“Christians within the Roman empire built their own institutions. That’s why Rome hated them, because they were a government within the government, an empire within the empire.”
~ R. J. Rushdoony (Interview, The Christian Observer, 1989)
Dear Friend of Chalcedon,
In my October letter, I mentioned a growing conservative movement within the national economy that refers to its activities as a “parallel economy,” which should be nothing new to those who truly understand the nature and mission of Christian Reconstruction.
For critics, and even for some adherents, many view Christian Reconstruction as a political agenda bent on seizing political control in order to impose Biblical law on an unwilling population. Nearly twenty years ago, the buzz word was “theocracy,” but today it is “Christian Nationalism,” but for Chalcedon, the work and mission will always be Christian Reconstruction. We are to be building “a government within the government, an empire within the empire.”
Why We Must Build
Humanism is collapsing where it once stood arrogant declaring “God is dead,” but much of its cultural and political supremacy was undergirded by centuries of Christendom. This is what our opponents miss! A nation steeped in Christian morality will make any political system look proficient, but now that the spiritual capital of Christianity is running out, we’re witnessing the end result of humanism, and the collapse is affecting everyone.
Beginning in 2020, the lockdowns helped launch a major exodus from public schools into homeschooling, and now the “wokeness” of major corporations is prompting a rise in alternative means of commerce by conservatives. People are looking for alternatives in more areas of life.
For my father, utilizing the Biblical tithe to finance alternative means of education, welfare, justice, and more was always the thrust of his idea of Christian action, which is why he titled one of his books, Tithing and Dominion, where he wrote:
Make no mistake about it: social financing is a social necessity. It will either be done by an irresponsible and godless state, or it will be done by godly men, who, through Biblically grounded administration and godly wisdom, will further social order, true churches, Christian education, and a society flourishing in liberty under God. (p. 5)
How will we see “a society flourishing in liberty under God?” We cannot wait for a revival or the right political climate to initiate change. Our Lord did not say, “When the conditions are right, teach all nations.” The way forward is always a return to the blueprints for Christian civilization, and the best way to go about that is to build where we are by influencing areas closest to us. Christian education remains the best example of this, but we can do much more!
The Chalcedon Foundation remains a think-tank for the self-governing Christian, but as of 2023, the way we fulfill our calling has evolved. In years past, we researched, wrote, and published, and the distribution was primarily by mail. Now, the digital age of the internet and social media have brought greater demands because our massive library of resources must be made available to anyone throughout the world.
For most churches and ministries, a website serves as an expanded brochure featuring basic information about mission, history, beliefs, services, and staff, but for Chalcedon, the demand is much greater.
A few years ago, we began the arduous process of revamping our entire website to which the web developer told us that our site was one of the largest he’s ever seen. The sheer number of books, articles, essays, and audio and video content made for a daunting project, but thanks to your support, we launched our new website this summer. If you haven’t seen it, take a moment today to explore it.
If we’re going to help equip Christians throughout the world to apply their faith, they’ll need ready access to our resources, and the website you helped us build does just that!
As I sit and write to you, I’m amazed that book publishing remains a significant part of our ministry, especially when the new titles are works by my father! Just this year we brought to print new titles including his Sermons in First and Second Corinthians and Sermons in Zephaniah, Haggai, and Zechariah. We also published a new edition of his Christianity and the State featuring a new index and a new layout. One additional new title for 2023 was by fiction writer, Lee Duigon, whose new book Behold! is the fourteenth volume we’ve published of his ever-growing Bell Mountain series.
Another aspect to publishing is the reprinting of older titles because we run out of inventory and that provides us the opportunity to make corrections to the text if they’re needed. In 2023, we did reprints of Foundations of Social Order, the third volume of Institutes of Biblical Law, and Ovid Need’s Death of the Church Victorious, which is a reprint for the author but a new title for us.
We have several reprints in process including Thy Kingdom Come, Messianic Character of American Education, By What Standard?, Politics of Guilt and Pity, and the second volume of Institutes of Biblical Law. As you can imagine, keeping these titles current is a huge investment of time and money, so once again, your continued support is what makes this happen.
I’m especially excited to mention that 2024 will finally bring my book Rousas John Rushdoony: A Brief History of the Life and Ministry of My Father to print. It’s currently being typeset, proofed, and indexed, and many have mentioned their anticipation of this book!
Reaching People Where They Are
I mentioned earlier how the work of Chalcedon has evolved with the changing technologies, but what’s assuring to my mind is the fact that I can’t think of many writers or thinkers whose work is just as relevant now as it was when it was originally written. In some ways, my father’s work is more relevant because we’re now witnessing the things he wrote about, and there is no need for revision.
In short, we don’t need an updated version of the Institutes of Biblical Law, The One and the Many, or The Messianic Character of American Education because they all speak to the core issues of what we’re seeing today. Therefore, it’s just as important that Chalcedon keeps titles in print as well as making them accessible digitally.
What has changed is how we reach new people, and that’s where tools such as social media are extremely helpful. Granted, it’s easy to be critical of social media—I’ve done it myself—but to have the ability to reach the people most conducive to our message is something we never imagined. We use the main social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and all of them rely upon content providers such as Chalcedon to keep users on the respective platforms by providing them with the content they’ll enjoy.
This is where all of our previous hard work has paid off because we have a seemingly endless supply of text, video, and audio content to put out to anyone around the world in most any format. For example, we post hundreds of direct quotes from my father’s writings daily on social media which helps to pique the interest of a new reader to dive deeper into our books.
We’ll post video clips from our full-length podcasts or the latest articles from our periodicals. The objective is to meet people where they are with the uncompromising message of Christian Reconstruction, and to have this free access to this many people would’ve been impossible without being on television. Of course, television and radio wasn’t an option for a ministry such as ours, but social media is even better!
All to say, Chalcedon remains a unique ministry requiring unique supporters who understand and embrace the long-term nature of our mission. Undoing the works of humanism and reconstructing Christian thought requires tremendous effort and fortitude, and I’m thankful that you’ve chosen to stand with Chalcedon in the great work of Christian Reconstruction.
I’m reminded of the supporters who so embraced the long-term aspect of our mission that they included Chalcedon in their wills and estates to make sure the work of the Kingdom could continue after they went on to be with our Lord. Some of these financial gifts arrived at critical times of need in this ministry demonstrating the providential care God has for our mission.
Ultimately, it’s the regular monthly support of generous people like you that truly makes this happen. In fact, in the last few years, I haven’t had to send out a “summer slump” letter to offset the drop-off in giving during the summer and fall months—and that is due to the faithfulness of our supporters. And this happened during the Covid shutdown! You provided us with a surplus to both meet our budget and create several months of reserve which helps to insulate us from emergencies or during a recession. Thank you! I was actually able to tackle some major repairs and maintenance issues such as new roofs, fencing, painting, the replacing of a heat pump, and more.
What We Can Do
However, what we always face is whether we can operate on our regular monthly support or are forced to tap into our reserves. As you might guess, the former is far wiser than the latter, and that’s why my year-end letter is the most important I’ll write to you this year. A small ministry such as ours needs a good idea of what revenue will be in the upcoming year so we can budget our resources productively. Your year-end giving is what enables us to forecast our budget.
We don’t know what the upcoming year holds, but our trust is in the One who holds all thing in His power, and He has chosen that you and I work together to realize more of His Kingdom in history. Next year is a presidential election while there is growing turmoil in the Middle East, and of course, an unpredictable economy.
We’ve faced all of this before, and yet, God has used his people to keep the gospel of the Kingdom of God faithfully preached and taught year in and year out. But now, the mission is becoming more refined and targeted as civilization faces erosion.
As I mentioned at the outset of this letter, people are looking for alternatives, and that was always the message and mission of Christian Reconstruction where we utilize the tithe and offerings to finance a Christian social order within the existing society. The time has never been better for people to hear our message, and I need you to help Chalcedon continue this vital work.
Please take a few moments today to send your most generous tax-deductible gift to Chalcedon before New Year’s. I know you’re motivated in knowing that your financial gifts go directly to supporting a ministry that represents your deepest beliefs.
You can donate online today at https://chalcedon.edu/give. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
In His Service,
Mark R. Rushdoony
P. S. We must continue the work of reconstruction by creating alternatives to the humanistic system. Your tax-deductible gift will help Chalcedon publish that message. Please donate today!
- Mark R. Rushdoony
Mark R. Rushdoony graduated from Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) with a B.A. in history in 1975 and was ordained to the ministry in 1995.
He taught junior and senior high classes in history, Bible, civics and economics at a Christian school in Virginia for three years before joining the staff of Chalcedon in 1978. He was the Director of Chalcedon Christian School for 14 years while teaching full time. He also helped tutor all of his children through high school.
In 1998, he became the President of Chalcedon and Ross House Books, and, more recently another publishing arm, Storehouse Press. Chalcedon and its subsidiaries publish many titles plus CDs, mp3s, and an extensive online archive at www.chalcedon.edu.
He has written scores of articles for Chalcedon’s publications, both the Chalcedon Report and Faith for all of Life. He was a contributing author to The Great Christian Revolution (1991). He has spoken at numerous conferences and churches in the U.S. and abroad.
Mark Rushdoony lives in Vallecito, California, his home of 43 years with his wife of 45 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.