In a fallen world, with men in revolt against God, God’s law is the only effective and valid check against evil, the only true way of justice, and the necessary condition of life.
People want answers to the crises of our day, and they cry out to politicians to save them. They are asking for more laws, but they are not asking for God’s laws, because it is not justice they want. They want security.
We’re seeing this in the outcry after the recent school shooting in Florida as once again the finger pointing is at gun laws, but such regulations are an attempt at security after the fact. In other words, we hate God’s laws, and suffer the continual breakdown of society, but we want man’s laws to minimize the consequences.
Creating Self-Government by Teaching God’s Law
What more could a loving God do than to covenant Himself to a people and then give them clear laws to regulate themselves? Why would men forsake such an arrangement were it not for sin? Fallen man welcomes the multiplication of laws by the state but rejects the limited laws of God’s covenant. Sin is the only explanation for this—viz. sin dressed up as “enlightened humanism”—because there are no eternal consequences to statist law.
The purpose of God’s law is not to create overbearing, bureaucratic regulation at every point by a theocratic state. Far from it. The purpose of God’s commandments being faithfully taught to God’s people is so that they can learn the way they must walk and the work they must do. This was Jethro’s sound counsel to his son-in-law, Moses:
And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. ~ Exodus 18:20
Moses established a top-heavy, centralized system of judging the people (Ex. 18:13), but Jethro advised him to instead take on the role of intercessor and teacher in order that people might learn self-government in terms of God’s law. Then, a simple hierarchy of judges could be placed in between for issues requiring greater judgment (vv. 21–22), yet the key to success was two-fold: consistently teach the people God’s law so they could judge their own affairs wisely.
The Gates of Humanism Prevailing Against the Church
Modern man wants nothing to do with God’s covenant, and modern man is suffering for his rebellion. God gave His covenant to the church, but the church isn’t fairing much better because she is unaware of the covenant and its responsibilities. After all, sermons about covenant and law won’t fill seats, and modern preachers won’t risk their salaries and the cost of their properties with a message that calls for Christian responsibility.
Therefore, if the church will not work in terms of God’s covenant, then the church cannot fulfill its role as a prophetic voice to the city of man because the church itself is as compromised as humanistic man. Only God’s covenant and law will call us to be separate, but the common message preached by mainstream churches is for “the good life” here and now and a better life in the hereafter. Such a message will not challenge the evils of our day, and so long as compromise is preached, the gates of humanism will continue to prevail against the church in the short term.
This is why the message of Christian Reconstruction is important and must be preached and taught from the pulpit, in small group settings, and one on one. This was always Rushdoony’s heart—to see theology as the means to moving Christians to faith and action—and Chalcedon continues this mission of Christian education by means of our faithful supporters. We would love for you join them! Click here to learn more..
 R. J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. 3 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1999), p. ix.