Justice: an Alien Concept in a Secular State

From Liberty As An Ethical Necessity, by Mark Rushdoony

Justice vs. a Legal System

There can be only one sovereign and one standard of justice and the Christian must self-consciously identify God and His law as his standard of justice. We have no basis for distinguishing between righteousness as a moral, religious ideal and justice as a civil and legal fact. There is no such distinction in Scripture. The words translated as justice and righteousness in Scripture are interchangeable because they are the same in both Hebrew and Greek.

I have often warned people who go to court expecting “justice.” I tell them that justice is a Biblical concept. Today courts do not administer justice but only enforce positive law, which is whatever the legislature or the courts say it is. Justice, by any Christian standard, is excluded. Any reference to the law of God is regarded as tainting the jury and is grounds for a mistrial; no higher standard than the state’s law is tolerated. There is no such thing as justice outside the letter of the law or a court’s rewrite of that law. Man is the sovereign of positive law, but the only men who have any standing are those who write the laws and rule on them.

The current legal system is as worthless as it comes. Therefore, Christians must get serious about developing a standard of justice that will endure, after the current New Order goes down for the count.

To requote:

Any reference to the law of God is regarded as tainting the jury and is grounds for a mistrial; no higher standard than the state’s law is tolerated.

“Nothing above the State. Nothing outside the State. All under the State.”

Fascism is a bore… also, a waste of time… also, a waste of resources.

One of the foundational tenets of Christian Reconstruction is the validity of Biblical law except where its application is explicitly altered in Scripture itself. It is safe to say that Christian Reconstruction is impossible without Biblical law, also known as theonomy (from Greek theos, god, and nomos, law). Biblical law is the divine moral blueprint for all human activity, including our corrective work in an evil world we refer to as Reconstruction. Biblical law or theonomy is the antithesis of all subjective, ostensibly more spiritual forms of piety.

There are people who stand for God’s justice being active and a living thing, in the hear and now. And then there are the pious spiritualizers who really need to relocate to their Perfect Christian Government in Sweden or France or Iceland or the Netherlands, or whatever godless dreamworld of the Universal, Limitless Secular State we are supposed to aspire to.

Critics pounce on our reference to the word “law” and claim it is an affront to grace as though God’s law and grace could be in schizophrenic tension. The emphasis of both theonomy and theocracy, however, is theos. The first emphasis is not on the law but the certainty that it is of God, so the issue to theonomists boils down to the absolute authority, or sovereignty, of God.

Once you assume that God is sovereign, you must deny that attribute to all His creatures, so no man or institution can have anything but limited, subordinate, and delegated authority. A true theonomist places limits on all human authorities, whether church, state, parental, or spousal.

That’s the point: fixed, unchanging limits, set by the Law of God.

No secular State will ever tolerate any restrictions on it’s will to power. Naturally, you get impoverishing war, a welfare state promising all things to all people, delusional perversions, and economic bankruptcy as the result.

God’s people are to create a society better than this.

Responsibility and Liberty

In Scripture, the purpose of civil government was to be a “terror” or “wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Rom. 13:3,4). It was to address evil so as to allow (but not create) an environment conducive to godly life. This meant the godly had a liberty from the ungodly dominion of the wicked (such a Lamech in Gen. 4:18-24 or Nimrod the mighty hunter of Gen. 10:8).

If civil government tries to shift from a negation of evil to being the creator of a just order, its power must increase exponentially. In Scripture, the primary responsibility for justice was with the individual in the context of his various associations and responsibilities, so the laws are largely addressed to individuals: “Thou shalt …” Individuals are given great responsibilities, but also allowed great freedom.

Statist law seeks to create a world envisioned by its lawmakers, courts, and increasingly its bureaucrats. The law is seen as the creator of social order and justice. This requires policing power and the regulation of all people. Where government assumes responsibility for creating a social order, individual liberty must be replaced by regulation, reporting, and taxation. This shifts the individual’s responsibility and accountability from God to the state, and thus destroys liberty. Instead of being a terror to evildoers, the state wars against the innocent.

We already know that the State would kill/enslave everyone, everywhere, given the opportunity – and all in The Name of the People. Fortunately, it’s power and prestige is now on the downslope, a fact that will only become more apparent as its fall accelerates.

What should replace it as the organizing principle of our lives?

Jesus Christ and His Law-Word, of course!

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