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Thieves and Robbers

A nation that coddles its criminals and penalizes its godly citizens must either change or perish.

R. J. Rushdoony
  • R. J. Rushdoony
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Jesus declared, “I am the door of the sheep,” a figure of speech meaning that He alone is the way to salvation. “All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers” (Jn. 10:7, 8). All other religious leaders (other than the Biblical writers who spoke of Him and declared His Word) are enemies of man, “thieves and robbers.” That included Confucius, Socrates, Buddha, Mohammed, and others, for, as one Biblical scholar has stated, the expression is exclusive and takes in past, present, and future. Jesus was emphatic: He alone is the truth: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6).

The premise of our Lord’s statement is a clear-cut one: truth is exclusive; it cannot include a lie. But no idea is more alien to our modern temper. We want a foot in every camp; we want to eat our cake and have it too. We want God, but with no offense to Satan.

But truth is exclusive; it is not tolerant. If two plus two equals four, it is not true that it equals three or that it equals five, nor can we say that a child who answers three or five is “almost right.” The answer is either right or wrong. We cannot say that a man is a persistent liar and at the same time call him honest and trustworthy. We cannot say that a man is a thief and at the same time insist that he respects other people’s rights and properties.

But, of course, this is what we are trying to say. And we are trying to break down the exclusiveness of truth and the very idea that there is a right and wrong. A child recently brought home an arithmetic problem which began, “If 8 is greater than 15….” If 8 is greater than 15, then a lie can be greater than the truth because no absolute standard remains. And we are destroying absolute standards. We are justifying the lawbreaker and the criminal, and condemning the honest and the hardworking. Our world is in rebellion against truth and the law of truth.

There is, however, an unchanging hardness about truth. Jesus said, “I am … the truth …; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Jesus expressed not a hope, but a hard reality. There is no other way. Men either live by truth, or it kills them. If a businessman treats $8 as greater than $15, he is soon bankrupt. A nation that coddles its criminals and penalizes its godly citizens must either change or perish. Our Lord said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Mt. 7:16).

Truth is exclusive in every area, in religion, science, farming, and all things else. If you don’t believe it, go pick your grapes from thorns, and your figs from thistles.

R. J. Rushdoony
  • 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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