From Gary North’s Why Biblical Economics Is Ignored Today – Part 1
Let me present a hypothetical possibility. Let us assume that for some reason the leadership of the world decided that the principle by which they operate the existing world order, nation by nation, no longer functions. The leaders have lost faith in the system. The public has lost faith in the system. Everyone has lost faith in the system.
The leaders then come to pastors and other Christian leaders of various organizations and make the following proposition. They ask the Christians to send representatives to the governments of the world. These representatives will deal with the existing bureaucrats, educators, politicians, and assorted experts. The representatives will suggest biblical answers for real-world problems. The Christians will present systems for financing, administering, and operating all of the fundamental institutions of society.
What would happen? First and foremost, nothing would happen. The leaders of the existing world order would receive a series of blank stares from the Christians. The Christians would not believe that anyone had asked them advice. They would not know what to say. They would have no response whatsoever. They would simply stare blankly. They would be catatonic.
Am I exaggerating? No, I am not exaggerating….
In recent months, Communist leaders have invited Westerners in to present the case for democracy and the free market. Even more astounding, Moscow State University has changed its Department of Atheism into a Department of Comparative Religion. Moscow State University has invited evangelical Christians to come and teach Christianity at the university. The problem is, the Christians are not responding. Despite the fact that they are guaranteed payment if they will come and teach, we have not been able to supply the various universities, for there are others besides Moscow State, with qualified, academically prepared professors….
What we are seeing is unprecedented in the history of the world. We are seeing the leaders of nations who had massive political power as recently as 36 months ago now [this was written in 1991 – AP] declaring that their systems are totally bankrupt. They are appealing not simply to the West in general but to evangelical Christians to come in and tell them exactly what it is that they are supposed to do. They are literally begging Christians to come in and provide direction in areas of social, political and economic policy. What is the result? Nothing. The Christians are paralyzed. They know they have nothing to tell the Communists, and so they do not volunteer to staff the new positions.
I bet that, in a hypothetical 2060’s where both the secularist and the Islamic governments come knocking on the church door, begging for help… no one will answer.
Assuming that the church in question isn’t just a bunch of atheistic/secularistic liberals in priestly garb, as it is in Europe. In that case, they’ll be knocking on the believer’s door, as well… and get the same response. Silence.
Christians have become accustomed to grovelling and begging at that steel-toed boots of their betters… and have grown comfortable in such places, hiding from their responsibility as Royal Priests, servants of God Most High.
And these are the people who are supposed to represent Christ the King, Lord of Heaven and Earth.
Such willful disobedience, such deeply ingrained fear of wealthy and powerful men, such pure cowardice and a pointed refusal to suffer any pain for obedience to God, will gain no blessing from the Lord.
For at least two centuries, and really for over three centuries, Christian theologians and intellectual leaders have self-consciously avoided discussing the details of economics and politics from the point of view of the Bible. They have adopted either right-wing Enlightenment thought or left-wing Enlightenment thought (usually the former until the rise of neo-evangelicalism after World War II) in the name of Christianity. They have not turned to the Bible as an authoritative source. They have steadfastly maintained two contradictory positions:
“The Bible has the answers to all of life’s problems.”
“The Bible is not a textbook on [fill in the blank]”
Somebody is lying somewhere.
And I bet that, if push comes to shove, 90% of university-educated preachers today will ditch the first statement, to keep their workload and stress as low as possible. “Let Jesus do the heavy lifting when He comes: I’m going to stay safely out of the headlights of the Ruling Elite (who have a bone-deep hatred of both the Christian God and His Commandments) until I’m safely retired.”
Morris argues brilliantly in his book, The Long War Against God (1989), that Darwinism captured both right-wing and left-wing social theory within a generation of Darwin’s death. He shows how totally Darwinian ideas have permeated modern social theory. He shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Darwinian evolutionary ideas could not be contained within the narrow confines of historical geology, paleontology, and biology. But when he reaches the final chapter of his book, “The Everlasting Gospel,” he offers a 67-page gospel tract. There is not a word on how six-day creationism has inescapable implications for economic and political theory and precisely what these implications are. Silence. Dead silence.
As North would say, “You can’t beat something with nothing.” And that’s what the pre-millennialists have – nothing.
Should we wonder how the Darwinists so easily swept Christians from the corridors of influence? Christians have had nothing uniquely biblical to say. Christians cannot reasonably hope to transform the comprehensive worldview of Darwinian humanism with endless incantations of the words “water hydraulics” and “flood geology.” But the dispensationalists and (to a lesser extent) the Amillennialists who have dominated six-day creationism from the beginning have had as their operating presupposition the idea that God does not call Christians to challenge the comprehensive worldview of Darwinism, let alone transform a social world based on that worldview. They deny that this is possible on this side of the Rapture. They expect us to bear witness to the narrow truths of food geology and the second law of thermodynamics, but nothing more. Anything else is “utopianism,” i.e., theonomic postmillennialism. Their defeatist eschatologies and their implicit antinomianism have undermined their creationism. (I cover this in detail in my book, Is the World Running Down?)
You can get that book here.
Spiritual vacuums will be filed. Will we once again see the cults rush in where Christians fear to tread? Will we once again see revival come, but not Christian revival? Will we once again see God’s Church caught flat-footed?
It’s wise to assume that the answer is “Yes, the Church will be as willfully incompetent, lazy and worthless as ever.”
The believing Christ will understand that such worthless servants will be replaced… and so position himself, his family, and (as much as possible) his congregation as those loyal and obedient servants who are actually willing to commit and work for victory.
For God has no intention to put up with worthless servants forever. After all, we all know what’s happening to the mainline churches, and to the government-owned churches of Europe.
I have no doubt that the same thing will happen to the evangelical churches in America, where the congregation insists on sending their children to the government schools & secular universities – which is specifically structured to gut Christian belief, and replace it with the adoration of the State.
Once again, God punishes those servants who despise His Word, and blesses those who actually DO WHAT HE COMMANDS.
(I can’t believe that I had to put that in all caps… but obviously, I do!)
The problem that Bible-affirming churches face today is the steady capture by the liberals of future candidates to the ministry. To counter this traditional strategy of institutional conquest, the churches must appeal to the Old Testament as a valid source of all academic standards. This, of course, no denomination or association is willing to do. So the drift goes on. The leaders would rather lose their churches to theological liberalism than appeal to the authority of the Old Testament. They have demonstrated this preference, decade after decade.
It is wise to assume that all the denominations will become utterly worthless liberals in time. It will be up to Pentecostals and Charismatics to carry the faith forward – along with, God being merciful, numerous house churches.
(And of course, there are no seminaries in the New Testament. That is nothing but a construct of those Bible-quoting intellectuals who only wish to chain down and destroy the Christian church, by emasculating (if not destroying) the faith of the preachers… a goal they have largely succeeded in, so far as the West is concerned.)
Pagans Are Setting the Church’s Agenda (As Usual)
Unless Christians as a community are intellectually and psychologically prepared to speak authoritatively in Christ’s name to every area of life, they will not respond to the challenge when external crises hit. They will remain silent if humanistic political leaders ever turn to Christ out of desperation. What I have learned is that the pagan world will not turn to Christ until there is no other solution. I have also learned that the Christian world will not turn to biblical law until the pagan world admits that there is no other solution.
This means that things are going to be in a very sorry state before anyone is going to listen to biblical law and its conclusions and applications for society. In other words, God is going to drag Christians through the mud and around many hard corners before He is done with us. We had a tremendous opportunity given to us after the fall of Communism in 1989, and the Church did not respond to it. This was not the way to please God.
Somewhere around 2080-2100, such a deeply hopeless situation is exactly where we will be – in both the West and the Islamic world (And China… and quite likely India as well).
The time for believers to get ready to handle the responsibility of leadership is now.
(And no… no Rapture is going to open up a way to escape the incoming burdens of responsibility!)
The Task at Hand
We must work as hard as we can to develop explicitly biblical alternatives to a collapsing social order. First, we must work as hard as we can in our churches to begin to present these alternatives as clearly as we can and as forcefully as we can, yet without alienating the listeners. We must work on small projects in order to prove that the principles we espouse are workable at the local level. Second, we must persuade the churches of the West that the Bible does provide authoritative, real-world solutions to the problems of every generation. Yet we must face this possibility: the pagan world may accept our solutions before the Church does.
This is actually quite likely, from my point of view.
I realize (and have realized for a long time) that the concept of Christian economics is alien to most people, but it is alien only because the concept of a Christian social order is alien to most people, including most Christians. Christian economics is simply a development of the general principle that there is such a thing as Christendom. There really is such a thing as an explicitly Christian social order.
This is just another way of saying that there is actually such a thing as a Kingdom of God, which is (imperfectly, but substantially) to be manifested on Earth.
A Kingdom that Christians have been explicitly commanded to preach to the nations, to make disciples of nations and governments. To teach the nations to obey Jesus Christ.
A command that most Christians simply hate, as demonstrated by both their words and their actions.
I wonder what the punishment for willfully disobedient disciples is…
…but I have no interest in finding out personally.