By: Al Cronkrite

Let me state at the outset that I have no personal relationship with anyone at Chalcedon. I never had the privilege of meeting or corresponding with Dr. Rousas Rushdoony. I have exchange emails with Rev. Ted Weiland but we do not have a personal relationship and I do not support his ministry.

I was saddened to read the article “Faithful in Little Things” by Martin Selbrede and Dr. Archie Jones in the May/June issue of “Faith for all of Life”.  Martin Selbrede seemed insulted to receive a book from Rev. Ted Weiland.  His response was haughty: “A 562 page hardcover book showed up at my door bearing the formidable title ‘Bible Law vs. The United States Constitution: The Christian perspective.’  Written by Rev. Ted R. Weiland, it represents Dr. Gary North’s anti-Constitution thesis in extremis (i. e., on steroids).”  Without addressing any of the issues contained in the book he goes on to condemn it, to sarcastically demean its author, and turn the balance of the essay over to Dr. Archie Jones.  Rev. Weiland’s response seems to infer that neither Mr. Selbrede nor Dr. Jones bothered to read the book.


Though neither of them have produced an entire volume on the issue Selbrede describes Dr. Gary North and Dr. Archie Jones as Titans inferring that Rev. Weiland’s lack of institutional credentials demeans his work.  Doctor degrees are sometimes honorary but generally represent acknowledgements of specific scholastic achievements.  They are particularly useful if one is applying for work in one of the institutions that create them; also in many business situations and for Christian ministries that seek human affirmation.  Those that do not have them tend to honor those who do.  Half a century ago undergraduate degrees still possessed some prestige.  I earned one and shortly thereafter during the United Nations sponsored Korean War was selected for the Army Counter Intelligence Corps.  The degree and the cushy army job got me a position with a large prestigious corporation which my ballooning ego soon put in jeopardy.   There is nothing particularly wrong with college degrees but there are severe problems with the ballooning egos they sometimes create.

I support Chalcedon.  I believe Rev. R. J. Rushdoony’s writings are important contributions to the Christian Faith.  I have great admiration for Rev. Mark Rushdoony who uses his considerable talents to support of his father’s work rather than crediting them to his own account; that, to me, is true humility and scarce in contemporary Christian circles.  I do not, however, believe R. J. Rushdoony was infallible.

Selbrede derides Weiland for not considering Rushdoony’s contention that the Constitution provides us with “procedural morality, not substantive morality”.  The Constitution formed the government of United States of America; its statements are the foundational law of the land.  It was originally intended that the states remain strong and independent.  However, the ability of the Federal Government to levy taxes provided a defining amount of power which the Civil War affirmed.  I believe there are substantive Constitutional issues that should concern every Christian.  Dr. Rushdoony’s assessment of this issue was wrong.  What else is there to say?

The prevailing thesis is that the remedy to the dissolute disintegration of the United States of America is obedience to the Constitution.  An overwhelming number of both Christian and secular American leaders support this position.  They support a document that allows Muslims, Buddhists, Satanists, Atheists, and humanists free reign to practice their religions and to be elected to government positions.  The fruit of this support is the codification of law supporting abortion and homosexuality and a pending health care law that will allow the government to arbitrate life and death.  Morality is religious. Moral neutrality is impossible.  If we are not specifically Christian we will be pagan.

Rev. Rousas Rushdoony, whose writings mentored me into the theological importance of obedience to God’s Law, joined a large company of Constitutional supporters.  His opinion is now shared by popular Libertarian presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul, confrontational Christian minister Chuck Baldwin and a host of Libertarians and Evangelical Christians. Many of these Constitutionalists hate God’s Law.  Christians may express a love for Jesus while harboring hatred for The Law.  I wonder if pedantic supporters of theonomy are aware of the fanatical bias most Western society has for God’s Law.   Western Christendom not only resists God’s Law but, other than the Ten Commandments, harbors a visceral hate against it.  Some of this antipathy is reflected in the hysterical fear Americans have of Shiria law.  It makes very little difference whether they assume the Christian mantle or some form of paganism most of the Western world is humanistic rejecting an overarching, immutable legal system in favor of human standards. 

The United States Constitution contains two particular laws that should cause the world’s little band of “pronomians” concern.  One, the First Amendment provides for freedom of religion (polytheism) which breaches the First Commandment of the Decalogue, and two, Article six, Section 3 of the Constitution requires all state and federal officials, senators and representatives, to take an oath to support the Constitution. It ends with these words "but no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States". This mandate disastrously allows pagans to rule over Christians; neither of these direct affronts to the sovereignty of God is mentioned by Selbrede or Jones.  If either of these men intends to be taken seriously they must address these issues.

Many of the arguments Jones makes for the Constitution are merely opinions which can be legitimately questioned.  He claims that ninety-five percent of the Framers were Christians.   I doubt it!  Thirty-three percent of the Framers were Masons.  If the standard for Christianity is loose enough to include polytheism some Masons might be considered Christians.  However, in spite of Franklin’s call for God’s intervention, it is difficult to include men like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.  How do we determine which god is being solicited when a Deist or Mason prays?  The word “Yahweh” Ted Weiland uses has been sullied by cults but it is a useful term in these days of polytheism because there is no doubt about which God is being addressed.   

One can understand Chalcedon’s reluctance to entertain this issue. It does not help the promotion of a body of work to admit it contains errors.  If the work is to be promoted the errors must be overlooked and outside critiques ignored.  It was a mistake for Chalcedon to respond to Rev. Weiland.   Responses require soundly reasoned backup and willingness to concede to better positions.  Now that the response has been made the issue should be properly addressed.

It is also apparent the if Rev. R. J.  Rushdoony had agreed with his son-in-law, Gary North, about the need to support God’s Law rather than the Constitution the results of his stand would have heaped additional criticism on Chalcedon.  My own article which is linked later resulted in my writings being banned from sites that had always published them.   Supporting unpopular truth is always dangerous.

The majority of American Christians and patriots still vest the United States Constitution with the sole responsibility for restoring our freedom.   Even if one ignores the several serious faults with this document Christians are still in trouble with the God of the Bible who declares His Law to be the sole avenue to peace and prosperity.  We will continue to lose the battle with Islam as long as we fail to support God’s Law as the ONLY basis for lasting peace and prosperity. With Shiria law Muslims are promoting a full orbed religion while Christians are busy sinning against The Great God of All Creation by promoting freedom through a seriously flawed secular Constitution.

In spite of the seriousness of a matter, new truth dallies   When, in the early to mid-Nineteenth Century, Ignaz Semmelweis determined that infections were caused by germs the idea was vigorously resisted by most of the medical community. Even when Pasteur confirmed it a few decades later there was considerable resistance.  Truth is often shocking and new truth that overturns cherished opinions is usually met with untoward resistance.

When my own research lead me to the conclusion that our Constitution was not the remedy for our problems I was not aware the Dr. North and Rev. Weiland were of the same opinion.   Rev. Weiland contacted me after I published this article.  Apparently each of us reached the same conclusion independently.

The problems the United States Constitution set up against God’s dominion cannot be hidden behind a forest of irrelevant arguments.  Dr. Jones presents numerous considerations most of which do not address the issue.  Neither the intent of the Framers nor the massive prevalence of the Christian religion is pertinent.  Regardless of the peripheral details from a Biblical perspective the problems with the Constitution remain.   Chalcedon has presented a lame rebuttal.

It is tragic that Christian leaders working for the same goal treat each other disrespectfully.  God enjoins us to prefer one another.  In the Fifth Chapter of the Book of Mathew Jesus directs us to go and reconcile with our brothers before we place a gift on the altar.   Have we forgotten that a soft answer turns away wrath?  Chalcedon, Dr. North, Rev. Weiland, and I all support God’s Law.  We are a tiny band and urgently need one another.  Are we willing to hinder God’s work by clinging to our cherished opinions when they are refuted by fact?  Are we seeking truth or are we willing to hinder God’s dominion with compromise?  God is changing this world but some of us appear to be dragging our feet.  

"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Al Cronkrite is a free-lance writer from Florida. He a is regular columnist for Ether Zone.

We also invite you to visit his website - http://www.verigospel.com

Al Cronkrite can be reached at: fmsinfla@hotmail.com

Published in the June 6, 2012 issue of  Ether Zone.
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