The Calm Before the Storm

the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted (Ps.47:9).

Economics always begins with an attitude. What people think about economics reflects what they think about God. Either God is acknowledged as the owner of all things, and people are His stewards, or men (and governments) own everything. Right now, national leaders around the world are demonstrating that God does not figure very highly in their thoughts; thus their attitudes towards economics are frightening, and Western nations are lurching towards a recession, or a Depression: a large hole of their own making.

How do I know that?

When nations reject God, there are inevitable economic consequences. God warned Israel what would be the consequences if they rejected Him (see Deut.28:15-68), and these are primarily economic. When the Prodigal Son rejected the disciplines of his father’s house, walked out and dissipated his inheritance, Jesus made it abundantly clear in the parable that the consequences were economic. The young man ended up starving in a pig-pen, and it was there that he “came to his senses” (Luke 15:17).

This is the normal procedure which God in His judgment and grace utilises for individuals and nations. God says in effect,

You want to reject Me and turn away from Me? No problem. I have ways and means of making those stupid, ungodly decisions really painful for you, so that you get the message loud and clear. Then, when you have gotten hungry and lost a lot of the good things you have enjoyed for so long, I’ll give you the grace to humble your heart and turn to Me.

This is essentially what Jeremiah commented on. He had watched Jerusalem rebel against the Lord, and then he witnessed the judgments come, when Jerusalem was besieged and women ate their children, and prophet and priest were slain (Lam.2:20). Then he commented: “This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lam.3:21-23).

Yes, there is a problem with national leadership today. One response is, “well, let’s change the national leadership.” But that’s only part of the solution, because the poor national leadership is a reflection of the electoral attitudes that put them there in the first place. The electorate had better change its mind about all manner of things:

1)      Government redistribution of the wealth of citizens, based around the politics of theft and envy, violations of two of the Ten Commandments (Ex.20:15, 17).

2)      Government by central control: “We know what’s good for you.”

3)      Government ability to “manage the economy,” which turns out to be shocking mismanagement.

4)      Bail-outs of failing businesses and guarantees of inefficient banks by governments (that’s taxpayers).

5)      Government “stimulus packages” for stupid socialistic schemes like pink batts, and school halls for schools that don’t need them, leading to Government debt that tax-payers have to now service for years.

6)      Wars against nations that have not attacked us, because of our ridiculous, unjustified notions of support for an aggressor, our “ally,” the United States.

I could go on.

So yes, the electorate has to change its mind, but clearly the Church hasn’t made up its mind on most of these issues, because we haven’t taken note of what the Bible said. We don’t know what we believe and why, and so the electorate has no one to point the way out of the mess we’re in.

The modern secular world has strayed so far from belief in the God of the Bible that it regards tax tyranny as liberty. Tax reformers who call for a 20 percent national flat tax — leaving intact all state and local taxes — are dismissed by the vast majority of intellectuals and elected politicians as crackpot defenders of a near-libertarian State. Meanwhile, the modern church refuses to call for massive tax cuts in the name of the Bible.[1]

Ask your Minister on Sunday:

Does the Bible instruct us about Economics, Law and Governments? Does it speak to us about Immigration, Foreign Affairs and Defence? What should we be doing about it?

If he is stunned and finds it difficult to respond, you can understand why our silence and inability to make a Biblical contribution to the way the nations have been going, has contributed to the international decline of the Church, and our era of judgment. The two things are directly linked: Church ignorance-national decline.

The nations are weak and undecided, because the Church is weak and undecided, and this will have to change, or God’s judgments on us will magnify. What is needed is individual, local and national repentance from our sins. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn commented,

Repentance is the first bit of firm ground underfoot, the only one from which we can go forward not to fresh hatreds but to concord. Repentance is the only starting point for spiritual growth. For each and every individual. And every trend of social thought.[2]

Personal irresponsibility is bad, and national irresponsibility is much more damaging: think of Hitler. International irresponsibility is even worse. We are steadily witnessing national leaders in Europe, the United States and elsewhere, joining hands and behaving as though there is no tomorrow. But tomorrow will come.

Conclusion:

“For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (I Pet.4:17)

There is a calm before the coming economic storm, but it won’t last. The house of economic cards will certainly come crashing down soon. We have to go back to the scripture to find the answers for every realm of life, precisely as Josiah did in the Bible (II Kings 22-23).

We have to find out that the God Who made and designed us has a plan for us, our families, the Church and the nations of the world. And we in the Church are those who are supposed to figure out these things, and explain them to the world.

Even the good kings of ancient Judah, who expelled the worship of the Baals from the temple, left the Asherim and their devotees undisturbed on the hills. So rooted in communal life these deities became, that it was unthinkable to be rid of them… the West is similarly plagued with major and minor idols, some of them all but invisible. It is hard to imagine a more important or satisfying role than to embark on the spiritual, intellectual, and political adventure of working toward stripping them, root and branch, from the land.[3]

We‘ve got a job to do in the Church. Want to be part of it?

[1] North, G., “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999, ch.40.

[2] “Repentance and Self-Limitation on the Life of Nations,” in “From under the Rubble,” 1974, p.108-9.

[3] Schlossberg, H., “Tactics of Christian Resistance,” G. North, (Ed.) 1983, p.81.

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