Dr. David VanDrunen continues with his lecture on Machen and Ethics. He starts off with the question: What is the relation of theology to ethics?
According to Machen, Christian living is based upon a message, fact and doctrines. From the sermon on the mount, we can see Jesus is the new legislator. Therefore, there is an intricate relation between theology and ethics.
The link between theology and ethic can perhaps be seen clearly in the reality between theological conservatives and theological liberals. During Machen's times, it was conceivable that theological conservatives and theological liberals unite together over social issues. Yet 75 years later, the liberals have drifted so far away from biblical moorings that uniting theological conservatives and liberals over social issues have become next to impossible. The Liberals have no biblical foundation for biblical ethics, and therefore the erosion in their principles has been nearly absolute. Now we have liberals promoting homosexual "marriage" and other such abominations, issues which the older liberals long since dead would probably be appalled at.
The fact of the matter is that any talk about ethics and especially biblical ethics is impossible without agreement on the fact of sin. Sin is perhaps the largest elephant in the room in discussions on ethics, yet it is routinely ignored to our detriment.
The ethics of the Christian life is faith working through love.
VanDrunen continued with pointing two issues in ethics which the Liberals fail at. The first one is honesty, and the second liberty.
Theological liberals especially in Machen's day were dishonest. In fact, they can only survive by dishonesty and lying. On their ordination, they have pledged to uphold the confessional standards of the Church, yet by their preaching against and believing contrary to the confessions, they lie. Although the standards of the Church states that those who do not believe the confessional standards of the Church are to resign and let their views be examined by the Presbytery and larger church bodies, these liberals do not do so but instead continue in the ministry and attack the standard they have promised in their ordination vows to uphold.
On the issue of liberty, Liberalism in politics is bound up with a certain form of utilitarianism and socially it moves towards socialism. Civil liberty however is a by-product of true Christianity.
The last form is ecclesiastical liberty, which is the liberty of church members not to be bound by the church on issues not pertaining to faith and practice. Here VanDrunen brings in the two-kingdom theory. The Church has no right to bind her members to support any specific social and political agenda. This does not of course mean that the church should not take a position on certain social issues (i.e. abortion is wrong etc), but specific policies are matters of wisdom not of revelation, something which VanDrunen clarified in the question and answer session, and therefore the church cannot bind members to support any one agenda but rather leave it to the members who should decide based upon the wisdom God has given them.