With respect for the dead I walk silently past rows of their ‘tombstones’ in my library. ‘Quiet please!’ I draw closer to read the inscription on a dead friend’s headstone. I am mindful that I now stand in the presence of the humble but great. ‘Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin’; ‘LEX, REX, or The Law and the Prince, Samuel Rutherford’; ‘The Institutes of Biblical Law, Rousas John Rushdoony’; ‘The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer’; ‘Communist Eschatology, Francis Nigel Lee’, among a host of others, pass before my eyes. Yes, they being dead yet speaketh.Speaking better things than the blood of Abel, they were used mightily by God. Past heroes all.
We stand on the shoulders of giants, of men who spoke of Jesus and His Kingdom, His Covenant, as they sought to rebuild society in accordance with the blueprint of God’s infallible and inerrant Word. These past heroes wanted freedom, freedom for each of us as individuals, freedom from the tyrannical whims of popes and princes, and from all forms of unlawful governmental oppression. ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery’ Galatians 5:1.
Paradoxically, it is the Rule of Law that ensures us our freedom. In those nations influenced by Christ speaking in the whole Bible, e.g., in the West, justice is blind, which is to say that no one is above the law. Which Law? As my old professor’s bumper-sticker stated it: ‘God’s Law or Chaos!’ God’s Law teaches us how to love God and our neighbours as ourselves. Take, for example, the 8th Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ This applies to governments as well as individual citizens. Governments should not steal by overtaxing companies and individuals. Nor should companies and individuals steal by tax-cheating. With respect to the Decalogue, upon which Western Law is primarily based, in each Commandment ‘One and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden…’ Take the 5th Commandment for example: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother…’ ‘By father and mother … are meant, not only natural parents, but all superiors in age and gifts; and especially such as, by God’s ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family, church, or commonwealth’ Westminster Larger Catechism Q&A 124. It goes on then to list what the Bible says is the honour inferiors owe to their superiors and their sins against them, and what is required of superiors towards their inferiors and their sins against them. It even deals with how we ought to treat our equals. It would seem, that all this is either being ignored or has been forgotten, (if ‘Social Media’ is anything to go by!)
Needless to say, that contemporary ‘Culture Wars’ are disturbing the peace, and are causing conflict and confusion as ‘Traditionalists’ and ‘Progressives’ seek to preserve and/or model society each according to their own image. The picture of society my past heroes had, was one in which every individual’s conscience would be bound only by the Word of God. That whether Family, Church, or State, all would be bound by God’s Law, i.e., as it applied to each of these respective spheres. In other words, my past heroes envisaged the principle of being ‘one nation under God.’
My past heroes have copies of their books in my library. But better yet, they have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!