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A Christian Manifesto

Civil rulers who rule without the Lord and His law-word are, as Augustine said, no different than a mafia, only more powerful.

R. J. Rushdoony
  • R. J. Rushdoony
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Chalcedon Report No. 225, April 1984

1. Sovereignty is an attribute of God alone, not of man nor the state. God alone is Lord or Sovereign over all things; over state, school, family, vocations, society, and all things else.

2. The Bible is given as the common law of men and nations and was for most of United States history the common law, as Justice Story declared.

3. Salvation is not by politics, education, the church, or any agency or person other than Jesus Christ our Lord.

4. The myth of Machiavelli, that, by state control at the top, bad men can make a good society, is at the root of our cultural crisis and growing collapse. A good omelet cannot be made with bad eggs. Truly redeemed men are necessary for a good society.

5. Civil rulers who rule without the Lord and His law-word are, as Augustine said, no different than a mafia, only more powerful.

6. The state is not the government, but one form of government among many, others being the self-government of the Christian man, the family, the school, the church, vocations, and society. The state is civil government, a ministry of justice.

7. For the state to equate itself with government is tyranny and evil.

8. The Christian man is the only truly free man in all the world, and he is called to exercise dominion over all the earth.

9. Humanism is the way of death and is the essence of original sin, or man trying to be his own god.

10. All men, things, and institutions must serve God, or be judged by Him.


R. J. Rushdoony
  • 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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