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Rules of Engagement

By Andrea G. Schwartz
July 01, 2009

Well over a decade ago, I first encountered a recording entitled “The War,” a compilation of the preaching of Dennis Peacocke and the worship music of Ted Sandquist. The full title is “Battle Songs for the War Between Two Seeds.” I was so encouraged by the project that in addition to playing it repeatedly for my family, I shared it with a junior high/senior high co-op class I was teaching on church history.1

Rev. Peacocke points out that the people of God are simultaneously involved in a cultural war and a spiritual war. He notes that no Christian volunteered for this war, but rather was predestined to be a part of it. The question isn’t who wins the war. The Word of God makes it very clear that Christ has already won the victory. Rather, the question becomes, Are God’s people engaged in the battle or sitting on the sidelines?

Peacocke declares that this war has been engaged and there is no avoiding it. Furthermore, Christians will always have opposition from those who are the seed of the serpent when it comes to our shaping, changing, and challenging the way the world system operates. We must take Jesus at His Word, “[U]pon this rock [the testimony that Jesus is Lord] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt.16:18). Now that’s the sort of recruitment promise that engenders confidence and resolve!

Seek Ye First the Kingdom

Too few in the army of Christ live as though they believe that actively seeking God’s Kingdom and His righteousness will produce the blessings so clearly outlined throughout the Scriptures and detailed extensively in Deuteronomy 28:1–14. If they did, there would be less reliance on political parties and national opinion polls to make our decisions, less concern as to whether or not the enemies of God approve of our methods, and considerably less shying away from proclaiming the full counsel of God. However, these verses in Deuteronomy were not always ignored. There was a time in American history when the promises of blessings for obedience and curses for transgressions were taken so seriously that when the President of the United States took his oath of office, he placed his hand on an opened Bible, opened to Deuteronomy 28.2

By default, many professing members of the body of Christ end up participating in this war between two seeds aligned with and working for the enemy, as they rally to the battle cry of the wolves in sheep’s clothing: “We’re not under law, but under grace.” By agreeing with and living out a lawless Christianity, they are puppets in the hands of Satan and his children and happily swallow this “Tokyo Rose” style propaganda.3

Strong statement? Well, consider the fact that the majority of American Christians blithely place their children in the boot camp and army of the enemies of Jesus Christ for twelve years or more, without hesitation or concern. What’s more, they allow active engagement in the pagan culture by their modes of dress, the movies and television programs they devour, and the unmonitored consumption of profane internet sites. Jesus makes it clear that “[e]very kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matt. 12:25). It is no wonder that we find ourselves in the current cultural malaise, swallowed up by the very curses for disobedience God promised.

Going to War

So, how should a Christian family engage this battle? By orienting its time, money, resources, and efforts in a full commitment to the cause of Jesus Christ. This answer is simple to say, but more complex to live out. When the people of God fully embrace that we live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God—in short, applying the entire Word of God to every area of life and thought—then, and only then, will their efforts result in the blessings of Deuteronomy 28:1–14.

The key to this solution lies with the Biblical trustee family, with the father at the helm and the mother actively present in the lives of the children until they establish new families of their own. Homeschooling is a powerful counterattack to the lies and deception of the enemy. What are the prerequisites to a God-honoring home education? The answer is simple but requires a shift in orientation and outlook from that of the modern world.4

The law-word of God needs to reign supreme in a Christian home. This is accomplished by regular family Bible study, catechizing, Scripture memorization, sitting under sound preaching, and requiring all family members to reason from Scripture. This requires a strong theological background and should hold a higher priority in the educational curriculum than any other subject. Any requests, decisions, long-range planning, etc., need to be established on a firm Biblical footing, with time spent outlining how a particular choice measures up with and to God’s Word and the family’s place and work in God’s Kingdom.

No family operates without sin and its consequences, but a family whose major educational goal is the pursuit of knowing God’s law and applying it across the disciplines and activities of life is in a far greater position to receive God’s blessing than a family that merely focuses on academic subjects and success.

Boot Camp

So where is the boot camp for families who wish to follow this model? God has provided the solution in His Word.

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. (Titus 2:1–5)

Self-help books, advice from TV and radio programs, and pop psychology do not hold a candle to the one-on-one relationships that the Apostle Paul commands in these verses. When obeyed as outlined, those who have been helped turn into those who can then help others. Back in 1985 when my husband and I met Dr. and Mrs. Rushdoony, they graciously fulfilled the role of the older man and the older woman in our lives and served as mentors and models for us. We were very rough around the edges, but willing and eager to learn. Now, almost twenty-five years later, we serve as mentors to others. This is the very fruit that should be present and prevalent in all Christian homes and churches. There should be no need initially to resort to a “professional” counselor when all know and can apply the law-word of God to the situations of everyday life.

Through a concerted study of the law-word of God with the intent of practical, everyday application, Christians can fight the spiritual and cultural war that confronts us on every side. For the enemies of God to win in the political realm, their major battles are launched primarily against the family as God’s basic institution.

Western society has had a family organization since Christianity became the faith of the West. A man’s life, from birth to death, is guided, affected, and colored by family relations. The basic unit of the social order is the family. The family is the socially stable unit where the family has liberty and property.
As a result, the totalitarians hate the family and declare it to be the enemy of social change. Totalitarianism hates the family because it is the basic thesis of all totalitarians that man’s first loyalty must be to the state, whereas the Christian family’s first allegiance is to the triune God. The totalitarian therefore seeks to abolish the family. Lenin said, “No nation can be free when half the population is enslaved in the kitchen.”5

The Opposition’s Tactics

Is it any wonder that since the last century, at least, a concerted effort has been made to convince women that remaining at home and raising their children is bondage and proof that they lack intelligence and relevance? As families succumbed to the satanic model, a vacuum was created in the lives of families that the totalitarian state was glad to fill. Considering the current push to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,6 Rushdoony’s comments back in the middle of the last century are telling:

In the United States, the attack on the family is being steadily mounted. The state increasingly claims jurisdiction over the family, its children, income, and property. The state assumes that it knows what is best for children, and it claims the right to interfere for the children’s welfare. As a result, the family is progressively weakened in order to strengthen the power of the state.7

The book of Ephesians closes with instructions to the family (Eph. 5). However, the apostle does not stop there, as he knows that none of what he has directed can be accomplished in one’s own strength. He therefore directs his brethren in Ephesians 6:10–18:

[B]e strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

These are familiar verses, but often divorced from practical application. Those principalities and powers that we wrestle with and that attack our homes and families are hell-bent on separating us from the love of Christ. What’s more, these enemies of Jesus Christ thrive on fracturing families, destroying marriages, and wreaking havoc on the culture once the institution of the family has been routed. At this time in history, we have the antithesis being played out in front of our faces. As Proverbs 8:36 explains, “[H]e that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” With the enemies of God acting with such an open frenzy now, it is apparent that they will not be content until we are all in hell with them. This is true of the homosexuals in our midst but also of the secular statists who are insisting that we go down a road that has been proven historically to fail.

Many Christians continue to live with their heads in the sand, mistaking state-granted permission for liberty under God. They remain oblivious to the steady pounding that the family receives in public education, the mainstream media, the compromised professional spheres, and in their own thinking.

The death of the family is therefore planned, and, on every continent, the executioners are at work. Together with the death of the family, the “death” of God is also proclaimed, and we are assured that the new age has no need for God or the family. The menace and intensity of dedication of these hostile forces cannot be underestimated. They are an active, powerful, and highly organized force in modern society.8

Homeschooling families are not immune to these assaults, and unless the homeschooling mother is proficient in the application of God’s law to areas of her home life, being the “older woman” for her daughters, she will not be able to become the “worthy woman” that Proverbs 31 calls her to be. Without a firm resolve and a dedication to a full-orbed application of God’s law in the home, she will fail to raise up a generation of women who will know how to look well to the ways of their households and eventually become the “Titus 2” women themselves. For this upcoming generation to survive, they must comprehend the intensity of the battle raging around us and be fully prepared to engage it.

An Army Advances

Rushdoony points out that although the battle looms large, our God is larger.

We dare not underestimate the power of the triune God, Who rules the nations and fulfils His holy purpose despite all the vain conspiracies and wild imaginations of men. But none can share in God’s victory unless they stand forth clearly in terms of Him and His holy cause, unless they separate themselves unto Him. Jesus Christ said, “He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad” (Matt. 12:30). And you, where do you stand?9

By God’s grace, many wives and mothers are waking up to the vital role they play in the present and future advance of God’s Kingdom. They see, contrary to all the indoctrination assaults of the past and present, that their place in the battle is not in the workplace, the halls of academia, or outside the home. They see that the proverbial phrase “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”10 is not only true, but also ordained by the living God.


1. Available from G.W.I. Online, http://www.gwionline.org/onlinestore.htm.

2. R. J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology, Vol. 1 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1994), 402.

3. Tokyo Rose was the generic name given by American soldiers in WWII to English-speaking Japanese female propagandist broadcasters whose intent was to disrupt the morale of American GIs.

4. Rushdoony’s books The Institutes of Biblical Law, The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum, Systematic Theology in Two Volumes, and Law & Liberty are fundamental reading in obtaining an orthodox, Biblical worldview.

5. R. J. Rushdoony, Law & Liberty (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1984), 74.

6. Lee Duigon, “Will UN Treaty Abolish Parents’ Rights?” The Chalcedon Foundation, May 4, 2009, www.chalcedon.edu.

7. Rushdoony, Law & Liberty, 75.

8. Ibid., 77.

9. Ibid.

10. Taken from the poem by the same name by William Ross Wallace.


Topics: Biblical Law, Christian Reconstruction, Church, The, Culture , Dominion, Education, Eschatology, Family & Marriage, Government, Media / Arts, Reformed Thought, Socialism, Statism, Theology

Andrea G. Schwartz

Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven FamilyThe Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your HouseholdEmpowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom ServiceWoman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected]

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