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Dec 1, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)


From the Easy Chair

Christian Conciliatory Service


Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.


Conversations, Panels and Sermons





Dictation Name:



1980s and 1990s

Dr. R. J. Rushdoony,
Christian Conciliatory Service

from the Easy Chair,
excellent colloquies on various subjects.

This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 151 July 17, 1987. We have with us
this evening

and Otto and I are looking forward to continuing our conversation with him

Lorrie Eck. Mr. Eck is the man who started the

Conciliation Service, first

in New
Mexico and subsequently in a number of other states.

A number of you are familiar with his work, I know, both because of contacts with the service
and also because in our special
double issue, 1982
83 of the
Journal of Christian Reconstruction,
lume IX: Symposiums of Christian Reconstruction in the Western World Today

we have three
pages of an article from the
Albuquerque Tribune

about Lorrie Eck and his work. The Christian
Conciliation Service in Albuquerque is recognized legally by the state
and its decisions are
binding. Of course, in various ways the same thing is true across the country.

We are very happy to have you with us this evening, Lorrie, and we look forward to many more
such sessions together. Would you like to
sketch broadly so
me of the nature of the Christian
Conciliation Service, the kid of work you do and where you are active now?

[Eck] Well, the nature of the service basically is an attempt to be faithful to the biblical mandate
that Christians not sue their brother in sec
ular court, but instead take their disputes to the Church
following the procedures that Jesus outlined in Matthew 18 in such a way that not only can the
conflict be resolved in a way that is really consistent with God’s law and his principles of justice,
ut that the parties can have their relationship reconciled and really see that justice is done and
that an opportunity for ministry which a conflict represents is taken advantage of. [3:02]

And so I guess you might characterize the ministry as a ministry

of equipping those wise men in
the Church who have authority, who have recognized capacity as reconcilers and peace makers
to exercise those particular gifts

and to really be restored to the Church what has been a
traditional responsibility of the body of

Christ and that is to resolve conflicts with... within the
Church. And to do it...

[Scott] Would you call these Christian courts?

[Eck] Well, I think you would, but, with, perhaps, the caveat that sometimes the medieval
ecclesiastic courts carried
with them somewhat of a negative, very legalistic, harsh, vindictive
kind of connotation.

[Scott] Well, they were legal courts of the day, but they were part of the state apparatus, too,
were they not?

[Eck] They were. And they... they were recognized to varying degrees by the state, which were
in a somewhat different situation today. But there... there were obvious abuses at times where...
where many times the individuals in charge of those courts bec
ame fairly legalistic, not really
looking to prayer, looking to formulas and ... and, you know, kind of set procedures for resolving
disputes that, perhaps, didn’t do full biblical justice. But I guess you would really call it a
Christian alternative to th
e secular court system, a system that focuses, first of all, in trying to
bring parties into voluntary agreement through principles of mediation or conciliation.

Now that is as distinguished from what we might call arbitration where the panel of Christia
would actually render a decision that would be legally binding and that might award various
kinds of relief from restitution to other kinds of relief that a secular court couldn’t award.

[Scott] Well, does you conciliation service

conduct these arbit
rations and hand down these

[Eck] The basic principle of who does it is, in a sense, is to try to encourage local church
fellowships to identify a panel of lay people, if you will...

[Scott] ...selected for the purpose.

[Eck] ...selecte
d for the purpose and selected, perhaps, in some different ways than regular
secular mediators or arbitrators might be selected. In other words, perhaps one of the biblical
principles of a good mediator is not one who is totally impartial, detached and in

a sense neutral.
Jesus is the model of our mediator and, of course, he was part of the godhead, part of the trinity
and became incarnate very close and intimate with sinful man that he was trying to reconcile to
the Father. [6:15]

So many times a good m
ediator, a good arbitrator is one who, perhaps, has a very close personal
relationship with both of the parties to the dispute

and, depending on the nature of the dispute, is
hopefully one who has not only the spiritual maturity, but perhaps the technical
expertise in ... in
medicine or construction or marital relations or whatever the disputes might involve.

[Scott] ... in the subject, in other words.

[Eck] ... in the subject area.

[Scott] And... and taken from the community of the disputants.

Eck] Well...

[Scott] ... but not an outsider brought in.

[Eck] That is right. Taken from the local church fellowship and taken generally as one who is
recognized as... as a man of wisdom and spiritual maturity by the leadership of the Church. Very

... very often, perhaps, not the... you know, not the principle preacher.

[Scott] Not necessarily the minister.

[Eck] Not necessarily.

But very often a person who is one of recognized wisdom who hears the

[Scott] ... an elder perhaps.

[Eck] Yes.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Well, also someone who has to live with this decision, because...

[Eck] Right, sure.

[Rushdoony] He is a part of the same community.

[Scott] And he is not leaving.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Eck] That is


[Rushdoony] What brought you to this? Your background is... your parents were both
professors. You
went to Harvard Law School. You took some work in medical school in order to
have training in that field in relationship to legal practice. What
brought you to a Christian
conciliation service, applying law in this area?

[Eck] Well, I guess as... as an attorney who was a church member and, perhaps, fairly religious,
but not a Christian, I began to be a little bit frustrated with kind of satisfac
tion of practicing law
with the traditional tools and manner and approaches that I learned in law school, to begin to see
the same clients returning with different conflicts that were manifestations of what appeared to
be deeper spiritual needs, problems w
ith unforgivenes and greed and bitterness and resentment
and really finding that I was incapable of ministering to those needs or resolving in a permanent
way the underlying root causes of the conflict. And, of course, found myself involved as a trial
er primarily suing medical doctors for malpractice in a... in an area where relationships were
not healed, where they were, in fact, alienated. People were polarized and that it became after a
while not too intellectually challenging and not very rewarding

except financially. [9:20]

And then I began to see, I guess, in my own that despite a lot of intellectual training and a lot of
skills as a trial lawyer that some very important relationships in my own life with my wife and
children began to fall apart
after seven or eight years of very successful practice, making a lot of
money and having positions of prestige in the bar association and trial lawyers and teaching
positions that a wife who filed for divorce and who left
and had no intention of returning
and no
desire to be reconciled.

And I spent the next year in a mental institution, in a couple of jails in some situations where my
own personal life really was in shambles and began to seek some answers and found that a lot of
the psychiatry, a lot of t
he psychology that I had studied didn’t provide relief. I found that they
did have some diagnosis of the problem in terms of saying that I had some guilt. But basically
indicated it was guilt that was in my mind, mental, made up guilt.

[Scott] In ot
her words, they didn’t recognize actual guilt or repentance.

[Eck] Or sin.

[Scott] Or sin. Well, my understanding in a rough sort of way is that the
{?} fairly rapidly
became an anti Christian substitute.

[Eck] And, of course, you ... you see
in studying Rogers or Freud or Skinner that they start with
a worldview of who is man and how do people change.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Eck] And ... and basically every psychological theory represents all of the elements of a
theology. And... and a very ba
d theology from the standpoint of seeing permanent change and... I
guess the thing that was an encouragement to me was that after what I suppose is a fairly typical
situation in American society today where people have given up hope on relationships. They
have tried counseling. They don’t love this other person. They don't want to be reconciled. They
don't want any more counseling. They don't want anything but kind of to peacefully leave a very
frustrating relationship.

And that was exactly the situation

my wife was in and I was in and yet
it was fortunate that the
Lord brought into our life a number of individuals who really challenged us with the biblical
standards, God’s standards of his hatred of divorce, even in cases where it might be permissive
t it is never God’s will that people divorce. And began to really challenge us with us with the
vows that we had made to each other and to really show us that the God that could raise Jesus
from the dead could certainly resurrect this relationship. [12:31

And I guess I was kind of challenged with the idea of... and my wife, too, was perhaps the basic
issue was did we believe in the resurrection. And my wife, who has always been a committed
Christian, began to reflect on the fact that if she did believe
in the resurrection that Jesus, that
God the Father could certainly breathe life into what had become a very dead relationship.
he did. And I... I used... when I began to see the power of God, the power of the Holy Spirit to ...
to start to reconstruct

and to rebuild totally fractured relationships in a way that problems could
be handled and resolved, I became excited with the

potential that, you know, existed in a legal
arena where so many people had given up hope on partnerships and marriages and ... and
relationships with other Christians to the point of suing them or separation, divorce, or whatever

[Scott] You had
a complete conversion.

[Eck] Well, you know, I suspect if you were to ask my wife she would say the Lord is still
working on me, Otto.

[Scott] Yeah {?}

That follows. That is no surprise. You know, I have often felt that God’s
army really could have
done better than to pull me in as a private. But I think it is fascinating
that your conversion, you began to apply your conversion in your profession. And I think this is
very unusual, because most people convert and join the church and let the minister
tell them how
to function and so forth on their own, but they don’t always

apply it in their vocation.

[Eck] When I... when I became
a Christian, I guess, when I first thought, when I really saw that.
the... the wisdom in God’s Word and... and began to
read the Scriptures and take them seriously
was, you know, I have got to go to seminary and become a pastor. But I began to read the
Scriptures and see that the mandate stay in the field where you were when you were called.

[Scott] Where you were when y
ou were called.

[Eck] And I began to read. One of the things that really, I guess, convicted me, was and
sometimes, perhaps, you take Scriptures not directly in the context in which they were intended,
but I was reading the book of Titus as I was askin
g God these questions and of course Titus had
been left there in Crete among some pretty pagan idolatrous kind of people. And as I was asking
the Lord to sort of remove me from my colleagues in the legal profession
that doesn’t have the
best reputation for
, you know, being spiritual.


[Scott] {?} that is a start.

[Eck] You all know the joke about that. But, you know, the professional courtesy one. But the
... the Lord... you know, Paul wrote to Titus and said, “Titus, I left you there in Crete so that you
could set in order those things that were not in order.”

And I began to see that
as I read through
the Scriptures and the very clear biblical mandate that Jesus gave to resolve legal conflict within
the Church, when I began to see that the only time that Jesus really even mentions the Church in
Matthew 16 and M
atthew 18 he was talking about the authority and the responsibility that he
gave to the Church to deal with conflict and... and basically saying the gates which are kind of
representative of the courts of hell shall not prevail against the authority of the

Church. I, I guess,
was naïve enough to take that seriously and began to meet with a number of other Christian
lawyers. And as we studied 1 Corinthians six and Matthew 18 and saw that so much of the New
Testament dealt with the resolution, reconciliation
of conflict, we began to call together church
leaders in the city. And it was interesting.

[Scott] Where was this?

[Eck] This was in Albuquerque.

[Scott] In Albuquerque.

[Rushdoony] 350,000 so it is not a...

[Scott] No, it is a good {?}.

[Rushdoony] {?} city.

[Eck] And it was a city where, interestingly, the... despite the ... the theological differences on
many issues, we had a pastors from all of the mainline churches, the charismatic, evangelical,
faith, fundamental, Bible churche
s come together and... and... and in fact come together not only
individually, but through their kind of separate pastor fellowships which included the New
Mexico conference of churches, the Pentecostal pastors, the black ministerial alliance, the
ministerial alliance, the evangelical minister’s alliance.

[Scott] This probably reflects the fact that they were all these clerics who are inundated with
personal problems in their congregations {?}

[Rushdoony] {?} [18:02]

[Eck] That is right. W
ell, {?} the typical answer, of course, was


nobody likes to
intervene in conflicts. It isn’t fun. And, of course, they are... in... in a sense the model of a
mediator is the Jesus model. And it is a model of laying down your life and it is

a model that if
you take a look at the way that Jesus reconciled between God and man as mediator, you know,
he was in a situation where the party who was the mediator ended up paying the debt that he
didn’t owe and up taking upon himself the abuse, physic
al and... and verbal and legal that was
due to us and that is a very different model than the worldly model of mediation or conciliation
and pastors often try to avoid conflict. In fact, we found,

enough, that as we
surveyed pastors who said,

you know, this is great. It is biblically sound, theologically sound to
resolve conflict within the Church, reconciliation is a major responsibility of the Church, but we
have been lucky here at our particular fellowship, because we really haven’t had...

[Scott] We don’t have any problems.

[Eck] But as we went in and did surveys, actual anonymous surveys and asked members of that
about occasions in which they had hired lawyers to sue other

or had been
involved in lawsuits in the l
ast two years, we found that pastors... and how many times they told
their pastor we found that the pastors even in small supposedly intimate fellowships actually
knew only about less than five percent of the legal disputes. People didn’t consider that to
be any
of the church’s business. And, in fact, there were 8000 law suits each year in the city of
Albuquerque that had church members on both sides, that’s 16,000 parties and they were
spending, according to our survey, between 15 and 1600 dollars each for

legal fees.

[Scott] Yes.

[Eck] This is
.... and so that was like 24 million dollars of money and... and I ... I guess I
consider conflicts between Christians to be the property of the Church. In other words, we ...
people talk about, well, we have
got to be a good steward of... of this money or this physical
property. But we also have to be a good steward of our conflicts. And this... this stewardship
means that we can be either a good witness or a bad witness by the way that we handle them.
And, I.
.. you know, for example, see a Christian say, “Well, I can’t give this 5000 dollars to my
brother because I don’t really owe it to him and I could give it to God’s work,” when, in fact, if
he could reconcile his relationship by, perhaps, paying with money

a debt that he didn’t owe, it
might be a kind of stewardship in terms of reconciling relationship and bringing a person to the
Lord that might be more important than that financial gift to... to the Church. [21:17]

I mean, there... there is a matter
here that many times Christians don't consider.

[Rushdoony] Well, the sad fact today is that too many churches don’t want conflicts. That is,

will not recognize or seek to include people who have conflicts.

Let me cite one instance, a very, very
fine Christian woman, two small boys whose father was an
outstanding Christian leader married the young man from a prominent church family who was
outwardly of the faith, but actually was just conventional, not converted. And he ran off with
another woman
, came across the country with her to California, left her for another and then left
her for another and in the process got a quickie, at least one quickie divorce and remarried and
divorced and so on. And also was involved in misappropriation of funds so

that there was a
warrant out for him. He had gotten 10,000 dollars from one widow.

At any rate, an attorney, a good friend told this young woman, “You had better go to a local
court and get a divorce, because with what he is doing he can come and take th
e house away
from you. It is your money and your father’s money, but given the laws of this state you can be
put out in the street at any time.”

And the fact he married and remarried and
there is no marriage. Well, she did get a divorce. And

she moved to another part of the city. She sold the home. It was much too large and
she was working to support her two sons in Christian school. And at the church she went, a large
one that professed to believe the Bible from cover to cover the pastor t
old her she was not
welcome and he said, “You have a problem and we don’t like people with problems.”

Now this is why your work, I believe, is so important, because you are facing up to problems.
You are asking churches
to face up to them. When, too often
, they don’t like problems, because
if you try to resolve a problem you might offend someone and it is better to sweep them under
the carpet. [24:14]

[Eck] Well one of the policies that we have had is basically in any conflict where people are

of churches we really insist that some representative from that church participate in the
proceedings and someone who is designated by the leadership as a person they trust and respect.

And one of the...
one of the reasons for that is that to follow thr
ough faithfully the... the Matthew
18 process of resolving conflicts
may come to a point of imposing discipline on a party who
refuses to follow the decision of the Church or refuses to, you know, abide by some agreement or
covenant that they have entered
into and so it is very important that the leadership of the church
that, perhaps, may need to take discipline lovingly for the purpose of enforcing the decision, but
also for bringing for unrighteous action, has confidence in ... in the process and the cre
of... of what has happened. And this is a very common situation.

Churches don’t ... have not bee equipped to really deal with conflict. They have created all kinds
of ministries of evangelism and building and teaching, but perhaps the basic mand
ate of dealing
with unreconciled relationships, well, we have a mandate to basically be leaving our gift at the
altar and making a priority out of going to one who had something against us is of primary

[Scott] Well, here I think the America
n culture has created part of the problem. We are raised
in this giant flowering euphemisms. We don’t ... from child onward to say what we think,
because when we did we got punished. And therefore most Americans lose the ability to talk,
the ability to b
e level and to say precisely and exactly what they think.

Now this is sort of like blindfolding everybody. We have... I am well aware, I have... I have
known marriages where the husbands ...I... I got letters, as a matter of fact, from one of my
folks. One woman wrote and said, “My husband and I have been married for 25 years
and until I read your book I never knew what he did.” And they{?} modern men who don’t tell
their wives what they do. They... it isn’t that they are keeping secrets. It is th
at they just never
talk. They just never explain themselves. They never describe anything. So you can imagine how
this compounds in terms of personal relationships when your people are not talking to one
another they don’t know one another and, of course,
if they don’t know one another they grow
apart or they never come together. [27:31]

And you ... you have embarked upon, I think, a masterful effort.

[Eck] Well, part of the reconciliation process in terms of the mediators often involves husband
wife teams who are working together. I, you know, I... I find that having my wife, for example,
present in a mediation session with another marital couple kee
ps me honest. In other words,
sometimes I practice things that I haven’t preached and if my wife is sitting there, I am going to
take the log out of my own eye before I can
confront these other people and, you know, there is a
certain balance between husba
nd and wife where that one flesh relationship is...

[Scott] And the wives have a way of bringing you back to earth.

[Eck] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] Well, which book was it in which this woman found out what her husband was

[Scott] It was the
Raytheon book.

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Eck] Well, in cases where I haven’t had my wife involved in sessions at times I ... and I hear
this one woman describing, you know, why it is that she is going to leave her husband and
divorce him. And, you kno
w, many times you... you listen to these sessions and the Holy Spirit
has a way of kind of convicting you of things in your own life that, you know, I can get off... out
of that session and run for the phone and call my wife and wonder if she is still goin
g to be there,
you know. But... so, you know, it is a matter of... of recognizing we need to meet each other’s
needs and to try to be open and transparent about

problems we have...

[Scott] And learn to speak.

[Eck] And learn to speak.

That is a difficult thing for people who have never spoken.

[Eck] That is true.

[Scott] It is almost like with open confession.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I recall one of the most wonderful things I ever heard was in calling once on
an elderly couple, Scott
ish. And the wife remarked and her husband seconded her, she said, “We
are not only man and wife, we are very friends. We enjoy talking endlessly with one another.”

[Scott] You should be ... we should be the common state.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

Well, that is what reconciliation is about. You know, we have... we have lost the concept
of friendship. And you talk about reconciliation. It is basically making enemies into friends. It is
interesting kind of in a sense you see how few friends many

have. [30:17]

[Rushdoony] Oh.

[Eck] Now it is...

[Scott] Most Americans today have very few friends.

[Rushdoony] Lorrie, earlier in the day you made a very important observation, one among quite
a number of very important observations, but one I think that is very telling in this context. You
called attention to the fact that instead of being God center
ed, Christ
, the Church today
is consumer oriented. Do you want to expound more on that?

[Eck] Well, I think the general observation that I have seen in trying to develop conciliation
ministries around the country is that very often churches c
enter in on kind of superstar pastors
who really emphasize building a big church to the

exclusion of build
ing a pure church, who
focus more on church growth than on discipline or discipleship or people
who really are trained
and instructed in the authority

of God’s Word. And, of course, what that means in terms of sort
of consumer orientation is the... the general tendency of churches is to ... for people to go a
church as a consumer, where if they like the product, so to speak, they stay and consume for as

long as it pleases them, but if they don’t like it they leave and go down the street to some other
church and, essentially what it means is that the church really doesn’t have much authority in
their life to bring correction or discipline or instruction o
r produce real disciples who are making
a difference in the world, because what generally happens is that if the Church would ever decide
to impose some discipline they would leave and the Church would feel they have a right to leave
and... and essentially

the... the Church doesn’t feel that they have any right to discipline then a
merchant would feel that they could discipline a customer.

And so it... it creates an atmosphere that is really totally opposed to the authority that Jesus died
on the cross to

restore to the Church. And we have basically given back the keys of the
kingdom. We haven’t asserted the authority in the jurisdiction that Christ died. [33:11]


This was
, I think, inherent in our Constitution.
By creating the first state in
the history
of the world that had no religion, the founding fathers, in effect, threw religion into the streets for
anyone to pick up and claim in the name of any practice, custom, belief, creed or activity. The
clergy of the United States were reduced to
mendicancy. They had to attract a crowd. They had
to beg for money. And I think it must be one of the greatest crosses for any minister to bear,
because he has to be a beggar. And there is no ... there is no standard, there is no religious
standard. Eve
n an irreligious country like England still has an established church on the books
and still pays that church a livelihood and could... The courts of England could throw out the
Cybernetics as a false religion, because they have a religious standard. There

is no way that our
courts can define...

[Rushdoony] Not Cybernetics,

[Scott] Oh, Scientology.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Yes.
Well, they threw it out as a fraud.

[Eck] Well, of course, we know there is going to come a point whe
n this world is going to
realize there is not freedom of religion and every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going
to confess that like it or not, the kingdom is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship with a King and
his name is Jesus and I don’t be
lieve we are going to see that it is going to be a pluralistic
kingdom. And this is
omething where the... kind of one of these areas where the Church has

bought in to the world system. We ran into a lot of problems with churches who have tried to set

books of discipline and order that deal with conflict that are based on kind of democratic
concepts, but not biblical concepts. And this has created real problems with conflict resolution,
because they have created a 200 page document, at times, to deal w
ith matters that are already
clearly dealt with in

[Rushdoony] Yes. That is a key point. I have had people submit to me sample documents like
that and I tell them, “What about the Bible?” [36:08]

[Eck] And you can tell these documents
have been drafted by attorneys. And, of course, where
churches are getting into trouble now with areas of Church discipline and so forth is... is because
they ... they had it and probably couldn’t without the constant assistance of a staff of attorneys
low the procedures that they themselves have created to deal with conflict or the very

itself. It means that you can’t, if you can’t follow your own procedures, you do
become, perhaps, liable for those individuals and...

[Scott] Well, tell me

how the conciliation service has spread. You tell... it is a whole network
now, is it not?

[Eck] It is really spread out in a sense through individuals in various parts of the country who
have begun to really see first hand that God’s principles, God
’s law can really bring justice and
reconciliation that... that there cannot be real peace without applying biblical law, biblical
procedures and remedies and... and where people have had an opportunity to

that first
hand and we have had hundreds a
nd hundreds of people come to Albuquerque and to the other
cities and observe for a matter of weeks or months at
times the system in operation and gone
back with a vision of ... of planting within their own fellowship or within their local church this

of a ministry. It has spread.

And... and we have gone to two other cities and done training seminars and tried to really in... in
a prophetic sense, I guess, really call attention to the biblical mandates and to show people that
it... that if we take the
m seriously, that they will bring peace in such a way that the world will
look up and take notice that we as Christians have an alternative that is restorative, that can
reconcile seemingly impossible situations. We had, for example, the court system in
buquerque adopt a formal court rule appointing the Christian Conciliation Service to give a
mandatory conciliation lecture to people who wanted to get kind of a quickie no fault divorce.
And the idea was they had seen, despite the fact that most of the jud
ges were not Christians, that
the other alternative dispute resolution systems that were not Christ centered, could do nothing
but divide up property and custody and could not really produce reconciled relationships. And, of
course, these judges were over
burdened with each of them having thousands of cases pending
on their dockets at any given time for divorce and coming back time and time again with the new
husbands and new divorces and fractured families and really seeing that apart from Jesus Christ
re is really no basis for... for peace or reconciliation. [39:26]

[Rushdoony] You have had a lot of cases involving money and property also.

[Eck] Surprisingly probably 50 percent of the cases have been business, commercial, injury
kind of cases that generally have involved surprisingly large sums of money, probably averaging
100,000 dollars or more case. I thought initially that the concil

might be
characterized by many as a petty, neighborhood, barking dog, deck, you know, small debt
collection type of things. But those usually are not the ones that have been brought and it is, in a
sense, they are a little bit easier to reso
lve, because many times there aren’t the strong feelings of
bitterness and anger and resentment that have built up during marital relationships.

But is important in these areas. People... people sometimes get the idea that the Christian
solution is for p
eople to hug each other and split the difference.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Eck] But you see that... hat God’s Word sets forth very clear standards of what appropriate
levels of restitution are and sometimes those levels are, you know, people talk about wi
n, win
solutions to resolving conflict. And you begin to see that violate God’s law and ...

[Scott] {?}

[Eck] ... you... somebody loses and...

[Scott] Somebody has got to lose.

[Eck] ... and loses big.

[Scott] Right.

[Eck] And

shdoony] I would say the biggest problem the movement has had is that all the country
churches will pick up this idea, but when it comes to practice, that hug and forgive idea is what
prevails. They don’t want to go into the problem. They don’t want to re
solve it. And so basically
what they are doing is to try to destroy exactly what the service is trying to ...

[Eck] Exactly. {?} I would say that, you know, the reason I am here talking to you is because I
have come to see that... that... that the weak
ness of the system, you know, what is going to solve
problems is not a system, but people who know the Word of God, who take it seriously and that
means not only the substantive principles of biblical justice, but the... the... the evidence that is
iate. The remedies that... that the whole process that goes into producing true
reconciliation has to be based on God’s law and God’s procedures and, quite frankly, within the
Church across America today, the leadership, the attorneys and many of the ones
that have been
involved in the process simply have not been equipped with... with many of the aspects of really
knowing the Word of God and knowing how to apply that in a practical sense to conflicts and...
and without the work that Chalcedon is doing. [42

[Scott] Well...

[Eck] This... this will never be accomplished.

[Scott] Well...

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] I had an interview over the Cincinnati radio this morning. I had to get up at 5:30. The
radio fellow’s show began at nine o'clock
Cincinnati time which is six o'clock our time. And the
subject was our revolution. The subject was that talk I ... I gave some time ago. What is
happening in the United States? And, of course, what is underway now between congress and the
president and in

many other areas and levels is the illusion that a society can live without
authority and a general uprising against the idea of authority, the president’s authority or anyone
else’s authority and this I suppose is where the church has come in.

One of th
e callers in to the radio program compared the discussion to the situation of the
Catholic Church where the bishops are rising against the Vatican because thy don’t think the
Vatican should have that much authority. And I said, “Well, how could you have a
church in
which the buck stoops nowhere, in which the discussion goes around forever.”

[Eck] Good.

[Scott] Which is sort of a whirlpool that we have reached in the political sense in the United
States where no issue is ever resolved, because no one
has admitted to have the authority to
resolve it. And here you come in with the Bible. And then, of course, if you accept the Bible you
have to accept guilt. You have to accept sin. You have to accept error and you have to make

[Eck] And
the problem...

[Scott] That is a very difficult lesson.

[Eck] You... you see very quickly the problem is there has been a complete abrogation of
authority on the part of the Church.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Eck] ON the part of the... the heads of famil

[Rushdoony] Right.

[Eck] ... on the part of the government and the... you know, there needs to be a restoration and a
recognition of... of authority and to... and a recognition of to have authority you have got to be
under authority.

I began
to see when I was, you know, really asking the Lord to rebuild the marriage that it was
very important for me to see that, as a husband, one of the reasons why I could complain about
my wife’s rebelliousness was that as a husband I wasn’t submitted. And I
am not talking about a
dictator. I am talking about somebody, though, who really is pastoring and watching over my
soul as one who gives an account and as one who is meeting with me and I am trying to be open
and transparent and confessing the problems wi
th and beginning to see, too, that ... that the
people that God did put into my life as pastors in authority had come in as servants. In other
words, they had come in and really made every effort to make my ministry and my family
successful, had been serva
nts to me. [45:43]

And they had authority, not because they came in and announced it, but because of real

and, of course, I called me to look at relationship with my wife and began to see that not
only had there been a good period of time wh
en as a husband I had not been under authority and
yet was asking my wife to submit, but had not modeled with her the kind of servant hood that my
pastors had modeled for me. And, you know, this is something that if the Church, heads of
family would assum
e the authority that God has given them, many of these problems would be
resolved. The Church where people are truly pastored....

[Scott] Well...

[Eck] ...don’t have this conflict.

[Scott] We find this going all through American life. I was
astonished to discover when I joined
a large corporation of third week I was there I fired a man who was reporting to me because I
found I caught him a lie. And he flew out right away into the chairman and said, “Otto fired me
and he hasn’t got the authori
ty to fire me.” He said, “This isn’t the way things are done here.”

And the chairman said, “Did he say that he fired you in so many words?”

And he said, “Yes.”

“Well, then,” he said, “There is nothing we can do.”

And I didn't realize that I had broke
n all their policy. I had face to face fired a man, because they
had set up a system where there was a sort of internal mediation. He would be transferred to
another department, all kinds of nonsense would go on. They would send him a telegram when
he was
out of town. They would do anything to keep from facing up to the facts of life. And yet,
you know, if you keep a man at a job for which he is unsuited, you are doing him an injury.

[Eck] Well, and that... that has been a... you know, an obvious proble
m where people in the
Church, for example, who have a conflict, very
typically today if you ask them: Will you submit
to this dispute to the most respected , wise, competent, trusted Christian who you know loves
you and who, you know, is expert within your friend, many Christians will not in that situation
even submit to an
ybody from the Church. They would rather go down into a secular court, but
somebody who doesn't follow biblical principles, who they don’t know, who they don’t have any
relationship with.

[Scott] Take their chances. [48:17]

[Eck] And this... you kno
w, when... when you talk about discipline by the...

[Scott] Do you suppose they would rather do that because it is more impersonal and they are
afraid of the exposure of what you are offering?

[Eck] Part... Part of it is that. I suspect part of it is

not wanting other

to know what is
going on in their life.

[Scott] Yes.

[Eck] In fact, one of the things you commonly hear in terms of involving somebody who has
been kind of a pastor to the person or, at least, who they would call their
pastor involving them is
they ... they would not want this person to know about this kind of problem which really
indicates a basic deficiency in the relationship of the pastor, parishioner, if you will and it is...

[Scott] Too personal.

[Eck] Yeah.

[Scott] They would

rather go into a public arena with a personal problem than
they would a
private arena with a personal problem.

[Eck] But it says something very critical about who is the Lord of the person’s life. When ...
when an

would rather submit to an individual who is a non Christian who
constitutionally can’t follow biblical standards of procedure and evidence and law over the most
trusted and respected Christian that he knows and the Church takes action to disfellowship or
excommunicate that person. You can see that essentially for him to believe the he is really part of
the body of Christ, he is, perhaps, deceiving himself in terms of lordship and that is not, perhaps,
saying anything about his ultimate salvation, but is a
real recognition that there are many people
who, frankly, don’t think the church has any authority to speak. It is like these cases where
people feel their private life in terms of fornication or adultery or whatever, is absolutely none of
the church’s bus

[Scott] {?} And say so.

[Eck] Yeah and say so and in court.

{?} case the woman was indignant. What business of the church’s was it that she
was involved in adultery? She didn't deny the fact. She denied that the Church had any r
ight to
discipline her for it.

[Eck] Well, and the theory has not been the falsity of the charges. It has been the invasion of
their supposed practices.

[Scott] Well, as... as you said before, the Church has abdicated a long time ago. I wonder how

long ago.

[Eck] That...

[Scott] ...that it turned into totally emasculated institutions.

[Rushdoony] I think I can answer that. It began in the 1820s when the Church began

revivalism helped create it

looked to a star. The star system as crea
ted. And from the early
years the stars were in trouble. One of the greatest stars of the last century, the first nationally
prominent pulpit star was Henry Ward Beecher.

[Scott] Well,
{?} Parker. [51:33]

[Rushdoony] Yes. And down to {?} Baker. T
he star system neither generates a strong moral
congregation, nor does it lead to a strong moral leadership.

[Scott] I guess the collapse of Calvinism in New England...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The growth of Arminianism and the turn between 1820 a
nd 1830 probably even before

[Rushdoony] Under Jackson you had men looking to the state for solutions rather than to the
Church. And the answers were no longer
in terms of Scripture, but in terms of the state.

[Scott] Well, you know, this is one of the reasons that the European Christians

and there are
still a remnant

at least very scholarly have never been able to make sense out of American
Christianity which is a brand all its own. There is lots of shouting
and crowds and ... and money
and buildings and glass Cathedrals and all the rest.

[Eck] Well, we have created a cultural Jesus who is kind of in our own image.

[Scott] It is Jesus Christ superstar. And that was
... as some {?} sort of travesty ha
s gone deep
into the culture. But people who... therefore must really be truly converted to go to your
conciliation service and go through it. I would say that the ... how is the... how have they fared,
those that have gone through it?

[Eck] Well, the .
.. I guess one of the things you find. Some... some people’s motives initially,
quite honestly are a little bit mixed.

[Scott] Sure.

[Eck] With a high cost of justice today in our... spending 20 or 30,000 dollars.

[Scott] Cheaper than a lawyer.

[Eck] Sometimes what they are expecting is for the Church to come in and put its

approval on an unbiblical divorce. They are looking for some quick, inexpensive way to resolve
a legal problem without hiring an attorney. So that to say that
... got to say we have people sign
a covenant the time they enter the process that very clearly sets forth their responsibilities and
the process that could very easily result in matter’s of discipline. And it is the kind of contract
that is a very tough

contract in terms of the narrow way that Jesus describes to deal with
disputes. [54:25]

Many people, frankly, do feel challenged. I hope it is not manipulative, but we sometimes do tell
people that you have to be fairly serious about your Christian com
mitment to want to follow this
And sometimes people are... are, you know, at least challenged to want to think that they
are and, frankly, there is usually one or both of the parties whose commitment is a little less than
{?} but the Lord often op
ens up incredible opportunities to really witness and to teach and to
minister and to heel.

And so even in situations where one of the parties may seem fairly insistent on thinking they
want a divorce and basically don’t believe they want to work for reco
nciliation, we carefully
discern, first of all, whether we will get involved in the case, because we obviously don’t want to
facilitate any type of a separation that is unbiblical. But if the Lord will show us many times
that, you know, here is a case whe
re... where hearts can be changed and where he wants us
involved simply because by being alongside of these people and praying with them and
ministering to them, that God will bring reconciliation. And, of course, it is contagious process. I
guess we... we

get frustrated at times
about the increasing levels of divorce and litigation, but the
exciting counter part of that is that when Christians begin to become reconciled, it is equally as
contagious. They... these people who see the power of Jesus to resolv
e conflict and see that the
wisdom that there is in God’s law, that God in setting forth his law is not some mean, over
spoiled sport in the sky that is trying to ruin the fun in life, that his laws are the way to freedom
and the way to peace. And as peopl
e even see that and see that
although we are saved by grace,
but the way we are free in life is through his Word, Son, they become excited, because of a first
hand personal experience that has been more of an intellectual decision to accept the four
ual laws or the doctrines of Christianity, because they have seen the power of the Holy
Spirit, the power of Jesus to resolve. [

And this... this is

[Scott] And this applies... this applies in properly disputes.

[Eck] In ... in
any kind of a dispute. And, of course, it is a matter of really recognizing that
perhaps our role is sort of a John the Baptist role of preparing the way for the Lord, of making
his paths straight so that instead of being like the Scribes and Pharisees who

are so surrounding
the ones needing healing that they have to bring them down through the roof, our role is,
perhaps, one of getting those obstructionists out of the ways so that Jesus can get in with the
Word and the ministry to bring healing and...

ott] How does this affect he rest of the congregation?

[Eck] Well, one thing the congregation begins to see is that conflict is a corporate
responsibility. You know, Otto, you have a debt and a business deal or you have some type of an
injury or you

incur some damage, it may be of a type that you financially, individually can’t take
care of. Now a lot of times traditionally we have said, “Well, if Otto went out and... and made
that debt and couldn’t pay it, that is his problem. Or if he wants to forg
ive a guy when he could
have sued him and collected the money, you have got to live with that stupid decision.” But
when the congregation begins to see, hey, Otto is very likely to forgive and bring reconciliation,
if you know he has brothers and sisters i
n the Lord who are going to supply him with a coat if he
gives his away, it is going to make it much easier for that person

to make the right decision.

So one of the things that happens is people begin to see

as a corporate responsibility and
’t view it as some isolated matter and they begin to see that each one of us is called to be a
peace maker, to be a reconciler and to step in to conflicts and even conflicts particularly with
those people who are very close to us, because those are...

shdoony] A quick question and a quick answer, because we have about two minutes left.

What can people do if they are interested in exploring the possibility of setting up such service
in their community?

[Eck] Well, I... I think there is a number of

options. I ... I ... and I wish I could say there is some
blue print or model that applies to every city. I don’t believe there is. I believe God has a unique
plan for developing this type of a ministry within local churches around the country and one of
the lessons we have learned is the model that has worked well in Albuquerque or Minneapolis or
Chicago may not be the ... the model for San Francisco or Santa Rosa. So we do have with...
with Christian Legal Society at the national office that does supply

materials. We... We have in
virtually every state one or more of these conciliation services who are very willing to come and
meet with local church leadership and attorneys and business people and ... and prayerfully
discern what God is doing in the bod
y of Christ in that city and how the ministry needs to
develop and who needs to be involved with it and it is something that is very difficult to put into
a formula. [60:34]

But I... I believe in reading the scriptural mandate, calling together people wh
o have a vision for
what God is doing in bringing his kingdom to this earth and the authority of the Church that
...that people will be led in ... in what is not a complex process. It involves simply identifying
peace makers who know the Scriptures, who k
now Jesus, who are led by the Holy Spirit, who
know how to minister. And there is no fancy training course. There is no quick answers to

people except identifying those who know the Lord and who know his Word and who
know how to minister.

oony] Well, our time is really virtually gone. Otto Scot and I have been visiting with
Lorrie Eck, who
has with his Christian Conciliation Service created a movement which extends
from coast to cast and is a major force in the dominion work of the

Thank you all for listening and thank...

Authorized by the Chalcedon Foundation. Archived by the Mount Olive Tape Library. Digitized