We live in troubled times - RR190A1
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The Bible is a book to be read by those who are running.
The Bible is a book to be read by those who are running. By those who have a sense of urgency. If I tell you that your coat tail is on fire, you are not then interested in a theory of fire, but in taking off your coat and getting some water on it. Now too much of preaching in our age is academic. I know one very learned pastor in the United States, who when he speaks on a text he will give you the history of each word whether in the Hebrew or in the Greek. And by the time he has given you the history of each of those words you forget what the text was about and what the point of his sermon is. If you’re not asleep. We live in the last days of the modern humanistic statist era. The world around us is dying. Let me give you just a few statistics. These deal with the United States but in varying degrees they apply to almost every country in the world today I would say Singapore is an exception. Possibly Taiwan. The federal taxes in the United States today; of the total forty percent must go to service the debt, the interest payments. Not the principle on the national debt. Forty percent, according to federal data between five and nine or ten years one hundred percent of all federal receipts will go to pay merely the interest on the national debt. Vary the figures a bit and you have them for most of the world. What does that mean? It means that they can tighten their belts, mend their ways, repent of their spend thrift economies. But who believes they’re going to do that? They can repudiate the whole of the debt which will wipe out the banks which will wipe out the pension funds the insurance companies, everyone. Or they can go into printing press money and pay off all the debts with worthless paper. We live in a grim decade. We’re seeing already the results of inflation in the Soviet Union, which is building up at the present moment the world’s greatest military machine. It has reigned the continental waters the gulf, the Atlantic, the Pacific, of the United States with atomic powered submarines with nuclear warheads, with listening devices to listen to every communication in the united states of any moment ready to issue an ultimatum “give us this or else!”[00:04:25]
But meanwhile at home, their printing presses are going...
But meanwhile at home, their printing presses are going twenty four hours a day. Printing higher and higher denominations. And as one miner said there recently “what they pay me now is worth nothing so the work I do for them is nothing.” We live in troubled times. Now the only remedy for this as for fall of bone is Christ. The history books are full of lies and one of them is that when Rome fell there was a dark age. The real Dark Age began in the latter century of the republic and continued through the empire. Times of abortion, of homosexuality, of every kind of abomination. When tax collectors were collecting so much that they were finally torturing people to get them to tell how much they had. That’s why the barbarians of few tens of thousands were able to overthrow the millions of Rome. Because nobody in Rome thought Rome was worth fighting for. Christ is the answer. Our faith is the answer. Now I’m going to tell you something that isn’t new, but it’s been forgotten. In the March issue of our Chalcedon report a German scholar, Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, who will be at our Seattle conference in May. In this article doctor Schirrmacher calls attention to something that was once well known and is now forgotten. We now speak of religion, the Christian religion, the Buddhist religion, the Islamic religion. And as he points out that word religion is relatively new. It goes back to the Renaissance. Before that you did not speak of the Christian religion or the Islamic religion, but the Christian law. The Islamic law, the Buddhist law. Because it was recognized that every religion as we call it everything deals ultimate concerns. With ultimate truth, good and evil, right and wrong. And what is that but law? This is why every word of scripture was once regarded as law. And grace and law were not seen as in conflict, we'll come to this later today. But as one in the same. Different aspects of the same thing. But today we are under humanistic faith and law. On October 25 1991, the California court of appeals ruled in Soroka v. Dayton corporation. That every California employer will be subject to potential criminal prosecution for discrimination against homosexual employees or applicants. This ruling if it stands will apply to churches, Christians, schools and ministry and all groups without exception. And this is the goal in every country in the western world and outside the western world. So if you do not have such efforts and through the courts of present you soon will have, because the religion of the state is humanism. And its law must govern us. But this was a decision that should not surprise us. “All law is the expression of the will of the sovereign.” [00:10:00]
Now that’s not my statement...
Now that’s not my statement. If you go back to the first addition of the Encyclopedia Britannica and look up law, that’s what it will tell you. Law is the expression of the will of the sovereign. So if your sovereign is the state, what the state says is the law there for it is religion for you. If your faith is in Jesus Christ, in the Triune God, then every word from the mouth of God you’re going to live by it will be law, it will be law for you. But if any man or the state be sovereign or lord, then the every word of that over lord must be enforced. The modern state says it is sovereign. This is after the philosopher Hegel, and whatever party they be, political party in the modern world, they are Hegelians in varying degrees and the basic promise of Hegel was that the state is God walking on earth. That’s what you face with the modern state. An enemy, a rival of Jesus Christ. But if God the Lord is alone sovereign then only his word constitutes valid law. Only his word is binding upon us.
The battle of our time is between two rival religions. Humanism, or better Humanistic Statism on the one hand, and Biblical Faith on the other, the two oldest religions. Humanism was born with the tempter, “Yea hath God said? Ye shall not surely die. It’s possible you might. We’re in a war with this one above. But in the day that ye eat there of ye shall be as God, knowing.” And the Hebrew word knowing has the meaning of determining for yourself what is good and evil. And isn’t that exactly what the modern man and what the modern state are doing? Whomever we recognize as lord his law we will follow. The early church governed life in terms of the whole word of God. Their conflict with Rome was over the issue of lordship and law. We cannot repeat too often the fact that Paul in Philippians 2:9 through 11 set forth the basic premise of Christian faith and resistance. Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him. And given him a name which is above every name. But at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. The things in heaven and things of earth and things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father. Let me say that, that became, those words, “Jesus Christ is lord” the baptismal confession of the early church. And when anyone came forward to be baptized they put their life on the line, because the basic requirement of Rome was the confession Caesar is lord. The very present fact Paul tells us is, that God has already exalted Jesus Christ into authority as the cosmic lord and emperor. In his time one way or another every knee shall bow to him. Every tongue shall confess him and we must take that literally. [00:15:16]
Paul summons us to work toward that glorious fulfillment...
Paul summons us to work toward that glorious fulfillment. The goal is the glorious proclamation; the kingdoms of this world are to become the kingdoms of our lord and of his Christ. And he shall reign forever and ever. This is a necessary result of the fact that the lord Jesus Christ is the blessed and only potentate, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. So as we have seen first all law is the will of the sovereign or lord. In the modern era we have returned to the faith of ancient paganisms. A belief in the lordship of the state or its ruler or the office. We there for look to the state for law rather than to the word of God and this is apostasy. In the united states at one time juries decided cases out of the bible. It was the law of the land. Then second all laws expresses the nature of the lord or its sovereign. God's law reveals his holiness, righteousness or justice, knowledge and dominion. These are God's communicable attributes. In terms of which he created us. The West Minister Shorter Catechism tells us God created man male and female. After his own image in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, with dominion over the creatures. The texts cited for this are Genesis 1:27 and 28, Colossians 3:10, and Ephesians 4:24. Now this is a very important fact. The law of God represents the nature of God. Because God created man in his image with these communicable attributes. Everything in redeemed man’s being responds to God's law. The spirit filled psalmist could thus sing in
Psalm 119:97-104 “O how love I your law! it is my meditation all the day.
You through your commandments have made me wiser than my enemies: for they are ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep your precepts.
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep your word.
I have not departed from your judgments: for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.”
The redeemed man delights in God's law word because his being recreated in Christ is remade in God's image. And therefore with the joy and the law that expresses god's holiness and being. For the ungodly the law is a hateful burden. It is an indictment. So Paul speaks of the law both as an indictment and death penalty against the unredeemed man, but as a way of life for the redeemed. The sad fact today is that the Ten Commandments could not get by our modern courts. Because they discriminate against sinners, and we don’t believe in discrimination do we? Or we’re not supposed to. Then third as the psalmist very clearly states, God's law gives him knowledge. It enables man to grow to maturity an important aspect of God's image in him. The law enables man to see and to understand God's way and to walk in it. [00:20:45]
It is a grace filled knowledge that he gains...
It is a grace filled knowledge that he gains. Because God's law is an aspect of his grace to us. His covenant blessing. We will return to that later today. Humanistic knowledge is about a multiplicity of meaningless facts. And man creates the world of meaning by his own fiat word. Not so the Christian. One of the most significant statements in all the Bible is 1 John 2:20,
1 John 2:20: “But ye have an unction from the holy one and ye know all things.” “Ye have an unction from the holy one and ye know all things”, 1st John 2:20. This does not mean we know the details of all actuality, that we know every bit of physics and chemistry and biology and botany. But we know who created them and the glorious purpose towards which all creation moves. We know the meaning of all things. For the reason a psalmist could say he had a wisdom greater than all his teachers. Because he began with the Lord and his law word. Faith without knowledge is not faith. Saint Anselm said I believe in order that I may understand. And the words of Hebrews 11:3 'through faith we understand that the worlds were framed the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Faith is the precondition of all true knowledge. Does not Paul say in the first chapter of Romans that the “ungodly hold down the truth, the righteousness, the justice of God in their unrighteousness, in their injustice.” The word hold there in the Greek has the force of hold down, hold back, keep out of their mind. Which means that every man, everywhere in the world knows Paul says the things of God visible and invisible. They are known to him he insists. But he holds them, he suppresses them in his unrighteousness. He does not want to know the facts, the truths that every atom of his being testifies to. The fear of the lord is the beginning of knowledge. But fools despise wisdom and instruction. But the premise of the humanistic culture of the western world is Abelard's statement “I understand in order that I may believe”. ‘Unless it makes sense to me’, in other words, I’m not going to believe it. But without beginning with faith in the triune God of scripture all knowledge disappears into doubt. And all we have is autonomous man in a world of root or meaningless factuality. Without God and his law word we soon end up in a surd. S..U..R..D. A realm empty of all sense and all meaning. [00:25:30]
4th. Because God is the lord of the sovereign and he alone reigns and ordains all things. His word alone defines righteousness or justice. Just as nothing exists outside of God, because all things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made, so there can be and is no true law nor justice apart from God and his law word. Because God is the creator, he is the definer of all things. There could be no justice, no meaning apart from him and his word. It was the tempters plan in Eden for man to be his own God knowing or determining for himself what is good and evil, morality and law, and truth and error. But there is no independent realm outside of God. There can be no law nor truth apart from him, only Hell. Because we are created and recreated in the image of God we can say with the psalmist “oh how I love thy law, it is my meditation all the day.” Every word of God is written in every atom of our being. He made us and his print is in all our being. As Paul tells us, I referred to it earlier, the sinner holds or suppresses it in unrighteousness. Man's ignorance of God and his law are willful. This ignorance is a product of man's sin. Because everything in man's being and all creation testifies to the truth of God and his law. The thesis of humanism is that man's problem is ignorance, that’s a lie. Man's problem is sin. In his sin man pretends ignorance of God and of God's law. I was deeply moved when I was a boy. And I’ve read about this several times since about missionaries from the early years. This missionary going into a new part of Africa, and preaching the word, speaking of God and of his savior. Suddenly one elderly black woman began to cry out with joy and tears, and said to the person next to her: “Did I not tell you there had to be a God like that?” [00:29:29]
Then 6th the knowledge of God as lord and savior as law giver and redeemer, leads to holiness. We are told that without holiness no man shall see the lord. Again and again in the law we are told to obey it. Because “ye shall be holy for I am holy.” in fact the law can be called as it has been, the holiness code. Holiness involves both separation from sin to God and his law and also dedication to faithful service to him. [00:30:15]
Holiness has to do with our everyday life...
Holiness has to do with our everyday life. Leviticus, which most stresses holiness, gives us laws concerning sexuality and marriage, debt, diet, weights and measures and much, much, more. Too many protestants have a medieval view of holiness as a withdrawal from the world into a convent or a monastic establishment. And they really have turned the churches into monasteries and convents. And they separate themselves from the world and don’t want to be involved in bringing everything into captivity to Christ. God speaks of holiness as he prepares his people to conquer the Canaanites of this world. Holiness is not retreat but the application of God's law word of every area of life and thought. The words saintliness and holiness are different words for the same thing. Believers in the New Testament are called as we should be, the saints of God, the holy ones. Because their lives and ours are given to faithfulness to the Lord. To walk by His Spirit, in terms of his law word. In Hebrews 3:1 the term used is holy brethren. These we are told are partakers of the heavenly calling. To live in faithfulness to every word of God in this world. Our heavenly calling is very simply stated by our Lord in an answer to a lawyers question about inheriting eternal life. He brought the lawyer to state it himself:
“and he answered saying thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thy heart and all with mouth and with all thy strength and with all thy mind and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto them thou hast answered right, this do and thou shalt live.”
Holiness is a very wonderful and very practical thing. It is life in faithfulness to the lord Jesus Christ. And to the law word of God. The 7th dominion is an aspect of the image in man. This dominion is over the earth and its creatures. The Garden of Eden was a pallet project. Where by man was there to learn how to subdue the earth to the lord. To understand it by naming which in the Hebrew means classifying its creatures and serving God by doing his will on earth. Fallen man has substituted domination for dominion, and self-will for God's will. The results are very well described by our Lord’s brother James. [00:34:24]
In James 4:1-8 “1From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
6But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
This is a very important text, because it tells us that our lawlessness leads to our conflicts and wars. James of course is here reflecting what our Lord said in the Sermon on the Mountain “by their fruits shall ye know them.” he speaks of our lusts and our desires which are ungodly. He cites our evil hostilities and then sights or refers to Geneses 6:5 and 8:21 to sum up their meaning as this. “The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy” instead of dominion fallen sinful man resorts to envy. The politics of the western world and in fact of the whole world of today has rightfully been described as the politics of envy. Bring down those that are of better off than you. That is what politics is now about. [00:37:24]
Therefore we are summoned to submit to the Lord, unto...
Therefore we are summoned to submit to the Lord, unto the Lord resist the devil. Cleanse our being and end our double mindedness. After 1660 Christendom, Catholic and Protestant began to wane. And sense the French Revolution the idea of Christendom, a common realm of law under God living in his grace, has given way to the concept of western civilization, of humanistic statism. The concept of the west now is a dying one. Because it has replaced God's law with humanistic law. And God's sovereign law with man’s corrosive envy. The choice is clear, we either return to God's law and grace or we continue the present social disintegration. Into the world of humanistic statist law, which denying God leads to totalitarianism. And which supplants God's grace with man’s envy.
There is an interesting fact, a sad fact, it has to do with Qaddafi of Libya. A man that has been turned into the great villain. There is no question that he has progressively a hater of the west. And there have been terroristic activities, but not as much as in Syria under Assad. Why the hatred for Qaddafi? True he is certainly not the man you want as a next door neighbor, but what has incited this fury against him, and intense fury? Well Qaddafi a good many years ago, not long after he first gained power, sent a Christian message to the heads of state throughout the western world. The United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and so on. A remarkable one, it was a plea by a Muslim that they, these countries return to Christ. What an amazing statement, why did he make it? He said “you are extorting your humanism and your unbelief to all the world.” And no country unless they believe in their God has any basis for telling people to be moral and law abiding. So you are destroying the Islamic world, you are destroying the Buddhist world. You are destroying every part of the world beginning with your own, go back to your Christ. Of course, no prime minister or president responded to Qaddafi. They began to call him crazy, no wonder he hates us. [00:42:00]
Well, we live now in an era where the conflict of interest...
Well, we live now in an era where the conflict of interest, a dog eat dog world. A lawless world, a world without God or meaning, is seen as omnipresent, because we have adopted the politics of envy. Of every man for himself, of hating anyone who is more successful than ourselves. Most legislation today enacts envy into a law. The prophetic psalmist raises the question, “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee which frameth mischief by a law?” The humanistic west is our modern throne of iniquity. Framing mischief by enacting laws, we must return to the saving power of Jesus Christ, to God and his law. We must work towards a true Christendom, thy kingdom come oh Lord, amen.
(at this point another man cuts in and says) Just have a seat Dr. Rushdoony and at this point were going to take this section... how many of you appreciated what you heard? (clapping) Were going to have time for open discussion at this time.
Male in audience: I have a question, you mentioned the French Revolution, the question that I have is, have we been misguided in our approach to history? Have our historians misguided our civilization in our understanding of who we are and what we believe nationally?
Rushdoony: That's very true. Our historians have written from the perspective of humanistic statism. I referred for example, to the fact that historians for a long time spoke of the dark ages. They're now beginning to drop the term. They call those ages dark which follow the fall of Rome, that’s because a central statist power, and imperial power was so important to them. But the real dark ages were from late republican Rome to the fall of Rome. Times of incredible depravity. We have one historian who suffered for his position, William Carroll Bark. Who said of the church fathers in the late days of Rome and of the so called dark ages that they were the frontier thinkers of the freedom that modern man has enjoyed and is now destroying. Now the French Revolution was, and I shall refer to it perhaps later in the day, the democratization of the depravity of royalist France. What the Marquis De Sade wrote about in his books, which described every kind of sexual perversion imaginable, and whose hatred of God was such that he said that the greatest pleasure would be the ability to blot out God. An irreversible death was preferable to life for him. Now that culture became popularized, the sodomy that prevailed in the court and the adulteries became popularized. So modern culture is a polarization of the decadent culture that prevailed under Louis the fifteenth, Louis the sixteenth happened to be ruling at the time but he hardly affected the court or the culture. So historians have written history from the standpoint of their faith. Now that’s a logical thing. We all view the world through the eyes of our faith. That doesn’t mean that every perspective is false. That perspective that which is within line of the nature of the universe or with God is going to reflect the truth of our history. Now Christians invented historiography. Because what the Greek historians did largely Herodotus collected a lot of interesting facts, but the others really invented history, they wrote the speeches, the created some of the events. We invented a great many things popular education, hospitals, public education, charities instead of roman welfare-ism. This is why Rome prosecuted the early church. [00:49:25]
Because they called it an imperium in imperial, an...
Because they called it an imperium in imperial, an empire within the empire, another government. Because they were actually having also courts. I hope you don’t mind that I take as long as I do at answering questions, but we’re all familiar with 1st Corinthians 6. Paul is rebuking the Corinthians for going to the civil courts, he says “don’t you have wise men among you? Men who are capable of being judges? What know ye not that the saints shall judge the earth?” Well, the word judge there, Creno, is the same sense as the book of judges. They shall be the governors, the rulers of the world so you better learn in your own midst. Now what this history books don’t tell us is that immediately they set to work to create courts and put them in other churches. And these courts were so good they simply took the bible and made their decisions out of the every word of God, from genesis through revelation. After a while the pagans were coming to them because you waited for several years for your case to go to court, it was expensive and you did not get justice. In one famous case it was over 40 years before a widow got her case in with the courts. So they came to these courts, they would sign an agreement. They knew they would get justice.
Now when Constantine became emperor, he was an intelligent man. And he recognized that his people to get justice were going to the Christian courts. So he ordered all the bishops to wear the garb of a roman magistrate every time they went out into the street. So that the Roman people could know whom to go to for justice. That’s where a bishops garb to this day comes from. The only bishops that know that are the ones that I’ve told. That this the meaning of a bishops garb, its roman. It means he’s a judge, he stood minister justice. For six centuries those were the only courts of Europe. And then when they gave way the civil courts in the United States and in some other countries as well, were giving decisions out of the bible. The juries would go into the jury room in the United States at least into the 1840s and give a decision out of the Bible. Now I’ve just told you a little bit about history that you won’t read about anywhere. I’m writing a book on this type of thing, what the Christians did and how they reshaped civilization. For example, one of the things in Isaiah about the Christ who was to come is that He is come to ransom captives. Well the Christians in the days of the Roman Empire were ransoming captives because there was a great deal of piracy as the empire was breaking down. Just as today there is an increasing crime and it’s the godly who are oppressed with heavy taxation and the criminals who go free. So as Rome declined there was more lawlessness and more taxation. And one church in Spain rescued 15,000 captives ransom. Do you see? There is so much in history that if we went back to the original sources and began to re-write everything. We would see how great the power of Christ has been. And how great it can be again, if we begin to live in terms with the every word of God. [00:54:53]
Male in audience...
Male in audience: Your statement regarding Qaddafi intrigued me. Number one what is the source that you obtained this information from? And number two what makes Singapore and Taiwan as you mentioned earlier different in their law systems than the rest of the world? And what is the present law system that is Israel operates in right now?
Rushdoony's assistant: Could we have that list of questions please?
Rushdoony: Yes, it will be easier to answer all of it. (Someone says thank you) I’ll begin with the last. The sad fact is that Israel basically operates under Turkish law. A law that once governed all of Arabia. There are orthodox rabbis that would like to put it under Biblical law, but they are not successful. It’s still under Turkish law so it’s a very oppressive law. The information concerning Qaddafi I Got when I met at a Washington DC meeting an Islamic representative there in Washington, who told me I would be interested in what Gaddafi had to say. This was back in the 70s, a copy of Qaddafi’s green book and his proclamation which had just been issued the preceding month or two to the various Christian, so called Christian countries. So he mailed me both, that is how I learned of it.
Then what makes Singapore and Taiwan different? Well Singapore especially is different; Taiwan has succeeded because of adversity. Now that may seem strange, but how many of you by the way are of a Scottish background. A few of you, good. I’m very fond of Scottish history and of Scotland, for two reasons. My father got his education at New Mound College and the University of Edinburgh. And my wife is of Scottish ancestry. Scots have a great many proverbs about the beneficial character of adversity. And I really shock my wife regularly after all these years, because they violate everything in her heritage. One of the old Scottish proverbs is: “a man needs salt in his porridge” not sugar you know, that makes you effete and over civilized, and the ultimate a sin as a Scottish pastor told me, was to have both butter and jam your bread. That was the great sin of luxury and as he was telling me this his mother was in the room and he didn’t know it, and she said “Yes, and he is guilty of it”. Well, because Taiwan has been in a sense an outsider and has had a great deal of adversity. Its economy has prospered, it has succeeded to a degree which many others have not. I would say that South Korea also has had a somewhat better economy but is now falling apart. It was because its Christian element was so strong. However in the past two decades, modernism has been eating the heart out of South Korea. Singapore is a very interesting case. [01:00:00]
Oh about 12 or 14 years ago I had a delegation from...
Oh about 12 or 14 years ago I had a delegation from Singapore come to see me and we had some prominent people in Singapore on our mailing list, and I’ve often wondered how much of what they’ve done was a result of that. I do know that the editor of a leading daily paper is one of our readers. And the pastor of perhaps their biggest church and so on. But Singapore is on the gold standard. It has no national debt. Close to 85% of the people own their own homes. There are not many taxes. Anyone caught with any kind of drugs is sentenced to death. My wife’s best friend and her husband were over there just a few years ago, about three years ago and shortly before two Australian students, in spite of the warnings smuggled some marijuana cigarettes in with them and they were sentenced to death. And their parents flew there to plead for them, and were told: “Your sons broke the law, they're going to die.” and death was within a couple weeks after the sentences passed, their courts are quick. They said “You have one choice, you want us to dispose of the bodies or do you want them?” There is no graffiti anywhere in Singapore. You will not find a piece of gum, wrapper or any paper anywhere on the streets or the subways. The children are the best educated anywhere. When they come to the United States they are almost without fail on the dean’s list as honored students. Every Singaporean is given the option of a savings plan. If he allows 22% of his check to be taken out and put into a savings program, the employer will add 23% which means every month the equivalent of 45% of his salary goes into a savings program. This can be used for his retirement or for buying a home or for the advanced education of his children. Now since they have very little in the way of taxes to pay since it’s a debt free country, it’s easy to have them save 22% that way. And the employers love it, because it means a great deal of money in the banks to be borrowed for future expansions. It’s the number one industrial center of the world today. [01:04:08]
Now the one taboo subject in public is Faith, because...
Now the one taboo subject in public is Faith, because you have Christians, you have Buddhists you, have Muslims, you have Hindus, you have Confucians, you have a variety of religions. However the interesting thing is the growing element there is the Christian element. One of our group is over there and he said he went to this one church, huge congregation. I forgot what he told me a thousand or two, four services a day. Two in English, which is the language of Singapore, one in Korean and one in Chinese. And he said the majority of the congregation was under thirty. Christianity there is drawing the youth and he said these young people come to the service half an hour before it begins. To sit there quietly and read the bible and pray until the service begins. So while in the public form no faith can be discussed lest it lead to civil war, the Christians are increasingly the powerful force there. And there have created a clean area, a model place. Everyone who has been there comes back with a glowing reform because in the 80s they forged ahead in a dramatic way. [01:06:15]
I think that takes care of all the questions in this...
I think that takes care of all the questions in this list.
Rushdoony's assistant: please come forward with further questions, Peter.
Peter: In answering the first question you stated that Constantine related to the fact that Constantine ordered the bishops to wear judicial garb. In stating that were you endorsing that the , in Christendom the state opted to legislate the church, or do you believe that the church should be legislated to by the church in a reconstructive state?
Rushdoony: Now there is a myth that Constantine established Christianity as the religion of the empire, and it is much abused especially by Baptists. But Constantine did not do any such thing. He saw Christianity as the only hope for the future of the empire. He also recognized that the empire was crumbling because of injustice, because the courts were corrupt. So sense the church was already taking any case that came to it. Its order to the bishops was not “you do it or else“ but, do it! Please make justice available to all the people of the empire! It was on that basis. And what he did was to provide freedom for all the religions. Because he said “I’m not going to give preference to any and create a conflict nor not any situation where that’s possible” He did however compel the pagans to restore the properties they had stolen from Christians and from churches. So Constantine by our humanistic historians has been very badly treated. I’m not saying he was an angel, he was a rough soldier. But the old name for him “Constantine the great” does fit him better than the kind of descriptions given. I do not believe that there should be establishment of church if that was in the back of your mind. I do believe there has to be an establishment of religion, which is a different thing. [01:09:27]
In other words the state has a duty to be Christian...
In other words the state has a duty to be Christian. Every system of law is an establishment of religion. So that every state is religious. It’s either following humanism or Islam, or Buddhism or some other faith. Now the United States prior to 1845, 1850 very clearly had no established church. But it did have Christianity as the religion of the land. And chief justice, or not chief justice but justice story the greatest justice on our supreme court in all our history appointed by Thomas Jefferson was Unitarian. His works are respected the world over. In fact when I was involved in one churches state trial in Australia in the chambers of the queen’s council I saw stories books. And commented about it and was told he is without equal. Well Story very clearly said, now here is a Unitarian speaking, he said there can be no law without religion. And we must recognize that the source of all law in the United States is the Christian bible and Christianity, orthodox, biblical Christianity. Now that’s the way it once was, that dd not mean any church was given privileged status. Nor that anybody was denied there freedom for descending. But it meant that the law was based on the bible. [01:12:00]
(Cannot understand what the man in the back is asking, too quiet)
Rushdoony assistant: To answer your question about the dress you were asking something about their dress as well.
(Indiscernible man talking)
Rushdoony assistant: he was asking whether the state should have the right to legislate to the church.
Rushdoony: None what so ever, no and Constantine's order was in the way of a plea, get out there and help me. The empire is crumbling with injustice, it is rotting, I need your help, so please put on the garb of the judge when you go out because that’s what you do in the church. Let them know where they can go for justice.
Rushdoony assistant: Could you come to the mic please?
Man from crowd: Constantine also did things like he pointed the 5 metropolitans didn’t he? And he convened the council of Nicaea and he established a president early that the state couldn’t dictate to the church.
Rushdoony: No he didn’t, there were conflicts between the various groups over the doctrine of Christ. And there were the Arians and the semi Arians that did not believe that Christ was god incarnate. Then there were those who varied from saying he was fully human to those who said at a point he was adopted to be a son of God, adoptionism. To those who said he was somewhere between being God and being man. And this was tearing the church asunder. Now there had been various meetings of the church, senates and councils to try to resolve some of these doctrinal issues. So Constantine proposed through Eusebius, with whom he was very friendly… and Eusebius was himself not all together orthodox, he was a good historian but he was not much of a theologian, his thinking was really confused rather than deliberately heretical. He proposed that the leaders of the church come together come together and try to resolve these matters. When they met it was not on Constantines orders. They took all the positions of authority, in a circle, and he sat on a little stool in one corner of the circle, as a humble believer trying to learn. Now the council of Nicaea and the Nicene Creed defined Jesus Christ as truly God and truly man. Which went against what Eusebius believed, although Eusebius admitted, and Constantine said he couldn’t understand it but he was going to abide by it. So in no way was it an imperial council convened because he ordered it; and we have an eye witness account of the fact that Constantine broke down in tears when he saw some of these Christian leaders brought in. Men who for the faith have had their eyes put out, man of for the faith had lost a hand, who had been subjected to incredible tortures. And he spoke with humility of the honor he felt to be in the presence of such saints. So we do get a misguided picture of Constantine. He clearly had a great many falts, but then a great deal about him and some of the supposed crimes he has committed, the evidence has been suppressed. So that we have been given only one bad side of the story with regards to Constantine. [01:18:00]
Rushdoony’s Assistant: Uh yes? Can you give you name when you get to the mic it would be good for us to get to know each other.
Man from crowd: When you were speaking about holiness you stated that holiness involves separation from sin to law and dedication to faithfulness to God.
Rushdoony: Of Christ and the whole of God's word which includes the law.
Man speaking again: Okay, how do you believe that holiness becomes operative in the life of a believer?
Rushdoony: How does it become?
Man: How does holiness become operative in the life of a believer?
Rushdoony: Yes, how does holiness become operative in the life of a believer. Our lord says by their fruit shall ye know them. It means that we bring our every thought, our every word, and our every word into submission to the lord and his spirit. We become a people governed by the spirit of God. So that in everything that we do we walk in him and in faithfulness to him. There is an old Irish hymn which apparently and perhaps does go back to Saint Patrick: “God be in my head, my hands, my feet, my understanding.” That’s holiness, and holiness I feel is not sufficiently stressed in our time. It’s a very practical thing. We either moved by the spirit of this world or by the spirit of God, and that’s it.
Rushdoony's assistant: questions yes? Please give your name.
Woman: Sheryl Granon. Dr. Rushdoony in light of the imminent collapse of western civilization, how can we as parents best prepare our children in the work of reconstruction. Are there any specific tools we can be using. I am homeschooling right now, I have six children and I’ve been reading a lot of your works and those by Gary north and Gary Demar and all the other Reconstructionist authors. But I’m having difficulty breaking it down and making it understandable to my children.
Rushdoony: Well, you are on the front line of reconstruction as a mother. With homeschooling or Christian schooling you are honoring Christ because you are saying “as for me and my house we are the lords.” We have the obligation to rear our children in the faith and nurture of our Lord, of his word. So the first and basic tool is of course our instruction of our children. The example we set before them. It is family worship. It is recognizing that being at the table together is a form of communion, of communion with the lord and a communion with our children. That’s why when we sit at the table we say grace. And we thank God for his blessings and for his presence. And we discuss things with our children. We share with them our faith. I know my father used to take me, he being a pastor, with him on his pastoral rounds. And he would talk to me about the things of the news, about the problems of the world, about the crises of our times from a biblical perspective. And he would encourage me to be faithful in reading my Bible. I read through the Bible before I reached my teens at least half a dozen times. We read it as a family from cover to cover in our family devotions. You don’t forget that.