Foundation of Western Liberty (Chalcedon) - RR126C6
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(Rushdoony) Our heavenly father, we give thanks unto thee that thy mercies are new every morning. And we pray for thy forgiveness that so often, our father, we concentrate on the powers of evil and forget thy power, are mindful of what the powers of darkness are doing, but are not mindful of thy Word and of thy love. Make us mindful our Father that all things are in thy hands, and that the government is upon thy shoulders so that we may truly worship thee and magnify thy holy name, In Jesus’ name, amen. Our subject today is the council of Chalcedon, foundation of Western liberty, and our scripture Jeremiah 17: 5-8. The council of Chalcedon, CHALCEDON, foundation of Western liberty. Thus saith the Lord, cursed be the man that trusteth in man and flesh his strength, and his heart departed from the Lord, for he shall be like the shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is the Lord, for he shall be like a tree planted by the waters and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. We have seen thus far in our studies of the councils that the battle was between Christianity and Humanism, between the worship of God and the worship of man. We have seen how humanism after Christianity began to gain power altered its attack and took an entirely different approach. It said in effect: let us affirm Christianity, let us affirm every Orthodox doctrine of the faith and then take it and put it to another use. Affirm it, and then twist it subtly, so that philosophically while we are affirming the orthodox doctrines of the faith, we are destroying them. [00:03:33]
The goal of humanism of course was the exaltation of...
The goal of humanism of course was the exaltation of and the worship of man. And for humanism salvation is not an act of God’s grace, but man’s self-deification, man’s work. And for humanism, the state is the expression of all the divine powers that are inherent in the universe, the state is the divine human order by which men must be saved. The issue at Chalcedon which was called in 451 was a critical one. The orthodox doctrine that Jesus Christ is very God of very God and very man of very man had been firmly established, it was recognized now that this is the hallmark of orthodoxy, that anyone who denies this faith is not of Christ, and so the statists were taking this doctrine and saying of course we believe it. But when this incarnation took place, the divine became human and the human became divine, so that they said there was a confusion of the two natures, each became the other. Now this seems like a purely technical point and to the average man sitting in a church this perhaps seems like quibbling and hairsplitting, but the humanists knew the philosophical implications of this. If you permitted a confusion of the two natures, you were opening the door wide open to the deification of the Emperor as God incarnate, and the state as the divine order, so that again you would have a worship of the state and its ruler. [00:05:50]
Now when the council of Chalcedon was called it seemed...
Now when the council of Chalcedon was called it seemed a poor time to have a debate about fine theological thoughts. The western empire was in flames, the barbarians were ranging from one end to the other at will, the very city where about twenty one years ago prior to the council Saint Augustine had died had already been razed by the barbarians. The eastern empire, Byzantium, was showing signs of crumbling, and not many would have said that it had long to live. On the eastern frontier the tremendous Persian Empire, militantly ant Christian, dedicated to Mazdaism, a faith which is essentially dualistic and is the foundation to all modern illuminism and many medieval heresies, such as the Albigensian heresy, was beginning to move westward, and was throwing all its power against the little state army which was in its path. It seemed as though the world was going to crumble very quickly, a poor time in other words for a council to meet some would have said, on hair splitting doctrine, but the council met 451 AD. The issue is critical, and the victory that was won at Chalcedon is a great one. The name Chalcedon does not appear in your school text books, graduate students at universities may encounter the name in some of their books and they may not. And yet there would be no liberty in the western world if it were not for Chalcedon. Chalcedon and its victory is the foundation of western liberty, and today those who are attempting to fight the subversives are doomed unless they build on this foundation and have full knowledge of its implications. The humanistic goal was to subvert Christianity, to work by using Christian dogma either to keep God at a distance and to say indeed there is a God out there but he is silent, remote and so man is free to do as he pleases, or else to make man God and set him free from God’s law. [00:09:04]
At the council of Nicaea the great figure was Athanasius...
At the council of Nicaea the great figure was Athanasius. At the council of Ephesus, the great figure was very clearly Saint Cyril. Saint Cyril although dead some years dominated Chalcedon to a great extent, because it was the work of Cyril that was carried on, that it was carried on through a man who was not present at the council, who was not able to attend, Saint Leo bishop of Rome. In his tome or letter which he sent to the council, Saint Leo stated the fundamentals of the Augustinian Cyrilian and Athanasian doctrines, the biblical doctrine, very plainly and the council was tremendously swayed by his letter. After its deliberations, the council formulated the definition of Chalcedon concerning the two natures of Christ and their relationship. The definition reads: Therefor following the Holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men who acknowledge one and same son our Lord Jesus Christ. At once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body, of one substance with the father his regards as Godhead and at the same time with one substance with us as regards his manhood. Like us in all respect apart from sin; as regards his Godhead to be gotten of the father before the ages but yet as regards his manhood begotten for us men and for our salvation of Mary the virgin, the theotokos. One and the same Christ, son Lord, only begotten. Recognized in two natures without confusion, without change, without division, without separation. The distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same son and only begotten God the word of Lord Jesus Christ, even as the prophets from earliest time spoke of Him and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us. This is a difficult and very complex statement, and yet the issues are very simple, God or man? Christ or the state? [00:12:30]
What did this definition do? It set Christianity forever...
What did this definition do? It set Christianity forever apart from Greek and pagan, from all humanistic notions of being and of nature, it declared emphatically that there was no union possible between man and God on man’s terms, and on God’s terms it was without confusion. In other words, what it said was that nature cannot ascend or evolve into the supernatural. Now this was the essence of all humanism in antiquity, and of course today as well. It says that all nature was evolving upward, and was ultimately going to become God, and the form it took when it became God was the state so that the state as it moved upward became progressively more and more divine, so that if you were looking for God the place to find him was in the state, and in the head of the state. This is the essence of humanism; it is the worship of man and particularly of man and in the collective form. In the modern form for example Hagel said the state is god walking on the earth. This is the only god you recognize; the followers of Hagel are the Marxists, the existentialists, the Fabians, the Pragmatists, they are Hegelians all, and they are busy that god walking on the earth. But what Chalcedon said in its formula was that the gap between God and man could only be bridged by God and then without confusion so that the two natures of Christ although in perfect union were without change and without confusion. In other words, salvation is not by nature, not by the state, but by God. The bridge between God and man is bridged only by God through Jesus Christ. Second, the council of Chalcedon by this definition raised the standard against mysticism. Mysticism did creep in, but it has always been by the neglect of Chalcedon. What does mysticism claim? The mystic claims that either by meditation or by experience or by certain works he can ascend to the point where he becomes absorbed into the godhead so that he loses himself and becomes god. In oriental in particular and in Hindu mysticism the culmination of the mystical experience is to say to yourself, thou art that, in other words, you are now god. This is personal mysticism, individual mysticism, it is the belief that man, a creature can become God through some form of experience or another. [00:16:20]
But there is also collective mysticism...
But there is also collective mysticism. In individual mysticism it is the individual who becomes God, in collective mysticism it is the state which says we will become God, by our works by our evolution, by our experience we will raise ourselves up and become God incarnate on earth. The whole point of the iconoclastic controversy in Byzantium was simply this: the emperor said that they were the true representation of God on earth and the true icons to be worshipped were their icons, their images. In the Holy Roman Empire this was a repeated problem, and Apollo the third for example declared himself to be the successor to the apostles, and the true vicar of the church. Again with Emperor Maximilian in 1512 he planned to make himself pope and rule the entire civilized world of the day as god on earth in effect. Dusvietski (sp?) looking at the modern world commented on where the danger is, and he declared: not the church becoming state, but the state becoming church. Mark that well. Chalcedon by its definition of the exclusiveness of the incarnation and declaring that in this single act of the union of the divine and the human it was without confusion and without change, declared orthodoxy forever to be hostile to mysticism. Third, salvation was made totally Christian, it is the work of Christ, the work of God not of man or the state. Man has been in trouble since the beginning of the world, man has needed saving, and if man does not have God as his savior he will have the state. And for orthodoxy Jesus Christ and Christ alone is the savior. [00:19:10]
The council moved in terms of this, for the faith declares...
The council moved in terms of this, for the faith declares there is none other name under heaven by which men may be saved, save Jesus Christ. Our Lord declared: I am the way the truth and the light, no man cometh unto the father but by me, I am the door. The liturgies of the day celebrated their joy in this salvation, for example the liturgies of Saint John (?) and Basil the great declared: Adam is recalled, the curse is made void, Eve is set free, death is slain and we are made alive. Wherefore in hymns we cry aloud blessed art thou oh Christ our God. In the same liturgy on the portion of the nativity of Christ we read: the virgin today cometh into a cave to bring forth ineffably the word that is before the ages. Dance thou universe on hearing the tiding! Glorify with the angels and the shepherds him that willed to be beheld the little child, the God before the angels. Can you sense their victory here? They were meeting with the Barbarians roaming across the western half of the empire, and the eastern half at the time showing signs of crumbling and the Persian empire moving to the east, and yet they chant and sing, dance thou universe. This was their sense of victory. Chalcedon moreover made it emphatic that history is the work and plan of God not of man, word was God, all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. [00:21:27]
Chalcedon met to ram home the victory of Ephesus, to...
Chalcedon met to ram home the victory of Ephesus, to throw a roadblock in the path of the humanists and the statists; its victory is a tremendous one. The issue is simply this: how is man saved? By man’s upward reach or by Gods downwards reach; by man’s works, or God’s grace, By God or the state? And Chalcedon made it emphatic: God alone is man’s savior, in and through Jesus Christ man needs saving. And apart from the tradition of Chalcedon in every corner of the world man looks to the state to save him, he looks to the state to give him cradle to grave security, and the state offers him an umbrella as it were under which all things should find shelter and salvation, and the state says I will be your savior from all the problems of sickness and poverty, from hunger, from all problems; come unto me, I am your savior. Western liberty began when the state ceased to be man’s savior and became simply as scripture required, the ministry of justice. Liberty perished where Christ ceases to be man’s savior, man needs a savior, and if he will not believe in Jesus Christ he is going to go to the state for salvation because this he has to have. Take tomorrow every subversive communist Fabian socialist, any and every group and exterminate them and what will the end result be? No different. Within a year you will find the world in the same situation that it is today, because where men will not have Christ to be their savior, the state will be their god and savior. Man requires a savior, Christ or the state. No man can choose the one without denying the other. [00:24:28]
Let us pray. Almighty God our heavenly father we give thee thanks that through thy word thou hast declared unto us the good news of salvation in and through Jesus Christ. We thank thee that thou hast reared up unto thee Godly men, saints of old to defend and to declare this day. And we thank thee our father that thou hast delivered unto us this same faith and summoned us to do battle in thy name. Make us therefore more than conquerors through Him that loved us and make us bold in confidence that we might now fear the power of darkness nor the works of Satan, but might know how great thou art, might move in the confidence: If God be for us, who can be against us? Bless us to this purpose in Jesus name amen. Are there any questions now? Yes.
(Rushdoony)Yes, the divine right of kings came directly out of Greek humanism, when Aristotelianism was revived and introduced into Christian Europe, the same concept was reintroduced, and the monarchs in Europe very quickly picked it up and as a result you had the divine right of kings, and it is simply this old pagan statism, the state as man’s savior. In England for example one of the things that was regular ritual was to bring the sick and the blind and others to the king of England for the King’s touch, because since he had represented the power of God on earth, almost an incarnation of God then he had the power to heal, so that these people would be lined up for the kings touch. And this continued in England well past the time when the United States was first settled. You can understand therefore what it was that the Puritans who fled from England were escaping. It was this kind of total statism and substitute for Christianity. Yes.
(Audience) Now I noticed that LBJ wants to reach out and try and touch people, and I guess that was kind of infected (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) As that I don’t know, but certainly in his speeches he does plan to save to the world, and he is going to deliver he says, from all problems sickness, hunger, poverty, ignorance and so on, so his speeches outline a plan for total salvation, and this is the meaning of the great society, is the saving society, it’s going to be God incarnate as it were. Yes. [00:28:28]
(Audience) Well the humanists are working for salvation by faith (?) I mean it all has to do with this world.. (?) it’s all the here and now, it’s what it is (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) Yes, exactly right, and of course prolonging it indefinitely so that they can have eternal life here now. Yes. Very limited, I have been amused lately to read some of the scientific comments of some scientists on this freezing plan, on the total ridiculousness and absurdity of it, and yet the two or three scientists who pointed out the absurdity are overwhelmed by the great majority who say of course it isn’t possible, but what’s wrong with experimenting? In other words, they are going to move ahead in the faith that because man is God he is going to do the impossible. Yes.
(Audience) Well (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) No, the power of positive thinking in its modern form of course you might say did start here, but it’s very ancient. If man is God, then his thought is creative. We are told that God spake and his word was created, He created the heavens and the earth by His word. Now if man is God just by saying so, he can make things come true. There is a periodical, Humanity is the name of it, in fact it is the periodical issued by the.. well some kind of national council of seminaries and by college and university chaplains, and this includes not only the protestant and I believe the Jewish but also the Newman house chaplains, and the leading article in the current issue is a very interesting one. [00:31:17]
The article of course is very much the left in its...
The article of course is very much the left in its views on Vietnam, on communism, on all things else. And we are to think in terms of peace, absolute peace, absolute brotherhood. Why? Because our thinking is going to create the world, because man is the only God there is, and if all men make up their mind or enough of them, this is going to be, it will be. And the power of positive thinking you see, rests on the concept that since man is God for these humanists, man’s thought will be created. Yes.
(Audience) Now where do you put the Libertarian in? Those that are not Christian-(unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) The libertarians are humanist to the core.
(Audience) (Unintelligible) –they don’t want any government.
(Rushdoony) That’s true, but they are looking to man. In other words, each man is capable, he doesn’t need the state. But the answer Marx said: it’s either this kind of total anarchism, or total sadism. And he said, total sadism makes more sense. So Marx was ready to agree with these libertarians, only he said it’s not as workable, it leads to all kinds of problems, so why not total sadism? And instead of a lot of little gods running around have one big collective god and you’re better off.
(Audience) (Unintelligible) –and you’ve got nothing to worry about? As far reaching but you know, instead of-(unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) Yes. The councils, the first six ecumenical councils were usually called by the emperor, the eastern emperor. Now this was a technicality, what usually happened was that some prominent father of the day, a theologian would get the emperors ear and ask him to call the council. Now the emperors were not always happy with the result, in fact they were almost always very unhappy, and that’s why the councils didn’t meet more often. But, the pressure of the theologians in the church led to the calling of the council. [00:34:09]
The council usually tried to meet fairly briefly, a...
The council usually tried to meet fairly briefly, a matter of a few months at the most. Very careful minutes were taken of the meetings and you can find these in Mignes (?) MIGNE. They are quite full and you also have of course the decisions on every point recorded.
(Audience) So all that material would be available to people- (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) Right, and yet it’s unknown, totally unknown even among churchmen. Yes.
(Rushdoony) Chardan is definitely in the Hegelian tradition, very very definitely. It’s just a variation and you might as well get it straight from Hegel. Chardans influence is frightening when you realize that ten fifteen years ago he was barely in the church and any day might have been kicked out and only by keepings his writings silent did he survive. Today he is one of the most influential of all figures and his works are very definitely far out. He denies the infallibility of scripture, in favor of the infallibility of this evolutionary process, and he does use the term infallibility once with reference to it, so it’s a shocking system, he belongs in the unholy trinity. Yes.
(Rushdoony) Chalcedon was a fairly small community within the boundaries of Byzantium in what we now call Asia Minor, so that it was not too distant from Constantinople.
(Rushdoony) No, no. but this time the great theologians were all in the east and this is the one council that is dominated by someone from the west, Saint (unintelligible). We shall come next time to the Athanasian creed which however was a product of the west, but up until now, the east dominated predominately, and in next week when we come to the Athanasian creed, it is of course a product of Gaul, or what we would call now France. [00:37:26] Yes.
(Rushdoony) Yes. Yes it is a program of salvation and you see, to him politics means salvation. They no longer think of the state as the ministry of justice, justice has nothing to do with it; you are going to save man. But here is a program of salvation that doesn’t change man, Christ changes men. He makes them new creatures; He gives them a new heart but the state takes men and their sins and says you are now saved because we are going to save you, so that it gives them all kinds of privileges which only confirm them in their sin and depravity, so the salvation of the state only leads to greater crisis and catastrophe. Yes.
(Audience) (Unintelligible) –And I read that, and wondered if you could comment on that-(unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) And that has nothing to do with Nigeria or anything like that. No, there is no connection, they don’t pretend to be biblical they’ll just read something in order to say they have read the bible.
(Audience) Well he spoke on the early Church and the (unintelligible).
(Rushdoony) No. as a matter of fact the early church was segregated, first of all in New Testament times it was segregated between the Jewish believers and the gentile believers, and there was a good reason for that. The Jewish believers were so far superior that to integrate the two would have meant more confusion. And when you realize that say in the Corinthian church they didn’t even know that fornication or adultery was a sin, because in the Greek world there was nothing wrong with that. After all, the chambers of commerce in Greece and Corinth and elsewhere in Corinth, the chambers of commerce maintained regularly around two thousand prostitutes for all visiting business men, it was a manufacturing town and so on, and no one thought there was anything immoral about that, or about men having relations with prostitutes. This was all taken for granted, so in the gentile churches the moral standard was pretty low. It was a lot of hard work for a couple of generations and more to bring them up to any kind of standard. [00:40:51]
Well, the Jewish congregations represented a far higher...
Well, the Jewish congregations represented a far higher moral standard and so they were segregated and Paul saw nothing wrong with that, nor did any other apostle. So the principle of segregation was present there from the beginning. There are a couple things I would like to share with you from recent newspaper issues, one is a United Press International fire release, the doctor Lewis Leakey the anthropologist whose recent discovery of Kenya pithicus africanus is considered to be one of the most marvelous scientific finds, has been again talking quite loudly and vocally. He found a few pieces of skeletal remains and of course he knows all about when man originated and what man was like then and a great deal else. Now if you and I attempted to speak as loudly on such fragmentary data, we would be considered insane, but the scientists can do it. And he’s telling us we survived some twenty million years ago because we weren’t tasty enough, in short there were more delicious morels around and that’s why the saber tooth tiger and others didn’t wipe out a primitive man. Now this is called science nowadays, you find something every week in the papers about Dr. Leakey who having discovered a few bones is talking all over the world now and caching in very very heavily indeed on those few dry bones. Yes.
(Rushdoony) Well this is called science, anyone who believes they have discovered anything or that they know anything about the origins of man is a bigger fool than they are, because a man who is made a fool of by fools is the bigger fool. Then there was an interesting article recently in the Wanderer on the myth of overpopulation, which I hope you noticed. I would like to read a few passages from it. The writer Murray Norris of Ventura County says: “If we gathered up the three and three-tenths billion people of the world and stood them shoulder to shoulder we could easily get them all into Ventura County here in California. In fact if we gave each of them six square feet to stand in we could fit every last one of them into one, into the national forest portion of Ventura County, and probably still have room for some of them to lie down. This would leave us just as we are today and the rest of the county, so what is all this noise about?” And he goes on the say there are a large number of economists, agronomists and others who tell us that many parts of the earth are under populated, and we could easily support thirty five billion people, more than ten times the number of people alive on earth today. But what about India? At last count the United Nations in mid 64 figured that India had roughly 374 people per square mile. And if you eliminate the almost unpopulated national part you will find that we have more people per square mile in the rest of Ventura County than there are in India. And if you really want to see a place where they pack people in, why not try the Netherlands where they have 767 people per square mile, that’s more than double the population packing propensities of India. But let’s take a closer look at the food situation, first off at least three fourths of the tillable land on this old earth of ours has not been touched with a plow, and of the rest only a small portion is intensively farmed. Then he goes on to say it’s true that India has a food crisis, but there are a number of reasons, and he said that one of them is that many areas in India have good food supplies but the lack of transport is hampering the proper distribution. [00:45:47]
That they’re concentrating on trying to build steel...
That they’re concentrating on trying to build steel mills and the like and they aren’t getting transportation to move food around in the country. Then he goes on to say that there are some problems of under population. Japan is due for some real problems if it doesn’t increase its production of children, right now the net production rate in Japan is only 89% of the nation as a whole, and only 80% in Tokyo. This means that Japan is not producing enough children to replace its population, it is short about 13% a year. And he says this is true in much of the world, in the United States our population is declining in the countryside and increasing in the cities, so that the deer and the antelope as well as the bear and beaver are rapidly returning to areas where they were recently extinct. Then he goes on to say that recent US Bureau of the census figures indicate a very definitely downward trend in the United States, he says here in Afsar California it appears that the birth rate has dropped nearly 40% in the past five years, and there are indications that it may drop even further this year. In Vienna Austria today deaths are exceeding births at the rate of two to one. Two thirds of the nations of Europe are failing to produce enough children to replace the adult population. Doctor George Carter, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the American Geographical Society says that suppression of these facts on population downtrends amounts to scandalous treatment of the data on population and so on. Now of course there is a reason why we are not told the facts about population or told that this population explosion is from start to finish a myth. The idea is to frighten us into believing that there is not as some have said standing on this earth by the year 2012, in other words less than fifty years away, unless the UN or some other world agency has absolute power over the right of birth, over men and all things else. [00:48:37]
There is not the slightest bit of truth to the myth...
There is not the slightest bit of truth to the myth of the population in (?). Yes.
(Rushdoony) Well of course I don’t accept their theory of these ages where these animals increased and decreased, no I think that again is to a large extent mythical. Yes. Is there another question?
(Rushdoony) Yes, this was for January the twelfth on page five.
(Rushdoony) Murray Norris.
(Rushdoony) Yes. It’s an act of faith. Yes.
(Audience) Well that brings up their Russian experiment (unintelligible).
(Rushdoony) Right. In fact Dr. Lammarts who is a noted geneticist and has won eleven international prizes in genetics has said that one reason why he finds it so easy to outdo the other scientists is because he believes in creationism, so that he knows what he is dealing with, but these people are working on the basis of the theory which makes them believe that certain things are possible which are impossible, and as a result are badly handicapped. Yes.
(Rushdoony) They confuse evolution with changes within a species, and this is not true, you can take a corn and develop it or a rose and develop it, but you haven’t changed it, it’s still a rose and that is not evolution in fact, it will quickly revert to the original form if it’s left to go wild. [00:52:16]
(Audience) This raises a-(unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) Yes. Yes but I’m glad you brought up this point too, you see- oh excuse me. Yes. But you see, this has been instrumental in the capture of scholarship today, because the scholar can be sure any academic institution that if he gives the establishment what they want he will be rewarded. Some kind of prize or grant will be extended to him from the state or from some foundations and most foundations now are virtually agencies of the state or of the establishment. Now one major western university had a situation come up a few years ago, a group of wealthy alumni got together and I met with them in one of their initial meetings and I have no confidence in them now, they formed a little group and they decided that they were going to stimulate and encourage the faculty members to make a stand for freedom. So they accumulated right off the bat a hundred and I believe it was a hundred and fifty thousand within a week or so afterward, they had all kinds of money, and they went to the board of trustees and said we would like to grant to the faculty members through the university prizes annually for particular kinds of research that are pleasing to us, say ten thousand to this man and twenty thousand to another, as an encouragement for those principles which we believe are basic to this country. [00:55:17]
They were of course slapped in the faces by the board...
They were of course slapped in the faces by the board and denied recognition and they have a nominal existence today but they uphold it. But the basic principle of course is sound, there is no inducement today whatsoever for anyone to do anything to the counter of what’s going on in the academic institutions. Well our time is up now and we stand dismissed.