Biblical Reconstruction - RR179A1

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Biblical Reconstruction
Course: Course - Christian Reconstruction vs. Humanism
Subject: Subject:Christian Reconstruction/Humanism
Lesson#: 5
Length: 0:33:54
TapeCode: RR179A1
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Christian Reconstruction vs. Humanism.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.

As we turn now to the subject of Biblical Reconstruction, it is important to remember that at one time the sovereignty of God was common to all believers. St. Teresa of Avila, whose dates are 1515 to 1582, was an austere and very ascetic nun, radically withdrawn from the world, and the temper of her religious experience can be expressed in her poem: “Let nothing disturb thee, let nothing dismay thee, all things pass, God never changes. Patience attains all that it strives for; he who has God finds he lacks nothing; God alone suffices.” St. Teresa and her convent all the same saw God as the sovereign Lord on the throne of creation, He who made all things for himself and for His purposes. Hence she believed with all her heart, that the urgent question of life is this: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And hence she wrote also: “I am thine, and born for thee. What wilt thou have done with me? A contemporary of hers was John Calvin, who was even more explicit about God sovereignty and total government. He held, and I quote: “It is obvious that every year, month, and day is governed by a new and particular providence of God.” Well before the rise of formal deism, there was deism, a pragmatic deism, which relegated God to heaven and left the government of the world to human rulers, and Calvin wrote concerning this in his institutes, and I quote at some length because he saw the issue almost too centuries before it came to focus. [00:03:08]

I quote: “And indeed God asserts His possession of omnipotence and claims our acknowledgement of this attribute not such as is imagined by Sophos, vain, idle, and almost asleep, but vigilant, efficacious, operative and engaged in continual action, not a mere general principle of confused motion as if he should command a river to flow through the channels once made for it, but a power constantly exerted on us every distinct and particular moment. For He is accounted omnipotent, not because He is able to act yet sits down in idleness, or continues by general instinct the order of nature originally appointed by Him, but because He governs heaven and earth by His providence and regulates all things in such a manner that nothing happens but according to His counsel. For when it is said in the Psalms that He does whatsoever He pleases, it denotes His certain and deliberate will, for it would be quite insipid to expound the words of the prophet in the philosophical manner, that God is the prime aged because he is the principle cause of all motion, whereas the faithful should rather encourage themselves in adversity with this consolation, that they suffer no affliction but by the ordination and command of God, because they are under His hand. But if the government of God be thus expended to all His works, it is a puerile cavil to limit it to the influence and course of nature, and they not only defraud God of His glory but themselves of a very useful doctrine, who can find the divine providence within such narrow bounds, as though he permitted all things to proceed in an uncontrolled course according to a perpetual law of nature, for nothing would exceed the misery of man if he were exposed to all the motions of the heaven, air, earth, and waters. Besides, this notion would shamefully diminish the singular goodness of God toward every individual. [00:06:03]

Calvin plainly saw the dangers in pragmatic deism,...[edit]

Calvin plainly saw the dangers in pragmatic deism, in believing that God was once active in creating the world and was maybe in old testament times occasionally, and was in new testament times, but ever since then He has withdrawn, and has left the world into the hands of man. God as sovereign, Calvin says, absolutely governs, every moment, every hour, every day, and every month. As our Lord tells us, are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father, but the very hairs of your head are all numbered, fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. God is sovereign, there is a total absolute government in His hands, we are created in His image, and we are required to exercise dominion, this command is the foundation of all the laws of God, having commanded us to exercise dominion, God requires us to exercise it according to His law-word, so in His word He tells us how to work, how to eat, how to use all things in terms of His requirements. We must remember it is man who is made in the image of God, not the church, and not the state, so that the dominion mandate is spoken primarily to God, and church and state are instruments for man to work with, they are not themselves the image of God, and it is Gods image bearer that is to be the primary agency of Gods work in all of creation. The state we are told is a minister of God and the word is literally diakonos, deacon, a servant. It is a serious error to see theocracy as a government of the world through the state; it means the self-government of every Christian man in every sphere guided by the word of God and the Holy Spirit. God gives His word as the means for us to serve Him. [00:09:33]

He limits church and state in their service, but not...[edit]

He limits church and state in their service, but not man. In scripture the state is limited to a poll or head tax, a small amount payable by every male twenty years old and older, thus civil government according to scripture is to be severely limited, it is the ministry of justice, nothing more. Similarly, the church is limited in scripture, the tithe was paid to the Levites who were the instructors of Israel, and they gave a tithe of the tithe to the priests for worship. The Levites had a responsibility for instruction, for health, education and welfare, Gods law calls upon us in Christ to exercise government in His name, for the government is upon His shoulders and as we are members of Him, we partake of that responsibility to bring all things into captivity to Jesus Christ. Adam was created to exercise dominion, he lost it over even himself, and fallen man now seeks Godless power, Godless dominion, but Jesus Christ is our new Adam, the head of the new humanity, the new human race and by His atoning blood He makes us members of that new humanity. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, a new creation, a member of the new humanity, and he is now empowered in Christ to exercise dominion, and to bring everything into captivity to our Lord. [00:12:10]

The triune God exercises total government over all...[edit]

The triune God exercises total government over all things, and He requires us as His image bearers to exercise government in Jesus Christ our Lord in our own spheres in terms of His law. Our Lord commands us saying: no man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other, ye cannot serve God and mammon, but seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Very plainly our Lord requires us to give priority to the kingdom of God; this means first that the kingdom must govern us, our institutions, our churches, states, our every sphere. We are the Lords, and in no sphere where we live and operate can we allow anything to be separated from Christ. Every atom of creation must be under His dominion. Second, this is a sovereign kingdom, ruled by the sovereign Christ the king, the blessed and only potentate the king of kings and lord of lords. The realm belonging to a sovereign cannot be given to another without sin, and without facing the wrath of the sovereign. We cannot take any area of life and give it to the godless, or to an institution; all things must be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. Third, we are the sovereign’s people, His creation. The earth is His and He made it, we are told by Solomon, the Lord hath made all things for Himself, yea even the wicked for the day of evil. God is the Lord the sovereign, not man. The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. Fourth: a kingdom is also a law sphere, it is ruled by a sovereign who’s every word is law, the Bible is God’s law book, His command word which must govern every sphere of life and thought, but now man made laws govern us, because our sins have led us to surrender so much of the world to the enemies of our savior. This does not give us a title to disobedience, because our way is not revolution, which is futile, it can never change man; it only develops and aggravates his sin. Our way is regeneration and then the exercise of dominion. Opposition is futile, reconstruction is effective. Exposing the sins of the enemy accomplishes nothing, doing the work of our Lord which he requires of us, has His blessing and His power behind it. [00:16:48]

Then fifth, a sovereign realm is also a judgment realm...[edit]

Then fifth, a sovereign realm is also a judgment realm, and one evidence that we do not take God seriously is our failure to regard Gods judgments in history as certain, and inescapable, and the last judgment as inevitable. There is very little preaching on the last judgment, because we don’t take God seriously. There is very little preaching on Gods judgments in history, and how they are right now overtaking us, that perhaps before the end of this decade, we will see Gods judgments upon all the world. The monetary sphere is collapsing; the economy is falling apart, and peoples everywhere in trouble and their hearts failing them for fear who are already seeing hints, evidences of that coming collapse. I had a call a few weeks back from a pastor in one of the oil states, in a small city where everyone is in an oil related work, a large church with a Christian school of over six hundred and forty and it’s facing closure next month. No money to pay the teachers, no money for tuition, a large congregation, no one working, able to pay the pastor who for his living expenses now having not been paid, owes thirty thousand dollars. And think of the problem of people who face that sort of thing or who will face it in a few years here and everywhere else who are already head over heels in debt. [00:19:30]

Men always must bear in mind that Gods word is true...[edit]

Men always must bear in mind that Gods word is true, and when he declares that the wages of sin are death, you had better expect that sentence to be passed. Moreover, His word tells us that the promise of faithfulness, of obedience to His law is life, and to honor our father and mother is the first promise, the first of many, the first in priority because the family is Gods basic institution, and in Deuteronomy 28 we are told of the promise of inescapable curses and deaths for faithlessness to God and His word, and the irresistible blessings and life upon obedience. We must remember that men always obey their gods, the trouble is, usually their gods are false gods, and today too many in the church are disobedient to the Lord Jesus Christ because He is merely their insurance agent, and not their God, not their redeemer. [00:21:17]

Almost two centuries ago, one theologian Charles Buck...[edit]

Almost two centuries ago, one theologian Charles Buck defined Gods dominion thus, I quote: “the dominion of God is His absolute right to and authority over all His creatures, to do with them as He pleases. It is distinguished from His power thus, His dominion is a right of making what He pleases, and of disposing what he doth possess, for as His power is an ability to make what He hath a right to create, to hold what He doth possess, and to execute what He hath purposed or resolved.” We could add something further, man’s dominion is covenantal, and Gods covenant is a sovereign act of grace on the Lords part, whereby He graciously gives His law to His image bearer man, as man’s way of life, because man’s dominion is an aspect of Gods covenant with man. It can only be exercised in terms of God’s law; any departure from the word of God incurs Gods judgment. Covenantal dominion means that God not man is in control, and the control is total. God’s law covers war and peace, courts, domestic relations, labor relations, inheritance, real property, personal property, money and interest, debtor and creditor, contracts, crime, animals, widows and orphans, time and the land, weights and measures, diet, clothing, and all things else. It tells us that God must govern us in the totality of our lives. A fundamental requirement of covenantal dominion is to work for our freedom from every kind of slavery, beginning with the slavery to sin, the slavery then to other things, to debt, to other men, and so on. We are not to seek our freedom through rebellion, but through faith and obedience, through Godly reconstruction. Paul declares to the Corinthians, that every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called: “art thou called being a servant? Care not for it. But if thou mayest be made free, use it rather, for that he that is called in the Lord being a servant is the Lords free man, likewise also he that is called being free is Christ’s servant, ye are bought with a price, be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man wherein he is called therein abide with God.” We are called therefor into freedom, to be responsible dominion men under God, reclaiming every sphere for him by means of His law. We have a duty therefor to remake ourselves and our families and our world into Christ’s kingdom. [00:25:26]

The great day shall come whether or not we are ourselves...[edit]

The great day shall come whether or not we are ourselves a part of it, when the proclamation shall declare the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. This is our salvation victory, which we are to spread into every realm. Because the ties are Levitical and not priestly, they may be used and must be used to fund kingdom activities in every sphere, churches schools on all levels, hospitals, welfare, and much much more must be financed by Christ’s people in the name of the Lord, because with Christ coming to earth as our true Adam, the government is now upon His shoulders, and we as members of His body and His new redeemed humanity, share under Him that responsibility for the government of all things. The calling of Christ’s people is to judge, to govern, and to rule the world under Christ and His law word. We are the members of Christ, and Christ’s members must be linked, not to sin and sloth, but to government and dominion. [00:27:19]

Paul wrote to one of the sickest of all his churches...[edit]

Paul wrote to one of the sickest of all his churches, the Corinthian church, when they were faced with serious problems, serious moral delinquency within their group, members going to court one against the other, and he said: “What? Know ye not that the saints are to judge the world? How then do you go to court against one another?” the word he used translated in the king James as judge is in the Greek “Krino” which means “to govern, to rule.” The church took him seriously, beginning with the Corinthians; it’s one of the great stories in the history of our faith. They did set up courts, they did begin to judge between disputes and problems and conflicts between members, in terms of the every word of God. In time, because the church courts became so well known for giving justice when the roman courts were corrupt and slow, in one famous case it took over forty years to give a judgment, and it was no good. (Laughter) That even the pagans began to go to the Christian courts, they knew there, they could get justice. When Constantine came to power and recognizes Christianity, he issued one order controlling the church, he didn’t interfere otherwise with the life of the church, he said: “since you people are giving justice, from now on I want everyone to know that they can go to you for justice, so every head of a congregation is here after to wear the garb of a roman magistrate, so that people know that he is a source of justice. To this day, although I suspect there are no bishops who know it, a bishop’s garb is the garb of a roman magistrate. For six centuries the church provided the courts for Europe, six hundred years. Today, Christian courts of settlement are springing up again; even the poorest of them do a better job than our state courts. Things are happening; Christians are taking back government in the name of Jesus Christ. in the next mailing of the Chalcedon report you will read something by Cindy Rocker, a young woman, a mother of five, a convert of little more than seven years ago, who decided the Lord wanted her to do something besides sitting in the pew. [00:31:13]

You know, one of the great heroes of the faith, general...[edit]

You know, one of the great heroes of the faith, general Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, whose program by the way was only half implemented by his followers, he wanted to go into the slums and convert people, then he wanted to give them training to be productive people of society, so they would move from poverty to productivity. But on one occasion General Booth said: “the trouble with the churches is that when they convert somebody they mummify him, so that all he’s capable of doing is sitting in the pew and reaching into his back pocket for his wallet, and he doesn’t do that very well.” Well Cindy Rocker is not a mummy Christian, read her report on the poverty program she began, now she’s moving into job training, and housing, one woman. A senator in Washington has said to indicate that the churches should put up or shut up, that if every church and synagogue would take care of one family on welfare, the problem would disappear, though we can do better than take care of them, we’ve got an obligation to convert them. You will also read in the next mailing a marvelous article by an agricultural economist in England on reconstruction within the family, and the potential power of the family to re-order all human society. It can be done, God requires it of us, and we had better do it, or face His wrath and judgment. Thank you. [00:33:32]