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The Truth About the Economy and the Believer's Duty

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
August 19, 2022 7:00 pm

The Truth About the Economy and the Believer's Duty

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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August 19, 2022 7:00 pm

Stu sits down with Dr. David Brat, Dean of Liberty University School of Business, to talk about the Inflation Reduction Act, where the American economy is heading, and how Christians should respond.

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Now with extremely limited availability, contact your local retailer for inventory information. This is Sam from the Masking Journey Podcast, and our goal with the podcast has helped you to try to find your way in this difficult world. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network. Welcome everyone to another big week of Truth Talk.

I'm Stu Everson. Big news this week. A huge bill passed recently, and it's called the Inflation Reduction Act, but we all know that's not true. What do you do when your government is immoral? Not about abortion, which they have been, not about all kinds of other horrible things, but fiscally immoral. That means you borrow more than you can pay back. That means you go into debt and you put oppressive debt on your citizens.

That's what's happening with this bill, but don't take my word for it. We sat down with an amazing economic mind, a man who loves Jesus, who's the head, the dean of the School of Business at Liberty University. I was able to sit in his office this week and talk to him about the 87,000 new IRS agents that are coming after you. They're coming after small churches because the government just doesn't have enough of our money, so they have passed a bill worth billions to hire more IRS agents.

What about that? Should we be concerned? What about the economic direction our country is going? You're in for a treat. Fasten your seat belt, and you're going to hear from Dr. David Bratt. God bless you, and now this week's episode of Truth Talk, we jump in, dive deep into the economics and what God says about money. Here we go. 7,000 new IRS agents coming your way.

Is this an answer to prayer or is this the end of the world? Well, I'm with a guy who is the head of one of the most amazing business departments in the world. Liberty University, Dr. Dave Bratt, Congressman, all kinds of accolades. It'd take the whole show to go through all your accolades, Dr. Bratt, but tell us your reaction to this inflation. As a Christian talk show, Truth Talk, we pay taxes. This is the Lord's money, and we're supposed to be good stewards of that, of our vote, of our taxes.

What are the implications of this so-called inflation reduction bill that Congress just passed? Yeah, well, it's a long answer. It's the steady march of the left, and I'm not talking liberals. I like liberals. Liberals are root words.

Liberty, they're fine. We debate the size and scope of government, but this is the left. The goal of the Marxists was to take over the means of production, right? Not only the state, but all businesses, to own the capital. So they know they can't do that, and so they take the long road through the institutions.

They started in K to 12. They've completely taken over higher ed, and I'll get to how you see this. People make these claims, but then they don't back it up, and so this 80,000 IRS agents, I mean, if you don't clearly see that as the growth of the administrative state, you got blinders on, right? And, you know, St. Paul had it right there.

You know, some folks, you got to pray to have eyes to see, and so part of it's related maybe to our tradition that way, that some people can see God and God's nature unfolding right in front of our eyes, and others can't see it. But, you know, I did a segment this morning on the Federal Reserve, right? And so a lot of you may not have followed this, right? But the Fed, and I'm quoting, this is John Taylor at Stanford, right? This is not Dave Brat. He's the guy that followed Milton Friedman, who won the Nobel Prize in monetary economics.

So I'm only quoting the best guys here. The Federal Reserve caused the 07-08 financial crisis. They printed too much money in 04-05. It had to go somewhere, went to real estate. They made up all sorts of crazy financial instruments. Go watch the big short, skip the racy parts, but that'll give you a good overview. So they destroyed our grandparents' retirement accounts. Stock market went down 50%.

People panicked, sold out, lost everything. So, okay, people make mistakes. Okay, good. So you wouldn't want to repeat that. Well, guess what, folks? We're right in the middle of the exact same thing. The Fed kept the federal funds rate, the interest rate at zero, 0% for a decade.

Then that didn't work. And just to remind people of the basics of banking, right? So the Federal Reserve, it's banking. So you Christians out there 50 years ago, if you're a farmer, you go to the bank and you ask for a loan. Your banker lives in your neighborhood and they know who you are. And they say, hey, tell me about your business plan and how many acres you got.

What are you doing as far as your strategy? If it makes sense, you get a loan. And you probably go to church together too. So there's trust involved in the market. And the guy gives you the loan and then the bank loans it out. And that's how you used to create money.

It involved business activity. Well, guess what happens now? The federal funds rate is zero for 10 years. The Fed's out of tricks in its tricks, creating a sugar high and fake money for 10 years. So then they start doing the artificial creation of money where they don't even make loans and go through the business sector anymore.

The Federal Reserve just buys assets from the big 20 banks, buys much riskier assets, puts the money out and just hopes it sticks like spaghetti to the wall on something. There's no free market. There's no good business wisdom going on there.

There's none of that. Now, the final coup d'etat, if it happens, I don't think it will happen, is tied to that right there. And that is called modern monetary theory.

That is AOC on the left. And their wish is to have the federal government and fiscal policy take over monetary policy. So modern monetary theory, what do they say? Just print as much money as you want. It doesn't matter.

The Fed funds rate, the Fed interest rate target is about two or three percent. So translation, the government runs our business. The government's a lot smarter. Let the government run Liberty University. How long will that work? Let the government start running your local businesses.

And how long will it take for the whole deal to go kapui? Right. Cato Journal, they're the libertarian guys. They're very good on money.

I don't agree with them on everything. But that's the bottom line. And at the end of that paper, I think it's in volume 39 on the Fed. You can go look it up.

They have a set last section. Bottom line, if you take that over, all business activity goes away between private free individuals. And the Fed guides the guides the entire macro structure of the economy. They do all the regulatory burden. We've already given away the healthcare sector to the feds, we gave away energy sector to the feds, we've given away the education sector to the feds.

And this is the final coup de grace. So I opened this thing up with Marxism and prove it, Dave. And I said the Marxists knew they couldn't take over the means of production. Well, if modern monetary theory takes place, the Marxists have just taken over the means of production for all practical matters, because they can monetize it and they can regulate it.

And they have control over the entire federal fiscal policy as well as monetary. That will take some doing. We're not there yet. But I'm just telling folks, if that doesn't motivate you to take some action to get your country back, folks in the church have gotten way passive. Well, Jesus wasn't involved in politics. Well, I'm afraid to tell you, he was, because there's a thing called the Trinity. And Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit are one, and anything the Father did political in the Old Testament, Jesus did.

I hate to remind folks of just orthodox theology. We're in this world. We're in this world. We're not of the world, but we have a vote. And when 50 percent of Christians aren't even voting, and that's a stewardship. It's like if I said, you're not tithing, well, that's a sin.

The Bible commands it. Well, God says, we're not in a communist country. We're not in a New Testament country like Rome where we have a vote. And yet Christians don't vote, or they don't vote true values.

And then they get confused about that. So Dr. Bratt, I mean, this is all, someone said, you know, socialism has conquered America without the firing of one bullet, and now it's going into our churches with all this equity, equality. We've got communist China buying chunks of farmland in America. And so what do we do to wake up?

What do we do to get back? And again, we're not putting our eggs in the kingdom. The kingdom is the kingdom of God. But as citizens on this earth, how are we to be good stewards, and how are we to kind of wake up? Well, you do what Jesus said. Our Father in heaven, I'll be thy name, thy kingdom come on earth.

Focus on that. God is sovereign over every sphere of life. So in your calling, in your occupation, in your vocation, if you're not serving God and you're a Christian, well, then you're way off base. If you're going to church for an hour and your vocation, what you do all during the week all day with you and your work and your family and everything isn't named to God. Sorry to tell you, but you're missing the boat, right? And so this isn't just about a vote or, you know, taking your Bible time in the morning. I mean, you've got to organize yourself and then use your brain, which God gave you. The central act in the Old Testament, by the way, was called the Exodus.

It's a political event. I don't want to over-exaggerate it, but through kings the whole way, the man after God's own heart is David. He wrote all the psalms, all the kings, and most of them were bad. And God, if you turn your back on God, God's right there, but you turn your back on God. Well, this country looks like it's turning its back on God. God's right here.

God's everywhere and always, but we're turning our back on God, and we're paying the consequences. So, you know, and I think it was Martin Luther who said, God judges a nation by giving them wicked rulers, which is what we have right now, and they are all open socialist, communist, Marxist. They love those philosophies. But capitalism, which you champion here at Liberty University, Dr. David Brat, you're the Dean of the School of Business, just an illustrious school.

If you haven't been on this campus and seen this, you'll be blown away. But capitalism, there's really a, and of course there's corrupt capitalists, there's corrupt everything, but it does come out of the Judeo-Christian ethic, does it not? In terms of God creating us with freedom to do and to make as much, of course, as believers, we want to be successful, to honor and glorify Him, and He's the reason for our success. You're listening to the Truth Network and Just an honor to sit down with Dr. David Brat, who is the Dean of the School of Business at Liberty University. Dr. Brat, we're looking at economic collapse everywhere. We're looking at supply chain. I mean, one of my Christian radio partners, he just told me that mayonnaise is up 400%.

It's just something like that. Of course, we're trying to say, hey, support businesses, support local business. But as believers in this world, you have these Christians. The slogan of the school here is to build champions for Christ. There's other great, godly Christian schools in America that are still big C Christian schools, that really, truly are not just Christian in name only.

And Liberty is one of those. We just are so excited when our kids, when parents make the sacrifice to send their kid to a Christian college with a Christian worldview. And you're trying to turn that out. What is your goal? If someone walks in this business department here, what is your goal with economics, mathematics, calculus, banking, marketing, you know, MBA level stuff here?

What's your agenda? Well, the agenda is God's agenda. And the only person that knows their own skill set and their own relationship to God is that student. So our job is to mentor them and guide them and lead them in the good book so they understand the Word of God, and then attach that to their passions and their calling. But they have to identify that calling, right? We work with them, we guide them in that. And then, you know, and then on top of that, the faith part, we identify the skill sets that are going to meet the market right now, right, right?

IT right now is in huge, right? The big five firms in the US are worth more than all European firms combined. And so we're guiding our kids to they need to be in that world right now, that world is a little messed up, right?

It's Google and Twitter and Facebook and all this stuff. And, and so, you know, putting Christians to work in those sectors is a big deal right now. It's a mission field, a great opportunity for them to make an impact. Right?

No, absolutely. And they do. And right now, it's very interesting, the firms are coming to liberty now. Because our students don't have a sense of entitlement. They're not arrogant, they're humble, they want to work. Try finding that out in the modern American workforce. So the value of being a Christian, being faithful and having a good conscience before God and a good ethical system is actually a value in the market right now. That's new, because the contrast between our students and the rest of the world right now is great.

And they're sticking out like sore thumbs. And so yeah, we're at liberty, we're very proud of that. And before you asked me about capitalism, and all that, and how is that consistent with biblical principles. And we always get it backwards. A lot of Christians want to focus on a lot of people judge us like we think we're better than others. The unique thing about Christianity and conservatism versus liberalism is our view of human nature, we realize we're fallen. We're all sinful before God.

So on the faith level, you repent. And then on the real world practical, you know, fallen, how do you set up institutions, you do what James Madison did in the Constitution, and you do what Adam Smith did in economics, you separate power every single which way you can, you want the smallest entities possible competing against each other. So in the political level, we separated the federal from the state and the local, you separated the federal three ways, the judicial and the congressional executive, you separate all of it. In economics, Adam Smith did the same thing, James Madison, you separate it, you keep the smalls, no monopolies, the ideal is teeny small firms, thousands of them duking it out, you get the lowest price, the best quality, the most innovation. And what have we done to ruin this country?

It's a celebration of the bigs now. It's big healthcare, big airlines, big oil, big automobile, big everything, big law, big media, big everything, right? So we've totally mucked it up by not following God's principles, not the founders were geniuses. And they were, for the most part, all Christian, right? The modern world does not want you to know that.

But if you go read their letters, and just look at the evidence that's sitting there, it's just obvious. And so we need to get back to those founding principles because they were Christian principles. And we were talking about war and a tougher side of life and all that before too.

And some of the kids, they say, you know, would you would you fight Hitler, if you knew what he's about to do, what he's already done? And a lot of students know Jesus didn't do that. Well, you tell that to the Revolutionary War heroes that were led, I don't know for the most part, but by clergy. The clergy led the troops for freedom, for God-given rights to embed religion and freedom so that we can have the faith to believe. And so yeah, we're upside down right now. We got to right the ship. Yeah, these are patriot pastors, literally, that would hang up their, they would preach the word, walk to the back of the church, hang up their pastoral cloak, put on their trench coat, grab their musket and their hat and go out the door to fight the British.

Now Dr. David Bratt, let me do something. This is going to be a little grim, but I want you to talk to so many kids, kids that went to school with my daughter, kids that, you know, grew up Christian school, Christian parents, but they're like all in on socialism. They're all in on the left, thinking that they're being nice.

It's almost like motherly love gone bad, right? Like, but thinking that, well, this is fairness. We need to give everyone equal. Will you tell them how that works out? Give them a little history lesson.

I think we have a couple countries like Venezuela, Albania, Romania, Cuba. Can you tell them what the future holds for the exact direction that our current leadership in our country wants to take us down that road of Marxism and socialism? Because you've talked to African leaders who've lost their countries. You've talked to these guys, communist people who should be dead, who've been in prison because simply they spoke up against socialism, which seems like it's so nice because everyone's going to be the same, right? Well, and that's right. It's always the promise.

The promise always sounds too good to be true. And in the real world, as you mature, you'll learn that that promise is too good to be true because what is the basic promise that the socialists and the communists make is, and this is straight from Karl Marx, right? The founder of communism. Just ignore human rights for now. For Marx, there is no God. There are no human rights. That means that there's no civil rights for African-Americans.

There's no women's rights. Just ignore all that for now, because we're going to have a revolution of the masses and we're going to take over the capitalists, the bad guys. We're going to take over power from them and then just trust us. When you put us in power, we're going to be good.

And that right there is the bet you're making. And in the history of nations, it doesn't matter where or when you can never show me when one of those regimes produced good human beings that cared for the poorest of the poor. And if you want the evidence on who's taken care of the poorest of the poor, who funds Africa the most, who funds the poorest of the poor, all of the health, all of the United Nations initiatives, all the World Bank and IMF initiatives, the leader of the pack is the United States by far. We give five times more than any other country to the poor. And people say, well, why is the U.S. so greedy? We give more than any other country. We've defended every other country. We're the ones that beat Hitler in Italy in the war.

Right. We produced a world after World War Two called the Bretton Woods liberal order. And we set up freedom for all countries and we paid for it.

And so the young people just have not been educated on the basic facts on how great this country is and what it has done for the whole world. And my favorite little economic lesson always was when I was teaching economics that I'd say, let me see if you get the logic of this one. The left is always screaming, well, the big pharmaceuticals should give all their incredible drugs they created. They should give them away free to the poor.

They shouldn't be selling them for a high price. And I'd say that's a cool sentence. You know, it kind of sounds Christian, like the promise of socialism. And I'd say the kids, what's the trick?

What's the logical missing pin there? And I'd wait for a while and they wouldn't come up with it. I'd say, why are they asking the U.S.? Because we're the only ones that made and produced all the life-saving drugs and pharmaceuticals because of the free market system. It's that system of innovation which produced all the life-saving drugs.

No other system did that. And so it's nice you want us to give it all away for free. We do. As I just said, we fund more than the rest of the five to ten countries combined.

And so it's reality versus a dream. And all the empirical evidence is on the side of free markets, along with the Judeo-Christian ethic. If you lose the Judeo-Christian religion, the whole thing falls apart.

That right there is the heartbeat of it all. Now, Dr. Bratt, it's just so interesting you say that because we have a whole university system, not Liberty University, but all these secular secular schools that we're paying thousands of dollars to send our kids to, who are teaching our kids that everything about America is evil. Communism is great.

Marxism is great. They're teaching our kids basically that what makes America be able to afford to be five times more generous than any other country in the world is horrible. They're teaching our kids that. We have a media that's teaching our kids that. That we need to be like Venezuela, fourth wealthiest country in the world. 25 years ago now, 96% of Venezuelans are in abject poverty. We have a government that fires 11,000 plus workers to have our own oils. We don't have to buy oil from thugs and killers and terrorists.

They fire 11,000 of our own workers that are produced with jobs, and they hire 87,000 IRS agents to come after everyone listening. You better be lawyered up. So it's an upside down world, and I want you to offer some hope. We're going to take a quick break. We'll come back with Dr. David Bratt, the Dean of School of Business, in just a couple more minutes. I'm going to ask you about your testimony, how you came to the Lord.

When you ask you that, we'll put you on the spot here. Hang on. More Truth Talk after this. Hang on.

More coming up. You're listening to the Truth Network and Can you be a Christian and an attorney? Can you be a Christian and a capitalist? Can you be a successful business person and be a Christian? Now, here's a big whopper for you. Can you be a Christian and a politician?

I'm happy to be sitting with a man who's kind of done all those things, Dr. David Bratt. You're raising your hand guilty as charged, aren't you? Yeah. Well, it's not me. Luther and Calvin and everybody, Jesus was the King of Kings. So Jesus and God is the sovereign politically. They are the creator of the economic systems that have inherited the earth, right? And the ones that work, work, and the ones that don't, don't follow godly principles.

So it's not me. And being a worker, a capitalist, Jesus was a carpenter first, right? And so yes to all the above. I like Abraham Kuyper has a famous phrase. He says, you show me every square inch of this world and there's not one square inch of this entire universe and of this world of politics, economics, media, everything where Jesus Christ does not say it is mine, right? That is the sovereignty of God over every square inch of everything we do. There's no God of the gaps. There's no where God is missing and it's a Sunday morning religion. God is sovereign over everything we do everywhere. Well, and just like you may work for an unbeliever, just like it doesn't mean you stop working, and just like you may vote for an unbeliever, I mean effectively both candidates in most races are two unbelievers. Some are vulgar, some are pagan.

It's always the better of two evils because they're both evil. They're all, you know, even if Billy Graham's running, you're gonna find something wrong with him for Pete's sake. But Dr. David Bratt, I want to hear a little bit about how you came to know the Lord. You're the Dean of Business here at Liberty University. But tell us, Dr. Bratt, how did you come to Faith in Christ and kind of take us on your journey briefly to where you're sitting today?

Yeah, well, for me it was somewhat of an intellectual journey the whole way. My dad paid us 10 books to read books growing up to get our first bikes and to do whatever we did, and they were usually religious books. He went to seminary after he retired.

We missed his calling. He was a doctor. And my mom similarly grew up in the faith, so I was blessed with a Christian family. And so we went to church, you know, it was a Presbyterian church or Methodist church or whatever growing up. Minnesota was more Lutherans than all them people.

They're good. But roughly the same. I mean, Bible believe in Christ. And when I was a kid, I'd be in there, and I thought the preacher was staring at me. I mean, when you're a kid, that's what you think, right? And I'm going, how does he know I did that, right, with sin? And so the preacher convicts you of sin, and then that is the gospel, right? You're convicted of sin, and then you're like, how does this work? Well, there's only one way out of sin that I'm, you know, getting up in age now. And I've studied all the world religions, all the philosophical systems in the world that I could get my hands on, and I haven't found any other solution to the problem of sin other than Jesus.

And so I grew up with that, and I studied all the competitors along the way, and I never found anything even in the ballpark. And I still listen to the preacher, and the preacher still gets me. Nothing's changed, right? We're still sinful. I think that's the biggest problem in the church, is we forget that we're all still sinners. You're justified, you've been stamped on the head, you're saved, but we're all still working out sanctification. And if anybody doesn't think there's any politics in the church, I mean, you've never worked in a church.

I went to seminary and worked in church for a while. And so, I mean, human nature is what it is, right? People are self-centered. We don't wake up every day reflecting on God and how to serve other people.

We all think about ourself first all day. And you can give out secular writers who point that out just as well, but they don't have a solution. And so, you know, my history has been just a long continuous journey trying to grow in the faith and at Liberty, oh my word, I've been blessed. You go up to Congress and it's a rough fight up there, but then you come here, you're surrounded by Christians and they help keep you on track. And I mean, this place really is a university, but in a sense, it's a church in the sense that it's the body of Christ and a community of believers.

So, it's an incredible place to be and we take it serious. All of our faculty weave the faith into every lecture, not just here and there, every day, all day. And they do it in a good way. They care and they're loving and they're not, you know, stuffing it down like Pharisees.

They love the kids. In a real sense, that kid growing up there up north in the United States who the preacher was looking at him, that kid has grown up to kind of become the preacher in a way, where God's giving you this pulpit as a dean of business. And I was here last semester just with my daughter, you know, at Joy up here in school, and there was all these major African leaders from all over the continent of Africa. And then I think the time before that you had this amazing economist, like world-renowned economist, and then you've got this CEO summit coming that high-level CEOs from all over the world are coming to this area, Lynchburg, Virginia. So tell us how that all works, like how you're able to try to, because this is a real platform.

More folks will be exposed to the gospel, potentially through business even, than sometimes will darken the door of a church. Yeah, well that's my calling. I'm a politician. It's obviously I like talking.

That's what I'm doing right now. I like bringing people together. I like bringing Christians together. The beginning of the Lord's Prayer is you build the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

So that's the charge, right? After the forgiveness of sins, okay, we're all agreed on that as Christians. Then what? Then you've got to build the kingdom of God.

And so what better way to do that? We got preachers. We got an abundance of faith. The weakness right now in the world is the government sector and the business sector. The woke, right? The Fortune 500 right now is woke and everybody's reading on the ESG and all this stuff. And so I just want to build up a community that gives assurance and strength and faithful brotherhood and sister to these CEOs.

They need a place where they can come and get recharged with like-minded people. And I had a billionaire from Nigeria last year. He said, I've been to Harvard. I've been to Stanford.

I've never seen anything like this place. The warmth, I've been hugged. Everyone treats me good from CEOs. They're not arrogant.

They're not cocky. They all want to help us. We're all sharing together as brothers and sisters in Christ. And I'm like, that made my year.

So if I can do any of that, that's what I'm on a planet to do. And so that's it. That's a blessing.

Dr. David Bratt, what an encouragement. And really every time I'm around him, it's just this contagious oozing of the gospel, his love for economics. It's all a tool. It's all a means to leading people to Jesus. Because what does it profit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? And you're trying to send people out.

Everyone listening right now, what's your challenge to everyone right now? They may not have an MBA. Maybe they're running a landscape business out there.

Maybe they're a stay-at-home mom with three businesses online selling jewelry. Maybe there's someone that's just working at the plant who's frustrated, and he's surrounded by unbelievers, and he's hearing foul language all the time. What's your challenge to people to live out for Christ wherever they are? Yeah, the word of God versus the word of man. And so the word of God is in the book. And there's a lot of people making stuff up. And so make sure you grind yourself in the book.

And there's a spiritual war going on. And so you try to pick up the Bible every single day. And you'll find somehow there's an excuse that pops up in your head, and all sorts of things come up, and this and that kind of challenge.

And that's not out of nowhere, right? And so my challenge is you pick that book up, that Bible, some scripture lessons in the morning or in the afternoon, sometime during the day, you try to pick up that Bible. And if you find you're not doing it, then that's something speaking to you, right?

Something's holding you back from that, and you need to figure that out. Because reading the Bible, every great person who's lived in the Western tradition has known intellectually that it's the word of God. And so all of our music in the West, all of the art in the West reflects that. I got it hanging all over the office. So there's no mystery to it intellectually, but personally, spiritually, that it's hard to hang in there. And to...
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-08 10:55:55 / 2023-03-08 11:09:12 / 13

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