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A Remarkable Providence in Our Lives

Here is a record of a remarkable providence in our lives, which involved the work of Chalcedon.

  • Jean-Michael Bion,
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{Note: Chalcedon received the following message on Facebook:
Dear Mrs Schwartz, it has taken me a while to get this typed up, however here is a record of what we think is a remarkable providence in our lives and which involved the work of Chalcedon.}

For the last two years, our family has been considering a possible farming/missions enterprise in Zambia. As a result, about a month ago, we listened to a 1997 recording of Dr Rousas Rushdoony interviewing Andrew Sandlin, Brian Abshire, and Wayne Johnson on their recent trip to Zambia and about the Chalcedon conference they held here. Suddenly, as we listened, the realisation occurred to us of a remarkable providence of our Lord in our own personal family, regarding this Chalcedon conference in Zambia all those years ago.

Let me step back in time, to where we were during that conference:

We were running our family farm and guest house, located in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, which was a popular tourist area, and from time to time we would host missionaries to give them a bit of “rest and recuperation”.

In about July 1997 we had a visit from close friends of ours, Virgil and Louise Tountas, who were then working with Frontline Fellowship, together with a co-labourer of theirs, Rob Zins. (They were en route back to Cape Town from the Chalcedon Conference in Zambia, and were also visiting the Carlsen family in the city of Mutare. Derek and Elise Carlsen had planted a church in Mutare some 2 hours away from us, where we worshipped every two to three weeks).

Rob, Virgil and I had much conversation during a hike to some waterfalls in the area. Once home, I went up to the vegetable garden to pick veg for dinner. Rob asked if he could come too, and I assumed that he wanted to see the patch, however, I learned that Rob is far more purposeful than that. While I bent over a cabbage, Rob asked how long we had been married. Once that question was cleared, he asked “Why do you not have any children?” I stumbled and stuttered the usual banal, Evangelical response about getting to know one another, etc. Rob then laid out the Scriptures to me regarding the purpose of marriage, the blessing and purpose of children and so on. I am not sure I was able to speak much, but he had opened the Word of God up to me and the Holy Spirit used that.  I discussed it with Lianca and we now have ten children. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!

Rob had a number of books left over from the Zambian conference, and he encouraged me to purchase a few of them, including The Institutes of Biblical Law (Volumes 1 & 2), The Roots of Reconstruction, The Politics of Guilt and Pity and numerous monographs, including, Postmillennialism, an Eschatology of Victory. In hindsight he sold them to me for a song, but at the time it seemed a fortune! I only purchased them because of the impact Rob had had on me in that short time I had known him and because of Derek and Elise Carlsen who had already shown us what “faith for all of life” looked like in real life. Lianca and I were fresh out of Theological college, where we had heard that Reconstructionism was a heresy, based upon salvation by works and a State that enforces the Mosaic laws! Rushdoony was to be avoided. 

I worked my way through The Politics of Guilt and Pity, desperately trying to find the errors, but they were not there. Not just that, but our Lord graciously began a change in our understanding.

Rob subsequently also presented us with tapes and volumes of The Chalcedon Report. Amongst those tapes was a series by Dr Greg Bahnsen on the Covenant. That series was the clincher for us, causing all the theological jigsaw pieces we had, to fall into place.

As we look back, after some twenty years, and having moved from Zimbabwe, due to the

problems in that country, first to South Africa and subsequently to England, we are suddenly struck by the way our Lord has worked so providentially: we are now looking at a potential move to Zambia, as a combined business/missionary enterprise, which arises precisely because of the worldview we have gained from those books and tapes, which were originally destined for the extension of the Kingdom of our Lord in Zambia, and may now be going where they were intended to go, together with a train of children, steeped in the theology and practice that they expound.

We look forward with rejoicing, to what our Lord may yet do through that 1997 conference.

John-Micael & Lianca, Joshua, Christalyn, Nathan, Knox, Rousas, Calvin, Abraham, Elise, Justice and a new baby in three weeks. (20th September 2017)

  • Jean-Michael Bion
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