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The Yardstick of Obedience

By Mark R. Rushdoony
November 02, 2020

Christian Reconstruction is a term that was coined by my father, R.J. Rushdoony, when he began Chalcedon in 1965. He used the term to refer to what he saw as the responsibility, the job description if you will, of citizens of the Kingdom of God in an apostate era. He felt they were to focus on going back to the basics of faithfulness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

A number of individuals have picked up the mantle of Christian Reconstruction over the years only to discard it at some point. Several have conveniently justified themselves by declaring Christian Reconstruction dead or failed. This betrays a lack of understanding on their part as to the nature of Christian Reconstruction.

Christian Reconstruction was not a five- or ten-year political plan, nor was it a promotional campaign the success of which could be determined by its acceptance in the marketplace of ideas. Christian Reconstruction is an analogy of difficult, long-term responsibilities of Christians. Its ultimate success has always been dependent on the timing and regenerative and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Unlike construction or restoration work, Christian Reconstruction cannot set a time frame for its completion. It can only describe the immediate work that must be done towards something we cannot fully even envision. Because the means of Christian Reconstruction is faithfulness to God’s law-word, our yardstick is our own obedience, not the success of any short-term outcome we might hope for.

Christian Reconstruction is about responsibility, so it is a hard sell. To this point, the church has not yet accepted the fundamental pre-requisite for Christian Reconstruction, which is theonomy. Therefore, we are still in the process of recalling the church to its duties. The old covenant history of Israel clearly indicates that God will not bless His people when they are disobedient.

It all sounds impossible, doesn’t it? Yet with God all things are possible.

We appreciate all those who stand with us in our task of encouraging Christians in the work of the Kingdom.


Topics: Biblical Law, Christian Reconstruction, Culture , Dominion, Government, Humanism, Justice, R. J. Rushdoony, Theology

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 40 years with his wife of 42 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.

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