Culture and Child Rearing - II - EC388

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Culture and Child Rearing, II
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 80
Length: 0:53:05
TapeCode: ec388
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 with permission

This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 388, May the 28th, 1997.

In this session Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin, Mark Rushdoony and I will continue dealing with the very important questions on child rearing raised by the reverend Byron Snap from Virginia. He asked, “What effect has the absence of sermons on a God who demands accountability had on developing accountability in the home?”

Well, in a sense, the question answers itself and it is a very important one.

We have no sense among Christians today of accountability to God. The common opinion is that everybody is going to go to heaven, virtually. Only a few people like Hitler and Stalin will not. It has been reported that of the American population only four percent believe that they might not go to heaven. Well, that is quite a lot of self assurance on the part of 96 percent. And, of course, in a recent survey they were sure that Clinton and Oprah Winfrey and a great many others were going to heaven. In fact, it was really a popularity contest.

Now God does not take us into heaven in terms of our opinion or the public’s view of us. We do not believe in a God who holds people accountable and therefore we do not develop accountability in the home. The whole idea is that God should be nice and you and I should be ice. Everybody should be nice and niceness means salvation.

Accountability is too little stressed and the child grows up more or less unfamiliar with the idea.

I don’t know how churches can call themselves Christian churches when they do not believe in accountability nor preach it. I think there are a number of reasons for it. One is their Antinomianism. Since they don’t believe in God’s law, what is a person held accountable for? [00:03:26]

All he can say is, ...

All he can say is, “Well, I said yes to Jesus.” But that is not salvation. It is not our doing, but God’s doing. And to put it down to our saying yes to Jesus says that we deny responsibility.

The family does not teach accountability, because less and less is asked of the child. In many homes a mother makes all the beds and does the dishes and sets the table all the time. The children do very little.

At the time of my childhood there was a lot wrong with a great many families, but what marked all of them was a child had to do something around the house. He had to make his own bed and clean his room. He had to do some work around the house and the yard. He had to help with the dishes. I know that my sister and I, all the time we were young children, we had to take turns doing the dishes. And on Sundays since my mother fixed things we had a cold meal. Everything had been prepared Saturday and we did everything. She didn’t lift a finger.


[Murray] There is an interesting parallel. Excuse me.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] There is an interesting parallel here between the discipline in the family and I... I spent a few years in the army. And the discipline is that people are compelled to accept when they... or at least they were in the 1950s when I was... went into the military service. You were compelled to make your bed. You were compelled to help with the kitchen duties. You were compelled to help keep your environment neat and clean. You know, pick up around the place, sweep up and so forth. It is an interesting parallel and for many it was a very painful awakening for a lot of the kids who went in the army who had never had to do any of that. It was ... it was a shock to them.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...when they were suddenly compelled by their military trainers to do all of these simple little tasks that if they had done them as ... as children, they... they wouldn’t have... you know, thought anything about it. It would have been a natural transition going into military life. But for many of them that was a rending experience. [00:06:21]

[Sandlin] I think part

[Sandlin] I think part...

[Murray] It is interesting that the... the... the discipline, in order to get unit discipline in the military that these exact same things that are required in a well run home are... are necessary.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] A chief problem is that there is very little stress on individual responsibility, because you can always blame somebody else for your problems. We are, you know, a nation of victims and, you know, the new buzz words have been framed, codependency and, you know, all that sort of thing and, you know, the reason I am so wicked is because my parents didn’t talk to me after dinner and all these other nonsensical things.

[Murray] The reason is social scientists rambling.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] They mean nothing. I mean, they are ...

[Sandlin] No.

[Murray] They are insolent. They are worthless.

[Sandlin] That is true.

[multiple voices]

[Sandlin] Well, unfortunately these people that ... and these things that mean nothing have plenty of air time on the radio at TV.

[Murray] But why do we listen to them? The... The amazing part to me is why do we listen to these clowns?

[Sandlin] Well, but... but.... people that are depraved like to get their ears tickled. I mean, they don’t want to be told that they are very evil, wicked, depraved sinners in need of salvation. I think another problem I was going to mention, too, Rush, you know, driving to the picnic the other day I popped in one of your tapes. I think it was a lecture from about 1981. Anyway, in it you were talking about the severe lack of respect among children and familiarity. You told a story then about that you had observed a young man on... well, probably a child, a teenager. And there was a very noted gentleman who visited the home and he spoke with him very familiarly with his first name and so forth and ... and his parents mildly rebuked him and he says, “Well, I like... I thought he was a nice guy,” you know, or that sort of thing.

What really annoys me is a lot of children today just call adults by their first name and speak so familiarly and so when they grew up without any respect for the state or without any respect for the Church or anyone else, it is not surprising.

[Rushdoony] Well, I think here the federal government has to bear some of the blame and people who foolishly did not see what was happening. The child labor law. Now certainly some of the examples of child labor deserved some kind of correction, but what they have done is to make it difficult to employ children. There is too much red tape involved. And the result is children today don’t have the discipline of work.

When I was on a farm one of the things that marked the summer was you made some money. You went to work picking fruit or cutting fruit, because a lot of fruit then was dried. And all the children in school did that. They spent their summer working when apricots came into season, when peaches did, when grapes they went out and picked, but I recall not too many years ago when there was a problem and a shortage of labor, they attempted to use high school young people as fruit pickers. [00:09:50]

The experiment lasted one day

The experiment lasted one day. The high school kids could not take it. They had no discipline of work. And yet every one routinely went to work in the summer when I was a boy. This is a part of the federal interference into the situation so that if you pay a couple of boys in the neighborhood to paint your fence, if you are reported you can get into trouble.

So we have to recognize federal interference here has contributed to the lack of a ... of accountability on the part of children and young people.

[Murray] Well, some of that is the... the politicians running in terror ahead of the... the unions that didn’t want the... the kids working. And... but they wouldn’t all... also they wouldn’t take them into the apprentice programs either. So as a result that kids can’t get any kind of work experience. The minimum wage laws which have destroyed work opportunities for young people, the politicians for some reason or other never think about the consequences of their decisions. They never, you know, look back in history and why did this work before and is this going to work in the future if we change it?

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Murray] You know? They... they are... they are like two year olds that have no concept of the consequences of their actions. They just ... they just run and tear in front of the mob.

[Sandlin] That is right. Anything to stay in office.

Well, the first agent of accountability in any person’s life and in any normal family is the child’s father. And therefore it really devolves on the fathers to stress responsibility and those of us here that have been privileged to have very strong, faithful, godly fathers can constantly thank God for that. Or even if the father was not a Christian father, but had a Christian world view and stressed accountability. That is the main... I mean, that is where children first of all learn that they need to be accountable. I am not saying that children that don’t have fathers like that or do have fathers like that can’t go away from the truth, but there are going to be many fewer than those who don’t. And that is why many minority families today and increasingly, you know, regular white middle class families, young men grow up to go away from, you know, become just utterly lawless in society, because they haven’t had fathers that said, “You are not going to do that. You are going to sit down. You are going to shut up and you are going to obey.” That is a vital truth. [00:12:48]

[Rushdoony] Too much preaching today is topical and

[Rushdoony] Too much preaching today is topical and selective. The pastor goes to a part of the Bible where he thinks the people will need the message and he preaches on it. Whereas one of the lessons I learned and learned from reading extensively in the Church fathers when I was younger—and it took me some years to come to a recognition that they were right, absolutely right. And they preached through the Bible one book after another. They preached from the Old Testament and the New Testament. They would start a book and they would go through it verse by verse. That way they covered every possible subject. They dealt with history. They dealt with doctrine. It was {?} and, of course, that is what I have been trying to do for a good many years and right now am preaching on one of the most explosive books of all the Bible, 1 Corinthians. And I am learning a great deal even though I began with knowing a great deal about 1 Corinthians. When you take the books of the Bible, word for word, verse by verse, you are exposed to what God wants you to know. And you learn a greater accountability by that method as do the people who hear you.

Well, are there any other aspects of this subject, child rearing, that you would like to touch on or go into or have us discuss at some length? [00:15:00]

[Murray] Well, some people may want to know what practical

[Murray] Well, some people may want to know what practical steps they can take in their own lives on a day to day basis. You know, we sit here and discuss these problems, but perhaps there may be some need for some answers on how these problems get solved and I think for many people who are just overwhelmed, most parents have a sense of just being overwhelmed by the culture...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...and they give up. They are assaulted by the government. They are assaulted by the media. They are assaulted by the public schools. Their children are told that their parents are irrelevant. Children are taught classes that brainwash the kids into thinking that their parents’ values of are of no importance. Therefore anything that the parents say whether it is moral guidance or religious guidance is of no consequence to them... to the kid.

So kids are walking around confused. In fact, it causes me considerable anguish to drive by the local public school when the kids are walking around. There is not a single one of them smiling.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] Not a single one. There is hundreds of them out there and not a single one has got a smile on their face. These are some unhappy young people. And they are going to be unhappy adults when they grow up.

That is one of the refreshing things about driving by a Christian school. You see kids out there laughing and playing and interacting and they have a smile on their face.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] And, I mean, the difference is stark. I mean, people need to get out and take a look at it and if you are sending your kid to a public school, evaluate what you are doing to them. You are going to make them very unhappy children and very unhappy adults and they are not going to be able to deal with the world at all.

[Rushdoony] I have had calls from fathers who have realized, good men, good Christian fathers, that they haven’t done the best they could with their sons. And they have confronted them and said things are going to be different and the kid’s reaction is, huh? Yeah, yeah. The father said, “The fact that I didn’t do all that I should have yesterday, doesn't give me any grounds for slackening on things today and tomorrow. I am going to try to do everything God would have me to do.” [00:18:01]

And it doesn't mean everything works out beautifully after that, but things do work out better. It is important for the fathers to take a lead in this.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] The mothers have a part, but the mothers cannot be effective disciplinarians as the fathers can be.

[Murray] Well, I think the first important message that the kid gets is, hey, these people care about me.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] So maybe I should care a little more about myself. And that is a pretty important message...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ... that that...

[Rushdoony] Very.

[Murray] ...doesn’t get conveyed in a lot of families nowadays.

[Sandlin] And the Bible says if we don’t discipline our children, we don’t love them. I mean, that is what the inspired Solomon said in the book of Proverbs. And I mean fathers have to recognize that God has called them to be pastors of a little church, that their family is like a little church. They are called to lead in family worship and are required to... to instruct their family in the faith and say with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

The idea today, well, children, you know, they are old enough to make up their mind. They are six years old now and they are old enough to make up their own mine. That, of course, is ... is blasphemy and nonsense. It falls to the fathers and, of course, mothers, secondarily, but fathers to lead their families in the faith and discipline their children and love them and train them. And it is, as Rush says, it is not always perfect, but we are called of God to be faithful, first of all.

And I want to mention quickly two books that have influenced me. Training Your Children for Christ by Andrew Murray and Abraham Kuyper’s book When Thou Sittest in Thine House, a powerful, powerful work.

[Rushdoony] Well, are you ready to move on to another part of Byron Snap’s questions? He wants comment on the context and meaning of 1 Corinthians 11:5 regarding the role of women in worship and generally.

Now this is an important passage, a very important one and it is one of several passages that deal with the role of women. I am going to read part of it, because I think it is important to begin by knowing what we are talking about.

“Be ye followers of me even as I also am of Christ.” This is 1 Corinthians 11. “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things and keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you, but I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is the man and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying having his head covered dishonoreth his head. Every woman that prayeth or prophesyeth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head. For that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if he woman be not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For man, indeed, ought not to cover his head forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman, but all things of God. Judge in yourselves. Is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you that if a man have long hair it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair it is a glory to her, for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not that ye come together not for the better, but for the worst.”

Well, Byron’s question was especially about verse five. “Every woman that prayeth or prophesyeth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head. For that is even all one as if she were shaven.”

Now this verse does not refer to the services of the church where men were present. It refers to apparently women’s meetings, because Paul has elsewhere made clear that he does not permit a woman to preside or to preach at a service. It is important to begin with that distinction. Then Paul makes very, very clear—and don’t hesitate to interrupt me at any time if you feel there is something you want to add to what I am saying. [00:24:12]

Paul makes clear that the issue is not men versus women

Paul makes clear that the issue is not men versus women. That is the way a great many Feminists today insist on reading it, as though the man is free and the woman supposedly, according to the orthodox reading is under the authority of men. But he makes very clear the man is under the authority of Christ who is under the authority of God. That does not mean that Jesus Christ is any less than God the Father.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] He is equally fully a member of the trinity. But there is an economical subordination whereas there is no subordination ontologically in terms of being.

Well, there is an economical subordination of woman to men. It doesn't mean that men are smarter. All of us have worked under men who are not up to our level, bluntly, in ability. We have worked under some very remarkable people also, but we have also worked under people who were not up to our level. But we were under their authority. We had to be. That was the nature of things.

You may know more about something than the president of a corporation, but that doesn't make you entitled to his office or to correct him. You have your place and he has his. All men are under authority. Men are under more authorities than women are, because they are out in the world and they are regularly under a variety of authorities.

Well, what Paul makes clear is that is power on her head. And that is something that is normally neglected, power on her head. It is authority. It is power. It means that she because of her position under man, must command the respect of all men and the protection of man. So it is power on her head. It is a power that should command all me. [00:27:04]

As a result, the whole position of Feminists is wrong

As a result, the whole position of Feminists is wrong because they isolate the issue as though it were just between men and women and it is not so. Just as men are under authority, so are women. This makes no difference in their abilities. They can be greater in ability than those who are above them and lesser. I have known a number of men who were not equal to their women, but their wives were godly and obedient women.

The whole question of authority is a difficult one in our time because we are an anti authoritarian age. We have had people at demonstrations and rallies challenge... challenge authority deliberately and carry signs calling for a challenge to all authority, a, despising of all authority. So the problem we face with respect to women today is one for contempt for authority, a democratization of the Church and of Christianity.

So we have woman elders. We have woman pastors. And we have a continuing flight of me outside from the Church.

Are there any questions about this before we go further?

[Sandlin] Rush, I would like to hear your explanation of the last part of verse seven. “Forasmuch as he,” that is man, “is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man.” Very interesting and, of course, the meaning is well disputed. I am just interested in hearing what your interpretation is of that comparison there.

[Rushdoony] Which part, the first part or the second?

[Sandlin] The last. Well, the last part about...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] ... the comparison of the glory and so forth.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes. The word glory is an important one in the Bible. Nothing has been written yet that fully explores the meaning. It begins with the glory of God, meaning his majesty, his character, his being. We are not often told about any glory applying to man. That is why this passage is an important and unusual.

Let me turn here to Hodge and perhaps the way to go at this verse is to begin with what Hodge has to say in his commentary on 1 Corinthians. [00:30:12]

“The only sense in which the man, in distinction from

“The only sense in which the man, in distinction from the woman, is the image of God, is that he represents the authority of God. He is invested with dominion. When, in Genesis 1:26,27, it is said God created man in his own image, the reference is as much to woman as to man; for it is immediately added, ‘male and female created he them.’ So far, therefore, as the image of God consists in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, Eve as truly, and as much as Adam, bore the likeness of her Maker. But in the dominion with which man was invested over the earth, Adam was the representative of God. He is the glory of God, because in him the divine majesty is specially manifested. But the woman is the glory of the man. That is, the woman is in this respect subordinate to the man. She is not designed to reflect the glory of God as a ruler. She is the glory of the man. She receives and reveals what there is of majesty in him. She always assumes his station; becomes a queen if he is a king, and manifests to others the wealth and honor which may belong to her husband.”

Well, just as man has a responsibility to show forth the glory of God by his obedience to him, by his faithfulness to his law Word, by his exercise of dominion as well as knowledge, righteous and holiness, so the woman is to exercise the same characteristics as the man.

I know of one woman who married a man whose specialized area of study was something that she had always found boring, but she studied it and became an expert at it and truly reflected his glory because she felt it was important because her husband did. And she enjoyed it.

Now, this means that man will show forth the glory of God as he is obedient to God and a woman will show forth the glory of her husband as she is obedient to him. This is an important aspect of what Paul is here saying. He is not saying the man is more important. That is a humanistic consideration, not a biblical one. We are used to looking at things humanistically. We feel, well, this or that is more important and we rate things in terms of their importance or their popularity and God doesn't do that so that what is important is that man manifests the glory of God and the wife manifests the glory of her husband. [00:33:52]

Does that help or

Does that help or... do you ask that question?

[Sandlin] No, that is... no that is excellent, Rush.

I think one thing Byron was asking, too, is I know this is, of course, a hotly disputed passage, whether the woman’s covering is an external covering or whether the hair itself is covering. Do you want to discuss that with us?

[Rushdoony] Well, I think ... and that is a very highly debated question.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] If Paul had meant the hair was her covering he would have used the word hair and he would have confined it to hair. But he speaks of a covering and uses the word veil and he speaks of her hair that it should be long, that if it were shaven it would be shame, because very commonly in antiquity and up to this century in very many parts of the world, a woman who is adulteress will have her hair shaved.

[Murray] Remember right after World War II the woman...

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Murray] ...that had conspired with the Germans had their hair shaved in public?

[Rushdoony] he women who fraternized, the word that was then used, with the German troops and officers were stripped naked, their hair shaved and they were driven through the streets. And it was a brutal thing and some of the women were the worst at it. I have seen pictures of the whole thing were taken by Americans who were present.

But the shaved head was a shame to the women. Well, Paul is saving, saying long hair or hair of reasonable length is basic to a good woman and a veil in church and in public. Only since World War II have women stopped wearing hats when they go out. [00:36:15]

[Murray] Well, they used to wear veils at funerals

[Murray] Well, they used to wear veils at funerals.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] I have seen that. But you have said you have mentioned before that Paul was very outspoken and very plain spoken.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] So if he had meant hair was adequate covering he would have said so.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes. Paul would not have been so plain spoken here if he hadn't meant exactly what he said. He goes on to say that, of course, it is a shame to the man if he wears his hear long.

Now, pagan cultures in Europe were very much addicted to long hair. The Germanic tribes, for example would have very, very long hair.

[Murray] Louis XIV.

[M. Rushdoony] Is that what he..

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] ... {?} nature itself?

[Rushdoony] What?

[M. Rushdoony] Is that what is ... what is referenced to nature itself tell you that it is a shame to have long hair?

[Rushdoony] Yes. He twice uses the term nature meaning thereby common accepted belief.

Well, the pagan Europe... Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] Excuse me. That... that seems like a weak argument, common accepted belief, because wouldn’t that also {?} if it is commonly accepted belief that it is ok for men to have long hair? You see....

[Rushdoony] That could be inferred, yes. But Paul there is saying even the ... what he means by it, even the pagans around us don’t like long hair in a man. Of course, he hadn't seen the northern Germanic tribes who were very much given to long hair. And it was a problem the Church had because a lot of the leaders, the nobles and kings believed in long hair. It was a continuation of the pagan belief. The thing about that is that the Church decided finally to fight it and in one cathedral in France when a number of lords came in and paraded to the front as they did with their magnificent robes and what not, the bishop had a number of monks come up from behind, grab them, pull them to the floor and sit on them while they chopped off all their hair. [00:39:23]

And the bishop had said no one was to come to communion

And the bishop had said no one was to come to communion and be accepted for communion with long hair. And they made a defiant point of parading right up to the front. They didn’t expect the treatment they got. And, of course, the rest of the congregation was delighted. So they took a beating on it.

[Sandlin] What is your interpretation, Rush, of verse 16? “If any man seem to be contentious...” One would presume to mean about this issue, “we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”

[Rushdoony] Yes. He is telling them that whatever practice they may be favoring the other churches do not. Perhaps I should read Hodge here.

“The arguments against the custom of women appearing in public unveiled having been presented, the apostle says, if any man, notwithstanding these arguments, is disposed to dispute the matter, or appears to be contentious, we have only further to say, that we (the apostles) have no such custom, neither have the churches of God. To be contentious , i.e. disposed to dispute for the sake of disputation. With such persons all argument is useless. Authority is the only end of controversy with such disturbers of the peace. The authority here adduced is that of the apostles and of the churches. The former was decisive, because the apostles were invested with authority not only to teach the gospel, but also to organize the church, and to decide every thing relating to Christian ordinances and worship. The authority of the churches, although not coercive, was yet great. No man is justified, except on clearly scriptural grounds, and from the necessity of obeying God rather than man, to depart from the established usages of the church in matters of public concern.

“Calvin, and many of the best modern commentators, give a different view of this passage. They understand the apostle to say, that if any one seems to be disputatious, neither we nor the churches are accustomed to dispute. [00:42:15]

“It is not our wont to waste words with those who wish

“It is not our wont to waste words with those who wish merely to make contention. The only reason assigned for this interpretation, is Paul’s saying we have no such custom; which they say cannot mean the custom of women going unveiled. But why not? The apostles and the churches constituted a whole neither the one nor the other, neither the churches nor their infallible guides, sanctioned the usage in question. Besides, no other custom is mentioned in the context than the one which he has been discussing. ‘If any one appear contentious,’ is not a custom and suggests nothing to which the words such a custom can naturally refer.”

So Paul is saying there is no such practice anywhere. All the churches, all the apostles are agreed on this.

[Sandlin] The Corinthian church is deviating from the apostolic pattern, then.

[Rushdoony] Yes. The Corinthian church was a proud and arrogant group, not that there were not godly men in it, but in no other church do we have all the problems that are brought up in the course of Paul’s two letters. They were people who were proud and arrogant. They had standards that even in the corrupt Roman Empire—remember this was Nero’s time—were regarded as very bad. The temple of Artemis or Diana on a hill in Corinth had give or take a dozen or so regularly, 1000 prostitutes for ritual temple prostitution available to all the visiting salesmen who came to Corinth, a manufacturing city.

Now much earlier, by a few centuries, Aristophanes himself would refer to Corinth as the place of questionable morality. So you have that as far back as Aristophanes that Corinth was regarded as anything but a Godly place. [00:45:04]

So they had no desire to be under authority

So they had no desire to be under authority. Even the Jews in the community were Corinthianized, as the saying of the time was. If you went to Corinth and stayed very long you would be Corinthianized.

[Sandlin] Here was something that always struck me about the Church at Corinth, Rush, and I am sure you will be dealing with this in your exposition, but Calvin discussed the Corinthians in his argument against the Anabaptists whose whole approach was always leave the church if it is not a perfect church.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And his point is that that was not Paul’s suggestion. His suggestion was clean up the corruption.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Don’t... don’t leave.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Well, the whole question of women in the Church today is a very, very grim one because the main line churches in the main have gone astray. This is very, very said. The Church of England has also very definitely gone astray. So we have a very ugly situation. Contempt is shown for the Word of God in a very obvious sphere.

[Murray] Outside...

[Rushdoony] We...

[Murray] Outside of the one instance that you cited earlier where there was a so called women’s liberation movement, were there any others prior in history the... in recorded history?

[Rushdoony] Yes. There are evidences that in the late Middle Ages nuns began to arrogate to themselves priestly powers. One of the characteristics of the late Middle Ages that we are not aware of is that the Church was not free. It had a lot of money, but the one thing it could not deal with was reform. And after the Council of Constance, the rulers of Europe killed off any possibility of reforming the Church. They executed John Huss and Matthew of Paris, the two reformers. They ended the division in the Church. There had been three popes to that day. And basically what they did was so to control the Church through the college of cardinals, but only approved men could be made pope. So you had bad popes from that time on, popes who were not religious men. In fact, who knew that the most dangerous thing they could do was to get interested in the faith. [00:48:31]

That is how the Renaissance developed

That is how the Renaissance developed. The popes became patrons of the arts because the kings would have moved against them to kill them.

[Murray] Well, judging by the fact that the National Organization for Women, which started out very strong, I guess, in the 80s, late 70s, early 80s. the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving which were virtually all women organized have all lost power because they started fighting among themselves. I guess my question would be: Do you think that if women ran the Church would there be any less corruption? It seems that the common thread, the reason that there have been these so-called women’s liberation movements in the Church over history is when men corrupted the Church...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...the... the women responded by wanting to get it back on track. But I think it is a valid question to ask that if women ran the Church, would they be any less prone to corrupt the Church?

[Rushdoony] No. They would be more corrupt. Consider the fact that the woman was allowed to resign from the air force recently who had committed adultery. A few hundred men were not allowed to resign. They had to go.

[Murray] They went to prison.

[Rushdoony] Yes. But because this was a woman who was whining about she was being discriminated against—how, I don’t know—they allowed her to leave. Now that is the kind of breakdown that the entrance of women in the Church has created.

[Murray] She learned how to manipulate the system. She learned how to manipulate her superiors. She learned how to manipulate the politicians and the media to get what she wants.

[Rushdoony] Yes, well, there have been some scandals with regard to women in the Church and they somehow feel that they should be exempt from judgment.

[Murray] Well, the... the... the point I am making is... is that: Are women any less inclined to be corrupt than men? I mean, we are all sinners.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] So I... I don’t think that women can necessarily assume the higher road that they are going to be any less corrupt... [00:51:06]

[Rushdoony] No.

[Murray] ...or corruptible than men are.

[Rushdoony] They are...

[Murray] Just because men make mistakes doesn't mean that women won’t make mistakes also.

[Sandlin] Well....

[Rushdoony] They are not exempt from original sin.

[Sandlin] Well, and all this, Rush, and you mentioned that. All to the contrary, a part of Paul’s rationale for their not teaching in the Church is saying that Eve was deceived. A woman was deceived and not man in the Garden of Eden.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] That is part of his rationale for saying that women should not be leaders in the Church. So if anything there would be more inclined to mislead the Church.

[M. Rushdoony] Speaking of women in the Church, could you briefly comment on the issue of deaconesses in the Church, because the New Testament does refer to deaconesses.

[Rushdoony] Yes. There is one reference to deaconesses. Well, that has been a point of dispute. What does that reference mean?

Now one of the problems with that issue is that in some churches today deaconesses sit on the board or consistory or whatever to govern the church and that clearly is wrong. If by deaconess you mean women who are older women who like the order of widows in the New Testament Church minister to the needy, teach women and children, then that is a totally different thing.

Well, our time is almost up. If you have questions, we are very, very happy to get them. So send them in. Thank you all for listening and God bless you.

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