The Bible and Economics (11)

                                                Conclusion

Socialism is finished: it is destroying itself, and although the worst lies ahead, the certainty of socialism’s collapse is nonetheless inescapable, and it must be a basic premise of all thinking concerning the future. The central concern even now must be reconstruction, the creation of new institutions dedicated to liberty, education to that end, and the assurance that the fresh air of liberty is ahead, past the days of chaos.[1]

The Biblical prophets of old always seemed to be improbable characters. They were so radical to their contemporaries, they seemed to be from another world, which in so many ways they actually were. John the Baptist’s confrontation with Herod was stunning in its bold fearlessness, as was Moses’ confrontation with Pharoah, Elijah’s with Ahab, and Nathan’s with David.

Yet all of the true prophets were entirely consistent in their message to God’s people. God is both Creator and ruler of the earth, we have departed from His laws, and we are obligated to turn from our follies in repentance and obedience, or face His judgement.

To a great degree, this has to be the message today, too. The world has been departing from God’s economic laws now for over a century, and as a consequence, there will be a lot of pain for people and nations. The saddest part of this, has been that the church has been an accomplice in this most sinful and evil behaviour.

I hope that the church really will provide leadership in this field. No doubt in time, it will. But meanwhile, Christian individuals, families and churches are required to begin at the beginning.

Where is that?

With God’s law, which has so much to say about economics, which is clearly a moral and ethical issue. At the beginning of the Ten Commandments, God said,

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery (Ex.20:2).

You didn’t think slavery was an issue today? Rushdoony and Powell commented

One of the surest means of enslaving another person is through dependence…This is one of the major characteristics of our modern welfare oriented society. Few persons who have received monthly welfare for any extended period of time are any longer capable of taking care of themselves.[2]

God also said,

You shall not steal (Ex.20:15),

and,

You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife or his male servant of his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbour (Ex.20:17).

Socialism is legalised theft by government, under the guise of charity or equality. It may be portrayed in heart-warming terms, as though its “compassion for the poor,” but it’s still theft. Judas used a similar ploy to hide his theft, too (Jn.12:1-6).

Slavery, theft, covetousness and criminal behaviour are common among godless people. God’s people must renounce all of these things, and begin to lead the way forth into godly faith, liberty and charity, expecting no help from government.

No doubt, this requires massive, long-term change, and there very well may be massive resistance, because people mostly don’t appreciate sharp increases in responsibility, without a commensurate payoff. Aircraft carriers can’t turn around in a few moments, and our change may be slow and incremental, begun by a small cohort of faithful people, who operate in faith and obedience to God. The Bible calls these a “remnant:” a very small component of a larger group, that God uses to initiate change.

You want to be a part of that remnant?  So do I.

Where do we start?  Right where we live, at home and in our church and neighbourhood, which desperately needs the testimony and obedience of faithful Christians.

How do we start?

In the same way as Nehemiah: he prayed and he acted to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, out of faithfulness to God and His Word. Just like him, in obedience to God we’ll all find plenty to do.

 

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.641-644.

[2] E. Powell, and Rousas Rushdoony, “Tithing and Dominion,” 1979, p.122.

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