Total State, Total Church

Church history has been a failure in at least two important aspects. First, in most seminaries, it is the least respected subject and often the dullest. In this respect, I was privileged to be a student of Dr. George Huntston Williams, in whose hands church history was not only the most exciting subject but the focal point of Biblical and theological studies. Second, church history has been a failure in the sense that the church has commonly viewed the history of Christianity as an institutional history, as the development of ecclesiastical forms, power, and movements, all centrally controlled.

Nothing more clearly reveals the evil than the term “parachurch ministries.” Such ministries are resented by many churchmen; they are regarded as illegitimate because they are outside the control of the church. Whether a seminary, a college or university, a missionary group, a publication, a youth work, or anything else, it is regarded as morally wrong if not church controlled.

This is totalitarianism in the church. Just as the state seeks, when totalitarian, to have total power over all things, so the church totalitarians demand that no Christian work exist outside their control. Many such groups are Protestants who out-Rome even Rome at its lowest ebb: total control by the church is their goal.

Now, this was the dream of the pagan state. Nothing had the right to exist without its permission. No institution had the right to an independent existence; no unlicensed meeting could be held, and no unsupervised and nonregistered activity could take place.

The Failure of Church History
By R. J. Rushdoony

The Total Church and the Total State: both going down into the grave.

Too bad for those tyrants, both of whom has been rejected by God.

If they were blessed by God, we would see it. Instead, they are both cursed, and visibly so.

I wonder if they will ever figure out why.

Probably not, no more than the European aristocratic class ever grasped why they were destroyed.

Is it any wonder that both church and state are in disrepute? Both are marked by strong drives towards totalitarian controls. To cite one example, one large church, I have been told, has “a total program” for the Christian family. The children go to the church after school for guided help in homework. The parents come in the evening for a church dinner. Then, youth meetings, a nursery, special programs for all, young couples meetings, and more keep all safely in the bosom of Mother Church until bedtime. This is ecclesiastical totalitarianism. It is destructive of family life, and it is not Biblical.

The Failure of Church History
By R. J. Rushdoony

And, as noted in Rushdoony’s discussion on Dominion:

The call, therefore, throughout scripture to obey the Lord is a call to dominion. Obey. Harken unto my word. Give heed to my commandments. Why? Because as you are harnessed to my word, to my law-word, then you are able to exercise dominion. How absurd it is for preachers to demand obedience constantly in the church without a goal. Obey. But what for? What’s the answer? There is none. Obey, so you get to heaven, but that’s in the future. Obey for what?

Eighth Commandment: Dominion
by R. J.Rushdoony

Totalitarians are idolators.

Don’t be surprised, when God treats them as such.


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