Actually, a recent good summary of The Rules for a society that plans to not merely survive, but prosper in wealth, honour and safety can be found here: The Bounds of Love: An Introduction to God’s Law of Liberty by Dr. Joel McDurmon.
But this post is really focused on the recent post by Dr North.
For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it (Deut. 30:11-14).
To the astonishment of billions – including, I suspect, the solid majority of those who call themselves Christians – God really does expect us to obey him.
This means that there are actual blessing – on earth, as well as in the after life – for obedience, and actual curses – on earth, as well as in the after life – for disobedience.
Will wonders never cease?
When God speaks to man, He speaks from His position as the sovereign Creator of the universe. He is transcendent. Yet because man is made in God’s image, God can speak to him as a Person who is present with man. He speaks to man as a master speaks to a servant, and man can hear God’s voice from within his own spirit. Paul writes to Christians in Rome: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16). Man’s problem is not lack of understanding; it is lack of obedience (Rom. 2:14-15).
God speaks. To speak authoritatively, He must communicate. He communicates in words, sentences, and thoughts. He fully understands Himself. The Spirit of God has exhaustive knowledge of God. Thus, the Spirit communicates the truth of God to creatures. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (l Cor. 2:9-10).
The reason why there can be such intellectual efforts as creeds, systematic theology, and biblical law books is that God does communicate His Word–His deeply ethical Word–to fallen mankind. The hostility of modernists to creeds, systematic theology, and law books is their hostility to the idea that God communicates to man in terms of formulas, summaries, and rational perception. (Some fundamentalists have a similar hostility: “No creed but Christ, no law but love.”) The god of the modernists, especially the neo-orthodox, is the god of Immanuel Kant. This god is allowed to speak to man only from the Kantian noumenal realm of mystery, feeling, and “encounter.” He is not allowed to communicate directly in terms of the Kantian phenomenal: rational propositions, creeds, and specific commands.
Men want God to Just Shut Up.
That isn’t going to happen.
The Bible tells of a God who communicates a Word so clear that He holds all men responsible for believing and obeying it. He sets forth His requirements in simple propositions and commands. In Old Covenant Israel, He required the people of Israel to meet in Jerusalem each year, and in the seventh year–the sabbatical year of freedom–the law of God was to be read to all residents (Deut. 31:10-13). It was simple enough for even children to understand much of it: “And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the Loan your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it” (Deut. 31:13).
Increasingly, there will be nowhere to hide from God’s word. Not in the jungle; not in North Korea; not in Saudi Arabia. Not even in prison, soon enough.
It was common until the rise of dispensationalism for most Protestant churches to read the Ten Commandments publicly every so often. The reading of the law in the worship service is supposed to remind men of the requirements of the law as a whole, what is commonly called the moral law. Churches have correctly assumed that without a constant reminder of the specifics of the law, even the law engraved on the hearts of Christians (Heb. 8:10-13) will fail to bring them under God’s discipline. Even redeemed men need constant reminding.
Keep an eye for churches – especially house churches – that once again insist that the membership recite the Ten Commandments.
I believe that these churches will carry the future of the world.
Biblical courage is closely associated with a person’s faithful performance of the commandments of God. These commandments establish boundaries on men’s actions: “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Josh. 1:7).
This required confidence is a product of faithfulness to the specifics of the law. The man of God is told that God will be with him in his assignments, if only the man is faithful in doing God’s work God’s way. “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Deut. 31:6). God’s sovereign power serves as a cover for man’s failures. An obedient man can therefore be courageous and confident.
Cowardly Christian men, despising the Law, have led us to these rotting and dying atheistic cultures and decrepit secularist states.
These men, and these powers, are going to collapse and fail and die, ridden with the cancers and diseases they have welcomed.
In the fullness of time, they will join the powerless dead of the past, to be forgotten (secularist states and societies) or to suffer in hell, and then in the lake of fire (willfully disobedient, antinominian, cowardly, and man-fearful Christians)
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. — Revelations 21:8
There are no cowards in heaven… and they don’t get very far on earth, either.
Boundaries and Casuistry
If God speaks to men in summaries of His law, then men in authority must do the same to those under their authority. There must be man–made codifications of God’s Bible-revealed law. The division of intellectual labor throughout history is to be applied to the covenantal task of working out God’s law in history. There must be a systematic linking of the specific requirements of the biblical case laws to the overall plan of any organization. The specifics of these rules must reinforce the general goals of the organization.
In the Bible, we are given the Decalogue, the five-point covenant model, the case laws, and the story of Gods plan through the Old Covenant and early church. We are given both the specifics and the particulars. We are provided with written boundaries for human action. The Bible is the source of reliable information on the relationship in history between Gods covenantal law and His actions in history. It is, in this sense, a handbook of moral action. It reveals what the rules of life are in a universe created by, sustained by, and judged by God.
The creation of such a codification is the ethical art of casuistry: applying the general provisions of biblical law to the specific decisions of life. The decision-maker must be guided by his knowledge of the general plan. To help him, he is also given representative specific cases. Casuistry was a prominent aspect of Christian theology prior to the early eighteenth century, but it ceased in Protestant circles with Richard Baxter’s A Christian Directory (1673) and Samuel Willard’s A Compleat Body of Divinity (1726). Only with Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) was this ancient art revived.
By neglecting the ethical art of casuistry, Christians turned the world over to covenant-breakers. Eighteenth-century covenant-breakers substituted constitutionalism for biblical casuistry. Today, under the influence of Hegel and modern existentialism, there is little casuistry remaining. The courts are no longer predictable, and there is no widely accepted philosophy of law, except the law of flux: Darwinism.
In other words, there are very few predictable legal boundaries. This has made it difficult for businesses to survive. They must pay too much to lawyers to guess what “the book” of civil law really says. It has led to a legal revolution, the triumph of administrative law. It has led to the rule of government bureaucracy over private profit management.
“By neglecting the ethical art of casuistry, Christians turned the world over to covenant-breakers.”
Yes, our forefathers chose to throw away the Law in the name of pleasure and political favours.
“It ain’t stealing if the majority votes for it!”
“It is We The People who are the Source of the Law… not some God in the sky!”
“With God gone, we can do whatever we want!”
No, what happens is that we get an unlimited tyranny, where the State can take and kill and rape and lie just as it pleases… and “The People” it works for isn’t you or me, but the Chosen Few who have their hands on the money, the media, academia, the courts, and the mechanical tools of politics.
But, as it is the foolish Christians of the past who chose to throw away the Law, it will be the wise Christians of the future – weary of being spat upon by Our Betters, tired of the slave chains of the Total State, and well aware of the failing promises of The Leadership – who will once again submit to God, and so cease to fear wealthy and powerful men.
(Sure, technology will help in the advance of Christian liberty from the chains of the Secularists who despise them, deeply and absolutely. But just having children and raising them to fear God (instead of sacrificing them to the atheistic Moloch-State) is going to be a huge help as well. “If you want your people to live, have more people… unlike the abortion- & perversion-loving enemies of God.”
But more than even this, what is needed is courage – a deep trust in God – and prayerful action, in public and in the real world. The System hates Christians: but God loves those who obey Him. And it’s the System that is rapidly aging, run by incompetents, and hurtling into bankruptcy and irrelevance…)
The voice of autonomy is the voice of impotence in any organization.
True. Men must recognize and work with others, if they plan to win: and working with others in a shared endeavor demand some level of hierarchy. “Some lead, and others serve.” – this is true in Family, Church, State, even Business.
This is the business application of a fundamental biblical principle, one which has sustained the Church for almost two millennia:
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence (I Cor. 1:26-29).
To accomplish this goal of empowering ordinary people, God provided the ultimate operations manual: the Bible.
The power of the elite circles of well-connected wicked men is drastically overrated.
The good guys are going to win.
Get ready for it.