Our Threatened Freedom

Are We Using Language To Confuse Ourselves? (03:03)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:00 Are we using language to confuse ourselves? This is RJ Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:08 Too often in our time the terms we use to organize our thinking are created by status agencies and served to mislead us. One such set of terms aided by the Internal Revenue Service is ‘profit’ versus ‘non-profit.’ Profit-making activities are taxed. Non-profit enterprises and agencies are not. People come to classify activities in terms of these two terms as though they described reality instead of a status taxing category.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:44 Would it be not much more realistic to classify things without reference to the IRS? If the IRS were to disappear in the next decade, how useful would these terms be? After all, they have reference only to tax status.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:03 I submit that the terms ‘productive’ versus ‘non-productive’ are much more useful. Churches, schools, and libraries are non-profit, but they are at the same time among the most productive agencies civilization has ever known. To eliminate them would be to eliminate civilization. Civil government is emphatically non-profit. Often it is not productive of too much good, but when kept within its limits, can be productive of social order. The family is a non-profit community, but it is most emphatically a productive agency. Its decay is the decay of society and civilization.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:49 Because we have emphasized the profit versus non-profit perspective, we have tended to falsify our view of life. In every area, intellectual, industrial, and personal, we have downgraded the productive man in favor of the profiting man. Production has thus been displaced by administration, by the visible symbols of profitable power in church, university, state, and business, which have gained a [semnancy 00:02:19] over the productive mind and hand.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:23 Religiously speaking, this means that form has become more important than substance, and pragmatism has replaced theology. When we look at the world through categories governed by the IRS, we have beggared ourselves intellectually, and we have allowed the tax man rather than the Lord God to frame our thinking. We need to remind ourselves of Saint Paul’s words: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:58 This has been RJ Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom.

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

Learn more about R.J. Rushdoony by visiting: https://chalcedon.edu/founder