Biblical Importance of an Empowered Family - RR165A1

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Biblical Importance of an Empowered Family
Course: Course - Christian Reconstruction and the Future
Subject: Subject:Christian Reconstruction
Lesson#: 3
Length: 0:37:48
TapeCode: RR165A1
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Christian Reconstruction and the Future.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

[Introductory speaker] We read in Psalm 15 and it is a Psalm of the entrance requirements into the holy city of God and into fellowship with Him. And there is a list of requirements of man that are listed in Psalm 15. I want to read verse four. Verse four reads that the person in whose eyes a vile person is condemned but he honors them that fear the Lord. Now, that first qualification would eliminate a lot of members, visible members, of Christ’s church today. We are supposed to condemn and understand the wickedness of people that are evil. But, beyond that even fewer people, unfortunately, praise those who fear the Lord and righteously serve Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. I have come to these conferences for all ten years now and Rev. RJ Rushdoony has been an incredible influence that God in His providence has used in my life and in the life of tens of thousands of people in the Pacific Northwest in a very positive way. And, it is a real honor to me to act in obedience to Psalm 15 by honoring Rev. Rushdoony by introducing him this evening. Please, please have open ears to hear what Rev. Rushdoony says. You will find it corresponds with what the Scriptures have to teach about the Biblical importance of the family. And then as you leave this place tonight, tomorrow, and then Sunday as you come to worship service, have open hands to walk into obedience with what God has called us to do. And it is a great honor to be able to introduce a man who has brought so much blessing to myself, my family, the extended family of the Reformation Covenant Church and to many people around the world. Rev R.J. Rushdoony. [00:02:02]

In terms of Biblical law the family is the power center...[edit]

In terms of Biblical law the family is the power center of society because of its control of key areas of life. Some of you have heard of me speak on these key areas in part or in whole on other occasions. But, to summarize them briefly, these key areas of life are first of all the control of children which is control of the future of the society. Second, the control of property, economic power. And property in Scripture, as our children, is given over to the family. Third, control of inheritance also control of the future. Fourth, the control of education again, basic to any control of the future. And, fifth, control of welfare, the determination of society. There are many other powers given to the family in Scripture, in Biblical law, but these are the central powers. More powers are given by God to the family then to any other institution or area of life. All these powers are currently under invasion and control by the state. The family however is in process of reclaiming its powers. It is educating its children through Christian schools and homeschools. The families’ care of its members and relatives exceeds statist welfare. [00:04:39]

It is working to reestablish its powers over property...[edit]

It is working to reestablish its powers over property and inheritance and much, much more. There is a problem however. Men who are intellectually and spiritually disarmed are deprived of their essential strength and are thereby rendered ineffectual. We see today the greater majority of people here and elsewhere either unhappy or angry at the direction of things and yet impotent to change that direction because they have no clear cut faith. They tend to fight Goliath in Saul’s armor. They know what is wrong but they do not know the answers. Ludwig Von Mises, in his economic thought, has given us some of the most devastating critiques of modern economic patterns yet written. And yet his influence is somewhat limited. However great his analysis there is a problem and the problem of course is that his analyses presuppose certain things which are not present among those who follow him. [00:06:13]

There is a failure thus to empower men whose intellectual...[edit]

There is a failure thus to empower men whose intellectual premises are those of John Locke, Hegel and other philosophies. The problem comes to focus in a key area. Basic and necessary to Von Mises thesis is the harmony of interests. In terms of his underlying philosophy and that of his followers this is untenable. This is the weak link in his magnificent work, human action. The philosophies of antiquity deposited in all too much conflict of interests. They were thus productive of conflict ridden societies because there presupposition in every sphere rested on a belief that a dialectal tension was common to the nature of being. Modern philosophy reintroduced this dialectical element which after Hegel became a faith in cultural evolution. Von Malchus meanwhile was applying a life premise to the population question. Charles Darwin transferred these philosophical presuppositions to biology, to formulate his theory of evolution, the conflict of interests; the struggle for survival, nature red in tooth and claw was basic in Darwin’s beliefs. The struggle for survival was for him an amoral and adversarial battle. Even the races had different levels of evolution and were in a struggle one against another. Racism as Otto Scott has pointed out is a biological doctrine whose origins are in Darwin. [00:08:51]

Some who saw the deadly future for man and society...[edit]

Some who saw the deadly future for man and society which the theory of evolution requires tried to undermine the idea of an inevitable and inescapable conflict of interests. Men like Prince Kropotkin wrote about the mutual aid of species in evolution. Kropotkin collected evidence in nature of a seeming mutual aid among plants, insects and animals. His writings and they are impressive writings, on this particular subject failed to change matters. Because, given the essential mindlessness of Darwinism, of evolution, no governing harmony of interests can be positive. All one could say that mindless change had seemingly produced the universe. All facts are brute facts, which are mindless facts, meaningless facts. Each is autonomist and unrelated to all other facts as it struggles to exist. Conflict thus is written into the doctrine of evolution. Only where the Sovereign God is seen as the Creator and Absolute Governor and Predestinator of all things can an ultimate harmony of interest exist. The harmony of all things is thus a metaphysical and inescapable harmony. Any disharmony or conflict that exists in all creation is not metaphysical but ethical, moral, the product of the fall of man. This moral conflict of interests works against the metaphysical reality of all being and is therefore doomed. [00:11:23]

As Debra sang with exaltation in the Song of Deborah...[edit]

As Debra sang with exaltation in the Song of Deborah in Judges 5:20, “The stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” The stars in their courses perpetually fight against all tyrannies and against all evil doers. Those who work in terms of a moral conflict of interest as ultimate as metaphysical work against God and His order. Those who assume a metaphysical conflict of interest work in terms of a false view of God and of life. In the moral conflict God’s law shall prevail against sin and evil. And, God’s will shall alone govern. All this should make clear why creationism is so necessary and important to the empowerment of the family. Essentially, and this I learned the hard way as a student in philosophy under a humanistic professor, only two views of ultimate things are tenable, chance or predestination or some type of mechanistic or materialistic determinism. One or the other. Chance or ultimate, binding order. All other views are disguised forms of one or the other of these two. To except chance as ultimate is a common intellectual posture but in the laboratory or the business realm, in farming or anywhere else some kind of order must be assumed or life and science become impossible. With the enlightenment as men abandoned the Biblical doctrine of God they supplanted Him with a Godlike nature. Of course nature is just a collective noun. No such thing a nature exists. No such thing as nature has a law that it issues. But the enlightenment deified nature. Because of their Hellenic premises enlightenment thinkers still needed God as a starting point as an alternative to infinite regress. And so, God was retained as the first cause and little more. He was simply a limiting concept in their thinking. Darwin and his successors dismissed this tenuous need for God. Their given was the universe nothing more. Classical liberalism which requires an ordered universe and the unseen Hand became untenable. Liberals like John Stewart Mil, a classical liberal shifted to socialism because the enlightenment concept of the universe and of nature was dead. Something some conservatives still haven’t awakened to. [00:15:29]

The reason for this shift is an obvious and a necessary...[edit]

The reason for this shift is an obvious and a necessary one. However theoretically cynical men may be they require, in order to think intelligently, some kind of ultimate order. Neither science nor society is possible without it. Christianity had provided this kind of order in the triune God and His ultimate order. Martin Luther in his great classic The Bondage of the Will saw the Erasmus denial of predestination meant, by implication, the impossibility of knowledge. The enlightenment thinkers who were wiser then Erasmus their view of nature thus was finally mechanistic. There had to be an unchanging source of order. La Mettrie, Man a Machine one of the classic works of that era, gave us the logical conclusion of this view. For as the personal God of Scripture could give us a personal creature made in His image, clock-like nature could only produce a mechanical and clocklike man. As late as the 1930’s psychology textbooks in the United States still dismissed consciousness as an epiphenomenon not worth studying. [00:17:10]

Darwin’s theory thus dispensed with the God of Scripture...[edit]

Darwin’s theory thus dispensed with the God of Scripture and the enlightenment view of nature. Nature was now a mindless thing red into tooth and claw. Where would order, government, predestination, which means ultimate planning, come from? The first to see the answer were Marx and Angles. In 1859 they read Darwin’s origin of species. They saw at once that it made socialism inevitable. There had to be some kind of ultimate order. The predestination once seen in God and then in nature their view of history and the dictatorship of the proletariat would provide. The scientific socialist state would provide the plan of predestination. It would be the infallible instrument replacing God. [00:18:22]

An interesting study was written by a friend of mine...[edit]

An interesting study was written by a friend of mine, a political scientist, (Leopold De Ablorez), in which he analyzed Kruschev’s denunciation of Stalin. Stalin (I think he meant Kruschev) spoke first of all at one meeting of the party about the errors of Stalin. And the party theorists immediately jumped on him. Do you know what you have done? You have destroyed the foundations of the soviet society, of the Soviet Regime, because the dictatorship of the proletariat is the infallible organ of history. Of the development of the intellege, of the march, of geist, of spirit in history. And so at the second meeting Kruschev denounced the Stalinist’s who survived. He said what Stalin did was to correct for his time but to continue that would be an error because there has been a further development of this the march of history. [00:20:09]

The society which had been created by the older liberalism...[edit]

The society which had been created by the older liberalism had been a success. Very rapidly however the world of liberalism eroded into statism and socialism and a number of varieties. The story of the world from 1860 till 1920 is the story of that erosion. And since then of the development of various efforts to try to supplant what nature once supplied in the way of order through the scientific socialist state whether in the international or national versions or the western democratic versions. Ultimate predestinating planning order now had to be provided by the state. There could not be a mindless universe of people, incidents and events. It had to be the dictatorship of the proletariat or some like authority. As a result the Darwinian world is an amoral, statist, racist and antifamilist realm. The family is seen as a step in primitive man’s development towards socialist order and determination. It must therefore be controlled and transcended. The denial of the doctrine of strict creationism is thus basic to the disempowerment of the family. Evolutionary beliefs place the conflict of interests into the life of the family. They make it metaphysical. The war of the sexes is assumed as a natural metaphysical fact rather moral failure. All kinds of maxims have illustrated this assumed war. To cite a few of them: [00:22:53]

“Were there no women men might live as gods...[edit]

“Were there no women men might live as gods.” “Three things were men most likely to be cheated in were a horse, a wig and a wife.” “Whoso loves believes the impossible.” “The first sign of love is the last of wisdom.” “Bridegrooms have that sheepish look because every one of them is morally certain that he is a lamb being led to slaughter.” “Women deceived by men want to marry them.” “It is a kind of revenge as good as any other.” “When a man says he has a wife it means a wife has him.” Or, we could go on and on citing such maxims. It hardly needs to be added that all these I read are statements by men. Statements of the similar sort by women can be provided. In any rate both man and woman too often assume a basic and necessary conflict of interests. Each dismisses the other as necessarily blind, stupid, obtuse, foolish and perverse because he or she, as a man or a woman, given this assumption that one’s sexual being, or metaphysical status, is the problem and no solution is possible. The family or marriage is a state of warfare then and no empowerment of the family is ever possible. In terms of creationism however the sexes were made so that together they might serve God. It is moreover, we are told in Genesis 2:18, “Not good that a man might be alone.” And any sensible man knows that. Their life together can only truly become one of a harmony of interests when that harmony is sought in the Word and service of Almighty God. If either see themselves in terms of an imagined autonomy conflict prevails. [00:25:42]

Thus the beginning of the empowerment of the family...[edit]

Thus the beginning of the empowerment of the family is to see ourselves as created by God for His Sovereign purpose and not for our benefit or our pleasure. It is not the purpose of the universe that “my will be done”. It is necessary that we manifest a gratitude for life. For as husbands or wives we are according to 1 Peter 3:7; “heirs together of the grace of life. “ Only then will our prayers be not hindered. The Christian family possessing the key powers in any social order as it understands its place in God’s created work then is able to function as history’s greatest social power. But sadly the family today is commonly ignorant of its powers. Too often it looks elsewhere for life’s power centers when it is that center. False philosophies and faiths create false centers for life and misdirect the lives of peoples. We live in an era with resemblances to both antiquity and to the Renaissance, very close resemblance to Athens in the fourth century BC, and the philosophical movement known as The Cynics. Crates of Thebes who was a cynic philosopher in Athens; a disciple of Dodginism and a leader in that particular school. The work cynic, by the way, comes from the same Greek word as our English word ‘canine’. It means ‘stalk’. For Crates man is an animal a kind of dog who has made the mistake of walking on two feet thereby making food gathering more difficult and developing allusions about his status. Crates, and his followers, Crates went stark naked as a dog, copulated in public like a dog and rejected all the so called pretentions of civilized society. He soon enough had an unknown skin plague all over his body and wore his uncut fingernails down to nothing scratching himself. His hair grew unto a long, tangled mat. But, it was amazing how many wealthy young Athenians thought that all wisdom was born with Crates. [00:29:21]

The analogies to our hippy movement are very real...[edit]

The analogies to our hippy movement are very real. Many of the wealthy young intellectuals followed him, life being, in terms of their philosophy, an accidental and meaningless thing, “Why the pretentions of religion and civilization?” they reasoned. One such young man from a very important, wealthy and aristocratic family was (Metrocles of Merona?)

[Some lecture was skipped when tape flipped] fell in love with him, regarded him as the fount of all wisdom. She followed him, lived like him, scrambled for bones in the gutter and copulated naked with him in the open. When her parents tried to interfere she threatened suicide with the hopes that in time she would change her mind. Her brother in time joined his sister and Crates in the same life style. Crates died in old age of starvation. What happened to Pa and her brother we do not know. What we can say is that their lives are logical. They were true to their faith. They did not halt between two opinions as most people today do. If we are Christians we must recognize that the family is more important in God’s sight then either the church or the state and is entrusted with a greater social powers; powers determinative under God, of society and the future. Weakness in the family cripples church, state, school, the vocations and more. It is also wrong to see the family as simply the basic and necessary natural order. We must see it as a religious and God ordained sphere of life with a primary responsibility to God. The family is created by more than a biological urge. Many animals breed because of their biological urge without creating a permanent family with an ongoing history. [00:32:32]

The sociological view of the family goes a little further...[edit]

The sociological view of the family goes a little further then the biological view but it is still at best inadequate. In the Biblical sense the family is a religious order of life whose essential purpose is to do God’s will and to serve His kingdom. An old premise of Calvinism was summed up in that magnificent statement; “force the antithesis”, “force the antithesis”. People want to halt between two opinions. They want to play the game with both God and the Devil, with good and evil. “Force the antithesis”; compel men to see the logical alternatives, the inescapable conclusions. Only a few men other than Calvinists have been willing to do this; among them being Max Sterner, Fredrick Nietzsche and someone of whom I no longer hear, Cyril Tourneur, whose dates were about 1575 - 1626, an English dramatist. How many of you who may have been English majors ever read any of Tourneur’s works? Anyone here? Well, no one other than myself. He has apparently dropped out of the picture perhaps because he is too close to the present. He was an important figure in his day. Besides his work in English drama he was Sir Edward Cecil’s secretary and his two tragedies, “The Revenger’s Tragedy” and “The Atheist’s Tragedy” were important works in their day and were still well regarded in my student days. [00:34:44]

For Tourneur the beginning of religion consisted of...[edit]

For Tourneur the beginning of religion consisted of terrorizing men. He held that it was better that Christ died then Barabbas. It is said, and we do not know much about his history and no one has gone into the source documents to study it, that it is said and it was said at that time by reliable people that he began systematically to kill important people as a part of his goal of cleansing humanity of its pretentions. He’s also said to of dreamed of creating a new kind of man in his own image by incest. His hatred of the Christian family was not a matter of doubt. Long before the French revolution Tourneur believed in terror as the necessary means of purging the world of its Christian past. Since Tourneur’s day this stream has become the social and political platform of many groups all over the world. It is interesting that that dream of Tourneur of a new world began with the declaration of total war on the family. Tourneur’s dream is very much with us. That it is not enough to oppose that dream by speech or by political action. Empowerment of the family begins with the reChristianization of the family. The empowerment of the family and the command of the future begin with us. Thank you. [00:37:12]