Category Archives: Uncategorized

Praxis: “…Another Door Opens”

If you’re interested in apprenticing to start your career with a full-time paid apprenticeship (as opposed to loading up on debt at a college), Praxis is an interesting alternative.

But check out Tom Wood’s offer: it could well be more profitable than going directly to Praxis. But, Wood’s offer is time-limited!

From Tom Woods, Here’s how to save your kid in a world that hates you

—<Quote begins>—

In the United States, the ongoing COVID craziness is nowhere more in evidence than on college campuses — even, or perhaps especially, in the Ivy League.

The restrictions, the masking (mask up between bites and sips), the bans on socializing, all of it is inhuman and ludicrous — and being implemented by and on the very people who believe themselves by virtue of their intelligence to have a divine right to rule over us.

On top of that, many universities are now requiring COVID-19 vaccination, even though the vaccines in question do not prevent the spread of the virus and should therefore be of no interest to any college administration.

What are you (or the students in your life) supposed to do?

Well, if you heard episode #1979 of the Tom Woods Show, you know about one option: Praxis.

Many of you will already be familiar with Praxis, which I’ve featured on my show multiple times, and which a whole bunch of Tom Woods Show listeners have prospered with over the years.

The idea is simple: instead of spending years racking up debt and listening to low-IQ propaganda, you get an apprenticeship at a startup company and gain work experience.

At the end of the Praxis experience you are offered a job with the company you interned with. So you have a job, no debt, and years’ worth of income before your friends who followed the traditional path, and who probably owe in the five figures, earn their first dollar.

Praxis is also offering special scholarships for students faced with COVID vaccine mandates.

They’re planning a live session for Tom Woods Show listeners so you can find out how Praxis can help you (or, if you’re a parent, your children).

It costs nothing to attend, and it could give the student in your life a massive advantage in a world where everything seems stacked against us.

Click here to register:
http://www.tomwoods.com/praxis
Tom Woods

—<Quote ends>—

The Idea of a Private Law Society, and the Limits of Libertarianism

If you want to build a private law society — and, as a Christian whose Lord is intensely focused on matters of law and justice, you should! — then you should look into The Idea of a Private Law Society: The Case of Karl Ludwig von Haller (PFS 2021) for a bit of inspiration.

The viewpoint of the author,  Hans-Hermann Hoppe, is not theonomic. But, it is still of some value to the theonomist. To quote the first few paragraphs:

—<Quote begins>—

The following paper will serve as the basis for Professor Hoppe’s speech “The Idea of a Private Law Society: The Case of Karl Ludwig von Haller,” to be presented at the Property and Freedom Society Annual Meeting, Sep. 19, 2021, Bodrum, Turkey.

The Idea of a Private Law Society: The Case of Karl Ludwig von Haller

HansHoppe.com, Aug. 25, 2021

Hans-Hermann Hoppe1

 “Libertarianism is logically consistent with almost any attitude toward culture, society, religion, or moral principle. In strict logic, libertarian political doctrine can be severed from all other considerations; logically one can be – and indeed most libertarians in fact are: hedonists, libertines, immoralists, militant enemies of religion in general and Christianity in particular – and still be consistent adherents of libertarian politics. In fact, in strict logic, one can be a consistent devotee of property rights politically and be a moocher, a scamster, and a petty crook and racketeer in practice, as all too many libertarians turn out to be. Strictly logically, one can do these things, but psychologically, sociologically, and in practice, it simply doesn’t work that way.”  [my emphasis, HHH] —Murray Rothbard, “Big-Government Libertarians,” in: L. Rockwell, ed., , Auburn, Al: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2000, p. 101

A considerable part of my writings in recent years has been concerned with this very last half-sentence of Rothbard’s and its wider implications. Central to the libertarian doctrine are the ideas of private property, of its original acquisition and its transfer, and the corresponding principle of non-aggression. And indeed, it can be safely stated that recognition of these ideas and principles is a necessary requirement of human society, of people living together and cooperating with one another in peace. Just as certainly, however, recognition and adherence to these ideas and principles is not sufficient to make for conviviality, i.e. for friendly neighborly and communal relations among men. For this, as Edmund Burke emphasized, manners are actually more important than any laws. More specifically, the manners typically associated with so-called “bourgeois morality”: of responsibility, conscientiousness, truthfulness, honesty and chivalry, respect- and helpfulness, foresight, courage, self-discipline, moderation and reliability.

—<Quote ends>—

The Bright Kids

From The Codevilla Tapes by David Samuels

—<Quote begins>—

David Samuels: Where does the ethos of a class come from?

Angelo Codevilla: Here I speak with the prejudices of an academician. Because the ethos of the academy changed, evolved. And what drove the change was the growing contempt of professors for our civilization. And you Jews ought not to feel that you are any less the enemy of these people than we Christians.

I should say the defining feature of the ruling class is a certain attitude. And that attitude developed in the academy, and that attitude became uniform throughout the country because of the uniform academy. The uniformity of the academy transformed itself into the uniformity of the ruling class.

Because that was the institution that credentialed the otherwise uncultured American masses?

It credentialed the mind and the habits. The habits of the heart. It credentialed the habits of the heart. The habits of conversation. The habits of work. The habits of logic. The habits period.

Can you imagine a bright kid coming in contact with that kind of intellectual fraud? The smartest ones will say, “hey, I don’t want to be part of this.” He’ll do something else. He won’t be taken in. Which means that this class will continue to degrade itself.

Just as it would be wrong to understate the importance of who has dinner with whom in Washington, it would be wrong to understate the extent to which the class you dislike is moved by an idea: The rational scientific functioning of the bureaucratic state. That’s their God. I may find this attachment emotionally bizarre, but that doesn’t make it any less real.

You’re saying the same thing in two different ways. Why is it that they have dinner together? It is that they believe that they share something terribly important. And that is precisely what they believe to be their stewardship of all things good.

Once upon a time, thus moved, they believed that they were holier than thou. Now they simply believe that they’re trendier than thou. In other words, they share the most valuable thing, which is not devotion to God but devotion to their own corporate mission. Their own corporate status. Status and mission. Status being the priests of the salvific religion of science and progress.

—<Quote ends>—

Remember that concept The Priesthood of All Believers, brought in by Moses (Exodus 19:5-6), and expanded on by the Apostles Peter (I Peter 2:4-8) and John (Revelation 1:4–6, 5:6–10, 20:6)?

Bright young men who loathe intellectual frauds may want to look into this.

But there is a price to be paid, for an independence of mind.

—<Quote begins>—

That is my job. I am young, I am supposed to rise.

I am supposed to rise in my life, how can I do that? And I in good conscience explain to them that the paths are there and the ladders are being provided. And they will take you to these places. You will, however, have to adapt yourself to the mindset of these folks.

Now, if you insist on being independent minded, don’t bother. But if you do insist on being independent minded, also realize that these ladders will not be available to you.

A lot of kids will come and tell me how much they enjoy my classes and how much they like the ancients, the way I taught the ancients. And I said to them: “Look. There is no future for you in following the likes of me. I cannot give you the kinds of internships and prospects for employment and writing that others can.”

—<Quote ends>—

There are real comforts, real benefits, to Pleasing the Powerful People.

The High Road is often the Hard Road. There is no getting around this.

But if you want to build something that will endure, that will command respect in the long term, it’s going to cost you.

Still… it’s nice to have some distance between you and a degrading Ruling Class.

Hunter Biden and the Throne of Lies

“New Proof Emerges About the Hunter Biden Laptop: a Definitive Account of the CIA/Media Fraud” by Glenn Greenwald (rumble video.)

The truth comes out… slowly. Despite Establishment suppression: try to find this video on YouTube. (Yes, it’s there as of Sept 27, 2021. Forget about using the search terms, though.)

The Rule of Our Betters wearies me.

This is ancient news. I have been aware of this ever since I was 16 years old in 1958. I was aware of the extent to which the media did this for Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930’s. Except for the Chicago Tribune, FDR had no serious media opposition. This was why the media would never show him on his crutches and braces. It was agreed upon by the media that the public would never be informed of the fact that the man was a cripple who could not walk without support.

Politics has been media-protected for a long time. There was a time in American history, a century ago, when rival newspapers would blow the whistle on specific politicians. The newspapers catered to political parties. That goes back all the way to the battles between Jefferson and Hamilton. Reporters would sell out to the highest bidder. James Callender was the model for this. That goes back to 1800.

It is astounding to me that a lawyer like Greenwald is running around like a chicken with his head cut off, crying “media corruption, media corruption.” Of course, there is media corruption. There has always been media corruption. They lie. They cheat. They misinform. They cover up. They had been doing this through the entire history of the United States.

The media went along with the Founding Fathers, so-called, to conceal from the public all of the discussions that went on at the Constitutional convention, which was a coup d’état. It was illegal. The media knew it was illegal. They did not care.

The important thing in all of this is the public knows it is being hornswaggled. It has taken well over two centuries for the public finally to figure out that the media are lying. They do not watch cable news any longer. The number of people who watch cable news is tiny.

The whole world is beginning to fragment in terms of which social media they follow. This is the message of Martin Gurri in The Revolt of the Public. Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall, and all of the king’s horses and all the king’s men will not put him back together again.

How the Media Covered Up the Hunter Biden Computer Story
GAry North

“It has taken over two centuries for the public finally to figure out that the media are lying.”

The fact that the public ever figured this out AT ALL is

  • Raw, indisputable evidence for the unfettered power of the Holy Spirit,
  • Is excellent reason to become an uncompromising Christian Postmillennialist.

It ONLY took TWO centuries to get the point across?

Satan’s throne of lies is collapsing… and collapsing at an accelerating rate.

But remember: you can’t beat something with nothing.

Christians must expand the realm of the Kingdom of God, even as the Kingdom of Satan (and the Powerful Men he uses as burnable, disposable puppets) falls apart… faster and faster.

Mere destruction of lies, while absolutely necessary, is insufficient.

The rise of the truth is needed, for victory to be gained.

Fossils, Observational Science, and Just-so Stories

Fossils are observed to form under heat and pressure. Not millions of years.

On the other hand, actual dead animals in the sea tend to float and bloat and rot, and then get chewed up when (if) they finally hit the sea floor.

Not lie there peacefully, waiting to get covered by sentiment and transformed into rock over 10,000 or a million years.

It takes a long time for elite-pleasing lies to get torn down. But the work does get done.

Praise God!

Acceptable Politics

An Acceptable Government

Given bipartisan acceptance of New Deal entitlement programs and laws forbidding discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, gender, and sexual orientation, Democrats could claim to be the party of the American center. Unfortunately, the “woke” left wing of the Democratic Party, based in the universities, the NGO world, media, tech platforms, and corporate HR departments, insists on dragging the Democratic Party ever leftward into new and doomed crusades, including defunding the police, open borders, the warmed-over 1960s Black Power rhetoric of “critical race theory,” the replacement of standard English with the weird totalitarian newspeak of intersectional terminology (like “birthing parents” for “mothers”). While it might be defended in a campus seminar, this kind of cultural progressivism is politically toxic.

[…]

My argument is not that the Democrats should be a culturally progressive party that tolerates economically liberal cultural conservatives. Rather, my argument is that the party should be neutral on many cultural issues. To achieve a big majority rather than a bare majority, the Democrats should be an inclusive party that is center left on economic issues and supports race-neutral or colorblind civil rights for individuals (as opposed to groups), while not taking official stands on most or all hot-button cultural issues. Support for Social Security and anti-discrimination laws should be litmus tests for inclusion in the Democratic Party; support for defunding the police, lax immigration law enforcement, and race and gender quotas should not.

[…]

The Democratic Party, in short, should be a big-tent national political party that welcomes cultural progressives as one of several constituencies, but is not controlled by them. This would not be a surrender to free market neoliberals: It would be a return to the New Deal tradition at the expense of both the New Left and the neoliberals. If the Democratic Party is unwilling or unable to prevent the progressive minority of the population from hijacking and defining the party agenda, then have fun, my Democratic friends, grumbling on the political sidelines about the evils of structural racism and the injustice of the Electoral College.

How Democrats Can Become the National Majority Party
by Michael Lind

I doubt if the Democrats can pull this off, given their cultural and class positioning.

Then again… since they DO represent the Money and Power and Media and Academic classes, they can afford to lose elections for the next 20 years with only a few ruffled feathers. Regardless of who is elected, the massive majority of government employees, police officers, and educational professionals will remain Democrats… and THEY will shape the country.

Not some fly-by-night, Junior Party seat warmers.

“The Loser Junior Party can fight to lead the country during any coming recession/depression.
Our rule will merely be social and implicit, rather than from the executive chair.
When things blow-over, the actual masters of the country can publicly take over.
As it was always meant to be.”

Certainly, the Republicans are in a much better position to enact these recommendations to win elections – as if they mattered, in an Administrative State. Remember Trump’s Rainbow White House? In contrast, I’ll let you wait for the next time the pro-life is spoken of approvingly by Biden. Or any future Democratic President, for that matter.

“Losers are Losers. Winners are Winners.
And Power always sides with the Winners.”

“Always.”

An Acceptable Fascism

In the midst of a major economic crisis, both Republicans (Bush’s Patriot Act, drafted by Clinton) and Democrats (Obama’s hatred of whistleblowers, upheld by Trump…as well as the low-key extermination of the very concept of private property) have given a future Man on a White Horse all the powers he needs, without a single new law needed.

The text of the executive order has no number on it. It is 13603.

Wikipedia reports:

‘In reality, the order updated long-existing directives that have been issued ever since the Truman administration. Such presidential directives update the resources covered under the Defense Production Act, which was enacted in the 1950’s and is reauthorized by Congress every few years. The act “allows presidents to delegate authority to various federal departments and agencies. For example, Obama’s order authorizes the secretaries of Defense and the Interior ‘to encourage the exploration, development, and mining of strategic and critical materials and other materials.'”

It is still on the books. Any President may invoke its provisions.

Gary North, The Day Obama Wrote an IOU in Your Name on Everything You Own

Said Man on a White Horse will need the support of the bureaucracy, the media, and academia to rule with confidence. So, either a Republican with Democratic policies, or a Centralist Democrat with an air gap between himself and the more annoying Progressives.

The public may be mildly irritated by some flavours of the Progressive movement, at this moment.

(As the solid majority of American Christians will continue to send their children to the Free public schools, this irritation will fade with time. As always.)

But while some cultural issues may irritate for a decade or so, the love of Free Stuff across all Americans (with some unimportant and trivial exceptions) insures that the current bipartisan soft-fascist order — always getting a little harder, every single day — will continue.

The proof is in the budget.

“Just slap some neutral-to-conservative social poses on the screen – not the laws, just the optics – and you will have the Acceptable Fascism that Roosevelt pioneered, and is solidly supported by the vast majority of Americans. Maybe toss in some easily winnable war – not in the Middle East or Asia, but in Africa or Latin America – for fun and more cool uniform displays.”

The problem is when the budget is busted, due to unacceptably high interest rates.

“Unacceptably high” looks to be in the 3%-6% range, by the way. Something that would be quite low, in most of human history.

This hypothetical interest rate spike, coupled with a declining employment (tax-paying) population relative to the tax-recipient groups (especially the elderly, but also the permanently unemployed), coupled with declining family formation and births, points to a steady slow grinding away at the foundations of the economy.

Unacceptable Politics

When the budget starts to seriously shrink, when the supply of Free Stuff begins to dry up, is when Acceptable Politics no longer cuts it.

And when what was once Unacceptable Politics begins to show up.

Unacceptable Politics, incidentally, has nothing to do with dictators or tyranny. Both parties have welcomed the rise of unaccountable power, so long as the Privileged get their financial cut and their cultural pleasures, and the Official Forms of Democracy are maintained to keep the rabble quiet.

Unacceptable Politics is the breakup of centralized authority.

Unacceptable Politics is the frank, open, and sustained defiance of the Will of the Aristocracy.

That simply will not happen, so long as the pork and the checks flow from Washington.

But, when the checks stop, what was Unacceptable becomes Acceptable.

Just as it was for the Soviet Union. Or the British Empire. Or Imperial Rome, for that matter.

Summary

All empires fall.

Only the Kingdom of God is eternal.

Caste, Content, and the Replication Crisis

For the People in the Wrong Caste

In reference to an Uncommon Descent discussion on neutrino weirdness:

Hossenfelder has stumbled on a telling fact about science journalism. Often, the genuinely puzzling problem is ignored in favour of some a big whoop de do about an incidental find that doesn’t amount to much and may prove an artifact of data collection.

For example, every other week, it seems, we bump into a new theory of consciousness but, never mind, it’s glitzy and that’s what counts. Oh and that time machine and a cure for aging are just around the corner… Well, it’s somebody else’s subscription so…

And a reaction in the comments:

polistra

Science journalists are the same as any other journalists. They’re attracted toward big money and big power. CERN has more money and power than a materials researcher at Chucamonga Community College, so the trivia from CERN makes news.

Caste is everything. Content is nothing.

Sophisticated moderns don’t actually believe in objective reality anymore. Just whatever gets them the approval of the Better Class.

Since it is the Powerful People who really decide what Reality is (“…and not some make-believe old man in the sky…”), pleasing Powerful Men is, indeed, the core religion of the media now.

The Source of the Law is the functional, actual god of a culture.

And you can be absolutely sure that the Source in the West isn’t God.
This is easily demonstrated by contrasting our laws with the laws of the Bible: the laws the churches have openly despised for centuries now.

When I started working for the Senate, some folks at the agency figured out that I wasn’t a run-of-the-mill staffer. So I was visited by one of the old boys who took me up to the director’s office—the director wasn’t there at the time. He took me up via the director’s elevator, he had a key. And showed me all around and was very, very clubby with me. Then they took me to his house, which is overlooking the Potomac, with these large wolfhounds sitting about. And essentially, he said the equivalent of “all this could be yours.”

My son, if you play the game.

If you play the game. I said to myself, “Hmmmm, what did the Lord say to all this?”

But it really is a matter of who has dinner with whom. I have worked in Washington long enough to know that people would sell their souls for invitations to be at certain tables. To be allowed to speak with this person or that. In the end, it’s all social.

And how do you become social? You express the same thoughts, you have the same tastes. You vacation in the same places. You love the same loves, you hate the same hates.

This is a very Italianate explanation.

No, it’s not. You have the wrong idea about Italy. I’m from Northern Italy. I believe this is a hardheaded explanation of a soft but powerful reality.

These are all people who are connected to the power of government.

Either physically, i.e. economically, or emotionally—power. The dream of sharing power. The gender studies professor not only gets her money eventually from government, but she dreams of being part of a world-transforming enterprise.

Here, I agree with you. There is a dream that unites progressives and bureaucrats and wealthy technologists. And where does that dream come from?

It’s a dream peculiar to this class. Other classes have been united by different dreams.

Is it a substitute for religion?

Yes.

The Codevilla Tapes
by David Samuels

(Relayed to the masses by Gary North in The Day That Codevilla Got the Offer To Sell Out)

Trusting the People in the Right Caste

As for Replication?

As found in Uncommon Descent:

The most basic level of trust in science is trust that the reported experiment actually happened. Joe Hilgard described his efforts to report scientific misconduct at the level of fabricated trials, and found that the journals mostly weren’t interested. Moreover, the fraudulent researchers would simply change their tactics once he pointed out their fraud. For example, after Hilgard pointed out that a trial with over 3,000 subjects was unlikely to have occurred, the researcher in question now sets his sample sizes at a believable couple hundred.

Another level of trust is the idea that a citation to a source accurately reports the information there. In my experience, it is the norm, rather than the exception, for cited claims in popular science books and review papers to misstate the claims of their sources. The popular science book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, for example, was eviscerated for its misleading citations by Alexey Guzey in a review, but this did not result in any institutional action toward Walker or public acknowledgement of the flaws in the book. Walker was defended as promoting an important message, even if he got a few things wrong in shady ways. (One reviewer, aware of the Guzey criticisms, said that Walker can be forgiven for his errors, because his exuberance comes from the right place.)

The term “pious fraud” is usually used to refer to religious people who knowingly promote hoaxes while believing in the underlying religious message of the hoax; it was a term commonly used in the skeptical movement of the 1990s to refer to people like stigmatics, faith healers, and the creator of the Shroud of Turin. Similar to pious frauds, researchers who believe in the truth of the message of “sleep is good for you” or “social behavior is automatic” or the like may produce or promote silly findings they know to be false or meaningless, because these findings support an important message.

Sarah Perry, “How trust undermines science” at Works in Progress (September 14, 2021)

The Uncommon Descent article continues:

And more. Actually, there is probably better evidence for the Shroud of Turin than for many claims made in science journals today — if only because the claims must weather much more skepticism.

Uncommon Descent, Trust in science: How the replication crisis got started

Executive Summary

When reading the Mainstream News – economic, political, science – always remember the position of the reporter and journalist:

Caste is everything.
Content is nothing.

Christians do not have the luxury of Ruling Class and a massive Media Noise Machine that will cover for their mistakes and failures.

Good thing too. God expects more of us, than He does of them.

Also: all that trust in today’s money and power and media control is unwise, for a people oriented to shape the future, rather than gain an easy life today.

LONG REIGN IN SHORT BOOK?

This is a good article to contrast with “The Millennium“, where I touch on Warfield’s thoughts on the matter, and is the (official?) position of Chalcedon. An optimistic amillennialism – God will gain victory over the world, before the Second Coming, even though there is no literal millennium – is the traditional understand of the millennium.

The main problem with Warfield is his view of the binding of Satan. He writes:

What actually happens is that the saints described are removed from the sphere of Satan’s assaults. The saints described are free from all access of Satan – he is bound with respect to them: outside of their charmed circle his horrid work goes on. This is indicated, indeed, in the very employment of the two symbols “a thousand years” and “a little time.”

But Jesus said,

No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. (Mark 3:27).

Satan was not bound to protect the saints in heaven. Satan was bound so Jesus can more efficiently and complete loot the strong man’s home.

Nod to David Chilton, who in his book Days of Vengeance (page 583) (audiobook and new PDF here) also argues that

Satan was bound in Christ’s First Advent and thus prevented from prematurely instigating the eschatological War (pp. 499-508). The “Millennium” is Christ’s Kingdom, which began at the Resurrection/Ascension and continues until the end of the world (pp. 494-98, 508-19). The “new heaven and earth” is a picture of salvation: brought in definitively by the finished work of Christ, developing progressively throughout the present age, and coming finally, in absolute fullness, at the consummation of all things (pp. 535-45).

Postmillennial Worldview

Close farPMW 2021-069 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Although the vast majority of Revelation focuses on events that will occur “soon” (Rev 1:1, 3), the Revelation 20 section on the thousand years begins, but is not completed, in the first century. It projects itself into the distant future, allowing a glimpse of the end result of the events beginning in the apostolic era.

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Leadership, Funding and Reason

To change the world, we are going to need leaders.

This isn’t a pleasant truth: leaders often end up being partial failures, to some extent or other. Be it Noah being drunk, King David murdering a loyal soldier to get that man’s wife, Luther & Calvin’s decision to place the fears and favours of the Ruling Nobles over the Law of God, there always ends up a fly in the ointment, some vinegar in the wine.

Even so: the work must be done. And there must be someone who goes first, who leads the people, who directs the troops. I am suspicious of leaders, but they are necessary in warfare. They can be quite useful, so long as the followers knows when to ignore the leader, when to ditch the leader, when to defy the leader.1

God demands that His people be kings and priests. And, seeing the abject incompetence of our overlords both secular and religious, we are going to have to learn how to do the job ourselves. Or at least begin to do so, in our own communities and neighbourhoods, towns and businesses.

The goal is to start as an elected dogcatcher, as a servant who is there, and is reliable, and can be trusted. Earn your way up. To be a good leader, start as a good servant.

Expanding the Kingdom isn’t going to happen with government funding: the ugly, long-dead dusty husks of Europe’s tax-funded churches has made that clear.

There is quite a lot of good material available for the Christian interested in starting his own business. Normally, I would point to the free material at garynorth.com (sadly, the valuable forums are now locked away indefinitely). But I have recently discovered the book Doing Business God’s Way (formerly Almighty and Sons): the GeoStrategic website on Business Leadership looks to be of value as well.

Note that the actual providing of money to widows and orphans, anti-drug and debt assistance to the needy, mutual-assistance homeschooling networks, as well as nonpartisan political groups and blogs, keeping an eye on local town & county politics (and MANY other things not mentioned now!) should remain an organizationally separate & independent charities.

Below is essentially a cut-n-paste of the first chunk of Gary North’s first chapter in his recent book Leadership.

—<Quote begins>—

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you.

Matthew 6:33

Introduction

Before beginning my assessment of how this verse is central to Christian leadership, I will parse it.

Seek first (hierarchy of values: point 2) the kingdom (civilization: point 5) of God (sovereignty: point 1) and his righteousness (ethics: point 3), and all these things (positive sanctions: point 4) will be given to you.

The five points of the biblical covenant are powerful analytical tools. They let us understand Bible passages in ways that most commentators ignore.

Jesus assigned this lifetime mission to His listeners within a context: the providence of God. The world is not random. God is in control. He has structured causation to extend His kingdom,

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink—or about your body, what you will wear. For is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds in the air. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they are? Which one of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his lifespan? Why are you anxious about clothing? Think about the lilies in the fields, how they grow. They do not work, and they do not spin cloth. Yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. If God so clothes the grass in the fields, which exists today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious and say, “What will we eat?” or, “What will we drink?” or, “What clothes will we wear?” For the Gentiles search for these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you. Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day has enough evil of its own (Matthew 6:25–34).

The conclusion is crucial for the completion of the mis- sion: “Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomor- row will be anxious for itself. Each day has enough evil of its own.” This describes the psychology of the ideal Christian leader: a highly long-term planner with highly short-term fears.

The first pillar of biblical leadership is an application of point 1 of the biblical covenant model: the sovereignty of God. It is therefore inescapably theocentric. While the uni- verse is theocentic, and therefore all of the pillars of leader- ship are theocentric, the first pillar is uniquely, foundation- ally theocentric. Second, because God is a Trinity, the first pillar is therefore uniquely, foundationally Trinitarian.

The essence of leadership is decision-making. The con- text of decision-making is always a mission, meaning an as- signment from a superior. The source of this mission is God the Father. It is His kingdom. He has delegated to cove- nant-keepers the task of building His kingdom. This is the New Testament’s modification of the original dominion cove- nant: God’s delegation of authority to mankind to subdue the earth (Genesis 1:26–28).

All of life is a mission from God: point 2 of the biblical covenant model: dominion. This lifetime mission is a series of missions. This is why there is no escape from leadership. There is therefore no escape from decision-making. Institutional decision-making is almost always representative: decisions made judicially on behalf of others. This representation began with Adam (Genesis 2–3). It culminates with Christ (1 Corinthians 15:12–28). All mankind is represented judicially before God by either Adam or Christ. Representation is point 2.

What is the Christian’s primary lifetime mission? That is to say, what is the defining mission? Matthew 6:33 reveals it. It binds every Christian who is old enough to make binding decisions. Jesus imposed this obligation on everyone. He still does. It is not optional. He does not expect covenant-breakers to obey it. He requires covenant-keepers to obey it: advancing the kingdom of God. This is an earthly kingdom as well as an eter- nal kingdom. How do we know this? Because the blessings are historical. There is historical cause and effect. It is grounded in ethics: point 3 of the biblical covenant model. We are required by God to seek “his righteousness.” This system of ethical causation undergirds the mission of the church, which is also the mission of every professing Christian. The fact that there is a pattern of ethics-based historical causation designed by God and enforced by God should give courage to every cove- nant-keeper in every challenge in life. He knows that if he does the right thing, God will back him up. God is his protector.

Causation is not random. It surely is not based on God’s long-term rewarding of covenant-breaking. The historical “playing field” is tilted in favor of obedience to God’s ethics. Psalm 37 is clear on this.

Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked people. For the arms of the wicked people will be broken, but the Lord supports the righteous people. The Lord watches over the blameless day by day, and their heritage will be forever. They will not be ashamed when times are bad. When famine comes, they will have enough to eat. But evil men will perish. The Lord’s enemies will be like the glory of the pastures; they will be consumed and disappear in the smoke. The wicked person borrows but does not repay, but the righteous person is generous and gives. Those who are blessed by God will inherit the land; those who are cursed by him will be cut off. It is by the Lord that a man’s steps are established, the man whose way is commendable in God’s sight. Though he stumbles, he will not fall down, for the Lord is holding him with his hand. I was young and now am old; I have never seen the righteous person abandoned or his children begging for bread (Psalm 37:16–25).

What does all this have to do with leadership? This: establishing the Christian leader’s confidence in the ethical pattern of history. Christian leaders can and should risk more for the sake of God’s cause, meaning His kingdom and His righteousness, because the world is not level. The covenant-keeping leader has an advantage. His enemies, who are God’s enemies, operate at a disadvantage. This should give him courage. Every leader needs courage. Courage is the willingness to bear without complaint the uncertainties of life. More than this: a leader should be ready to bear added uncertainties for the sake of the mission. He should be ready to volunteer to take on extra responsibilities that his superior does not expect him to accept, ask him to accept, or pay him to accept.

Basic to every form of institutional leadership are two mis- sions. One is individual. The other is institutional. Institutions have missions. God holds every institution responsible for adhering to its delegated mission. He imposes sanctions, positive or negative, on institutions in terms of their adherence to their missions. Here is a representative example of corporate judgment. Ezekiel wrote: “So you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘The Lord God says this to the people of Ammon concerning their coming disgrace: A sword, a sword is drawn! It is sharpened for the slaughter in order to devour, so it will be like lightning’” (Ezekiel 21:28). God therefore holds leaders especially responsible for adhering to the institutional mission. However, in contrast to individuals, institutions are not brought under God’s eternal sanctions on judgment day (Matthew 25:31–46).

When a Christian’s lifetime mission correlates closely with his temporary institutional mission, he has a far greater likelihood of being successful than if the two missions are not closely related. This is true in the three institutional covenants: family, church, and state. This is also true in all non-covenantal institutions, most notably business.

A covenantal institution is marked by a public mutual oath. This oath is between two or more people. What makes a covenantal oath unique is that God is a party to this oath. He is the Enforcer. A non-covenantal oath in some cases may be lawfully be enforced by the civil government as a representative of God, but the oath-breaker may not suffer direct God-imposed negative sanctions. God takes covenantal oaths far more seriously than contracts.

[…snip…]

Jesus came to them and spoke to them and said, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them into the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey all the things that I have commanded you. See, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18–20).

This is known in Christian circles as the Great Commission. Jesus issued it to the disciples as individuals, but He also issued it to the institutional church. The Great Commission rests on this assertion: “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” This is a cosmic declaration. It applies to heaven and earth.

To understand the Great Commission, we first must have the biblical answer to this question: “On what legal basis did Jesus announce His authority?” There are two issues involved: creation and redemption. Jesus is both the Creator and the Redeemer.

1. Creation

The New Testament repeatedly announces that Jesus, in His capacity as God, created the universe.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This one was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him there was not one thing made that has been made (John 1:1–3).

Yet for us there is only one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we live, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things exist, and through whom we exist (1 Corinthians 8:6).

In his Son we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God. He is the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, those in the heav- ens and those on the earth, the visible and the invisible things. Whether thrones or dominions or governments or authorities, all things were created by him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1:14–17).

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in many ways. But in these last days, he has spoken to us through a Son, whom he appointed to be the heir of all things. It is through him that God also made the universe (Hebrews 1:1–2).

Consider a few of the implications of these statements. Jesus Christ, the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, and also in His legal capacity as a perfect man, has issued a commission to His followers, meaning those individuals who have been judicially redeemed—bought back—by His perfect life, His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead. This includes you.

This is the Person who created the universe. Think about this. There are supposedly 200 million galaxies. Other estimates place this at two billion. Each galaxy, we are told by astronomers, has about a hundred million stars. This indicates the immensity of the universe. But this is just getting started with respect to the complexity of the universe. The stars are composed of atoms. I don’t know how many atoms are in your typical star, but it must be a lot. Then there are all those sub-atomic particles—or are they waves?—that com- pose each atom. They are all held together, Paul assured us, by this Person. “He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16). And He has given you a commission.

How seriously should you take this commission? (Note: rhetorical question.)

2. Redemption

Jesus announced the Great Commission after His resurrection. He was speaking as a perfect man. Why had He waited to announce this? Why had He not announced this at the beginning of His ministry? Because He had not completed His mission of redemption. That mission was completed only at the resurrection: His perfect life, sacrificial death, and resurrection. Having completed His mission, He assigned the Great Commission to His followers.

Do you have any doubts about your ability to fulfil this commission? I don’t mean your willingness to fulfill it. I also don’t mean your judgment in assessing how it applies day to day, year to year, decade to decade to your thoughts and actions. I mean your ability. Are you lacking something crucial? Do you plan to respond on the day of judgment that you were not given sufficient resources? Has God provided you with second-rate tools? This was the response of Adam and Eve. “The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ The Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent lied to me, and I ate’” (Genesis 3:12–13). This judicial defense did not work as they had hoped. It also did not work as their covenantal sons and daughters would have hoped.

You have been issued a commission. You have responsibilities associated with this task. They may be minimal responsibilities today, but as you work on your calling, you will become more skilled. You will be able to take on more responsibilities. As long as you are capable of performing your existing assignment, you should take on even more tasks until you have reached the limits of your capabilities. Your model should be Caleb.

“I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy on the land. I brought him a re- port again as it was in my heart to make. But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear. But I completely followed the Lord my God. Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has walked will be an inheritance for you and for your children forever, because you have completely followed the Lord my God.’ Now, look! The Lord has kept me alive these forty-five years, just as he said— from the time when the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. Now, look! I am this day eighty- five years old. I am still as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me out. My strength is now as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. Now therefore give me this hill country, which the Lord promised me on that day. For you heard on that day that the Anakim [giants] were there with great fortified cities. It may be that Yahweh will be with me and that I will drive them out, just as the Lord said” (Joshua 14:7–12).

From the days immediately after the exodus, Caleb had wanted to fulfill God’s mission for Israel: conquer the land of Canaan. He had recommended military action as soon as he had returned from spying the land (Numbers 14:6–9). He was overruled by the representatives of Israel. So, he had to wait for 45 years because the cowardly generation of the exodus had to die off: God’s curse on them (Numbers 14:29). Now, all but Joshua were dead. Caleb was ready to pick up where he had left off 45 years earlier. He had not hesitated then. He did not hesitate now.

You are allowed to hesitate while you are spying out the land. However, when you are sure that it is time to move forward in extending your narrow segment of the mission, the time for hesitating is over. You must take action. Begin now.

Action Step

Write down three aspects of life in your town that are in need of reform by God’s grace through God’s people.

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I love that action step: “three aspects of life in your town”. Or neighbourhood, if you are in a major urban area.

Don’t worry about the Galactic Empire. Don’t even worry about the State government.

Start small.

It may well be that you stay small: that’s perfectly OK, and in most cases desirable.

But actually help people, to grow and prosper physically, mentally and spiritually.

Especially the weak and the helpless.

In time and on earth.


1And that’s the problem: no so much leaders per se — “sinners will be sinners” — but the great willingness of the masses to just ditch all their responsibility at the feet of the Great Man as if he was some kind of shining mini-god. As illustrated by just how quickly Congress gave up her powers to the President — even her war powers — and how much power both the President and Congress are willing to put at the feed of unelected, and unaccountable, bureaucrats.

The Christians of America (who had a strong hand in electing these cowards) really, really need to start rising to adulthood, to being kings and priests, and ditch their revolt from maturity… and accountability.

We don’t only need great leaders: we also need great followers. Followers who know when the Leader has crossed the line — violated the commandments of God — and refuse to follow when it matters.

Not dutifully obey as they have always done, and then whine “We didn’t know! We didn’t know!” long after it’s too late to do anything about the damage.

The greater the gift, the greater the reward for success… and the harsher the punishment for failure. Whether we like it or not, we Christians in America have been given great gifts. And, if we have finally grown tired of being kicked in the head, we must actually repent, understand that there is no mystical escape from the battlefield, and get serious about learning to WIN.

In time and on earth.