The term “virtue signalling” didn’t exist in 1988, but we can recognize it in what he calls Phariseeism–wearing fake guilt as a badge of nobility, obsessing on the guilt of their fathers, their country, blah-blah, but never on their own sins–never their own! They’re “guilty” of things they did not do; because they’re so pure, they have to borrow other people’s sins!
You expect them to walk into a travel agency and say, “I’d like a guilt trip, please.”
And, Rushdoony adds, “Cheap forgiveness shows contempt for the cross.” It’s so easy to shed borrowed guilt! Just pony up the money, or the votes, or enact a few more absurd public policies–and you’re clean, hallelujah!
Usually I wait for Arise & Build articles to be published on Chalcedon’s website (www.chalcedon.edu/) before I comment on them, so I can provide you with a link to them. But “The Victory of Truth,” by Martin Selbrede, is too inspiring to wait for. Once it’s on the website, I’ll link to it and you can read it. But for the time being, let this suffice.
Martin’s text is Romans 3:4, “Let God be true but every man a liar.” He quotes John Murray: “[T]he unbelief of men does not bring to nought the faithfulness of God.”
What does that mean? It means that even if no one believes God’s word anymore, He will still carry out His plan. He is, after all, God.
And if we seek to enter into God’s labors as His servants, and He is pleased to accept us, that’s only an expression of love and respect on both sides of the bargain. God’s will shall yet prevail even if all of us fail Him. God is not a human general who can lose a battle because one of his subordinate commanders fails to carry out his orders.
Is this good news, or what? God has promised to put all Creation under the sovereign kingship of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ–and He will do it. All who oppose Him are merely headed for the fire.
We are not given a timetable for this. We are called upon to exercise our faith. As St. Paul put it, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Rom. 8:24-25).
R.J. Rushdoony’s family barely escaped with their lives when the Turkish government, in the wake of World War I, launched genocide against the Armenian people. The Rushdoonys made their way to America.
Rushdoony, with his family’s experience to reinforce his studies, well understood the slippery slope that leads from freedom into tyranny. He wrote about it often: for instance, in this little essay which we have reprinted in A Word in Season (Vol. 3).
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.
“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.
Here’s a Chalcedon exclusive I wrote back in 2005, reporting a scientific fraud that had The London Times and a lot of other media completely snowed. But they wanted to believe that “religiosity”–by which the author meant Christian belief–is harmful to society.
Trotted out as someone with an advanced degree in “social science,” author Gregory Paul actually had no advanced degree in anything. He was primarily an illustrator of books about dinosaurs. But no one checked, no one questioned; and soon his alleged “findings” were ballyhooed all over America and Britain as “proof” that Christianity is bad.
The Times reporter who covered it was laudably forthright in admitting to the things she didn’t do, which she should have done, in covering the story. I ought to know: I asked her. Ditto the editor of the “scientific journal”–actually, an amateur journal.
The whole mess was served up to us as “science.” And then they wonder why some of us are skeptical about science.
If He says no, the Romans will come gunning for Him. If He says yes, Jewish patriots will despise Him as a collaborator. This was a deadly trap set by Christ’s enemies to destroy Him. We need to appreciate that. The question was designed to have no right answer, and the wrong answer was intended to destroy Him.
Greg Uttinger wrote this article for Chalcedon’s print magazine back in 2004. We still live in times when Caesar lays claim to everything.
But Jesus says give Caesar back what properly is owed to him and belonged to him in the first place: but everything is God’s.
I take it R.J. Rushdoony wrote this essay while Alexander Solzhenitsyn was touring the West and warning anyone who’d listen that communism could happen here; and Rushdoony himself was touring U.S. courtrooms, testifying in trial after trial as an expert witness in the defense of Christian schooling and homeschooling.
Westerners didn’t understand Solzhenitsyn, Rushdoony wrote, because they don’t understand that “anti-communism” is shallow and powerless if the anti-communists are going to buy into the same humanist twaddle that supports communism. That would be belief in “the sovereignty, not of God, but the state.”
While Americans were shocked by the Soviets’ separating children from their families because their parents had given them Christian religious instruction, at the very same time, here in America, courts were separating children from Christian parents to stop Christian schooling.
No one fought harder for Christian schooling in America than Rushdoony; and by and large, our side has won that battle. But that doesn’t mean the humanists won’t try again to roll back Christian education. They’re always trying.
Western liberals were scandalized when Solzhenitsyn compared American public policies to those of the Soviets. Rushdoony shocked them, too.
Few understood that it was a religious issue. Few wanted to see it that way.