The future must be won, and shall be won, by a renewal and development of our historic Christian liberty, by an emphasis on the fact: the basic government is the self-government of the Christian man, and by a recognition that an informed faith is the mainspring of victory. ~ R. J. Rushdoony (Chalcedon Report No. 1, October 1965)
I write you today with a sense of urgency. Urgency because of the times in which we live, but also because the times in which we live are creating a great opportunity for the expanded outreach of the ministry of Chalcedon. What first appears as a negative—the times in which we live—quickly becomes a positive when you realize that the social crisis represents an open door for reaching disillusioned Christians who are looking for answers.
Answers to what? Answers to why it’s 2017, and there’s been no rapture of the church. Answers to why the Christian Right did not produce results. Answers to why there’s still abortion on demand and now the legalizing of gay marriage. Answers to why America is questioning every foundation from genders to its own history. Someone is trying to “remake” the West, and they’re using every means possible to do it. What are Bible-believing Christians to do besides pray?
Revitalizing Our Base & Reaching New Audiences
What can counter this remaking of the West? Only self-governing Christians with an informed faith who are fully prepared to share and apply it. This is why the opportunity is so great right now for the message of Christian Reconstruction. Politics and megachurches are coming up empty handed and only a return to historic Christian liberty can preserve the strength of the church and push forward a greater expression of a godly society. It’s the mission of Chalcedon to put forward that message.
It was 52 years ago this month that my father wrote his first Chalcedon Report to a tiny list of supporters, but I am humbled to say that nothing has changed in terms of the mission, vision, and message of the Chalcedon Foundation. If anything, we are looking to push our message even further while strengthening and revitalizing the existing base of Christian Reconstructionists.
That’s right. In 52 years, there’s been a good many people who’ve come into contact with Christian Reconstruction, and we need to reach them. We need to revitalize our base while bringing our message to a wider audience. Let me share with you how we’re doing that and what you can do to join us in this mission. The need is great and only a dedicated, believing community—even though its small—can truly make the difference.
Chalcedon’s Influence on Social Media
I’d have to say that one of the most significant additions to any ministry right now—particularly our own—is social media. The sheer ease with which you can reach highly targeted people is unprecedented in the history of communication. In addition, you can speak with them directly in real time answering their questions or sharing your resources.
To compound this power, we’ve closely connected our new web site with our social media channels in order to maximize both. Here’s some of what’s been done this year.
In April, we launched the new Chalcedon web site featuring the most powerful, extensive search features we’ve ever had. Because we have so many resources available on our site, searching became the greatest need for the end user, and now users are able to do keyword searches and easily access the most pertinent articles, books, and audio sermons related to their query. In addition, we were able to get archives of the Chalcedon Report/Faith for All of Life magazine issues dating back to 1997. Our new web site is a treasure house of resources!
The Book of the Month Club
In February, we hosted our first Book of the Month Club, a free online discussion group hosted by our own Andrea Schwartz featuring a different moderator and book to study each month. These online groups serve as a great way to bring scattered readers, followers, and supporters throughout the U.S. and abroad together for in-depth study and discussion. We don’t charge for this, because we want the Book of the Month to be accessible to anyone, but Chalcedon needs your support to help us to continue these types of outreach. We’ve covered Our Threatened Freedom, Faith & Wellness, In His Service, Larceny in the Heart, Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum, Sovereignty, The American Indian, Revolt Against Maturity, Tithing & Dominion, The Sermon on the Mount, and God's Plan for Victory.
Virtual Master Class Continues
In 2016, we began hosting our Virtual Master Classes which are free online webinars designed to both inspire and equip our next generation in the pursuit of their callings and professions, and we’ve continued these classes in 2017 featuring singer-songwriter, Judy Rogers on Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs and filmmaker Joaquin Fernandez on Dominion Through Documentary Filmmaking.
Once again, utilizing these online tools and classes are helping us reach the people who are truly passionate about advancing the Kingdom of God, and your ongoing prayers and financial support are what help to make this happen. We must keep working and believing for even greater outreach!
I’d have to say that the most impressive online tool we’ve implemented this year is Facebook LIVE. What is that? It’s a way to broadcast live video from any location that people can watch on their phones, mobile devices, computers, and even their televisions. Facebook has nearly 2 billion active users, and Facebook LIVE is a powerful way to share our message with the world.
As of now, we do two live broadcasts each Sunday including a live broadcast of our Chalcedon Chapel services followed by an hour of Q&A with Chalcedon vice-president, Martin Selbrede. All of these live broadcasts are immediately archived on our Facebook page, but we then upload each one of them to our growing YouTube Channel. This is where I thank God for our staff who tirelessly work to learn these tools and keep them up to date!
What about those people who aren’t on Facebook? We added a special section to our new web site that features a simultaneous broadcast of the same videos, so now anyone can participate in our Sunday Chapel Services as well as submit questions for Martin’s live Q&A. Pretty powerful, don’t you think?
Chalcedon Blog & Men’s Roundtable
This year has brought the addition of some new writers to Chalcedon who have generously donated their time to contribute to our consistently updated blog. These short, user-friendly articles are designed to help us address practical needs covering numerous topics and areas of life. These articles can all be immediately shared by email or social media, and this is helping our message to spread in a way it could not before. We’ve also added a featured blog for our Spanish readers!
In addition, these articles are then sent to our growing list of eLetter subscribers who have opted in to have our content sent directly to their email inbox. If this is something you’d like to have, just email us at [email protected]. It’s easy, and it’s free.
Lastly, Chalcedon board member, Ford Schwartz, continues to host—along with Chalcedon supporter, Chris Zimmerman—our Men’s Roundtable Discussions every Thursday at 8:00 pm (Pacific). These are a great way for like-minded Christian men to have the opportunity to dialog online about applying the faith to every area of life.
The Work of Andrea Schwartz
An effective means of equipping Christian families is the work of our resident expert in Christian education, Andrea Schwartz. Not only is she the author of seven books for Chalcedon, but she is tirelessly working with both individuals and small groups to disciple and train them in Biblical law, applying the faith, and serving as better Christian educators. As I write, Andrea has five Biblical law classes going!
Every Tuesday evening, Andrea hosts her Weekly Office Hours online from 6:00-7:00 pm (Pacific) to discuss issues relating to Christian homeschooling and/or beginning the homeschooling journey. As you know, my father wrote his book The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum because he saw the need for an explicitly Christian approach to education. It’s wonderful to know that Andrea is teaching my father’s philosophy diligently to Christian families every week.
Andrea also hosts the Chalcedon Teacher Training Institute (CTTI) which provides a course of study designed to develop competency and direction in the Christian teaching community. Her student body of Christian women are assigned readings and lectures to augment their ability to convey and maintain a Biblically consistent worldview over every area of life. CTTI is available to for both individual and group study for free, so if you’re interested in learning more, please visit our web site. As you might imagine, this is a valuable tool for God’s Kingdom!
The Work of Martin Selbrede
Production continues on the film Hero In America: Dr. Kishore and the Epidemic of Greed, a documentary project we’re partnering on with Great Commission Films with noted Christian filmmaker, Joaquin Fernandez. This film is based upon the investigative journalism of Chalcedon vice-president, Martin Selbrede, as he painstakingly covered the tragic story of Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore, the Massachusetts physician whose breakthrough work in addiction recovery was shut down by the State of Massachusetts and all his clinics (52 total) closed.
There is also a book version of this story planned, but we desperately need your support to help complete these projects. As you might guess, projects like these represent significant expansions to Chalcedon’s work, but that means we need your financial help even more.
Martin also continues his vigorous work of writing, researching, editing, traveling, and speaking on behalf of Chalcedon as well as representing Christian Reconstruction at numerous events at his own expense. One could say that Martin is one of our largest donors investing enormous amounts of his time and money to expand the work of Chalcedon.
I mentioned above that Martin is hosting a live Q&A each Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm (Eastern) on Facebook LIVE, but he’s also traveled to speak at events such as the Mid-Atlantic Reformation Society in July in Reading, Pennsylvania as well as to Canberra, Australia to speak at the Daniel 2:44 Conference in August where he delivered eight lectures on physics, linguistics, music, justice, fiction, and more!
Books, Books, and Books
This year was a significant one for publishing as we released the long-awaited three volume, hardback series An Informed Faith: The Position Papers of R. J. Rushdoony. This beautiful set features all my father’s position papers along with the most extensive indexing we’ve ever featured in any book in our entire history including a general index, history index, Scripture index, works cited index, and a historical directory of all the position papers by date along with the page numbers where they can be found. I’m very excited about the release of these books!
I was also thrilled that we were able to release volume one of the three-volume series Good Morning, Friends: A Collection of Weekly Radio Messages by R. J. Rushdoony. At Chalcedon, we are all agreed that these just may be some of the most potent, pastoral writing by my father. These are transcribed from radio talks he did in the 1950s. Volume two should be out by the first of next year, and we’re also currently producing an audio version of volume one, so keep an eye out for that!
This year, we also published The Throne, volume nine of Lee Duigon’s award-winning fictional saga The Bell Mountain Series. The next volume is presently underway, and we need your help in bringing it to print. These books are effective tools for transmitting Kingdom principles through story-telling.
Lastly, there’s a good many more book projects currently underway, and I’d like to publish as many as I can in 2018. Upcoming titles include the three-volume set, Faith & Action: The Collected Articles of R. J. Rushdoony from the Chalcedon Report (1965-2001), Sermons in First & Second Corinthians, Sermons in Zephaniah, Haggai & Zechariah, as well as the remaining two volumes of Good Morning, Friends.
We’ll also be issuing a reprint of Christianity and the State as well as a newly typeset version of The Institutes of Biblical Law, volume one as a Ross House Books publication.
Desperate Times for Chalcedon
Space does not permit me to feature everything we’ve accomplished this year, but as you can see, the work we’re doing is vital to the mission of Christian Reconstruction. That’s what makes this one of the most important letters I’ll write you this year. It’s because as exciting as the news of our work is, it all remains in constant jeopardy for the sheer fact that giving has fallen behind.
I am a man of faith, and I want to inspire you with vision, but I must also be forthright about how serious our budget is right now. No one knows much about the daily burden I carry each day trying to juggle the finances of this ministry, and I am grateful to you and our Lord for helping to sustain us. However, despite every attempt to streamline our budget, the operational costs are too significant without your most generous financial support.
I believe God wants Chalcedon to grow even more, and that’s where I’m directing my faith and prayers. Would you join me in this? And would help us by sending the most generous tax-deductible gift you can before the end of the year? Year-end giving is how I plan our next year’s budget, and I need to hear from you soon.
I simply cannot emphasize our present needs enough, so I ask you to please stand with Chalcedon during this time and help us to continue this vital work of Christian education. I’ve included a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope in this letter for you to use, so please be as generous as you can. If you’d like to contribute online, you can do so at chalcedon.edu/give. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
In His Service,
Mark R. Rushdoony
P. S. There is still a future for us to win, but it will only happen as Christians are equipped for reconstruction and godly dominion. For this, they need an informed faith, and Chalcedon is positioned to reach them, but we desperately need your help to do this. Please take a few moments today to send your most generous tax-deductible gift before the end of the year. Thank you!