“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.
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.”
Mark refutes the contention that the early church was “pure.” Good lord, no! As people throughout the Roman Empire joined the church, they brought all sorts of pagan ideas in with them. The church needed to call authoritative councils to weed out the paganism and state orthodox Christian belief as plainly as possible–which is why we have formal creeds.
We hardly need say that they’re still trying to import pagan notions, and humanist delusions, into the church (can you say “feminist theology”?). Because the church today is split into so many denominations, it’s no longer possible to hold a council that would speak with real authority. So we rely on the ancient creeds to protect us–and to keep us clear about what we believe.
Mark also provides a list of the major heresies the church had to deal with in the first centuries of its history. Most of them are still around, repackaged under new names. Well, that’s Original Sin for you. In a fallen world, we are always obliged to defend the Christian faith.
So what’s wrong with abstract theology? Two things: 1) God is real–not an abstraction, or a concept; and 2) God is not only real: He is a person. We are individual persons because God is a person and He created us in His image.
It’s easy to say “God is a person,” but it’s worth taking time to think about it. This is an astounding thing to realize! Nothing else we say or think about God makes any sense apart from the realization that God is a person. With all that that implies.
And if the very idea of a Person with infinite power and perfect knowledge doesn’t provoke in you a healthy sense of fear… you need to think about it longer.
We’ve had crazy times in our country before. When the Chalcedon Foundation was founded in 1965, we were only halfway through those crazy Sixties and it was going to get much worse before it got better.
But we, as Christian reconstructionists, take the long view.
In Mark Rushdoony’s new essay, The Path Forward, we see there are no quick fixes, no short-term answers. We have to rebuild Christian civilization and culture even as the bad guys are doing everything they can to tear it down.
The belief that must sustain us is this: Jesus Christ is Lord of heaven and earth now. Not tomorrow, not next year, not a hundred years hence–but now. He is Lord now. And as such His victory is certain.
And we want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in!
First they leave God’s laws behind; then they decide that they might as well be God, and dream up some new “laws,” new ways of deciding who’s good and who’s totally depraved and must be punished–by the state, of course.
All the rage in the streets, the confusion of justice with vengeance–it’s all part of “the death throes of humanism.” The beast is dying. It knows it’s dying, and it lashes out to hurt whoever it can.
We try to solve the world’s problems with worldly solutions; but we–and our sin–are the source of all the problems. That’s why they can’t be fixed from the outside. As long as we insist on doing things our way instead of God’s, Mark writes, “everything will go wrong.” As it’s been this year, so far.
“Until we build the Kingdom, first of all in ourselves [emphasis added], nothing will go right.”
In “Lurching from Crisis to Crisis,” Mark Rushdoony explains the pattern: “It comes from man playing god,” he says–men who “become blinded by raw power.” And yet the things they claim to be able to do–they can’t! “Our institutions, our social order itself, is a house built upon sand.”
As bad as it is, Mark writes, “It will not last.” The Holy Spirit will intervene, and bring down the curtain on this festival of apostasy.
Scanning the nooze this afternoon, trying to decide what stories I ought to mention on this blog, actually began to nauseate me. Is there any price the Democrats won’t make our country pay, if it gets them back into power? (Hint: I don’t think so. Do you?)
This new piece by Mark Rushdoony on the Chalcedon blog provided me with a valuable course correction.