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Blindness by Choice

Our foremost need is for the faithful teaching of the Word of God, which is man’s surest vision. Today, however, men prefer blindness to vision.

R. J. Rushdoony
  • R. J. Rushdoony,
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California Farmer 241:6 (Oct. 19, 1974), p. 29.

A friend wrote this week about the re-nomination of the local assemblyman. This assemblyman has been three times arrested for drunk driving and is currently on one year’s probation, with his driver’s license revoked. In spite of this, he is heavily favored to win in the general election.

I had to reply that this did not surprise me. As I travel across country, I am often surprised at the tolerance of voters for offenses which make the assemblyman’s seem mild by comparison.

At the same time, I must admit that it should not surprise me. I see what people tolerate in their children, without being disturbed, and what they demand that you tolerate in them, and the picture is fairly clear. I suspect that, in spite of their sins, our legislators as a whole are of better character than the people, but not too much better.

When men themselves have evil moral standards, the standards they set for their wives, children, and legislators will hardly be good ones. There will be, despite differences, a basic unity of evil faith between them.

The prophet Isaiah points this out in declaring God’s coming judgment. There were many then who were ready to blame workers or masters, moneylenders, or deadbeats, one class or another, for the problems of the day. Isaiah, however, declares, “And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him” (Isa. 24:2).

It is not popular today to say that the improvident borrower is as much a sinner as the money-shark. We want to limit sin to the top man, but God sees it wherever it is.

Our problem thus, as my friend rightly saw, is with the people as a whole. The assemblyman’s re-nomination, she wrote, is evidence of something deeply wrong in the people, an absence of Biblical faith and guidelines.

Proverbs 29:18 declares, “Where there is no vision, the people perish [or, run wild]: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” The word “vision” here refers to the ministry of the Word of God, the teaching of God’s grace and law. For lack of it people run wild or perish. Where there is faith and obedience, there we have also a happy or blessed estate.

Our foremost need is for the faithful teaching of the Word of God, which is man’s surest vision. Today, however, men prefer blindness to vision.

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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