God Demands Service

Two Families

There are two branches of the human family: adopted heirs and disinherited members. They compete for wealth in history, but they also compete in all other areas of life. Economic competition is readily understandable. This is why Jesus preached what I call pocketbook parables. He knew that his listeners would get the point faster and clearer this way.

The two families compete with each other in history. It is the competition between two kingdoms. The two kingdoms represent God and mammon. Jesus said: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24: King James Version). Mammon was a Syrian god of wealth. The English Standard Version translation reads: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” The word mammon implies more than money. It means riches in general. I interpret it as follows: “more for me in history.”

Gary North, Christian Economics, Student Edition. Chapter 12: Disinheritance

Our Betters like “more for me in history”: not just money, but power over others, especially those repulsive Christians.

I much prefer “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

or even “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

“Competition is evil, destructive, and wasteful, too!”

The issue here is competition between the kingdom of God vs. the kingdom of man. It manifests itself in every area of life. But this competition is seen above all in the realm of economics. The dividing line is covenantal representation: point two of the biblical covenant. The dividing line is not riches vs. poverty. It is riches on behalf of God vs. riches on behalf of man. This also applies to institutions. It is covenantal conflict. It is a war to the death. But this war is seen in economic affairs as competition.

Socialists always said this: “There should be cooperation, not competition.” This meant that they wanted politically appointed central planners to decide who gets what and on what terms. Then the masses without power or independent sources of money were supposed to cooperate with the central planners by accepting whatever resources the planners allocate without complaint. This system of allocation invariably led to tyranny: monopoly control by political elite. It also led to falling production and widespread poverty. This was why socialism was abandoned in practice and then in theory in the final quarter of the twentieth century. Men put up with tyranny, but they would not put up with socialist poverty in the midst of capitalist plenty. China abandoned socialist ownership in the late 1970s. The Soviet Union shut down on December 25, 1991.

Competition in economics is always based on an offer: “Buy this from me, not from someone else.” It is analogous to marriage: “Marry me, not someone else.” It is analogous to church membership: “Join our church, not another one.” It is analogous to politics: “Vote for me, not someone else.” Competition is basic to life. It is inescapable.

Rival economic systems are in competition. So are rival businesses. So are rival economic theories. Ultimately, rival confessions of faith are in competition. This is not well understood in the modern era of humanism, which preaches the religious neutrality of economics, politics, education, and all other areas of public life outside the four walls of the church. Neutrality is a myth.

Gary North, Christian Economics, Student Edition. Chapter 12: Disinheritance

Fewer and fewer people choose to be as gullible as Western Christians are before their enemies.

Good to see.

Victory by Service

A. Incarnation

Point one of the biblical covenant is God’s transcendence, yet also His presence. This is the biblical concept of God’s original sovereignty. It asks: “Who’s in charge here?” How does this apply to the idea of service?

The Christian doctrine of authority by means of service begins with the doctrine of the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity in the Person of Jesus Christ.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:3–11).

The incarnation involved the ultimate service by the ultimate Being. This service was unto death: the supreme sacrifice for others. Yet this was not designed to humiliate Jesus permanently. On the contrary, it was designed to elevate Him.

Gary North, Christian Economics, Student Edition. Chapter 12: Disinheritance

Jesus was brought very low, to be brought very high.

As it is with the Master, so it is with His Servants.

Temporary (if extremely real) pain, permanent reward.

The path of incarnation was this: God became a man, who surrendered power to the state and the church of His day, thereby establishing the judicial foundation of total authority. As the resurrected Jesus announced to the disciples,

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18–20).

When Jesus contrasted the way to authority in the church vs. the way to authority among the gentiles, He was presenting a model of dominion. It was the same model that God had established for the redemption of mankind. This is God’s way to overcome the kingdom of Satan, which is the kingdom of self-proclaimed autonomous man. The competition between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man is not based on power. It is based on ethics. Might does not make right. Right eventually makes might. But it takes time for covenant-keepers to figure this out. They read it. Jesus taught it. But they find it difficult to believe. It is not the familiar way of autonomous man.

Gary North, Christian Economics, Student Edition. Chapter 12: Disinheritance

“The competition between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man is not based on power. It is based on ethics. Might does not make right. Right eventually makes might. But it takes time for covenant-keepers to figure this out.”

This fact is slowly becoming clear in history. But it still takes some effort to draw out.

After all, we live in an era where millions of Westerners revere the State highly enough to insist that a man is a woman just on the State’s say-so.

Machine guns, mainstream media noise machines, and openly contemptuous legal bureaucracies don’t change reality. But I don’t think Our Betters really care about reality: they just care about Obedience and Submission.

“It’s important to get the masses – especially those moronic Christians – to spout obvious lies. It destroys their integrity and sanity, while maximizing our power and authority.”

There will come a time when Our Superiors really do believe their propaganda, that their mere word shapes reality. When their delusions are not merely geared to keep Christians in their place, but are seen as truly powerful mystical word-magic.

“We REALLY ARE as God! Our word REALLY DOES reshape reality to our will!”

Stay out of the impact zone when that happens.

God Demands Service: The Details

B. Four-Way Authority

Point two of the biblical covenant is hierarchical authority. It has to do with God’s delegation of limited sovereignty to man: the dominion covenant. How does this apply to the idea of service?

Covenantal authority is both hierarchical and horizontal. This fact is not intuitive.

Authority brings responsibility. To whom is someone in authority responsible? First and foremost, he is responsible to God. God is sovereign. He is the Creator. He providentially maintains the creation. He brings preliminary judgments in history. He answers prayers. He brings final judgment. He is in charge. This is standard Christian doctrine. It is not controversial.

God demands service to others as the means of demonstrating allegiance to Him. In the passage on the final judgment, Jesus said:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, aI was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:31–40).

The covenantal doctrine of authority is inherently a doctrine of representation. Jesus made it clear: the poor are representatives of God. How people treat the weak and poor reflects their view of God’s treatment of them. Covenant-keepers perceive that they are weak and poor in the sight of God. So, there must be submission upward. But this is demonstrated by service downward: service to those who cannot repay.

There is more. There is also service outward. We serve those who can repay. In voluntary exchanges, this service is immediately repaid. Adam Smith put it famously in Wealth of Nations.

“But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens” (Book 1, Chap. 2, para. 2).

So, we must serve others. Why? Because we want their cooperation. Why? Because we need help. This leads us to a consideration of the fourth authority: ourselves. We are self-interested. This means there is service inward. Smith grounded his book on this crucial insight. We serve in order that we may be served. We are all buyers. We are all sellers. We need help. To obtain it, we offer help.

In covenantal economics, covenant-keepers are told to serve others. But this service need not be a one-way street in every case, or even in most cases. There is mutually advantageous service. It is negotiated for the sake of our own goals and comforts, and also for those under our jurisdiction.

Don’t be a dependent beggar.

Stand on your own two feet, and get paid what you’re worth.

THEN, you can help others get on their feet, and stand like a freeman.

Regardless of what Our Betters want.

Science, Engineering, and the Kingdom of God |
by Bojidar Marinov

Social visibility doesn’t influence culture. Only service does.

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