Rushdoony was concerned, 30 years ago, with what he saw as the Church’s drift into irrelevance; and this, he said, was not the world’s fault but the Church’s–“the church did it to itself.”
Our faith, he said, must rest on Jesus Christ the King of kings: “To believe anything less is not to believe in Him.”
The key, for the Church–which is all of us, not just any denomination but all of us, all God’s people–is not to be waiting passively for the rapture, but to be working for Christ’s Kingdom: “Occupy until I come” (Luke 19:13). To this message he devoted his long and productive ministry.
The first generation of the movement we call Christian Reconstruction–winning back the world and dedicating it to Christ–has mostly died out. We reprint their books and articles, write new books and articles ourselves; the work goes on. We look to the next generation to continue in our place.
You’d never know it, judging by North America and Western Europe, but conversions to the Christian faith are burgeoning, world-wide. At the same time, humanism is dying: there will be upheavals when it goes.
We serve Jesus Christ, the King of kings. His kingdom is eternal, encompassing both Heaven and the earth. We are part of an ongoing work of great magnificence, a temple made without hands, that will last forever.
“Should We Question Authority?” It’s not as easy a question as it looks. No man can serve two masters; but each of us is mobbed by many masters, each demanding our obedience. Each one of them claims “authority.” Politics, ideology, science, “reason,” the need to go along to get along–we could spend all day listing them.
So first we have to decide which “authority” has real authority, and not just an opinion. If we are Christians, God’s enscriptured word is the authority, inerrant, infallible, holy, righteous, and good. As for the others, “You have to ask, Are these ordained authorities?” Andrea says. Are they conformable to God’s word?
Because if you don’t have that standard, Charles says, confusion reigns: “Tune into the latest news broadcast to find out what I believe today.”
“We’re only passing through… The world is not my home… Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world…”
We’ve all heard the excuses: the bad theology that justifies Christian inaction, impotence, and irrelevance. We know all the cliches. Polishing the brass on the sinking ship, etc. City of God vs. City of Man. The result is a “retreatist theology” and a Christian, most likely a Protestant, “constantly ready to flee.”
Martin Selbrede finds a corrective in the work of Cornelius van der Waal, who died in 1980. In The World, Our Home, van der Waal analyzed all the bad theology–“surrender theology”–that has seeped into Christian churches since the Reformation.
We are not called to hand the whole shooting match over to the devil and his servants! We are called to fulfill the Great Commission, to win ground for Christ’s Kingdom–we are called not to mourn, not to cower in the pews, but to work.
Over and over against we are called upon to straighten out the bad theology and put our churches back on course. Our home is the world: that’s why God put us there. The earth is the LORD’s. And we are His servants and His stewards.
Why that should be so hard to remember… well, I don’t know.
Yes, as Mark points out, our world is in a heap of trouble just now. Our culture is polluted with a deep spiritual pollution. Our “leaders” push self-destructive, even suicidal, policies. Rebelling against God, they are in rebellion against reality itself. That’s what “transgender” is all about.
But the Christmas hymn presents the truth in all its power: Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords, reigning both in heaven and on the earth; and He has already lifted the curse. Evil will play itself out.
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.
(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.
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.”
Don’t you love it when suddenly you want to shout “Eureka!” and leap out of the bathtub–because finally, at last, you have just seen something clearly? It’s one of the things I love about working in the Chalcedon Foundation’s ministry. New insights are always just around the corner.
Today, as I listened to the Chalcedon podcast (see the preceding post), I granted we are living under a Great Fear. Who can deny it? COVID! Climate Change! Systemic Racism! Yowsah, yowsah, we are scared witless!
Ah! But government will save us! Especially a global government.
Uh, wait a minute… Who put us under that Great Fear? Morning, noon, and night–whose tame nooze media pumped out fear? Who told us we were all gonna die horrible deaths unless we gave more power to the government?
And who takes off in private jets at the drop of a hat, lives in mansions eighteen inches from the tide line, throws $30,000-a-plate wingdings in which they don’t wear the masks that they demand we wear?
Of course they make us afraid! How better to secure their power over us? The only thing better would be to get us all addicted to a drug that only they could supply–and only to the good little sheeple who obey them unconditionally.
This is a book by our friend and colleague, Michael Riemer. I review a lot of books, and something about this title, Reindeer Don’t Fly, kept telling me that this was one of them. And lo, there it was on the Chalcedon website.
As I was growing up, “evolution” was a thing that went without saying–literally. I was out of college before I heard a single word against it. Heck, everybody “knew” that evolution was true, Darwin got it right–everybody knew that! You either had to be crazy or incredibly ignorant to believe otherwise.
Well, that’s changed.
Michael’s book will give you quite a few reasons to doubt the truth of Darwinism. Once upon a time, no one doubted it (trust me, I was there). Now there’s a great deal of doubt.
Once upon a time progressives, aka twits, who believed in Darwinism got away with passing themselves off as The Smartest People In The World. They still need taking down a peg–several pegs, actually–and Reindeer Don’t Fly certainly does that.