Why are Reconstructionists so mean?

Someone posed a form of this question recently and I thought I offer a brief reply.

I find Reconstructionism in its basic expression very appealing. One of my dear friends was a leading figure in the Reconstructionist movement in Tyler, TX. So, I have a more intimate connection with that group. Part of what makes some Reconstructionists forget the “love” part of “speaking the truth in love” is their consistent dismissal of the institutional church. To them, the Church needs to carry a non-hierarchical nature–devoid of clergy; truly–as  I see it– an abusive application of the priesthood of all believers. When the book I edited on the Church was published I was accused by one man as a Baal worshipper because I argued for the centrality of the church. If church is simply when I meet with others, or my interactions on facebook, or meeting with some friends in coffee shop, or a Bible study in a home on Sunday morning, and if clergy is always defined as leaders of an ecclesiocracy, then I am left to operate as an ecclesiastical anarchist owing no allegiance to any man and speaking truth as I see it without concern for what others may think or how it is expressed. True postmillennialism is both ecclesiastical and catholic; deeply concerned for truth and deeply concerned about the tenderness of the theological enterprise (in omnibus caritas).

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2 thoughts on “Why are Reconstructionists so mean?”

  1. Not being an expert in Christian Reconstructionism, my understanding was that their primary focus was on the civil realm and not the ecclesiastical along theonomistic lines. But the rejection of church offices seems a strange application of at least what I understand about Christian Reconstruction. I would be curious to see you flesh this out further. While I would agree with the rejection of a hierarchy of power and influence (as many episcopal churches are structured), the organization of the church we see laid out in scripture with gifts and offices to provide a structure for the church body, though it is a structure where leadership is defined by service and not lordship. Thoughts?


    1. Win, it’s a longer conversation, but I think you are right. Part of this debate stemmed from the Vacellito vs. Tyler debate. The godfather of Reconstructionism, Rushdoony, for a variety of reasons–discussed in Baptized Patriarchalism by Gary North–essentially left the church institutional and began to focus mainly on home studies (many of his lectures come from those studies). Rushdoony himself did not take communion for over 15 years. The Tyler camp emphasized–thanks to James B. Jordan–the importance and centrality of the church. While the Rushdoony group focused mainly on political endeavors.

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