A Study: The Foundations of Social Order by Rousas John Rushdoony. Chapter One
You can purchase this book here if you want to follow along with me :) I come from an Episcopalian background. This is confusing for anyone who is not familiar with the old churches and any denomination other than Catholic and Baptist from the megachurchs around the Bible Belt.
Episcopalian is not terribly popular or in “Vogue” and Anglicanism is probably just as obscure to you. My church is a reformed Episcopalian church, turned Anglican and for those of you who don’t know anything about either of these, we are a hybrid inbetween Catholic and Presbyterian, having different things than either of these denominations (obviously since we are a different denominations, HA).
This book isn’t one denomination over another, but most of the creeds are found mostly in traditional churches such as Episcopalian, Catholic, Anglican and sometimes Presbyterian. My dad is big into theology, taking most mornings before or during breakfast to read the Bible to us and/or a book concerning biblical themes or lessons. He challenged me to read this book and discuss it with him since he has read it and considered it very applicable to our situation now in America and its degrading culture.
I have a feeling this book will go over my head, but as best that I can determine from its pages and talks with my dad, I aim on documenting all that I learn and perhaps some questions that I have.
Of course, I am not perfect. The author is not perfect either. That being said, if you have issues with this, we can argue it out in a polite, Christianly manner in some form of communication either on here or elsewhere.
This book is not the end all. That needs to be said so some people don’t get their panties in a wad over if they disagree with something, and knowing the sinful heart of man and especially my need to be a know-it-all as many other people do, I know that this will ruffle feathers. Please be respectful and kind on here as far as comments, and do not use any foul language or else I will delete the comment.
There’s no need for any of that.
Chapter One: The Apostles’ Creed and Creedalism I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From thence he will come to judge the quick (living) and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic (that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places) church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
The Apostles’ Creed is not a creed written by the apostles but merely a creed of their teachings combined into one.“
The creed is the door to the house of faith, and it is intensely personal.” (TFOSO, page 2.)
The creed is not just a church’s confession of what they believe, but a believer’s own confession of his own faith. A Christian’s creed is extremely different than that of any other religion.“
The faith of all other religions is in a body of ideas or claims concerning reality. It may be a belief in the ultimacy of man, or the ultimacy of nothingness, in the office of a man (Mohammed as prophet), or an ultimate dualism or monism, but in any event, it demands a belief in certain ideas or claims.” (TFOSO, page 4.)
The Apostles’ Creed is different because it is a creed describing history, and every part of Jesus and His salvation and Gospel. He died and rose again for our sins, thus obliterating all death of the spirit and promising us eternal life in Christ Jesus. It is not a claim that if we promise to be kind of good, we go to some magical place and not the place where “ bad people go” but instead, it promises that we will be saved because that is what happened when you trust not in man but in God who is perfect and cannot let us down. He alone is the way and the truth and the life. The Apostles’ Creed only reaffirms that by giving a brief history of what has already happened. You cannot separate Christ from history and the Christ of faith. Some believe that Christ is outside of certain things, not the Lord over all.
That is simply not true. Christ is Lord over all, the maker and creator of everything. The reason that we can do anything is because of Him and Him only. He doesn’t just lord over our church and some help during finals week. He’s Lord over all. He’s not just there to help you when you’ve gotten sick or you are hurting over a breakup. He’s Lord all the time.
In a non-Christian religion, the state is therefore the maker of morality and laws, but in Christianity, God is the maker of laws and morality, thus whatever is made by Him is under His control (ex. The state, the government, the schools, everything). As anyone in authority dictates anything, they must do so underneath God’s law that He has already written and given to us. He has given us all forms of conduct in his pages; all areas have been covered in His word. We only have to read it and pay attention to what He is telling us to determine what the righteous thing to do is if we are to follow Him. The word of God is over everything, including the Church.
The Church cannot make up their own laws just because they are God’s people. They must follow what He has told them and continue to live as God has called us to do.When the councils made the creeds, they also made canon laws dependent upon the Scriptures. As the creeds spoke of the faith and what Christ has spoken to be true, the laws gave a morality that directly coincided with the Bible. It was the Ten Commandments in laws for the society.In the beginning, man was given the law inscribed on his heart because the “True Law” as Rushdooney puts is the universal law, meaning God created it, therefore it rules over the rest of the world as law. We know the law and we rebel against it in sin. “Irenaeus declared that the Ten Commandments simply restated what creation had originally implanted:” (TFOSO, page 6,)
“Christianity not only formulated a canon law, but, in terms of Christian faith, it reformulated civil law.” (TFOSO, page 7)
The creeds declare that God is the creator, thus making it a jumping off point for anything that follows. The term “I believe” is not an affirmation of what God has made. Whatever God has made is there whether or not you believe in it. The reason why it exists is not solely dependent upon yourself or anything you may say. God is the same God despite what you think or say about it. It doesn’t change Him and it certainly doesn’t change the way He made the world. That’s like taking an apple and saying it’s an orange. It doesn’t magically become an orange just because you said you believe that it is one. It is still inherently an apple.
The term “I believe” is you recognizing that He has done all of this, made all of this and this has happened. This is you saying that you believe in history- in the facts that God has given us. The creed is us agreeing to what He has said. It doesn’t bring it about as in creating it by saying it exists. We acknowledge that it already exists and has happened. We, as Rushdoony states, are “recipients of grace” instead of the maker of anything. By God’s grace, we are allowed to rule over nature and exert our Christ made images over the unholy things. He calls us to gain control over the world as it is our domain as His image.
This is not saying we are Christ. We are definitely not. Merely made in Him and called to do His bidding. We must all strive to be more like Jesus every day. It is only because of Him that we are allowed to even breathe or move.
Yes, we have free will but we could do nothing without Christ.
We are entirely at the mercy of His unending grace.