The Pagan Utopia

A direct copy/paste from the #dapostmil

This is going to be short and sweet. A lot of people talk about “Utopian” eschatology, but very few people actually know what Utopia was originally made to be.

“Utopia”. It’s a term coined by Thomas More in his book of the same name written in 1516.

Features of this “Utopian” society include, but are not limited to:

  • Abolition of all private property.
  • A “fluid” household structure. People are assigned and redistributed between households and towns dependent on “what is good for society”.
  • Each “household” is required to rotate the house in which they are permitted to live with another household every 10 years.
  • Assigned labor and professions (there aren’t many options).
  • Ruling officials are those identified as scholars based on their ability to learn. These ruling officials are also given the best food which is totes adorb.
  • Clothing is to be simple and uniform, there is no fancy garb, nor makers of fine linens permitted.
  • An across the board, cradle to grave welfare state.
  • Euthanasia is permitted.
  • Engaging in premarital sex carries the penalty of a lifetime of enforced celibacy.
  • Unauthorized travel is a big no-no. It is heavily regulated, and one must get permission to go anywhere.
  • If you travel to a town when you are not authorized, on your second warning you become a slave. Yes, in Utopia, there is enslavement for unauthorized travel between different towns.
  • There are no taverns or ale-houses.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you ask me, Utopia sounds….well, like shit.

Really, everyone has their own version of how society *should* operate. That’s not a bad thing. God cares A LOT about temporal justice, and so should we.

The point is, everyone has a “utopia” in mind, even if your “utopia” differs from Thomas More’s “Utopia”. The question is, is your “Utopia” informed by scripture, or (as with  More) is it informed by what seems right in your own eyes?

Tell me what God requires in his word. You can keep the unicorn.

Why yes, the book was written in a (at the time) nominally Christian society. Why am I not surprised…

In any case, I trust that my readers here will bolt their utopian fantasies to the commandments of Christ.

It’s not so much that Glorious Visions of the Future are wrong. This very website is (in part) based on a very sci-fi idea of what the Awesome World Galaxy Cosmos of the Future should be – and God is no dour Islamic-style Enemy of Creation/Creativity, Liberty, Intelligence, or Growth…

… but He is no licentious & lawless Secular-style Enemy of Truth, Law, Holiness and Justice either.

If we want to gain our heart’s desire, we must focus on first committing ourselves to serving God, and gaining the victories He desires. Victories over evil, lies, death, hell, delusions, lawlessness, and idolatry.

When we commit ourselves to the victories Christ desires in this world FIRST, we will learn that we will naturally gain the tools, strength, and vision to build a future worth living.

And our spirit and mind will be purified and strengthened, to wisely and profitably handle the additional power and responsibility too! As we follow the Master, we are shaped to better reflect His image… the Image of One who rules, shapes and controls the entire Creation.

I can’t think of a better role model, if you want to be a king yourself. If you desire to be king of a family, or a city, or an island, or a planet, or a galaxy… why take up some shoddy, blind & dead idol as your model, when you can follow the footsteps of the actual Creator of Heaven and Earth?

Go with the One who actually knows what He is doing, and not some pathetic, mindless and laughable imitation. Go and stand with Jesus Christ!

Sure, the full fruits of our rewards will be after our resurrection in the New Creation… but we will taste some of the first fruits of our victory in THIS life, as well.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. — Matthew 6:33

“There is an old fable about a peddler in Warsaw who had a very hard life. He lived in a miserable hut, worked long hours in freezing weather for very little money, was clothed in ragged garments, and was generally considered to be as hardworking and poor a man as the angels could find. Some of the angels pleaded with God to do something for the poor man, something wonderful and special. The Lord agreed, and, in an instant, the peddler was transported from an icy, windy, and subzero street of Warsaw to Heaven itself. He was told that God would give him anything he wanted. “Anything?” asked the amazed peddler. “Anything,” said the angels. The peddler thought for a while and finally said, “I’ll have a hot cup of coffee and a doughnut.”

There was first a shocked gasp from the angels, and then embarrassment. The peddler had trivialized God because he himself was trivial.

We must be aware of trivializing God. John Newton, in one of his great hymns, says this of prayer:

Thou art coming to a King.
Large petitions with thee bring,
For His grace and power are such
None can ever ask too much
None can ever ask too much

“Our Lord tells us, “[A]sk, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).”

— Excerpt From: R. J. Rushdoony. “A Word in Season Vol. 7.”

Put God first and foremost, and all the rest will fall into place.

The Fraudulent Nature of the Regulative Principle

From Gary North’s Critical Mass – Part 17: Liturgy and Church Growth

…churches fight over music and liturgy, but there is little New Testament evidence to support any of the combatants. That which is central to formal corporate worship — liturgy – has almost no New Testament guidelines. The so-called New Testament regulative principle is a Presbyterian folk myth. If I am wrong about this, then where are the New Testament’s clear-cut answers for these obvious questions: Should we meet only on Sunday evenings, as the disciples did on resurrection day (Luke 24:29-35)? Should preachers preach until midnight, as Paul did (Acts 20:7)? Should we get rid of our Sunday schools? Should we get rid of musical notation in our hymnals? Should we get rid of hymnals altogether? What about standing up and sitting down? What about responsive readings? What about kneeling? What about kneeling rails? (Are they a sell-out to “weak-kneed Christians”?) What about printed prayers? What about the recitation of a creed? What about altar calls? What about speaking in tongues when there is no second-party translator? What about baptism? (Why isn’t this done in homes, as was true of the Philippian jailer?) What about the Lord’s Supper: wine or grape juice, leavened bread or unleavened? Those Presbyterians who cling most dearly to the so called regulative principle of worship are exclusive psalm singers. They do not tolerate hymns during formal worship. Some even reject musical instruments.

The only thing that absolutely is required by the New Testament – that we greet each other with a holy kiss (Rom. 16:16; I Cor. 16:20; II Cor. 13:12; I Thess. 5:26) – no modern church does, ln short, there is no New Testament regulative principle that comes close to covering the whole of weekly church worship; denominational tradition prevails everywhere.

Liturgy and Theology

There are probably more church battles over liturgy than over doctrine. Consider the early days of the Puritan movement. What were the fundamental dividing issues? Were they theological? Hardly. The Anglican Church’s thirty-nine articles were Calvinistic. Four key issues were the burning ecclesiastical issues of the day: the clergyman’s surplice, the legitimacy of wedding rings, the legitimacy of coming forward to take communion at a railing, and tracing the sign of the cross on the forehead at baptism. (See J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness [Crossway, 1990], p. 53.) Because the English Puritans could not abide by these four practices, they destroyed the unity of the Anglican Church.

Meanwhile, they said nothing about Erastianism: the king as the lawful head of the English church–or worse, the queen. This was not a matter for public discussion. Everyone in the Church accepted this theological and ecclesiastical abomination.

It’s best not to worry overmuch about liturgy as the fundamental issue. Instead, focus on doctrine.

Inheriting the World, After the Demographic Winter

Gary North notes in his article The Population Implosion Will Begin in 2065, that the economic problem of the coming population collapse will not be a problem, thanks to the coming of ever-improving robotics.

I agree with the idea of not worrying about the coming population bust, but not because the robots will save us. They will certainly be a help, but robots need to produce what humans want… and with fewer humans, there will be fewer customers, and a limited need for production and productive tools.

The economy will still decline, not grow: and it will decline very steeply for a while, while

  1. the population ages
  2. the welfare state, buckling under the many oldsters and the few working producers, collapses (leading to more economic suffering)
  3. the replacements that are available will tend to come from less wealthy (and thus, less technologically-skilled) people from Africa and the Middle East (where high fertility will continue… but note that Middle Eastern fertility is already in sharp decline).

Africans and Middle Eastern immigrants will not be integrated into the Western economy until:

  1. the welfare state is destroyed,
  2. labour rigidity laws are abolished (that is, the numerous restrictions, especially in Europe, on hiring, firing, and paying the low wages that consumers are willing to pay low/unskilled workers.
    1. Or just using robots for production, leaving the immigrants unemployed. NOT a good idea. Better to gut the anti-employment laws, including hiring/firing and wage restrictions.
  3. African and Middle Eastern immigrants place a high value on education, similar to that of the Chinese and Indians do.

There will come a time when the population decline will level off.

I believe that in time, even typical African fertility will decline below replacement for a while, as even that region of the world becomes wealthy. (“Wealthy” in 2100, compared to the America of 1980).

But there will be those who will insist on having children. There will be those who refuse both contraception and abortion.

I suggest that this will be the strongly observant Christian population of the world. They make a conscious choice to have many children, despite the cost.

The competition isn’t from Secularists – obviously, as can be seen by their attitude to abortion, divorce, and homosexuality. No: it will come from Islam.

Certainly, Muslim Egypt is buckling the trend, and has made a shift upward in fertility. They have no intention to lay down and die: but whether this shift upward is a temporary fluctuation or a long-term move remains to be seen.

Despite this, I still believe that Christians will inherit the world, not Muslims. This is because the love for others is better than the hatred of others, the ability to learn is better than willful ignorance, justice for all is more productive and stable than injustice for the Wrong Sort, and constructive attitudes are better than destructive attitudes.

The Resurrection as a Mandate for Action

9. The Resurrection
In an interesting and revealing study, Pinchas Lapide writes on The Resurrection of Jesus, A Jewish Perspective (1983). Lapide believes that the resurrection actually took place. He makes clear, however, that other Jewish scholars over the centuries have held the same view also, without accepting Jesus as the Messiah. Lapide declares that Jesus could not have been the Messiah, because a new order and a worldwide kingdom were not at once established. The world continued as before.
The New Testament, however, declares that Jesus is the Christ, or the Messiah, and by His resurrection He became the firstfruits of those who are dead, and the beginning of the new creation of God (1 Cor. 15:20, 23; Col. 1:18; etc.). “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is anew creation [or creature]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
The resurrection thus begins the new creation and God’s Kingdom. As each of us becomes a new creation, we have a duty to bring everything around us under the dominion of Christ and into His Kingdom. We live in it, work for it, and bring all things into captivity to it.
Hence the apostolic emphasis on service, on work, on the proclamation of the gospel, on collections for the poor and for suffering saints, and much, much more. All believers are expected to be Kingdom workers, to do the bidding of their risen Lord.
The resurrection is thus not an isolated incident. It is a mandate for action, and if we are not a  part of that action, we have not understood our Lord.
— Rushdoony, A Word in Season 4
The Resurrection is not only something we behold with awe.
It is a mandate for action.
It is time to expand the Kingdom of God, and to crush the head of the murderous, child-killing serpent!
We are not to fear any power that can only kill the body.
Christ has broken the power of death, for all who believe in Him.
And the proof of this is the Resurrection.

Christian Courts are Private Courts

Justice and Liberty for all, regardless of belief, are profoundly Christian concerns – in contrast to the Secular and Islamic focus on gathering power for the Right Sort…

(Party Members and Muslims, respectively)

and the disenfranchisement/humiliation/disposal of the Wrong Sort..

(that would be you and me).

But what makes the ideal Christian legal system?

With some heavy thinking, outlined below, Joel McDurmon shows that a private court system, without the backing of the State, would make the most idea system in most or all cases.

From McDurmon’s article, Courts of Law in a Free Society

The Christian Ideal: Private Courts

But state courts are neither the only nor even most desirable system given in Scripture. The second significant passage in regard to courts shows us a better way—private courts. And whereas the state court system exemplified by Moses is based on the pragmatic advice of a man along with piecemeal biblical principles, the private court system we shall see is directly revealed as the Christian ideal by the apostle Paul. Thus, this should be accepted and embraced by Christians as the most biblical method of resolving judicial disputes. Paul applies the Christian principle of private courts in 1 Corinthians 6:

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! (1 Cor. 6:1–8).

What this shows is first, all believers are judges. We are called to be judges first and foremost of ourselves. All of Christian life is about making and obeying decisions that are faithful to our Lord—and this requires faithful judgment. Since civil government is instituted only to punish crime, then courts will only need to exist to the extent that people fail in the effort of faithful self-judgment first.

But, it is assumed that since we are still sinners even as Christians, and we live in the midst of a fallen world, that conflicts of judgment will abound both personally and interpersonally. Thus, courts will be necessary to decide such conflicts. Paul’s admonition here is to exalt Christian virtues of forgiveness, love, and self-sacrifice to the fore and thus limit the number of conflicts that 1) go to suit at all, 2) go to suit between believers, and 3) get heard before state courts. All should be held to an absolute minimum.

For cases that do arise, private courts are usually the best alternative. This means church courts, arbitration panels, mediation boards, and industry and professional courts. A society neglecting these outlets and the attitude of self-government will easily be paralyzed by endless litigation, massive bureaucracies, and countless administrative laws.1 Toward this aim, all contracts between Christians should include some form of private dispute settlement clause—Christian arbitration being a common one. These should seek to resolve all possible contract disputes privately, between Christian brethren, and eliminate state courts in all but the most extreme cases.

Private courts may sound like a utopian dream to many people today, simply because—as has been the case with so many of our topics—we have rarely been exposed even to the idea, let alone the practice, in our generations. But the truth is, private courts not only sound good in theory, they have existed widely in western Christian history, and they worked quite well.

Arbitration grew popular after the Civil War in the U. S. Judicial panels handled corporate and labor disputes and were widely accepted, despite the fact that they were completely voluntary and not legally binding up until 1925. It was only when some corporations determined to streamline the process that New York in 1920 enacted a State takeover of arbitration, backing all arbitration suits with the force of the State.2 Thus did the abuse of a few get answered by the loss of even the option of purely private courts. The U. S. government followed five years later by nationalizing the same principle. This has been revised several times since to give us the modern Federal Arbitration Act which overrides all arbitration cases and state laws pertaining to arbitration. But keep in mind, this was not the case before 1925, and it only came about largely due to the political clout of large corporations in whose favor a government takeover of the process fell.

The idea of private industry or private merchant courts has deep historical roots in the Middle Ages, and their system illustrates why state enforcement is often unnecessary. From the middle ages until the 1920s, merchants relied on private courts, and if necessary boycott and ostracism. Author William Wooldridge explains,

Merchants made their courts work simply by agreeing to abide by the results. The merchant who broke the understanding would not be sent to jail, to be sure, but neither would he long continue to be a merchant, for the compliance exacted by his fellows, and their power over his goods, proved if anything more effective than physical coercion. Take John of Homing, who made his living marketing wholesale quantities of fish. When John sold a lot of herring on the representation that it conformed to a three-barrel sample, but which, his fellow merchants found, was actually mixed with “sticklebacks and putrid herring,” he made good the deficiency on pain of economic ostracism.3

In other words, this was an honor system on steroids: break the code of honor, and you lost your livelihood. Once it was made known that a business ignored the decision of an arbitration panel, no one would wish to do further business with it.

And while it may be natural to think things were just so different in the Middle Ages than today, it was not so long ago that an industrialist like Owen D. Young, president and chairman of GE, spent a good portion of his time advocating for private arbitration. He advised the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and wrote several essays on the subject. He advised the Chamber “to support and develop the moral sanction upon which arbitration outside the law must depend.”4 Indeed, where the law is not in force, moral sanction is the necessary and very effective key. Young “concluded that the moral censure of other businessmen was a far more effective sanction than legal enforcement.”5 This was 1915. Today, with internet, various databases, and other powerful communications, nationwide ostracism would be even more powerful. It could be public, worldwide, within seconds of an arbitration panel’s decision.6

So we have seen then that a biblical view of the judiciary involves several principles, the most challenging ones being that judicial decisions be radically decentralized and privatized as far as possible. We have also discussed a couple of examples of how the United State was once a bit closer to these principles. These are just a small taste of vast literature on both the theory and practice of private courts, arbitration, etc. We do know that our society at least does have decent options in many cases, especially in private contracts and church courts. We also know that we once had options in this regard to an even greater degree than today. In the next section, we will discuss how our judicial systems have been hijacked and abused from very early on, and how this has manifested in the vast judicial tyranny we have today.

The oppressive, comprehensive, grindingly slow, and profoundly cruel “legal system” of today — which benefits no one but lawyers (esp. government prosecutors and corporate lawyers) and forever-unaccountable government officials — will fade away, with the morally (and soon enough, financially) bankrupt secular states that it serves.

Christians should get ready to replace it, starting now.