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God's Ecnomy

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I grew up on a farm, so I left school early to work in farming. After a couple of years, I realised that I did not have the strength and stamina that farming needs, so I decided to go to university. While working with sheep and driving the tractor, I had plenty of time to think about the poverty and suffering that were rampant throughout the world. The problems seemed to be economic and political, so I enrolled to study economics and politics.

After four years of study, I realised that I was digging a dry well. The assumptions that economists have to make to ensure their models work are so unrealistic that their theories are irrelevant to the real world. It seemed that during the first three years of economics, they told you all the solutions, but in the fourth year, they explained why they would not work. (I noted that my fellow students who went into politics, often only did the three-year course, so they went out boldly assuming they had effective policies).

While growing up, our family had gone to church every Sunday, but for me, it was just a habit. When I reached university and encountered modern philosophy, I gave up my religious habit. However, just when I became disillusioned with economics, I heard the gospel of Jesus clearly for the first time. I surrendered to him and committed to living by his word and Spirit.

A few months later, I had an exam for a post-graduate course on comparative economics. The lecturer was a staunch Marxist. Full of my new-found faith, I wrote in my paper that Marx has no solution to human problems and that Jesus is the answer. I gave a similar response in a paper on macroeconomics.

Surprisingly, I passed the course with first class honours. However, at the beginning of the following year, one of my professors asked to meet with me. He disclosed that he was an atheist, but acknowledged that my faith seemed to be genuine. He told me that it was not enough to say that Jesus is the answer. I needed to explain how he could be a solution to the problems that concerned me. He concluded with a telling question: “What would the economy and society look like if everyone was a Christian”.

I could not answer his question, but I knew that I had to find the answer to it. I did not know enough about God, or his solutions to economic problems, but I made it my goal to find out.

I went to seminary for three years and studied theology and New Testament Greek. Later I studied Hebrew for two years to get a better understanding of the Old Testament. While employed as an economist, I read every book and article that I could find that is relevant to economics and the gospel.

Economics and Politics
About twelve years ago, I felt that I was ready to answer the question that my atheist teacher had asked, but one more obstacle lay in the way. I still had faith in political power. I believed that God’s people could use political power to establish his Kingdom on earth. I needed to grasp the failures and futility of politics.

Modern economics is mostly politics. The solutions dreamt up by economists can only be implemented by a government with coercive power, so economics becomes a servant of politics.

  • Fiscal policy explains why politicians should take money from some people and use it to benefit others.
  • Monetary policy explains how governments can control the creation of money and who should benefit.
  • Labour economics guides politicians who want to control employment practices and pay.

Modern economics and politics are hard to separate. Economic principles get caught up in political power.

Jesus refused to use political power to advance the Kingdom of God (Luke 22:25-26; John 18:36). Political spirits and government spirits have used political authority to leverage their power on earth. Evil cannot be used to accomplish good.

When I studied this issue seriously, I discovered that God had already given a system of government to Moses that does not rely on force and coercion. I described his system of local judges applying his law and voluntary military leaders protecting their community in a book called Government of God(2017). It explains how Kingdom Communities can function without political power. They can voluntarily provide all the services that human governments promise, but fail to deliver.

Once I understood the problems of political power, my understanding of the nature of economics changed dramatically. The policies of modern economists cannot enter the Kingdom of God because they need to be imposed from the top by human governments with the power to make people do the right thing. I began seeking a politics-free economics.

Gods Economy
I discovered the Instructions for Economic Life that God gave to Moses (Unfortunately most Christians cherry pick them and ignore the underlying ecnomic system described). I also found that Jesus had validated these instructions in his teaching about economics. God’s instructions allow a community of people to develop an economy that can function effectively without the need for political power and coercion.

The advance of the gospel by the power of the Spirit should produce a radically different economy. The most significant change is that there will be no human government to enforce economic policies. Economic change will come as more and more people choose to follow Jesus and are prompted by the Holy Spirit to obey his commands.

God’s economy is not modern capitalism. Modern capitalism is a system in which all activities are commercialised. Big businesses collude with political power to gain wealth at the expense of ordinary people. Materialism and consumerism are advanced at the expense of relationships. The strong are rewarded, the weak suffer. God’s economy is radically different from modern capitalism.

My book called Gods Economy describes the changes to economic activity that will occur as the Government of God comes to fullness. It seeks to answer the following question: “What would an economy look like if most people chose to follow Jesus and the Holy Spirit was able to establish the Government of God?”. This book is the question my economics teacher asked me back in 1975.


Source: http://getrad2.blogspot.com/2022/03/gods-ecnomy.html


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