Confrontation - RR176A1

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Confrontation
Course: Course - Christian Reconstruction vs. Humanism
Subject: Subject:Christian Reconstruction/Humanism
Lesson#: 2
Length: 0:35:40
TapeCode: RR176A1
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.


[Introduction] We are blessed at this time to have stand before us one now who has been through some of the refined through fire and has become by the grace and decree of God a man mighty in spirit, a spokesman for the thrice holy God, bringing His message to us now on the subject of confrontation. It is my pleasure to introduce to you now Dr. Rushdoony. [applause]

[Rushdoony] In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Ever since Adam and Eve man has been trying to remake all things in terms of their own sinful will. They do not like Gods world, they do not like God word, for within in and out of the church, they are in rebellion against it. And men regard themselves as the new gods of creation. And men seek to know to determine good and evil, law and life for themselves in terms of their own will, their creed is whether in God’s name or humanities, my will be done. In the modern era especially, man has exalted his own creativity in every sphere. We see it in the arts, we see lawlessness as art. We see a contempt of all restraints and restrictions, and this contempt is now seen as true, as great art. Alfred H. Barr Jr. has said in what Gibson A. Danes has called a penetrating essay and I quote: “Freedom of expression, freedom from want and fear, these are desirables for the artist. But why should the artist’s freedom particularly concern the rest of us? Because the artist gives us pleasure or tells of the truth? Yes but more than this. His freedom as we find it expressed in his work of art is a symbol, and embodiment of the freedom which we all want but which we can never really find in everyday life with its schedules regulations and compromises.” [00:03:26]

The appeal of modern art in other words, is its total...[edit]

The appeal of modern art in other words, is its total lawlessness. Its contempt for all rules, its hatred of all meaning, its refusal to submit to any rule or standard outside of the mind of the artist. The more lawless the artist sometimes, the greater his appeal. Not too many years ago in New York an artist made it into the ranks of the hundreds of thousands per totally abstract painting, because he was so outrageous to a great extent [audio error] behavior. He would relieve himself at a party into the fireplace, and this appealed to everybody. Here was a free spirit! Suzanne Langer has said and I quote: “what then is art? It is the beginning of all true freedom, self-awareness, spirituality, the symbolic expression of feeling.” Modern art is liked because it is contemptuous of all rules of all meaning, of all meaning, of all morality, and this appeals to people who say that’s the way I want to live, that’s the kind of world I want. Henry Taylor said and I quote: “only by the artists’ complete freedom of creation can the integrity of art be kept alive.” For Nelson Algren a very popular writer of a few years ago, this complete artistic freedom meant the negation of Gods law and God order. All meaning he held, had to be subverted. To live by Gods law, he held, was evil. Sad that some churchmen are saying the same thing. He regularly made statements like this; the really chaste woman is the whore. He insisted that the prostitute was more moral than the chaste hard working waitress. Why? Because he said, and I quote: “well because she is getting more out of life. This is the only morality I know of. If you want to pray then pray, if you want to believe in God, believe in God, that’s optional. The important thing is keep your life for yourself, that’s the only morality, keep your own life.” For Algren, life had no purpose. And he said “well, no ultimate purpose. The purpose is to live it, it has its own purpose, its only purpose is a part of itself, you’re alive that’s it only purpose. The only meaning that life has is to have it while you’ve got it, use it while you’ve got it. Life’s meaning simply comes in within your senses, that’s your only justification, to sight and smell and sound. And you keep those as sharp as you can for as long as you can, and then you go out as fast as you can.” [00:07:40]

No law exists in the universe for Ogran...[edit]

No law exists in the universe for Ogran. No meaning, no order. He called for the death of all restraints, he hated morality. Although he was not a homosexual, he could not bring himself to condemn it, despite his distaste for them, as unmanly. So he simply had to say when pushed to it that it was a very inferior kind of thinking. He was against marriage; he said life should be uncommitted. He also held and I quote: “there are certain people who ought to be shot in the head.” And asked if the legal system would require him to do the job would he do it? And he said the temptation is to say yes. Was he ever called a Nazi? No, he was a good true blue card carrying liberal. [00:08:57]

Frank Kermode in the sense of an ending and continuities...[edit]

Frank Kermode in the sense of an ending and continuities in 1968, called for the de-creating of the world, to take Gods creation, and de-create it, and to de-create man. For him this meant clearing the world of God’s order, purging the world and society of everything that smacked of God. And abstract art he held was a major means of that goal. Moreover the older liberal messianic liberalism was despised after WWI by an increasing number of artists, although in this country that older liberalism continued, and still is with us. James Joyce was particularly contemptuous of Christians and of liberals, of everyone. For him, man, faith, morality, everything was to be despised. Of him his wife said that after reading Ulysses and I quote: “I guess the man is a genius. But what a dirty mind he has surely.” In Ulysses James Joyce ridiculed both religious faith and the secular hope for man. His hero, or antihero, Bloom, imagines himself as the reformer, the prophet and the savior and at one point declares and I quote: “my beloved subjects, a new era is about to dawn. I Bloom, tell you it is verily it is even now at hand, yea on the word of a Bloom ye shall ere long enter into the golden city which is to be the new Bloomusalem in the nova Hibernia of the future.” He announces a reform program which characters all liberal reforms. Promising a humanistic utopia by decree, and the church and Christianity are also caricatured by a mock prayer given by the daughters of Aaron. In 1916 John Crow Ransom protested against God as an abstraction and one of his poems summoned the lady beloved to come home from God, to abandon her faith. But having reduced God to an abstraction, men soon began to view the world and other people as abstractions. And when other people are abstractions they and life become meaningless. Art in the modern age has moved steadily into a declaration of independence from God, from law, from meaning, to autonomous man. [00:12:49]

And society has followed art...[edit]

And society has followed art. But affirm autonomous man is to affirm anarchy. It means that no law remains and no meaning, not tie which can bind man to man, and when you remove the religious faith that binds people one to another, when the communion of the saints ceases to be the binding power in a society, then the only thing that can bind man to man is the coercive state, and precisely as Christianity is receded from the world and retreated into the church, we have seen the coercive state take the place, and the communion of the saints replaced by the power state. The state you see must then create an artificial bond to tie man to man, a coercive bond and the result is that in every sphere the coercive state replaces the communion and the community of the saints. In politics the sovereign is replaced by the sovereign state, and Gods law is despised. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made and all the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth, all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. The totality of God creation has Gods law written into it every atom. So that in Paul’s words in Romans 1: 20-22, For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made even as eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse. [00:15:43]

Because that when they knew God, they glorified Him...[edit]

Because that when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither thankful, but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Otto Scott has written and is writing on the fools of humanism, His James the 1st is on the book table, these are the makers of the modern age: James the first, Robespierre, John Brown of Harpers Ferry, and the books still to come on Woodrow Wilson. Significantly all saw their focus in statist action and decree. When men work against the inscriptured law of God, and the same law which is in every atom of all creation and their own being, they are fools and they are suicidal. They become lovers of death. In the words of scripture: for who so findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth own soul, and this modern man is doing. As a result we are governed by fools, we are surrounded by fools, whose being is marked by a will to death. And thus we see man suicidal in his politics, in his law, in his economics, in his art, in his education, and in everything else. [00:18:18]

Modern statism sees laws either as the will of the...[edit]

Modern statism sees laws either as the will of the majority or of the ruling elite, and in either case it is anti-Christian to the core. Law is the will of a sovereign, of a lord and the issue of this age must face is who is the lord? In earlier years, humanists still lacked epistemological self-consciousness. They could deny God but still retain Christian morality, inconsistently. Early in the last century Max Turner in the Ego and His own, a book that was a century and a half ahead of its time, as our anarchists spoke out against the humanists of his day and said they were closet Christians. They denied God but they were secretly moral because they said which of you will sleep with daughter or sister or mother? And you are a closet Christian if you see law, morality, in any sphere. Well the humanists are becoming more logical and consistent steadily. The homosexuals have come out of the closet and the Christians have gone in. (laughter) But that is not all. Today we see mass murders, a sexual revolution, sexual immorality, abortion, and more. More than that, criminals and prostitutes, homosexuals are all acting on the premise that they are the wave of the future. In the last decade when the police arrested someone operating as a house of prostitution, in New York City, he shook his fist at God in the sky shouting, we’ll be here next year! And the year after! And the year after that! The Church will go before we go! Someone later, a pimp, in New York City also sat on a high stairway perch in a bar and issued a declaration which was cheered: I am against everything that’s normal, he said. Their position is logical, given as they believed the end of Christianity and the death of God. The course of truth requires the death of all illusions. I have on another occasion referred to E. (?) Rules of Sociological Method which in its key chapters you may recall, on the normality of crime, declares that the criminal is an evolutionary pioneer, he declares and I quote: “to make progress, individual originality must be able to express itself.” The criminal axe he says often “only as an anticipation of future morality a step towards what will be.” Crime is social experimentation he held, a means of destroying obsolete morality. And it is not Gods law, but the generality of the phenomenon that must be taken as the test of normality. These humanists do not see themselves as lawbreakers, but law makers, the pioneers into the future. The Bible is seen by them as the chains of the past to be destroyed, and Christianity as guilty of a crime against mankind and its freedom. [00:23:02]

I cited Alfred Barr on modern art, and why we should...[edit]

I cited Alfred Barr on modern art, and why we should love it, because it breaks all rules, because, as he said, it is an embodiment of the freedom we all want, but as yet cannot realize. We cannot begin to confront the world of our time with the gospel until we realize what our world has become. In John Bunyan’s day there was no lack of unbelief, far from it. No lack of immorality, emphatically not. But humanism was not yet fully developed, in his day man sinned but they knew themselves as sinners. Now men sin and declare themselves to be the pioneers of truth and the future. Thus, as we confront our age and this is either going to be a time of confrontation in the next few years, or we shall see the death and the funeral of the church. As we confront our age we must remember first, that however deeply suppressed, all men know the truth of God in every atom of their being. The knowledge of God is inescapable knowledge, and second, the unbelief of our age is more than piece-meal unbelief. It is more than a doubt of just the bible, it is the denial of God’s word and world, it is a program for de-creation, and as one writer suggested in 1952 Gordon Childs wrote a book; Man Makes Himself, it may still be in print, I know that up to 5 or 6 years ago it still was in print from the early 50’s, 1952, the program for humanism, man makes himself. Then third we must remember it is not an absence of faith we face, but an aggressive, militant counterfeit, a counter culture with a total plan for man and for life. [00:26:27]

On all sides we face a new lifestyle, which is aggressively...[edit]

On all sides we face a new lifestyle, which is aggressively, militantly, anti-Christ. We see it in the media, we see it on television, in the press, we see it in education and in politics. Grotius, one of the great fountainheads of modern humanism became the leader of humanism in the modern age, because he distinguished between the law of God and the law of nature, the law of nations. He separated providence and the processes of life and history, to make them naturalistic totally. He did not say I do not believe in God, he just pushed God back into the heavens; he stripped the world of God. So that men could write like law naturally, of man as a machine, of nature as a machine, God was removed from the creation. All process made naturalistic. And natural forces replaced Gods purpose, instead of a goal to history; a conglomerate of mechanical ends was affirmed. Nature was divorced from God, was seen as self-generating, as a self-governing entity, as a substitute for God. As James P. Martin has written and I quote: “The deification of nature and of man as part of nature involved the liberation of humanity from external authority, and by external authority let me add, he means God and Gods law. Man, they declare is not under bondage to God any longer, not under predestination by God, but predestination by man through the state. Then fourth, we have a new kind of belief in the miraculous, nature works dependent miracles. It now does than God does they say, just give nature some hundreds of billions of years, and there is no miracle nature will not perform. It will violate in that time every rule and law that is supposedly part of its being, it will make everything the opposite of what it was and the opposite of itself, and all this is done by a mindless nature. There is no more stupendous belief in the miraculous than that. I cannot believe in evolution because I don’t find myself capable of stretching my mind to believe in such a stupendous miracle. [00:30:35]

Life comes from nothing, time, and process, which are...[edit]

Life comes from nothing, time, and process, which are not beings, which are nothing really, perform all kinds of miracles. Talk about blind faith, irrational faith, fanatical faith. That’s what evolution is. We cannot limit our faith to our inner life, humanism is egocentricity, it says man is the purpose of life, his own purpose. And if you say the whole goal of Christianity and of the gospel is your salvation and mine, you’re caught up in the same egocentricity. We are told seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, or justice. Our salvation is only the beginning, the starting point of the life of faith, not the be all and end all. The calling to us is the same as to Gods servants of old, and as to Ezekiel, as he faced an evil generation and God said to Ezekiel, son of man; I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me even unto this very day, for they are impudent children, and stiff-hearted. I do send thee unto them and thou shalt say unto them; thus saith the Lord God, and they, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, for they are a rebellious house, yet shall they know that there hath been a prophet among them, and thou son of man be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words though briars and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions, be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, for they are most rebellious but thou son of man, hear what I say unto thee; be not rebellious like that rebellious house. [00:33:58]

There is no question that this age shall be judged...[edit]

There is no question that this age shall be judged and judgment is already underway. In every age as Peter says, judgment must begin at the house of God. And if it first begin thus, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? If the Christians are to be judged, how much more so the rest? All the things which exist are being shaken so that only those things which cannot be shaken may remain, God declares to every age; I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it, and it shall be no more until He come who’s right it is and I will give it to Him. [applause] [00:35:30]