The Principle of Change

By R. J. Rushdoony
June 06, 2006

CA Farmer 231:7 (Oct. 4, 1969), p. 24.

An old French saying declares, “The more things change, the more they are the same.” Others beside the French feel the same way. This observation reflects the disillusionment of the people with their politics. No matter who is elected and what his promises are, his actions are the same basically as those of the men voted out of office. All the hard work of people to elect new officials, in the hopes of a new order, end in the same old political corruption, higher taxes, and more problems. As things go from bad to worse, yesterday’s rascals sometimes look better than today’s reformers, but on reflection it becomes obvious that nothing has changed really; it is the old corruption still. Thus, the more things change, the more they are the same.

Many Americans express their growing sense of hopelessness with the state of things. Again and again, the bright hopes of a pre-election promise become the bitter disappointment of a long term of office.

Why so, and need it be so? To cite an old American saying, “You can’t make a good omelet with rotten eggs.” You can spend a lot of time trying to do so, but the results are always predictably bad. But isn’t this exactly what we so often try to do, to take people without faith and character and somehow add them up to a good society?

Solomon said, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint” (Prov. 25:19). A man with a foot out of joint will not travel far, nor will a country progress who places confidence in unfaithful men.

The need therefore is for faithful men, regenerate men who move in the fear of God rather than the fear of men. It takes good men to make a good society, not another election. This, of course, has been a part of the church’s work, to bring men into conformity to God and His Word, to bring forth by God’s grace a generation of strong, godly men. This most churches have ceased to do: instead of seeing Christ’s mission in terms of changed men, they too often see it as a calling to change society, to generate social revolution. They are giving us bad eggs and bad omelets. Is it any wonder that, the more things change, the more they are the same?

God declares, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). The world’s destiny is not sameness, not continual corruption, but the regeneration of all things by Jesus Christ. But that regeneration cannot take place apart from Him.

Topics: Christian Reconstruction, Church, The, Culture , Dominion, Government, Reformed Thought, Statism, Theology

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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