Don’t Play the Guilt Game

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One way to enslave people is to shackle them with guilt–guilt for this, guilt for that, blame people living today for slavery that ended 150 years ago, or 300 years ago, whatever. Mark Rushdoony calls it “An Old Strategy.”

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/an-old-strategy

The important thing to remember, Mark points out, is that “manipulation by guilt… is anti-Christian to the core.” Why? Because Jesus Christ is our salvation. Because Jesus Christ removes our guilt. He has already atoned for our sins. We do not have to obey The Party or Dear Leader to pay for what we’ve done. Christ sets us at liberty; the sentence has been lifted.

P.S.–Now I’ve got to re-read R.J. Rushdoony’s The Politics of Guilt and Pity, published in 1970–but reads like he’d written it today. Well, you can say that about a lot of his work, can’t you?

An Encouraging Word

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In this Easter essay by Mark Rushdoony, “The Hope of the Believer,” we find encouragement that comes from God’s word. We need all the encouragement we can get, as we witness “the self-destructive paths our culture is currently pursuing.” Thankfully, he Lord never runs out of it.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/the-hope-of-the-believer

We need to study Christ’s Resurrection not as just a historical event that’s over and done with, Mark writes, but as having urgent relevance to our lives now and in the future; because “our Lord is now at work, as He has been, and that ‘the gates of hell’ will not prevail against Him or His Kingdom.”

We really do need to keep that in mind.

‘The Pretensions of Man’ (Mark Rushdoony)

Mark Rushdoony, 'The Sweep of History' – Lee Duigon

In this month’s Chalcedon blog post, Mark Rushdoony reflects on people playing God: they’re in over their heads.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/the-pretentions-of-men

Mark and I are close enough in age that we can both remember “air raid drills”–in case of an atomic bomb dropping on your school, “duck and cover” under your desk or get down to the basement hallway. Now it’s Systemic Racism and Climbit Change. “If men do not have an imminent threat to fear,” he writes, “they will find one.” And it’s very much a case of seek and ye shall find: no one ever comes home empty-handed from a search for The End O’ The World.

Finite creatures as we are, we’ll never fully understand anything God does. It’s why we need faith. We see the ungodly and the wicked running wild, intending to “transform” our country into a socialist hell-hole… and there is just no way we understand why God doesn’t just wipe them off the table.

Have faith.

It’s indispensable.

“No Weapon That Is Formed Against Thee Shall Prosper”

This Is My Father's World - with Lyrics - YouTube

This little essay (in 2019) by Mark Rushdoony is as good as a sermon–especially now, when it looks like the ungodly own all the reins of power and can no more be restrained.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/no-weapon-that-is-formed-against-thee-shall-prosper

It brings to my mind these lines from a hymn, This Is My Father’s World:

“This is my Father’s world, and let me ne’er forget/ That tho’ the wrong seems oft so strong,/ God is the ruler yet.”

Mark launches his text from the book of Esther: “The story of Esther is not primarily about the salvation of God but of His government, particularly as it works through unbelievers.”

Through unbelievers? Yes! When there are no good guys around to stop the bad guys, God will use other bad guys against them–or even, as He did to Pharaoh in the days of Moses, against themselves. But yes, He will work through unbelievers… whether they like it or not.

There is no corner in Heaven or on earth where God is not the sovereign Lord of All.

 

‘A Humble Assumption’

Abraham

I think the very hardest thing in Christianity is to hold onto one’s faith in all God’s actions. That whatever happens, even exceedingly bad things, “We must believe,” writes Mark Rushdoony, “that God is good.”

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/a-humble-assumption

Yes, that’s hard. When we lose our loved ones, that’s hard. When we see the ungodly and the wicked running wild (Psalm 73), while the righteous can hardly get from day to day, that’s hard.

So we need to say, as Abraham said, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). Abraham earnestly wished God to spare the city of Sodom, for his nephew Lot’s sake, who lived there; but he was prepared to believe in the righteousness of any step God chose to take.

That’s hard. It requires a degree of humility that doesn’t come natural to us.

We can start by praying for it.

Mark Rushdoony: ‘The Divided States of America’

An Urgent Message from Mark Rushdoony

Here’s a thoughtful essay by Mark Rushdoony, analyzing the deep divisions that afflict “a nation running from Christianity.”

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/the-divided-states-of-america

“We have a great deal of historical and contemporary evidence that the democratic process has always been infected with, if not controlled by, blatant lies and fraud,” Mark writes. “Confidence in [our] institutions is now incredibly low.”

People who reject God wind up needing, desperately, to replace Him. Thrown onto their own sinful resources without the guidance of Scripture, when they run from Christianity, they run off in all different directions.

As James Madison would have said, “democracy” is a very poor substitute for justice.

By Mark Rushdoony: ‘Be Encouraged!’

The Astronomy Behind The Star Of Bethlehem : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR

Mark Rushdoony has an answer for those who look at the state of the world, despair of the gospel, and say “Just look around you.”

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/be-encouraged

All right: look. “Yet what do we see each Christmas? The world must stop and recognize the impact of Jesus Christ on history.”

It’s a short little essay, brief but to the point. For me to say more would spoil it.

Mark Rushdoony: ‘The Way Forward’

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This is a sobering thought. Regardless of how the 2020 presidential election is finally decided, America will still be deep in debt with no apparent way to pay it off.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/the-way-forward

Did we get here by overzealously following God’s laws, Christ’s teachings?

No. We got here by doing what we wanted, when we wanted. We got here by allowing government to mutate into a kind of idol that must be appeased incessantly: the pseudo-religion that R.J. Rushdoony called statism.

Only faith will guide us back to sanity.

How Do We Walk by Faith?

One Must Be Ordained

I’ve always found it difficult to understand the Bible’s instruction to us to “walk by faith and not by sight.” How do you do that?

In Walking By Faith When We See Only Problems, Mark Rushdoony tackles that hard question.

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/walking-by-faith-when-we-see-only-problems

“Walking by faith” does not mean “be oblivious to what you see.” It means to try to understand what you see in terms of what God is doing. “Our faith in what God is doing,” Mark writes, “must give us perspective and direction.”

Walking just by sight, “we see one mess after another.” That’s for sure. You can’t even talk sports or the weather anymore without igniting a political argument. Statism, as R.J. Rushdoony so often observed, is in its death throes–which means something will have to replace it.

God’s Kingdom is forever, and will replace all worldly kingdoms.

‘Why Humanism Leads to Statism’

An Urgent Message from Mark Rushdoony

(Good stuff at the Chalcedon website this week; I’m happy to share it with you.)

Mark Rushdoony has hit the bullseye with this one. Humanism always leads to statism.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/why-humanism-leads-to-statism

Humanists get rid of God, leaving the state–that is, themselves–as the highest possible authority. I know it’s hard to account for what happens next without a concept of Original Sin–but as Christians we have that concept, so we can understand humanism’s inevitable drift into tyranny. The alternative, with every fat-head parading around as his own god, can only be anarchy; but they can’t keep that going for any length of time.

Mark puts it in a nutshell: “The problem is too much power.”

Build the state down, not up!

Our liberties depend on it.