More than Just Conservative (4)

If it is true, as Berman believed,[1] that we are approaching the end of an era, then it is incumbent on Christians to begin to rethink their covenantal heritage. They must begin to offer an alternative to the present collapsing social order, and this alternative must be self-consciously judicial. Christians must become judicial revolutionaries, not simply defenders of the present legal order. If we remain on the deck of this sinking ship claiming that it is in principle conforming with biblical principles, we shall go down with it. Sticking with the status quo means sure death by drowning.[2]

No one likes change. We all like things to go on just as they have, because that means we don’t have to contemplate interruptions to our normal procedure. But history shows that when people hang on doggedly to an untenable ideological, philosophical or theological position, doctrine or practice, they ultimately get swept away in an onslaught, which only reveals the stupidity of their position. Karl Marx is not so fashionable in the West, since 1991.

And if we believe in the Church that the Bible is the text-book for our faith and practice, then how have we applied this to the nations of the world?  Is the Bible God’s text for the nations, or does He only want it applied to individuals, families and the Church? (Remember this: the terms “nations” is used over 450 times in the scriptures.) And if we believe that God judges everyone and everything that is hostile to Him, we had best open our eyes to the scriptures, along with the affairs of the world, to see how these two are intersecting.  We may find some conflict.

If there is a wholesale contempt for God and His Word displayed amongst the nations of the world, there will be judgment on those nations as a consequence. The Bible shows us in many places, God turning up the heat on nations that have held Him and His Word in contempt.

Think of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible says that “…the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground” (Gen.19:24-25). God held them accountable for their contempt of Him.

No doubt there may be some who will claim, “That was the Old Testament.” Yes, it was. But Jesus also said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted” (Mat.15:13), and He wasn’t speaking of potatoes. Ultimately, nothing will be able to stand against the kingdom of God, and God can be relied on to back up His Word, as He repeatedly did in the Bible.

Christians are glad to be conservative politically, when it means conserving those things that have Biblical legitimacy. But the Christian wants to do more than merely conserve. He wants to GROW things, especially those things that correspond to his Christian faith. Think of this:

All over the world, classrooms are being scrapped as retarding influences. Many employers of the 21st Century know that college degrees represent little of value; often a negative value. One of the most liberating developments of the early 21st Century is the broad realization that schooling retards both learning and education. Through the internet, real accelerated learning is becoming decentralized and de-institutionalized. So are people. Children and adults are learning how to learn, how to think, and how to make long-term plans for a long-term future. What they want to do now is build, and perhaps re-build some of the things destroyed by counterculture.[3]

I’m not interested in trying to preserve public education; I look forward to the day when it collapses. Why? It’s not in the Bible, it’s hostile to God and family life, is detrimental to children and their education, and is an utter waste of billions. But I am overjoyed at the prospect of millions of children being successfully home-educated by their parents. Then, we’ll really see some great strides forward for children, families, churches and for the nations of the world.

But if that is the way ahead with education, what about other things? What about how we deal with criminals? Why shouldn’t we think about crime Biblically?

That would mean three things: restoring restitution (the notion that thieves should pay back at least double what they have stolen), capital punishment for capital offenses such as murder, and getting rid of gaols, which have no place under Biblical law. Aspects of Biblical law as it applies to criminal activity are found throughout the first five books of the Bible, but especially Exodus 20-23 and Deuteronomy 6-27.

Gaols are very expensive places for taxpayers to maintain. They are also places of oppression, violence and sexual abuse, low productivity, and they do nothing for the victims of crime, who’ve suffered loss. Victims of crime suffer loss from criminal activity, having to pay for legal assistance, then suffer loss through having to pay for the maintenance of criminals in gaol. But if criminals had to pay restitution to their victims (at least double) it would probably teach them very quickly that crime doesn’t pay.

This is one of the reasons Biblical law is so liberating for godly people. The Bible actually calls it “…the law of liberty” (James 2:12).

The notion that we could once again embrace Biblical law may seem revolutionary to some. But society is in such decline, and there is such disenchantment with the judicial outcomes we are presently seeing in the community, that it may not be long before we see societies ready for the reinstatement of Biblical law. This happened in King Josiah’s time (II Kings 22-23), and it could very well happen today.

We might hardly know ourselves.

 

 

 

[1] Harold Berman, “Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition,” 1983, p.v.

[2] Gary North, “Authority and Dominion,” 2012, Vol.6, p.1637.

[3] Geoffrey Bodkin, “The Reasons for Optimism,” Part 2, 19/12/2012. (See www.westernconservatory.com)

More than Just Conservative (3)

Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores His captive people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad (Ps.53:6).

Mount Zion is a hill in Jerusalem, just outside the walls of the city. While it was significant in the Old Testament and especially in King David’s time as the high point of Jerusalem, the term “Mount Zion” has a different meaning for Christians today. The writer to the Hebrews tells us that “…you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels…” (Heb.12:22).

Why is this?

Jesus made a very disturbing declaration to the Jews, before they crucified Him. He said that “…the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it” (Mat.21:43). Thus we can safely say that the church has received the kingdom of God.

For the church, the geography of Mount Zion is insignificant, but its symbolism is still very relevant. Now, the Church has become the centre-point of God’s purpose, and the promises in the Old Testament relating to Mount Zion and Israel, now apply to the Church. Paul writes in Ephesians that “…the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph.3:10), and that the church is “…the pillar and support of the truth” (I Tim.3:15).

What has this got to do with conservatism? A lot.

Unless the church is accurately promoting Biblical truth, there is really little hope for the world. If the people of Mount Zion (the church) are rebellious, wayward, deceived or asleep, the truth will not be effectively communicated to the world.

This should deepen our resolve to get off our backside and get busy communicating the truth of God, firstly within and to the church. That way, the church can learn how to be more obedient to God, and how to teach sinners the ways of God.

The Old Testament promises to Israel were extremely important, and have been appropriated by the church. But what have we done with them? Have we taken them seriously? I don’t think so.

Through Isaiah in 700 BC, God said that

…many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isa.2:3).

Later through the prophet Zechariah, God said “…many peoples and mighty nations will come and seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favour of the Lord” (Zech.8:22).

There is nothing outside the realm of God’s kingdom. Thus there is nothing about which that we can safely say, “Oh, we don’t need to be bothered about that.” The Bible never teaches a sacred/secular dichotomy. That’s why I’ve been trying to communicate that economics, welfare, education, law, government, the conduct of foreign affairs and every other human activity are aspects that God wants to redeem and change, for His glory.

This requires our obedience, first. We in the church can’t expect the people and nations of the world to give up foolish ideas and practices, if we haven’t rejected them, beforehand. Otherwise, we’re promoting hypocrisy.

Now is the time for a legitimate indoctrination to occur. The people of God (the church), getting immersed in the scriptures and learning how to live them out in real life. That way, we will have the ability to say to the international community, “This is how you do it.”

More than Just Conservative (2)

The Judeo-Christian and constitutionally mandated relationship between government power and individual liberty is not balance. It is bias – a bias in favour of liberty. All presumptions should favour the natural rights of individuals, not the delegated and seized powers of the government. Individual liberty, not government power, is the default position because persons are immortal and created in God’s image, and governments are temporary and based on force.[1]

For as long as I can remember, Christians in Australia have tended to vote for conservative political parties. There is nothing wrong with that, because the conservative parties have generally been somewhat closer to the scriptures in their policies, than the Labor Party.

But we have to be much more than merely conservative. Why?

Biblical law provides us with God’s law, and Jesus Christ in the New Testament never annulled or abolished it. In fact, He said

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished (Mat.5:17-18).

God’s law is not a law based on pragmatism or expediency, but is the law of our Creator, given to Moses in 1,500 BC. We must work towards the implementation of the law of God, beginning in the church, but also in the social and political sphere. This might take a while-maybe generations.[2]

How would that work out? It’s easy.

Think of education. What if State education was steadily abandoned in Australia, and parents once again took the responsibility for educating their children? That would be in accordance with the Bible (see Deut.6). That would mean the sale of public schools to the highest bidder, the elimination of public funding for all forms of education, the elimination of seven government departments nationwide, the removal of hundreds of thousands of publicly funded teachers and public servants from the public payroll, with a saving to the taxpayer of many billions annually.

Public education today costs the taxpayer $15,000 per child, per year. Not any more.

Universities? Funded only by students.  You want tertiary education? OK, but you pay for it.

Think of health. This is a personal and family responsibility, according to the Bible. What if every public hospital in Australia was sold to the private sector, so there was competition for patients?

Need some other kind of medical help? No problem. Go to the professional you wish to see and pay for their assistance, as we always used to do. All of a sudden, the competition/profit factor would be re-introduced to health, the level of service would rise as providers of various kinds competed for patients in a free market, and the cost to the taxpayer plummeted.

You require a hospital visit? You’d need to pay. No Medicare, no government involvement whatsoever. No more public funding for abortion. Abortion would become a capital crime punishable by death, because it’s murder. We would have about 90,000 extra new Australians annually, and if their parents didn’t want them, changed adoption laws would make adoption actually simple and easy. (There are thousands of Australian couples who cannot have children, but would love to adopt).

What about welfare? Once again, a personal, family and Church responsibility, according to the scripture. So, we would need to work towards the progressive elimination of all of Social Security: Family Payments, Baby Bonuses, the dole, and other methods of government social manipulation. Costs would fall, savings would rise, and the result of the savings in these three areas would be massive tax cuts, nationwide. The nation would hardly know itself.

There’s more, a lot more. What about the progressive elimination of the standing army? We would no longer have thousands of fit, able men who are paid by the tax-payer to go on exercises, or sit around polishing their boots and machine-guns, along with all the other expenses, like low-cost housing, and all the other add-ons that cost tax-payers millions. Furthermore, standing armies have a long history of being used by governments as instruments of oppression against “dissidents.”

Forget that. Replace that system with a militia based on volunteers, who work like everyone else in the community, but are armed to the teeth with their own weaponry. (That’s what the Swiss have, and nations don’t tangle with them, for obvious reasons).

In terms of immigration the Bible says that

you shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt (Ex.23:9).

Why not let anyone come here that wants to with no waiting time, subject to infectious disease checks and their willingness to make a Trinitarian confession? Oh, and they can bring Granny, too.

Eliminate the Reserve Bank to prevent the manipulation of interest rates, and ensure that for every dollar banks lend, they have a dollar in the bank. Remove ties between government and banks: no more “to big to fail.” They’re on their own.

What about we also get rid of the ABC? That would save the taxpayer $2 billion a year. The sale of the land, buildings and assets would add more.

Why would we do that? Well, no nation ever needs a taxpayer funded broadcaster, which is a recipe for inefficiency, not to speak of political manipulation. Broadcasters should compete in the free market. That way they stay efficient and very close to the market, or goes broke: simple as that.

What about we progressively close other government departments, and sack the bureaucrats? Don’t need ‘em anymore. Oh, and there’s more. Privatise the railways, selling the land. No more public transport. All of this pushes assets right back into the private sphere, taking the burden off taxpayers. And no more public funding of political parties.

Tax rates are really plummeting now, rushing back towards 10%, flat. Now, we’re really talking!

Before any of this could happen, I freely acknowledge that there will have to be a social revolution. Not one with guns and violence, but an ideological, intellectual and spiritual revolution, that would have to have its powerful beginnings in the Church. The Church will have to get re-acquainted with the law of God, and be ready to obey it. That’s what we’re here for: bringing the leaven of the kingdom of God into the community.

Lord, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy (Hab.3:2).

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                              I want to be more than a conservative, because the Bible is much more than conservative. It’s a book for free people.

Do you want to be free? You’ll need to read the Bible, and obey it. There has never been a document in human history that has brought about such freedom, when people have obeyed it. But freedom always pre-supposes responsibility and obedience to God.

Is this a foolish fantasy? Only if you don’t believe what God said to Joshua:

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success (Joshua 1:8).

 

 

[1] Andrew Napolitano, “Where is the Outrage?” Lew Rockwell’s website, 7/6/2012.

[2] See Gary North’s commentary on Exodus: “Authority and Dominion” (6 volumes), 2012.

More than Just Conservative (1)

The Israelites had experienced firsthand the institutional effects of a social order governed by a law-order different from the Bible’s. They had been enslaved. The God who had released them from bondage announced at Sinai His standards of righteousness – not just private righteousness but social and institutional righteousness. Thus, the God of liberation is simultaneously the law-giver. The close association of Biblical law and human freedom is grounded in the very character of God.1

Political conservatives tend to trace their ideological history back to people like the Englishman Edmund Burke (1729-1797), who pointed out in his era, the dangers of the French Revolution. There is nothing wrong with that, but they could go a whole lot further. They could include Oliver Cromwell (who successfully defeated Charles I of England), Stephen Langton (who wrote the Magna Carta, in opposition to King John), and many others.

But the real basis of political conservatism should be traced to Israel’s Exodus from Egypt. Why? Because it is here that we gain the proper understanding of the need to conserve and protect individuals and legitimate social institutions (such as the family and the Church) against the ravages of a tyrannical, humanistic state.

And it is here that the true political conservative gets his authority. The history of government has always been about the struggle between liberty and bondage, and the Bible has commonly been at the forefront of this debate. This explains why the tyrants of history have tended to be haters of the Biblical God.

People cannot truly know themselves or each other without the Bible, neither can they correctly understand anything of the human condition without the Bible. It wasn’t written by us, (though God inspired a number of human writers to put pen to paper). It was written by our Creator, Who describes us as reprobate sinners, needing a Saviour, His Son. When we come to the knowledge of this fact, we begin to understand our utter incapacity to deal with ourselves and society, outside of the God of the Bible.

When political conservatives ignore the God of the Bible and the Exodus, they lose all capacity to speak authoritatively to society. They’re just another politician. This is the tragedy of the modern era; few political leaders willing to accept the Bible as their text-book for liberty, and apply it to society. The Church hasn’t consistently applied it; why should we expect politicians to?

But this can and must change. How? By the impetus and pressure from faithful Christians within the Church, who understand the claims of Christ on every society, and that every society that ignores Christ’s commands only prepares itself for His judgment.

This means the education and instruction of Christians in the scriptures must move to a whole new level. We must consider a lot more the implications of applying the whole of scripture to the era we live in. To education, to health, to welfare, to law, to defence and foreign affairs, and economics. The Bible speaks clearly to these matters. That means we have got to get busy to find out what it means to obey Jesus Christ in realms we haven’t considered much in the past.

This is all a part of us preparing to give a good account to God. It’s all part of serving the generation we are a part of, and providing society with the leaven of the kingdom of God.

I’m a political conservative, but I believe Christians must be much more than that, just reacting to the grim excesses of the politics of the Left. What the world really needs is an articulation of the political and social implications of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He can bring liberty to every individual and nation of the world, but always and only on His terms.

It was God Who brought about the Exodus. When He called Moses, He said

I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their suffering (Ex.3:7).

The Bible makes it clear that every person is a slave of someone. Whose slave are you? Nations are the same. And like individuals, those nations that run from God run invariably into bo8ndage. That’s what communism brought to the Soviet Union, but the West today really isn’t too far behind; it’s just taken us a lot longer to dig ourselves into a similarly deep hole.

But let’s not dwell in this hole of our own making, a moment longer than we have to. Let’s get back into the light of God through Biblical obedience. That’s what He’s always wanted us to do.

I will walk at liberty, for I seek your precepts. I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings and shall not be ashamed (Ps.119:45-46).

 

1. Gary North, “The Sinai Strategy,” 1986, p.19.

Getting it Right with Government (5)

There are those who believe it is the State’s duty, through its judicial process, to right every wrong. This concept carries human courts beyond the Biblical system of justice. While some might desire such a State function, history shows us that it is impossible and dangerous. Only God can right every wrong, and His chosen means was by Christ’s atoning sacrifice for those who believe in Him, and eternal punishment in Hell for those who do not turn to Jesus in repentance and faith. The State is not God.

Everyone likes the idea of justice, but the means of achieving justice is what has always split humanity. Traditionally, humanistic concepts of justice have led to greater political intervention, higher taxes, less liberty and commonly violence. These were evident as far back as the reign of King Saul in Israel around 1,000 BC, and have been predominant now in the West for two centuries.

But a Christian view of justice requires that we go and ask God for it, and employ Biblical methods to obtain it. And when there is endemic injustice in the community, the Bible teaches us that it is not firstly a political problem; it is related to the attitudes prevalent in that community, which need to be repented of, renounced and changed, individually.

Humanistic attitudes to justice declare that our problems are largely political, with political remedies, but a Christian view declares that our problems begin in the hearts of men, so political change (if required) will be modest indeed. It is men who must change and repent of their sin.

No doubt men could ascribe the changes in Israel in Saul’s time to merely political changes and motivations, but God had a different view. Hundreds of years later, He explained to Israel through the prophet Hosea,

It is your destruction, O Israel, that you are against Me, against your help. Where now is your king that he may save you in all your cities, and your judges of whom you requested, “Give me a king and princes”? I gave you a king in My anger and took him away in My wrath (Hos.13:9-11).

For God was ordaining events in Israel in Saul’s day, not men. He has His views on what constitutes justice, and sinful men have theirs, and these two positions are poles apart, and reflected in the scripture:

By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, all who judge rightly. I love those who love me, and those who diligently seek me will find me. Riches and honour are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, and my yield better than choicest silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice… (Prov.8:15-20).

So whilst men apart from God may acknowledge their need for a Saviour, in their rebellion they seek this saviour through other means, in denial of God. For man to acknowledge God means he has to humble himself which he hates to do, so he seeks a kind of back-door saviour. The most common manifestation of this is the political process, something clearly evident in the era of Saul.

Remarkably, the degeneration then as now, began amongst the leaders of the people of God. The priesthood under Eli had been corrupted (see I Samuel 2), and so Israel as a nation followed suit, politically (see I Samuel 8).

In his 2013 commentary on 1 Samuel, “In the Midst of your Enemies,” Joel McDurmon made reference to this:

1 Samuel addresses, among other things, the direct link between social freedom and God’s Law, national security and God’s Law, as well as specific politic issues such as biblical principles of warfare, kingship, national defence, the right to bear arms, taxation, military conscription, national greatness, political candidacy, political parties, party rivalries, jurisprudence (including biblical “common” law versus arbitrary civil or “statute” law), how to remain faithful under a regime hostile to biblical law, expatriation, political compromise, voting, the lesser of two evils, the surveillance state, and more. And it is simply staggering, once you understand the narratives involved, just how closely Samuel’s and David’s situations parallel our own in many ways, and how often the political expressions of modern Christians more closely align with Saul’s than with David’s (p.x).                                  

And this has been the pattern through history. The Russian Orthodox Church before the Revolution in 1917 had been corrupted for decades with mysticism and unreality, and it was unbelief born out of Darwinism and Higher Criticism that led to the effective sterilisation of the Church in Germany, making room for the rise of Hitler. In both these nations, the leaven of the kingdom of God had essentially departed. So yes, these manifestations of totalitarianism were clearly evil, but the degradation and evil had commenced decades earlier, amongst God’s people. One made room for the other.

It was William Penn who wrote in 1682,

Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill, they will cure it. But, if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavour to warp and spoil it to their turn.

When a nation is in rebellion against God, life gets more and more complex. Government becomes their supposed Saviour, to accomplish everything for them. So government gets bigger, requires more of the people’s taxes, and freedom diminishes. From Saul’s era 1,000 B.C. till today, nothing changes

But when a people turn to God, their political requirements become much easier to accomplish. They can be summed up as: small government-less tax-more freedom.

Conclusion:

Men need a Saviour, but in their sinful rebellion they refuse to acknowledge Him, commonly turning to the religion of politics and the State to solve their problems.

But God will not be mocked. He requires that His people the church, lead the way out of darkness, proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, including the State and politics. We are the ones required by God to lead the way out of the darkness humanism has gotten us into, into the light of God’s wonderful purpose.

Are you ready for your role in this?

 

Getting it Right with Government (4)

Ethically rebellious men choose a certain kind of hierarchy, a top-down hierarchy. This is Satan’s model. God does not need such a bureaucracy, for He is absolutely sovereign. He can deal with men directly. They can pray to Him directly. Not so with Satan and his followers. Satan is a creature; he can only be in one place at a time. Thus, those who believe in the messianic State place all their hopes in a top-down hierarchy of command rather than in God’s bottom-up hierarchy of appeal.[1]

Decentralisation gives people the ability to be always close to where decisions are made. That is always a good thing, because they have access to decision makers, who should be in their locality, and will be known to them. It means that information doesn’t suffer as it travels around a bureaucracy, from person to person.

You didn’t think that could happen?

Some years ago, I had an experience of this. Eatons Hill in Brisbane has a chronic, recurring problem with a number of drains in the local park that block up with sticks and leaves, when there is heavy rain. I’ve see it for many years when I go on walks through the park, and after a heavy rain period in June, when we had approximately 200 mls of rain, I thought, “I’ll help these people know what’s going on. I’ll ring them up and let them know, and that way I’ll be confident something will get done about it.”

The response was both comic and pathetic, when I made two phone calls. Nothing was done, so I rang again. Then I discovered that though I’d repeatedly given them the address, and I had been given referral numbers, my initial calls had been referred to the wrong department within the Council, which dealt with domestic flooding problems, not flooding in parks. So, it had gone to the wrong Department and sat there, but I was told, “We’ve got this sorted now, and I’ll get a person to ring you for the exact address details of these four blocked drains.”

Did that call ever come? No.

Then the BOM people (Bureau of Meteorology) warned of more heavy rain coming, so I rang again, and explained the four drains were still blocked, and (of course) more rain was coming. By now, I was becoming suspicious that nothing would be done it time, and that’s exactly what happened.

The forecast rain eventuated, and one blocked drain meant that storm water ran across the road instead of under it, creating a minor problem. Another blocked drain meant that water ran across a foot-path: another minor problem. Another small blocked drain overflowed, causing erosion, so a plastic fence was erected to protect passers-by falling down the bank into the hole that had been created from the rushing, overflowing water. That plastic fence seemed somehow symbolic.

Did anybody in that institution really care?

If they did, I never saw it. Why should they care? Responsibility is not in their job description. It’s no skin off their nose if drains block, erosion occurs and extra money has to be spent employing council workers to take hours repair the damage.

Now if that’s the case with a really small bureaucracy with a couple of hundred of employees, what’s it like in one with thousands, like the Department of Defence? The problems are magnified many times over, and finding someone to take responsibility for a problem is very difficult. Unless there is a crisis, the Department will simply blunder on, people with problems will get pushed aside, and life goes on.

Anyone who expects the bureaucratic order to reform itself is living in a fantasy world. Bureaucracies do not change; they just get worse. They get more grasping. Until their budgets are cut, nothing changes bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is expanding like a cancer, and it has been for 100 years. Margaret Thatcher was correct. Socialism works until the socialists run out of other people’s money (Gary North, 17/5/2013).

And even when there is a crisis, there is a sophisticated mechanism to deal with that too, and deflect blame. “Our mistake? Surely not! No you see, the reason for this unusual situation was that…”

This is why it’s so important to have local people dealing with local problems, with the responsibility to solve them.

I thought about this.

I thought about buying a wheel-barrow, shovel and rake and solving the problem myself, because it wouldn’t be hard. But that would mean taking responsibility for a problem that someone’s getting paid to deal with (with long-service, superannuation, holidays and workers’ compensation), but just isn’t doing it competently. It would mean I’d lie awake at night hearing heavy rain, and thinking, “Those drains will be blocked in an hour. I’ll have to get down there in the dark, cold and wet, and fix them.”

I could do it, but what about the other 374 drains in the Council’s jurisdiction? Now about 7 people have a full-time responsibility, 24/7.

Do I want this?  Not really.

I’ve got other things to do with my time than clean out blocked drains, that someone else is supposed to be paid to care for. Besides, I’m not big into self-righteous social crusades. They consume a lot of effort, get some publicity, and achieve nothing in the long-term.

Conclusion:

So, what is needed?

Local people (individuals, families and churches), taking local responsibility for local problems. Entrepreneurs vs. bureaucracy: people who are paid to solve problems they can solve. My money’s on the entrepreneurs, every time. We start with the little things, and we get bigger.

Then over time, we find the costs of services are dropping, and Council rates get cheaper.

Surprise, surprise! We’re putting expensive and slothful bureaucrats out of work, and seeing the job done better and cheaper, by people who are actually paid to solve problems.

Doesn’t that sound like a good idea to you? It’s more economical, and it’s the way of the future.

 

 

[1] Gary DeMar, “Ruler of the Nations,” 1987, p.207.

Getting it Right with Government (3)

The reconstruction of civil government begins with the Bible. Jesus wants us to return to the standards of God’s law so the whole world will marvel and follow. First, to show men everywhere that they are sinners and are in need of redemption. Second, to set forth a blueprint for living in a world of contrary opinions. This was Israel’s task (Deuteronomy 4:1-8) that has now fallen upon the church, the New Israel, to be “a city set upon a hill (Mat.5:14), to give “the people who were sitting in darkness…a great light” (Mat.4:16; cf..Isaiah 9:2).[1]

Christians should never be embarrassed by Biblical texts; it’s God’s Word we are talking about. What we must do is apply scripture to ourselves, to our families, our churches and our nation. There is no sense in applying it to the nation, unless we have begun with the individual, the family and the church, first. The Bible warns us along these lines:

O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me (Ps.130:1).

David had to prove himself as a faithful shepherd boy in his father’s house and with his flocks, and faithfully carrying supplies to his older brothers, before he came to any kind of national prominence (see I Sam.16-17).  When he volunteered to go and fight Goliath, and Saul was astonished at his unusual level of confidence, he explained that dealing with Goliath would merely be like the lion and the bear he’d killed before, while serving his father (see I Sam.17:31-37).

And this pattern applies to all of us. As we learn to be faithful in the smaller tasks, we can ask God to add to us the bigger ones. According to Luke 16:10-11, that will be His plan.

For nations in God’s eyes are made up of individuals, families and churches. The nation and the church should never prey upon the individual or the family, but rather be committed to their health and well-being, first of all. This attitude of overall care for individuals was exhibited in David’s case, when he and Israel were being judged. David prayed:

…Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house (II Sam.24:17).

Trees don’t grow on top of the ground. If they are going to grow tall, they’d better have deep roots, first. Otherwise, strong winds (especially if the ground is soft from rain) will bring them down. So, the idea of a meteoric rise for individuals is not normal in scripture. What is normal, is a track-record of consistency and faithfulness, that begins with the family and with church. This was what occurred with Timothy.

Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted this man to go with him… (Acts 16:1-3).

Socialists couldn’t care less about this, because they are opportunists. Family faithfulness and  an individual’s integrity within the church mean nothing to them. On the contrary, they are likely to espouse the doctrine espoused by Walter Duranty, who was Moscow Chief of the New York Times, awarded the Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1932, and an American apologist for Stalin. Concerning Stalin’s policy of deliberate Ukrainian genocide, when millions of Ukrainians starved to death, Duranty said,

You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.

Thus there can be no lasting social integrity without individual, family and civil government faithfulness to scripture. Without an adherence to Biblical guidelines, the human heart will always go astray, down sinful and self-destructive paths. The twentieth century, which proved to be a harvest of humanism, was a frightening example of this fact.

But the Biblical promise is forever true:

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance (Ps.33:12).

Conclusion:

Patience really is a virtue. We Christians must be prepared to show ourselves faithful to God in lots of our fundamental responsibilities relating to family and church, before we can hope that God will add greater things to us.

For this is what times of Reformation (like the Puritan Revolution of the seventeenth century in England), have required in the past, and will require in the future: the steady application of scripture to our personal lives, to the family, the church and the nation. And when this takes place, God will add more tasks to us.

Is that what you want to see?

God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us-Selah. That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations (Ps.67:1).

 

 

[1] Gary DeMar, “Ruler of the Nations,” 1987, p.203-4.