Inherit the Earth (5)

The first principle of a Biblical covenant is transcendence. God is the Creator. How does this apply to man in his relation to the creation? Man is made in God’s image. Therefore, man is a ruler over creation, too.

 In the Old Testament, the guardians of God’s holy sanctuary were the priests. This is why the Old Testament occasionally refers to the religious leaders as gods. “God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?” (Ps.82:1-2). Men are rulers, or judges, over the creation. “I said, You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes” (Ps. 82:6-7).

God’s judgment was to fall on the religious leaders just as it was about to fall on princes. They all judged unrighteously. Thus, men are to exercise their rulership over the creation, which is similar to the absolute rulership which God exercises

over His creation. This is what the first principle of the covenant, the Creator-creature distinction between a transcendent God and dependent men points to. Man is God’s image and God’s lawful representative on earth.[1]

Men and women are created beings. We are not God, but we are made in His image to exercise rulership. And what should distinguish Christian men and women in this regard, is their willingness to exercise representative rulership.

Jesus understood this. Speaking of His Heavenly Father, He said “…I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (Jn.8:29).

We have already observed that the garden of Eden was Adam and Eve’s proving ground. God placed them there, with a condition: leave the tree of the knowledge of good and evil alone. God had excluded them.

Why? Because they were subordinates. The tree was not theirs. They were on probation. They had to show through their obedience that they were capable of the limited tasks assigned to them. As it turned out, they weren’t.

When Adam and Eve rebelled in the garden, they tried to overturn the principle of property rights. They were agreeing with the devil, accepting the legitimacy of theft as a life principle. What did God do? He threw them all out of the garden: Adam, Eve and Satan.

God’s action didn’t represent the abolition of property rights, but the reinforcement of them. Adam and Eve before the fall had greater freedom of movement. Now they had less, because an angelic guard was there to keep them out of the garden (Gen.3:22-24).

The notion of exclusion is Biblical, and necessary. The notions of property rights (“Thou shalt not steal”-Ex.20:15), and the sanctity of marriage (“Thou shalt not commit adultery”-Ex.20:14), is contingent on property rights. It is important to note that socialists historically have disputed this fact, and thrown into question the notion of private property. Why? They want maximum control of everything, so that nothing is excluded from the power of government, including the education and control of children.

 

 Conclusion:

1. God, as the sovereign owner, excludes men from whatever He chooses to keep for Himself.

2. He chooses some for eternal life (adoption, Jn.1:12), and excludes others (Ro.9).

3. He delegates to men a limited legal power to exclude others in every area of life.

4. Redeemed men are to take dominion from Satan’s followers in every area of life.

5. Redeemed men are therefore to exclude rebellious men from ownership in every area of life.

6. The means of lawful economic exclusion is productivity within a competitive market, not political force.

7. This power of exclusion operates in every area of life: family, church, State, business, education, etc.

8. Exclusion is basic to dominion: it is the training ground for personal responsibility.

9. Ownership (the right to exclude) of property is not to be violated by the State, just as the right to exclude others in marriage is not to be violated.

10. The State is not to become the single owner; therefore, the State cannot legitimately abolish private property.

11. Socialism is theft: the illegitimate exclusion by the State of lawful owners.

12. Socialism is therefore anti-dominion and pro-power.

13. Socialism is historically and theoretically anti-family.[2]



[1] Gary North, “Inherit the Earth,” 1987, p.74.

[2] ibid, p.84-85.

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