The Law of God Repels Men

The Law-Word of God vs. His Enemies

Some quotes from Gary North and Gary DeMar’s Christian Reconstruction: What it is, What it Isn’t

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David knew the authority in history that the revealed law of God offers to those who take it seriously and conform themselves to it. He announced his reliance on biblical law and the tremendous advantage it gave him: wisdom. The law of God is a tool of dominion, a means of spiritual advancement, and the foundation of progress: personal, spiritual, intellectual, and cultural. This is the message of the 119th psalm, the longest passage in the Bible, a psalm devoted to praising the law of God.

[…]

The law of God repels men. It is a lamp unto their feet, but they walk in crooked paths. They resent the exposure that this lamp brings. They love the darkness, for their deeds are evil. They do not want to hear about God’s law. They do not want to believe that he who gains mastery over it and over himself in terms of it becomes the master of his environment.

One group of critics of biblical law believes that power, not biblical wisdom, is the basis of progress in history. They defend the power religion. The other group of critics believes that inward spirituality is alone the basis of progress, at least personal progress – the only progress they acknowledge. They look deep within themselves, adopt various spiritual disciplines, and seek to remove themselves from the material concerns of this world. This is the escape religion. They escape the exercise of authority as self-consciously as the other critics pursue power. But both groups are united on this: a rejection of God’s revealed law and the authority it brings to those who obey it. Both sides are antinomian. Both sides reject Christian Reconstruction.

[…]

Modern Christianity implicitly sings this hymn: “O, how hate I thy law; O, how hate I thy law; it is my consternation all the day.” It is the offense of Christian Reconstruction that its promoters call upon all men to reconsider God’s Bible-revealed law. This law is the only God-given, authoritative means of evaluation: self-evaluation first, and then the evaluation of everything else. God’s law tells us what God thinks of the works of self-proclaimed autonomous man: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6). It is not a pretty self-portrait, so autonomous men refuse to look at it. Meanwhile, Christians today are afraid to mention its existence, out of concern for the sensibilities of autonomous men, with whom they have an unspoken alliance.[1]

Nevertheless, covenant-breakers cannot escape the testimony of God in everything they think, see, and do. They know the truth, and they actively hinder it, to their own damnation.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold [back] the truth in unrighteousness;[2] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are dearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen (Romans 1:18-25).

Common Ground: Disinheritance

Each person is made in God’s image. This is the common ground among men – the only common ground. We are born the rebellious sons of the Creator God. We are all of one blood: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:24-26). We are all born as God’s disinherited children.

Christian Reconstructionists insist that there is no common ground among men other than this: the image of God. While all men know the work of the law (Romans 2:15), this knowledge is not enough to save them.[3] It brings them under God’s eternal wrath. They hinder in unrighteousness whatever truth they possess as men (Romans 1:18). The more consistent they are with their covenant-breaking presuppositions, the more they hate God’s law and those who preach it. The more consistent they become with their rebellious view of God, man, law, and time, the more perverse they become. They prefer to worship creatures rather than the Creator:

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment 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 (Romans 1:26-32).

This means that natural law theory is a myth, the creation of Hellenistic Greek philosophers to offer hope in a world in which the Greek city-state (the polis) had fallen to Alexander the Great and then to Rome. But if natural law theory is a myth, what can take its place? To what other standard can men safely cling if they reject the abiding authority of God’s law in history? Christian Reconstructionists have an answer: none. This answer is hated, rejected, and ridiculed by Christians in our day. This answer is the offense of Christian Reconstruction.


[1] See below, Chapter 9.

[2] Murray, Romans, I pp. 36-37.

[3] Ibid., I. pp. 74-76.

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