The 2011 Year-End Letter from Mark R. Rushdoony
"Politics cannot produce character: Christianity must. The decline of faith is a decline of character and a decline of character is the forerunner of political decay and collapse. Christianity has an obligation to train a people in the fundamentals of God's grace and law, and to make them active and able champions of true political liberty and order." ~ R. J. Rushdoony (Roots of Reconstruction, p. 552)
Dear Friend of Chalcedon,
We live in a time when salvation by politics is prevalent, but as my father noted above, "Politics cannot produce character: Christianity must." Humanism places its trust in statist solutions, but it neglects the origins of its problem: the decline of faith and character, which is the instructional territory of Christianity.
As long as faith and character are in decline, it matters little what political leader, or system, is instituted. Politics cannot create a system that can overcome the sin of man.
There is No Salvation in Politics-We Must Restore Faith and Character
I rejoice in the great awakening that's happening around the freedom movements, but in the end, politics cannot produce character. As my father, R. J. Rushdoony, has wisely noted, such things as inflation find their roots in the sin of man, but the state uses inflation to expand its power and war against the very faith that produces character: Christianity.
The greatest enemy of inflation is faith and character. Inflation and socialism attack as the enemy Biblical Christianity, because it is their common purpose to destroy the roots of capitalization. (Roots, p. 592)
We would all love a return of true liberty. We would all rejoice in an ending of the Federal Reserve System and a restoration of sound money. It is good that astute investors are protecting their assets by purchasing precious metals like silver and gold, but as Job said, "Where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its value" (Job 28:12-13). My father called it spiritual capital:
It is my purpose to promote the basic capitalization of society, out of which all else flows, spiritual capital. Without the spiritual capital of a God-centered and Biblical faith, we are spiritually and materially bankrupt. (Roots, p. 593)
This is why I'm writing you today: the mission of Chalcedon is to restore our spiritual capital by means of Christian education, and I need you to help us do that. I won't hide the fact that this letter is a direct appeal for you to stand with Chalcedon by sending the most generous year-end tax-deductible gift you can. We cannot continue to work without your regular support of Christian education. What do I mean by that?
Christian Education: How You Must Think and How You Must Live
The long-term cure-and we must think long-term-is to restore faith and character. This is what I'm referring to as spiritual capital. This will mean a long-term commitment by those who understand the true nature of our crises, as well as the Biblical solutions. This begins and ends with a commitment to Christian education:
It is therefore of the utmost importance for Christians to develop epistemological self-consciousness. This means Christian education. It means a Christian philosophy for every sphere of human endeavor. (Roots, p. 596)
What is epistemological self-consciousness? It means to know who you are and what you must do in terms of your faith. If you know you are a child of God, that God's law is the only standard for righteousness, and that the Kingdom of God is destined to be victorious in history, then you must work to apply your faith in every area of life. This is the calling to faithfulness that we're all given.
If the global Christian community can come to a better understanding of its calling in Christ's Kingdom, then the church can present a clear alternative to the reign of statist humanism. But what organization has the intellectual resources to do this? Chalcedon does, and we're making every effort to provide worldwide access to our resources. Please consider this as you pray about your year-end giving. It is within your power to feed the nations with the "food which endures to everlasting life" (John 6:27).
Chalcedon Continues to Make News Headlines
Christian education is the mission my father set forth in 1965 and it remains the governing mission for us today. In 46 years, the impact of my father's labors-and the labors of many others who worked alongside him-is felt throughout the world. This was brought home to me recently when a newspaper reporter came to our offices to interview me about the influence of Chalcedon.
The interview ended up as a front-page article entitled "Small church in national spotlight: Some observers link Vallecito think tank to GOP candidates." As you might have heard, secular critics have been suggesting that some top Republican presidential candidates are somehow tied to Christian Reconstruction. In light of that, I think most people are surprised when they see our humble operation firsthand.
It's not the size of the operation, but the size of the ideas that are powerful. This is why Chalcedon is important as a ministry organization. We are one of the few ministries faithfully proclaiming the great message of Christian Reconstruction, and we intend to do that and more in the future. This is why I need your most generous tax-deductible gift before December 31, 2011 in order to prepare an aggressive budget for next year.
Giving Our Resources Away ... With Great Risk There's Great Reward!
In 2008, the board of Chalcedon decided to pursue the mammoth two-year project of completely revamping the ministry web site to turn it into an online institute for research and Christian education. It features nearly 2,000 audio lectures, over 60 full books, thousands of articles, position papers, videos, scholarly journals, and 14 years of archives of the Chalcedon Report/Faith for All of Life magazine.
Most web sites would charge a subscription fee to access so vast a collection of resources-especially when those very same materials are being sold on an online store-but my desire was to remove the cost hindrance in order to bring Christian education to more people.
So far, the results are pleasing. We receive thousands of visitors each month, and over half of them are visiting the Chalcedon web site for their first time. I'm sure we're drawing the critic as well as the curious, but it's important that we make our materials readily available to help inquirers learn the truth about our teaching.
As a side note, this new web site is a threat to our opponents. Our web development firm notified us that they were shocked at the amount of attempts by hackers to shut down our web site. Maybe this confirms that we made the right decision!
We took a great risk in offering these resources at no cost, but I believe the reward far exceeds the risk, viz. the reward of watching the power of God's law-word change the hearts and lives of people.
Hitting the Road: New Ways to Get Our Message Out
It's not only cyberspace that we're seeking to influence. For the past few years, our vice-president, Martin Selbrede, has led and dispatched Extend the Reach (ETR) teams all over the U. S. to oversee large Chalcedon booths that promote our materials as well as engage people in personal conversation. Proudly displayed over each booth is a huge banner that simply says, "Read Rushdoony."
This was a busy year for outreach as ETR teams traveled to numerous events in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Nevada, California, and Colorado. Most of these were homeschooling events, so we're meeting dedicated families and individuals who are making huge sacrifices to restore Christian education. At these events we give away copies of my father's book Law & Liberty, which is a great introduction to his teaching on Biblical law. We're only able to attend these events because of the generosity of our supporters to fund them and the volunteers willing to set up and man the booths.
It was during the June CHEC (Christian Home Educators of Colorado) conference in Denver that Martin Selbrede and I were asked to deliver several lectures to attendees on such topics as money and inflation, the sovereignty of Christ, the danger of abstract thinking, young-earth creationism, and more. It's imperative that we strongly proclaim a true Christian world and life view directly to the families who are making the great sacrifice to provide Christian education. These events are providing us that opportunity.
In addition, I was able to speak at my favorite event of the year, The West-Coast Christian Worldview Conference in Los Gatos, California on Faith for the Future. This a great annual summer event for high-school and college-aged students to get away for a week of strong teaching on the Christian worldview and enjoy fellowship with other students from around the country. Other speakers included Gary DeMar, Kevin Swanson, John Hodges, and Brian Abshire.
Ten Years After ... "Remembering Rush" and Still Publishing Rush
It's been ten years since my father passed away, and I was thrilled to see our very own Andrea Schwartz take the lead in initiating a series of endearing interviews with numerous friends of Chalcedon on how my father impacted their lives. It's called the "Remembering Rush" series, and they are posted at our web site. You'll enjoy them.
Despite the fact that it's been a decade since my father went on to his Lord we are still working tirelessly to bring more of his writing into print. In 2011, we published both the second and third volumes in the series A Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life. There are still more volumes to publish, and your generous year-end tax deductible giving can help me bring these needed books into print.
One of the highlights of 2011 was the completion of a full Spanish translation of my father's Institutes of Biblical Law (La Institución de la Ley Bíblica, Tomo 1). This project took nearly three years to complete, but we've printed 1,000 copies of a beautiful hardback edition that we're working to get into the hands of as many Spanish-speaking Christian leaders as we can. Your support can help us promote this book to a new audience. We're sending God's law to the nations!
Two other publishing projects for 2011 were the revised edition of Samuel Blumenfeld's popular Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers, and our publishing label Storehouse Press released Thunder King the third volume of the fictional Bell Mountain Series.
We've also begun to create digital versions of our books to be read on the new tablet devices (Kindle, iPad). As of today, the first three volumes of A Word in Season are available, as well as Bell Mountain by Storehouse Press. More books are presently being digitized-some even by the time you receive this letter!
We want to maximize the materials we have in as many formats as possible. We also continue to take advantage of social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube by providing content that can easily be shared by those who subscribe to us.
Help Me Create an Aggressive Budget for 2012
Still, I must have your financial support so that Chalcedon can take advantage of the crises of our times. It's a shame that only in dark times people look for serious Biblical solutions, but be that as it may, it's imperative that we're there meeting them with answers.
Chalcedon needs your support. That's why I'm writing this letter. Despite the difficulty of our economic times, Chalcedon is streamlined to make maximum impact so your year-end gift will go a long way to making 2012 an effective year for Christian dominion. Please take a few moments today to consider sending the most generous tax-deductible gift you can to Chalcedon before December 31, 2011. That way I'll know how to formulate next year's budget. You're welcome to send support after January 1st, but it helps me if I know what we can depend upon for the coming year. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
In His Service,
Mark R. Rushdoony
P.S. There is no salvation in politics, so we must restore our spiritual capital-faith and character-through Christian education. Help Chalcedon continue to fulfill this vital mission.