Rousas John Rushdoony
Rousas John "R. J." Rushdoony (April 25, 1916 – February 8, 2001) was a Calvinist philosopher, historian, and theologian and is widely credited as the father of Christian Reconstructionism and an inspiration for the modern Christian homeschool movement. His followers and critics have argued that his thought exerts considerable influence on the Christian right.
- 1 Quotes
- 1.1 Audio lectures
- 1.1.1 Blasphemy (n. d.)
- 1.1.2 Christian Charity vs Welfarism (September 4, 1996)
- 1.1.3 Creationism and Psychology (n. d.)
- 1.1.4 Dangers Inherent in Public Education (March 24, 1986)
- 1.1.5 Decadence and the New Age (March 10, 1989)
- 1.1.6 Dominion (n. d.)
- 1.1.7 Homosexuality (n. d.)
- 1.1.8 Hybridization and the Law (n. d.)
- 1.1.9 The Law of Divorce (n.d.)
- 1.2 Writings
- 1.2.1 The Mediator: Christ or the Church? The Witness of Jesus Christ (n. d.)
- 1.2.2 The Foundations of Social Order (1968)
- 1.2.3 The Biblical Philosophy of History (1969)
- 1.2.4 ‘’The One and the Many‘’ (1971)
- 1.2.5 The Institutes of Biblical Law (1973)
- 1.2.6 Politics of Guilt and Pity (1978)
- 1.2.7 The New Racism (1980)
- 1.1 Audio lectures
- 2 Quotes about Rushdoony
- 3 External links
- Christianity is completely and radically anti-democratic; it is committed to spiritual aristocracy.
- As quoted in David Cantor and Alan M. Schwartz (1995), Anti-Defamation League book -The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism In America
- The state is a bankrupt institution. The only alternative to this bankrupt 'humanistic' system is a God-centered government.
- As quoted in David Cantor and Alan M. Schwartz (1995), Anti-Defamation League book -The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism In America
- Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life.
- Thy Kingdom Come, Studies in Daniel and Revelation, (1970), p. 39
Blasphemy (n. d.)
- Now [Leviticus 24:10-16] is a very unpopular text to the ungodly. They cite it regularly of the primitivism of the Bible. This is a very odd charge coming from the smug members of the world’s most bloody and brutal century.
- We are not given any specific data or comment about the nature of the blasphemy because it is not necessary to know these things. It was very obviously a flagrant offense and one that struck at the authority and majesty of the covenant Lord... [It] was a denial of God and His covenant, a declaration that belief in God and His covenant with Israel and also His providential care are nonsense. In some form it was a challenge, with contempt and a denial of the authority of the covenant God of Israel.
- The subject of blasphemy is a difficult one for modern man to understand. Modern man regards the whole subject as obsolete and irrelevant. He does not want to consider it. I do not know of any sermons that have been preached on blasphemy. They are no doubt quite infrequent if not rare. Even Christians, churchmen, have surrendered the subject of blasphemy because when you seek to establish a retreatist position, you constantly jettison one doctrine after another as excess baggage. I’ve actually heard some people claim, many people claim that they do not want to make a stand on abortion or on homosexuality or on a number of doctrines of scripture because they feel that what must be defended is the heart of the gospel, John 3:16. They want to preserve rebirth; anything else, they will jettison as long as they can go on begging people to be born again. A retreatist position is a defeatist one.
- The Bible declares blasphemy to be a very serious offense, because any society which begins by profaning God and His authority will soon profane all things. Nothing will be sacred. No authority will stand. The alternative to authority is total terror by the power of State. This is why, as I’ve pointed out more than once, when the authority of God is destroyed, and when the doctrine of Creation was replaced with the doctrine of Evolution, Marx and Engels congratulated one another in that now their position was established. The foundations of all godly authority were shattered when God was no longer viewed as the creator. His Law, His Word, His person became thereby irrelevant to creation. If the Lord God of scripture did not make the Heavens and the earth and all things therein to the last atom, His Word does not govern creation. If Creation is a product of Evolution, then no law outside of itself can govern it. So the alternative to the authority of God is total terror by the power of State. Where there is no authority, there is soon no justice, because men then no longer speak the same moral languages of law and authority. The respect for God’s authority establishes communication and healthy dissent, the kind of dissent which thrives in an anarchist situation is the dissent of increasing evil, violence and destruction. Godly dissent is constructive, not destructive, and its goal is justice and holiness.
Christian Charity vs Welfarism (September 4, 1996)
- We are moving towards a situation in which Statism wants to suppress in one area after another, the freedom of Christians to be charitable. In my lifetime, many, many of the things, institutions and agencies that once marked the Christian scene are now gone. They have been ruled out as unfit. Meanwhile the attitude of the state is an interesting one. It is less and less concerned with morality, with anything that deals directly and without restrictions with problems. I think we can see what is happening in one sphere after another, but perhaps best of all in the courts.
- Saint Paul says, with regard to charity, “He that will not work, let him not eat.” And it says that a man and his faith are to be judged by his responsibility towards them of his own household, his family in particular and the Christian community and he that is not charitable here is worse than an infidel and has denied the faith. Well, the biblical perspective stresses that we are to love our neighbor as ourself. We are to be mindful of his needs. And it puts it on a personal and a moral level. When you put welfare in the place of charity and it becomes a function of a vast bureaucracy to administer it is depersonalized. It no longer considers the individual. It is interested in dehumanizing it, because the statist perspective is not moral nor personal. Its goal is statist power, statist authority, the predominance of the state in every and any sphere where it has controls.
- So everything is done to suppress the success of the Christian community whether it is in the field of education or charity or rehabilitation, whatever sphere. And to exalt the statist approach which is basically a non moral approach, the belief, just as in the public schools that education will save you is, in other spheres a psychological rehabilitation will make the child a good person or that the welfare worker is going not make the welfare recipients into fine law abiding citizens. It simply isn’t so.
- Well, we have a major crisis because Welfarism is failing. The Christian community must begin to reestablish Christian charity. I think every church could begin as a number of black churches have done, with the people in their area or their own members relatives, friends, who are in desperate need. If every church in this country, it has been said by a statistician, could take care of three families the problem would disappear. Well, there are big churches that could take care of more than three families. And those that can take care of only one or half a family, those churches could come together and accomplish a great deal.
Creationism and Psychology (n. d.)
- Very clearly according to scripture, man’s nature is not an open question but a given fact from God. Then next and of central importance in all that you’re going to be saying in the next few months is this: Man was created in Genesis not as a child, Adam was not born a baby, but a mature man. This is a fact of central importance. Man was created into maturity. As a result, the key command is not child psychology, or animal psychology. Evolution cites that man must be understood in terms of the child, the child in terms of an animal ancestry, and the animal ancestry as an emergent out of chaos!
- When we believe that to any degree, when you have any element of that influence upon you, your whole perspective of both your child and yourself is going to be different. And this is why our parents, the parents of our generation were more mature, very often and capable of receiving responsibilities at an earlier age, because they were not as extensively influenced by evolutionary psychology. And this is why children who are now growing up in a christian school environment, come to maturity more readily than some of us did. An evolutionary psychology does leave you a warped view on man. An evolutionary psychology looks backward to primitive man and his primitive past... Biblical psychology looks to a mature creation, Adam, and to a God given declared purpose ahead for mankind.
- ... because man has been created in God’s image, sin is not natural. Sin is the deformation of man, it is a cancer, it is a sickness unto death which has infected man.
- So that while we speak of the fallen man as the natural man, as against the supernatural man, who is a redeemed man in a very real sense we should say that sin is unnatural. With man, who was created into perfect knowledge, and his destiny is hell or salvation. Moreover man was created to exercise dominion and to rule the earth. This is man’s calling and it is basic to man’s nature.
- Whenever men began to talk about too many people, they are paving the way for their destruction. It represents a suicidal element in man. For children are the aspects of man’s dominion. Moreover another aspect of that dominion is dominion over every living thing. Over the animal world. Man is thus created with a relationship towards animals established as normative with healthy psychology.
- The ruthless destruction of wild animals and the abuse of domestic animals is contrary to God’s purpose. Our relationship with the animal world is not one of warfare, but one of dominion. Wild and domestic in terms of God’s purpose. Finally we must say in terms of this text that man was created to live in a perfect world, in a good world, very good God commanded. To till and to keep it, man was formed out of the substance of the dust of the ground we are told in Genesis 2:7. Man is therefore earthbound, psychological and physically, dust thou art and unto dust thou returnest.
- If creationism is at all weakened, the doctrine of salvation is weakened. Thus it is that in evangelical circles today, because there is a pervasive compromise there is a progressive weakening and instruction of the doctrine of salvation. Creation and salvation are different sides of the same coin. God has created man, God alone can redeem him. If we tamper with the doctrine of creation we have proportionally weakened the doctrine of salvation. Thus in our understanding of both the doctrine of man and the doctrine of salvation we must begin with a class, if God in the beginning, created man by his fathomed word on the sixth day of creation brought him into being. Our history is sure, it is well known, it is fully declared in scripture.
- Adam was created mature, and we are born as babies and developed. However the basic nature that is in us is not one of immaturity, but of one of maturity! The idea of child psychology was totally unknown until a couple of centuries ago. And until that time there was no such thing as the kind of child we have today. But a modern child is a creation of the modern age!
Dangers Inherent in Public Education (March 24, 1986)
- I recall some years ago this mother and son in California who was very angry and stomped out of the meeting and I did not see her again because I said it was the duty of Christian parents to have their child in the Christian school. And she went on about how wonderful their church was, and how marvelous the youth was, and her daughter had the best kind of Christian training imaginable and she was a good witness at school. And I never saw her again but I heard from her about six, seven years later when she called me weeping. Did I know a school that would take her daughter because her daughter was now into demonism, she was out sometimes for two or three nights, was into drugs and promiscuity, if the mother tried to say anything to her the girl thought nothing about pulling a knife and backing the mother against the wall with a knife against her throat and threatening her life. And she wanted to know if there was a Christian school in town, in particular, and I told her it would take a full time guard to stand over your daughter every moment, and she wanted, she felt that it was unchristian that they wouldn’t take her daughter. And I reminded her of her stand a few years back, when she continued to whine and feel sorry for herself, someone was going to take the mess she had created and hand her back her daughter, perhaps to stick her back in the public schools again.
- I was told by a teacher in the Deep South once when I spoke on the necessity for Christian education at the request of the pastor, it was a hostile congregation, they did not like the fact that their pastor was strong for a Christian school, and one person after another at the door told me ‘well, you, of course, are not southern, you don’t know the south. This is the Deep South, every person in our schools, every teacher is a born again Christian’. After everyone was gone, this teacher had been standing, watching, came up and said ‘they don’t know what they’re talking about. We may be born again Christians, but our textbooks that we are required to stick to are anti-Christian to the core’.
- I often meet people who are very, very staunch Southerners, some of whom feel that the Yankees are out to do the South in. But believe me, there is not, and never has been anyone, including General Sherman, who does more damage to the South then their own schools heading by their own people. They need to wake up and every part of the country needs to recognize what is being done to it by these educators, this systemic destruction of everything that people treasure and believe in.
- The sad fact is that not only is the youth exposed to rock, but rock is coming into the church. So called Christian rock; and it’s being sung by the choir. You actually hear now and then about a rock mass or a rock service. I spoke a few years ago at a church which was...I’ll never be asked about. A very large church with a plant that was equal to a small college campus, and I don’t mean too small of a college, a fair sized one. They had a number of choirs; they had one man in charge of all the music in the church, overall music director, a very brilliant, very intelligent man, but as wrongheaded as I’ve ever seen. Because he told me that his belief was that the only kind of music that should be played or sung or used in a church or any place was throw away music; that was his term. Music that was hip, so up to the moment, that it would capture the mood of the youth who were listening to the latest on television or radio. Music which six months down the line would be out of date because it would be throw away music, music of the moment, in order to speak to the youth. And I tried to get through this point to him, that speaking to them in terms of what’s of the moment is not what it’s all about it, it’s speaking from the Lord with eternal truths.
- A very large percentage of the founding Fathers, men who signed the Declaration of Independence and others after them, lost everything. They paid a price. But nobody wants to pay a price now; they want it handed to them. That has to change.
Decadence and the New Age (March 10, 1989)
- Now the Soviet Union has been faced with one disaster after another that they will not admit to the world that these have happened nor to themselves. They will not face up to their growing internal collapse realistically. And if it were not for us propping them up, they would collapse.
- Since World War II there has been a growing heedlessness. You dated it, in the case of Britain, from about 1910 and I think quite rightly so. And the developments that led to War World I were a part of the decadence of the time, because very few when they went to war in that war had any recognition of what they were doing to civilization. And we came out of it. We went into it under the illusion that we were going to make the world safe for democracy. Our president Woodrow Wilson with his diplomacy was going to be the world messiah. And that term was applied to him. Well, we have only increased in our departure from a realistic assessment of things, from having any vision. And, of course, Proverbs tells us where there is no vision the people perish. And by vision it means a knowledge of what God’s reality is. And more literally the second part is the people perish, the people run naked. They are crazy. They are wild. So, lacking that vision, the people have been running wild. They have been running naked all over the world
- A great many people have tunnel vision. Now tunnel vision is when you have a problem with the eyes so that you can only see a little spot ahead of you. You don’t have a broad range of vision. It is a very sad kind of eye defect. But Ford Schwartz was telling me a while back how some years ago when he spent a while in Mexico he stayed with some people in a village, the only non Mexican there. He found them to be very kindly and gracious people, but very limited, because all they could see was to do things exactly as every one else did so that their daily food was limited, day after day, to tortilla and beans, but they were living on the edge of the ocean. And he said day after day he caught fish in a matter of minutes, excellent eating, tasty varieties. But the Mexicans rarely ever touched the fish. They did things only as they had done them generation after generation. Now that is tunnel vision. That is a lack of any real vision. And that is exceedingly common. We can see it in the Mexicans, but we don’t see it in ourselves.
- Now we have New Age thinking infiltrating our law, our courts, our schools in that everyone chooses his own values and those are good for him. And the same was for a long time, but you could do anything you chose, just as long as you did not do physical harm to someone against his own will.
- I, some years back, knew a couple of men who did go and who had all kinds of allusions about the exotic Far East, one a young man, college age, the other an older man. And it was a shattering experience for them that they suppressed, because it told them about the reality of evil and the reality of man as a fallen creatures which they did not want to admit. And I think their suppression of the reality marks our age. We do not want, as an age, to know what evil is, unless, of course, it was Hitler and we killed him and now we just mope up on a few of these extremists.
- Well, if you create your own reality, you no longer live in a real world. It used to be a joke when we were young about the insane and I am told that there were a fair number in institutions who thought of themselves as Napoleon. And that was a departure from reality, creating their own reality. That is what our world is doing today.
Dominion (n. d.)
- The most common term in the New Testament for Jesus Christ is again Lord in the Greek Kyrios; Lord. What does it mean? It means sovereign. It means absolute owner so that if we have a Lord we are His property. To confess Jesus Christ as Lord is to declare that we belong to Him in all that we are and in all that we have. We give ourselves, we give our children, we give our property, we give our income, everything, it belongs to the Lord and we are stewards of that which we are and that which we posses under Him. God is the Lord. Jesus Christ is the lord. This is the basic confession of all of scripture. The basic term; let me repeat applied to God the Father and to God the son in all of scripture is Lord. The term is used so much so that it probably outnumbers all other terms used for God. Lordship. It means sovereignty. Dominion means the exercise of authority under a sovereign.
- Now a sovereign, a Lord, is always the source of law. Law making is the pejorative of the Lord or sovereign of a God. In every religious faith, in every religion, in every culture, the God of that system provides the laws. They are of his making. And if you allow any other law to come in you are acknowledging another God. This is why in Europe when the doctrine of the Divine right of kings arose there was a militant hostility on the part of the keys for any aspect of Biblical law. And the war against Biblical law began under the kings of Europe as monarchies began to rise in the late middle ages.
- That's the offence of the Christian schools; they are exercising government. That's the offence of every Christian who moves out and applies the word of God to anything; he's exercising government. And this the Romans would not tolerate nor will the modern state.
- We as Christians have a mandate. We have not been called to retire from the world when we are saved but to go out and conquer.
- Christ called an army up to go forth and conquer in his name. In the book of Acts we are told of the Christians that these people are turning the world upside down. It would be wonderful if that were said of us again.
- The threat of the Christians in the early days of Rome and subsequently was enormous; they were a bare handful and they were shaking up the entire Roman empire, to the point that Rome was concerned for about three centuries with this problem of the Christians. How in the world were they to deal with these people? Because they were threatening to take over the empire simply by their governmental ways. They were creating a higher obedience. Just as the apostles had said at the beginning "we must obey God rather than men" so again and again men in one area of Roman life after another were exercising dominion. Asserting the priority of their Allegiance to God.
- And our responsibility is to exercise dominion which means to declare where sovereignty resides and to declare God's sovereign world; the word of dominion, to every area of life and thought. And we are promised that when we go forth in terms of that word the commission tells us, the commission to Joshua, which our Lord summarizes then later, that if we go in the power of this word and faithfulness to it wherever the soul of your feet shall tread that shall be your ground. Let's plant our feet on the face of all the earth and claim it for Jesus Christ.
Homosexuality (n. d.)
- We now face the culmination of a long campaign in the courts and in the halls of various governmental bodies, and in the press, to remove the laws against homosexuality from the statute books, and to permit any such relationship between consenting adults. Part of this is a new, anti-Biblical interpretation of this perversion. The facts are read in evolutionary framework, and so we are told it is a form of immaturity. Again, others read it as environmentally determined, so that the pervert is simply reflecting his environmental conditioning. Again there are others who say it is simply a fight for masculinity in a difficult world. All these and the other variations on the modern interpretation, share in common an environmental and an evolutionary approach. There are those in fact who claim that it is a basic component of all people, so that all of us have some aspect of every perversion in us.
- The Christian is today the villain. It is his morality which is regarded as degenerate and perverted and twisted, and the pervert is regarded as the misunderstood, sensitive soul. I can spend hours citing various modern writers who play variations of that theme.
- ... homosexual culture is bitterly hostile to the family and to small town culture, the stability. Today it controls very largely, this is recognized by many writers, the world of fashions and the world of publishing. And it uses these two media, communications and styles, to war against the family and small town culture against the law and against standards. The canons of homosexual culture today are the standards of the Jet-set, very emphatically, and more and more of all society. The homosexual culture today is infecting the world at large.
- A [further] aspect [of homosexuality] is the hatred of God’s reality, an insistence on wars against reality, in living in a world of make believe. As a result, the theater is the natural element of these people. Some scholars, again not Christian, have pointed out there has been by-and-large a strong homosexual control of the theater, in varying degrees in different times, from the days of the Romans. But part and parcel of this homosexual control of the theater has been the delight in prostituting women, in using them and abusing them for the sheer delight of showing their contempt for them. Now this is homosexual culture, described by people who are not hostile to it, and in fact sometimes have some good things to say for it.
- Homosexuality is thus very clearly presented as that sexual practice which culminates apostasy in hostility towards God, it is war against God. It is a denial of Gods natural order and law in the ultimate form.
- If the law is set aside, the humanistic amoral ethics of love then takes over. And then you have total humanism. The only consideration becomes the human being, and this is what has happened with the theologians.
- The homosexual culture as we have said is at war with God, and there are no negotiations possible in this world. That modernists and atheists would be in the enemy camp should not surprise us. But we know how far gone it is when periodical like Christianity Today carry articles stating that ‘the individual homosexual would appear to be more sinned against than sinning. because his condition is either genetic or environmental in nature, and therefore not his fault.’ Thus we should not be surprised at what is happening today.
- ... what is built today has as Saint Paul declared, all the earmarks of a homosexual culture. That is, a culture at war with God and God’s reality, and is therefore under the judgment of God, who, knowing the judgement of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them.
- The homosexuals say they are for God. Now, who are we going to believe, God or the pervert?
- The point Saint Paul ... makes is that every one, whether they have ever read the Bible or heard the gospel, knows in his heart that God is God, and what his law order is. So that every man in his unbelief and in his immorality is without excuse, because God having made him has written His requirements in the tables of every man’s heart, so that they all sin with knowledge, whether they are in the depths of the African jungles or in the heart of Asia, or in the heart of New York. Every man sins with knowledge.
Hybridization and the Law (n. d.)
- The hybrid frustrates the purpose of creation. All things, we are told according to Genesis, were created with their seed in themselves, destined to be fertile. Hybridization seeks to improve God’s work. It seeks to gain the best of two diverse but somewhat related things. The result is a limited advantage but a long range launched including sterility. Second, these laws clearly require a respect for God’s creation. We are not to change one kind into another, or to attempt it. All things we are told were created good. Now when we hold to evolution we cannot see all things as created good. Because evolution is the survival of the fittest, and the best you can say about anything is that it is the fittest. Not that it is the best, not that it is morally the most desirable thing. And though it has survived thus far it may not survive in the next ten thousand years, so that man for example, we are told may be a mistake. Thus we cannot under an evolutionary perspective see all things as created good. But man under God has been created good and the world around him has been created good. Man can kill and eat plants and animals to use this creation under God’s law. But he cannot tamper with it, he cannot hybridize; which is to violate God’s kind. And the penalty for it, of course, is sterility. You can cross a horse and a donkey, but the mule is sterile. You can put all kinds of new variety of squash and carrots and the like on the market, but the penalty for these is sterility. They will not produce a seed. And while they will have certain advantages --the mule has certain advantages over the horse-- they have marked disadvantages, and a greater frailty, sensitivity, nervousness (as with the mule), so that they are a real handicap.
- ... Saint Paul states here what already had been stated repeatedly in scripture, that mixed marriages, marriages between believers and unbelievers are forbidden. But at the same time he also states that unequal yoking is the principle in the Deuteronomy passage thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. What is the principle there? Unequal yoking! So that unequal yoking of any kind runs counter to God’s law. This appears also very clearly in the law with respect to marriage. Man was created in the image of God and woman was created from man with the reflected image of God in man. And woman was termed a helpmeet, which means a reflection, or front, or mirror. In other words the woman is to reflect the man’s nature and supplement, assist, further him in his calling. This means therefore that if they are unequally yoked she cannot be of any assistance to him in his calling. So that if it is inter-religious marriage, or interracial, or intercultural, normally the disparity is too great for it to be a valid marriage in terms of God’s standards. The burden thus of God’s law is clearly against inter-religious marriage, or interracial, or intercultural marriages, in that they normally go against the very idea of community which marriage is to establish.
- One of the things that characterize my schooling from the early grades on up to university and apparently is still with us because I heard it on the radio this morning, was the idea that all bacteria are bad and that the scientific ideal is a germ free, bacteria free world. Of course, such a world would mean death. And yet, we are actually told now that by 1990 we will have such a sterile world that milk itself being rendered totally sterile, will sit on a table and will never spoil. In such a world not only bacteria will be gone, but man also. Such a world and such a science represents a travesty on God’s creative purpose.
- The world was created by God and we are always to remember as we deal with the world, what was God’s purpose here, in creating this? But at the same time, while the world was created essentially good, it is fallen and not normative. Thus, perfectionism with regard to nature is anti Christian. Everything has a purpose in creation, but God created man and set him in the garden of Eden with a purpose to use and to develop nature. Thus, while hybridization is forbidden, the improvement of various species is definitely a part of our responsibility. Thus, we do not look back to Eden, we look forward to the kingdom of God. Those who hold to a perfectionism with regard to nature are anti Christian. The logic of this perfectionism with regard to nature, holding nature as normative is to eat raw foods only because you can’t improve on nature, it is to be a nudist because you can’t improve on nature, it is to deny housing because housing is an improvement on nature. This is all very very definitely hostile to scripture because while creation is essentially good, from the biblical perspective, it is to be developed by man. There is to be an improvement in terms of the guidelines laid down by God. Thus, hybridization is not Christian, but improvement is definitely the Christian responsibility. Hybridization and unequal yoking involve a fundamental disrespect for God’s handiwork, and it leads to futile experimentation. But for us as creationists, the fertility and the potentiality of the world rests in his law, in it’s pattern, in it’s fixity.
- Love is total acceptance of everything. It means then that you have to accept everything, tolerate everything, it means that there is no discrimination with respect to good and evil, right and wrong. This is the modern definition of love, and of course it is thoroughly anti Christian.
- Love in scripture is the fulfilling of the law. It involves the keeping of the ten commandments. Love to God is keeping the whole ten commandments, love to our neighbor is keeping the second table of the law. To respect his right to life, to home, to property, to reputation; in word, thought, and deed. So that, as Saint Paul sums it up, love is the fulfilling of the law.
The Law of Divorce (n.d.)
- First of all we forget that one of the most common forms of divorce in the Bible and in all of history has been divorce by death, by execution. We are not used to thinking of divorce in such terms, but consider this. In the Old Testament, if a man were guilty of adultery, or a woman, they were executed. And we saw last week as we studied the New Testament teaching that adultery is in terms of New Testament law still a crime that calls for death. Now it does not exist, and therefore special provisions were made for those social orders wherein no such offense incurred the death penalty. As a matter of fact this is how the penitential system developed.
- Let us examine therefore, in summary fashion, the laws whereby a woman in Israel might obtain a divorce by death and re-marry. The laws calling for the death penalty against the man. To list these without taking time to give all the references, the Biblical references, which can be given although we dealt with many of them:
1.Adultery, 2.Rape, 3.Incest, 4.Homosexuality or sodomy, 5.Bestiality, 6.Premeditated Murder, 7.Smiting Father or Mother, 8.Death of a woman from miscarriage due to assault and battery, 9.Sacrificing children to Molech, 10.Cursing Father or Mother, 11.Kidnapping, 12.Being a wizard, 13.Being a false prophet or dreamer, 14.Apostacy, 15. Sacrificing to other Gods, 16.Refusing to follow the decision of judges, 17.Blasphemy, 18.Transgressing the Covenant.
In other words, for all these offenses, a woman gained a divorce by death. On the other hand, a divorce by death was obtainable by men because of the following death penalties cited for women: 1. Unchastity before marriage, 2. Adultery after marriage, 3.Prostituion by a priests daughter, 4. Bestiality, 5. Being a witch or a sorceress, 6. Transgressing the covenant, and 7. Incest.
Now it is obvious that that the list for men is more than twice as long. And it is obvious that some of the death penalties for men would also apply to women, as for example murder. But many of the crimes that are cited for men such as rape and kidnapping, while it is conceivable that the woman would be guilty of those it is not very likely. Those are primarily masculine offenses.
- Now, fornication has come to mean premarital sex almost exclusively in modern English, but this is not its meaning in the Greek, nor the meaning of uncleanness or nakedness of a thing in the Hebrew. Now, since every act of extramarital sex by a husband or wife with a person of the opposite sex is adultery, even though it might be also perversion or it might be incest, it is still adultery. To use a word other than adultery means something else than merely sexual offenses. It refers to this fact of lasciviousness and rebelliousness, and unbelief.
- ... at this point the Catholic church and the various other churches, and there are a number of them, that take the stand of no divorce are definitely not in terms of scripture, at this point they are trying to be holier than God, which I believe is a fearful offense. Now their point is that for these grounds separation is permissible, but this is not in terms of scripture, because scripture clearly permits remarriage.
- The question is, in case some of you did not hear it, “Supposing there is a mixed marriage with respect to race; and assuming that both are of the same faith, what is there in scripture that might be against that?” Well, the answer is that there is not a law against it, but there is basically a principle that militates against such marriages, so that you might say they are just barely legal, but in principle scripture is opposed to them. Because the whole point of marriage is that the wife be a help-meet to her husband, and the term help meet means in effect a mirror, an image, one who reflects him spiritually, that is in terms of faith, in terms of a common background, in terms of a common purpose. Now, marriage between persons of very different races generally doesn’t fulfill that requirement, you see. So that it can be technically a marriage, but it isn’t one in which the wife can be a help meet. So that, while it can legally qualify, theologically you could say there are factors that normally in almost 99 cases out of a 100 hundred would militate against it.
- ... there are sometimes [in mixed marriages] some genetic advantages, there are sometimes genetic disadvantages, but there are generally markedly social disadvantages which tend to warp the child’s entire life. And these social factors are extremely strong. So in countries where you do have this kind of group, they do represent a rather bitter and an unhappy group, a rebellious group.
- ... when there are marriages between races, very often it is not the best of either. And this is another factor that commonly militates against the success of such marriages, in that it is the lower levels that tend to unite in most cases.
- Now one of the interesting facts here with respect to intermarriage, and our time is just about up and we will conclude in a moment, is this; that historically, whenever you have had two peoples close together, and one in a position of power and the other in a position of either slavery or inferiority, it takes only a very short time for the two races to merge, no matter how great the hatred between them. Thus, when the Normans took England, there was nothing more hateful to the Anglo Saxon peoples of England than a Norman. And yet, because they were of comparable ability, in spite of that intense hatred, they did merge, ultimately. But when you find two peoples of very different intellectual and cultural levels close together, they can be together generation after generation, and the amount of merging is very slight. So that there is no disappearing of one as against the other. This is why the Negro did not disappear in the South. Had the slaves been, say of another racial group, it would not have taken more than a hundred years of slavery for the two groups to have merged. But you had a couple of hundred years of slavery in the south, and the Negro did not disappear. So this is the remarkable fact. As a result, when you hear stories told about how the Negro women were exploited and so on, these stories tend to be exaggerations. As a matter of fact, the truth was usually the other way, it was very difficult to raise children in the south, or to rear children in the south, because one way of promotion was to capture the interest of a white boy or a white man. Now this goes counter to the Marxist thesis, but when you study the history of the west you discover that one of the best things that ever happened incidentally to the morality of the upper classes was modern inventions which abolished the need for servants in the home. Because one of the major problems that existed was the seduction of the boys and the men in a household by servant girls.
The Mediator: Christ or the Church? The Witness of Jesus Christ (n. d.)
- The modern attempt to reduce Jesus to the level of political reformer, and the church to the same level, is a denial of Christ’s true Kingship.
- Salvation is not in the manipulation of man’s environment: it is the regeneration of man’s heart, and hence … the apostles were clearly forewarned against proclaiming a social (or socialist) gospel in place of the atoning, redemptive work of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.
The Foundations of Social Order (1968)
- An employer therefore has a property right to prefer whom he will, and he can prefer whom he will in terms of color, creed, race, or national origin.
- Selective breeding in Christian countries has led to … the progressive elimination of defective persons.
- A ‘Litany’ popular in these circles identifies ‘God’ with the city, with the ’spick, black nigger, bastard, Buddhahead, and kike,’ with ‘all men,this concept runs deeply through the so-called Civil Rights Revolution… But …no society has ever existed without class and caste lines.
The Biblical Philosophy of History (1969)
- If Negroes are only “white men with black skins, nothing more, nothing less,” then, conversely, white men are only Negroes with white skins, nothing more, nothing less. This means that all cultural differences, hereditary predispositions, and historical traditions are irrelevant and meaningless. It means, in other words, that history is meaningless. And how can one be an historian if it is his purpose to deny history? The white man has behind him centuries of Christian culture, and the discipline and selective breeding this faith requires. Although the white man may reject this faith and subject himself instead to the requirements of humanism, he is still a product of this Christian past. The Negro is a product of a radically different past, and his heredity is governed by radically different consideration.
- p. 88
- If you and I have our histories abstracted from us, and our heredities as well, along with all our cultural conditioning and responses, we are no longer men, no longer human beings, but an abstract and theoretical concept of man. No real history of us can then be written.
- p. 89
‘’The One and the Many‘’ (1971)
- "The position of Pope Paul came close to being a pan-Deism, and pan-Deism is the logical development of the virus of Hellenic thought."
- Ch. VIII-7, p. 142.
- "But a sincere idealist, implicitly pan-Deist in faith, deeply concerned with the problems of the world and of time, can be a Ghibelline pope, and Dante's Ghibellines have at last triumphed."
- Ch. VIII-7, p. 143.
The Institutes of Biblical Law (1973)
- The creation mandate was precisely the requirement that man subdue the earth and exercise dominion over it. There is not one word of Scripture to indicate or imply that this mandate ever was revoked. There is every word of Scripture to declare that this mandate must and shall be fulfilled. Those who attempt to break it shall themselves be broken.
- p. 14
- Every law-order is in a state of war against the enemies of that order, and all law is a form of warfare.
- p. 93
- One faith, one law and one standard of justice did not mean democracy. The heresy of democracy has since then worked havoc in church and state . . . Christianity and democracy are inevitably enemies.
- p. 100
- The only true order is founded on Biblical Law. All law is religious in nature, and every non-Biblical law-order represents an anti-Christian religion.
- p. 113
- The matriarchal society is thus the decadent and broken. The strongly matriarchal character of Negro life is due to the moral failure of Negro men, their failure to be responsible, to support the family, or to provide authority. The same is true of American Indian tribes which are also matriarchal today.
- p. 203
- To the humanistic mind these penalties seem severe and unnecessary. In actuality, the penalties, together with the Biblical faith which motivated them, worked to reduce crime. Thus, when New England passed laws requiring the death penalty for incorrigible delinquents and for children who struck their parents, no executions were necessary: the law kept the children in line.
- p. 236
- If the penalty for even an accidental case [of abortion] is so severe, it is obvious that a deliberately induced abortion is very strongly forbidden. It is not necessary to ban deliberate abortion, since it is already eliminated by this law. Second, if a man who, in the course of a fight, unintentionally bumps a pregnant woman and causes her to abort, must suffer the death penalty, how much more so any person who intentionally induces an abortion?
- pp. 263-264
- Some people are by nature slaves and will always be so.
- pp. 286
- In the name of toleration, the believer is asked to associate on a common level of total acceptance with the atheist, the pervert, the criminal, and the adherents of other religions as though no differences existed.
- p. 294
- ...the covenant people must wage war against the enemies of God, because this war is unto death. The deliberate, refined, and obscene violence of the anti-God forces permits no quarter...this warfare must continue until the Amalekites of the world are blotted out, until God's law-order prevails and His justice reigns.
- P. 308
- The education which breeds Amalekites must be replaced with Christian education....The state must become Christian and apply Biblical law to every area of life, and apply the full measure of God's law. The permissive family must give way to the Christian family.
- p. 323
- The goal is the developed Kingdom of god, the New Jerusalem, a world order under god's law.
- p. 357
- The significance of Jesus Christ as the "faithful and true witness" is that He not only witnesses against those who are at war against God, but He also executes them.
- p. 574
- If men are not regenerated by Christ, and if they will not submit to His calling, to the cultural mandate, they will be crushed by His power.
- p. 730
- The church today has fallen prey to the heresy of democracy.
- p. 747
- Peace with God means warfare with the enemies of God. Christ made clear that allegiance to Him meant a sword of division (Matt. 10:34-36). In a sinful world, some warfare is inescapable. A man must therefore pick his enemies: God or sinful man? If a man is at peace with sinful men, he is at war with God. Peace in one sector means warfare in another. God alone, however, can give inner peace now, and, finally, world peace through His sovereign law (Micah 4:2).
- p. 781
- All who are content with a humanistic law system...are guilty of idolatry...they are asking us to serve other gods.
- The University of Timbuktu never existed. The only thing that existed in Timbuktu was a small mud hut.
Politics of Guilt and Pity (1978)
- ...the white man is being systematically indoctrinated into believing that he is guilty of enslaving and abusing the Negro. Granted that some Negroes were mistreated as slaves, the fact still remains that nowhere in all history or in the world today has the Negro been better off. The life expectancy of the Negro increased when he was transported to America. He was not taken from freedom into slavery, but from a vicious slavery to degenerate chiefs to a generally benevolent slavery in the United States. There is not the slightest evidence that any American Negro had ever lived in a "free society" in Africa; even the idea did not exist in Africa. The move from Africa to America was a vast increase of freedom for the Negro, materially and spiritually as well as personally. The Negroes were sold from a harsh slavery into a milder one. Slavery was basic to the African way of life, to the point that slaves were the actual money of the African economy. Elsewhere, gold and silver served as money; in Africa, it was slaves...
- pp. 3-4
- The move from Africa to America was a vast increase of freedom for the Negro, materially and spiritually.
- p. 19
- The Irish moved from semi-slavery in Ireland to freedom in America only a few years before the Negro gained emancipation. After a century and a quarter, or less, the Irish are a leading power in the United States, and the Negroes remain on the lowest strata. The basic difference between the Irish and the Negro has not been color: it has been character. The Negroes demand more aid, i.e., more slavery and slave-care, and dwell on their sufferings. The Irish have instead looked to the present and future and helped shape America. It is a significant difference that cannot be explained altogether by color or environment. The Chinese also came to the United States under very difficult circumstances and similarly overcame them.
- p. 19
- The Negro moved from an especially harsh slavery, which included cannibalism, to a milder form. Much is said about the horrors of the slave ships, many of which were very bad, but it is important to remember that slaves were valuable cargo and hence property normally handled with consideration.
- p. 25
- Men remain feeling guilty, for a false sense of guilt has no cure save the truth, and this is not forthcoming. Since the citizens are now guilt-ridden because of their education and political indoctrination, they are more amenable to robbery, and even murder. If the white man feels guilty towards the Negro, he is less capable of defending himself against the Negroes who turn into a revolutionary rabble, bent on theft and murder. The state finds it easier to rob men when men feel guilty for what they are and have, and the state drones on and on about the needs of the poor of the nation and of the world.
- p. 46
The New Racism (1980)
- Whereas in Scripture all men are descendants of Adam, in evolutionary thought, all men are possibly descendants of very differing evolutionary sources. Common descent in Adam meant a common creation, nature, and responsibility under God. The idea of multiple origins proved divisive. The human race was no longer the human race! It was a collection of possibly human races, a very different doctrine.
- It is important to recognize that racism was in origin a scientific doctrine. Whenever a scientific doctrine is discarded, as witness the idea of the acquired inheritance of environmental influences, the old scientific doctrine, as it lingers on in popular thought, is blamed on religion or popular superstition!
- The Western mind and culture, in all its advances, is a product of biblical religion. It is a religious, not a racial, product.
- A generation ago, a pope with humane intentions said, “Spiritually, we are all Semites.” Despite his humane intentions, he was wrong. Arabs are Semites, and we are not Arabic in our faith and culture. He would have been equally wrong had he said Hebrews or Jews. The culture of the West is not the property of any race or people in its origin. It is biblical. True, much sin is present in Western culture. True, such sin needs to be condemned. But the mind of the West bears the imprint of the Bible. It is not understandable on any other terms.
- Instead of working to change a people, we have a static and racist view of a people and their culture. It is the Bible and the mission which must change, not the people! We must teach a “black English” if any at all, and a black, brown, or yellow Christianity, if any at all. It takes only a brief excursion into “liberation theology,” contextualization, and like doctrines to realize that it is not Christianity at all which is taught, but a counterfeit. Relevance is sought, not to the Lord and His word, but to fallen man and his racial heritage. Such is not the Gospel; it is the new racism.
- All the plagues and evils of “the European mind” are products of the fallen man and the relics of barbarian cultures, not of Christ and His word. All that is good in “the European mind” is a result of Christian culture, not of race.
Quotes about Rushdoony
- Rushdoony calls for a Christian society that is harsh, unforgiving and violent. His work draws heavily on the calls for a repressive theocratic society laid out by Calvin in Institutes of the Christian Religion, first published in 1536 and one of the most important works of the Protestant Reformation. Christians are, Rushdoony argues, the new chosen people of God and are called to do what Adam and Eve failed to do: create a godly, Christian state. The Jews, who neglected to fulfill God's commands in the Hebrew scriptures, have, in this belief system, forfeited their place as God's chosen people and have been replaced by Christians. The death penalty is to be imposed not only for offenses such as rape, kidnapping and murder, but also for adultery, blasphemy, homosexuality, astrology, incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency, and, in the case of omen, "unchastity before marriage." The world was to be subdued and ruled by a Christian United States. Rushdoony dismissed the widely accepted estimate of 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust as an inflated figure, and his theories on race often echo those found in Nazi eugenics, in which there are higher and lower forms of human beings. Those considered by the Christian state to be immoral and incapable of reform are to be exterminated.
- Chris Hedges (2008), American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Simon and Schuster, pp. 12-13
- As a theologian Rushdoony saw human beings as primarily religious creatures bound to God, not as rational autonomous thinkers. While this may seem an esoteric theological point, it isn't. All of Rushdoony's influence on the Christian Right stems from this single, essential fact. Many critics of Christian Reconstructionism assume that Rushdoony's unique contribution to the Christian Right was his focus on theocracy. In fact, Rushdoony's primary innovation was his single-minded effort to popularize a pre-Enlightenment, medieval view of a God-centered world. By de-emphasizing humanity's ability to reason independently of God, Rushdoony attacked the assumptions most of us uncritically accept.
- Michael J. McVicar (Fall 2007). "The Libertarian Theocrats: The Long, Strange History of R.J. Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism". The Public Eye (Political Research Associates) 22 (3)
- He was a racist, misogynist Christian Dominionist who unabashedly denounced democracy in favor of an American theocracy which he hoped would be so extremist that it would enforce Levitical law.
- When we talked, Rushdoony spoke about "secular America" as if it were an enemy state, not our country. He talked about how "we" should all use cash, never credit cards, since cards would make it "easy for the government to track us." Rushdoony held forth passionately about the virtues of gold, how very soon the conflict between the Soviet Union and America would lead to war. Rushdoony also noted that Vallecito was "well located to survive the next war" given "the prevailing wind directions" and its water supply."
- Frank Schaeffer (2011), Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics--and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway, Capo Press, p. 110
- While Rushdoony's followers do not like to acknowledge his Holocaust Denial, it is incontestable that he held such a position, according to the technical definition (i.e., a massive lowering of the number of estimated dead from the usual six million and rejection of the idea of systematic mass slaughter). His sources are atrocious, secondhand, and unverified; that he held this position speaks volumes about this appalling incompetence as a historian, and one can only speculate as to why he held the position from a moral perspective... He deals with the matter under the issue of the ninth commandment and, ironically breaches it himself in his presentation of the matter.
- Carl R. Trueman (2009), Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of History, Crossway, p. 30, footnote 4