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Education and Law

By R. J. Rushdoony
April 01, 1999

Throughout history, religion, when successful, has best expressed itself in education and law. By means of some form of education, religions transmit themselves to children, to a people's future. By means of law, religion expresses itself in the government of people by defining good and evil.

Religions that fail to dominate and control education and law quickly become fading relics of the past, as was the case in the United States by 1950. The philosophy of John Dewey provided the non-theistic common faith of much of the world, especially the United States, and Deweyism was the humanistic religion of education taught by Dewey and his successors.

Meanwhile, millions of dead churchmen saw themselves as good Christians as they furthered anti-Christianity in education and law. More than a few churches with thousands of members have seen themselves as pillars of the Faith while barring all reference to Christian day schools or homeschools, or any favorable stand on God's law.

Christians today thus have a very difficult position: how to save the coming generation from humanistic education and humanistic anti-Biblical law.

By God's providence, since the 1950s, a growing number of Christian and homeschools are in evidence, and more and more pastors are teaching God's law.

The future of a society is its education and law. The number of professing Christians does not have much to do with it because most profession is faith without works.

A culture is a religion in action, governing faith and life; for people to profess a faith means to apply it totally, to live by it in every aspect of their being. I recall vividly, at the end of World War II, a young veteran, an American Indian, professed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. His immediate desire was to re-order his total life in terms of the Bible. He began with tithing, a very easy first step he called it, and continued it across the board. He saw himself as God's property.

Consider how much Christians could accomplish in our world if a considerable number took the same vein! Does our Lord expect anything less?

We have a tremendous task confronting us, a humanistic culture that is destroying Christendom. Here and there men of God like Paul Lindstrom, Joseph Morecraft, Steve Schlissel, Ellsworth McIntyre, and others are confronting and conquering, but we need many more warriors of the Lord.

A different world requires a different people, and it is our task through Christian schooling to provide that different people. I had the privilege this week of listening to two homeschooled girls give evidence of their faith and learning. There is a splendor and magnificence to what we can accomplish in Christ. Let us then do it.


Topics: Education, R. J. Rushdoony, Philosophy

R. J. Rushdoony

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

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