwell and his supporters, against the prevailing will of the people at the time.  Hundreds of years later, and the issues continue to be debated.  But why are these historic arguments important to our world today?

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Reader Comments (7)

Hi Brother Chris!

Wow fascinating information - thanks for delving into the background of historical events. Can't wait until the continuation of the King Charles issue. Many blessings to you and yours!

July 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine Magarian

Chris, I wish you would spend more time studying the problems Cromwell caused to the Scottish Covenanters and not only focus on the Puritan research. While they were almost entirely united between the Covenanters and Puritans, except for the form of church government, there was some significant damage Cromwell caused in Christian unity.

July 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWalt

"Barrow's letters on Theonomy-L exposing Cromwell as a covenant-breaker, a liar, and a dictator. Cromwell's government imprisoned and executed covenanted Presbyterian ministers -- so much for Cromwell's so-called toleration and his "pretended liberty of conscience." Thomas Watson and Christopher Love were two faithful Presbyterians ministers imprisoned by Cromwell's government, though there were others also. Love was later executed on trumped up charges, but left a triumphant testimony to God's grace and glory before his martyrdom at the hands of Cromwell's murderous henchmen. Cromwell also swore the Solemn League and Covenant and then proceeded to break every point of this vow he made to God. These letters also set forth some of the biblical basics of the Covenanted Reformation of the seventeenth century which gave us the Westminster standards and the Solemn League and Covenant."

July 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWalt


July 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWalt

Cromwell was a scheming de facto Erastian (Hetherington, The History of
the Westminster Assembly, p. 314) and military dictator (Ibid., p.312). He,
much in the style of modern communist regimes, "prohibited the publication
of pamphlets censuring the conduct of the new government,"
shortly after forcibly ejecting from parliament everyone who did not bow
to his arbitrary demands (Ibid., p.312-313). (Hetherington's The History of
the Westminster Assembly [cf. pp. 310-335] uncovers many other glaring
inconsistencies concerning this confused individual and the damage he did
to Reformation principles.) Cromwell used his military might to undermine
public obedience to much that is contained in civil duties required under
the first two commandments. Historically, this set in motion a chain of
events that led nations to disregard their duty, as nations, to covenant with
Christ and uphold his laws.

In fact, I would contend that much of the lawlessness that we see practiced
today, not only in churches, but in society in general, can be seen as
gaining a strong foothold (historically) because of the errors in the doctrine
and practice of Cromwell and his Independents (especially the tyranny of
their pretended liberty of conscience and their false unbiblical view of
toleration, cf. Samuel Rutherford's Free Disputation Against Pretended
Liberty of Conscience). Many heresies spread like the plague under Cromwell's administration, all due to his sinful disregard for the Scriptural pattern of establishing a godly state. As Fergusson (sermon, 1652) proclaimed, "Of all errors, toleration is
the most dangerous and damnable, in so far as other errors do only
overturn those particular truths of Scripture to which they are contrary;
but by this one error (this monster of toleration) way is made to overturn
all the truths contained in Scripture, and to the setting up of all errors
contrary to every jot of truth; and in the mean time there shall be no
power to hinder it, or take order with it." Cromwell's antichristian views of
liberty, conscience, government, etc., have all come to roost among his
spiritual descendents.

Even in their (Cromwell and his Independents) original espousal of a so-
called liberty of conscience (which set man's conscience above God's Word)
they could not be consistent. As Hetherington has again pointed out:
"During their struggle with Presbyterians, they needed the support of
numbers, being but few themselves, and therefore they advocated a
'boundless toleration,'- of which they did not really approve, and which,
when in power themselves, they did not grant" (Ibid., p.332).

At the root, "Cromwellianism" asserts its pretended liberty of conscience
"by asserting that truth cannot be ascertained with certainty; and that
therefore it is best to give equal toleration to all opinions, lest a grievous
mistake should be committed, and truth suppressed instead of error. This
is the language of skepticism, and the principle which it promulgates is not
toleration, but latitudinarian laxity and licentiousness. Such language really
implies, either that God did not intend to convey saving truth in a manner
intelligible to the minds of men, or that he failed in his intention" (Ibid.,

In short, it is never a question of establishment versus no establishment
(as any presuppositionalist knows), but rather whose establishment. There
is no neutrality! And as Wagner, in his Presbyterian Political Manifesto has
pointed out (p.18), "To not advocate the establishment of the one true
religion is a violation of the first commandment as it applies to the state
(cf. Westminster Larger Catechism question 103-105)".

Do you know what the one true religion is? If not, a summary
can be found in the Westminster Confession Of Faith (original
edition, original intent). This is what every nation on earth needs to adopt,
this is what ever nation on earth will one day adopt. Cromwell, ultimately
fought against this, and to the extent that he hindered the Protesters
(faithful Covenanters), he hindered the subjugation of the nations to Chris

July 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWalt

"Robert Blair we had occasion to notice before. He was a man of mild and
amiable temper, and was exceedingly active in endeavouring to heal the
unhappy dissensions between the Resolutioners and Protesters, in which
he professed to be neutral... He was a shrewd observer of character. When
Cromwell came to Edinburgh, he and Guthrie and Dickson were deputed to
hold a conference with the General (Cromwell-ed.). Blair, who was best acquainted
with him, begged him to answer three questions. 'What was his opinion of
monarchial government?' Oliver replied that he was favourable to
monarchy. 'What did he think anent toleration?' He answered as confidently
that he was against toleration. 'What was his judgement about the
government of the Church?' 'Ah, now, Mr. Blair,' said Cromwell, 'you article
me too severely; you must pardon me that I give you not a present answer
to that question.' On retiring, Mr. Dickson said, 'I am glad to hear this man
speak no worse;' to which Blair replied, 'If you knew him as well as I, you
would not believe one word he says; for he is an egregious dissembler'"
(Footnote: Memoirs of Blair, p. 107). From The Story of the Scottish Church by Thomas McCrie, pp. 248-249.

July 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWalt

Many consider John Knox one of the greatest Reformers ever and God used him to win the nation of Scotland to Christ.

Knox laid the foundations for the Covenanters that followed, and they in turn gave us the clearest foretaste of the millennium glory to come in the magnificent Solemn League and Covenant. Speaking of these Reformation attainments McFeeters notes, "The fathers are worthy of all praise for this unprecedented effort to build the national government upon the true foundation of God's will, and administer it by men in Covenant with Jesus Christ, the King of kings.

This was the first attempt to erect a Christian government, in which the fear of God should pervade every department and characterize every official (Sketches of the Covenanters, pp. 155-156)."

This book deals with some of John Knox's most controversial political writings. It also offers some fine tuning for modern theonomists, which aims at leading them into the "footsteps of the flock" and closer to the classic or historic Presbyterian/Covenanter view of law (and away from some of the Anabaptist/Libertarian tendencies that often arise among modern theonomists).

Numerous resources, recently published, dealing with civil disobedience and opposition to tyranny are also listed. The first appendix in this book contains Barrow's letter to Christian Renewal expressing his strong disagreement with an unfavorable and inaccurate review of Dr. Michael Wagner's Presbyterian Political Manifesto. In it he shows how the Reformers and their confessions of faith supported the civil establishment of the one true Christian religion, while at the same time publicly excluding Papist's, pagans and other heretics from places of civil rule (in countries blessed with the light of the gospel).

The second appendix contains a series of letters dedicated to proving why Barrow calls Oliver Cromwell the "Judas of the Covenant." It exposes Cromwell's reckless abandon in violating his sacred vows to the Lord in the Solemn League and Covenant, while also showing why Cromwell's wicked, antichristian views concerning toleration and so-called "liberty of conscience" led people away from Scriptural standards and helped open the floodgates to modern atheistic pluralism.

In short, Oliver Cromwell was the prototype of our contemporary pragmatic politician, adept at equivocation and setting his own glory and government above all other concerns, including the glory and government of God. In this vein Barrow contends that Cromwell, unaffectionately dubbed the "late usurper" by the covenanted Presbyterians of the mid seventeenth-century, was used of the devil to accomplish things in the civil and ecclesiastical realm that he (i.e. Satan) could never have accomplished with the more obviously antichristian religions of that day (which were not pluralistic theologically, such Romanism, Episcopalianism, etc.).

For Cromwell laid his axe of ungodly toleration and pretended liberty of conscience to the root of the tree of covenanted Reformation in a much more subtle manner than the previous "midwives to antichrist," and thus his sectarianism better served the devious designs of the devil during those days. This section also exposes Cromwell as an Erastian tyrant, a liar, and a dictator, who (with the help of his sectarian army) executed the covenanted Presbyterian minister Christopher Love (Oliver Cromwell's soldiers even threatened to shoot Thomas Manton for preaching at Christopher Love's funeral), sent many other Presbyterian ministers to jail (including Thomas Watson), disbanded the Scottish general assembly (at gunpoint), and eventually began negotiations with Papists (with the intent of granting them a measure of "liberty" to more freely practice their superstitions and soul murder).

This is not the view of Cromwell that you will hear from most modern historians and theologians who have abandoned the context of covenanted Reformation (how could it be?), for as R.J. Rushdoony has correctly pointed out, "Men cannot give a meaning to history that they themselves lack, nor can they honor a past which indicts them for their present failures" (R.J. Rushdoony, A Biblical Philosophy of History, p. 135).

July 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWalt

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