Christian Charity - EC329

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Christian Charity
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 27
Length: 0:58:51
TapeCode: ec329
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

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

This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 329, December 31, 1994.

Today Mark Rushdoony, Carl Doner, John Upton and myself will discuss, first of all Christian charity.

Now this is a far more important subject than most people are aware of today because the modern Church is decadent. It has forsaken, to a large extent, the faith of our fathers and even more the practice of our fathers. Today the gospel of the Church is sin and salvation which is a partial gospel. The fact of sin is a fact that describes all men. The Lord comes with the gift of salvation, but the third aspect of is forgotten, service. People assume that salvation is the be all and end all of God’s purpose, but God’s purpose is the kingdom of God. Our service to him, we are, as the old expression has it, saved to serve. It is sin, salvation, service. These are the three focal points of what the Bible has to say.

Well in the early Church we read that in Acts six because there were too many people in need, there were too many for the apostles to feed, to take care of and so deacons were appointed.

Now the deacons were very much in line with the work of the Levites of the Old Testament and their functions were very similar. They included evangelism, but they also met the day by day of the sick the homeless, the poor the needy and so on. The early Church very quickly extended this kind of ministry to the widows, to elderly people who were homeless, to children, to Christian education, to a variety of things such as care of the sick, to ransoming the captives because as Rome began to weaken piracy became very prevalent. So there was no area to which the early Church did not ministry. [00:03:08]

In fact, we know from the records of the preseuctions...

In fact, we know from the records of the preseuctions that at times a main target of the Roman authorities was the deacon because the deaconate was making such a tremendous impression on the pagans, on the heathen, the Romans. It was demonstrating that these Christians, indeed, mean business by their faith. They care for one another. And not only that, when they can, they care for our own people, the Romans said. They loved our people better than we do ourselves.

Well, they also created, as 1 Corinthians six tells us, courts of justice to adjudicate cases. Under Calvin a great revival of is kind of deaconate occurred. In fact, Calvin had two offerings at every service, one for the work of the church, as far as the ministry and its missions were concerned and the other the work of the deaconate. Calvin, as I pointed out, June 1994 in my article “The Unknown John Calvin,” held that the true Church could be identified by two marks, the faithful preaching of the Word and the care of the needs of the people.

Every Sunday Calvin had two offerings. The second offering, just before the benediction, was for the work of the deacons. And because he knew a lot of people would hesitate to give twice and would pretend they were in deep prayers at the closing hymn was being sung, he would have the deacons go outside with their baskets and stick it in front of the noses of these people to remind them that they were to give.

Calvin’s work was imitated by a great man of the day, a Catholic bishop Saint Charles, now, Borromeo. And you still have the socieities of Charles Borromeo going on. But the Calvinists tended to forget what the early Church and Calvin had done.

This is why there will be no true Christian revival until we return to this kind of responsibility. [00:06:02]

Now the Church at times has done it...

Now the Church at times has done it. The first half of the last century the great doctor Chalmers in Glasgow, the Church of Scotland did a great deal to revive this type of ministry and took care of the poor in the poor area of Glasgow where he served.

A particularly great figure in this respect was General William Booth, the founder the Salvation Army. Now this is of very great concern to us because this is very important to the life of Chalcedon. We believe in faith and works theology in action, head and hands in unison, working to serve God.

And we have here today, of course, our man John sent from God Upton who has organized and carried on a great deal of work for us and we will announce some further areas of work in 1995. And we have Colonel Doner who left politics because he realized there as no salvation through politics and is engaged in Christian charitable action all over the world on a major scale. I will leave it for him in a few minutes to tell us more about it.

Before we get to Colonel, Mark, would you like to make some comments?

[M. Rushdoony] Well, I think it is important to distinguish between Humanitarianism and Christian charity. Humanitarianism assumes that man... there is a good in man that we must recognize and that we must... we help man because of something innate in them that deserves to be helped and that because we need to find the good in ourselves by helping others to see the good in themselves and that humanitarianism leads naturally to Statist welfare mentalities, because if there is something noble in man or if there is something noble in ourselves the we have to find by giving others, then naturally the state because it is the highest agency of man on earth has a role in aid to individuals.

Christian charity, on the other hand, looks at what God gave to us and says, “We need to look at others with a gracious, giving concern to show them the love of God and as God gave of himself and God gave his Son to save us, we can show the love of God to others by our caring and giving spirit to others.” [00:09:19]

And it is... and, of course, it follows, for instance, when Christ washed the feet of the disciples, he showed them that they have to be giving. They have to serve others. And they show the love of God and the giving that Christ gave to them by their giving and serving attitude towards others.

[Upton] There is no way I am washing Doner’s feet, though. Let’s get that straight right now.

[Doner] It is your attitude, John. You didn’t even bring soap along. You know, it is you are negative from the beginning.

What I want to say to Mark’s comment is, Mark, that is a great insight which I hadn't ... probably one of the many things I hadn't ever thought about before. But what you are saying gets right back to the... what is so popular with Liberal secular humanist circles today is the rights of man or even our constitutionally inalienable rights of man, you know, we have this just because we are men. And it seems to me what ... in listening to you what I got is that therefore charity becomes actually a right and that is what the government now ... in other words, we have to do these things for people and if we don’t do... if we don’t meet somebody’s every need, then they become victims because they have an inalienable right to these things which, of course, the state must fulfill. And so that is all kind of out of that humanitarian ethic if I... if I am hearing you right, rather than a Christian ethic that says, really, you don’t have a right to anything. I mean, is that what you are saying? You don’t have a right to anything, but out of God’s love, we are going to profivide something here. Is that...

[Voice] Right.

[Doner] And... and Christian charity assumes private properly. That... that we owe this because we show them the love of God and that we are giving them of ourselves and we are giving of our own efforts and our own property and wealth to help others whereas humanitarian aid and its consequent state aid assumes that men have a right to what you have.

So on that model, rather than John Upton going and giving of himself in Romania for six weeks and pouring out his life, which is a Chrtisian model, we just rely on the state department to throw some dollars of our tax dollars into the government over there.

So it is the government foreign aid model versus go and do something yourself.

[Voice] Well, Boaz was a good example. Parker called him a forerunner of a type of Christ. And he was a... I don’t know if I am pronouncing it right, but a goel who was a deliverer and a redeemer.

[Rushdoony] A kinsman redeemer.

[Voice] ...and that the whole concept there is that you deliver people from their... their need, but you don’t live their life for them and the statist welfare wants to control and coerce and keep... keep them slaves by keeping them in need. And we believe in delivering the people out of need and then re... you know, redeeming them and or restoring them for productive place in life whatever that productive place and capacity is.

[Voice] Well, that lack of Christian charity has, in fact, led to what you are saying Statism taking over responsibility for people’s lives which means it really leads to slavery because we have been enslaved or enfeebled generations now of ... of people and I just read somewhere, I don’t recall where it was, but that, John, just what you said, that the government is in the job of selling us on the idea that they are responsible for us and that we are not competent to be responsible for ourselves, because that is what keeps politicians in power is the redistribution of wealth. Otherwise they would have no job.

[Voice] Well, the first time I even though about charity is after I read your book Samaritan Strategy.

[Voice] Which is available from me for 9.95 discount {?} readers.

[Voice] Yeah, I still get my... I still get my commission for that, right?

[Voice] Well, it depends own how this interview turns out.

[Voice] Oh, ok.

[Voice] But... but what I was... what struck me was that the... we were just talking, evangelicals were just talking a lot and not doing much. How did you come to the point where you were thinking in terms of serving others, because that was a big shift from what you had done in the past.

[Voice] Right. Well, let me talk about my... my... my lack... first of all, let me talk about why I did not feel that I needed as a Christian to be... to be very charitable in a Christian sense is that, you know, I was raised... some people say I was never raised, but I was raised in a fundamentalist home where we were taught to take the ... the Bible very literally, of course. And I spent several decades in the fundamentalist movement and yet I look back and say, “Isn’t it interesting that we who were taught to take eveyrhign so literally had no teaching whatsoever on doing the good works. “ So God’s great command, Christ’s great command to love God and then secondly to love your neighbor, we were never taught that. In Luke 10 where Christ is asked what is the key to eternal life, and he talks about loving your neighbor and then he illsturates what that means by the parable of the Good Samaritan, of helping those in need. We were never taught that. You know, the book of James faith without works is dead. And what kind of works might that be? Go into Matthew 25 and find that it is helping those in need. We never got taught any of that. [00:15:17]

And so there came a point in my ...

And so there came a point in my .... in my life, John, where I started asking, well, you know, why? Why haven’t we been taught? And actually I just began reading my New Testament. I remember where I was up in Mendicino and I had taken some time out just to be with the Lord and I was... as I was going through my New Testament all the verses on love and service just started popping out at me and it was like I had never read them before, because, of course, they had never been emphasized or they had never been taught and then I realized that, as a Christian, I was a complete hypocrite, because for years I had been going to church and I didn’t care anything about other people. I didn’t care anything about people, you know, that might be hurting in the very neighborhood of the church was in. It was I realized that myself and my other church members were there because what could we get out of it for me? It was a for me experience, not... I did not go there to learn how I could help others.

And since... and when I stated studying it and looking into it, I realized that evangelicalism has really turned Christianity, as I understand it, upside down. Our ... because of Pietism’s influence and I spent several decades as a good Pietist, is everything is inward so it is building me up spiritually, rather than... and ... rather than following Christ’s model which the Catholic Church has done a much better job of in recent years than evangelicals have which is a, you know, ought to put everybody to shame.

So to answer your question, John, what I just started reading the New Testament and when it popped out at me, I decided to... to reverse course. I wrote that book The Samaritan’s Strategy and if nothing else that... writing a book probably forced me to actually do something about it. As matter of fact, Bob Mumford who some of our listeners will recognize his name, the national Bible teacher said, “Well, Colonel, you have written The Samaritan Strategy, my question for you now is: Are you going to live it?”

And... but also I did it because I wanted to. I wanted... I wanted to help people and even today unfortunately, you know, when you head a ministry you start getting buried in all the administrative responsibilities. And I find myself in that position too frequently and my inner most desire and even this last week as I have been vacationing and I had time to think about it, I said, “You know, I just want to be on the front lines again. I just want to be working in the orphanage with the kids.” Or every time I actually read a story of somebody who is actually physically touching somebody like you did in Romania, John, or and I just happened to be reading several other stories, and even reading you, Rush, sent me General Booth’s story of the Salvation Army. And it is like, hey, that is where we really need to be. That is where I really need to be is just, you know, one to one what can I do for this person in need? [00:18:36]

I think when... when we try to follow Christ or if we have a heart for following Christ we are going to feel—I don’t now if that is the word I want to use, feel—but we are going to have that motivation that...that we should be doing something.

Now what... I mean, what got you into ... why did you... maybe you already discussed this on numerous other interviews, but on the other hand they probably haven’t heard it for a while. There is probably new people. What got you to step on a jet plane to Romania?

[Upton] Well, I ... I started to get too successful in the film business. I could just do one film a year and coast the rest of the year and that is exactly what I did. And then a friend actually it was Rush. Rush got sick of hearing me complaining about everything and he just said, “Well, why don’t you go out and do something about something.”

I said, “Like what?”

He said, “Well, you are a film maker, why don’t you go give somebody and film.”

I said, “What do you mean give somebody a film? Nobody gives people films. It is like 150,000 dollars.”

He goes, “What... do you have anything else better to do?”

And I couldn’t answer that question, so I found a church in southeast San Diego who was feeding the... the.... the homeless and clothing the people and they had a crisis pregnancy center and a center for abused women and I heard about them throgho Howard Almondsen and Howard had supported this church. So make a long story short, I went down there and started filming the people helping the homeless. But the thing that was most striking to me is they lived in trailer parks. And they were almost homeless themselves. And here I lived in a great big, beautiful place and I had... wasn’t doing anything for anybody. So that is what kind of convicted me and then about a year later the Romanian thing came on 20/20 and I decided that was what I needed to do.

But your... but I tried out one of your ... your things. I... you wrote in you book that you asked people what you thought...w hat they thought of Jerrry Falwell and Mother Theresa. Welll, I did the same thing. I went with a camera crew to gay and lesbian center in San Diego and I asked, “What do you think of Jerry Falwell?” [00:21:03]

“He is a pig. He is a, you know, no good S O B, et cetera.”

“What do you think of Mother Teresa?”

“She is a saint. She is wonderful.”

And I said, “Why do you, you know, they both are very similar in certain ways?”

And they said, “Well, one has credibility and the other one doesn’t.”

And I that is what I think this is... discussion is about, credibility.

[Doner] Right. That is... and the point that I made building on that, John, in the book was that even that my experience which was similar to yours that you are referencing is I noted that there was a... I guess it was a national pro choice organization, a feminist organization and they booed down Jerry Falwell when he talked about being against abortion, but they listened very respectfully to Mother Teresa. Now they didn’t agree with Mother Teresa. They didn’t give her a standing ovation, but they listened respectfully. And the question that I thought about, well, why was that? And the conclusion that I came to is because they know that Mother Teresa because of her works to help people does care about people. And that is what you are saying. That gets us a foot in the door, an audience. People will listen to us if they think we really care about them, if we really care about people. If they think that we have just got an agenda, whether it is a Reconstructionist agenda or Newt Gingrich Republican agenda or, you know, a pro life agenda, if they all we are about is an agenda, then they are not really interested and that is when I... that is when I began... actually after I wrote The Samaritan Strategy too bad I had the insight about two years later I realized that for those of us that are interested in Christian politics, the way to really get into leadership in your community is to serve your community first. And those who serve on, you know, on the poor or just make a name for themselves in community service and there is obviously a thousand ways to do that if you think about it, those are the people that eventually when they run for office have the credibility to win. You don’t win just because you have read all the books on the issues and you have got the right answers. You win because you earn people’s respect. You have earned a reputation of serving.

[Upton] Rush, what was that? You told us about a... a little song that was sung about flies.

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes. Well, General William Booth took his band, Salvation Army band into the slums of London and at that time the slums of London were something the western world forgets it ever had. They were so bad. People who had no relationship to the law who lived a life of crime, who lived outside of the law, outside of the church and he began to work with them and he was converting people and then retraining them because these were women who had never known anything but prostitution. They had been molested sorely. They didn’t know what it was to be a virgin. Boys who as small children had been brought up and Oliver Twist is a true story and it is in reflecting the life of the times, to be pickpockets and thieves. [00:24:52]

And he realized I have got to convert them...

And he realized I have got to convert them. Then I have to retrain them to live in a law abiding and godly society. And he had songs that embarrassed the church of the day because they were so outlandish, but he would take popular ideas and have his army band develop a tune for them and one of the sayings of the day to indicate you were really quick and on the job was there was no flies on him. And so they had a Salvation Army song to attract the attention of the crowd, “Oh, there are no flies on Jesus, no flies on Jesus and there are no flies on me since I have been saved.”

That is not the precise wording after the first two lines, but that was the gist of it. First the churchmen were horrified with the slum people stopped and listened to those songs and to the messages and were converted.

So that was the way Booth worked. He saw the need and he tailored what he had to do to the need, not to the church.

[Voice] Well, how... how can we... and I know, Rush, this is in your heart to... to do in your... I see more and more you are doing it through the Chalcedon Report, but, you know, what can we do or what can a people listening to our tape do? What do we do to provoke, you know, more the church or more of our brothers and sisters?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] good works. How do we get that started?

[Rushdoony] Well, first of all, we set an example. We do it. If we are not able to do it, we support those who do it and we stress the fact that sin, salvation and service are all aspects of what Christ does when he impacts the world. He redeems us from sin by his saving power in order to serve. [00:27:10]

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God...

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” That is what our Lord says, not your own salvation and your own satisfaction, your own pleasure.

I recall some years ago an idiot who was always going around trying to evangelize people and talking about the perpetual joy that the Lord gave him and he was quick to tell others including me that we could not be real Christians because we were not bubbling over with joy all the time. And it was only after some time that I came to realize, now wait a minute? How about Saint Paul? Look at all the time he was beaten. He was not bubbling over about that. Stoned, dragged out for dead, abused by any number of people. And I thought, there is something wrong with the idea of Christianity that this man has, because it doesn’t jive with the Bible.

Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. What did he have to take joy in? He had a miserable life the minute God called him.

[Voice] Well, there is so much hurt and pain in the world.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] I mean, I... Rush, I always said, “Never trust a man who is always smiling.” And you know me. I love a sense of humor, but when we have that smile perpetually pasted...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] just says that you are living in fantasy land.

[Rushdoony] Well, it affected me, because I was having my picture taken for graduation and then at seminary and so on and so forth and then a publicity shot because I wrote an article for a national periodical in the late 40s. And the camera man would say, “Now smile.” And it set my teeth on edge. And it set my teeth on edge. So in recent years Dorothy warns the camera men, don’t tell him to smile, because that is not the way he wants to confront the world. [00:30:03]

I feel I am a happy man, because I am doing God’s work...

I feel I am a happy man, because I am doing God’s work, not because the world is a happy place.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] I would like to go back to something that was touched on earlier by the three of you. Mark started it with his reference to foot washing.

[Voice] Oh.

[Rushdoony] By the way, that was a ritual in the Middle Ages. They would bring some people and I suspect because I know this was true later on, with their feet very carefully washed, very poor people, you know, and the king with a great show of humility would wash the feet of all these men.

Now it was a good reminder to the king of his place and his duty to serve the people, but it was reduced to a ritual. And there are churches still that have ritual foot washings. But in the second volume of Institutes of Biblical Law the first section maybe 100 pages, I don’t remember. I haven’t looked at it since I wrote it. I don’t list the meaning of communion and pointed out that the whole meaning of communion was that it should lead to community in Christ. And all that involves of the diaconal ministries, of charitable, of Christian charitable activity so that as our Lord says elsewhere that we have freely received, freely we must give.

So we have forgotten the meaning of things and reduced them to ritual only.

[Voice] So you are saying that communion to a lot of people is a ritual that...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ... that makes them feel like they are partaking of the body of Christ, but then they go home and shut themselves off.

[Rushdoony] At every communion service there is an offering taken for the work of deacons. And that has become just a ritual, nothing in the way of recognition. Communion is supposed to lead to community. We are to expand the community of Christ both by bringing them in and by ministering to their needs.

[Voice] Mark, you served the community by fighting fires. How long have you been doing that and what kind of interesting stuff have you seen in you kind of service?

[M. Rushdoony] Well, I have been doing that for about 11 or 12 years.

[Voice] Why? Why do you do it? [00:33:00]

[M. Rushdoony] I just started as a community service. I heard that there were not very many people in the local fire department and so I joined. I really didn’t know what I was doing when I did it. I just thought it might be a good idea. I had no idea that you actually had to know something. I had visions of the... I would just show up and they would hand me a shovel or something, which is what they did in the 40s.

And then once I got into it and more and more people started dropping out because there is a problem with a lot of these such agencies as fire fighting is that the... the state starts coming in and taking over these organizations and when the state takes over the organization they start putting sort of training requirements and other requirements on that turns people off and they have to attend classes for so many hours ever so often. That actually discourages people, because when you... a lot of people who are interested in becoming, let’s say a fire fighter or someone on a medical team to get ... that might get there before the ambulance, sometimes 20 minutes before the ambulance in a rural area like this and they find out all the requirements that they are subject to, the become very discouraged.

It is a... it is a good experience and I ... I have... I enjoy it. There are a lot of other areas where people can ... can work, though, too.

[Voice] What is interesting is that... what he said... he didn’t know what he was getting into.

[Voice] Particularly after he realized he could easily die as a volunteer fireman.

[Voice] Right. That is the thing, but I... I think that people think too much about it ahead of time. They have no faith and they try to organize things in ... for the future when they should just be taking it a step at a time, because if you would have told me that the stuff that I would have gone through, you know, these certain projects I have been involved in ahead of time, I would have never have gotten involved in it.

[Rushdoony] Yes, foresight, in other words.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] That reminds me of one of Mark’s experiences in fire fighting which also includes a kind of paramedical work, too. Some church group came to have a picnic at Natural Bridges which is just a short ways from here. It is in a deep canyon and there are these natural bridges of stone. Water has carved a hole through them. And with a total lack of foresight this woman of some 250 pounds went down the hill and then found she couldn’t take more than two steps trying to get back up some distance. So they had to send for the fire department and they had to carry her off a few steps at a time and switch men on the lower end of that stretcher. So Mark has served in ways quite varied. [00:36:35]

[Voice] Well, that just shows you we shouldn’t let...

[Voice] Well, that just shows you we shouldn’t let the calorie challenged beyond certain physical perimeters.

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] And a good one.

[Voice] I thought you were going to see that she had walked across the arches and they are now no longer any natural arches in that particular canyon. But that didn’t happen.

[Rushdoony] Calorie challenged. That is ... now any time I start putting on weight I am going to say I am calorie challenged. Thank you.

[Voice] Or when we make a foolish move now we are simply wisdom challenged.

[Voice] I am reading this book on political correctness. That is where I got... actually they have rewritten some Grimm’s fairy tales to be politically correct. Obviously it is very tongue in cheek, but anybody is wisdom challenged or if you weigh 500 pounds you are calorie challenged and so forth and so on.

[Voice] You are vertically challenged if you are short.

[Rushdoony] Oh.

[Voice] Yeah, exactly right.

[Rushdoony] I have to get up to 500 pounds to be calorie challenged.

[Voice] Yeah, you are all right, Rush, today, yeah.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] Well, I believe that the modern age, as any one who has read my writings knows, is drawing to an end. Even some of our Modernists are beginning to talk about a Postmodern era which means they are saying the same old things with a different label.

Well, the modern age has been marked by a belief in political salvation, salvation by humanistic world state order, ultimately. And that dream is dying and that salvation is proving to be damnation. And we Christians have a very great opportunity. We will not avail ourselves of it unless we begin to apply the faith practically in day by day action.

Why don’t you describe for us, Colonel, some of the areas of activity that you yourself are involved in?

[Doner] I would like to do that, Rush. Let me just preface it by ... by saying that as ... as the modern world does collapse the... the belief in science and government as the answer to all things and we can see evidence that it is collapsing in the fact that communities no longer have enough tax dollars to provide the services.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Doner] Whether it is for police or AIDS victims or homeless. So what you have now is communities like Orange County, the wealthiest in the country going bankrupt. Of course they might have gone bankrupt for some technical reasons, but the headlines are ripe with stories of communities no longer having the money to provide social services. This is the chance for us as Christians to begin to step in to offer the love of God to the community. [00:39:49]

And the ... the other thing I would like to preface with is saying that for 20 years I have heard myself say and my colleagues in the Christian Right that, oh, isn’t it terrible the secular humanists are taking over and the are doing all of these things and, of course, they have never taken an inch of ground that we haven’t ceded to them.

[Rushdoony] We raced to hand it to them in some cases.

[Voice] In many, many ways, but the only way I will touch on now because it is relevant to this conversation is that I was shocked about five years ago, six years ago when I started to see the things. That is when John Upton asked me how I got going on all of this. I opened up our daily newspaper in Santa Rosa, California, about 100,000 people live there, and it listed the ... the paper listed 99 service organizations that helped the poor. I mean, they helped the elderly, they helped the hungry, they helped abused women, they helped children who couldn’t read. You know, all sorts of agencies to help people. And I looked at those 99 agencies and how many of those agencies do you suppose were explicitly Christian? Out of 99 there were three. Two were Roman Catholic service agencies and another one was a crisis pregnancy counseling center. And as I later would find out there were very few Christians even involved in the other 90, you know, some odd organizations that there... there were no Christians involved at any level.

So here we have an example, if... if you are an... an average voter, an average person in a community and you ask yourself, “Who is really interested in my well being? Who is interested in the community?” Well, the answer is very clear. Clearly Christians are not. The Church is not. You can see it right there. Ninety-nine organizations, you know, only three are Christian. Two of those are Roman Catholic. What does that say about who really gives a rip about the community?

So having said that, it has been my goal to... to work towards changing that perspective and one of the things I will talk about if we have time, two things that we are doing, one in this country and, you know, one in... in Nicarugua. And in this country something that can be easily duplicated in every community in America which is why I want to talk about this for a few moments and actually Howard Almondsen helped us as... to do this, but in Sonoma County we developed a team to assess first of all what were the needs of the community and... and... and to ... to assess who were the providers for the particular needs. [00:43:01]

In other words, if...

In other words, if... if a person is hungry they will go to maybe a center that feeds them, but they will have other problems and the people at that particular feeding center they won’t know where to send a person for medical care or for housing or for spiritual counseling or a person goes to a church for help and that church doesn’t know where to find a plumber for them or a dentist or anything else.

So what we did is we ... we found out... we took these 100 agencies that were helping people and we cataloged them and printed a beautiful, bound manual with about a half page description of what each agency did and many of these, most of these were private agencies. Some of them were county agencies. And we provided that manual to not only all of the churches, so that when a hungry family or a homeless family or an out of work family or a sick family came to a church the church now didn’t have to make a decision between giving them 100 dollars or telling them to get lost. The church now could look up in this directory and say, “Oh, ok, you know, here is exactly where you should go.”

This manual also went to the other 100 agencies, because, as I said before, if it was a feeding agency, they had no idea that there was a housing agency located across town or a... or a medical facility.

So we begin networking or what would we call a clearinghouse process. Then the most exciting part of the whole thing was we got three dozen churches signed up to survey their members asking their members what would they do... how much time would they give and what sort of time would they give in a given week to help a family. In other words, we went to, let’s say, First Presbyterian Church and they have 100 members, for instance. And maybe they would get 15 members to say, “Ok, I am a housewife. I can volunteer an hour a week to drive somebody who needs to be driven.” Or, “I am a young, you know, college student. I will volunteer to mow an elderly person’s lawn, they can’t mow their own lawn.” Or I am a dentist or I am a doctor or I am a plumber. I am an electrician. I am a psychiatrist or whatever. I will volunteer to do certain things. [00:45:24]

So we got hundreds of people from three dozen churches...

So we got hundreds of people from three dozen churches to volunteer services and time and we computerized all that into a databank. So word quickly spread throughout our county that when you had a problem you called our clearing house and our clearing house we saw, ok, yeah, this is a family’s particular problem and here is a church that can help them, an agency or some particular people. And it was a little more complicated than that. I won’t go into, you know how all that happened, but I will say that if some of our listeners want to do something like that rather than just starting from the ground up which is basically what we had to do, is they can write an organization called Love Incorporated which is actually now a part of World Vision. Now World Vision kind of took them over which is the Christian agency located in Monrovia, California.

So that is what we... that is one of the things that we pioneered or helped to pioneer locally. The other thing that we have done which you have been very kind and Joseph McAuliffe to... to report on almost every year of the last several years in Chalcedon Report is our work in Nicaragua which we chose Nicaragua as a small country where we could pilot this program and... and then because it is a pilot it could be reproduced in other countries. It could even be reproduced very easily here in America. And what that is, that program very briefly was people are poor. They are not able to provide for their families, why? Well, because they don’t have a job or they don’t... they can’t create a job. And what we did is we set up a loan bank which now has 100,000 dollars in it. It took us five years to raise that money, 1000 dollars here, 5000 there and 500 here. Many of your readers, Rush, contributed to it after they read about it in the magazine. But so what we do is we interview families to... again this is in Nicaragua now. So Nicaragua for 500 dollars you can start a little restaurant or a food stand or a vegetable stand or a butcher shop or, you know, you can sell ice. All you need is a freezer. They don’t have those sorts of things down there.

So for 500 dollars it is quite easy to start a business. We interviewed the family, get some work history. We help them set up the business, give them just, you know, I mean, you know, some... some general business counsel. We give them the loan and then we work with them every week discipling them and discipling them in every way, business wise and... and, of course, discipling them spiritually, also teaching them about stewarding their community and their country. And then after six months they pay the loan back. Often they begin paying it back immediately. But we work out a payment program so that within about six months the business is complete, up and running. They have paid the loan back so that we can now go to another family. And in the last we have been doing this, I would say, a real active level for about three years. We started over 300 business and we are now beginning to get to a level where we will be starting about 150 to 200 businesses each year. Some of these businesses employ 10 or 20 people. Our ... our rate of repayment, our success rate is 97 percent. And the interesting thing is the entire country knows about what we are doing and this has been a tremendous witness for Christ and for the Church. [00:49:25]

The President of the country calls on us...

The President of the country calls on us. The Vice President of Nicaragua recommends families to us. He calls us up and says, “I have got some families, I think, you know, should get some loans.” And the Congress of Nicaragua, the entire Congress voted to give us a special tax status and... and the point is that this whole country said, “Hey, here is a group of Gringoes coming in that really wants to help our people, not by giving them some handouts, not some sort of a welfare system, not by giving them money, but by helping them stand on their own two feet, giving them loans, giving them some business counsel and then taking that money back, holding them responsible for it.

And I personally believe that if we did something like that in our inner cities it could be a real, make a real difference.

[Voice] Something that we haven't discussed, but we should, is the impact that charity has on the giver. I can see a big change in... in Colonel and myself before... before I will venture to say, Colonel, you can correct me if you want, but we were a couple of powerful predatory beasts.

[Voice] You know something in me still likes that description. What is that?

[multiple voices]

[Voice] But we would, we would prey upon people. We would …

[Voice] Instead of praying for people, would prey on them.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] We were close, but we just had to twist it a bit.

[Voice] Right. But charity has changed the both of us and charity is something that can make... make your life. There is a good friend of mine who is a very well established make up artist and she gets no joy from making up movie stars, but every other weekend and some of her friends go to an old age home and they go to a woman who hasn’t been visited for a while and they do her hair and her nails and everything and they feel like a million bucks. And so it is something that you can do for yourself.

[Voice] What did you say about manager? Manager said that if you want to heal... get healed from psychological troubles, help somebody else.

[Rushdoony] Yes, help somebody else. [00:51:47]

[Voice] Yeah, and I think it is ...

[Voice] Yeah, and I think it is ... it is important to... to keep that in mind that... that ... the giver and the recipient create something. And then as far as community is concerned, if you have a personal effort, a relationship is formed between the giver and a recipient and that is the most important thing. That is what will enable ... that enables people to serve others if there is a relationship. People... I am sure that it is neat for ... for you to know that some guy that started an ice business now employees his son and maybe his son went off and started another business and they had children and in a very direct way you have made a diffence in somebody’s life and that is addicting.

[Voice] And, you know, when the {?} quote about what was that? If you want to ... how is That quoted?

[Voice] Help yourself, help somebody else.

[Voice] Yeah, I... I... I know I have heard that in many different ways. If you want to get out of your own depression, just go help somebody else. And I think we can become so self absorbed and, you know, I read about all of these stories or you talk to people, even successful business people who are many people retired and they are just old and they are bitter and they are cranky and they are mad at everything and... and... and you ... and they have so much to give yet. So why don’t you just go out and help somebody where they feel they commit suicide with millions of dollars, you know, because they are so unhappy. Well, or become drug addicts or alcoholics another form of suicide. If only they could just go and help somebody, you know, I think they would pull out of that. And someplace in the Bible I remember running across it and I made notes, but it was years ago on it, but there are verses that talk about this same... this same thing that we are saying is that if you want to, you know, be filled, you know, have that... you know, with... with joy a good way to do it is ... is serving other people.

And, of course, I think we have got to be honest. Sometimes it is nasty to serve other people. You know, they are ... they are not grateful. They are... they are vicious. They, you know, we run into all sorts of people out there. But by and large, I think the experience is certainly one of the most rewarding we could... we could have.

[Voice] That is something I have noticed on... on fire departments and that is probably true of most charitable organizations. If you volunteer to help, you don’t know anything about what you are supposed to do and how you are supposed to do it. If you volunteer to do some work for an organization, they will probably let you do as much work as you want to and it won’t take very long before you know as much as anybody and they may let you just run with the whole thing. So you can... you can learn as much... do as much as you really want to do for most volunteer organizations. [00:54:31]

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] Ok, I have got to jump on this. Can I jump on what Mark just said?

[Rushdoony] Surely.

[Voice] Because this... this was my major insight after writing this... after writing The Samaritan Strategy is what Mark just said is basically he just said, “Hey, you can take over.”

Let me put it in political terms. You can take over or become the leader of a volunteer organization just by ... by volunteering time and being responsible. And what I want to say is that we have so many of our people that want to reconstruct the church and reconstruct America and they want power to do it. They want authority to do it. Well, the way you get that is by... what Mark just said. If you volunteer to do a job, whether it is secretary of the club or president of the fireman’s association or the janitor or whatever it is, if you volunteer, you are given responsibility to do it. So now you have responsibility. That is very important. If you will be faithful to your responsibility you are given authority to what? To perform that function.

So maybe you are the janitor, but then you run for secretary of the club and then vice president and then president and once you have been president of a volunteer association of five years you run for city councilman and or whatever. And that is ... that is... when I talk about if we want to lead our communities we earn the right, that is the principle. If you volunteer faithfully and do it competently, you will be given responsibility and the twin of responsibility is authority. You cannot have responsibility unless you are given also authority and that is the road, in my estimation, to biblical leadership.

[Rushdoony] Now we have only about four minutes left, Colonel. I would like to have you give the name of our organization, the address so that if anyone wants to help with a check, why, they can write to you. And if they forget they can say, send it to the colonel’s organization and send it to us.

[Doner] Great, Rush.

[Rushdoony] Made out to Chalcedon. But either way, but give them your address now.

[Doner] All right, so, again, the name is Colonel Doner, D O N E R and our organization is International Church Relief. I will shorten it up. Internnational Church relief. And why don’t you just write it to our east coast office where I am spending most of my time these days which is 1701 Copperfield, Copperfield... [00:57:15]

[Rushdoony] As in David Copperfield...

[Rushdoony] As in David Copperfield.

[Doner] Right. Circle... Tallahassee... that is a tongue twister. T A L L A... what is it? Double H... no, on H, A, double S, double E. So that is T A L L A H ...what was it? A?

[Rushdoony] A.

[Voice] A S S E. You know that is what you get from living in an Indian reservation. But Tallahassse...

[Voice] {?} had. He would have gone broke.

[Voice] Yeah, exactly. Florida is what...

[multiple voices]

[Voice] I asked my wife. What is our zip code? 32312. Boy, it is amazing. I, you know, I refuse to memorize bureaucratic codes. I don’t know my social security. I... I know my birth date because that wasn’t given to me by the government.

And if you would like to get a copy of my book The Samaritan Strategy you know, if you send us a dollar for some stamps I will be happy to, since you are all friends of Dr. Rushdoony, happy to send you a complimentary copy.

[Rushdoony] I would suggest you send in 10 dollars for the book. I don’t want to see Colonel beggared because there are a lot of you listening there who are good readers.

Well, thank you all for listening and God bless you.