Let us not forget where the emphasis should lie.
Have historians–even historians who are also Christians–ever paid proper attention to the work of Jesus Christ in history?
In Chapter 7 of A Christian Survey of World History, R.J. Rushdoony felt compelled to answer that question “No” (https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/jesus-christ-and-the-beginnings-of-christianity). He rejects the ancient wishful thinking of “two kingdoms,” Christ’s and the world’s. Christ’s kingdom “is definitely for the world and over the world.” And Jesus Himself “had come not to unite good and evil, but to divide and destroy evil.”
Interestingly–I never noticed this before–hostile writings aimed at Jesus did not appear until many years after His death and resurrection. Why don’t we have rabbinical sermons or Roman decrees branding Him a fraud?
Because there were too many witnesses, at the time, who knew better.
This essay (or chapter) is kind of long; but it is illuminating.
We have a Savior and a King. We have no business looking for another.
Jesus has left the building.
This isn’t exactly an upbeat feel-good Sunday sermon. It’s more in the nature of “tough love.”
These essays by Rushdoony were first published over 20 years ago. If anything, they’re even more relevant than they were back then! We have seen, in recent years, a pagan idol carted into the Vatican, “goddess worship” in several Protestant denominations, free passes handed out for every kind of sin you can think of.
Yes, too many churches have indeed become obsolete.
And yes, the Lord will judge them. He surely will.
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/ .
Christian Armenians in Turkey, circa 1915: flee or die
It seems strange to think of 1998, the date of Rushdoony’s essay, as 25 years ago. In some ways that’s a lot of time; in other ways, the blink of an eye.
Rushdoony’s family came to America to escape the post-World War I Armenian genocide, perpetrated by Turkey. To these refugees, America seemed like heaven.
When he asks, “Is America a Christian Nation?” Rushdoony answers from his own experience: Yes. Yes, it is. Scholars be damned, America is still a Christian nation. We need not ask the pseudo-wise if they agree. We are a Christian nation. He based that not on theory, not on other people’s writings, but on his own personal experience.
May the LORD our God equip us to keep it that way! He knows it won’t be easy.
A spare tire is a good thing to have in your trunk; but once it’s there, who gives it a second thought until it’s needed?
This “spare-tire religion,” R.J. Rushdoony wrote in 1994, is descriptive of all too many people’s Christianity.
It’s profession of Christianity over practice. Rushdoony marveled over how many Christians fight over doctrines to which they’ve given but little thought: “It seems that some cannot say what they really believe, but they know what they do not believe.”
But some ten years ago he found hope in the growing number of Christians who had stopped taking their faith for granted and were eager to explore its deeper meaning. “Spare-tire religion is doomed,” he wrote. “It will be replaced by Christianity.”
Sometimes it’s hard for us to see that. And sometimes that’s exactly how God works it.
You won’t believe how on-target this book is.
I’m passing up transgender nooze today because I think we’ve all had enough of that for the time being.
Instead, we have a meaty and insightful review, by Martin Selbrede, of R.J. Rushdoony’s 1977 classic, Revolt Against Maturity. It’s a fairly long read, but well worth your time.
Let me share with you the crowning quote from Rushdoony’s book. Look sharp, don’t miss it–
“Yesterday’s paradise is today’s hell.”
Whooooo! He just covered the whole history of the Soviet Union in just five words!
Think, think, think about what Rushdoony says. Anything going on today that’s sold to us as the express route to Paradise… and will very likely by a one-way ride to hell? Do you think that maybe psychiatry might have the answers? Maybe we can get them from The Party… or from Science.
Amazing, how clearly this man saw the future.
Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey
Rushdoony summed up his argument in just a single sentence:
“Politics takes credit for what others do.”
His example is a telling one. Martin Luther King and President Lyndon Johnson take most of the credit for advancing civil rights in America–but there were two non-politicians whose work was much more important:
Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who hired Robinson to be the first African-American to play in the major leagues (and did he play!). The day Robinson first took the field for the Dodgers was the day segregation and formal racial discrimination took a mortal wound. After Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey had done their work, things would never be the same. Baseball did what 100 years of politics couldn’t do.
Politics, Rushdoony said, works from the top down. But the real progress is made from the bottom up, by “ordinary people” who hold no public office. They work for what’s right–and that’s the lesson.
Work for the good.
R.J. Rushdoony wrote this in 1996. Now, 27 years later, I’m old enough to see how right he was.
Have you ever seen this sticker on a car? “We are spending our children’s inheritance!” All too often, that is literally true. There are all sorts of “elder care plans” that suck up every dollar of what parents might otherwise leave to their children. There are more of them now than there were in 1996.
And we’ve all seen this: parents retire, move hundreds or even thousands of miles away from their surviving family members, eventually their health begins to fail… and then they pine away for visitors, forgetting how difficult they’ve made it to visit them.
And offspring who move away from their parents. Again, hundreds of miles. Patty and I knew a sweet and benign woman whose adult children harshly rejected her and moved from New Jersey to California… with the grandchildren. “Y’know, Mom,” said the daughter, “there comes a time when the old coyote crawls off to die.” Comforting, isn’t it?
“Social decay begins with the family,” said Rushdoony.
Right on target.
We really do have to do better by our families. And there are many villains out there working against us, who’d like nothing better than to see the family broken up.
Scanning the nooze in the course of my work, a question has occurred to me today.
How far can we distance ourselves from God before we can’t get back?
Canada promotes assisted suicide as an answer to life’s problems. American politicians promote “transgender” as if their lives depended on it. And abortion: they endorse it whole-heartedly. Stocking school libraries with “gay” pornography. Having the FBI spy on parents who think the schools should not “teach” racial paranoia. Etc., etc.–it’s a depressingly long list.
I’ve just read Martin Selbrede’s article at http://www.chalcedon.edu , “Rushdoony and the Book of Revelation (https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/rushdoony-and-the-book-of-revelation). It gives food for thought. I think I need quote one sentence from it: “There is total victory woven throughout the book of Revelation.” (Read more if you’re in a mood to do some thinking.)
The total victory is to Christ’s Kingdom on the earth.
Which suggests that some of our more insane public policies, “insane” in the sense of being diametrically opposed to God’s Word, are also insane in that those who stand for them stand against Christ’s total victory. Does that sound like a place where you want to stand?
We don’t need a Great Reset. We need repentance.
Have you got a few minutes? Listen to R.J. Rushdoony introduce this Love of Life Podcast (interview with Chalcedon’s Andrea Schwartz). It doesn’t take him longer than that to make the case for a Christian education!
I’ve said it before: If we, the world’s people, were actually to do all the things that self-proclaimed saviors and experts of the Far Left Crazy say we ought to do–abortion, transgender, homosexuality, assisted suicide, etc.–the result would be the extinction of the human race. As King Solomon put it, the voice of God’s wisdom reminds us, “All they that hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36).
If they can’t get to our children via public education, they can’t get ’em at all.