Seminar on Humanism (Echo Impaired Sound) - RR141B3

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Seminar on Humanism (Echo Impaired Sound)
Course: Course - Humanism
Subject: Subject:Humanism
Lesson#: 3
Length: 0:51:31
TapeCode: RR141B3
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

I have been pleasured this meeting to meet an old friend from a few decades ago, the Reverend Donald Jones, and he has with him in his possession, two very marvelous volumes; Bingham’s Antiquities of the Christian Church. Bingham’s two volume work is well worth your attention, because what Bingham has done is to give us a kind of index of all the literature of the early church. Just reading the table of contents is informative.

Now there are things in the history of the early church we can disagree with; but one of the things that does stand out is this: for the early church, their faith was the (?) of necessity. It was not a matter of choice. This is why they were ready to die for the faith. We are told by Bingham that as soon as the churches were able to build, and for perhaps 2 centuries or more there were no church buildings, they met in homes. The Christian church was marked by two things: A school and a library. Moreover in recent studies on all the literature on the early church and the first buildings, some very remarkable things stand out.

One of the interesting things is that the early churches were built on a scale of magnificence that surprises us. Too often Protestants have the idea that the early church had to be primitive, almost like a Quaker Chapel. On the contrary, they built magnificent, stone churches. Why? The church was the kings palace, and therefore the kings palace was to be splendid, for beauty and for glory in terms of the old testament term concerning the tabernacle.

It was the place where the very word from the king of kings was to be proclaimed, and therefore it should be a place befitting a king. [00:03:27]

It was significant too that in those days when copies...[edit]

It was significant too that in those days when copies of the written Bible were not too plentiful, on either side of the sanctuary were rooms that were called ‘Law Rooms’. Places where you could read and study the Scriptures. Now, the thing that is impressive to us as we go back and read how those early Christians read scripture is this: true, they very often brought to the faith some of the presuppositions of their paganism; true, they very often misinterpreted and misunderstood because they came from very alien backgrounds, and out of the corrupt world of paganism, but the remarkable thing is that they felt a mandate to apply the total word of the king to every area of life and thought.

If Christ is king, He must be obeyed. It was that simple.

In the second volume of my Institutes of Biblical Law, which we hope we will have printed within a year, I call attention to one facet of this. Abortion. The early church took a stand against abortion. Now remember the facts of the first century we need to realize that the first, 2nd, 3rd centuries were very much like our own, different from all other centuries in that they were like the 20th centuries, dominated by big cities and urban civilization. We have to come to modern times to find a comparable urban emphasis, in society. Moreover, it was a time of rampant humanism. The whole character of Rome was saturated with and decaying from humanism.

The proverb of the day that was most common was: “Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Paul refers to that. Abortion was commonplace. The church very early began to deal with this fact, and it was their way of differentiating between the Christian and the humanist, the Christian and the pagan, to say, immediately: “A Christian can have nor part with abortion.” If any of the Christians had been guilty with abortion, there was a severe penalty. Among the most common was that they could not partake of the Lords table for 7 years or 10 years, or for life. Now the figures of 7 and 10 are interesting because they are numbers of fullness; In effect they were saying: “For life you are banned.” In some cases they actually did. [00:07:26]

They did so because they said...[edit]

They did so because they said: “In terms of the word of God it is murder, and the death penalty we are not able to impose, since we are not a civil order. But we want you to know what God’s word has to say on this. If you truly are repentant, you will be our sister in Christ or our brother in Christ, but you will not partake of the table to indicate that you are really dead.”

But they did not stop there. “Necessity,” These Christians were saying in effect: “Is laid upon me. Woe, if I teach not, or preach not, the gospel.”

Abortion in those days was primitive, and as a result, many children were not aborted, they came to full termity. And at that time in Rome they were taken and abandoned under bridges where wild dogs would kill them. And at different places in each of the cities the babies were abandoned. The early church made a practice of going around nightly and protecting those babies. Passing them around to members to be reared in faith.

This is one way the early church grew so phenomenally. Now, I cite that because I am again trying to bring home the critical difference between Biblical faith and humanism. Each has different areas of necessity. Does the Christian today say: “Where the word of God is concerned, necessity is laid upon me.” Or does he say it to the IRS? You see the point is very important. We can technically agree with every article of the confession or the catechism, but if it is not a matter of necessity, and if the word of God from beginning to end is not a necessity laid upon us, then we are humanists. [00:10:25]

Now at times its very easy to be a humanist, most of...[edit]

Now at times its very easy to be a humanist, most of the time in fact. Because the burdens are very light upon us then. In Humanism, every man is his own God. Every man decides for himself what is good and what is evil. He approaches the world then with a smorgasbord attitude. Now I enjoy a smorgasbord, and my wife and I, if we find a good Swedish smorgasbord somewhere we delight in going, because they have every kind of food spread out before us, and to be able to go up and down the table and choose, it’s a real delight. But we cannot approach the word of God in a smorgasbord fashion. We cannot say: “Here I choose and here I do not.” Because necessity is laid upon us.

I (?) very early when our work began to skyrocket in its impact, we relocated because in a day of inflation we felt there had to be a place where our group as a group dependent on the gifts of God’s people, could be a better steward of funds. In an urban center, inflation is quite rampant. So, we moved up to Calaveras county, most of you have no doubt heard of it, Mark Twain’s famous story of the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. In the heart of the old mother lode old country, up in the mountains, north of Yosemite.

A very lovely scene, and an area where inflation is dramatically less than in the rest of the country. Thus we are able to make better use of the money given to us. But we also found that because of the growth of the influence of our work, we had a continual stream of students and of ministers and people coming up there, and the first year, my wife Dorothy had served over 800 meals to ministers when I stopped counting. And at one point, she raised the question: “Do I have to do it?” We both sat down and thought about it. And then decided yes. [00:13:40]

It’s a part of the necessity laid upon us...[edit]

It’s a part of the necessity laid upon us. Now that is a very mild and simple thing, but nowadays men who feel that necessity laid upon them as Levi Whisner in Ohio went to jail, for His sake, because he had a Christian school, when the state said that he the pastor of a small congregation could not do so. Lester Rolloff has been to jail twice, and countless others who have been to jail, they feel necessity laid upon them.

And they do not do so as they make their resistance, in a spirit of disobedience, but in a spirit of obedience. Obedience to Christ as Lord.

Now, one of the characteristic marks of lordship or sovereignty is the law-making power. He who makes the law is the sovereign or the Lord. And who makes our laws? Whom do we obey? Who lays necessity upon us? God and His word, or Caesar?

All law is simply enacted morality or procedures towards the enactment or enforcement of morality. Every law says: “Thou shalt not.” Every law is a moral matter. And all morality is an aspect of theology. This is why every modern state seizes this area above all else. Did you know that when the puritans came here in (oral?) colonies, they had a problem? They all wanted the word of God as law, and the king said: “Oh no. I am your Lord, you will have my law and no one other.” And so they had to use God’s law in the jury room, while honoring the kings law outside. Outwardly. When John Elliot, the great missionary to the Indians in new England began his work, Cromwell soon came to power, and John Elliot said: “I will do now that which God requires of me.” And he organized the Indians villages, the praying Indians as they were called in terms of scripture. He taught every Indian to be an elder in his home. For every ten elders, in terms of Deuteronomy 1 there was to be an elder or captain or presbyter or chief over the ten elders, both in civil government among the Indians and (?) the faith. And over every ten, an elder over 50, an elder over a 100, or an elder over 1000, an elder over 10,000. And they were to be governed by the word of God. He wrote a book on that, The Christian Commonwealth. [00:17:48]

And when Charles the ...[edit]

And when Charles the 2nd returned to the throne, one of his first acts was to order all copies of that book to be burned by the public hangman. It is a rare book now, we plan in about a year to reprint it. It’s one of the great evidences of what the faith of our forefathers in this country was. That they saw all of life under the necessity of the gospel. But today we have a different concept of necessity; a state imposed necessity, and Caesar as lord.

But a significant development has taken place in this country since 1950. According to John Whitehead in his book: The Separation Illusion on the first amendment, about 1952 the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Christianity and the churches were dead. It has since then proceeded very rapidly to eliminate every trace of Christianity from the United States, (as after several states?)

But in the past few years, something that began about the same time has been shaking them up. It has been the rise of the Christian school movement.

Now, the Christian school movement has grown to a degree that very few appreciate. No one knows how many pupils there are in the Christian school movement. No statistics are attainable. In many states, when there is a state convention of Christian schools, they have to allow people only to pass in terms of a registration card, because state officials try to get in to try and find out how many schools are out there, and how many children they have. State statistics about the number of children in state schools, again are dishonest. We found that out dramatically Southern California after proposition 13 passed. 2 school teachers in a couple of the better schools in Los Angeles went to the Herald Examiner, and told reporters: “We are tired of marking as present non- existent pupils. Whose names have been added to the school role for one purpose, to collect state funds.” They were promptly transferred to ghetto schools.” The Herald Examiner persisted with this story, and it was eventually discovered that at least 3 million dollars had been collected for non-existent pupils. [00:21:34]

Nothing was done to those schools, although the state...[edit]

Nothing was done to those schools, although the state asked that the money be refunded after the matter became so public. But multiply that across country in your cities, and there is every reason to believe that it exists across the United States, and you get an idea of how much money is being put out for state education. 90 Billion dollars this school year. 90 Billion. (And now spreading?)

The Christian school movement controls between 15 and 30% of the children of the United States. No one knows exactly how much, but somewhere between 15 and 30%. New schools are being created every day, so that by the end of this century, according to their own prognostications, the public schools will be virtually empty.

On top of that, Nations Business, an editorial, February of this year, 1980, actually said in the editorial that by the end of this decade the public schools would be a minor fact on the education scene. The title of it was: Doomsday for Public Education? We may actually have a ballot measure in California this fall to abolish the public schools.

Now, just stop and think for a moment what this means. It means that in terms of the present direction of things, by the end of this century virtually every child in the United States will be going to a school where they will be taught the Bible. Taught to believe it from cover to cover. Now think what that will do for this country. Nobody knows better than the humanists what is happening to this country, and they are frightened. [00:23:58]

They feel that they are under attack...[edit]

They feel that they are under attack. One recent issue of the Humanist was dedicated to the “frightening assault by Bible believers on humanism.” The homosexual community in San Francisco feels threatened by us. They passed a gay rights ordinance, sad to say almost every church and Christian school in the San Francisco area submitted to it. Which meant actually hiring homosexuals, for their Christian schools.

Charles (Macklehaney?) The pastor of a little Orthodox Presbyterian church needed an organist and advertised for school music, and got one who claimed to believe the Bible from cover to cover, and three weeks later he found out that he was a homosexual. He fired him. And he was promptly taken to court. A couple of weeks ago the judge ruled in favor of Charles Macklehaney. The homosexual community is going to appeal, according to the latest word from the attorney, who is John Whitehead.

Now, there is an extensive homosexual practice in San Francisco, very brazen. The in-thing by the way with the homo sexual community today is bestiality. And they openly advertise it and show pictures illustrating what they are. Charles Macklehaney brought to me a sheaf of these publications, and the interesting thing to which he called my attention was that these people feel threatened! Threatened by what? The Bible believers. The Bible believers. Because the people who take the word of God seriously are on the march, and they feel that unless they destroy the Bible believing community, they will be wiped out. And they are right. [00:26:41]

If we had a comparable militancy on our side, as they...[edit]

If we had a comparable militancy on our side, as they have, and they are ready to fight for theirs, this country tomorrow would see an end of all kinds of abominations. But the issue is very real. In the past 3 ½ years under the present administration, we have seen a tremendous assault on the Christian faith. The IRS has been out to destroy Christian Schools and churches. Its position is, and this was seeded into the law in 1952 and little by little (told?) the churches, you cannot be a church unless you apply to the IRS and they establish you.

Now that’s a violation of the first amendment. The IRS says: “You are not a church unless we say you are, and we approve of you and declare you are (?) an actual church.” But that’s an establishment of religion. In one current case they have demanded that a church submit samples of its sermons for so many Sundays, a written sermon for each Sunday, all financial records and so on. One reformed congregation in Wisconsin was recently taken to court, it’s a church that has been there for some years, with a demand that they turn over all the records. No reason given. “We demand the right to investigate you.” At the same time, you can pick up magazines this group, the church of universal rights, the church of individual liberty whereby you can incorporate and become a minister, you pay $25, or $20, I don’t know the exact amount, and you can become a minister, priest or Rabbi, if you pay a little more you can become a Bishop or a Cardinal, and you can declare your income as church income and your house as your church. [00:29:13]

You’re tax exempt...[edit]

You’re tax exempt. The IRS supposedly went after this outfit, but they went after it in a way I’ve never seen them do with others, they lost the case and didn’t show any enthusiasm about carrying it to a higher court. One (?) or friend told me that he knew of 5000 such churches in the San Diego area. Why is the IRS demanding the freedom to go after legitimate churches and not these? We are given the (establishment?) of Jones and the People’s church. “We need legislation,” People say, “To avoid abuses like that.” But Jim Jones had a state church. He was collecting Federal and State funds, he was delivering just in the Bay area 25,000 votes to the Democratic machine and getting all kinds of favors. He could not be prosecuted for all the laws that the doom squads are perpetrating upon people who try to break with them. He was drawing aid to dependent children by breaking up families in his group and putting the children with one or two people in large dormitory style facilities, that is why he had all those children in (?). It was not until a New York magazine blew the whistle on it and it’s (lawlessness?) that the politicians had to run for cover. He was one of them, and he was working incidentally, just before the end, with (Rosenmelcarter and Helen and Castro?) The two lawyers were Marxists. Why no prosecution of the Jim Jones?

Members were savagely beaten if they tried to rebel or break away. They would go to law enforcement people and only had their visit reported to Jim Jones and his goon squads. Obviously the civil authorities today are not friendly to Jesus Christ and His church. [00:31:53]

On all sides we see a growing warfare against us...[edit]

On all sides we see a growing warfare against us. All kinds of attempts to deal with the church that are appalling. Attempts to control the churches ministry to children with Sunday schools, nurseries, child care facilities during the week for working mothers, and the like. Did you know that in a couple of states there has been prosecution of churches because of their nurseries? Women’s meetings during the midweek, and mothers taking their terms (during?) caring for children in the church nursery; that was against the child care laws, they had to have lessons for that they were told. They were trying to get a law prohibiting such interference with the churches and ministries to children in California, it failed by 1 to come out of committee. It has been seeped into the law books in many a state to be a applied when they feel the time is right.

I could go down the line to cite the types of control that are envisioned for churches; I mentioned in the previous hour that of pastoral counseling, the roots of this go back to Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud said that it would be useless for scientists to try to disprove religion as long as men feel guilt, he said, they will feel the need for a savior. Very astute on Freud’s part. Freud recognized that at the heart of Biblical faith is the doctrine of the atonement, and he said: “What we must do in order to destroy the power of religion over mankind is to convert the problem of guilt from a religious problem to a medical problem.” This is the meaning of the mental health movement. This is why there is an attempt today to turn the ministry into a branch of psychiatry and to compel Psychiatric and psychological training and licensing. But what we have to say is that ours is the truly catholic faith. Not only matters of guilt, but matters of education, of politics, of economics, of all things, are under God word, and under the authority of Christ as king. [00:35:36]

The first and basic commandment of economics is...[edit]

The first and basic commandment of economics is: “Thou shalt not steal.” Now we have a system of economics that is based on theft, because we have fiat money. Let’s consider the meaning of that; we have fiat money, man made money, instead of gold and silver. The bible says; “Just weights, and just measures shall ye have.” Weights in the Bible has reference, if you look at any of the older Bible dictionaries, to weights of gold and silver. The shekel was a weight of gold and a weight of silver. Our twenty dollar gold piece, and our earliest gold coins didn’t have a designation, they didn’t say so many dollars. It was just a weight of Gold. The twenty dollar gold piece was an ounce of gold weight. %90 fineness. At one time our trade dollars listed the grains of silver by weight, and that was in terms of scripture. The constitution says that, not that the Federal government has the right to print money, no, it was against paper money. To coin money, and to establish the weight thereof. [00:37:14]

Now, the vulgate Bible, the Latin Bible, in Genesis...[edit]

Now, the vulgate Bible, the Latin Bible, in Genesis 1 uses the word fiat again and again. Fiat, (logos?) let there be light. So fiat means, let there be. The word fiat therefore means creation by a sovereign act out of nothing. Now, what we have today are fiat (?), Fiat money, Fiat everything. Because humanism says that the state is God walking on earth, and the state need not be bound by God’s law, and may do as it pleases. Hence of necessity, the state is going to issue its own fiat.

And as a result we have inflation. A paper money that is continually expanded by the printing presses, so it becomes worth less and less. Now (?) that are not a part of God’s creation ordinances have no relationship to the reality of things. Today every year you have a large bookcase full of new federal regulations and laws, state regulations and laws, and county regulations and laws. You would need a building larger than this just to house all the law books which are current in the United States today.

Ignorance is inescapable today. And the laws of the state have no real relationship to your being and mind. But God’s laws are knowable by every man, and they are right here, in one book, so given that even (?) may read it and understand.

And so today humanism has a fiat regime. It has no authority except its own, it specifically exempts itself from the authority of God and His word. The very beginning of the (?) The U.S. Supreme court made it clear under Vinson, that Chief Justice, that there was no word beyond the court, to give law to the court. Theirs was the ultimate word. [00:40:37]

In every area of our life today we have this insistence...[edit]

In every area of our life today we have this insistence on the humanistic fiat, and of course the essence of modernism is to submit to this humanistic fiat, to say it is the word of man and the needs of man that must lay necessity upon us. What governs legislation today, and human action generally? Human need. So that congress says, as it looks at the human situation; “Necessity is laid upon us to do so and so.” The necessity is man made and man ordained. Not until we return to the divine fiat, and can say necessity is laid upon me by the Lord, can we return to the faith of our fathers.

Remember this. We can, and I believe must have separation of church and state. But we can never have separation of religion and state. The state and the school, the family, the vocations, the arts and the sciences, all have an obligation to be under the Lord, just as much as the church. Now that’s what puritanism is about, and that’s what the Bible is about. It says there is a necessity laid upon us not only in the church, but in every area of life, by God and his word. That we must give heed to that necessity, so that we might be indeed faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. [00:43:09]

I said in the previous hour that we are at war...[edit]

I said in the previous hour that we are at war. But when we go to war with Christ our king we cannot lose. If we go to war with (Sauls?) army as half humanists, we will surely lose. But if we go to war in terms of the uncompromising work of God, we stand.

I like the episode that occurred in New Hampshire when one pastor who was on trial, and he was told (Oakland?) District school, on the first day of September the school was scheduled, they would arrest him and take him to jail. The Reverend Roy Thomas, a Baptist in Cleveland flew in to his aid, and told him: “Joe, would you turn things over to me? Because I’ll open it the second day and I’ll find men to open it every day thereafter.” And he said fine. So he called up one pastor after another throughout New England, and said: “Joe is scheduled to go to Jail on May 1, I am going to jail because I am opening the school on day 2. Now do you want to be number 3?” And he had ministers for (16? 60?) successive school days. And then he walked to the local paper, the state capital in New Hampshire, and he said: “The city is about to send 60 preachers to jail, and here is the list of their names.”

Well, the state took them to court, but it backed off on sending them to jail. It convicted them, but on appeal to the state supreme court they won. In the process, Governor (Melvin?) Thompson called in Roy Thompson and attorney Gibbs, and said: “This is a city matter and I have no say so here, but I certainly have been getting a lot of phone calls, including one from the Governor of Maine, who wants to know why I’m going to send his minister to jail.” And he said: “I want to tell you something, we had no problems with the nuclear protesters here, because we knew one thing, that they were ready to make a big show, a tremendous demonstration by the thousands, as long as they were on the television cameras. But the minute they went to jail and the matter was no longer a front page story, and off the television news, they were ready to sign anything and go home. We knew that, and so we had them. It was just a question of waiting them out.” But he said: “The humanist’s today cannot cope with real faith, and they will crumble. And if you men are ready to stand your grounds and go to jail and stay there, because it is your belief that “Here I stand and I can do no other.” You are going to win. But it’s not going to be easy.”

I believe he was right. And I know because I have been in and out of these courtrooms across the country as a witness, that there is nothing that frightens these humanists more than these Christians. These judges have been a law unto themselves, humanists to the core. They have given one Godless decision after another before empty courts, except on rare occasions when it is sensational news. And suddenly something different is happening. They have a crowded courtroom of praying Christians. The hallways are full of praying people. The steps of the court house are covered with Christians who are singing hymns, and there are buses parked up and down the street, church buses and Christian school buses with banners on the side saying: “Jesus is Lord.” And the judges are very nervous and jittery. [00:48:22]

They don’t want to be in the public eye that way...[edit]

They don’t want to be in the public eye that way. They aren’t used to being faced with such conviction, they find it most distressing. We are told in scripture that this is the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith. And overcome it shall. If we can say with the saints of old: “A necessity is laid upon me. Woe be it unto me if I preach not the gospel and stand in terms of the gospel.” If we see at all times our judge, not as the local court, nor the IRS, nor Jimmy Carter, but one who is Lord over them as well as us, even Jesus Christ. Let us pray.

Almighty God our heavenly Father, who of thy grace and mercy has called us to be Thy people, and has given us such great and glorious promises in Thy word. Give us faith to stand and to give a good witness, to set forth Thy claim as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, before Kings and Governors, and to know that Thou wilt give us the word to speak in Thy appointed time. We pray for Thy blessing upon these thy saints. We thank Thee that they have made a goodly portion, have separated themselves from unbelief, have committed themselves unto Thine work, and Thine sovereign rule. Bless and prosper them we beseech Thee, protect them by Thy grace and cause Thy face to shine upon them. [Tape Ends] [00:51:01]