Our Lord declares, “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (John 8:47). In other words, our hearing depends upon our faith; our lack of faith will make it impossible for us to hear what God says. Because God’s Word is an indictment of fallen man, man rejects it and closes his mind to it. What we are determines how we hear, and also how we speak. In 1364, Petrarch wrote of the visit of a philosopher who came to him in his library. Petrarch said of him, “He was one of those who think they live in vain unless they are constantly snarling at Christ or his divine teachings.” In the midst of a Christian civilization, this philosopher would only listen to the followers of Averroes, not of Christ.
What we say reveals our heart. It tells others what is important in our lives, and also what we listen to.
Our world is bigger than the daily news, or the daily gossip. It is God’s world, and it accomplishes His purpose. The old saying is true: “Man proposes, God disposes.” If we listen only to men, our hearts and lives will be soured, because the turmoil, pride, and sin of men’s hearts will be expressed daily.
To hear the Lord is to hear the word of grace, peace, and victory, and it enables us to speak the word of grace to others. We are conduits and channels, and what passes through us can have a wide influence, or a narrow one, for good or for evil.
Our Lord says, “[E]very idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). The word translated as “idle” means worthless, anti-work, a word that does not good. Speaking and hearing are religious matters!
- 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.