The Attributes of Successful Resisters

A.  A Willingness to Fight:

And I looked and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, be not ye afraid of them: Remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your houses (Neh. 4:14).

Pacifism is never a Biblical response to problems or danger. The Bible warns us that “like a trampled spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who give way before the wicked” (Prov.25:26).

Certainly the Christian person must be wise in terms of choosing his actions and activities. We do not need short-sighted or poorly conceived zealotry in opposition to a civil government, which only worsens our position, and makes it more difficult in the future. The Bible warns us that “a fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back” (Prov.29:11). It was 10-15 years after the American colonists began to realise that something was amiss with their superiors in London, before they finally concluded that the time for peaceful opposition had passed, in 1775.

But the impression that Christians are unwilling or unable to fight, only encourages our opposition against us.

B.  A Willingness to Plan:

Without the ideas, the organisation and the leadership provided by Puritanism there would have been no [English] Revolution at all.[1]

History has never been dominated by majorities, but only by dedicated minorities who stand unconditionally on their faith. R. J. Rushdoony.

Resistance certainly requires passion. We certainly need a measure of that, along with a number of other very important attributes, like patience, discipline, order and the willingness to plan. Believers have to be prepared to work within a specific plan in order to ensure victory, even if they have to forego the pleasure of seeing the fulfilment of that plan, even in their lifetime. The Bible says, “a wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust” (Prov.21:22).

How do you “scale the city of the mighty?” With a plan. This means a coordinated team effort: the gathering of intelligence, sifting through the data, knowing the enemy, knowing our own resources and limitations, and going about a due process. “The wicked plot against the righteous” (Ps.37:12), but the righteous plan.

This is what the children of Israel did. Moses sent twelve spies into the promised land (Nu.13). The conquests of Jericho (Joshua 6) and Luz (Judges 1) were preceded by a spying operation, which yielded the useful information the commanders needed to complete the plan. Rahab “spilt the beans” about Jericho (Joshua 2) and an informer told spies from the house of Joseph how to get into the city of Bethel (Judges 1: 22-26).

Lots of people talk tough when the price of commitment is low. Talk is cheap. Action is more costly. But most expensive of all is long-term planning. Those who commit their futures to movements led by short-term thinkers who have vast projects and half-vast ideas are asking for trouble. The Biblical pattern of victory is clear: “But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken” (Isa. 28: 13). Step by step, we must build alternatives to a collapsing social order, starting with our families and local churches, and expanding outward. Like the church elders and deacons who are first required to rule their households (families and businesses) well before they rule the church (I Tim. 3), so are those who would launch a program of comprehensive Christian resistance. Victory takes practice. First things first.[2]

C. A Vision Beyond Their Generation:

We each only get one life. Are we prepared to lay brick upon brick, one course at a time, to steadily build up the walls of Zion? Or is our only concern, to make it all happen by tomorrow?

The Bible teaches us that “the soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head” (Mk.4:28). Only “when the crop permits,” does the harvester put in the sickle. This means “faith and patience” (Heb.6:12) are essential.

Because of the steady decline in the church over centuries, her raising up may take generations to accomplish. This patience was something that the patriarchs possessed, even if it meant waiting thousands of years.

The patriarchs were men who moved forward as pilgrims and sojourners. They did not exalt the past or present but looked forward to the promises of God concerning the possession of Canaan by their descendents, and ultimately, to the possession of all the earth by their heirs in faith. They rejoiced that death would gather them to their fathers in God’s heaven, wherein they would be beyond sin and death. Their faith made them recognise that the present orders must go, because God’s order must replace them. [3]

D. Biblical Ideology:

What we must adopt, therefore, is a philosophical attack against humanism which is four-pronged: the sovereignty of God (the revelational foundation of our derivative, legitimate authority), presuppositional apologetics (the  revelational categories of human thought), optimistic eschatology (the revelational dynamic for history), and Biblical law (the revelational tool of reconstruction, both personal and social)…This alone offers a comprehensive foundation for a program of Christian resistance which is simultaneously offensive and defensive. [4]

This will mean a steady process of education amongst believers, beginning with our families. People need time to understand, discuss and appreciate the changes they need to make. Change itself, in terms of individuals, families, churches, communities and nations, takes time. Incrementalism: completing things, one step at a time, is perfectly legitimate and necessary for long-term reform.

No one should be expected to accept, understand and apply all the implications of Biblical law for instance, from a day seminar. It takes plenty of time to properly assimilate. Fathers must begin this process at home. (This is one of the values of homeschooling). But when families begin to understand the issues, and the church also begins the process, the process begins to gather momentum.

E. Practicality:

We must be certain concerning the legitimacy of our cause, but we must ensure we have the practicality to ensure success of that cause, over the long term. A team of resistors must be made up of much more than zealots; they must be led by calm, objective planners who will help to consider contingencies, who will want to look after the team and their families, and look beyond the first point of conflict or confrontation to the accomplishment of the goal.

Because of our individualistic mentality, Christians have much to learn about teamwork; about working together harmoniously to achieve a goal. It is very easy to dissipate and waste a lot of resources, if a group of people engaged in a campaign, are unwilling to respect one another, submit to one another, and to an agreed plan. Many of us will have to learn this the hard way.


[1] Stone, L., “The Causes of the English Revolution, 1529-1642,” 1975, p.103.

[2] “Theology…,” p.xix.

[3] Rushdoony, R. J., “Salvation and Godly Rule,” 1983, p.148.

[4] “Tactics”…p.116.

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