We have the pleasure of featuring an article from a special guest blogger – Edward Acosta. Mr. Acosta is a graduate of the prestigious MorningStar University and currently serves the Lord from Flagstaff Arizona. Mr. Acosta is a member of the Oak Initiative of Arizona and is actively seeking those from Northern Arizona interested in teaming up to make a difference in our state and nation.
Kingdom Economics - If the economies of this world differ from God’s economy, how do they differ? And why is that important? In God’s economy our trust is in Him and in the world’s economy, trust is in man. This is very important to understand because we know from Scripture that where our treasure is there our heart is also (Matt. 6:21). This is the basis for understanding worldly versus Kingdom economics. Where is our heart or where is our trust?
What does this have to do with economics and the subsequent federal policy? When you look at the economic history of the United States you can see how those leaders who put their trust in themselves have created economic systems that are rooted in earthly riches instead of Kingdom riches. To date, our country has not seen a leader who understands that any economic system that is not built on God’s economy is doomed to ultimately fail.
This is to be expected from those leaders who do not rely on God for their wisdom to administrate according to Kingdom principles. Leaders that value provision above the Provider will ultimately create economic policies which reveal that value system. When our heart is in our earthly treasures our financial decisions will reflect that.
The propensity to put our trust in ourselves is especially highlighted during a financial crisis. The potential damage of putting our trust in ourselves is limited when our monetary decisions just affect us, but the damage is exponentially greater when those monetary decisions affect the whole country.
This was evidenced in the mid 1930’s when the collapsed economy of the United States was wreaking havoc on the hopes of its citizens and President Roosevelt began a systematic program of economic relief for the poor of America (known today as Medicaid, Social Security, etc.) He unintentionally – I believe – took this nation down a road to the economic trouble we find ourselves in today. Although these programs of support were intended to be temporary, they have instead become a staple in our country’s budget.
Since the establishment of these programs, any challenge to their sanctity is met with outright rage from both private citizens and government representatives. However, let me reiterate my opening concept; these programs run counter to the means which God intended for us to find help in time of need – namely Him.
What you are not likely to hear from the public media outlets is that from the very beginning of the idea of equal distribution, numerous experts in the field of economics have emphatically resisted all political efforts at reallocation of money from one group of wage earners to another more fortuitous group of wage earners. A crucial question to ask would be, why? Why is the fair distribution of money a bad idea?
To help answer that question let me quote Hans F. Sennholz, a German student and Professor of economics. In his article “The Ethics of Entitlement”, Hans states, “They (expert economists) point not only at the tremendous rise in economic well-being of all social classes, including the poor and disabled, long before governments embarked upon income redistribution, but also at the futility of all policies of redistribution. The working and living conditions of American workers, they contend, were the best in the world long before New Deal legislators passed labor laws. In the U.S., they remind us; even individuals on public assistance always have lived better than their peers in most other countries. ”
Also what you will not likely hear through the mainstream media is that America’s economic past substantiates the reality that its citizens produce more when a structure of financial freedom of opportunity makes that possible. Even with this clear history, the believers of redistribution remain steadfast. They raise the questions of “goodness,” “fairness,” and “morality” through redistribution for the benefit of everyone… and I do mean everyone. To accomplish these grandiose goals, they chase after the impossible: the elimination of human need and the removal of economic unfairness. Never mind that even Jesus said, “You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” Matt 26:11-12
Hans further elaborates on the perils of government mandated entitlements, “These economists are unalterably opposed to political intervention because it springs from politics, builds on verdicts and interpretations of judges, and depends on brute enforcement by police. It runs counter to the inexorable laws of human action and, therefore, brings forth the very opposite of what it sets out to achieve. It hampers economic production, discourages individual effort, stifles economic progress, and creates social and economic classes whose self-interests are irreconcilable. Government intervention on behalf of one social class against another not only is illogical and ineffective, but also highly immoral. It defies the eighth Commandment—Thou shalt not steal—and violates the tenth—Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor’s. It is bound to bring poverty, frustration, quarrel, and strife.”
In short, government mandated assistance for one group of people at the expense of another group of people causes more problems than it solves, even if you invoke religious ideals in the process.
On their goal of purging individual need, many re-distribution proponents like to play the guilt card by giving colorful accounts of the conditions of disadvantaged citizens. What you may have innocently been led to believe is that your tax dollars are tied to a “moral obligation”, yes that’s right; you have an unmitigated duty to support other people with your money.
However, it is crucial for believers to understand that the “moral” obligation to aid the poor as espoused by elected representatives intent on a fair America is not the same moral obligation that a Christian has to be a good Samaritan to the needy as taught by Jesus. The political version and the Biblical version of charity are diametrically opposed in their methods and goals.
While it is not news that your tax dollars are the means by which these programs are funded, what may be news is that these “entitlement” programs have become the open door by which ideological and political opportunists are planning to repair all of our society’s ills. This ideal society that some would try to build takes an incredible amount of ignorance and arrogance. However, if you dare to reject your obligation you will soon have a flood of people in your face telling you otherwise, not to mention the IRS.
Concerning equal economic resources, redistributionists favor progressive taxation because in truth they are more concerned about the inequalities of income (unequal distribution of wealth) than the poor. The argument in favor of shared resources states that the affluent should be taxed more than those with lower than average income. Any form of taxation that does not do this is considered “regressive” and unfair to the poor. Conservatives will argue that a flat tax is sufficiently progressive: if everyone is taxed at the same percentage rate, those who make more will pay more, and those who make less will pay less.
Those who favor a society that is progressive or evolving in its leadership believe themselves smarter than their predecessors of conservative government. However, the idea of a gradually increasing tax system is in short a penalty structure and necessarily places individuals into an antiquated classified society, which varies not by color, sex, or religion, but by success and wealth (the irony of progressing backwards should be obvious). And even though the numbers of the non-wealthy vastly exceed the numbers of the wealthy, the proponents of economic equality somehow manage to see the smaller group of citizens as the answer to the masses.
In practice however, ideology paralyzes. Growth does not come from penalties or punishment for success. Why would a 75 cent profit maker want to stay at 75 cents when he or she could become a $1 profit maker under a different system? The math isn’t that hard. It stands to reason that choosing to demonize the $1 profit maker as greedy for political gain is worse for everyone’s benefit than supporting him with a tax system that rewards success, leaving more money to spend. Yes, the spending will include some personal benefits, but there will no doubt be business spending and likely some charity, or at least the opportunity for charity.
As Charlie Wakefield points out in his article America’s Declaration of Economic Freedom, “The citizens of America are never happier than when they are productive, working hard and leading the world in upwardly mobile wealth creation. The antithesis of this “pursuit of happiness” is the resentful recipient of public aid who whiles away the day wondering what will bring happiness today. ”
A quote which is commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin puts it this way, “The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. ” Today, we are seriously undermining the future potential our United States of America in pursuit of becoming the Equal States of America; there is however, no attaining such a goal.
So what is it that motivates the current political administration in their quest for economic equality? It is basically a counterfeit pursuit of fairness based on the elimination of suffering. This is believed to be achieved through the eradication of the unequal supply of money among the wealthy citizens of our society. The short version is the “Robin Hood Complex,” to take from the rich and give to the poor – minus a finders fee in the form of a substantial salary of course. If you should disagree with government mandated assistance then you are marginalized and accused of not being sensitive to the plight of the poor.
There is a fight now on Capitol Hill and in most towns across America concerning which course should be taken to try to correct our current national troubles—one side favoring progressively consolidated control, or social collectivism, and the other side favoring greater decentralization and simple supply and demand economics. How we vote in the next election will determine where we end up.
Also in his article Charlie summarizes the conflict for the American Christian when says, “No matter how much the Christian Church shares about the need to elect righteous leaders who fear the Lord, it cannot seem to break through people’s day to day concerns associated with food, shelter and the fear of scarcity. When economic times are tough it requires great faith, generally found in the most devoted Christians, to support Godly principles at the polls. ”
When Ronald Reagan was elected President we had a man at the helm of this country that wasn’t afraid to bring both the condition of the American economy and the ideological battle for our future to the forefront.
Today, Ronald Reagan’s legacy of a strong economy is relegated to the history books, un-likely to be esteemed for what he accomplished. Still he understood that God has his own economy and that His generosity as expressed through His people is enough to care for every need. President Reagan once said that, “Coercion, after all, merely captures man. Freedom captivates him. ” Said another way; generosity is God giving through man to meet each other’s needs and this ultimately sets our heart free from greed. When it comes to giving, it would be accurate to say that forcing someone to bend to your idea of what is right and wrong is in practice immoral because it eliminates the freedom to act or not to act; basically creating slaves.
We Are Here
Our current president’s first occupation was helping people in a poor African-American community. Subsequently, he joined a church founded on “black liberation theology”. This combination has resulted in a presidency that embodies something new in American history – politics based on a highly personal ideology. The idea being that through the state its citizens will learn moral lessons, namely; economic ethics.
Since this reasoning became the standard during and after the Depression of the 30’s, it has led us down a path from which there is no easy return. Re-distributing monetary assets from the hands of the rich to the poor is not merely a moral idea anymore; it is now official U. S. economic policy.
From the standpoint of our mission to be “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14), we ought to have answers from the Lord regarding the world’s critical troubles. This is so important because the Bible warns us that economic difficulties will be some of the most perilous evils at the completion of the age in which we presently live, which is why the “mark of the beast” is an economic mark, determining who can “buy, sell, or trade” (see Revelation 13:17).
The reason that those who do not know God turn to the government in this way is because the government is their god. A god is not just something you worship but what you put your trust in. This is why the government becomes the god of the people at the end, when the ultimate delusions and deceptions are covering the earth.
Mankind’s best attempts to administer the nation’s economies actually run counter to God’s wisdom. In God’s economy there is no lack. In God’s economy there is no need to mandate taxes to fund the needs of the poor. I am not at all against helping others with my money, as I believe that generosity is crucial to understanding God’s heart for people and more specifically, people in need. What I am against is being told by those elected by me to represent my interests when, how and why I must help others.
All of the humanistic philosophies and pseudo-religious beliefs that manifest in compulsory economic decrees will in the end come under the administration of one world-wide government. At that time you will have to submit to the “system” in order to buy, sell, or trade. However, Christians will not need to participate in the system of the beast because they will have God as their Provider. The final conflict between those whose treasure is in the world’s economic system and those whose treasure is in heaven, will only last a brief period before the nations see the distinction and come to the radiance of Jesus. When it comes to helping others, we want to meet people’s physical needs, but not leave them in eternal jeopardy. This is the true “social gospel.”
If you desire to see America walk in economic truth, then join the Oak Initiative of Arizona because the Future is now.
Also, be sure to check out our high impact proposal to the Arizona Governor and State Legislature regarding Israel. The purpose of this proposal is to establish the State of Arizona as a stalwart friend and supporter of Israel and the Israeli people. Our intention is to acknowledge the importance of the Israeli community in Arizona, create a pathway for the Christian church in Arizona to appreciate and honor Israel and the Israeli people, and to encourage the Arizona Governor and Legislature to enact and fund programs that will implement high impact ideas that are mutually beneficial to the State of Arizona and the Nation of Israel. You can read the proposal in its entirety and sign our petition here – http://www.theoakinitiativeaz.org/high-impact-solutions/