Chalcedon Report No. 346, May 1994
In various parts of the United States, as local school districts have attempted to include materials in the curriculum stressing chastity, legal battles have ensued, and, usually, such teaching has been banned. Some cases are on appeal.
It is urgently important to understand what is at stake. Such teaching is uniformly called a violation of the First Amendment and an establishment of religion, namely, Christianity. The First Amendment was added to the Constitution at the request of the clergy to prevent the state establishment of any particular church. It is now used to eliminate Christianity from the public life.
The opponents of the teaching of chastity see it as religious teaching, or, more accurately, Biblical teaching, because chastity goes against “nature.” It is a restraint upon nature, which the Christian sees as fallen, and it calls for following God’s law. The unregenerate natural man is to be converted by Christ’s atonement, governed by the Holy Spirit, and guided by God’s law-word. The old natural man is to be replaced by the new man in Christ. The fallen humanity of the old Adam must give way to the last Adam, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:45–47).
We can thus speak of the religion of the fallen, natural man, or humanism. Man is good as he is, and what he needs is self-expression in every area of his life, including his sexuality. Restraints placed upon him are bad because they limit and inhibit his ability to attain self-realization. Whether we like it or not, for the courts, schools, and civil agencies, this humanism is their accepted religion. Without formally acknowledging it, our courts have made humanism the established religion. Never have our state schools and courts been more zealously religious than they are now, but their religion is humanism, naturalism. They speak with of past persecutions by Christians while ever zealous against Christians.
Their premise is that the natural man should be free to express himself as sole lord over his life. This can mean abortion; it can mean homosexuality, bestiality, euthanasia, and more. Controls on man from the supernatural realm, from God and His Bible, are violations of man’s freedom, for these people. Such people look forward to a new world order in which a world state and its law replace God, and in which man is free to do as he pleases.
The strange thing is that so many churchmen are unaware that a war is on, and it is being waged against them. Chastity is not a way of life for a fallen man. It is an aspect of the life of the redeemed. If a state is Christian, it will be supportive of chastity and more. If a state is humanistic, it will promote and support unchastity and immoralism in the name of freedom.
These are the alternatives. Two radically different religions are in conflict. Total war is being waged against Christianity. The war against chastity is simply one aspect of a conflict that is being fought in every area of life and thought.
This is not the kind of war that will cease tomorrow. The enemy wants the total obliteration of Christianity. Until Christians convert the enemy, exercise influence in all spheres of life and thought, and reestablish godly standards, the battle will continue.
The war against Christianity is apparent on all fronts, including within the church. The battle against teaching chastity is one aspect of the struggle.
- 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.