Read Rushdoony (It’ll Blow Your Mind)

Politics of Guilt and Pity: Rushdoony, Rousas John: 9781879998070: Amazon.com: Books

Yesterday my wife asked a hard question: “All these people who say they want communism–don’t they see what communism does?”

Also yesterday my editor, Susan, suggested I revisit R.J. Rushdoony’s Politics of Guilt and Pity. So I opened the book, which I’d last read at least 20 years ago–and wow!

“Many persons do not reveal their personal masochism, but they do participate in mass masochism through political and economic views and activities (!) calculated to fulfill the urge to mass destruction” (Pg. 4-5, 1995 edition).

Rushdoony wrote that line in 1970. Yes, 1970, over 50 years ago.

So the answer to the question is, Yes, they do see what communism does–police state, economic stagnation, gulags and all–and that, whether they realize it or not, is what they desire: because they are tormented by guilt that cries out for atonement; but having separated themselves from Jesus Christ, our only Savior, they find this atonement impossible to achieve. They expect the state to achieve it for them, but it can’t.

I’ve got to read this book again: I’m 20 years readier for it than I was the first time.

You can read it, too. Check the Chalcedon website and store at http://www.chalcedon.edu/ .

R.J. Rushdoony, ‘Religious Liberty’

Amazon.com: R. J. Rushdoony: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

(This important essay on the roots of religious liberty, by R.J. Rushdoony, first appeared in 1991 in Roots of Reconstruction.)

This piece is a little long, but well worth reading and considering. It traces the origin of American religious liberty to Martin Luther and the Reformation: when Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony, a staunch Catholic, extended his projection to Martin Luther, Protestant religious reformer–and Luther extended his protection to Frederick. Between them they declared the Biblical basis for religious liberty.

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/religious-liberty

Liberty is so much more than “freedom to sin”! For Rushdoony it was a theological fact. And so it ought to be for us.

As our country’s founders so well knew, government naturally seeks at all times to extend its power–which God’s law limits. Rushdoony wrote at a time when many different government agencies were forcefully encroaching on religious liberty.

And that has not changed.

A firm Biblical understanding of and belief in religious liberty is the best protection of religious liberty. As Luther himself said, “He that believes most will protect most.”

And our freedom needs protection.

‘The Great Fear and the Great Faith’ (Chalcedon Podcast)

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Can anyone deny that the time we’re living in today is burdened with its own Great Fear? COVID, Climate Change, Systemic Racism–oh, woe, we’re all gonna die! Unless, of course, we give the government more power. And lots and lots more money.

But what is the answer, the antidote, to the Great Fear? Can it be shut off before it leads to a reign of terror?

Mark Rushdoony, Martin Selbrede, and Andrea Schwartz–my honored colleagues at Chalcedon–discuss that in this recent podcast:

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/audio/the-great-fear-and-the-great-faith-the-chalcedon-podcast-ep-19

It’s about an hour long.

The wicked and the ungodly are running wild today–and they are feeding off the Great Fear that they themselves have sown!

Asks Psalm 11, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Our answer: “Build Biblical foundations, founded on God’s word; and these will not be destroyed.”

Chalcedon Marches On

The Sanctuary Choir at First Methodist Church, Houston

You can’t always see what a ministry is doing; and sometimes what a minister of the gospel does will take years to show up on the radar.

In “Rushdoony’s Future Impact,” Mark Rushdoony predicts R.J. Rushdoony’s impact on the church and on the culture will only grow more telling–“because he addresses issues which the church has refused to address, but will be forced to at some point.”

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/r-j-rushdoonys-future-impact

Many readers of Rushdoony’s works show surprise when they learn the book was first published in the 1960s or 70s, yet seems still more applicable two decades into the 21st century (Rushdoony died in 2001). No one even had a keener insight into church and culture: you’d almost swear he had a crystal ball.

So Chalcedon’s mission includes keeping Rushdoony’s books in print–after all, some of these fields have yet to yield their fruit.

Reader Input Wanted: Can you think of any pressing issues which the church in America has ducked so far, but will some day have to be addressed?

The Two Roads to Destruction

Martin Selbrede | heroinamerica

This new essay by Martin Selbrede is about a conflict that can only be resolved by following God’s word–the tension between “the one and the many.”

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/dialectical-culture

Simply put, if “the one” prevails, you wind up with tyranny–and a loss of meaning in  all but the mushiest and most useless sense. But if “the many” prevail against the one, you wind up with anarchy (leading eventually, as it always does, to a dictatorship) and the cult of Me. It is the continual tension between social order and individual liberty.

Both must be limited: but only the Bible teaches that.

There is no hope for us in following only humanistic, statist prescriptions for order and justice. These always strand us in our state of Original Sin.

This is a challenging essay, but stay with it. That little light bulb over your head might come on.

A World of ‘Empty Suits’ (Rushdoony)

Empty suit Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

Yes, we do get disappointed, yes, it’s hard to take… when we need a solid Christian stand from our leaders–from our clergy, at least. if no one else–and all we get is dodgeball. R.J. Rushdoony in 1995 took aim at “Empty Suits.”

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/empty-suits

Where do these craven, chicken-hearted, fumfering leaders come from? They come from us. Even if elections are rigged in favor of the empty suits, the lucky empty winners are still born and raised and educated by us. No enemy country imposed them on us. They didn’t drop out of the sky.

If we don’t seek God, neither will our leaders.

‘The Reversal of Standards’ (1990)

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What do “conservatives”… conserve?

I often find myself wondering, What are certain “conservatives” conserving? Not the Christian faith. Not the culture.

R.J. Rushdoony beat me to it, though. He was asking that question in 1990.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/the-reversal-of-standards

He reserved some of his sharpest barbs for churchmen who chattered about “values” without even mentioning where those values come from, and at most venturing “an occasional ‘nod to God’.”

Even 30 years ago, prominent “conservatives” had cut themselves off from their Christian roots. Without those roots, whatever anyone says is merely his personal opinion, nothing more than that. It may have been more eloquent, but William F. Buckley’s opinion was worth no more than Elizabeth Warren’s. If it ain’t planted in the solid, nurturing ground of Christianity, it will bear no fruit. (Buckley did turn back to Christianity later in life.)

By 2010 I realized that bow tie-and-country club conservatives had nothing to offer but another brand of worldly chit-chat. I hear so much of it.

Conservatives! What do you think you’re conserving?

Rushdoony: ‘The Freedom to Sin’

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Adam and Eve (by Michelangelo, in the Sistine Chapel): They shouldn’t have listened to the Serpent… but they did.

“We live now in an age of judgment which will soon break over us,” R.J. Rushdoony wrote in 1986.

Looking around at 2021, I think we can say it has.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/the-freedom-to-sin

At first glance, it might seem very odd to see Rushdoony writing about the “freedom to sin.” But he is not saying, as Rasputin used to say, “We must sin in order to be saved!” What he’s getting at are the continuing efforts by the Godless to root out and abolish sin–and how these eventually add up to the biggest sins of all.

God didn’t create us to be paper dolls, with no will of our own. Sophomoric persons think He should have created us in such a way that we would have no choice but to be good all the time.

But a birdbath is incapable of sin. Does that make the birdbath righteous?

Why did God create us with “the freedom to sin”?

Rushdoony’s answer can be found in the article cited above.

Rushdoony: ‘The Doctrine of Original Sin’

Frustrated Man Teacher Yells At Students In Class Looks At The.. Stock  Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 62201374.

“You’re all racists, dammit!”

R.J. Rushdoony wrote this essay in 1993, long before Everything was Racist. I can’t help but be amazed by his prescience. He looked deeply into the past and present, and saw the future.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/the-doctrine-of-original-sin

Somewhere along the way, “thinkers” (LOL) discarded the doctrine of Original Sin, which stated a moral fact and explained why people do bad things: because they’re sinners. But that left them without an explanation, so they had to cook up a new one: we do bad things because we belong to the evil race, or the oppressor class. The one is a “genetic fact”–which precludes conversion or repentance: how are you going to repent your biology?–the other a socio-economic fact. And just lately we’ve got “the wrong gender,” too. So many ways to hate and fear each other!

Constant race-hustling must lead to rage, conflict, violence, and maybe even war if it goes unchecked for long enough.

Sin, the moral fact, has been atoned for by Jesus Christ. We are all sinners outside of Christ; inside, His righteousness is imputed to us.

But if you’re bad because you’re white or male–well, you’re out of luck.

“Everything is Racist” is a toxic ideology, fit only for angry fools.

 

R.J. Rushdoony on ‘The Retreatists’

St. Stephen

When R.J. Rushdoony wrote this essay in 1994, we had no “Clergy for Choice” promoting abortion, no unrepenting “gay clergy,” no “re-imagining” conferences of minor league theologians trying to take the Cross out of Christianity. But we do now, and what he wrote in 1994 is only even more starkly true today.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/the-retreatists

The question he asks, he dares today’s churches to answer: “How will Christ the King treat a church that hands His world over to His enemies?” Ouch.

In Acts Chapter 6, the church in Jerusalem creates and appoints deacons to minister to her members, adding to the church an active agency for helping the poor and needy. In no time at all the establishment turns against the deacons and puts Stephen to death. That’s how important the deacons were. But in our time, in many of the churches, deacons have lost their function–if you can even find any deacons at all.

We as Christians need to reclaim lost ground for Christ’s Kingdom: too much of it has been surrendered.