The short answer: It looks a lot like the Baal worship described and condemned in the Old Testament. And that should worry us a lot more than it does.
Mark Rushdoony and Andrea Schwartz discuss this at some length (https://chalcedon.edu/resources/audio/what-does-modern-baal-worship-look-like-ep-257-guest-mark-rushdoony). Okay, it’s 51 minutes. But the message is important, and you can always listen to it in increments.
The Jews in the time of Jeremiah (they never listened to him!) had no idea how close they were to incurring God’s wrath… although various prophets had given, and continued to give, fair warning. They thought Jerusalem would never fall.
The didn’t abandon God, Mark explains. No: their sin lay in “demoting Jehovah to one of many gods” (How inclusive!) and settling for the belief that “God’s going to protect us because we’re not all that bad–other people are worse.”
The question arises: “Why should God bless America?”
None of this is as simple as you might have thought. You might find the podcast highly enlightening.
“Lights out” for humanism: Mark Rushdoony
This is a rather long interview, but the message is important and just about sure to answer some questions that you’ve had.
We see the ungodly running wild, chewing up churches and spitting them out–and yet the church continues… and grows. History ebbs and flows, “and yet the Kingdom of God has grown.”
We don’t make the Kingdom grow; God does. Our calling is, above all, to be faithful: to walk in God’s word as best we can at home, at work, in everyday life.
Go back to St. Paul’s time. Who in his right mind would have wagered a widow’s mite that Paul’s church would still be growing two thousand years later… but Rome would not?
We didn’t make that happen. God did.
We have a brief message this morning from Chalcedon’s president, Mark Rushdoony.
Mark continues to prepare his father’s manuscripts for publication (hard to keep up with R.J. Rushdoony as he wrote them!), including a possible trilogy on “the irrationality and suicidal course of man in his rebellion against God.”
Rushdoony’s observations and insights, which he wrote down 50 years ago, are startlingly applicable to today’s religious and cultural scene.
All Rushdoony’s books are available via the Chalcedon Store at http://www.chalcedon.edu/ .
The bad news is, we don’t wield the means of victory. It’s just not in us–look at all the mistakes.
But the good news is that the victory’s in Jesus Christ Our Lord. “So Christ is moving His church forward,” Mark Rushdoony writes, “but we’re also learning the hard way that sin doesn’t work…”
Here’s more: “So there is no man, no nation, no movement in history that can be given real credit for the continuity of the Kingdom of God. It’s the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit.”
God knows, the constant drumbeat of really bad news, the degeneration of our culture for everyone to see–one might easily feel overwhelmed.
But we don’t have to. Read on, read on.
(Andrea Schwartz conducted the interview from which this text is taken.)
When Nehemiah came to Jerusalem, he found it pretty much the mess the Babylonians had left it seventy years before.
Before anything else could be done, the first need was to build. The walls, the gates, the homes built into the thick walls. Build it.
This short message by Mark Rushdoony is a reminder that our first duty, too, is to “arise and build.” Look at all that’s been trashed! The Church–and that means all of us–needs to build families, neighborhoods, schools, businesses, and voluntary associations: all have been weakened in my own lifetime. Government by people who don’t much like us has sought to replace all these institutions.
We need to clean up the mess and rebuild.
Esther and the King of Persia
If we walk by sight and not by faith, it’s easy to lose hope: God knows this fallen world is falling farther by the day.
God respects our free will that He gave us; but He has not surrendered His sovereign lordship over all of His creation. If He did, how long do you suppose the human race would last?
“No Weapon Formed Against Thee Shall Prosper”
Remember I Corinthians, Chapter 1: God’s foolishness is wiser than men, God’s weakness is stronger than men; and He uses foolish things of this world to confound the wise, weak things to confound the strong, things that are despise–and things which don’t exist, to bring to nothing t
Passing over the Jordan in flood
How come it always looks like the ungodly are advancing and God’s people aren’t?
But this is why the Lord commands us, “Walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). Here, “walk” means whatever we say and do and think.
In his essay, Mark Rushdoony reminds us, surveying the Old Testament, that God has always saved His people in unexpected ways. But He doesn’t like it when we doubt His promises!
“Every generation” Mark writes, “has some very real fearful events and our perhaps more than any in the West for some time, but our comportment should be in terms of our faith, not doubt and fear.”
The villains in the story come and go–Assyrians, Babylonians, Mongol invasions, Third Reich, Soviet Union, etc., etc.–but Christ’s Church is always growing.
They should be more demoralized than we are!
“Politics will never solve man’s basic problem of sin,” writes Mark Rushdoony.
He got that one right, didn’t he?
Look, I’m a political scientist, got the papers to prove it. An all-purpose definition of “politics” is “the authoritative allocation of value.” But our politics seeks an authoritative allocation of blame. “We attack other men, not sin,” Rushdoony says. And some new scapegoat always comes along–or else is chosen arbitrarily by the newest battalion of blame-givers.
We “falsely limit evil to a group” until the next group is chosen: the sin itself is always passed on to whoever’s next in line.
Yeah, I know, I do it, too. We’re always advised to separate the sin from the sinner; but in too many cases that’s like separating the head from the body.
God doesn’t have to punish every sin; a lot of them punish themselves. Hence the title of Mark Rushdoony’s essay, Jumping Off a Cliff. The consequences of a sin, or a folly, provide the punishment.
We have pursued “a foolhardy course for several generations,” Mark writes, and by now the degradation of our culture has grown painfully obvious. It’ll take more than just elections to fix it. Whole-hearted Christian reconstruction is our only hope to repair the damage.
Even as breaking God’s laws brings on its own punishment, so does keeping them bring on its own blessing.
And we are very much in need of blessing!
Mark Rushdoony’s essay today, “Our True Citizenship,” reminds us that we have a higher citizenship in Christ’s Kingdom, above and beyond our earthly citizenship in the United States of America.
And if we were good citizens of both, the two would not conflict!
One line stands out: “[N]o matter what men do, the cause of Christ will move forward.”
Can we have an “Amen!” to that? It is, after all, the message of the Resurrection.