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Fear and Man

posted Aug 24, 2017, 10:12 AM by Paul McClintock   [ updated Aug 24, 2017, 7:25 PM ]
By R. J. Rushdoony
Posted 8/24/2017

This article is from the second volume of the upcoming Good Morning Friends: A Collection of Weekly Radio Messages by R. J. Rushdoony, a Reformed scholar and brilliant writer of the last century. Dr. Rushdoony was the founder of Chalcedon Foundation, an educational organization devoted to research, publishing, and to cogent communication of a distinctively Christian scholarship to the world at large. His son Mark continues to publicize and distribute Rushdoony’s work through Chalcedon. We are grateful to Chalcedon for permission to publish this chapter. Visit them at www.chalcedon.edu.

Fear and Man

R. J. Rushdoony

“The mob is formed by men who herd together in fear of life, in fear of themselves, in fear of one another, and, above all, in fear of God.”

One of the deadliest of fears is the fear of man. It paralyzes the conscience and rules the heart, mind, and being of most men. Day by day, the world capitalizes on this fear in order to bring men into submission to the law of the pack, sometimes euphemistically called the will of the majority.

Men think and live as the mob dictates. When styles are changed by the pack, the individual all too often complies. When certain opinions, faiths, and men become unpopular, the individual too often follows the mob. The crowds that on Palm Sunday hailed Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah and Son of David, their King and Redeemer, before the week’s end cried out in savage blood lust, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

When the mob sacrifices God the Son to its lawless whim and crucifies the Lord of glory, jeering and mocking Him in His dying agony, it cannot be expected to be merciful to mere man or to any follower of the Lord it despises. The power of the mob is real, and the power of the mob is deadly. It is devoid of any and all morality, of all faith and principle, and of all decency. The mob has usually ruled in history, and its rule has always been destructive and evil. The mob operates on one and only one basis, fear. The mob is held together by fear, and it rules by fear. The mob is formed by men who herd together in fear of life, in fear of themselves, in fear of one another, and, above all, in fear of God. Cain, the man fleeing from the presence of God, built the first city and organized the first mob. Cain’s city was not a community but a mob, because its basic tenet was not love and fellowship but mutual fear and a common hatred of God.

Ask yourself this question: Am I a member of the mob? Every person who is afraid of man is a member of the mob. No evasion, no contempt for his fellow men, no denial can ever change this fact: every person who is afraid of man is a member of the mob.

If you are afraid of people’s opinions and criticisms and allow them to sway you, you are afraid of man, and that fear makes you a part of the mob. If you are afraid to stand for the truth because you fear that men will destroy you for it, and you keep silent, you have joined the mob. If you allow the fear of man to guide and determine your actions at any point or in any area of your life, you are a member of the mob, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Every person on the face of this earth who is ruled by the fear of man rather than the fear of God is a member of the mob. Where do you stand in all this?

The only alternative and answer to the fear of man is the fear of God. If we are afraid of transgressing the Word of God, afraid of sinning against Him, afraid of being disobedient to Him, then we will not allow the fear of man to rule us. Whom do you fear most, man or God? Are you a member of the mob or a member of Jesus Christ?

Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever (Ps. 19:9). It strengthens man’s soul against the day of adversity and fills him with the power of God and His Spirit. It gives to man the joyful and victorious faith that sings in Psalm 118, Luther’s favorite chapter: 

The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?  The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Ps. 118:6–9, 24, 28, 29) 

Taken from the second volume of Rushdoony’s future release Good Morning Friends: A Collection of Weekly Radio Messages by R. J. Rushdoony. This chapter is featured here because of its relevance to contemporary political and social issues.



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