Guest essay R.J. Rushdoony
For several administrations now, American presidents have been telling us that it is their purpose to be “a president of all the people” and the champion and spokesman of all. Is this a valid goal?
Should the president stand “for the people” or for God’s law and justice? Should he be the representative of capital and labor, farmer and professional man, criminal and victim, homosexual and lesbian, and defend the “rights” of all as they see them? The White House has increasingly seen itself in this role.
The Bible, however, sees the role of the civil authority as of necessity a religious one, representing God’s justice as set forth in God’s law (Deut. 17:18-20). Civil office is a ministry of justice (Rom. 13:4), called upon to execute God’s law with respect to good and evil. God has ordained two ministries. The ministry of grace has as its duty the proclamation of God’s Word: this is the church’s calling. The ministry of justice has the duty of applying God’s Word to criminal and civil affairs: this is the state’s calling.
The Bible does provide for grass roots government, with civil authorities or elders ruling from the local level on up, at first chosen by Moses, and then by the people (Deut. 1:13-17). These men, however, were to rule without respect of persons and in terms of the Word of God.
Older statues of justice always portray justice as a blindfolded person. The blindfold is with respect to man. Justice must be oblivious to the status of men, whether rich or poor, and always mindful of God’s law.
What our presidents are saying, when they declare themselves to be the “president of all the people” and mindful of every “right;’ is that justice must have no blindfold with respect to man. For them, justice wears an inner blindfold with respect to God and His Word. The result is no justice at all.
From A Word in Season Volume 2 by R. J. Rushdoony
The late Rev. Doctor R.J. Rushdoony (1916-2001) was the founder of Chalcedon Foundation and a leading theologian, church/state expert, Christian education and home school advocate and legal expert, and author of numerous works on the application of the whole Word of God—Biblical Law—to society.
© 2015, Used by Permission