Access your downloads at our archive site. Visit Archive
Magazine Article

This Is the Victory

Having been born into an immigrant family and attending a foreign language church, I was isolated from many of the theological currents of the day.

R. J. Rushdoony
  • R. J. Rushdoony,
Share this

Having been born into an immigrant family and attending a foreign language church, I was isolated from many of the theological currents of the day. It was thus only as I started college that I became aware of a startling development in American theological thinking: eschatologies of defeat. Perhaps no other nation in all history has been so remarkably blessed as the United States. As a student, I knew that in one sphere after another, the United States was very successful: uniformly successful in wars, in the economic sphere, as a missionary force, and so on and on. And yet, strangely, they saw only evil ahead in history, either a future of growing grimness (amillennialism) or the triumph in history of Satanic forces and the necessity for a supernatural rescue of the Lord's people (premillennialism). And there I was, a child of a long persecuted people, expecting victory!

But that faith and hope colors one's outlook. In the past year, some have passed on to me publications criticizing and misrepresenting Christian reconstruction. One called us an "Identity group" (a movement we regard as evil because it sees salvation as by race, not grace), and a militic movement (whereas we believe in salvation by conversion, not coercion)! One person recently asked how misrepresentation affects me: I had to say that I don't like it, of course, but it does not upset me because I know from the Scriptures that I am on the winning side, and these people are losers. From my early years I have believed that "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (1 Jn. 5:4). These losers hate God, so it is logical for some of that hate to be directed against us. Some losers are full of anger and hatred, and they are to be pitied.

Are we winning? Well, when I began in the late 1940's to collect materials that led to the publication in 1963 of The Messianic Character of American Education (with Intellectual Schizophrenia preceding it by about five years), some near me thought the triumph of state schools so final that I was wasting my time trying to create a Christian school movement.

I cite this to show that our advancement is real. The old compromising churchianity that baptized the fallen order around it has now begun to fall apart. A polarization is setting in. In any case, however, we must not look to history for our hope but to the sovereign and triune God. He has not grown old since Bible times, nor has his omnipotent hand grown arthritic! He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

The full and final accounting is in the hands of the Almighty, and we must leave it there. We are neither the Judge nor the jury, and to attempt to be so is to usurp God's prerogative. We do our duty, and we leave the results in God's hands, whose mercy and judgment both far exceed ours.

We cannot make a stand in terms of truth and justice in a fallen world without paying a price, and to expect only good from the hands of men is to be very foolish. Our lives can be blessed ones if we accept the realities of the fallen world around us and recognize that God is the determiner, not man.

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.

More by R. J. Rushdoony