Changing Things

By R. J. Rushdoony
January 08, 2007

California Farmer 264:8 (April 19, 1986), p. 21.

In the days before Columbus and Luther, Europe was in the midst of moral and social anarchy. Authority, in both church and state, was bypassed, and the state, to maintain itself, became more and more tyrannical. Cardinal Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, later Pope Pius II, said in 1454: “Christianity has no head who all wish to obey. Neither the Pope nor the Emperor is rendered his due. There is no reverence, no obedience. Thus we regard the Pope and Emperor as if they bore false titles and were mere painted objects. Each city has its own king. There are as many princes as there are households.”

This moral anarchy resulted in political tyranny. When men are not morally responsible, they can neither command obedience from others nor give it to those above them. They are lawless, and brute force begins to rule in their world.

Solomon tells us of man, “[A]s he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). Lawless men create a lawless world, and no authoritarian power over them can make them any different in their heart. Only a reformation, the regenerating power of God, can make man into a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).

We need to work for changes in our politics, economics, education, and in every other sphere. These changes, however, will be futile unless the heart of man is changed. Our moral and social anarchy comes from the heart of man, and the change must begin there.

Topics: Government, Reformed Thought, World History, Justice

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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