Episode #2 – Universal Education, Trade, and the People of the Book
Join us this month as we discuss Rushdoony’s Easy Chair Episode discussing Deconstruction in Reading, the importance of the teaching of a trade in education, and how reading is important in creating people of the Book.
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Narrator: The reconstructionist radio podcast network presents, The Easy Chair in Practice. Join us as we revisit sermons, lectures and discussions by RJ Rushdoony, and give examples of how the doctrine and teachings of Rushdoony are to be put into practice, and how Christian reconstruction is to be implemented today, and in the future.
Pastor McIntyre: The Easy Chair in Practice podcast is brought to you by the GCS Apprenticeship Program. For more information, visit gcsapprenticeship.com.
Jeremy Walker: This is the Easy Chair in Practice, Episode #2 for May, 2017. My name is Reverend Jeremy Walker and with me today is also Pastor Ellsworth McIntyre and Reverend Aaron Slack. The topic we’re going to be discussing today is universal education, trade, and people of the Book. Now, in preparation for this episode as we do normally, we are going over some materials of from Rushdoony. Either lectures, Easy Chair tapes, books he’s written, position papers he’s written and so for this episode, for this month, we’ve went over a couple things. One was an Easy Chair episode, which I definitely recommend anybody go to Chalcedon? Website and you can find it there, which is Chalcedon.edu and the Easy Chair tape was #271 entitled, Deconstruction. It was recorded on August 7, 1992 where he did an interview with Sam Blumenfeld, so very good stuff, definitely go and listen to that for yourself.
We also are covering not just a Easy Chair episode in the content of topics that are being discussed, but also one of the books Rushdoony put together called Roots of Reconstruction, and his position papers he had put together into one volume and position papers where things he’d written, articles and reviews he’d written for the Chalcedon report and that was between 1965 roughly around to the middle of 1989. You can pick up that book, Roots of Reconstruction also on the Chalcedon website at Chalcedon.edu or you can also go to Amazon and look for Roots of Reconstruction by R. J. Rushdoony and you can also find that.
In the book, Roots of Reconstruction, we’re going to be covering the introduction and the first position paper that he wrote, which was called Conflict of the State. Now to get us started with this, give us some of the content we’re going to be discussing, talking about. So let’s just go ahead and start with something that I think Rushdoony was very interesting when he mentioned Christian reconstruction, and in the introduction, The Roots of Reconstruction, he had written that Christian reconstruction, the term was setting forth that the purpose of Chalcedon or the Chalcedon foundation was to apply God’s word to every area of life and thought and to summon the redeemed to God for the responsibilities in Christ our King. He also said that the irrelevance of too many churchmen is to abandon the dominion mandate and therefore, it has made the church irrelevant in our time. So, that’s going to be some of the stuff we’re going to cover here.
So to get us started, I’d like to begin just discussing universal education, why it’s important, how it came about and so, Pastor McIntyre if you can get us started, discussing this concept of universal education of why it’s important, then it’s a good place for us to start.
Pastor McIntyre: Universal education [inaudible 00:03:36] is known as the father. Universal education is necessary. It is necessary because the application of God’s law is the thing that’s left out of church teaching of [inaudible 00:03:51], where all they talk about is making a profession of faith and being sure that you’re going to heaven. It leaves out the application of the law to the here and now and the relationship between keeping the law and obeying the law and the reward that we’re going to receive in heaven. The church has been in this position off and on through the ages.
Rushdoony points out in his introduction that the beginning of Christianity, the church did found the schools, and did found the universities and did set the universal education but then it quickly died out. Then it was revived again by Luther and to today in our society, it has declined to the point where most people are not literate beyond the third grade. When I did my dissertation, it was fifth grade and falling. It’s about third grade now for the successful high school graduate from public schools and the first thing I’d like to point out is that the state is in control of education in our day, not the church. Church has abandoned it in favor of salvation alone. Salvation being defined as, in terms of love without reference to God’s law.
As consequence why we have Christians who adapt to the common opinion of the day, which is God is love and the golden rule, so called, just doing whatever doesn’t hurt someone but there’s no applications to the self. There’s no applications to your trade and as a consequence, Christianity has become, in Rushdoony’s words, irrelevant because it doesn’t have anything to say to us about how we should live in the here and now and how we should apply to it. He made the point that the man or father who doesn’t teach his son to keep the law and the trade, teaches his child to become a thief. It’s interesting that he made that application because if you don’t know the ten commandments and that was very much the case in the Presbyterian church of my youth, the ten commandments was not taught.
If you’d stop somebody coming out of my Presbyterian church, including myself, [inaudible 00:06:36] ask me where the ten commandments were in the Bible, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. Nor would I be able to tell you what they are. This is exactly was Luther found in his day, that even priests in his day did not know the law, did not teach the law. As a result, why they became irrelevant very, very quickly, just as we’re becoming irrelevant today and just as they did in the time of Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine was in favor of teaching the law and teaching the commandments but they quickly fell away from that into our Arminianism. Arminianism very much was, what was ever what felt good, whatever was the majority opinion, was the idea of what love was. Love was defined in the Bible as achieving of the commandments of our creator.
First apostle, John chapter five goes into that in detail. But if you don’t have a definition, keeping the law as the commandment of God, then you fall into emotional definitions of what love is. And so, in our day if you talked to the average Christian, what it simply means is doing something, which makes your neighbor feel not guilty, makes him feel like he’s okay and that all he has to do is get along and don’t disturb anybody. The pastors that fell into that as well, pastors would teach the commandments not at all, but teach simply, love, affection, salvation. Making a professional face and make sure you’re going to heaven. It doesn’t have anything to say about the trade that a person is going through.
Rushdoony said, teach law and the trade. For us you teach your child how to lead. And that has to be defined someway too. If a man’s calling say is, being a carpenter as the lord’s calling was, if he’s a carpenter, he’s only going to do what is required to be accepted by the majority of people as a good carpenter. He is not going to be concerned about earning a full reward in the judgment seat of God. As a result, whenever he gets to the judgment seat of God, he’s going to be very, very much surprised that he doesn’t have a full reward because he has stolen from his fellow man his best skills. He has stolen from himself and he has stolen from his children, which he has not set an example for or practiced his trade biblically. So, without the law we don’t know what a biblical workmanship is all about.
It’s been well said that our profession of faith is our trade. Trade also means that there has to be a profit. If there were unprofitable servants, why you’re not going to be expected to have a full reward at the judgment seat of God. Hence, you’re a thief. A thief from your family, a thief passing on your education to your children, and a thief from God. The definition of the Bible is that you should labor as unto the Lord, not unto what is required as of us as general opinion of your fellow man. We can’t compare ourselves by ourselves. We need to compare ourselves with the standard Christ has set for us. That is to show love to our fellow man by doing our trades to the very best of our ability biblically. Not to the best of our ability as thought acceptable by the majority of people.
As a consequence, universal education is needed. Needed to understand how to think biblically. A biblical carpenter is much different from a carpenter who’s just doing whatever necessary to keep his job and to keep his well being with his fellow man. Education should be a trade, which is acceptable not only to your fellow man but most importantly, what is important to Christ Jesus. And that is the necessary thing to be taught. At Grace Community Schools for example, we teach the children to think biblically and that is the question that needs to be considered. What is the way that we put in practice that R. J. Rushdoony was talking about, and what practice is, is to think biblically?
For example, at Grace Community Schools, we teach the commandments twice a day with applications to every student. So, that the student understands what is absolute and what is determinative of the truth and what is determinative of what is being genuine love is to do things biblically, which is above and beyond the acceptance of what is commonly thought of as acceptable.
The way to do that works is to have the children recite, have the children say the commandments. Have the children answer questions like, how is this biblical? How is that? For example, if you say to a student with examples from the Bible, how does that quote come from the Bible, and how does the Bible critique the work that we have. And the critique of course has to be from the Bible for the Bible is sovereign standard of what is good, what is right, what is just, what is beautiful, and the standard of all those things cannot be taught without teaching God’s law. So, that’s what a practiced reconstruction. Reconstruction is every man doing his work as unto the Lord, not as unto his fellow man. Not as unto what is generally expected as good, but as unto the Lord.
That kind of biblical thinking is very, very easy to teach to children, particularly the early ages as we do at Grace Community. There’s an old saying among educators what passes for the lip is truth. So if the child from an early age is saying commandments, saying what is biblical, he will come to believe that, because he has said so over his lip. In other words, he will defend that. The consequences that you walk into a classroom today in a preschool or any school, the commandments are not even spoken about, so therefore the child doesn’t have a chance to say what is true. For example, if you use the Socratic or Socrates Method, saying okay kids, we’re going to study today what is good work and you do not add anything except humanistic comparisons of what is good work.
What is thought of as good work by your fellow man, that’s not biblical thinking. That is non-biblical thinking. That’s humanism and the child already was a born in humanism. He begins with original sin, thinking whatever he thinks is true. And if you allow him to express first of all, what he thinks, then he’ll end up all the time in the class defending his point of view, not God’s point of view. For that reason, we have the 23rd psalm, we have the Lord’s Prayer, we have the 10 commandments spoken again and again by the child. Teacher declares the truth and the student speaks back to the instructor what the instructor has said is truth so that the point of humanism is not introduced at all. He is learning to pray from the very early age.
Truth is what the bible says it is. Truth is the standard of right and wrong, the standard of what is good, what is perfect, what is reward-able as God’s standard, and he will begin to think that term from a very early age, but unless you go about it in that fashion, you’ll only end up reinforcing the child’s humanism. So, for that reason, the Bible history, Saint Augustine standard was very much like the standard for trying to teach our school. And the standard of Luther was very much like we’re trying to teach our school. But that standard is not taught today in schools at all. They’re not being taught to read the Bible, buy the Bible, think the Bible. They have to do that by drill, by recitation and by the teacher declaring the truth over and over and over again.
The explanation for the truth given in terms of humanism, for example, like Benjamin Franklin saying, truth is the best policy. That is not the way the Bible teaches. Truth is what the Bible says it is, and that has to be repeated by the student continuously in order for it to become part of his thinking. Also, about the idea of universal education, is that the child ends up adopting the Bible’s point of view as his own because as it comes over his lip as he says it again and again, he adopts it as his truth and he will defend it. He will put it into practice, otherwise he’s coming short of the biblical standard.
This is what we do at Grace Community Schools, and it’s not so difficult to do. Declare to the student, what is the truth, make him repeat it back to you what is the truth, and he’ll come to adopt it as the truth. That is the very beginning of universal Christian education and reconstruction.
Jeremy Walker: And Aaron, you’ve done quite a bit of research and discussion in our years of working with schools and teachers and writing your book, A Full Reward. So, this concept of universal education, do you see a universal education as far as inside the schools. I would like to focus on reading because the episode of deconstruction yesterday, we talked quite extensively about reading and do you think that the schools, the governmental schools, public schools whatever you call them, are they actually interested in teaching reading itself?
Aaron Slack: Well, we certainly have universal education today. Except, we don’t usually call it universal education, we call it compulsory education, which is, you have to educated by the state. It’s not going to become universal education, it’s just like goals of the state education are vastly different. People talk about the failing school system but I’ve already before that, don’t think the schools are actually failing at doing what they want to do. They’re just not teaching reading. They’re not teaching, certainly not teaching a trade or anything practical of this nature. It’s just indoctrination of the state’s doctrines, and even worse, what little education kids get from, too many kids get from their parents or from their churches, it goes right along with this humanist state education.
There’s no contradiction between the two. You look at any Christian preschool because they’re often so called Christian preschools, but they’re still teaching all these humanist stuff. The same stuff that they get in state preschools or the public schools and certainly is not teaching reading at all. In the Easy Chair tape, we reference Rushdoony and [inaudible 00:19:06] particular goes into detail about how reading, rather than obtaining absolute knowledge from the texts is about constructing your own knowledge of what the text says.
Certainly, what the public schools are teaching today, it certainly is a form of universal education, although it is vastly different than the kind envisioned and pioneered by Martin Luther.
Jeremy Walker: I think that in that tape they were talking, Blumenfeld mentioned the concept of miss-education, instead of education because the concept of being able to read seems to be a basic concept people think that it’s an easy concept when you just read something. If you read say, for instance, the Wizard of Oz, and if I ask somebody what color were the slippers that Dorothy wore in the Wizard of Oz, people should be able to, if they’ve read the book or if they watched the movie, which is probably more common, to watch the movie, they should be able to say they’re ruby slippers or some people call them red slippers.
The fact that they know how to read means that there’s a meaning in it. In other words, when you read something it actually says what it means. And it’s very interesting to me as they were talking about the subject, because I see this a lot in the churches today, we talked about practicality of how these things affect us, and I think Aaron’s correct in the fact that the governmental schools, they are practically universal educations but they are achieving different goals. We said this before, but it’s a fact that whenever children graduate, when they go through twelfth grade years old, they’ve gone through kindergarten, through twelfth grade. If they’re supposed to be teaching the basics, reading, writing, arithmetic, reading being the primary thing, then they’re clearly failing.
If we’re going to hold them to a standard educational viewpoint. The fact that they’re clearly not teaching children to read must mean it’s not a goal for them. That’s, they’re either completely incompetent, or they’re, having a different goal in mind. So, I definitely agree that they have different goals in mind and teaching reading is not one of them.
Then the Easy Chair taker did it, discussing about deconstruction. It’s not about game winning from something, or from someone or from text. What reading [inaudible 00:21:11] come up with your own meanings to what they were saying. Now this of course is applicable to what we see in the church today, and this goes back to our concept of people to book. That the Bible is your standard and it is written text, and the concept of what Rushdoony discusses in Roots of Reconstruction as well, goes along with the audiotape we listened to, because he mentions that Christianity is a religion in the book. And because of this, means that we should be able to go to the book, and if you’ve been taught to read, basic reading abilities, you should be able to pick up the Bible, you should be able to read the Bible, and learn truth from the Bible.
But, one of the things I’ve heard and I’m sure you guys have heard this before, you can chime in with me if you’ve heard these concepts. When I was first converted and I had the mistaken idea that all Christians, or at least professing Christians held to the Bible being authoritative. Where the Bible is your source of truth. We are people of the book. This is where, if we want information, we want to know what the truth is, we open up the Bible and we read the Bible, and this is supposed to be the standard. The Word of God.
What I found was, as I began to read myself and share what I had read with other people, and these are professing Christians. Instead of being able to come to an agreement with them about what the Bible said, what I got was, as a norm, “Well, that’s your interpretation of what the Bible says.”
Aaron Slack: Well, we have this whole emphasis about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and what many people take that to mean is that, we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus will mean something very different to you, than he will to anyone else. So, God’s truth for you maybe vastly different than God’s truth with someone else.
Jeremy Walker: And I think that’s kind of the point that Rushdoony and Blumenfeld were getting to in their Easy Chair tape and discussing that people can just read into whatever they want, and if you listen to that tape you’ll get more information on that. I find that, for me this is harder to find that people cannot come to a common agreement about what the truth is, and so what they were discussing was that concept that you can’t really know the truth for written text, and that’s really an attack on the Bible and the inspiration of the Word of God itself. You can, as we discussed before, kind of come up with your own rules. No one can actually tell you what is right and wrong. You have to decide for yourself what is right and wrong.
We were discussing earlier this concept of how is it that the schools clearly are not concerned with actually teaching reading. As you mentioned Luther earlier, the church as well in his day and age didn’t want to teach the people to read either. Perhaps we can discuss that a little bit, why would the church not want to teach reading either? Why would that be a problem? Why would the church in the day of Luther not want people to be educated or to be able to read, or specifically maybe, not read the Bible? Why would they not want that?
Pastor McIntyre: Well, the thing is that, what we’re teaching, whenever we teach these children to read and to trade, makes them a moral person, an industrious person who applies biblical law to everything that they do. As a consequence, sociologists will tell you that the rising middle class, the ones with morality, and ones who have good education and reading concerning, are a threat to whosoever’s in the upper class. The upper class in Luther’s day were those who could do Latin. The vernacular was not taught. Reading was not taught. As a consequence, it was to their best interest as people on top to not have a threat with the lower classes. The easiest way for that is not to teach it to read.
The same thing is true today. We have people that are in charge and attempting to set up a one world government and the people that are a threat are the people like we’re educating. They’re people who can rise up and supplant the upper classes because they can read, they can think and most important of all, they have morality. The Bible clearly teaches that the covenant, that those who keep the commandments are those who are going to rise up, and those who own the property, those who own control, and overthrow the lazy, incompetent, illiterate classes, which are falling, not rising.
So the upheaval in society that they try to prevent, as they tried to prevent in Luther’s day, was to not teach reading at all, and today we have, third grade education is about all you need to get a twelfth grade diploma. Now, I’m not talking about the drop-outs, this is the successful twelfth grade graduate of our days at the third grade level and the upper classes that are in control are perfectly happy with it because these people are not a threat. These people will end up being a child of the government, being supported by the government and supported by those [inaudible 00:26:12]. These are the people that do not see morality as a way to rise in the middle classes. So they can break the commandments. They can live with premarital, extramarital sex. Slovenly work, laboring not as unto the Lord, and therefore they do not have a trade, which makes a profit.
This disease that infects Christianity somehow or another is, to make money in your trade is somehow immoral. That the idea somehow to be a Christian is to be a little bit like a homeless beggar. You live on welfare, you live on the back of other people who are doing the work. As a consequence, anybody that is rising in the middle class and so forth, is suspected of some kind of a good luck, or a conspiracy or a racial element or whatever they want to attribute to success of the rising middle class too. They never want to say that people were rising in middle classes because there are better people morally speaking.
For example, in the popular book by Robert Barron, I can remember a paragraph, Robert Barrons was, that the Christians win everywhere in the United States of America, not getting drunk like other people. Not getting divorced like other people. Not doing slovenly work like other people, so naturally they rose. Speaking as though that was some kind of conspiracy. In our day and age, they don’t even say that. They will try to attribute to anything other than morality, and since morality is not being taught, it never occurs to these people, they’re failing in their marriages, failing in their occupation, can’t even get out of bed and go to work on time in the morning and on and on it goes to morality.
Morality from the very beginning of the Bible was the failure of Adam and Eve. They only had a commandment to keep, go near that tree and they couldn’t even keep that commandment. They were not able to take responsibility. Adam tried to say this woman that God has given me, which is an evasion of his responsibility as a leader. This very much is a call that we hear nowadays, spoken of as equality. Somehow, we that are moral, we that are Christians, we that are hard workers, are somehow immoral and morality is not given as a prize of success, it’s given as almost a boney finger of accusation. So, they’ll accuse you of being racist and on and on it goes, with any kind of excuse.
Politicians are well able to serve this prejudice. For example, during this past election of ours, Hilary Clinton was saying over and over again about equality, and somehow it was the purpose of the government to make us equal. But no, the purpose of government, the purpose of Christianity is to make us unequal. I don’t know of anybody who gets on his knees beside his bed and says, Lord, I don’t want what other people have, I want no more than other people, and on and on it goes. No, we all want to rise in our heart of hearts if we were to admit it, but we do not have schools that teach the way to rise is to keep the law. Love is the keeping of law. First John, chapter five, emphatically teaches that this is the love of God. That we keep his commandments and his commandments are not previews.
Now, how in the world can a child be taught to rise, if he doesn’t even know the commandments? Doesn’t even know the Word of the Bible, but he does happen to know John 3:16. All he has to do is really, really, sincerely say in his heart, he wants Jesus to save him and that’s all that’s necessary. Well, it’s not all that’s necessary. [inaudible 00:30:39] says that his people will find the keeping of the commandments as the goal, as the start of a down payment on a great reward of this world, and a great reward in the world to come. But coming now is prosperity [inaudible 00:31:00] and say, prosperity gospel, is somehow prosperity and the gospel are strangers to one another. No, it’s part of the same gospel.
If you obey the commandments, good things will happen. If you disobey the commandments, bad things will happen. It’s not luck. It’s hard work, and it’s the application the strength of God gives to his children who obey.
Aaron Slack: Well, even the very concept of teaching is anathema to the progressive educational establishment. We talk in, I’ve read and been exposed to a lot of reviewing preschool destruction that we have these days and we refer to the nice teachers but just as caregivers, or as facilitators, and one of the favorite topics they like to bring up is Rousseau, and in Rousseau’s book, Emile. All the teaching [inaudible 00:32:03] education through osmosis, and that was the whole thing with Rousseau and Emile, was that you would learn by just being out in nature, whether it’s direct or teaching at all, it was just being exposed to nature.
When you teach children to write these days, for instance, it’s not directed penmanship or anything of this nature. They’re just given paper and crayons and pencils. Supposedly by just scribbling and practice, they will evolve into being able to write, being able to do all these things, instead of being taught purposefully, which of course, if you want Lutheran and what we advocate. It’s just the very concept of teaching and directed teaching is not in favor.
Jeremy Walker: I think the problem comes with, you mentioned earlier, just a minute ago, the concept of authority. In other words, the teacher doesn’t want to be authority. They don’t want to facilitate it. They want to be an assistant. The kind that you learn alongside the child, you don’t direct the child. You don’t say this is what you’re going to do, I’m telling you to do it. Or this is how you need to do it, I’m gonna show you how to do it. I think it’s an attack on truth itself. This is the right way to write a letter, this is the right way to read the words and if you don’t read correctly, you have to redo it. You have to learn until you can. If you can’t write correctly, you have to go back and practice until you can. You doing multiplication tables, we see this in the government school system now with this common [inaudible 00:33:32] stuff that’s been in the news, where you don’t really have to have the right answer. You just have to have the formula.
So in other words you can say one plus one is five, and as long as you knew how you came to the conclusion that the answer is five, it didn’t matter that the answer is actually wrong. So, as long as you did one plus one, they weren’t actually concered with teaching actual truth. Instead, this permeates everything education, and I think with all the topics we’re discussing, it comes down to one thing for me. That’s position paper Rushdoony had in the Roots of Reconstruction, was entitled, conflict of the state. I think it’s more than just conflict of the state. It’s also conflict of the church and if you teach, at least that’s the institutional church, like in the day of Luther, was the Catholic church.
If you have people who view themselves as being under threat, meaning they’re the authority figures, you have the state that views themselves as the authority figures. You see the church like in the day of Luther, they saw themselves as the authority figure, and people, if they could read properly, they might actually take up the Bible and actually read it. If they did, according to what the state would be concerned with, the Bible clearly does not teach that the state is the highest power. Clearly shows the state underneath God. Throughout the Bible, this is echoed again and again and again.
I’m just going back to the story of Nineveh with Jonah, where Jonah comes in and he tells the entire state of Nineveh, the entire government there that they are rebelling against God, and they have to repent. So, if you read the Bible, then clearly the state is not all powerful. If you read the Bible, then any institutional church is not all powerful. They don’t get to dictate what is true. They themselves are bound by the Word of God, as we said, people in the book, we’re not people of the cloth, we’re people of the institutional church.
So if people can properly read, it is a threat to the state. They do come in conflict, because they’re saying, you’re not the highest power, there’s someone higher than you. You can’t say that the people are, when they come to church, the church is not the highest power. They don’t get to be the people who get to dictate what is moral, what is good and all the rest. If the people can actually read the Bible, that means that they will get the idea. They might actually take it seriously. They might actually take it seriously that there is a god and that He is the sovereign.
We hear this all the time and we discuss this concept earlier about what is sovereign. Well the church sometimes gets the idea that it’s the sovereign. It is a determiner of truth. I listened to Catholic radio quite a bit, back in the day and that was the common theme. That they were the interpreters of what the Bible said, and I think this is one of the problems that they have with Luther. He was not going to take the Bible and translate it into common language at the time, which was German. When he did that, it means they put the Word of God in the hands of the average citizen, and they would be able to by themselves, read the Bible, understand it and be able to say hang on a minute, the church is wrong in this aspect and this aspect, or the church has crossed its authority lines. Or the state has crossed its authority lines, we don’t have to do certain things. The state can’t tell us to do whatever it wants. The church can’t tell us to do whatever it wants.
I think that’s part of the problem with why they don’t want to teach reading. Why the church at times throughout history has been against reading as well, because people might actually pick up the Bible and actually take it seriously. For me, I think that’s part of it. Do you guys agree with that?
Pastor McIntyre: Well, what happens is, whenever the Bible is put into the vernacular, the people will read the Bible and hold the church responsible for obeying the Bible, or hold the state responsible for obeying the Bible. In other words, we now have a regulation, which comes up from the people, and the people are going to say, you must be under God. You must obey the commandments and of course, we will as well. The government comes up from the bottom, not necessarily down from the dictator on top or king on top. It is the law of God, which is on top and everybody under that is responsible, and that is something, which whoever is in charge, is considered the ultimate authority of the day, whether it’s the state or the church or science or educated people with Ph.D’s or whatever. The people are going to say, no, that’s immoral. You have to obey the law too. Everyone has to obey God’s law, and this is raising up the sovereignty of God, rather than the sovereignty of the church or the sovereignty of the state.
The obedience to the law is the way of success. It’s been well said that success is something that a Christian stumbles over on the road of duty. Duty is interpreted in the Bible as obedience to God’s law, and if you obey God’s law, you will stumble over success, doing what God has called you to do, which is your duty. That duty is a trade, and a trade is only good if it makes a profit. The church has gone to the point where it’s widely believed that if a man gets rich, he has somehow dirtied himself. That being Christian means being poor. Poverty somehow equals holiness. Well, this is nonsense. The Bible emphatically teaches that the patriarchs of the Bible were very wealthy people, beginning with the Book of Job.
Poverty is not the process by which people become holy. You become holy by obeying the covenant and the covenant produces vast wealth. Unheard of wealth. Wealth beyond our wildest dreams. America is a good example. America did not accidentally become the richest nation history’s ever seen. It was founded by people who were continental in their approach. The school system, by not teaching the Bible, by not even praying at the beginning of the day, is they did when I was a child in first grade. As a result, they have taken away from the student the means by which they can live a happy, a successful life and most of all have a reward in the life that lasts forever to come.
The teaching of reading then is foundational, but the teaching of morality, especially so. You have to have a calling or a trade that is profitable. That is something which they have taken away. Somehow or other, if you are successful, then you’re suspect. If you’re not equal to others, then somehow you are suspect, and not being a moral person. A moral person necessarily, according to the Bible will have a full cup, running over. The Lord says my yoke is easy, my burden is light, I come that you may have life and have it more abundantly. The Lord did not come to see us suffer, the Lord came to give us success. That success is key to being able to read his word, buy his word and do your trade at a profit.
Jeremy Walker: Well, I think this is very interesting because I’ve heard a couple things. I like to touch on Booker T. Washington, I think this is relevant to what we’re discussing as well. One of the things I find interesting, I was having a discussion with somebody this one time about this concept that being next to God, brings prosperity and of course you get the very first common thing people say is, prosperity doctrine, prosperity doctrine, scare words people utilize. I stopped and asked a question and it kind of stopped the person in their tracks.
I said, okay, first of all, if you read the Bible, it’s very clear that God says if you obey his commandments, you’re going to prosper. I asked the guy a question. I said, so are you telling me then, that if you work hard, you’re diligent, you’re responsible, you take care of your family, you’re faithful to your spouse, you’re faithful to your children, you bring them up and you teach them correctly and you’re faithful to your employer, or if you run a business, if you run a very good business and you’re honest, is that going to bring then, poverty?
Or, are we then saying that, disobedience, being lazy, being slovenly, being a person who is not a person who can be counted on to fulfill their duties, a person who is unfaithful to their wife, does not, to their children is neglectful, is disrespectful to authority, meaning potentially a boss that they have. Maybe they do not, or are not honest in business, is that then, the way to prosperity?
So whenever I ask that question to the person, they kind of step back for a second and had to agree with me. That clearly, the way to prosperity is keeping the commandment of God. Now we’re not talking that God is going to give everybody a jet liner, that’s not what we’re talking about here. What we are saying is that, I think somebody said before, correct me if I’m wrong on this, a person said, get rich slowly keep the commandments. I thought that was a great saying because it’s not about necessarily everyone’s going to turn around and become a billionaire. What it does mean is that you’re going to have enough money to take care of yourself, of your children, and then have excess of that [inaudible 00:42:35].
Aaron Slack: Yes, you make a very good point. Money as the root of all evil, means that earning money in a filthy manner, that means by earning money by defrauding people, earning money by not keeping the commandments, that is the kind of thing that brings failure and brings heartache and brings loss of reward. But, money earned in the way of righteousness is the way that the covenant abdicates going. So that kind of money lasts forever, that is laying up treasure in heaven. That is laying up treasure on Earth. But it is money that is made in the way of righteousness and the way of righteousness is keeping God’s law.
Jeremy Walker: I remember, because I read on Booker T. Washington, and I think all of us have read his book, Up from Slavery, and if the listener has not read that book, I definitely suggest you get the book, you can find it on Amazon I believe as well as Kindle or a paperback. Booker T. Washington, his book is fantastic. It talks about how you set up custody institutes, college and when he did so, he didn’t want to just set up a college as what we would think of as a college today, whereas all intellectual thinking, book learning, everything was in theory. Well there’s no actual practice.
In fact, if I remember correctly, the way he did it was half the day was book studies and learning. But the other half the day was actual trades craft. They had to learn to do something. Be a brick builder, be a carpenter, whatever it was, but half their day, all the students, they were supposed to take half the day for book learning and half the day tradesman-ship. And what he was telling his students was this, if you don’t respect, then you have to be more than somebody who could know information but you had to produce something, you have to have a trade and be good at something. That’s why the topic of this topic that I’m bringing up talks about trade-craft.
I thought this is something that’s missing from our educational system. Something that’s missing from the church today. The focus on a trade-craft being something important. Being able to produce something. If I’m not mistaken his students said they wanted him to kind of teach them the magical words, because they felt like being a trades craftsman, working with their hands was not lofty, was not respectable. It was somehow dirty to be a craftsman. He was trying to get them out of this understanding that it wasn’t respect in work, but that they should respect their trades job. In fact, if a person could produce something, if he had a business, or he was a craftsman who could build something, say if he was a tile layer or whatever, a good plumber, then he could gain the respect of his fellow citizens, the people in his community because he was honest in his trade craft. He was an honest craftsman who could produce something.
I think that’s something that’s missing today, and this concept of trade. The families don’t focus on it, the churches don’t teach it and certainly not the governmental schools, but it’s something that’s important.
Pastor McIntyre: Reverend Walker, you’ve said it quite right. I remember I had an economics professor, Doctor Stuart Crane. He said it once, during the courses I took with him, the difference between a free man and a slave is the right to own and control private property. To own and control private property [inaudible 00:45:52] a person from slavery into freedom. That is the key thing that is left out of our training in school. They do not teach that private property is something that is gained by lawful employment, but that is the interest that’s given, and any man can buy property and become a free man and this is also part of Booker T. Washington’s book.
He set out that people should buy land. Land is the source of wealth in the Bible. The people that today think that, I’m going to become somebody, and what they think somebody is, going to school for a long time and studying a lot of material which cannot be transferred into property, cannot be transferred into anything. But if a man who’s an ordinary tradesman, not endowed with the ability to [inaudible 00:46:53] learning, but if he saves his money and buys land. If he does his duty as unto the Lord, he will become independently wealthy. That is the lesson of the Bible. The difference between a free man and a slave is the right to own and control private property.
Aaron Slack: Well, this is where so many of the Christian schools and home schoolers mess up here. They focus almost exclusively on the academic side of things, reading, math, book learning, and they neglect completely the trade aspect of education, which is actually more important.
Pastor McIntyre: Yes, I remember when I went to the University of California in Los Angeles, we studied about two years community colleges and we took a field trip to Encino, California which at that time was the largest community college system in America. The guide that was taking our class, we were all Ph.D candidates in education, and he pointed out that the great many of the people taking wielding at Encino were Ph.D’s. He also pointed out that an awful lot of Ph.D’s were driving cabs in Los Angeles and he kind of rubbed it in to us because all of us were Ph.D candidates, with jokes and laughing and so forth, saying, you’ll have to give some consideration, ladies and gentlemen, just what is the education you’re getting worth on the free market?
That’s a very good question, because the education that has received the abstract learning, very often doesn’t have market value. If you have an education that doesn’t have market value, you’re on the road downward, not upward.
Jeremy Walker: I think it’s important to point out and we were talking on the subject of trades crafts for any business as being a person who keeps God’s law in everything that they do in family life and the rest, but also is included in their business life. Because one of the things that people seem to miss, I think, it’s a problem for me, is that life takes money. Everything takes money. So unless you’re going to be a beggar your entire life, you’re going to have to produce something, either run a business or working for someone else, whatever might be, you have to earn a paycheck. You have to earn money, and the Bible’s very clear that those that do not care for their own are worse than infidel, and they deny the faith.
So for these people, it’s probably difficult to take care of their families because they refuse to work, and because somehow they don’t think they should have to work because they want to live off donations or whatever. I think they’re definitely missing the boat here and a very important aspect of Christianity, that you have to produce, you have to make a profit. People don’t like that word profit, they actually think it’s a very dirty word sometimes, but you have to be able to earn a profit. That means making more than you spend. That is profit, and a family has to have it. If you’re going to have a family of any sort, you have to make money.
So, I think it’s very important to tie in these two things, the practical aspects of Christianity, including how you do your work? What is it you do?
Now I think I can tie this into, as we’re getting close here to the end of this episode, in what we do in Grace Community Schools, because that’s what I’m most familiar with. One thing we like to do here where we do have our setup with running Christian preschools, so you’re able to actually work with your spouse. That’s something that I also think is very important, which we should probably discuss maybe a different aspect, on a different episode but working with your spouse. This is your, help me, your husband and wife working together. So I think this is the best model, as far as work is concerned, to be able to work side-by-side with your spouse and at Grace Community Schools, that is our model. Christian schools where husband and wife work together.
Also, another aspect of Christianity is being able to control your children’s education. Very important. It’s also very important to the homeschool crowd. With our model that we have at Grace Community Schools, we’re able to have husband and wife working together and also controlling the education of other children because they’re there as well. On top of that, we’re talking about reading here, because you’re also controlling the education of your children, they’re going to be learning to read, as we talked about the importance of that. Not only just reading in general, but reading the Bible and taking it seriously as we’re talking about bringing more people to the book. They’re gonna look at the Bible as authoritative and it’s something that they’re supposed to hold their life up to and compare themselves by.
Not compare themselves by the world or their neighbors but by the Bible. What does God say is your standard of morality and how do you measure up to that. Teaching your children to be able to do that. On top of all those things, our model also allows us to teach a trade, which is what we’re talking about also in this episode, because our children also, like my children, my wife and I have ten, one on the way. Aaron, you have six children?
Aaron Slack: Six.
Jeremy Walker: Six children as well, and Doctor McIntyre has eight children and they’re all grown now. What my wife has been also, the benefit of this model. Because as a young child, she grew up in these type of schools and she learned a trade. She learned how to run a school. Of course when I got married, my wife and I now run a school together and our children are also learning the trade. How to actually live in the world, how to actually make money and how to do so lawfully. We take very good care of ourselves. In fact, I’d say we’re well above the norm as far as finances are concerned because we do a lawful job in teaching children.
Another aspect of this, which I think is also very, very important is that the Christians have a duty, the great commission to go out and teach the world. So, not only do we get to have husband and wife working together, not only do we get to have our children with us and control their education, teach them reading, teach them God’s law, teach them a trade, we also get to minister to others in the community. So, for me, I can’t think of another trade that does all those things all at the same time. So, that’s why for me, we have our apprenticeship program that we constantly advocate for other people to get into and it’s really more than just an apprenticeship.
It’s not like a college, but more of a fuller program for families, so like we’re talking about here. The family can work together and can also minister to others on the outside. Once again, not being dependent on other people to take care of yourself but actually earning a profit and caring for yourselves. So I think it kind of encompasses itself in what the responsibilities and what the duties are.
So, I like this episode here as far as what we’re talking about the importance of reading. What it means, and why the state and the church have come into conflict with the Christians as well, and why the church does what the state does, and the importance of what the duties are of Christians to take the Bible seriously. Not being able to do creative reading, like we’re talking about here in deconstruction Rushdoony was talking about, but actually taking the Bible seriously, reading it and obeying what it says. So, as we’re wrapping up here at the end, does anybody else like to share something before we end here?
Pastor McIntyre: Well, I have eight children as you pointed out but I have 57 grandchildren, counting grandchildren and great-grandchildren. All of them have come up through the Grace Community system. Learning how to run a preschool, and almost all of my children are involved in the founding schools of Grace Community Schools and doing quite well. Title of my book, How to Become a Millionaire, in Christian education doesn’t mean that everybody that goes into the preschool business is going to be a millionaire, but so far, all of them are much, much better off than if they were driving a cab in Los Angeles or learning how to be a wielder.
Running a preschool is a trade, and a very profitable trade and something that the Lord is going very pleased with, I believe. At the judgment seat of God, you gentlemen have, well what is it, about 1500 to 2000 students a year that comes through Grace Communities and these children are going to be part of that rising middle class that I spoke about earlier and these people are going to be the new, holders of world power. The ones in [inaudible 00:55:02] and the ones who obey the covenant, because the Lord is going to prosper those who obey the covenant and he’s not going to prosper those who break it.
Jeremy Walker: And so, that’ll be a wrap for us here on this episode. We wanted to thank everybody for joining us and we’ll be back next month with a new episode. And once again, for more resources, you can go to, Chalcedon.edu for more Rushdoony information from his books, from his lectures, videos and other things that is available from Rushdoony. That is Chalcedon.edu and so we want to thank you all for joining us and God bless you, and we’ll talk to you next time.
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