Why Go To Lawless Courts?

Lawless pagan courts, that loathe who you are, and despise what you stand for?

Lazy Christians, people who just don’t care about justice, and worthless servants who are COMPLETELY SATISFIED with Satan’s rule — so long as their own rice bowl is safe — are not expected to care.

Christians who place justice and the Kingdom of God over power, control, and safety are going to have to do something about it.

This is the time of small victories, small things, small-scale reconstruction. The zone of authority of God’s word will have to start small as well, in bringing justice in family matters, intra-Christian disputes and merely financial matters.

To be granted great authority, handle small matters well, pleasing the eyes of the Lord who watches your every move, hears your every word.

Now I can get to Rushdoony’s words on Power and Authority.


From:
Church Law
Power and Authority
Dr. R.J. Rushdoony

—<Quote begins>—

Our scripture is 1st Corinthians 6:1-3, Power and Authority. 1st Corinthians, the 6th chapter, verses 1-3. Power and Authority.

“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

This sentence: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world” Can be translated, as it has been by modern translators: “Do ye not know that the saints are to manage the world?” the word judge here has the same sense as in the book of Judges in the Old Testament; the book of those who governed Israel. And thus very clearly, the whole point here is that the early church was told that they should not go to the pagans and the pagan courts for judgement. They should go to their own authorities.

Now when Saint Paul wrote these words he was not writing anything new. It was a new matter to the Corinthians because the Corinthians included many Gentiles, but to any Jew it was a familiar statement.

To this day, in many Jewish communities, there is no resort in any conflict between Jews to outside courts. This particularly true among Orthodox Jews. They resort to their own religious courts. The judgment that is given is binding, even though it may involve thousands of dollars. Even though it may involve great properties. Thus Paul, in writing to the Corinthians was simply transferring from what was a practice in the Old Testament, a practice in Israel, of Palestine at that time, and a practice in the early church, to the Gentile Christians. And this practice continued among them until such time as Civil courts became Christian in their law.

—<Quote ends>—

Justice is defined by the law-book of God. Not from the word of powerful and politically-connected men.

Even five year olds who fear God make better judges than fifty year olds who don’t.

For one thing, believing five-year-olds are not interested in filling mass graves for The People, or Keynesian financial theory, or sheltering too-big-to-fail banks. They also have a godly sympathy/empathy for the homeless and the poor that grown-ups largely don’t share.

“The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good — anyway, to do something to us or to make us something. Hence the new name ‘leaders’ for those who were once ‘rulers’. We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, ‘Mind your own business.’ Our whole lives are their business.”
― C.S. Lewis, Some Everyday Thoughts

Ah, grand old man, you don’t know the half of it.

Fortunately, the current set of Mighty Men are as doomed as all the others. But that’s the easy part.

The hard part is teaching Christians to stop crying out for more Mighty Men who will save them. The hard part is finally taking responsibility for our own lives, our own world. Facing a well-earned loss without wailing about how unfair the world is, seeing others – yes, even pagans! – prosper without indulging in envy or jealousy.

Help your neighbour, help yourself.

Free your neighbour, free yourself.

—<Quote begins>—

The point of the whole requirement was that the courts of the world that had not been affected at all by Gods law, had no sense of justice. How shall we understand that?

Well, let’s look back into the ancient world, to Homer. Your humanists exalt Greek society, and Greek civilization, and Homer ostensibly gives us the classical, the heroic period of Greek life. It represents in the eyes of humanistic scholars something of an ideal. When we go to Homer we can find a great deal that is outrageous to any Christian conscience. But instead of going to the more outrageous episodes, let us take one that comes from the end of the Odyssey, and is something that is rarely ever remarked about. Odysseus, or Ulysses, after having fought in the Trojan wars, wanders for many, many years, experiences a great many interesting adventures before he turns up again at home. Now we would assume that anyone that long-lost, as far as his family knew, would have been presumed to have been dead. But not so in this case. During this long period, when the other soldiers who had fought in the Trojan war had returned home, and resumed their family responsibilities, it was assumed by these many persons, at home, that Ulysses or Odysseus was dead. Therefore, because he left a very wealthy estate, a great many men, many of them far, far younger than his presumed widow, began to pay court to her.

She however, stalled all of them. During the time that they were paying court, and his young son was growing up meanwhile to manhood, she was not in any position to throw her weight around, because many of those who were paying court were from some of the most prominent families in the community. As a result, while they were within the house of Odysseus or Ulysses day after day, they made themselves very much at home. Odysseus had fifty slave girls. They raped 12 of them, and treated them thereafter as their own private property as it were whenever they came onto the premises, ate food, and banqueted as they courted Penelope.

Finally of course Odysseus returns home, and together with his son Telemachus he wipes out all these suitors. But then, the two of them take the twelve slave girls who had been raped, and they hung them. There was no fault in the girls. It is very clearly admitted in the text of Homer that these girls had not been the offenders, they had been offended against. 

But their presence was shameful to Odysseus and Telemachus. It reminded them of the insult they had endured. SO they hung them, and no one thought anything of it.

Now the point in citing Homer is this: the only concept of justice that existed in Homer was that a man should do what he pleased. If he was strong enough. And if it was on his own property, involving what was his. It never occurred to anyone that there might be anything wrong in hanging these 12 girls. The only trouble he got into was that some of the suitors came from some of the wealthiest families in the community.

He had the power to do what he wanted with what was his own, but then there might be quite a coalition of angry men against him, so he decided to take another journey and leave his wife Penelope alone for, who knows how many years, because the story ends there. The law, in other words, had no higher reach than man. The world of Homer was a world in which justice was whatever any man said it was in his own domain, or whatever state said it was within its domain. There was no concept of a higher justice, above and beyond men.

—<Quote ends>—

Plenty of lawless pagans – more than a few, sitting in the pews or at the pulpit – are more than happy with this situation, “so long as it’s OUR guy in the power chair.”

Unlike Marxist and Darwinians, Christians understand that there is a law above that of powerful men. It’s time we worked for it… and bring it about, too!

—<Quote begins>—

“But,” Saint Paul says: “The saints are to manage, to govern the world in terms of Gods law, which means they must know that law.” Now this brings us to the problem of power and authority. Because the whole question of law is a question of power and authority. Leopold and Loeb were denying both the power and the authority of God. Plato was affirming the power and the authority of the state. The question of authority is inseparable therefore from law, especially from law in any biblical sense.

—<Quote ends>—

The Church has spent the last 300 years, at least since Luther and Calvin, pouring contempt on the Law of God.

And now we stand, our mouth agape, at the rampant injustice and lawlessness all around us. Gutting our liberty, burning down our wealth, all at the arbitrary word of some Expert or Leader or Judge who enjoys and profits from centralized power, shifting the costs to the Little People.

To the univocal approval of the press, as always.

It’s about time – long past time – that Christians started taking the Laws of God seriously.

Yes, even the Mosaic quarantine laws, where those who are sick had to stay in their homes, but the rest of society was free to live their life.

—<Quote begins>—

Before we continue to discuss the question of authority, let us analyze the meaning of authority. In the dictionary sense it is: “The right to command and to enforce obedience, the right to act officially.” The origin of the word authority is the Latin “Augio”: to increase. This is a very interesting fact. Because authority has a natural increase to it. True authority prospers and abounds, it increases; the more a person exercises true authority, the more he increases in that true authority. The more you hear, for example, anyone faithfully expound scripture, the more authority his statement has with you. The more you go to a doctor you find reliable and trustworthy, practicing medicine in terms of basically sound concepts, the more his authority increases. In other words, the moral authority is true to itself, the more it increases. The more your father or your employer, or anyone in authority over you exercises that authority in terms of a basically faithful concept to what it is, the greater his authority becomes. 

Now power and authority are not identical. They are very closely related, but they are not identical. Power is strength, it is force. Power can and very often does exist without authority. The power of Odysseus and Telemachus was a very real power, but it lacked authority in any Biblical sense.

Rome, in the days of Saint Paul, had very real power. it had formal authority in that it was legitimate government in terms of succession, but it was illegitimate in the sight of God. To make the illustration modern, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon had formal authority. They were properly elected, they held office in terms of civil law, but they did not have true authority because they did not rule in terms of God. We have a requirement to obey their formal authority, but we must recognize that essentially what they have is a formal authority, and very great power, but not true authority in terms of the word of God, because they pay no attention to it.

Denis de Rougemont has very ably cited the difference between power and authority. He writes and I quote: “One does not become a father by stealing a child. One can steal the child, not paternity. One can steal power, not authority.”

The authority that God requires of us, must come from Him. We cannot exercise any authority except in terms of His word. Jesus Christ declared: “All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.” And in Jesus Christ there is the perfect coincidence of power and authority. All the authority He has, He has total power commensurate with that total authority. The church is required to “teach all men and nations to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” 

But in our world today there is no coincidence of power and authority, not even an approximation. And as power becomes divorced from Godly authority, it becomes progressively demonic. Thus, a father has authority over a child. Over his wife. But if he begins to abuse that authority and exercise it illegitimately, to abuse them, to take advantage of them, to beat them, then that power is separated from His true authority. And the greater the gap between power and authority becomes, the more demonic that power becomes.

Christians therefore must seek the approximation of power and authority in society, in their lives, and in their imagination. And at this point, many Christians go astray.

—<Quote ends>—

Nobody else is going to even try to restrict and limit power to due authority. It’s all “Dear Leader/The Experts/The Bureaucracy will save us!”

Only (a few) Christians are even aware of the question. Obviously, it will be our work to get the spade work done.

Nobody else will do it, as nobody else cares. The only thing modern culture has to offer, from either the left or the right, is “Obey The Leader. Follow the Consensus.”

God expects better of us than that.

—<Quote begins>—

This problem can best be illustrated by what one very fine man mentioned as he was discussing some of his own thinking. It suddenly came to him that some of his day dreams were satanic. Why? Being an intense conservative, and a man who, as a Christian conservative was giving a lot of money, a lot of time, energy, effort, to try and fight communism in this country and trying to fight socialism; he said that he came suddenly to the recognition that what he was daydreaming about was having enough power to line up all the communists and all the subversives and executing them. And enough power to convert all the other people suddenly to become Christians, and to make this the wonderful country it should be. That was his daydream. And it suddenly came to him that he was wrong. That his dreaming was in fact satanic.

I had been speaking on the temptations of Christ. Satan tempted Christ to compel belief by miracles, and to provide security from problems miraculously. And that was exactly what he was day dreaming about, to compel faith and to provide security from problems miraculously. 

And so the recognition came to him: “I am fighting something satanic out there, but in the course of waging war against it, I am myself becoming satanic in my daydreams.” And he was right. Because he was separating the concept of power from authority. He was not making the two together as scripture requires. […]

—<Quote ends>—

Power without a price.

Stones into bread.

Such are the satanic dreams of men.

And some of those satanic dreams reside in the minds of Christian men.

For only the very best of reasons. As always.”

Be careful out there.

—<Quote begins>—

And so the recognition came to him: “I am fighting something satanic out there, but in the course of waging war against it, I am myself becoming satanic in my daydreams.” And he was right. Because he was separating the concept of power from authority. He was not making the two together as scripture requires. But then he raised a discerning question. He said: “Is the alternative then merely the way of conversion and love, without any law order and coercion, and without miracles? Or do miracles, laws, and coercions somehow have a place?” That was a thoughtful question and a difficult one. But scripture does deal with it.

In Matthew 13:58 we are told that Jesus in his own country Nazareth did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. The miracles were not conditional upon belief, He performed some. His power was entirely from Himself, it was not faith healing. But the purpose of His miracles was to glorify God. It was a part of Gods governing care over His own. So miracles have a place. God again and again has used miracles to deliver his saints, whether Elijah, or Moses, or the elect in the New Testament.

Similarly, there is a place for coercion. Justice and law require it. But, if there is not a people with faith, all the coercion in the world will not maintain and develop a social order. It is an impossibility. If tomorrow all the internal and external enemies of the United States were miraculously destroyed, the major result would be further decline and decay in the United States. Then men would have a freedom to sin with impunity! The citizenry would not be changed. Thus, the point of the daydream was humanistic. Its purpose was national peace and freedom; it was man’s order, not Gods purpose that was in mind. 

The primary purpose of Gods miracles and of conversion is that man be reconciled to God, and that Gods purpose be furthered. Now, a by-product of this reconciliation of man with God is reconciliation of man with man and of man with himself. It is a freer country. It is peace and prosperity. But these things are by-products, they cannot be the goal.

Thus we cannot expect a society to prosper where power and authority are not brought together, where they do not work, one in harmony with the other. In our society they have separated. As a result our society has become demonic. But the requirement of our text is: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge, or manage, or govern the world?” This is the goal. Conversion is the starting point, Gods law is the means. The goal is that the reign of God prevail in the hearts of men and of nations.

And to that end, the word of God must be taught, and it must govern he hearts of men. The power and the authority of God must prevail in every realm. Let us pray.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we thank thee that as we see the powers around us become progressively more and more demonic, that it is Thy power which prevails. And that before Thee all the powers of this world are as nothing, and Thy power shall rule and over rule in the affairs of men. We Thank Thee our Father that Thou hast called us to authority and power in Jesus Christ, and we pray that in faithfulness to Thee and obedience to Thy word, we may grow in power and in authority. That we may bring things progressively under Thy power and authority, exercising dominion over them in Thy name, and subduing them, in terms of Thy word. Bless us to this purpose we beseech Thee, in Jesus name, amen.

—<Quote ends>—

If tomorrow all the internal and external enemies of the United States were miraculously destroyed, the major result would be further decline and decay in the United States. Then men would have a freedom to sin with impunity!

This is pretty much what happened across the West after the collapse of the Soviet Union, interestingly enough.

Well, really, after the collapse of Nazi Germany, the end of academically defendable White Supremacy, and the rapid end of the European Empires. The end of the Soviet Union only accelerated a process that was well under way.

But you knew that already.

The primary purpose of Gods miracles and of conversion is that man be reconciled to God, and that Gods purpose be furthered. Now, a by-product of this reconciliation of man with God is reconciliation of man with man and of man with himself. It is a freer country. It is peace and prosperity. But these things are by-products, they cannot be the goal.

When most Christians understand this…

When even a substantial minority of Christians understand this…

There will be a GREAT DEAL of changes, coming down the river.

We live in a Christ-centred universe.
Not a Man-centred one.

To reiterate:

The primary purpose of Gods miracles and of conversion is that man be reconciled to God, and that Gods purpose be furthered. Now, a by-product of this reconciliation of man with God is reconciliation of man with man and of man with himself. It is a freer country. It is peace and prosperity. But these things are by-products, they cannot be the goal.

Thus we cannot expect a society to prosper where power and authority are not brought together, where they do not work, one in harmony with the other. In our society they have separated. As a result our society has become demonic. But the requirement of our text is: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge, or manage, or govern the world?” This is the goal. Conversion is the starting point, Gods law is the means. The goal is that the reign of God prevail in the hearts of men and of nations.

And to that end, the word of God must be taught, and it must govern he hearts of men. The power and the authority of God must prevail in every realm. 

In Christ’s Name, by His Holy Spirit, Amen.

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