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The Problem IS Sin

By Mark R. Rushdoony
October 22, 2022

The congressional election of 2022 is drawing close. This one has been anticipated since the general election of 2020, so it has seemed like we have been enduring a non-stop political campaign. These have long been particularly nasty affairs, characterized by slander and libel. The excesses are usually shrugged off as “just politics.”

Have you noticed that the acrimonious talk of political campaigns has now dome to characterize much of our culture? The baby boomer generation made a great show of advocating love and brotherhood in the 1960s, but then promoted a contemptuous condescension aimed at any who opposed them. It dominates social discourse.

In 1976, my father wrote a series of articles on “selective depravity.” There is evil in the world, and it must be both identified and eliminated, or at least constrained. If men do not accept God’s assessment of their problem, the will propose an artificial one. But this is not an abstract process. Evil defined by men must be addressed by them.

These depraved men have been variously defined in various eras: priests, pastors, communists, fascists, capitalist, bankers, the masses, the blacks, the whites, the Jews, Germans, Japanese, the Americans, and so on.[1]

The result of falsely limiting evil to a group is that we then do not see sin as the problem but a particular element of society. We attack other men, not sin.

But if sin is the problem, then man must look within himself and address his own heart and actions. Moreover, if God defines man’s problem then we can look to Him for its resolution, which leads us to embrace forgiveness. When men selectively identify evil and evildoers there is no resolution, because as evil continues, each generation will selectively assign blame (i.e. guilt) to a new group. Selective depravity never ends prejudice or discrimination because it just keeps transferring it to the newest “politically incorrect” crowd.

Politics will never solve man’s basic problem of sin. That is why the gospel of the Kingdom of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ is the only way to “love” or “brotherhood” because these necessitate a sense of community which necessitates a communion, a common bond that only comes through faith.

Chalcedon works to promote the gospel of the Kingdom of God to a world that needs the community only God can provide. Our faithful supporters help us greatly in this task.


[1] R. J. Rushdoony, August September Chalcedon Report, 1976, found in Faith and action, Vol. 1, pl. 290.


Topics: Culture , Government, Humanism, Politics

Mark R. Rushdoony

Mark R. Rushdoony graduated from Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) with a B.A. in history in 1975 and was ordained to the ministry in 1995.

He taught junior and senior high classes in history, Bible, civics and economics at a Christian school in Virginia for three years before joining the staff of Chalcedon in 1978. He was the Director of Chalcedon Christian School for 14 years while teaching full time. He also helped tutor all of his children through high school.

In 1998, he became the President of Chalcedon and Ross House Books, and, more recently another publishing arm, Storehouse Press. Chalcedon and its subsidiaries publish many titles plus CDs, mp3s, and an extensive online archive at www.chalcedon.edu.

He has written scores of articles for Chalcedon’s publications, both the Chalcedon Report and Faith for all of Life. He was a contributing author to The Great Christian Revolution (1991). He has spoken at numerous conferences and churches in the U.S. and abroad.

Mark Rushdoony lives in Vallecito, California, his home of 43 years with his wife of 45 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.

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