Humanism - RR141C6

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Humanism
Course: Course - Humanism
Subject: Subject:Humanism
Lesson#: 6
Length: 0:41:10
TapeCode: RR141C6
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
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.


[Audience Member] Bringing into existence for example Christian laws, protecting Christian Schools, families, etc. and as a pastor I’ve wondered and we have several pastors here, I might just elaborate on this, what can we as pastors do for our people, what can our people do; what pastors are not aware of.

[Rushdoony] Yes, the humanists are out destroy us, through the courts and through the state legislators. Now, there is no reason for Christians to be impotent in this country, after all 55 million according to polls claim to be Bible believing, and declare that they are born again. Now I question that number because Scripture says: “By their fruits shall ye know them.” But, there is no question in my mind that Christians should and can dominate this country, after all there are more people in church on any given Sunday than have ever voted in any national election. And most of those people who go to church now are in churches that profess to believe the Bible from cover to cover. Your modernist churches by the way are fairly empty nowadays. Amazingly so.

So, what Christians have to do is to make a stand. To make themselves heard on the state and the national scene. Now just nearby in North Carolina the Christian schools lost in a court there, I was a witness there, they lost the case. But, the churches that were involved did their work, they made the issues plain to people up and down the length and breadth of North Carolina. The pastor at Winston Salem, Dan Carr, a Baptist pastor, was asked by a group of other churches, would he resign and spend full time informing people up and down the state about what was happening, and to help arouse Christian opinion in the state, and he is doing that.

In no time at all the governor came around them and wanted some help from them to frame legislation that would alleviate the Christian School crisis. Dan Carr was stirring up too much trouble. So they have that legislation now. Well that shows what can be done. Well, in California we have been trying to organize, and we have four bills now before the state legislature to alleviate the crisis there.

Now we are not trying to accomplish too much, because then we would lose for sure, but if we can get in one little bill this year and another little one next year, then we can do it. Just as we were able to get handcuffs placed on the IRS for this fiscal year which ends June 31st. [00:03:45]

Or 30th, I forget how many days are in June. But at any rate, had the bill before congress said: “The IRS is forever barred from interfering with churches and Christian schools.” We would have gotten nowhere, but when we asked for it during the fiscal year, it was easy to get the churches off their backs and the congressmen and senators went along with it. As it was, we barely got by. We have that battle to fight again, and because Carter has asked Congress to take off the handcuffs in relationship to churches and Christian schools.

What I am saying is, that Christians have to organize, to help finance the legal cases and to help get legislation. The right kind of legislation. Otherwise we are going to be done in before we know what’s happened. Now California had a remarkable series of laws protecting the church, these go back to Lincolns time and they were instituted in order to swing California into the Union ranks, because that’s where the gold was to finance the war. But at any rate they took hands off all churches, Christian schools, colleges, seminaries; and had Christian legislation with regard to moral and sexual matters.

About 10 years ago those were all repealed. Now the San Francisco Homosexual community that asked for the repeal of those laws did not expect them to pass or get out of committee, but the committee found a stream of homosexuals there and no Christians, finally they called around, and somebody said: “Well there’s a guy named Rushdoony who gets involved in things like that, get in touch with him.” So I was brought in. But they couldn’t get anyone else, most churches didn’t want to be bothered. And so the legislature was startled. The Christian vote didn’t mean a thing, they didn’t have to worry about Catholics or Protestants, and they repealed the whole works. [00:06:28]

As a matter of fact, now this story was actually being...[edit]

As a matter of fact, now this story was actually being told because what happened over night was that the state legislature woke up to the Christian community and what it was like, they were telling this story. I hope you don’t mind my taking this long with answers, but these are godless men, they were telling this story, invented, but telling, about two very zealous Christians who were walking down a street one night and they saw a hoodlum beating up on and robbing an elderly man. Very savagely. And they stood there and debated, “Should we step in and rescue that old man?” and then they decided, “No, it would be unwise to do so, because somebody needs to witness to that bully, and if we step in then he won’t listen to our witness.” Now, that was the story they were telling at the state capital, because that’s where I heard it, and they were laughing. They wrote off the whole Christian community. So it’s taken a lot of work in recent months to get an aroused Christian community to fight to save these churches and to get legislation introduced.

We’ve got to do it. We have 2-3 good groups in Washington, we need to work with them and we need to work with the local ones. And it means not once, but again and again, we got in an unprecedented volume of mail into the IRS when it tried to control every Christian school in the country, they were shocked. The IRS by law is required to answer every letter it gets. They’d never had more than a handful, and suddenly they had 150-160 thousand. And everybody was taking time off to sort the letters, and they were appalled. Congress got even more.

We need to do that, and to go even further to get specifically Christian legislation back on the books. [00:08:54]

[Audience Member] Why did the Unitarian church succeed...[edit]

[Audience Member] Why did the Unitarian church succeed in taking over what had been Puritan New England?

[Rushdoony] Why did the Unitarian church succeed in taking over what had been Puritan New England? Well, that’s a long and complicated story, but very briefly, the reason was certain things that, I’ll make Don Jones very happy with this, but a very good Calvinistic Baptist, Isaac Backus, who was the real founder of the Baptist churches in this country, not Roger Williams. A very great man, a great Reformed thinker.

He saw the weakness in New England, they had a state church. Everybody in a community was a member of the church. Well, this was fine if you put aside the improper relationship of church and state as long as everybody was a believer, but what happened when immigration began to pour in, enough people to double the population of the communities every few years, after 1781, which was happening. And you had Englishmen coming over, and others, who came over because they wanted cheap land, and they wanted to get away from being poor in the old country and wanted to do better in the new world.

The minute they landed and moved out to say, Salem, or Boston, or any place, they were members of the church whether they believed or not. So in 1815 all these people began to come together and vote out every Reformed man all over New England, in all the New England states where they had this church state relationship. And suddenly these old historic churches were in the hands of Unitarians. And they’ve been there ever since. And that was the reason for it. [00:11:27]

Let me say there was another thing in the background...[edit]

Let me say there was another thing in the background that hurt in New England, previously they had been very good about converting the immigrants, but we mustn’t forget the important role of the New England Clergy in the War of Independence, these men laid down some of the doctrines that gave the grounds for resistance; many of them joined the army or were chaplains. The British regarded the churches as responsible for the war, and wherever they went, north and south alike, they headed for the local church, and if it were at all Reformed they burned it to the ground.

Well, at the end of the war it was the Calvinistic Clergy and all the colonies who had had the greatest loss of life. Many of them had been killed during the war. It had been their churches which had been burned to the ground. By the time they got around to re-building and trying to reestablish their parishes, the Unitarian onslaught hit them, and they never recovered from it. Right now New England is the weakest part of the country, as far as the faith is concerned, it’s been that way since then.

[Audience Member] What is the proper Biblical response to the good works of the world, such as shrine hospitals, child abuse fights, etc?

[Rushdoony] Well, I don’t believe we need concern ourselves with those things, to take a stand one way or another. We have so much to do, there is no need for us to get involved one way or another with these other things, if they want to do them, well and good; but there is an important factor here. A lot of these good works by the unbelievers or modernists has been motivated for a generation or several generation by a Christian background. There is a sociologist, a very fine Christian who has been working in this area, and he says by the way the main villain in the decline of seminaries and Christian colleges that are Christian is accreditation. He says: “One new group after another begins and says: “We are going to create a new movement, we are going to stand on the whole word of God.” And the first thing they do when they organize a seminary or a Christian college is to go around to the humanists begging for accreditation.” And he said: “In no time at all they are a humanist institution.” So says this very able sociologist, and he has documented it. [00:14:47]

But, at any rate he says...[edit]

But, at any rate he says: “As a result the modernist churches for some generations have been a half way point between the Bible believing churches and the world. They grow up in the Bible believing churches, or got to the Bible believing colleges and seminaries, and there they get some of this humanism, and from there they go to some of these liberal churches, and then their children go out into the world completely.” So we have been fueling them, and they have been fueling these various moral good works projects in the community, but their impetus is dying. Just as their churches are dying now.

I know that the United Presbyterian church for example has assets, had assets, going back to the colonial period and endowed funds. It used to be at the beginning of the 50’s that their board of national missions for example, I think the income was 10-20 million dollars before anybody gave a nickel. In these endowed funds. One church after another has used up its endowed funds, in the late 50’s and throughout the 60’s to try and promote world revolution, and social revolution in this country, and now they don’t have any money. They are running out of steam. And the same impetus is also missing in these various lodges and other groups.

The most impetus and steam is in the last part of this question, Child abuse fights. Where the legislation desired is aimed against the Christian family. Did you know that there are enough laws on the books in every state to take care of ever case of child abuse? [00:17:04]

What do you think happens today in a case of child...[edit]

What do you think happens today in a case of child abuse? A person is arrested and taken to court and sentenced. The laws are already there, so when they demand legislation what they are saying is: “We want more laws to control you.” That’s why it’s so dangerous. Incidentally there were centers around when I was younger and there were cases of wife beating and child abuse, they were taken care of without going to the courts.

Because the Christian community felt that it had a responsibility. I grew up in a small California town where we had one atheist, and we’d look at him, he was some kind of freak you kn. He didn’t believe in God, didn’t go to church at all. No church. Everybody went to church, everybody believed, you had to be crazy not to believe, that was the common attitude, and in those days that little town had a one room jail, and about once a year somebody would get drunk and would get tossed into jail, and everybody in the high school would go by the jail, it was the sensation of the week or the year you know. Somebodies in jail, wow! Now, they’ve got I think 7-900 more people in town, that’s all, and they have 18 men out on control, radio operated police cars, and they can’t keep up with the situation because the churches by and large are now modernist in that town.

So, at any rate when I was younger, and this was common place across country, what happened if somebody beat his wife? Why the neighbors called on him. It wasn’t just a social chat. They said: “You do that again and we are going to beat up on you. And we’ve talked to your employer, and if anything like this happens again, you’re fired, because he wants good relations with the community, and we don’t tolerate that sort of thing.”

I recently was sorry to hear of the friend of… a fathers friend, in fact this friend, Janice Johnston, Janice Ross Johnston has the same maiden name as my wife, and they both came from Pennsylvania, they’ve never figured out just how they are related, they know they are maybe 6th or 7th cousins. At any rate, Harold Bedford, her father, was telling me how they handled things back in Pennsylvania when he was young; he said that anyone who abused his wife or children, he said: “Why the neighbors called on him.” And he said: “Then they peeled off his clothes, and dragged him, naked through a field of nettles. And they said: “Let this be just a gentle reminder to you that we don’t tolerate anything like this here.” And he said it didn’t happen again. [00:20:25]

Now, there’s a word for that, in fact it used to be...[edit]

Now, there’s a word for that, in fact it used to be quite prevalent: Customary Law. Customary Law. It was once quite prevalent, and it functioned in a quite orderly manner. What has happened is that Christians have just pulled into their churches and forgotten their responsibility to the word, and as a result things have been going from bad to worse; when our Lord said: “Yes are the salt of the earth,” Now salt in those days was not used for flavoring because it was too costly. It was a preserving agent. So, we are the salt, the preserving agent of the world, if we don’t do our duty, the world falls apart. If we do, then the world has some order to it.

Ahh, this is a wonderful question. “Since an excellent case can be made that schools teach humanism as a religion, why haven’t mandatory education laws been challenged under the first amendment?”

Well, I would like to see that kind of thing done if we could raise the money and find some parent to go to court over it, it would take, to fight it to the supreme court, at least half a million or more. But it needs to be fought, and one thing we ought to fight to in the process is, tax funds going to state schools as a violation of the 1st amendment, because they teach humanism. A good case could be made for that, the supreme court has defined humanism as a religion; well, if a Christian school can’t get tax funds, why should a humanistic school get them? Oh, we have good legal grounds there.

I hope in the next few years we can do it. I would like to see a mal practice case against the public schools. Remember, according to federal statistics, as of I believe 75 or 6, there are twenty one public school graduates who are illiterate, illiterate, which means that they cannot read. They cannot take a driver’s test. [00:23:10]

They are in trouble...[edit]

They are in trouble. On top of that at the same time it was estimated that there were 9 million in the schools who were going to be graduated as illiterates. Well, someone ought to take them to court, one or two parents have filed such suits, but they backed down after a while and the judge has denied, they haven’t appealed, they haven’t put their heart in it. We need a concerted effort there.

“Is Birth Control Biblical? Please address especially the argument that nowadays economic pressures force Christians not to have a large number of children.”

Well, first of all, economic pressures are not as bad now as they have been through most of history, we have it easier now but we simply want more. We want a new car every so often, and a very good vacation and the best of everything; it really infuriates me to see parents who are living quite well indeed say they don’t have the money to send their children to a Christian school, or can’t afford more children. I have 6, I couldn’t afford any of them.

Now, is birth control biblical. By this I mean, I understand is meant any kind of practice of it, any means at any time, rather than is it wrong to have children. I believe that where scripture is silent we must be silent. Now I have and do have my opinions on the subject, but where scripture does not speak clearly and unequivocally, and where by plain implication an inference can be drawn, it is wrong for me to speak no matter how strong my feelings may be on a particular subject. So all that I can say is that, at least I don’t see any grounds for saying it is unbiblical or biblical, and therefore I feel that however strongly I may have ideas on the subject I must be silent. [00:26:13]

“Does the term dominion man of necessity dictate a...[edit]

“Does the term dominion man of necessity dictate a postmillennial eschatology, or is it possible to hold to God’s order of all things while holding to aumillenial eschatology?”

That’s quite a question, and let me say this first of all; the three positions to, go back very definitely to the early church, postmillennialism and premillenialism of the non dispensational, pre-trib variety, which began in the early 1800’s. You find very definitely in some of the early church fathers. Aumillenialism was born with Augustine, and it was I believe a product of his distress at the fall of Rome. Augustine was a very great man, but like all of us he had his blind spots and his weaknesses. And one of his weaknesses was, while he saw that Rome was very sinful, and that he wrote The City of God to vindicate God’s justice in its fall, he was tied emotionally to Rome. It was the end of the world for him. On the other hand, Salvian the Presbyter, a very great man all too much neglected in our time, said: “If Rome does not fall then we would have to say there is no God.” And so he welcomed the fall of Rome as a vindication of God’s justice.

Now, Augustine’s aumillenialism, because it began with him, led to some very dangerous consequences. The world was only going to go from bad to worse, he felt. This meant therefore that mans one hope therefore in this world was the church. Now Augustine never favored anything such as we had in the medieval Catholic church, but his thinking led to it. Because the world out there you couldn’t concern yourself with, pull yourself in to mother church and develop the church. So you had the tremendous power of the church developed by that Catholic Aumillenial theology. This is why wherever you have a strong Aumillenialism, you have a very high doctrine of the church and the church is stressed unduly. I think this has been one of the weaknesses in an otherwise very, very fine communion, which in its day has contributed a great deal to the American faith and Reformed tradition, and the Christian Reformed church. [00:29:40]

It has a very, very high church doctrine, and really...[edit]

It has a very, very high church doctrine, and really in some respects outdoes Rome in its emphasis on the church. If there is nothing but the church as man’s hope, then this is what happens. Now to get back more directly to this question, dominion man. Man is created to have dominion, he is to subdue the earth and make it the kingdom of God. Man fell from that calling. Our Lord by His regenerating power reinstates us in that calling, it makes all the difference I believe when you are fighting with the knowledge that you are going to win, and you fight with the belief that defeat is certain.

So I do believe that it is a post-millenial eschatology is most in conformity with a concept of dominion, that logically it necessitates, the one necessitates the other. Now having said that let me add that a very dear friend, Pastor Harry Jackson who is involved in this case, and is a leader of the churches protesting in California is PreMill. Godliest of men and bravest of pastors. He is prepared to go to jail rather than to surrender an inch of what is the Lords dominion. And this is true of other men I know who are pre mill or aumil, so I don’t say that postmills have any kind of corner on grace, in fact sometimes they are rather graceless.

I think this one we missed, I may have forgotten to deal with parts of some questions, because some are long, this one: “To what extent are Reformed churches having influence on the broader scope of the Christian school movement, and why is it that Reformed Seminaries shied away from the preparation of Christian school education personnel. By Reformed seminaries, plural, it doesn’t refer to one institution, its all of them.

It’s a sad fact that in these trails of Christian schools, the very beginning lawyers tried to go to seminaries for help, after talking to men at various seminaries they decided that they’d better stay away because the men would have sold them down the river in the court. It’s sad that the seminaries are not doing something, both the reformed and the Arminian, for the training of Christian school personnel.

The Reformed churches were leaders originally in the area of Christian schools; after all in the colonial period it was the Reformed churches of America, by which I mean all Presbyterian and non-presbyterian, that were the leaders in Christian schools. Tremendously so. They were the last ones to surrender it after the birth of the public school movement; in the south by the way, the reconstruction period forced public schools on the south, and the Christian schools were bankrupt because of the war. A few of the Reformed groups such as the Christian Reformed church had parochial schools all through this period, but there’s have been the weakest in recent years. [00:34:35]

Why I do not know, unless it had been the influence...[edit]

Why I do not know, unless it had been the influence of humanism and a false pietism on their part, so that they’ve withdrawn from the world into the church and given up education and everything else.

What does interest me is that right now one of the most rapid areas of growth with the Christian school movement is in Baptist circles. Now again Don Jones will be very happy to hear this, but did you know that this has been one of the most terrifying facts to the public school people. They know that the public school movement is finished because the Baptists have abandoned it. Throughout the south, for generations the Baptists have been the champion of the public schools, now suddenly they are turning against them, and they are fighting in court, and there is nothing worse to tangle with than an angry Baptist. This is what state attorneys are finding out all over the country. They fill the court house area with busloads of people, and they create demonstrations that upset the legislators and the judges, why, can you imagine how these people feel in these nice little courthouses where they go day by day unnoticed by the world, and suddenly they can’t get out of their offices and down the hall to the restroom because there’s so many Baptists all over the place. They really swear about it, I’ve been in enough of those courtrooms, it upsets them no end.

Now, this is their own statement, that they are in trouble because the Baptists have abandoned them, and the Baptists are numerically very numerous across country. Well, the interesting thing that is happening is that all these Christian schools virtually in Baptist circles begin as Arminian schools, and low and behold, what happens after a few years? They begin to feel the need of a world and life view. They talk about the mistake of having just another public school with Bible added to it, we’ve got to see the Christian perspective in all these things. And then they call in somebody to speak at their conferences with fear and trembling, having heard about him, named Rushdoony. [00:37:24]

And the results are very interesting, they are very...[edit]

And the results are very interesting, they are very, very receptive. Very receptive. And if we don’t watch out in a few years the reformed movement is going to be over in the Baptist camp because of their interest in the Christian school movement. It’s a remarkable phenomenon, and a very amazing one; but extremely important. I’m glad to report that the traditionally reformed groups are now beginning to show a renewed interest in the Christian school movement. This is very encouraging. By the way the Charismatics and the Pentecostals are getting into the school movement. Just about every group other than the modernists are getting into it, because they are recognizing the need for it.

There is no other way to keep their children in the faith, and the net result is that we are in one of the most dramatic areas in our history; we are seeing great things happen, that’s why we are in such a war. You see if we weren’t a threat the enemy wouldn’t bother with us. They’d let us wither away in a corner because we would to all practical intent dead and finished. But suddenly when they had been ready to bury us, we are alive and kicking and beating them in one battle after another.

I mentioned the humanist periodical in the humanist (association?) earlier, let me close with this. In their recent issue, they say: “We are being persecuted by the Christians.” Good. Good. Let them get a taste of their own medicine. They have had control of the machinery of this country; they thought they were going to create a marvelous paradise on earth by means of humanism. And suddenly the Christians are rebelling against the humanist version of the Garden of Eden. [00:39:53]

It doesn’t work...[edit]

It doesn’t work. One scholar put it very well, and I’ll close with this; I know our time is more than up. He said: “What the humanist wants is to sail back of the waters of the flood to natural man, to Adam without Christ. So the issue is between natural man and regenerate man, between Adam and Christ.” And he said: “That is the battle of the modern age.” I think he is right. We have to stand very clearly with Jesus Christ. Thank you. [00:40:58]