Business: The Worship of God

From Gary North’s Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition

Chapter 16: Success and Failure

Success in business is not necessarily a test of success in politics. The two realms are different. Business is government by supply and demand. There should be open entry. There should not be a state-granted monopoly. Civil government asserts a monopoly of violence. It operates monopolistic legislatures, police forces, and courts. But with respect to financial success in history as a representative test of success in the post-resurrection world, Jesus’ pocketbook parables made plain to His listeners that business success is not only legitimate, it is representative of success beyond the grave. This fact legitimizes business as a calling.

Business is not supposed to be the worship of mammon: more for me in history. It is the worship of God: more for God in history. Business is trusteeship, not rebellion. Here is the covenantal issue:

Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day (Deuteronomy 8:17–18).

The investor must serve the consumer in order to be successful. He searches for asset managers who can multiply his wealth. He lets them manage a portion of his capital. He tests their ability to forecast the future accurately.

This is what I love most  about the above passage: More for God in History.

And another excerpt, from Christian Economics: Student’s Edition, Chapter 4: Ownership and Responsibility

How do we know that something is good? When I say “we,” I mean each individual, but I also mean groups. We make evaluations as individuals. Next, we take specific actions in light of these evaluations. We must then bear the consequences of our actions. We also are members of groups that make evaluate situations and then make collective decisions. The members must individually bear the consequences of their collective actions. After the final judgment, we must bear the these consequences individually. So, each person’s primary focus should be on how we as individuals decide what is good and what is bad–morally, but also technically. We must individually decide what is right to do, and then decide how to do it right.

We are not autonomous. We are subordinate to God. We are stewards. So, we are required to make our evaluations and decisions in terms of our covenantal roles as stewards. We should ask: “What is best for God?” Our evaluations and decisions should be theocentric.

The fourth point of the biblical covenant has to do with covenantal oaths: the judicially binding vows that we take in the special judicial presence of God. We take formal oaths individually, as family members, as church members, and as citizens. These vows possess greater authority than other promises. They are covenantal, not merely contractual. The eternal stakes are much higher with covenants than with contracts. Three of these vows involve corporate membership. Individual vows to God and vows made in church carry into eternity.

To understand how we can evaluate the way God does, we should consider the week of creation.

What do I love here? In the quote below, especially the parts I have put in bold:

We should ask: “What is best for God?” Our evaluations and decisions should be theocentric.

It is time for Christians to be Christians, to be willing, effective tools for the expansion of God’s Kingdom.

On this earth. And with everything we have, with our whole lives as well as our children’s lives.

Why should God settle for anything less?

Especially after the great sacrifice Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, made to rescue us from the hellfire we so obviously deserve!

Jesus Christ is King. It’s about time we recognized this… with our actual obedience, not just praise and worship.

From North’s Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition

Chapter 20: Dominion and Inheritance

History is a covenantal battlefield. This means that it requires well-armed, well-trained soldiers of the cross. The stakes are high: conquest in history. This has not been the attitude of the vast majority of those who call themselves Christians. They have been taught that the kingdom of God will fail in history. There will never be a worldwide Christian civilization, they believe. They have also been taught that poverty is a valid way of life for covenant keepers. Yet ever since the 1850’s, Western Christians have lived in the richest nations in history. They have been debt-burdened middle-class people who are richer than 90% of the world’s population. They live in homes that would be considered mansions by most people. Yet they have the mentality of beggars. They see themselves as eschatological also-rans in a world in which covenant breakers control most of the world’s wealth and political power. They think this is what God wants for His people. They believe that the righteous will inherit the leftovers. They read the story of Jacob and Esau, and they somehow conclude that Esau was the big winner in the economic competition with his brother.

Inheritance and dominion are linked ethically and also eschatologically. Capital accumulation is a moral obligation for covenant keepers. Why? Because capital is a tool of dominion. Covenant keepers, not covenant breakers, will be the big winners in history. Preparation for dominion must begin in youth. This involves education in the broadest sense. It also involves money management.

When Christians decide that it’s time to win, they’ll take the aggressive, disciplined spirit behind the above two paragraphs to heart.

Let’s decide to win TODAY.

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