Work Under God

By Chalcedon Editorial
April 19, 2017
Work under God is a form of government. To have a responsible child capable of governing in his or her sphere, it is essential that work become a part of their training. This is not to say that work is identical with government and dominion, but rather that it is inseparable.[1] ~ R. J. Rushdoony

 Nearly every Monday, social media is littered with status updates and memes reflecting how much people dread the first day of the work week. This is nothing new, since the phrase “Thank God it’s Friday” has long been the name of a popular chain of restaurants—although they’ve abbreviated it to “TGI Fridays.”

 If you’re thankful it’s Friday, then it’s dreadful it’s Monday. But that should never be the outlook of the faithful Christian—especially one who holds to dominion. Work is not dreaded, because work is tied to government and dominion, which is one reason why work is embedded in the Decalogue itself:

 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. (Ex. 20:9)

 Therefore, for the Christian, it’s “Thank God it’s Sunday,” because that’s when we get to exercise our faith and confidence in the commandment and promise of God. To us, Friday is simply “Day 5.”

 Redeeming the Time

 Humanistic man dreads work because his work often has no meaning, but the Christian must infuse his life and work with godly meaning derived from Biblical revelation. There is nothing mundane about daily life because all days are God’s days, and our calling is to always redeem the time: 

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:15-16)

 Time is the arena in which we fulfill God’s calling, which means our work is redemptive from end to end. We are literally “spending” our time to purchase dominion, and work is the primary means to doing that.

 Imagine the difference such an outlook would make if all Christians walked in this awareness. Imagine the net effect if families raised their children to embrace the calling and responsibility of godly work for the purpose of dominion.

 Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Think

 From the outset, children are to be taught to do things “in the Lord” beginning with their obedience and then adding to it greater responsibility. This also is so important that it’s embedded in the Decalogue:

 Honour thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise). (Eph. 6:2; Ex. 20:12)

 The foundation to a Christian child’s worldview is that all things are done in the Lord and to the Lord because it is the direct commandment of God lived out in the context of God’s basic governing institution, the covenant family. Although the child is obeying mother and father, because it’s done “in the Lord,” it has an impact on history. This makes it Kingdom work!

 Therefore, if obedience to mother and father is done in the Lord then so also is all our work. The child learns the inextricable tie of work, government, and dominion. As Rushdoony said, work is not “identical with government and dominion, but rather that it is inseparable.”

 Work is done under God, but the phrase “under God” is so common that we can easily gloss over its implications. To be under God means our work is done unto the Lord and His Kingdom, and this is the basic framework to all Christian thinking. We know we are to train up a child in the way he should go, but that usually follows training up a child in the way he should think!

[1] R. J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology in Two Volumes (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1993), p. 1024.

Topics: Biblical Law, Business, Christian Reconstruction, Culture , Dominion

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