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Champions of Liberty and Order

By Chalcedon Editorial
July 17, 2019
Politics cannot produce character: Christianity must. The decline of faith is a decline of character and a decline of character is the forerunner of political decay and collapse. Christianity has an obligation to train a people in the fundamentals of God’s grace and law, and to make them active and able champions of true political liberty and order.[1]

To educate is to “give intellectual, moral, and social instruction,” which makes education the most vital ministry function alongside preaching the gospel. Although Christian Reconstruction is not a political action committee, in many ways it is more political because the emphasis is upon restoring the core meaning of government, i.e., the self-government of the Christian in terms of God’s law.

No matter what the political system, it cannot function without securing the adherence and obedience of the individual. In a despotic system such as North Korea, it is surveillance, secret police, citizen policing, mass propaganda, and the threat of labor camps that ensures compliance by the population. It is an external force exerted by the state to create a coerced version of “self-government.”

Securing Obedience

When it comes to God’s holy nation (1 Peter 2:9), there is no coercion or external force exercised by an ecclesiastical dictatorship. The government of the Kingdom of God in history operates by the internal force of regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit with the end result being the entire corpus of God’s requirements are placed in the minds, and written in the hearts, of His saints:

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws on their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. (Heb. 8:10)

Can we conclude that the true nature of the New Covenant is the writing of God’s law upon the heart more so than a ticket to heaven? Without diminishing the reality and treasure of eternal life, the clear objective of the New Covenant is not the removal of God’s elect from history but rather securing their obedience in the present through regeneration. In other words, God’s law is written upon our hearts so that it may be applied.

This is godly character, and this cannot be created politically. As Rushdoony noted above, a decline of faith and character is “the forerunner of political decay and collapse.” We have not seen political collapse in the West, but one could argue that there are clearly cracks in the wall.

This is why the most “political” action Christians can take is to practice self-government in terms of God’s law and admonish their fellow believers to do the same. For the Biblical Christian, it’s not a matter of political parties but rather being “champions of true political liberty and order.”

Moving Men to Faith and Action

The old saying goes, “You get what you preach,” and until we make the Kingdom of God our central message, then the political and social decay will continue. Within the Reformed community, there are vast resources of rich theology, but our challenge is always to make theology applicable. An educated laity is the central force of Christian Reconstruction, and therefore theological education is crucial to their equipping:

Theology belongs in the pulpit, the school, the work-place, the family, and everywhere. Society as a whole is weakened when theology is neglected.[2]

In 1965, Rushdoony focused his sole attention on the mission of Christian education, and the outcome he desired was simple and specific:

For me theology means the total mandate of God through His word. What I have written only scratches the surface; it is an introduction to the subject, and it is written to move men to faith and action.[3]

This is why a seemingly obscure theologian residing in the remote hills of Northern California could be so influential. Rushdoony’s intent was to move Christians to faith and action, and such thinking will spread virally. Rushdoony wasn’t looking for acceptance or approval from academia and no denomination held sway over what he wrote. His duty was to Christ and the message of the Kingdom of God as he saw it. Rushdoony could clearly see the inevitable outcome of humanism, but he was convinced of the veracity of God’s law and covenant and therefore admonished Christians to godly service with the expectation that a sovereign God would honor His covenant and law by granting blessing and dominion.

This remains the posture of the Chalcedon Foundation, and if this represents your own beliefs regarding Christian action, then please do what you can today to generously support this ministry. Our work is funded completely by our dedicated supporters, and we need your help today. Please prayerfully consider sending your most generous tax-deductible gift to Chalcedon today. You can do that easily right now at our website.

[1] R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1991), p. 552.

[2] R. J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology in Two Volumes (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1994), p. xv.

[3] ibid.

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Topics: Biblical Law, Theology, R. J. Rushdoony, Government

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