Peace, True and False

From: Church Law
R.J. Rushdoony

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Now before the fall, there was peace in Eden. In Eden there was peace between man and God, and between man and the animals and with all nature. This peace was broken by man’s sin. Now scripture tells us, Saint Paul declaring this in Romans 8:19-23, the whole of creation waits earnestly for the deliverance and the restoration which is to be worked by Christ, for the sons of God. That restoration begins with man’s restoration to life by the regenerating work of our savior. Man is then in Christ a new creation, so that in 2nd Corinthians 5:17 we read: “There is a new creation, wherever a man comes to be in Christ. What is old is gone, the new has come.”

This concept of peace is also a part of the doctrine of the Sabbath, of man’s rest in the Lord, and of the earth’s rest in the Lord. Now, this doctrine of peace as it appears in scripture, the vine and the fig tree, of man’s peace with God and then His peace with nature, is a very familiar image not only in scripture but in the history of law. The idea of man’s peace in God, became an important aspect of western law. 

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Christ brings peace….

… and not the Party and the Leader.

Unless you mean the peace of the slave, or the peace of the grave.

We are going to need the peace of the brave, of the man who upholds the Law, who expands Christ’s Kingdom regardless of the opposition.

First in his own life, then in his family, then in his neighbourhood and town.

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Dr. Keaton, an English scholar has written and I quote: “Another factor of importance which influenced the growth of the criminal law in the first century after the conquest was the concept of the king’s peace. In Saxon law, every free man had a peace, so also had the church, and the peace of God governed all holy days. For breaches of a person’s peace by the commission of a crime within it, compensation must be paid, as well as compensation to the victim or his kin. Above all other peace’s was that of the king, and even in Saxon times we hear of the efforts made by strong kings to preserve it, especially on the kings highway. In the hands of the royal administrators after the conquest, this proved a dynamic concept, and as (Napeland?) once expressed it Eventually the kings peace swallowed up the peace of everyone else. This happened in two ways, gradually the money payments in respect of the breach of peace of other persons ceased to be levied, whilst the conception of the kings peace was extended to the entire realm. Any serious breach, crime, thus became a breach of the kings peace and a felony. Already by the time of Braxton in the 13th century it had become a common form to charge and accuse in the following terms: “Whereas the said person was in the peace of God and our Lord the king, there came the said person, feloniously as assailant.” Etc.

Even today, a person accused of felony is charged that: ”he did feloniously and contrary to the peace of our sovereign lady the queen, etc.” It was the characteristic of outlaws that they had put themselves out of the kings peace, so that every man’s hand was against them. Moreover the kings peace was at first conceived as existing so long as the king was alive.” 

Now this passage summarizes a very long and extensive and very important history. In terms of this biblical doctrine of man’s peace in Christ, every man under his vine and fig tree, and Christ as the true vine, the legal doctrine was that every man had his peace. And your peace extended to the full extent of your property and your person. Thus, anyone who crossed your property line without your permission was violating your peace. Anyone who robbed you or assaulted you was violating your peace. And he had to make legal compensation in terms of the court, for a violation of John Doe’s peace. And this was the charge filed against him, that he had violated your peace.

This came straight out of scripture. Your peace was your own, under God. You as a Christian man, having been redeemed by Christ, had been established in eh peace that God had created for man in Eden. You were then an ambassador of Christ in this world; you had extra-territorial rights as it were. No one could transgress on that.

This was a very important legal concept. But as Dr. Keaton says, the idea of the kings peace took over, and it swallowed up every other peace. In other words, the state said: “It is not a violation of your peace, it is a violation of our peace. It is not a violation of Gods peace, it is a violation of the Kings peace.” And so the state said finally: “You are not entitled to restitution, we are. The offense is not against you, it is against the monarch.” And so statism, claimed to be the source of peace, and eliminated Christ’s peace, Gods peace, man’s peace in Christ. 

And the difference of course, between peace when it is viewed as an aspect of Gods order in Christ, and peace as a product of the state, the difference between these two perspectives is vast.

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Ah yes, the Enlightenment and the Will of Powerful Men, the Superior Man, the Right Sort of Man.


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Let us now look a little further into the doctrine of peace. Peace is a translation of a Hebrew word, Shalom. We have it in ‘Jerusalem’. Salem. It is the greeting in Hebrew. Instead of saying hello, it is: ‘Shalom’. Peace. Now, peace, shalom, in Hebrew, comes from the root ‘to be whole’ wholeness, soundness, health, well-being, prosperity, peace as opposed to war, concord as opposed to strife.

As a result the Biblical doctrine of peace is very closely related to the Biblical doctrine of salvation. This is why throughout the New Testament, as well as in Old Testament prophesy, the culmination of Christ’s work is peace. And Christ even in the midst of trouble and of strife and turmoil, gives us peace. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Peace, thus, is a present possession in Christ; and it is a future possession as Christ’s reign is extended throughout the world. 

Peace is thus, that order of peace and prosperity, a salvation of health, which flows out of our reconciliation to God in Jesus Christ, and our restoration to life under God. Life in Eden was a life of peace with God, therefore peace with yourself, peace with nature. The source of that peace is the primary relationship with God, and Christ having restored it, all other forms of peace shall flow out of that peace we have with God, in Jesus Christ.

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The peace we need to go about the business God has ordained for us.

Instead of having our time, wealth, liberty, life crippled and stolen by Our Betters, for whatever reason they can dream of to further expand on their Superiority over the Inferiors.

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Statist peace, on the other hand, is simply an absence of hostility. It means that war has ended. That there has been a suppression, perhaps, of criminal activity. The state cannot regenerate man. It cannot even establish the limited peace it aims at, because the power of the state is essentially the power of the sword. The state cannot order men to love one another, or to live in peace, and when it tries to do so it only aggravates the situation.

The state therefore can never bring about peace. As a matter of fact, the state, when it tries to make peace its goal, only destroys the peace of citizens and usurps Gods peace and the free-man’s peace in Christ. The state can only be an instrument of peace when it serves Gods law and is a ministry of justice and no more. When it acknowledges that peace can only come when man is redeemed by God in Christ. 

Thus the doctrine of peace is a very important one in law, because it is first of all important in terms of the doctrine of salvation. The vine and the fig tree imagery are thus essential to scripture. They are God centered doctrines, God centered symbols, setting forth the peace, the salvation, the fulfillment of man in prosperity, in joy, and in wellbeing. In God through Christ. There is no peace, no fulfillment for man in any other way.

Therefore Scripture declares: “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest. Whose water cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”

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Believe it!

For one thing, war against external enemies (on occasion) and internal enemies (as broadly defined as is politically useful) is the health of the state.

The more scares and enemies can be dreamt up, the more the fearful population will look to the Leader and the Elites for their salvation.

And the more lives, liberty and wealth the Lessers will give up to their Betters, for the dream of safety and peace.

Or, at least that’s the plan.

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Let us pray. Almighty God our heavenly Father, we thank Thee that Thou hast called us to Thy peace through Jesus Christ, Thy son our savior. By whose blood atonement has been made, and we are now at peace with Thee, peace with ourselves, and peace with one another. We thank Thee our God that this peace shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. That our peace in Thee is a peace which extends to our possessions, to every many under his vine and fig tree. That all those who violate our peace in Christ, Thy hand is raised against them as evil doers. We thank Thee our God that having given us an inner peace in Jesus Christ, Thou shalt in due time give unto Thy saints an outer peace, as Thy reign is fulfilled among men. Make us therefore Thy servants oh Lord, unto the end that all these things may be accomplished, that we growing in Thy grace and peace, may extend the realm of Thy peace among men. Bless us to this purpose we beseech Thee in Jesus name, amen. 

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Real peace – as opposed to the near absence of conflict – comes from the hand of God.

It can be found nowhere else.

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