Christianity, Humanism and the State

There was a time where I could not for the life of me understand why Reformed Libertarian, Postmillennial, Theonomic, etc. groups talked continually about the state. It seemed like they were always on a rant about tyranny or freedom. To Christians of a different bent, these topics are merely for extremists or those “Old Testament” types, and moreover, to the world those folks are just nuts. Or are they?

humanismIf this is you and you think that Christians are being harsh or too political because of their speaking out on the encroachment of the state, this article may help explain the attempt of humanists to replace God given institutions and the call for Christians to continue to speak out against it. 


Take the family for example. The family is God’s basic institution. As Rushdoony put it, “It is man’s first church, first government, first school, and more.” He goes on to list five basic powers God gives to the family:

1. The Control of Children

The control of the future of a society.

2. The Control of Property

Property is a family ownership as a trust from the Lord

3. Inheritance

The family builds up God’s Kingdom by reserving its assets to the godly seed.

4. Education

A major area of family authority and power

5. Welfare

The family through all of history has been, and still is in many countries, the major welfare institution.

This list is by no means exhaustive but is a brief summary of five basic powers God gives to the family. What the State does, is they come and replace this in an attempt to be a savior. Those who are not ruled by God make themselves God.

In contrast to the above biblical family,

“Humanism….sees the family as a primitive form of social organization which must, like the class or tribe, give way to the scientific organization of society by the state. Humanism recognizes that the family is a natural fact, a consequence of biology, mating, and parenting, but ancient and irrational natural forms must give way to more sophisticated and scientific forms. As a result, the family is increasingly controlled and regulated in order to allow the more scientific organization of society to prevail.”

Humanism does not see God as the creator of the family, but instead sees the family as a natural biological “happening” and therefore is compelled to control or regulate it to help it prevail. It looks to make itself God. Here is how they have attempted to replace it:

1. The Control of Children

Whoever controls the children, controls the future. Factors such as education, the media, family breakups, gay marriage, etc., will have an effect on the children, and ultimately the future. More on #4 below. 

2. The Control of Property

The state has seized property by means of taxes. If you think this is a bit exaggerated, stop paying your property taxes and have it taken from you. You are merely a trustee of your property and must pay the charges to live there. 

3. Inheritance

The state is increasingly controlling both property and inheritance through taxation and regulation. Many of those who are left a large sum of land as an inheritance cannot afford to “receive” it due to the taxes that are put on them. What is meant to be a means of building God’s Kingdom by reserving assets to the godly seed is undercut by the state demanding a tax on the inheritance. Many are forced to sell the inheritance/property due to their inability to afford what is rightfully given them. It ultimately disinherits the family.

4. Education

This has happened with the rise of government schools. Thehumanism foundations of government schooling are anti-Christian and by definition socialistic. Horace Mann felt education should be secular, focused on civil virtue void of a religious worldview, and that education should be a function of civil government. Education became mandatory, people were taxed at the threat of losing their property, and the authority of the family was removed and placed in the hands of the state. We have been so conditioned by this that we do not question it, but give our kids to 14,000 hours of godless education. We eagerly give our kids to an institution that is plagued with sex-scandals, disrespect for authority, and bad moral teachings, and we go so far as to mock those who choose not to enroll their children. As they are raised in this humanistic setting, so their worldview is shaped to accept and promote it in their adulthood and to their children. 

Children are a God-given inheritance for our conquest of the world for Christ. They are a means of subduing the earth and exercising dominion under the Lord. If we give our children to state or private schools which are not systematically Christian in all their curriculum, we are then giving the future to God’s enemies, and He will hold us accountable for laying waste our heritage. 

5. Welfare

The family has always been the major welfare institution. Children are taken care of by their parents and when they are old they are taken care of by their children. Widows are to be taken care of by their children and grandchildren. However, with the breakdown of the family today, no-fault divorces, the rise of single mothers, etc., this structure of welfare is broken. Therefore, the state has stepped in as the messiah and now at least half of the American population is on the dole. Once these people have made this their reliance, it is hard to escape the cycle of poverty. Ultimately the government is paying people to avoid having to be self-reliant and there is power where millions are relying on you.


marriageTo give another example of this type/anti-type, lets look at the institution of marriage (also taken from Rushdoony’s In His Service):

1. Marriage and family are God-centered. All things are from God and for his purposes. Humanism says that marriage is man-centered or state centered. 

2. Eve is created as Adam’s helpmeet, not for Adam’s sake per se, but in terms of man’s calling to exercise dominion and subdue the earth. With humanism, the purpose of marriage is reduced to self-fulfillment, man and woman seek their own gratification and children are reared in terms of a like egocentricity. 

3. Because of the God centered nature of marriage and family, the woman has authority because she is under authority. In humanism, both man and woman seek power apart from God and over each other. 

4. Both the man and the woman are to be together and interdependent in the Lord. With humanism, radical individualism governs men, women, and children. 

5. Children are one aspect of our inheritance in the Lord. In humanism, children are no longer seen by many people as a blessing from God but as extensions of personal goals and pride.

As Gary North once noted

Satan is not creative, for he is not the Creator. He is a distorter of the truth. He imitates God. Furthermore, man cannot escape God’s mark in his very being: the image of God. So man is also an imitator of God, and fallen men are like Satan: they distort and twist the truth. But they are not creative. Thus, even in their sin, they reflect God’s standards for man. They cannot escape their creaturehood. They cannot escape their humanity.

Satan cannot create, he can only distort the truth. Since God owns the world, Satan can only do his bidding through this followers. The state has created a system void of God, and seeks to replace him with their own god. Over time, we have been conditioned to readily accept this out of “ignorance.” However, we should be quick to examine all things through the pages of the Bible and let that be our standard, not a conditioned worldview handed down to us. Many of us have to rethink what we were taught by our parents and relatives. The Great Commission involves discipling the nations, not being discipled by them. God’s laws provide for a godly free society. The laws of the nations fill libraries and are revised frequently. A blessed family is one that is governed by God’s unchanging word, not the opinions of humanism. We should seek to free ourselves from dependence and influence of the state, and seek the instruction and blessing of God. 

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