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How Unbiblical Morality Results in Unbiblical Economics - Part 2

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
December 3, 2021 7:00 pm

How Unbiblical Morality Results in Unbiblical Economics - Part 2

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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December 3, 2021 7:00 pm

GUEST: CAL BEISNER, author, Biblical Foundations for Economics

The government printing and spending trillions of dollars on social programs or paying able-bodied people to not work or taxing the income-producing to fund all manner of “entitlements”—food, health care, housing, education, child care, retirement—have become commonplace in American society.

Three weeks ago (Nov. 13, 2021) in part 1 of our program on economics, Cal Beisner, director of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, defined economics as “moral philosophy applied to man’s marketplace relationships.” In other words, one’s moral worldview will lead to certain economic policies.

For example, the moral judgment that “No one should go hungry in America” or “Everyone deserves a place to live” or “Health care is a human right” results in economic policies that feed, house, and care for people, even if the recipient is unwilling to contribute through work or payment.

And then there’s the view that work is oppressive and unjust, as in the Marxist worldview where the employer is seen as the subjugator of the employee, leading to redistributive policies by government that aim to achieve “equity”. Sound familiar?

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How unbiblical morality results in unbiblical economics. Today is part two of that topic right here on the Christian Real View radio program where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Thanks for listening today to the program and for supporting the ministry of the Christian Real View and also a thank you to our national sponsors Samaritan Ministries who provide a biblical solution to healthcare as Christians pay one another's medical bills.

You can find out more at our website thechristianrealview.org. The government printing and spending trillions of dollars on social programs or paying able bodied people to not work or taxing the income producing to fund all manner of quote unquote entitlements, whether it's food or health care, housing, education, childcare, retirement, have become commonplace in American society. Three weeks ago, that was back on November 13th, 2021, in part one of our program on economics, Cal Beissner, director of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, defined economics as moral philosophy applied to man's marketplace relationships. In other words, one's moral worldview drives economic policies. So for example, the moral judgment that quote, no one should go hungry in America, or everyone deserves a place to live, or health care is a human right, results in economic policies that feed, house and care for people, even if the recipient is unwilling to contribute through work or payment.

And then there's the view that work is oppressive and unjust as in the Marxist worldview where the employer is seen as the subjugator of the employee, leading to redistributive policies by government that aim to achieve quote unquote equity. Does that sound familiar today? So today in the program, we're going to hear part two of our interview with Cal Beissner, and then get to the New Testament biblical principle that if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat either, and how important of an economic principle that is. But first, let's hear from Cal Beissner in part two of our interview. All right, Cal, let's move on to some of the economic ideas that Christians consistently get wrong. When I say Christians, let's deal with the more conservative Christians, like let's say the evangelical world.

You write in your book 19th century linguist R.C. Trench had this famous quote, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, or something like that. In other words, you can have good intentions about things, and they can totally lead in the wrong direction. In other words, good intentions don't justify bad policies or bad ideas.

Absolutely. So what are the top one or two economic ideas that evangelical Christians get wrong? And maybe we've already covered one of them that the pie is only so big if I win, you lose, maybe that's one of them. But what are the top one or two that you see that if you could talk to Christians, look, don't think this way.

That's an unbiblical way of thinking about economics and finance. One of the first would be one of the easiest to fall into, and that is I see somebody in need. I see somebody who's homeless. He may be hungry.

He may be ill clothed. And I see that need. And immediately out of compassion, I want to hand him some money. Now, my compassion is good, but the handing of the money may actually, not necessarily because sometimes that's actually what's needed immediately, but it may instead be a part of a pattern that reinforces for this person the notion that he does not have to be responsible for himself. You see, when children are born to us, they come to us utterly helpless. If we don't feed them and clean them and clothe them and house them, they will die, right?

And they cannot do anything to prevent that. So it's appropriate for us to take care of children by simply meeting all their needs, period. But as they age, as they mature, bit by bit, they need to learn and embrace responsibilities because eventually we parents are going to be out of their lives at the very latest when we die. And they're going to have to be able to take care of themselves. So we teach them the mentality. We teach them the physical skills. We teach them the values that would lead them to be responsible, to take care of themselves, to work hard, to produce, to offer things of value to other people in exchange and thus to support themselves. Now, why would I think that when I find this person who is hungry, homeless, ill-clothed, ill-housed, that I should treat him as I would a newborn infant?

That doesn't make sense. He's an adult. And whereas indeed it might be best for me to immediately take him to the nearest fast food restaurant and get him a quick meal to stave off his hunger, what he much more needs is help in building up those attitudes, those values, those skills necessary for him to take care of himself. I'm forgetting now who it was, but somebody pretty famous person once said, if you really want to help the poor, the first thing you must do is not be one of them. Right. Because you can't give if you don't have.

Right. So you have to you have to take care of yourself. And then rather than just doing handouts, we need to help people to embrace responsibilities and learn skills. So I think probably the compassion-driven, instantaneous urge to just give, to just transfer money, whether as an individual voluntarily or as a society through transfer payments, the desire to just flat out give and transfer money, driven by compassion, actually becomes destructive. This is talked about, for example, in the wonderful book by my old friend Brian Fickert at Covenant College called When Helping Hurts.

But since then, many others have recognized the same thing. But unfortunately, the pattern still exists, that the almost instantaneous reaction to seeing someone in need is give. Well, it may not be that giving is what's most important there, or at least not giving of money. It might be instead giving of time to help somebody learn some skills.

Yeah. The response to that you would hear an evangelical say would be, well, it's not up to me. It's from a standpoint of what they do with it. I just I did the right thing according to my heart in giving. But again, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And I'm not using hell in a in a trivial way there. Because you can be entrenching someone more in sin by just giving something to someone that's going to going to cement them further in their enslavement to sin.

Like if you just mentioned the person on the street, if you just give them money, well, they go right to the liquor store and they're buying more drugs and and now they're they're they're worse off for your your compassion, your good intentions. Cal Beissner with us today here on the Christian Real View radio program. We're talking about his book, the 56 page book, Biblical Foundations for Economics. It's available for a donation of any amount to the Christian Real View. It's an excellent book.

We have it at our website linked where you can order a copy. TheChristianrealview.org. Okay, Cal, one of the things you'll hear frequently, evangelicals say they'll point to Acts two, you know, the passage, the early church, the believers had shared all things, they had all things in common, they sold all their possessions, they gave them to the church. And so there's like this socialistic mentality that they'll say that that was what that was. And therefore, that is a situation that is the economic dynamic that that would work best in society.

In other words, it's socialism, which has a pejorative connotation to it now in America, at least in most of America, at least. But you'll get this sense that evangelicals say, well, that's really the way you know, an economy should work, where just people share and you have you have extra and you just sell it and give to others and everyone's kind of becomes equal after that. Refute that particular notion that many Christians have, I think that notion comes partly from just not thinking carefully through the texts in Acts two and Acts four that mentioned that they had all things in common that they they sold things they they gave to the poor, they distributed so that they're so that no one's needs were unmet. The text has some really clear pointers toward the fact that this really does not support any sort of a mandatory redistribution of wealth. For one thing, the tense of the Greek verbs, when we're told that people sold lands or houses or whatever, and gave to the leaders of the church, the apostles who then saw to it that things went to those who were in need.

The verbs are in what in Greek is called the imperfect tense that that denotes an action that has begun in the past and is continuing over time. So it might really be better to translate, they were selling, right? It's not that somebody noticed a need and instantly sold everything that he had, and everybody in the church did this. And therefore, now everything just gets divvied up equally among everybody. It's that somebody sees a need and he figures out, oh, I can sell this and meet that need. So he does. Later on, he sees another need. And he says, aha, I could sell that and meet that need.

And so he does. But meanwhile, the house, the field, whatever it is, remains his until he actually sells it and he has control over it. And his selling and giving are voluntary, not involuntary. That becomes really clear from Acts chapter five, the very opening verses there, and the story of Ananias and Sapphira, who are members of the church, and they sell a property, and they bring part of the price, Ananias does, part of the price to the apostles, but he lies and says it's the whole price. And Peter says to him, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? While this was yours, wasn't it under your control? Even after you sold it, didn't you have power over the proceeds?

I'm paraphrasing here, by the way, but you can read the text and you'll see that this is fair. He says you've not lied to men, but to God, and immediately Ananias fell dead and was carried out. Later on, Sapphira comes and the apostles ask, well, did you sell it for such and such an amount?

She says yes. Well, that was the amount Ananias had lied saying that he had sold it for, and she drops dead. Now, what's crucial in Peter's words to Ananias is, while it was yours before it was sold, wasn't it under your authority?

Didn't you have the choice over it? There's no denial of private property rights here. There's no assertion of mandatory giving by anybody to anybody.

There is instead the realization that private property owners should be moved by compassion for those in need to help those in need in whatever might be the best ways to do so, but you cannot force them to do so. Some people will say, well, but gee, you know, isn't the loving thing to do? Sure, loving may very well be giving or spending time teaching somebody skills so he can go out and get a job and earn for himself.

That may very well be loving, but the moment it's forced, it's not love anymore. Right. You know, it's not it's not accidental that our word charity comes from the Greek word kaditas, or kadis. Kadis is grace. What is of grace cannot be of justice. Paul clearly distinguishes those in Romans, grace and justice.

So no, there was not a communalism or a communism in the early church in Acts, not by any means. The Christian worldview with David Wheaton returns in just a moment. The original stalwart souls who created a colony in the howling New England winter, just so they can worship according to the dictates of conscience, had far more influence on world history than they could have ever imagined. You see the seeds of liberty, both religious liberty and civil liberty, and the idea of self government and rule from within.

All these are within that body of pilgrims. David Wheaton here, volunteer host of the Christian worldview radio program. Listeners are often surprised to learn that we as a ministry pay for airtime on the radio station, website or app on which you hear the program. The primary way this expense is recouped is through listeners like you donating to the ministry or becoming a monthly partner.

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And be sure to specify in which station, website or app you listen as that helps us decide whether to continue on a given outlet. Thank you for your support. Welcome back to The Christian Worldview. Be sure to visit our website thechristianworldview.org where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print newsletter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry.

Now, back to today's program with host David Wheaton. Cal Beissner with us today on The Christian Worldview. We're talking about his book, Biblical Foundations for Economics. It's a 56-page booklet. You can get it for a donation of any amount to The Christian Worldview.

Really highly recommended. This will really help you think clearly with regard to economics. It would be great for you students who are in your life, really anyone, to understand what is going on today.

And I want to talk, Cal, now about what is going on today and ask you some current event questions. I'll preface it by reading one more paragraph from the book. You refer to Adam Smith, who we've talked about a lot in the interview. You say, although he was a man of means and education, he was the friend of common people whom he often saw living miserably at or near the level of animals. His concern was to improve their well-being. Royalty and nobility, those with all the means and the money, he recognized had a little trouble acquiring what they needed in life, often by the forced labor of others.

Smith's interest was in improving the conditions of the least among people, common day laborers. And that interest drove him to redefine not only wealth, but also what it meant for a nation to be wealthy. For Smith, wealth was not gold and silver. It was not money. Instead, it was the ability to acquire the necessities and even the pleasantries of life. And for him, a nation's wealth was measured not only not by the money in its royal coffers, but by the ability of its common people who comprise the great majority of the population.

Nobility comprised no more than two or three percent. It was the ability of this minority laborer class or the common people to purchase what they needed and wanted. That's from your book, The Biblical Foundations for Economics. Now, we see in our society today, you always say this, the top 10 percent, the top 1 percent have, and I can't remember what percentage of the wealth that the top 1 percent has in our society, but it's seen as being immoral, that the investment class in our society, they get wealthy no matter what happens in society while the working class, the common people struggle. This is seen as a strike against or multiple strikes against the idea of capitalism. This is the Achilles heel of capitalism. Some just get fantastically wealthy, but most really can't improve their condition in life, something that Adam Smith was trying to be able to do. Therefore, capitalism is a failure and we need to have more government redistribution. So what do you make of our society economically right now? Well, there is 1 percent has a very high percentage of all the wealth in our society, whereas more common people struggle to keep up with inflation and the cost of living and all these other things. The distribution of income or the comparison of income at various different levels in society and of wealth at any given moment, you can't just point at the outcome and say that's good or that's bad. What you have to be looking at is how did that outcome get to be the outcome? Let's take a society that consists of you and me.

I come and I rob your house of all the valuables in it and I take them away. And now in our society, I have 99.9 percent of all the wealth and you have 0.1 percent of all the wealth, right? And now we would very, very quickly say there's something really wrong here about this, but what's wrong is not that I have 99.9 percent and you have 0.1, it's how I got that 99.9 percent. And if instead what had happened was you out of the tremendous generosity of your heart decided to give me all of your possessions and suddenly I wound up with 99.9 percent of all the wealth in our society and you with 0.1 percent, we couldn't say that was morally wrong in terms of just the ratio of wealth between us.

We might say that I was morally wrong to accept something that from you harms you the way that that might do. I mean, you then can't take care of your family and so on. It's not the ratio that's the problem, it's how it got that way. Now, in the 1970s, 1980s through much of the 1990s, the ratio of income between very high income earners in America and low income earners was much closer and much more even than it has become now.

Likewise, the ratio in wealth. As I look at the situation now, it seems to me that a lot of the enormous inequality in income around us has come about not through – not as the consequence of the free voluntary choices of individuals in producing and trading with each other, but rather through government policies that favor some people and harm other people. That's precisely the sort of problem that Adam Smith was trying to address in the wealth – in his book, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. He recognized that mercantilism and various other elements of the popular economic theories of his day tended to give huge advantages to people who were close to the king, close to the royalty or the central government and hugely disadvantage other people. What he was arguing was that you will make everybody better off if you ensure that everybody is free to develop his gifts, his aptitudes, his interests, his physical abilities and so on to the best of his ability and to produce for a profitable exchange with others. And he would actually lift the whole society out of poverty better that way than by trying to plan to coordinate people's activities, partly because that planning, that coordinating tends to be marred by partiality, by favoritism.

The folks who are close to the policymakers get the benefits and the people who are not don't. I think that's been happening in spades in American economic policy over the last 20-some years and certainly before that, but much more so over the last 20 or 30 years. And that is a major reason why the extreme inequalities that we're seeing now have occurred. So it's not that the inequalities are bad in and of themselves, it's what has brought them about.

That's well said. Cal Beisner with us today here on the Christian Real View talking about his book, Biblical Foundations for Economics. Cal, what kind of economic system do we have in America right now? I mean, you look at the massive amounts of redistribution of income taking place. That's a completely socialistic idea. Government subsidies and regulations of industry and I get the USDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture's email and you see the amount of money, subsidies that go into the agricultural world and so forth.

This is a one example and that's not the only example, it's everywhere. The printing of money, these $3.5 trillion spending bills now maybe down to $1.75, just printing money. How would you actually categorize? I mean, do we have a free market capitalist system in America right now or is there a distinct line that we've crossed that goes away from that into socialism? Where are we as a country? No country has ever had an absolutely free market economic system and no country has ever had an absolutely socialistic economy and so we want for one thing to avoid the sort of black-white fallacy that so many people fall into here. But what I look at in America today is a country where not only do the various different branches of government or levels of government, federal, state and local consume something on the order of about 40-42% of gross domestic product, which means that that leaves all the rest of us that much less to enjoy for ourselves. But we also have a country in which the numbers of laws, the numbers of regulations written by federal administrative agencies and the like have just multiplied enormously. I haven't checked this one out in a while but a number of years back, the Heritage Foundation gave an estimate of the annual cost of just regulations, complying with regulations to the American economy and it was enormous.

It was in the trillions of dollars every year. What I would say is that we have a government, we have a society today that is strangling because of too much government regulation of people's lives. This is not to say that there should never be any regulation whatsoever. There is room for that but it goes way too far now and it prevents people from starting new businesses, it prevents people from carrying on various sorts of trade that are in and of themselves perfectly legitimate in terms of God's moral law. And then the Smith again and again emphasized when he said you need to leave people free to pursue their own self-interest, he added within the bounds of God's moral law. So there's no room here for murder incorporated, although here in America we do have murder incorporated, it's called Planned Parenthood, it's the murdering of babies in the womb.

That's not free market, not by a long shot. Carl Beissner again with us today, the author of the book we're talking about, Biblical Foundations for Economics, it's a 56-page booklet. We have it available through our new current offer for a donation of any amount to the Christian Real View. Just go to our website, thechristianrealview.org. You can call us toll free at 1-888-646-2233 or you can write to us.

That information is given immediately after the program. Final two questions for you, one a current event, one more current event. We're hearing in the news all about scarcity on shelves this fall going into winter with energy, with products, container ships sitting in the oceans off coasts. We can't get drivers and can't be unloaded and can't get to market. Why is this happening right now?

What is causing this breakdown? Well, the overwhelming reason for it is not the COVID pandemic on which everybody tends to blame it. It is instead government's responses to the COVID pandemic.

When you force millions and millions of people to stay off the job, to stay in their homes for long periods of time, well, obviously you are interfering with production and with transportation of goods and services. We're seeing that coming home to roost as the supplies of things made previous to the pandemic run out and the production during the pandemic has been severely reduced. All of this in the name of fighting a disease, the infection fatality rate of which for people under age about 60 is 0.001 or 2 percent. Even for people well over 60 like myself, I had COVID back in March as did my wife.

Even for us, the survival rate for COVID is 99.97 percent. I wrote an article back in April of 2020 for the Cornwall Alliance website, how many uninfected people will the war on the coronavirus kill? And I speculated, hypothesized at the time that the long-term effects of the lockdowns will kill far more people than COVID itself would kill. And I think that as we're moving on through time here, we're going to see that that is correct because the supply chain problems, the production problems caused by the lockdowns, not just in America, of course, but all over the world have led to the unavailability of many basic needs for billions of people around the world. I remember about a year ago, one of the major international charitable organizations – and I've forgotten now which one it was – put out a study, economically well-done study, that indicated that the impact on food availability through the markets around the world was going to drive well over 350 million people to starvation who would not have starved in the past. They would not have starved in the absence of that. Wow. That's a lot more people than COVID has killed.

It's a big problem again. Freedom, it's an amazing thing how much success, how much prosperity, how much human well-being comes from freedom and how much of that is crushed by big government, by too much government control over our lives. The Christian Worldview with David Wheaton returns in just a moment. Recent guest Cal Beisner defines economics as moral philosophy applied to marketplace relationships. So it makes sense that as our nation's judgment of what is right and wrong has moved away from biblical morality, our economic policies have gone the same wrong direction. So what is the Christian Worldview on economics? Cal Beisner has written an insightful 56-page softcover booklet titled Biblical Foundations for Economics that shows how economic principles and policies need to be based on the Bible to achieve the greatest human flourishing. For a limited time, we are offering Biblical Foundations for Economics for a donation of any amount to the Christian Worldview. To order, go to thechristianworldview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331.

Again, the website is thechristianworldview.org. When it comes to your health care provider, what are some words you would use to describe your experience with them? Comfort? Peace?

Confidence? Well, at Samaritan Ministries, those are just some of the words our members use frequently. Like Samaritan member, former long-term board member, and now staff member Jamie Piles uses to describe his 24-year relationship with Samaritan Ministries. It's hard to put words into the comfort and the relief and the peace that you have as you've come to terms that Samaritan Ministries is real, it's viable, and it's working, and it's there.

We just thank God that He's allowed us to have that kind of peace to be in a situation where I can focus on things that are far more important than what are we going to do about health care. Want to be part of a growing, caring community of Christians who faithfully share each other's medical needs each month, all without the use of insurance? Find out more at SamaritanMinistries.org.

That's SamaritanMinistries.org. Thanks for joining us on The Christian World View. Just a reminder that today's program and past programs are archived at our website, thechristianworldview.org.

Short takes are also available, and be sure to share with others. Now, back to today's program with host David Wheaton. Cal Beissner with us today on The Christian World View. The final question really comes from the conclusion of your book, Biblical Foundations for Economics. You say, God Himself must satisfy all our longings. Unless we believe this, we will be tormented by covetousness, envy, and jealousy when others prosper more than we do. So as a final thought today, what is your encouragement to Christians as we've thought about Biblical Foundations for Economics? What is your encouragement to Christians about economics, about ambition and self-interest to improve one's state, care for one's family and so forth? Ambition isn't necessarily a bad thing. And also contentment.

Yeah. What you quoted there from the book actually is built on Psalm 73, which is one of my favorite psalms. It's a psalm in which the author, Asaph, begins by mourning the fact that he sees so many wicked people around him prospering so much. And he's very disturbed by this. And he says, if I had spoken this concern, I would have led astray the people of God. And I almost lost my own faith, as he puts it.

My foot almost slipped. I almost lost my own faith when I thought about that. Then I entered the tabernacle of God. And suddenly things became clear to him. He saw things with an eternal perspective. And he winds up at the climax of the psalm saying, whom have I in heaven besides you?

And on earth there is none that I desire besides you. God is his only reward. That needs to be our attitude every day as Christians.

God comes first. And if God comes first in our lives every day, if God comes first in our thinking, in our acting, in our speaking, if, as Psalm 1 puts it again, which I quoted earlier, if blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord. If that's the case, then we can be quite confident that we will have God's blessing in our lives. We will have God's guidance. We will have his wisdom. And we'll know how to conduct ourselves in this very broken and confused world. So I would just say the big thing that we as Christians need to do, and this is something that I have to work on too, and I don't always do it well, is to make sure that every day God is first in our lives. Perfect way to end our conversation, Cal. Thank you for that really biblical and wonderful admonition to keep God first, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

Amen. Cal, thank you so much for coming on the Christian Real View Radio program today. Thank you for all that you're doing at Cornwall Alliance. Again, for listeners, the website is CornwallAlliance.org. I always recommend your organization when people ask about economics or climate change.

This is the place to go to get truth with regard to all the air that is constantly being lobbed everywhere in our society today. So, Cal, all of God's best and grace to you and your family and Cornwall Alliance. Thanks again. Well, thank you, David. And likewise, the Lord's blessings on you and Brody and all of your family.

Well, I hope you benefited from that interview with Cal Beisner. Again, their website is CornwallAlliance.org. And if you want to get a copy of the booklet, Biblical Foundations for Economics, it's a 56-page booklet, you can just contact the Christian Real View the usual ways. Go to our website, thechristianrealview.org to order, or you can call us toll-free at 1-888-646-2233, and our address is given immediately following the program. Now, I thought a good follow-up to this interview would be to read what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica. Now, let's read the passage from 2 Thessalonians chapter 3, starting in verse 6. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life, and not according to the tradition which you have received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. So Paul wanted to be an example to the Thessalonians, that they were to work hard, they weren't to expect others to work for them, he wanted to be an example.

Now to verse 10. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order, if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.

Here's the command by the Apostle Paul. If anyone isn't willing to work, then he is not to eat either. I think this is one of the most important economic principles addressed in just one sentence. It's amazing because it addresses work, the idea of incentive to work, goods and services, trade, even consumption.

These are economic principles. Notice how the verse doesn't say if someone isn't able to work, then he is not to eat. It's someone not willing to work. They're able to, but not willing to work. They're choosing not to work and still expecting to have their needs met.

This is the entitlement mentality right here. Work was ordained by God to man before the fall of man, before man sinned for the first time. It was something to be done to the glory of God right there in Genesis chapter 2. Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden to cultivate it and keep it. In other words, there was work to do before the fall, but then you turn the chapter where Adam and his wife Eve disobey God. They eat the fruit of the forbidden tree and you see the fall of man. Now man has sinned. Now look how work changes after the fall in Genesis chapter 3 verse 17. This is where God is meeting out the consequences of their sin. Then to Adam, God said, because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying you shall not eat from it.

Here's the consequence. Cursed is the ground because of you. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you will eat bread till you return to the ground because from it, the ground, you were taken. For you are dust and to dust you shall return. So what's going on here is that the fall made work much harder.

All of a sudden now there would be thorns and thistles growing if you deal with weeds in agriculture. The work would be by the sweat of your face and then after you've worked your life, you'd return to the ground in dust. The command to work was not pulled back but there would just be a harder aspect to work and we're still to work as you fast forward now to the New Testament. We're still to work to the glory of God. Look at Colossians chapter 3 verse 23.

This pretty much sums it up. Whatever you do, do your work heartily or from the heart fully as for the Lord rather than for men knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. So whatever we do, we're to do fully and heartily for the Lord rather than for men or our appearances to others or for pride purposes. It's for the Lord's glory.

Let's look what's in this command. If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat either. Eating is a universal human need.

Otherwise, if you don't eat, you're going to starve and eventually die. To satisfy this universal human need, work must be done for pay or for trade to be able to get food to feed oneself or by extension to feed your own family. So there's the principle of incentive here. There's a motivation to live and care for yourself and your family. This is the core of biblical economic policy. You should have an incentive to work, to earn, to be able to care for yourself and your family. And when that is violated, when you give a man food or other things without working for them, when he is able to work for them, you are actually rebelling or sinning against God and you're causing all manner of trouble.

And truth be told, you're paving the way for that person to sin even more. I met a young man who was in a business that just operated mainly in the non-winter months and he came over to our home. It was late in the year in the fall and I asked him, well, what do you do in the winter? And he said, without any sense of shame or embarrassment, he said, well, I collect unemployment in the winter. I said, well, then what do you do all day? And he said, well, I'm a gamer. So in other words, he stays home and plays video games, recreating while getting paid by the government and collecting unemployment checks when he's able to work. He could be working, but he's not. Instead, he's just staying home and playing games. Now, this just paves the way for other sin beyond just recreating all the time, like pornography or drugs and alcohol, because being involved in work can be some sort of partial hedge against temptation and sin when you're out working or in a workplace. And this was just a very sad little anecdote about a much larger pattern of this.

And this isn't the only person I've heard from. I've heard this from many young men who have seasonal jobs, who instead of working in the off season, just collect government checks. I looked on Wikipedia about the Great Society and it says this, and this is no conservative spin on the Great Society, but here's what it says. The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States launched by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and 65. The main goal was the total elimination of poverty and racial injustice. New major spending programs that address education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty and transportation were launched during this period. The program and its initiatives were subsequently promoted by him and fellow Democrats in Congress in the 1960s and the years following.

The Great Society in scope and sweep resembled the New Deal domestic agenda of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. These moral judgments made by these liberals really have ruined our society and especially the black community. Blacks had been enslaved and they had been discriminated against in our country and they were in a difficult economic state, to be sure. But the biblical response should have been, let's remove all laws that treat anyone with partiality based on their skin color.

Let's give everyone the same economic opportunity and let's create an economy where work is rewarded. But instead, through the Great Society and countless other programs since then, food, housing, turned into the housing projects, child payments, even for the unmarried, welfare benefits, without any condition or with very little condition of working. And there went the incentive to care for oneself and one's family, to live responsibly. And then there goes the breakdown of the family because mom can get money from the government without dad being around.

Dad is is unnecessary now. Then you have the entry of the prosperity religion that promises that God is going to give you health and wealth. Then you see a widespread breakdown of the black community in this country.

And it's very, very tragic. And it goes back to bad moral judgments that come out to be terrible economic policies. Now, I will say there is room for a government to help those who cannot work and certainly for the church to be involved in helping those who aren't able to work as well. In a society as large as ours, it may be difficult for a church to do everything. But be certain that when a church doesn't get involved in this kind of social help, the gospel will certainly never be proclaimed. The person's greatest need will never be offered to them by the government.

That's why it is important for the church to be involved in helping those who aren't able to help themselves. But the reality is individual souls in society are being ruined today by violating this principle of if a man isn't willing to work, neither let him eat. People can stay home now and not work because they're just receiving money from the government. But that is exactly the way government wants it. They want a completely dependent populace so government has complete control over people. It's really a different kind of slavery where people are enslaved to the government giving them things so they can live. And also, overtaxation also violates this principle of if a man isn't willing to work, then neither let him eat.

Because when you tax at too high of a rate, the income producing person eventually loses some or all incentive to continue working as hard because they're forced to give more and more of their income to the government. Rather than to themselves and their own family and to others they want to give charitably. So the conclusion to biblical economics is all work is good and godly work as long as it's not inherently sinful. It's better to work for the glory of God than to receive something for not working from the government. Again, Colossians 3, whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.

It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Final verse, verse 25, for he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done and that without partiality. God is the great example of being impartial. He's not partial towards any skin color, toward male or female. He treats everyone and judges everyone impartially. And he's going to judge impartially when it comes to where we spend eternity as well.

It doesn't matter what skin color you are. It doesn't matter how religious you have been. It only matters whether you have received simply and only by faith the most valuable gift God is offering you that you can be forgiven of your sin. You can be made right with God and you can receive eternal life with him in heaven after you die. What are you trusting in? Are you trusting in your own good works to be right with God? You can never be good enough and can never pay off all the sin you've already done.

The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Find out more how you can be right with God by going to our website, thechristianrealview.org, clicking on the link, What Must I Do to Be Saved. Just a quick announcement before we close the program today. We've had a lot of orders for the Pilgrim's DVD documentary. We're still waiting to get the DVDs from the distributor, so just be patient with us.

You can continue to order them and we will get them fulfilled, but we're just a little bit behind right now. Also, our end of year print letter is going out soon and Resource Guide, you should be receiving that in the mail in about two weeks or so. As always, if you missed any of the program today, you can go to our website, thechristianrealview.org to hear audio of all our past programs. We also have transcripts available now, and while you're there, be sure to click on the Samaritan Ministries International banner on the homepage of our website.

And find out more about whether they will be a good fit for you from a healthcare standpoint. They also have a phone number you can call as well. So let's remember, in our changing and challenging world, a world in which biblical economics are rejected, that the truth can be found in Jesus Christ and His Word because they are the same yesterday, today, and forever.

So until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm. 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Worldview is a listener-supported ministry and furnished by the Overcomer Foundation, a nonprofit organization. You can find out more, order resources, make a donation, become a monthly partner, and contact us by visiting thechristianworldview.org, calling toll-free 1-888-646-2233, or writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to The Christian Worldview. Until next time, think biblically and live accordingly.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-14 07:25:31 / 2023-07-14 07:43:55 / 18

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