[From Arise and Build -- September 2018]
As many know, R.J. Rushdoony expressed his heartfelt convictions in poetry, most of which were private dialogs between him and God. I had the honor to help compile these for the book The Luxury of Words: The Poetry of Rousas John Rushdoony and to select some for a special anniversary CD that set some of his poems to music and others recited by those impacted by his life and work.
One of my favorites is I Still Have Prayer*.
O give me, Lord, a task to do And strength to walk and be true, Someone to love me, someone to love; This I ask of the Lord above.
Children whose lives will glorify The Lord of glory ere I die. A church that ever faithful stands Midst an alien world’s demands.
And having these, I have my share – But if none, I still have prayer. And having these, I have my share – But having none, I still have prayer.
Today the Chalcedon Foundation faces many challenges, but has remained true (by God’s grace) to the mission of its founder. Moreover, Rush’s prayer has come to fruition. He has a son, Mark, who continues to carry on the work begun by his father, and has remained true to the conviction that God’s law-word alone will bring a revival in Christendom that can meet our “alien world’s demands.”
Another bright spot on the horizon is a real-time example of “a church that ever faithful stands,” right in Silicon Valley, California. For over forty-six years, St. Paul’s Anglican Church and its mission work, Canterbury Christian School, has influenced the lives of countless students whose early education included a solid foundation in God’s Word and its relevance to every area of life and thought.
First under the direction of Rev. Norman Milbank and his wife, Tillie Ann, the mantle was passed on to Bishop Ron Johnson and his wife Barbara, almost ten years ago when the Milbanks were well into their nineties. In 2017, the day before Thanksgiving, God in His providence took Bishop Johnson unexpectedly, leaving this vital work without a leader at the helm.
As I sat in the memorial service, I became convicted that this work must continue. Trust me when I quickly discerned I was being given “marching orders” and this was more than a fleeting thought. Having had such “charges” before in my life, I quickly began making phone calls after I prayed for God to help me accomplish the task He laid before me. Long story short, my first and best candidate, Steve Macias, ended up being the person who now holds the dual position of pastoring the congregation of St. Paul’s and serving as the headmaster of Canterbury Christian School. He, along with his wife Sarah and their three children, have responded to God’s call on the life of their family and the work will indeed continue.
What sweetens this story even more is that Steve, for years, has been and continues to be an ardent student of R. J. Rushdoony, and back in 2013 was one of our speakers at the Bay Area Law & Liberty Conference. He would tell you that he was still wet behind the ears back then (and has much still to learn today) but he is a living example of how God continues to provide a faithful remnant to carry on the work of His Kingdom.
We must always remember that, first and foremost, we still have prayer. Moreover, that Jesus Christ rules and will guarantee us the victory He accomplished at Calvary. Silicon Valley seems like an odd place to have a haven for Christian Reconstruction, yet this is where God has placed my family and now the Macias family, too. What’s more, there are many here on the far coast that refuse to bow the knee to Baal and are working within their spheres of influence to advance the Kingdom of God. The future is bright if we (as Dr. Rushdoony used to say) put on the glasses of Scripture. Then as we walk by faith, our sight will be 20/20.
*A special recording was made of some of Dr. Rushdoony's poems available here for you to enjoy.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].