Postmillennialism and Education - RR148K20

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Postmillennialism & Education
Course: Course - Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools
Subject: Subject:Education
Lesson#: 20
Length: 0:30:16
TapeCode: RR148K20
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools.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.


It has been suggested that, in this second hour, I speak on the relationship of postmillennialism to education and, as a result, I shall plan for a somewhat briefer period of time to deal with the subject. It is, of course, related to what we have been talking about; the meaning of negation in the modern world. The sad fact is that, in the modern age, the church and Christians by and large, have to an increasing extent, less and less active, and less and less capable of taking a leading role in society. This has become so extensive that today, the most impotent sector of the American population is your Christian, your Bible-believing sector. It’s a conservative estimate that there are fifty, fifty-five confessing evangelicals in the United States. This would mean there are approximately one out of four, and this is not counting their children, yet they are the most impotent segment of the American population. Why?

It’s very easy to discern the reason when we talk to such people. One of our group from Westwood, who moved to another state to complete his schooling, joined a Baptist church, the pastor a very fine man, but he said the pastor’s having an uphill struggle. Why? Well, he said, it is so difficult for him to get the members interested in anything other than coming to church and having their fellowship times and the like, and he said he himself spoke to some of these members about the necessity for a Christian reconstruction, and about seeing the moral imperative of our faith to apply it to every area of life and thought. He tried to go into Christian schools, in particular, because they have a young boy of about a year and a half, and he said the stock answer he got, “What do you mean, the moral imperative? We don’t drink or smoke.” Now, you see what Christianity is identified with. In essence, a few negative virtues. Nothing in the way of positive action. This spirit of negation is very strong. Christianity becomes “thou shalt nots,” rather than being more than conquerors and going out and conquering the world. [00:03:28]

As a result, the question of eschatology is a very...[edit]

As a result, the question of eschatology is a very real one. As some of you know, I have put out a book on the subject, God’s Plan for Victory, which deals with the question of eschatology, and which has sold in a very short time, quite a phenomenal number of copies. It has also produced some very interesting mail. One that arrived a couple of days ago told me I was an absolute heretic, not a Christian, a phony, and so on. “Sincerely in Christ,” it was signed.

The question of eschatology does arouse strong emotions, and of course, I criticize all three positions there, even though I am a post-millennialist. I criticize the post-millenialist position because, in most cases, it, too, is imbued with a spirit of negation. I have no program. Post-millennialism has had no connection with biblical law for untold generations and, as a result, it has withered on the vine. How is God’s rule going to be extended fro pole to pole. By negation? By doing nothing? This is an absurd kind of position, no matter who holds it.

The pre-mil position, of course, looks to God’s miraculous deliverance of his saints from this world. The rapture means that our problems are solved. Now, what this faith tends to produce is a waiting on the rapture. It becomes the goal of the Christian life, to wait for that glorious event. As a result, it produces a quietism of ethical action. It means, by and large, that the goal is, an any moment return, which therefore means that long range Christian action and planning is out of the question, and many Christian schools are pre-mil in their orientation, but I know that as I first began to travel twenty years ago and speak about the Christian school movement, one of the things that many pre-mils did start Christian schools faced was the challenge by people that they were wasting their time because the rapture was due at any moment. Why bother? And it was difficult for the pre-mils, as one of them said, “My answer to these people is, the Lord still says ‘Occupy till I come,’” which was, of course, the proper answer, but you can see the problem. It does create a quietism, so that it leads to a criticism of those who do take an activist position, who feel that they must, under God, occupy till He comes. [00:06:58]

On the other hand, amillennialism is even worse...[edit]

On the other hand, amillennialism is even worse. The pre-mils can speak of their blessed hope, the rapture, but what do the a-mils got to look forward to? The world is only going to worse and worse until the second coming. So, it created a “grin and bear it” philosophy, because there is no hope, really, except the second coming. It is interesting that the a-mil philosophy really began out of despair. You did have the post-mil and the pre-mil thinking in the early church, but a-millennialism was really born with St. Augustine. St. Augustine is one of the great fathers of the church, and we owe a great deal to him, including the Reformation, because it was out of one strange of Augustinian thinking, his emphasis on the sovereignty of God and predestination that Luther and Calvin got impetus. It was Augustine who drove them back to the word of God and led thereby to the Reformation. So that, Augustianism is the foundation of the Reformation, but Augustianism is also, because of another strand in his thinking, the foundation of Rome and the Middle Ages. Why? Because Augustine was intensely and emotionally involved in Rome. He was a Roman to the core, and he was filled with grief at the Fall of Rome. When you read The City of God, you find that this man is torn apart by what is happening. It was something that was killing him, and by faith, he was trying to provide an answer for it.

In this respect he was a world apart from Salvian the Presbyter. Salvian wrote that, “Because God is, therefore Rome must fall,” and he looked to Rome as a vindication of God and the vindication of the Christian. He knew the habits it would create. He saw it before Augustine ever did, because he was in Treves, right on the border of Germany. When the Barbarians came, Treves was one of the first cities to be burned to the ground, and Salvian saw all the horrors that went with it, but Salvian said, emphatically as he wrote, “After Treves had burned, it is the governance of God, that this was the righteous judgment of God, and had to be welcomed by the believers, and it had to be seen as something that was necessary,” but Augustine could not. Although Augustine in many respects was a far greater thinker than Salvian, at this point, he was weak and Salvian was great. [00:10:18]

As a result, out of despair, St...[edit]

As a result, out of despair, St. Augustine formulated his a-millennial philosophy. The world was going to get worse and worse. The forces of anti-Christ were going to get more and more powerful, and rule the world. How was the world to survive? By creating a fortress, a convent, or a monastery and withdrawing from the world into the protective boundaries of that world. As a result, the entire of the Middle Ages, ceased its effort, to draw the people in, come out from the world into the monastery, into the convent, the truly saintly person is the one who withdraws from the world into the convent, in the monastery.

Now, it is interesting that Kuehnelt-Leddihn, a Catholic political scientist, has said in his book, Leftism, that the Protestant church today is more medieval than the church of Rome, that it has created out of the church a convent, a monastery, withdraw from the world. So he says the monastic spirit is best exemplified in the Protestant church, and he said this is why the Protestant church has retained godly architecture in Rome, it has that spirit of withdraw, withdrawing from the world. But in the Bible, of course, we know that withdrawal is from sin, and that’s a very different thing.

As a result, amillennialism, because it creates this spirit of withdrawal, has spelled retreat for churches that adopt it. Pre-mil churches will have an aggressive evangelism because they’ve got to save souls before the end. Amil churches tend to go downhill. When the Netherlands became Amil, there began a decline. When in the Colonial period this type of thinking began to creep in, together with some premillennialism, into the Puritans, there was a decline until the Great Awakening and the revival of post millennialism, and again, after the Civil War, when Amillennialism began to take over in church circles, there was again a decay and a decline, because it is a philosophy of defeat. It is a monastic faith in essence, it calls for a retreat from the world, and is born out of despair. [00:13:26]

The post-mil position holds that man has a duty to...[edit]

The post-mil position holds that man has a duty to make disciples of all nations, and to bring every area of life and thought into captivity to Jesus Christ. As a result, every area and every race is to be brought into the knowledge of the Lord. The means whereby every area is to be made captive is first of all, by evangelism, and second by means of the law of God. The redeemed man, applying the law of God, will bring all things into subjection to God and His word.

As a result, this means world evangelism. It is interesting that the Reformation was preceded, in fact, the Reformation coincided with another movement, exploration, the discovery of the Americas, and the age of exploration, and both the age of exploration and the age of the Reformation were born out of a revived post-millennialism. If you read to the journals of Columbus and Hafloit’s voyages of the explorers, you will find that with a few exceptions, these men went out with a faith that it was their duty to go to the far corners of the world and carry the gospel, and to bring every area into the path of the oppressed.

Columbus, in his journals, as he was sailing to America, speaks of the new worlds he’s going to explore. He thought he would hit India, but he thought he would encounter new worlds on the way, that while China and India would be there somewhere, there would be many new worlds in between, and he would be the instrument, he said, whereby the prophesies of Isaiah would be fulfilled, that the islands afar would hear the word of God. Now only so, but he actually thought that perhaps some of the lost tribes would be in some of those islands, and he took along with him, I believe, five interpreters who spoke Hebrew. Now, that’s an aspect of Columbus that we are not often taught, but is basic to an understanding of the man, and if you go through Hafloit’s voyages, and read them page after page, you’ll find this kind of faith, so that the Reformation and explorations sprang out of it. “Go ye therefore into all the world, make disciplines of all nations,” and Columbus thumbing through Isaiah over and over again, the isles afar off had to hear the word of the Lord, and he was going to be the instrument to carry that word to them. World evangelism, in education.

Education cannot be left to the enemies of God. We cannot turn over children who are the future to the enemies of God, and have the blessing of God, and any control of children is a control of the future, and therefore, it is an imperative that children be reached for Christ, and hence, basic to our eschatology, there must be a concern with education. [00:17:35]

But more. It is not only the church and the school which must be Christian. Every area of life and thought must obey God and His word. It’s a very serious mistake to think of the Bible as a church book. The Bible is more than a church book. It is a book for the totality of life, and as a result, this book is for every man in every area of life, and for every institution. It’s a Bible for church and state, for school and laboratory. Dorothy and I were very thrilled some years ago, and I may have told some of you this story, to hear a geneticist who had won eleven international prizes in genetics, tell us why it was easy for him to win over competitors. Because he believed the Bible and the fact that God said He created heaven and earth in six days, and created each thing after its kind, and he said those who believed in evolution, believed in total possibility, and they were always wasting their time in research, genetic research, trying to do the impossible, but as a Christian, he knew what could not be done. He never tried to do it, and as a result, he said, “I wasn’t wasting time and when we had something to do, I did it while they were wasting time on dead ends.”

It’s a book for the laboratory. It’s a book for the school. It’s a book for every area of life, and this book is seriously maligned and damaged if it’s treated as a book for the church only. It is to dishonor this book to limit its scope. It’s a book for the courtroom. It’s a book for the state. Every area of life is under God. It must hear His word and must obey Him. This does not mean the union of church and state. It means religion is basic to the state as it is to the church.

It means, moreover, the restructuring of other areas as well, restructuring money and economics. Today our economic policies and our monetary policies are fiat. They move in terms of fiat, which means that man plays god and says, “Even as God says fiat books, let there be light.” Man says fiat law, fiat money, fiat economics shall prevail. When I say, “Let it be, it shall be,” and this is one of the problems of our time. Our money is fiat money, and it is corrupting our economic life. It is like polluted blood in the life stream of our economics. [00:21:03]

As a result, we need to eliminate fiats in law, economics...[edit]

As a result, we need to eliminate fiats in law, economics, money, every area of life and thought. It means, moreover, resting in the Lord. You see, when man tries to play God, he cannot rest. It produces a sabbathless world, a world in which men take time off, in fact, have more time off than men used to have a generation or two ago, but they have no rest. They cannot rest. If man is god, everything depends on him, but the essence of the sabbath principle is that we take hands off our lives because we know that it is God who saves us and is God who sustains us, it is God’s providence that rules and overrules in all of it, so we can rest in the Lord. And we know that it is the application of the word of God that provides the answers, not our word.

As a result, post-millennialism does stress, as an eschatology, this responsibility to apply the word of God across the board in every area, and to recognize that we have a duty, that God says His word shall not return unto Him void, that Deuteronomy 28 declares in the second and the twenty-eighth verses, that if men will apply the word of God, if they will obey His law, all these blessings and all these curses shall come upon them and overtake them, so that there’s a certainty in the world, God’s certainty, and we can depend on the results. Are there any questions now? Yes?

[Audience] Myself, this year, you know I saw post-millennialism and I’m not, I’m a post-millennialist without reserve now, and one thing that was hard for me for a long time to see was I was going in a stronger view of culture and understanding its implications, and I {?} law, and I was still holding onto my pre-millennialism, and like mad, and at the same time I thought I was optimistic, and until I believed that by faith, I understood that I really wasn’t optimistic, that I was pessimistic, and maybe in some ways I was copping out because I thought I’d be a pan-millennialist, you know, I’ll be neutral in this area, you know I won’t get dogmatic, and you know, I was, upset a lot of my friends, upset that I’m post-millennial, but I really see the reason I was taking this stand was because, you know, they’re heading for destruction because of that pessimism they have. Can you speak to that and understanding that, by faith we understand, that that is part of the faith once delivered to the saints, that there is something that they don’t understand that affects how they run their lives, and I see it even in building, reconstruction is, we’re not rebuilding. You know, what are we going to have twenty years from now in our children? You know, are we going to have children who are going to change places like Sacramento and all over the world, and they don’t see that they’re not doing that. [00:24:58]

[Rushdoony] Well, of course, we have to recognize that...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, of course, we have to recognize that if we take God at His word, we are more than conquerors. More than conquerors. That’s a tremendous statement. We’re told also that the gates of hell cannot prevail. That is, cannot stand up against us. We’re going to run right over them. That’s the meaning of it. Now, how are we going to run over the very gates of hell? All the opposition? God spells it out, and I refer to Deuteronomy 28. If you do these things, you cannot lose. All these blessings shall come upon thee and overtake thee. You can’t get away from them. Impossible, you see? What does this faith create therefore? A tremendous certainty, more than optimism, a certainty, that God’s word will not return to us void, that when we do things in God’s way, we can expect God’s results, and if we don’t, God has told us what the results are going to be. So, you figure the two ways. We’re either going to run right over them in due time, or they’re going to run over us, that’s what God says. They’ll run over us and it’ll be the judgment of God because God says judgment begins at my house. I find offensive a false or a lukewarm faith and I will destroy it, and I will have your enemies to run over you, but if you obey men, if you believe and obey, you will run over them.

Incidentally, I mentioned in the previous hour, or no I just mentioned in this hour, its geneticist did not work on dead-end ideas. One of the things I’ll be talking about in our next meeting will be, again, science and the scientific method, and in the course of that, I will share with you something which, if you haven’t seen, might be worth your while, in the “Saturday Review” for July 9, 1977, And Now, Interkingdom Fusion, The Marriage of Plant and Animal. The picture shows, I guess this is a cat with a woman’s bust and head, a man with a carrot head, and here a man with a bull’s head, and this is the kind of daydreaming they’re doing. Now, of course, he says it’s on a very elementary level, but they have made some tremendous breakthroughs. When you go through the article and read about the breakthroughs, it sounds less and less like anything but hopefulness, but it gives you an idea of the dead-ends they’re working on, and this is the kind of thing they’re making announcements about regularly, that they’re on the verge of a giant breakthrough, or they’ve made a tremendous forward step in interkingdom fusion, the marriage of plants and animals. Well, we’ll go into that next time. Yes? [00:28:58]

[Audience] Could you speak on the absence of, briefly...[edit]

[Audience] Could you speak on the absence of, briefly, about piecemeal religion, and how our theology would interpret the way in which we develop a philosophy of our education. I know, I go on with my friend, {?} I can choose, you know, these certain doctrines, and I can choose these certain doctrines, and you know, avoid this aspect and not that aspect, and as a result, they take this into the educational process. Could you speak on that?

[Rushdoony] Yes. Piecemeal religion is a very popular thing in our time and it’s a relatively new thing in civilization. It’s an artificial thing and therefore, it is impotent. It’s like interkingdom fusion. [00:29:52]

End of tape