The Birth of the New Christian Order - RR180A2
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|This transcript is unedited. It was:|
|Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library|
|Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules|
|Posted by with permission.|
[Introduction] At this time I would like to introduce our final speaker for the day, Dr. Rushdoony. (Applause)
[Rushdoony] Before we begin I would like to make a few announcements and mention first of all a death that took place this week, Francis Schaffer, a most faithful warrior of the Lord went to his reward a few days ago. He has left behind a great inheritance of writings and works begun that will live after him, and a particular joy to me is the fact the he has left behind his son Frankie, who will, I believe, not only carry on the work but even surpass by far his father, a very remarkable son. We need to thank God for men like that and for their work. Then finally although this has been mentioned before, I do feel that we should all acknowledge our very great debt to Clint and Elizabeth Miller. To put on a conference like this is a major task, it requires preparation for months on advance, and the last two or three months, unceasing work answering the telephone, taking care of the males, making the arrangements, double checking everything, it is not an easy task, it requires a great deal of time and patience and we are especially grateful to you, Clint and Elizabeth, for all that you have been doing every year. Thank you. (Applause) [00:02:25]
Our subject in this closing session is the birth of...
Our subject in this closing session is the birth of a new Christian order. We live in a time when men give the biology of fallen man priority over Gods law, a year or so ago a judge in Madison Wisconsin refused to confine a fifteen year old rapist, stating and I quote: “Their sexual juices really start to flow at fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen, doesn’t take much to provoke a guy. Whether you like it or not, a woman is a sex object, and they are the ones who turn the man on, generally.” About the same time, in Santa Fe New Mexico, a judge in ruling on a case of incest declared and I quote: “It is nothing more than sex education, essential and necessary in growth towards maturity and subsequent domestic family life.” What we have seen in our society is the replacement of Gods law with man’s law and now man’s law is being replaced by biology. Such a development does not occur in a vacuum, it is part of the general rebellion against God and His law word, and of man’s attempt to play God, it is a part of the worship of power. George Orwell in nineteen-eighty-four has O’Brian declare and I quote: “we know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it, power is not a means it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution, the object of torture is torture, the object of power is power. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a picture of a boot stamping on a human face forever.” [00:05:24]
The culture which adopts power as its goal condemns...
The culture which adopts power as its goal condemns itself to sterility and decline, the exercise of power for its own sake leads to repression and to death, and thus humanistic power is destructive and suicidal, whereas God’s is constructive and life-giving. One scholar, Perinder, has said with regard to the great dominating goal over the centuries of man in Africa, has been power, and I quote: “it has often been said that the chief value of Africa thought is power, vital energy or dynamism. The world is a realm of powers; the most fruitful life has the most power and harmony.” Now Perinder, like other modern men saw no harm in this belief. In our day, Marxism has most clearly expressed this worship, this belief, this faith in power, and we are told of Stalin by one of his biographers and I quote: “he used the only method he had faith in: power.” So that whenever there was a power in any realm, whether in agriculture or in industry, or within the party, or among youth or among students, Stalin’s solution was always the same; brute power, repression, the gulag. The same belief in the efficacy of power is a part of cultures all over the world; it is this cultural force, this trust in humanistic power that Christianity now faces. The nations have forsaken the Lord and they lust for power, in this they reflect the character of their peoples, from the rights of run up and shipped out right sadism, the goal is power over others. We face a world very much like that of the New Testament era, humanistic and essentially urban, with a hatred of biblical faith, and with Christ and the Christian man as the enemy. The conflict of Christianity and Rome did not end with Constantine; the emperors wanted a semblance of faith, with a perpetuation of the old order. One historian, Simon Goodenough has written and I quote: “The vast slave population welcomed the compassionate Christianity, and its belief in the sanctity of human life. It is this that we miss in Roman attitudes despite their tolerance and despite their sense of responsibility. The paradox was carried with ultimate extent when Christianity became the religion of the state. The elitist structure could not live side by side with Christianity and its compassion, although Christianity cannot be blamed for the fall of Rome.” [00:09:40]
Rome at its virtuous best was not compassionate, its...
Rome at its virtuous best was not compassionate, its virtues concentrated on the exaltation of power, it provided bread and circuses for the poor, not because it was compassionate, but to control the masses. As against this, Christianity entered the Roman Empire with a gospel of salvation in and through Jesus Christ and His kingdom. It was a gospel of mercy, of the compassion of God to salvation through Jesus Christ, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and that whosoever believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Salvation in the scriptures is presented as an act of sovereign grace, the gift of God, totally and undeserved, a compassionate gift. The commandment to those who believe is: freely ye have received, freely give, for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. The gospel unleashed a kingdom upon the world, the kingdom of God with this mandate, man sent forth slaves and philosophers, lawyers and soldiers, the rich and the poor, men with a bad moral past, with a knowledge of a faith that was often very weak, and very frail and crowded, but governed by the great fact of the compassionate act of God through Christ, and their duty to give as they had been given unto. The result was a new government within the empire, the kingdom of God. This new government with a new people who called themselves the Christian race held that all the old distinctions were now obliterated, the liturgy of the early church, the language of the early church, referred to the people of the kingdom as the Christian race, a new people a new humanity, called out of the old with a ministry of grace and compassion to all. One of the first challenges they made to the Roman Empire, one I spoke about two years ago, was on abortion. They not only opposed abortion but because the practice of abortion then was crude and inept it did not always succeed, and the babies when born were abandoned to be devoured by the wild dogs of Rome or of Corinth or wherever they were, and Christians stationed members at the points of abandonment to collect these babies, parcel them out to members to be reared in the faith. Moreover they required everyone to provide for their own, their own household, their fellow believers, then those outside the faith, whereas Paul said if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house or kindred, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. This was Gods requirement from the beginning, as Isaiah reminded his day and hours, is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness to undo the heavy burdens and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke, is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house, when thou see the naked that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh, then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily, and thy righteousness shall go before thee, the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. [00:15:00]
Rome regarded every man’s house as his own private...
Rome regarded every man’s house as his own private domain, there a man could do as he pleased, in the early days he could sell his wife and children into slavery or execute them at will if they displeased him. Modern man wants the same freedom in his private life, and hence the demand for not only abortion but euthanasia and homosexual rights. But Paul regards the matter differently and reminds the church of Gods requirements, let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not, and as we have therefor opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. The implications of this are far reaching, every Christian household became a government, an outpost of the kingdom of God with a duty towards his kindred first, then all fellow believers, then to all men, they provided homes for abandoned babies, offered help to those who needed it and quickly surpassed the imperial welfare program. Instead of bread and circuses there was practical health and compassion, friendship in Christ. Goodenough said that Rome’s elite structure could not lie side by side with Christian compassion, and with good reason; Roman elitism was in terms of Plato’s republic, elitist philosopher kings ruling from the top down, whereas Christianity was hierarchical and hierarchy means rule according to sacred law, and Christianity believed in hierarchy, rule by God’s law, authority only in terms of the word of God. The kingdom of God, it was held, commanded the believer. Not only his home, but even more it commanded also his income. The tithe is a revolutionary concept, very quickly the persecuted church became a very wealthy church, because these persecuted people, in addition to taking care of their own, these babies that had been abandoned and more were tithing and creating a tremendous government in the Church. We have some data from the year two-fifty-one A.D. which was a time of persecution. The church in Rome at that time supported a bishop, forty six presbyters, seven Deacons, seven sub deacons, forty two acolytes and fifty two exorcists, readers, and door keepers. The door keeper by the way, was an important official in the early days, he was a door keeper, he had to have a sharp awareness of who the secret agents of Rome were, who might try to infiltrate a meeting, or who were coming down the street to break up the meeting, and he would give warning in time for the members to make their escape. Besides these, the church in Rome supported over fifteen hundred widows and needy persons. At the same time, the churches in other areas were undergoing a particularly sever persecution and the church in Rome took care of the refugees, including two hundred and fifty bishops, whom they hid. At the same time, with all of this support, they were giving relief, emergency aid to needy non-Christians in Rome. In other words, the persecuted were extending relief to the persecutors. [00:20:38]
All this was done by the Christian church, an illegal...
All this was done by the Christian church, an illegal organization. Consider what could happen today in your congregation and across the country if a fraction of Christians tithed. We could take over health education and welfare in the United States just for starters. At the same time, the church was administering justice in the church courts to its members. Remember what Paul said in first Corinthians six, he told the church that it was wrong for them to go out to outsiders, and to outsider courts to the ungodly for their troubles, for the settlement of their conflicts; “what, know ye not that the saints are to judge, that is govern the world? That you are in time to become the rulers of the world? And that you through your church today are to learn how to administer justice?” the early church took to heart what Paul said, they made their church courts ministries of justice, so much so that the ungodly began to come to the Christians, to illegal organizations for a settlement of their disputes. When Rome recognized Christianity, very quickly, rather shamefacedly it had to admit that the courts that everybody preferred were not the Roman courts but the church courts. For six centuries, by the way, Christian courts gave Europe most of its justice, not civil courts, so what they did was to appoint the bishops of the church to be their magistrates as well as their own. If you’ve ever wondered where the bishops get their fancy garb, that is the garb of a Roman magistrate. It’s a witness to the fact that Rome finally recognized that justice was going outside of its courts into the Christian hands, before the Christian presbyters, and so it gave to the presiding presbyter the garb of a Roman official, of a magistrate, a judge, and these in other ways. [00:23:54]
The early church was revolutionary, it created a new...
The early church was revolutionary, it created a new government by its ministry of compassion, and by its law, God’s law, and today the same ministry is at work, we are taking over education. Federal statistics tell us that almost eleven percent of grade and high school children are in Christian schools, that’s not true. Their statistics will only include the “accredited” schools, and none of your newer schools are accredited, they are refusing certification and accreditation, it doesn’t include all the homeschool children, there are a hundred thousand homeschools in California alone. It does not include the fact that the public schools are padding their roles with a lot of non-existent students in order to get more money, but that is not all across the country, Christian lawyers are establishing arbitration courts, peoples can go to those courts, sign a contract to abide by the decision of the court, and a counsel of lawyers will adjudicate the matter. I know that about four years ago in a modest size city in the southwest, cases involving twenty-six million dollars were adjudicated. Basic to all this growth, basic to what is happening, is the rebirth of people in Jesus Christ, into a Christian world and life view. The humanists of our day divide man’s life into two realms, public and private, the humanist realm has taken over the public realm, claims it for the state and is now taking over the private as well, so that every time a legislature or congress meets, there is more and more an invasion into the private realm. [00:26:32]
Many conservatives are deeply concerned with the reclamation...
Many conservatives are deeply concerned with the reclamation of the public and private realms from the state, but as Christian we must add that the basic distinction is not between public and private realms, but between God’s total claim on every realm, and the rebellious man’s attempt to exclude god from every realm. No sphere of life belongs to man or the state but all belong to God, all things must be done according to His word, and for His glory. The state, the church, persons, schools, the arts and sciences, all must serve Him. We have no private sphere apart from Him, nor any area for our exclusive functioning, we are His possession. Cornelius Van Til has said that “There is not a place in the universe where man can go and say: this is my private realm, no button he can press and say here I step outside of Gods jurisdiction, if man had such a button he would always have his finger on it, but it does not exist, he only lives moves and has his being in Gods world.” Roman elitism could not tolerate Christian compassion, and Roman education was designed to preserve this elitism. The renaissance and the enlightenment preserved this ideal. The English public school system, the American public school system, all in varying degrees, the Prussian and so on, were designed to perpetuate the old Greco-Roman ideal of an elitist order, an education to sort out the elite, and elitism always gravitates to a statist order, an order in which philosopher kings are in control. As against this, Christian education, Christian schools prepare their students for an hierarchical order in which God rules, in which His law prevails, and in which we are called to exercise dominion in every sphere of life and thought in the name of almighty God. All around us, the foundations are being laid for a Christian order. The kingdom of God is one the march, the gates of hell cannot hold out against it; of this we can be sure, because we have God’s word that it is so. The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. Thank you. [00:30:33]