For the whole story, read this, beginning with Part 1. The condensed version can be found in Part 6. Links to the entire series can be found on the blog sidebar.
As I sorted everything out, there were lots of questions, and even some doubts. I begged Mike for a reading list, to which he responded:
You want a reading list? How about Acts 15, Romans 3-9, Galatians 1-6, Hebrews 7-12
What I was really looking for --- but didn't realize until much later --- was a system to replace the one I was letting go of. Without it, and a community of believers who agreed with me, I felt so alone. It was not an easy thing to feel as if I was pulling up my tent stakes, packing my bags, and getting ready to leave the Reformed camp without knowing where I was headed. I answered:
Ah, Mike...don't take this personally...but this is not at all reassuring! When I was telling [a friend] about your lessons on the Law, she said, "Who is this pastor? What is his family like?" Actually she didn't ask about your family, but I felt suddenly isolated from all of Christendom---as if I'd willy-nilly tossed out hundreds of years of church doctrine just cuz some guy in Texas sent me a few email lessons. What if these Scriptures that seem so obvious to me don't really say what I think they're saying? If it's so obvious, why doesn't the whole world get it? Am I simply fooling myself because I really do want to run amok...because I got bored with things the way they were...because I'm easily duped...
And where do I fit in now? I was teasing [my husband] that I'm in search of a new label. If we're not really Reformed, what are we? So I joked, "I know! We can become Lutheran Pietists! That's what my grandfather was---and Rushdoony despises them and calls them 'pious poops'---so that's good enough reason to become one!" Then I had to point out the obvious problem with that: I had already told [Husband] just about everything I knew about Pietism. It's a little hard to become something you know nothing about...
I cannot conceive of any BIBLICAL argument that could turn you back, so the only thing left is fear of condemnation from others. I DID warn you, didn't I, of the consequences of standing for your freedom? You really have no idea how hot it can get.
Yesterday at church, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was living a double life---and I also had this irrational fear that people would take one look at me and say, "She's different somehow. AHA---she's turned into an antinomian!!" Parts of church blessed me tremendously and parts simply grieved me.
Are you afraid of freedom? The Hebrews were! Many of them wanted to go back to Egypt.
Am I afraid? Mike, I'm afraid of almost everything and freedom is really scary. My mother once read me a German poem about some guy who'd been in shackles in a dungeon for ages...how he finally got his freedom...and how he put the shackles back on himself. It was one of the saddest thing I've ever heard, but I can fully understand it. Shackles are safe, even when we chafe at them. But I don't want them back!
What I want you to do is make sure you understand the biblical arguments, and then, please, pass along the other questions to me -- in fact, if you get any biblical arguments that shake you, pass them along, too. After you have done this for a while, you will start seeing the repetitive nature of the questions, and the erroneous assumptions behind them. 99% of the arguments are answered by understanding two things: "The law" means the WHOLE law. And there was no such thing in the Bible as a division between "moral" and "ceremonial" law. Just keep going back to these two facts, and your opponents will have NO answers.
That was the hardest part for me to accept also---I mean, everyone knows the Law is divided into 3 categories!---and once I was fully convinced, the rest of it started to fall into place. Well, I'll start collecting questions for you---if you promise not to say, "I'll answer that one in 20 years, when we finally get to lesson 5,613."
I have mentioned this before, but it seems that Calvinists cannot conceive of ANY part of their system being wrong without it destroying the entire system. In fact, many Calvinistic apologists make this exact argument. But the 10-C and the "moral law" never did have anything to do with the system! They were just pasted together with it, and made seemingly permanent by the WCF. Rebecca -- as good as it is in some points, the WCF is NOT the word of God, and it is WRONG at several points.
Sigh. I know. And some of the alleged "Biblical proofs" seem quite a stretch indeed. It's always bugged me when people will quote the WCF before even going into what the Bible says. I was never that enamored with the whole thing---like some people who have memorized major portions of it and quote it almost like Scripture.