Operation Rescue - Christian Political Parties - Violence and Demons - Missions and Culture - RR190B4
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[Assistant Speaker] Dr. Rushdoony, what is God's position… or you’re position [lots of laughing at his mistake] if you could give God's position and you’re position, if you say like Paul I’m speaking not the Lord. What is the position on what you feel is God's position or your position on operation rescue. The situation where people stand between as it were the child and the law.
[Rushdoony] First of all the two great eras of abortion have been our Lord’s time to the fall of Rome and this century. Yet we never find either our lord or Saint Paul saying: “Go out and block the entry ways to the abortuaries of Rome, never. Why? Because regeneration is our approach, not coercion. Now consider the situation in the United States, and I don’t imagine it’s too much different here. A great many babies are aborted annually. A million and a quarter. But euthanasia is routinely practiced, homosexuality, adultery, every kind of evil prevails around us. We have a population that is reprobate. How in the world are you going to deal with that by coercive of tactics. Moreover if you set a president of lawlessness of blocking the entry ways to abortuaries. What’s to prevent these people from doing the same to our churches? As a matter of fact it has been done already. Saint Patrick’s cathedral has had homosexuals and pro-abortion people enter and do everything to disturb the services and to break them up. So if we practice it we cannot protest if it is practiced against us. Why didn’t our Lord and Saint Paul mount an operation rescue? When abortion was so common in that age. It was very simple, they knew that the answer had to be regeneration, the atonement. These people are placing human life above faith in Christ. That’s what our age needs (Faith in Christ). [00:04:05]
It’s very sad what is happening...
It’s very sad what is happening. But I know a very fine woman who did her best to talk one woman out of an abortion; it would have been her fourth. She succeeded. Within two or three years that child, horribly abused, was taken from that mother by the police. Do you see the point? You’re dealing with an ungodly generation. Now when you go through the Bible, and I did in one little book I wrote on the Myth of Overpopulation and I got all the references to birth. And God in his word speaks of blessed fertility and unblessed fertility of the ungodly. Now there is nothing we can do with these ungodly women. They love death; they get an abortion some of them for the pleasure of killing life. And they are suicidal, they are on drugs. They do everything that is suicidal. What we need to do is to work to convert them, because the only change can come through Christ. Not through our coercive tactics. We don’t adopt the way of the world. Let me add one thing more. One of our staff members, Joseph (Mcauliffe?) is pastor of Tampa Covenant Church in Florida, it’s a charismatic church. He’s a leader in Tampa on Christian activities. And he has met with legislators and they have said we can get a bill through banning abortion in Florida. [00:06:51]
Only on one condition, if we will agree to permit it...
Only on one condition, if we will agree to permit it in cases of rape and cases of incest. Write it that way and were sure we can get it through. We have enough votes, but if you don’t we can’t. Do you know who blocked that bill? The operation rescue people. It would have put them out of business. It’s like the cancer researchers in the United States. They get hundreds of millions a year from the federal government to do cancer research and do you think any of them will want to see it cured? They will all be out of jobs. Operation rescue has become a movement that wants to keep on moving. Not to solve a problem. Our basic approach must be evangelism. If people are not regenerated neither they nor their children have any hope.
[Assistant] Thank you. Another question: “Should Christians work within existing political parties or should they form their own?”
[Rushdoony] That’s a difficult question to answer. I don’t know the situation here in Canada. But in the United States the political parties are not national parties. A national chairman exists, but the actual work of each party is done by the county chairman, that’s where the work is, that’s where the power is. So the parties are what the county chairmen make them and if you take over a county group, you control it. And it’s very easy to take over. If you command forty or fifty people you can take over. I took over an entire county once. It was very easy to do. But basically both the parties in the United States are committed to socialism. The analogy I often make is the Democrats want to take us over the edge of a cliff at 80 miles an hour where as a Republican says we will do it carefully at 40 miles an hour [laughing] there is a movement in the United States now to establish a party. And it’s a tax payers alliance. There are many Christians and Christian Reconstructionists involved in it. How far it will go I don’t know. [00:10:53]
There is a very fine man whom I know personally and...
There is a very fine man whom I know personally and who's one of our readers, Pat Buchanan. Who is running in New Hampshire against President Bush. What happens we shall see, but I think we’re going to see in the United States a growing disillusion on the part of people with both parties. And perhaps in my lifetime both will collapse and new parties will be born. But the cynicism with many people in both parties is increasing.
[Assistant] Another question: “Should Christian legislators enact morally compromised legislation out of expediency or should they refuse to compromise even if it means no less legislation gets passed?”
Rushdoony: I think the question is a very important one but I would say the wording of it makes it impossible to answer. The word that I have reference to is expediency, now our Lord emphatically makes clear something, that we in our time forget. He says “First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn of the ear.” in other words, when you plant a seed you don’t stand back and wait for it to sprout up and pick corn immediately. Things must grow gradually. Now perfectionism leads us to demand that everything be accomplished at once, not a step at a time. Well the old saying how do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. How do you accomplish anything? One step at a time. And I was involved in one American state in several court cases involving Christian schools and home schools and churches. One very fine lawyer who was on our side, framed a law which he took to each of the legislators and he said “would you accept this?” and we can end the battle, we can end this matter of putting pastors in prison and seizing children or causing their parents to flee across state boarders. It would have given Christian and home schools full freedom with one qualification. That they teach U.S. Constitution and history, and that they file an attendance report so they would know how many children weren’t in the public schools. And yet the minister said no, either our terms or nothing. Now I don’t feel that measure was expediency. I felt it was a good step towards freedom for the churches. And they still have nothing because they still say it will be a compromise. I think that’s foolish. Things grow a little at a time; none of you gained your full height overnight. A baby grows from a tiny seed to a six or eight pound infant at birth. Growth is something that is necessary. And if we recognized the need for growth we will not be perfectionists and we will not hamper the cause of Christ. [00:16:06]
The early church had many man sins, consider the patience...
The early church had many man sins, consider the patience of Paul in dealing with the Corinthians. He said he went there with fear and trembling. Well that’s understandable if you know a little bit about of the history of Corinth. It was a manufacturing center Corinthian goods went as far as China in those days. And Corinth had a very active chamber of commerce. The chamber of commerce maintained a couple thousand prostitutes for visiting salesmen, it was a hell hole. No wonder Paul went there in fear and trembling. He knew how low and depraved those people were. Now in his two letters to the Corinthians he certainly chose temperate times. But he also shows even more patience. You and I would have been tempted to excommunicate them all and tell them to get lost; you’re a pack of heathens. But Paul was patient. Because he knew they were not going to grow out of that Corinthian wickedness overnight. It would take them a while to understand what freedom in Christ meant. So we too have to be patient.
That’s what the mission field requires of us, if any of you have ever been missionaries as I have been. On both the Chinese in the thirties in china town of San Francisco and among the American Indians, northeastern Nevada and the Idaho border, it takes patience to deal with people who don’t understand the ordinary things of moral decency and behavior. So the kingdom grows a step, a leap, and an inch at a time, but it grows. And we cannot force it.
[Assistant] Maybe an appropriate question here: “Now this point I don’t hear much of the regards to the war with the heavenly or the spiritual side to what’s happening in our world, how much of all this violence selfishness, lawlessness affecting our world is a result of demonic activity?”
[Rushdoony] A great deal, but what does our Lord tell us in his letters to the churches? The Church of Thyatira. He condemns them for their study of the deep things of Satan. The hidden mysteries of Satan, in other words. Paul says there are some things that we should not seek to know. Now in our day we have a great many people who want to study conspiracies. Well, conspiracies are real and there are lots of them, but knowing something about evil doesn’t make us good, nor give us power. We are to study the things of the Lord, the deep things of Christ, not of Satan. [00:20:35]
I was very distressed that in the past few years one...
I was very distressed that in the past few years one writer wrote two books about demons in a community with evil spirits and all that sort of thing. And they were best sellers in a Christian community. I thought that was a violation of our Lord’s words. Of course there are evil spirits, but God is in control. And in Christ we are in charge of our lives. And we are never told to study the deep things of Satan, but the deep things of the Lord. So yes Satan is active, but Satan is a creature like you and like me. You and I can only be in one place at a time and Satan can only be in one place at a time. God is everywhere. So I don’t feel the power of Satan and all his hosts compares to the power of our Lord. And we are emphatically told that he gives us power over all the satanic hosts. That’s enough for me.
[Assistant] There's a couple of questions that we have kind of missed a little earlier: “Missionaries are often charged with trampling on the cultures of other nations. Is this generally true or was it generally true?”
[Rushdoony] That’s a slander, if the anthropologists would be honest they would admit that our best anthropological data of what people were like a century or two centuries ago comes from missionaries and their accounts. And that these missionaries had a passion for souls. And showed more respect for these people than anyone does now. We have a lot of people who profess to love the primitive peoples of our days or primitive so called, really fallen. Tim Lon who I mentioned earlier who had been a missionary at PaPua, New Guinea, and was with us for a while before going to South Africa, said that it amazed him to see various university scholars come to study the people there in Pa Pua and New Guinea. And speak against Christianity and tell them their old ways were better. And he said: “The old men some of whom still had filed teeth and had been cannibals would shake their heads and laugh when these men left and said yes. In those days it was eat or be eaten,” and he said: “they told me life is better in Christ.”
And an interesting thing, do you remember reading about the cow madness and sheep madness in Britain about two years ago? It was in the American press. And they found it came from the processed feeds that were given to these sheep and cows when they were fattening them up. And it was made up of beef byproducts and sheep byproducts. So they were turning the cattle and the sheep into cannibals. That’s what was creating the madness. And Tim Lon told us that the natives told him in the old days the penalty for cannibalism was guru, madness. After a while from eating human flesh you became insane. And yet he said these anthropologists will try to talk them out of Christianity and tell them the missionaries who had done them so much good and helped them are teaching them not only the faith but how to read and write. Teaching them how to farm better. So many useful things. [00:26:26]
And he said these anthropologists they laugh at behind...
And he said these anthropologists they laugh at behind their backs. He said the women feel they are setting a good example for the native women to follow by going around virtually naked and bare breasted, not realizing the natives are laughing behind their back. “We gave up those foolish ways and they are adopting them.” The missionaries did remarkable things. And when I say that, let me add that the missionaries were also a tremendous force when the great powers moved in and established colonies in the various parts of the world. They were instrumental in getting them to end human sacrifice and cannibalism. The Sati or the burning of widows in India. In ending the Thuggee cult with its continual murders. And many things more. Remember before the British took over India there were over 600 states all continually at war, murdering one another. I cannot tell a mixed group of people what was routine in many parts of India under paganism. I have a book which deals with what India was like when the British went there. And I once loaned it to one of my staff members and he brought it back and he said “I’ve lived in the big cities, I’ve been a reporter” he said. “I don’t think any pornography could equal the history that you gave me.” [00:28:57]
Now colonialism ended those things, cannibalism is...
Now colonialism ended those things, cannibalism is returning to Africa. India is beginning to split as the various factions are warring against one another. So that the work of the missionaries is being undone everywhere, by our misguided and evil humanists. The missionaries have been very, very much abused. More over the reports of the so called progress in these countries was nonsense. I recall in the thirties a Christian doctor, medical missionary in Africa, visiting my father. And he said the natives laughed behind the backs of the British and the French because they exploit them continually. They’re glad to see them here because it has brought peace, and now their lives are tolerably, not entirely saved. But he said their proverb is: “We can milk the white man, it takes two hands to milk the French but only one hand to milk to British.” Another fact too which is an interesting account of what bureaucracies are like. Bureaucracies have and entrenched interest in hiding the truth. When the colonial powers took power in Africa, the Christians at home and the missionaries demanded that they move against cannibalism. So they began steps toward it, in a few places they were tolerably successful in wiping it out. But in most places it continued although practiced sub rosa. [00:31:33]
Well what would happen was the only way a bureaucrat...
Well what would happen was the only way a bureaucrat, a colonial administrator of one district could get an advancement, was to write a report about the progress he would make in this or that area, and he would say that cannibalism has decreased 10% since I’ve been here, so in 10 years I’ve been able to decrease it by 1 percent a year, which was a lie of course. And he would get a promotion. The next man would come and see that low and behold cannibalism was still prevalent. Well he couldn’t tell the truth because the whole bureaucracy would turn against him for that. So he would say after so many years he had brought it down another 12 percent. And pretty soon it would be 100 percent down according to the statistics. So the next man would say there was relapse into cannibalism but he put it down. And that’s how we got the impression that Africa was making such progress, and other parts of the world such as India.
But do you know that it took all of 5000 people for the British to rule India? There were 5000 civil servants, governors and army men that ruled all of India. Why? How was it so easy? Because they brought peace to those peoples. They made it possible for widows to live after their husbands died. For people to walk the highways in safety. And all that is disappearing now, the Sati is reviving and so are the Thuggees. My son at the beginning of the 80s made a trip to Bangladesh, because the Chittagong hills people were 60 percent Christian smuggled out word of what was happening to them. Well when one of our trusties and my son went over there, they were not allowed by the Bangladesh government to get into the Chittagong area. But a minister and one of his members were able to get out and they came and spent most of an evening and before morning slipped out in order to get back. They had all been taken off their farms and put into concentration camps. Built with American money, supposedly army bases. Their lands were going to be given to the Bangally peoples, the Bangladesh people. The dam built with American money, the foundation as was the pagan practice was built with human life. In other words the old belief that no foundation could stand unless you dug a deep trench lower than the foundation and sacrificed people and laid them down. Over a thousand Christians were sacrificed. My son talked to someone in the American embassy . And they said: “Do you know what your army bases that you build for the Bangladesh army are used for? They’re concentration camps for the Chittagong peoples. And do you know how the dam that you built, how the foundation was laid?” Well the man promised to investigate and subsequently the Chittagong peoples were told that they could return to their farms if they could buy them back. We raised a little money and other groups did help them to buy back their lands. Now with colonialism ended all these people are facing nothing but death at the hands of one another. [00:36:42]
So that the idea that the missionaries and the colonial...
So that the idea that the missionaries and the colonial powers did evil is nonsense. In 87 Dennis Peacock, Otto Scott and I spoke in various cities in England and we spoke at Bristol and there was one young man who came and he was full of self-pity. Determined to prove to us what a sensitive holy person he was, because he had ancestors who had worked, Englishmen, in both the states or colonies at that time in Bristol as slave traders and slave dealers. And oh this hurt his soul so. Well you know any time when we are ready to confess the sins of our forefathers you know there is something wrong with us, because we have enough of our own sins to confess. Without confessing mama and papas and grandpas and great grandmas sins. So we let him know what we thought of his confession, it was not an act of holiness. That’s what our generation is busy doing, confessing the sins of our forebears. Oh how terribly they treated the Indians and how terribly they treated this or that person, or the blacks. I recall a few years ago, early in the 70’s. When a black woman who had gone to Africa to see what her homeland was like, this was about the time Roots was published, was interviewed when she came back and she was asked after seeing Africa how she felt about having her people snatched and taken away from their homeland. She said “Taken away? We were rescued!” She had no use for what she saw in Africa. So don’t go confessing the sins of your ancestors or missionaries of the past, they were very often better people than we are and we need to be up and doing so that we can accomplish as much as they did in their day. They were not perfect; none of us are this side of heaven. But they did the Lords work as best they could and we should thank God for them. [00:40:18]
[Assistant] Another comment or question here...
[Assistant] Another comment or question here: “The Moravians have been credited with sustained missionary effort out of all proportion to their numbers. Was this in spite of their emotional excesses?” I guess this was referenced to earlier in your talk.
[Rushdoony] The Moravians began to change; they gave over some of their excesses of the first generation which I’d rather not deal with. They did become truly missionary oriented. But let me contrast two things. The Moravians have been very active in Guatemala and so have the Charismatics. The Charismatics have been there a short time. The Moravians a long time. But the major portion of the truly strong Christian work there is Charismatic, why? Because they have related the faith to everyday life.
Right now one of our staff members Joseph Montcalif together with Colonel Donner a good friend have a mission to Guatemala or to Nicaragua excuse me. And what they do is to go down there and they take the Christian converts and they train them in some skill. Here are all these poor people whose lands were seized by the Sandinista. And the Sandinistas still control the country. Chamora, Mrs.Chamora is working with the Sandinistas, if she did not she would be killed over night. They control the army, they control all the land. As the peasants live half-starved in the cities. So what’s being done? They’re going there; they’re teaching them a trade. They invest 300 dollars in each person, in a few cases up to 600. Then they earn their own living. In some instances some of their graduates from their training schools are hiring up to 15 people. They’re in business for themselves.
Now I submit that’s practical Christianity, you don’t convert a man and then leave him there to starve. You teach him now to make a living, that’s what General Booth dispensed. So the vital work in Nicaragua is by the charismatic groups. The same is true in Guatemala. Someone on our mailing list, a friend General Rios Mantt who was a president of the Soviet Union and the United States forced him out of office. When he became converted he joined a small charismatic group meeting in a home, 28 members. Well nothing stays small if Rios Mantt is connected, he’s an organizer. In about 3 or 4 years they had 3000 members, now I don’t know how many thousand now. By that time they also had 10,000 Christian school students. And he has a radio station, he wants to start a university and he wants to also have a Christian television station in Guatemala. On how to fight their own army. So that they could resist evil officers. He's a force, a Marxist and more than once ordered that he be executed and he has thus far by the grace of God been protected. Now with all due respect to the Moravian missions in South America. Here are a handful of charismatics who have done more than the Moravians have done in generations. It’s a difference in outlook. [00:45:59]
[Assistant] Here’s a comment...
[Assistant] Here’s a comment: “An accusation I’ve heard against reconstructionist movement is that they are attributing world and repentance to the work of man rather than that of the holy spirit. Could you clarify? Do you in the same question, do you believe that the reconstructionists believe that all the world will be saved and that the Christians will take over the government?” That may be partly answered already, “Are they attributing the success of the church in the later days to that of men doing work solely or the outpouring of God's spirit? “
[Rushdoony] Well, I think I have really answered that question in that I pointed out that individuals and groups outside of church and state, but empowered by the teaching of the church, the church as the barracks room, training the soldiers of Christ, will go out and bring into captivity to Christ, ever area of life and though. The arts, the scientists culture generally, agriculture, everything. And that we are going to see the world wide dominion of Christ as a result. Not as I have stressed, it won’t be the work of man or coercive legislation, but by the power of God's spirit working in and through us.
[Assistant] Thankyou. Do you have a question? Yes, just come to the mic please.
[Audience member] I’ve been thinking the last little while regarding this abortion business, that if you go back in the Old Testament the time when Moses, God was raising up Moses all the children were commanded to be put to death. And then just before Jesus was born Herod commanded many of the children to be put to death. And now in our generation were seeing this abortion business, taking place regarding the children. Do you think there is some great significance in his great infinite mercy will come in the power of the Holy Spirit to do something great through the church?
[Rushdoony] He will work through you and me and other persons to do great things in the years to come. If we wait for the pastor to be the Christian there will never be any Christian activity. I think too many people leave it to the pastor and the staff to be the Christians and the Christian workers in the church, forgetting that the Lord God calls us all to his service, that each in our place must serve him. As John Milton wrote, “They also serve who stand and wait.” They also serve who are unable to stand and are in constant prayer. Each in our way, we can make the Lords work our priority and we must. And then God will show us what to do and what we can do. [00:50:33]
[Assistant] Thank you, getting onto the subject of...
[Assistant] Thank you, getting onto the subject of education for just a little bit, some questions here regarding this: “I appreciated your comments in your book on Christian curriculum could you elaborate on the idea that our modern curriculum stems from Greek humanism.”
[Rushdoony] Greek humanism and its education have stressed the preparation of a man, better to enjoy himself, to advance himself and to become the standard, the measure of all things, because the Greek premise was man is the measure of all things. And therefore the standard in all education was man. So it was man centered education. It also stressed a variety of things that were believed to be valuable in training the mind. For example in terms of classical humanism, geometry and trigonometry were felt to be very important in training the mind into logic. So for untold generations all students have been trained in geometry if they go through high school, although now they are abandoning it in the States, for nothing. How many people have ever used geometry after studying it? Very few, unless they are architects. But they’re not trained in the word of God. They’re not trained in our responsibilities under God to be members to one of another and to minister one to another. So the training has a humanistic focus. And Greek education has too much dominated our western culture and we have been taught that men like Socrates and Plato were great men. Well they were moral degenerates. They were sodomites, they were statists, they believed that a handful of philosopher kings should rule and most people should be slaves. That’s what Plato’s Republic is about. I had to read it when I was a student and I read it in bewilderment. This was the great book of the centuries? It was everything the Bible is not! [00:54:10]
Yet nowhere through all my schooling through high school...
Yet nowhere through all my schooling through high school, university and graduate school was I ever referred to the bible. But I read Plato and Aristotle and I read a great many other philosophers, Hegel who said the state is God walking on earth and so on. Our education has become humanistic. It teaches humanism. That is why we have to develop a Christian curriculum. And I think it will come in due time and I think the beginnings are there, I think since the first days of the Christian school movement after World War 2 the progress made towards a Christian curriculum has been very marked.
[Assistant] Could you comment on Christian schools as well public schools who seem to be following the new age pipers in regards to curriculum swing towards right brain emphasis, do you have any comment on that?
[Rushdoony] Yes, I’m sorry to see very fine people going into the right brain left brain kind of thinking, I don’t think there is anything to it. There is one curious fact to a child born in England with apparently no brain at all who is quite intelligent and able. It’s an embarrassing fact to the scientists, how in the world does he think. But I think our scientists are in for a great many more embarrassments because they have forgotten God.
[Audience Member] May I ask a question? Just quickly, just very briefly but could you explain simply your soteriology? How you believe a person is actually saved. The controversy often comes up over reconstructionism, people say reconstructionists believe that you’re saved by works and brother could you just express your own faith and expression of your soteriology? [00:56:55]
[Rushdoony] Yes. No man can be saved accept through the blood of Jesus Christ and his sovereign grace. There is none other way given among men under heaven whereby men can be saved. That’s what peter said on the day of Pentecost and it’s still true. And when Peter said that he knew he was putting his life on the line. Because the great proclamation celebrating the accession of Augustus Caesar that went out into all the empire: “There is none other name where by men may be saved than the name of Augustus Caesar.” So what Peter was saying was in direct contradiction to Rome. There is an excellent book long out of print. But if you can find it Ethelbert Stauffer’s S T A U F F E R, Christ and the Caesars. In which he describes how the Roman Caesars saw themselves saviors. Hence their hatred of Christ and of the Church. Only Christ can save us, but when we are saved, then we are sanctified by our obedience to the every word of God.
[Assistant] Thank you Dr. Rushdoony, I think we need to draw this session to a close.