Rushdoony on the Birth of Christ
As a compilation of Rushdoony’s thoughts on the advent of Christ, these words express in the form of principled and comprehensive syllogism the glory and beauty of Christmas. Taken from A Word in Season.
The history of Christianity has revealed an interesting fact that is often overlooked. No other faith has been so prolific in their production of music, and especially joyful music.[ref]R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season - Volume 1 (Ross House Books, 2010), 77.[/ref] The Christmas carol is perhaps the greatest expression of this joy. The basis for these joyful songs are the promises and prophecies associated with Christ’s birth and his kingdom.
One of the most important prophecies concerning the birth of our Lord is in Isaiah 9:6-7: Christ, eight centuries before his coming, is hailed as the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.,” and it is declared that “the government shall be upon his shoulders.” This is the first great declaration concerning Christ and all government: the ultimate and absolute government of all things shall belong to Christ. The second great declaration is that “[o]f the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.” Christ, coming into a sinful and rebellious world to establish his dominion as Lord and Savior, will in the face of all enmity and warfare increase his power, government, and peace.
Next, we are told exactly how this shall be done: He shall “establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever,” or, as the Berkeley Version translates it, “[I]t is firmly established and supported in justice and righteousness from now on and forever.”
Christ came into the world as the great prophet, priest, and king. As prophet, he is man’s savior and advocate with the Father; as king, he rules over the world.
The world is in rebellion against this government. From these rebels and revolutionists, we hear much talk about “peace,” and a great deal of hostility to government. But Isaiah tied the two together: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.” True peace, in other words, is a product of true government. When there is true law and order, then there is also true peace. Abolish law and order, and you abolish peace and create a situation of revolutionary warfare and anarchy. By abandoning Christ as Savior and King, by abandoning his government and peace, we are moving into a world of perpetual warfare.[ref]R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season - Volume 2 (Ross House Books, 2011), 25.[/ref]
Man is a sinner, and he is by nature lawless unless he is regenerate by Jesus Christ. Justice thus must be enforced, that is, put into operation by force, because otherwise lawlessness and injustice will prevail. If there is no forceful enactment of justice, then there is no justice.
Christ’s promise is peace, not the peace of death and the graveyard, but the peace of justice and prosperity.[ref]R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season - Volume 2 (Ross House Books, 2011), 28.[/ref] There is neither peace nor security in the world today, because there is no peace nor righteousness in the lives of men. The peace of Christ, as it conquers man after man, can alone create true order and justice.[ref]R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season - Volume 2 (Ross House Books, 2011), 131.[/ref] The Virgin Mary rejoiced, declaring of the justice God and her son would firmly establish:
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. —Luke 1:51-53
Christ’s birth heralds a new beginning in the world, a new humanity, and a new creation.[ref]R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season - Volume 5 (Ross House Books, 2014), 41.[/ref] As each man is made regenerate by God’s redeeming grace in Christ, he becomes a citizen of that new creation. The birth of Christ is thus the most joyful of days, because it celebrates the nullification of sin and its consequences, and it heralds the death of death in the fullness of His Kingdom.[ref]R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season - Volume 4 (Ross House Books, 2012), 23.[/ref]
The prophecies of Christ’s coming include a striking one in Ezekiel 21:26-27:
“Thus saith the Lord GOD’; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.”
God here declares that the world’s crown of authority will be removed and destroyed. Things “shall not be the same,” or, it can be translated, “change is in process,” because Christ shall be born. With his birth, this change will mean exalting the blessed meek of the earth and casting down the mighty. God declares that he will “overturn” or ruin all the world’s sinful powers and turn the world over to Christ.[ref]R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season - Volume 6 (Ross House Books, 2015), 29.[/ref]
The accounts of our Lord’s birth gives us the story of the world’s most glorious event and it’s greatest invasion. On that day, God the Son entered the world. He came as king to reconquer it for God the Father and restore it to God’s original purpose, to be God’s Kingdom. He came with grace and healing to all who receive him by faith, and with judgement for those who seek to wrest the Kingdom from its rightful Lord.[ref]R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season - Volume 6 (Ross House Books, 2015), 96.[/ref]
To celebrate truly the birth of our Lord, we must see him in his glory, as Savior, Redeemer, and King. We must see him as the great overturner, who shall cast down the proud and the mighty to give the earth to his blessed meek. We must see him as he who came to redeem us from our burden of sin and guilt by his atoning blood, and as our abiding Lord and Governor. We must see his coming as the beginning of his assured victory, and we must echo by faith the heavenly chorus, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). Then truly the joy of Christmas is our joy, and his birth is our assurance of victory.[ref]R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season - Volume 6 (Ross House Books, 2015), 30.[/ref]