A Christian Manifesto

A Christian Manifesto

R.J. Rushdoony’s A Christian Manifesto gives us some poignant themes to consider as Christians. What does it mean to live out a consistently biblical worldview? Is it enough to merely assent to biblical doctrines or should we strive to apply the faith to all of life? Does the gospel simply seek converts or is it something more?

1. Sovereignty is an attribute of God alone, not of man nor of the state, God alone is Lord or Sovereign over all things; over state, school, family, vocation, society and all things else.

As Christians we must realize that God alone is Sovereign. He is the Author and Architect. All of history moves according to His dictate. Nothing escapes His notice. Nothing confounds Him. Nothing frustrates His will. For a more thorough examination of what is meant by the Sovereignty of God, I recommend A.W. Pink’s The Sovereignty of God.

2. The Bible is given as the common law, as Justice Story declared.

The Scriptures do not merely speak to our personal faith but equally apply to all areas of our lives including but not limited to civil government, education, the arts and sciences, and culture as a whole. For more insight you can peruse the articles and online books at Chalcedon.

3. Salvation is not by politics, education, the church, or any agency or person other than Jesus Christ our Lord.

This is pivotal. There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. The right educaton, the right politicians, the right circumstances will not save us. It is only by grace through faith on the account of Christ alone that we are saved.

4. The myth of Machiavelli, that by state control at the top, bad men can make a good society is at the root of our cultural crisis and growing collapse. A good omelet cannot be made with bad eggs. Truly redeemed men are necessary for a good society.

True change in society will come through redeemed men who apply their faith to all of life. This begins with self-government under our Lord Jesus Christ. Hugo Grotius wrote:

He knows not how to rule a Kingdom that cannot manage a Province; nor can he wield a Province, that cannot order a City; nor he order a City, that knows not how to regulate a Village; nor he a Village that cannot guide a Family; nor can that man Govern well a family that knows not how to Govern himself; neither can he Govern himself unless his reason be Lord, Will and Appetite her Vassals; nor can Reason rule unless herself be ruled by God, and (wholly) be obedient to Him.

5. Civil rulers who rule without the Lord and His law-word are, as Augustine said, no different than a mafia, only more powerful.

We must vote for and elect leaders who fear God and live their lives before Him according to his law-word. Compromise in the name of expediency and pragmatism, or to avoid the “more evil” candidate should not be an option for the biblically minded voter. Read Samuel Willard’s Characters of a Good Ruler.

6. The state is not the government, but one form of government among many, others being the self-government of the Christian man, the family, the school, the church, vocations and society, The state is civil government, a ministry of Justice.

Each sphere of government is given a specific duty and separate jurisdiction. The Scriptures well outline this. The state bears the power of the sword but itself is under the authority of God and His law-word. It should not take on the responsibilities given to the individual, the family, the church, and local provinces. Individual jurisdictions are also under the authority of our Sovereign LORD and must submit to His law-word.

7. For the state to equate itself with government is tyranny and evil.

The state is to be the minister of God, bearing the sword and bringing justice according to the dictate of God’s law-word. Attempting to mandate anything outside its God-given responsibilities is to challenge the Sovereignty of God and is idolatry.

8. The Christian man is the only truly free man in all the world, and he is called to exercise dominion over all the earth.

In Christ we are freed from sin and have been made slaves to righteousness. We are told that if the Son sets us free, we are free indeed. Our rest and our joy are in Him and Him alone and He frees us to exercise dominion, to bring every thought captive in obedience to Him. We are not to shirk our responsibilities, but as redeemed men and women are to change culture through our obedience to His law-word. You can read my previous article The Influence of Christianity on Western Civilization for just a taste on the impact redeemed men and women have had on society.

9. Humanism is the way of death and is the essence of original sin, or man trying to be his own God.

Humanism is responsible for much of the suffering we have seen throughout history. When man becomes a god unto himself he brings with it suffering, tyranny, and death and ultimately, the judgment of God.

10. All men, things, and institutions must serve God, or be judged by Him.

We are either with Him or against Him. All things must be brought under His law-word and in doing so we will be blessed. Rebellion against an infinitely holy God will only bring judgment.

As Christians we should strive to bring every thought captive to Christ, to learn and apply God’s law-word to all areas of our lives, and to seek Him in all things. We must examine ourselves daily against the Word of God, ask Him to reveal to us our sins, and to wash us anew as we seek to cast off the trappings of this world and its humanistic and existential elements. Let our hearts and our lives be changed by our LORD and conformed to His will.

A Christian Manifesto taken from Roots of Reconstruction by R.J. Rushdoony, Chalcedon Report No. 225.

Cheryl L. Stansberry

Cheryl L. Stansberry is a Christian speculative fiction writer and blogger with a desire to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of the people.

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