Success and Failure

I had the pleasure of reading Chapter 20 of North’s Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition, and modify the lessons for an aristocratic sci-fi fictional culture here.

But for this blog post, I just want to cut out and mention  few of the highlights of the chapter.

Quoting from the Teacher’s Edition, Chapter 20:

Why should the rich get richer? Because of their superior service, as manifested by the most successful steward’s high rate of return. Why should the poor man lose whatever he had? Because of his inferior service. His attitude regarding the nobleman was the same as the attitude of the citizenry. He said as much: “Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a hand-kerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow” (vv. 20–21). He accused the nobleman of being the recipient of unearned wealth, reaping what he did not sow. The nobleman recognized the underlying attitude: envy. The steward was under his authority, yet he decided to do nothing of value with the coin. He was unwilling to serve faithfully, just as the citizens in general were unwilling to serve faithfully. They were in rebellion against lawful authority. So was he. As a result, he lost whatever he possessed. The coin, which had been entrusted to him, went to the most profitable of all the nobleman’s servants. He was cast out of the office of steward to join the masses of losers, who were about to lose all that they had enjoyed. They were all covenantally fit for the slaughter. They were all unprofitable servants.

Covenant breakers are in rebellion against God. They see God as an unfair monarch who reaps where He has not sown—an exploiter, in other words. He expects obedience. He gets rebellion. He expects production. He gets nothing. In contrast, faithful stewards multiply God’s wealth. They understand the nature of the hierarchical relationship between God and men. They understand that whatever they possess is a gift from God (James 1:17). They serve as trustees, not as autonomous owners.

I want Christians to get rich, and not whine and bleat that life (really, God) is not fair.

Much better to compare your character to what God demands, figure out where you don’t measure up (from pornography to anger, pride to laziness) and dump into hell what doesn’t measure up in God’s eyes.

But it isn’t enough to ditch what is evil: you need to bring in the Holy Spirit, and do what is good and right. Any successful man needs the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and the drive to offer excellent service at the right price.

(A low price if your target is the mass market, high if you want to be the best of the best.
“The labourer is worthy of his wages.”)

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” There is a modern phrase that expresses this thought: “The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.” Jesus made it plain that this summary of economic cause and effect in God’s kingdom is covenantally mandatory. This is the process of inheritance, which necessarily involves disinheritance. “But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” The nobleman minced no words. Neither did Jesus. This ending made it clear that this version of the parable is also about the final judgment.

This isn’t just about “The rich getting richer.”

It’s also about Gore Vidal’s saying: “It isn’t enough to succeed. Others must fail.”

The Liberals, the Establishment, Academia, the Muslims… they all know exactly who must fail.

And in agreement with God’s enemies many Christians… including the solid majority of Our Glorious Church Leadership.

“Oh, the Kingdom of God must retreat into our ever-shrinking ghettos, where we can moan and whine and complain and vote Republican — to get the right man in the Supreme Court, of course! — until the cattle cars are finally sent to pick us up the Rapture happens to rescue us from our laziness, faithlessness, and slackness.”

God has a different idea on who gets to succeed, and who gets to fail. Who inherits the earth, and who gets disinherited – not just eternally, but right here and right now, in time and on earth.

I’m with God, who is going to win.

And not with the treasonous, worthless servants who spout nice words about God, and do nothing… risk nothing… say nothing that would seriously challenge powerful, wealthy, and connected God-haters.

(Powerless, quiet whimpering is permitted at the moment… but discouraged.)

The nobleman understood that he could gain an above-average rate of return for himself by letting these two stewards retain authority over his capital. He gave the coin of the rebel to the steward who had made ten to one. is was rational. Why turn it over to the steward who had made only five to one? The owner wants to maximize his rate of profit. This way, he will possess even more capital to invest.

[…]

The enforcers of the nobleman’s laws viewed this as unfair. After all, the steward who had made ten to one did not need the money. Their assessment rested on an assumption: the stewards who had produced nothing deserved the unproductive steward’s coin. They assumed that a wealthy man ought to use his money to subsidize men who had shown no ability to produce a positive rate of return. These people deserved another chance. is is the mentality of defenders of the welfare state. It assumes that high productivity is over-rated. It assumes that nonperformance deserves to be rewarded by those with money to invest.

God has set up His kingdom on a very different foundation. In His kingdom, the most productive stewards receive even greater wealth and authority. A comparable practice in the world of competitive sports is the jockey who wins horse races. Owners of fast horses pay high wages to hire these jockeys, who then win even more races. The owners of fast horses are not interested in giving career opportunities to untried, inexperienced, or losing jockeys. They want their horses to win. The best way to do this is to hire winning jockeys. The fast get faster, and the slow get slower, whether horses or jockeys. The only way to rise to the top is for a jockey to win over horses that are regarded as faster. If a jockey can win with slower horses, he must be a superior jockey. He will then experience increased demand for his services.

A Master is known by the number, quality, and effectiveness of His servants.

Why should the servants of Satan rule, and the servants of Christ always cringe and fail and moan, sure of defeat?

(And exactly why did we Christians give the culture and nations and wealth that Christ owned over to Satan? In the name of our sexual pleasure and the power of our kings and states and race? Those worthless idols?)

I believe that God is tired of excuses. And faithlessness.

Let’s get serious about our obedience… and gain the VICTORY over Satan and his loathsome minions – regardless of what babble they choose to hide behind – in the name of  CHRIST!

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