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Combating the Humanistic Inquisition

By Andrea G. Schwartz
May 07, 2007

My daughter and I are currently in the midst of a study of idolatry. Sound funny? Well, since one of the major themes of the Bible is to abstain from worshipping idols, it is incumbent upon me, the Christian homeschool teacher, to make sure that the subject is thoroughly covered and properly understood. Unfortunately, most parents spend more time on "Look both ways before crossing the street," and "Have you cleaned your room?" than giving their children a strong foundational understanding of this topic. Since the first two of the Ten Commandments deal with idolatry, and do so in very strong language, it is a subject that should not be taken lightly.

We are currently going through the second volume of the Institutes of Biblical Lawby R. J. Rushdoony. We read a chapter a day and together discuss it. Sometimes the discussions are so far-reaching that an hour and a half has gone by before we realize it because we've examined the implications of a particular concept across many disciplines.

A recent chapter dealt with Idolatry and Law. Dr. Rushdoony had many insightful points. For example, he describes the dedicated assault on Christianity in our culture as the Humanist Inquisition in action, because the humanistic state won't tolerate dissent from its stated theological position and persecutes those who deviate from it. No wonder Christian homeschoolers are often in the bull's-eye of state and federal legislators and regulators who try to gain access and control over those they wish to proselytize.

Later in the chapter, Dr. Rushdoony makes the following statement, having previously expounded on the biblical definition of idolatry and its manifestations:

All who are content with a humanistic law system and do not strive to replace it with Biblical law are guilty of idolatry. They have forsaken the covenant of their God, and they are asking us to serve other gods. They are thus idolaters, and are, in our generation, when our world is idolatrous and our states also, to be objects of missionary activity. They must be called out of their idolatry into the service of the living God. (p. 468)

For those who have already taken the obedient step of teaching and nurturing their children in terms of God's Word, this perspective is probably not new to you. However, its implications are enormous. Among other things, it means that it is time for homeschooling families to stop apologizing for their decisions to obey God, feeling the need to justify their course of action to those who have chosen the path of compromise. It is time to stand firm on God's command to make disciples of ALL nations, starting with our own families. Quoting Rushdoony again:

It is our duty to evangelize, to work for the conversion of men and nations to Christ as Lord and Savior. At the same time, as part of our evangelism, we witness to the meaning of covenant law, and, in our own personal dealings, we live by it: we practice the tithe, restitution, debt-free living, and much, much more. Only as God's law is made the practice of man can it become the practice of nations. Only those laws are enforceable which virtually all men are already enforcing in their own lives. (p. 468)

Therefore, among the greatest tools of evangelism remains our faithful application of God's law-word to every area of life and thought. When we do so, we are acting as a beacon of light to a dark and hopeless world, and are boldly manifesting the position that, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." What better way to combat those who seek to destroy our faith, our families, and our foundations.


Topics: Biblical Law, Education, Family & Marriage

Andrea G. Schwartz

Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven FamilyThe Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your HouseholdEmpowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom ServiceWoman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected]

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