Friday, August 26, 2011

The Poison of Profit

Schlossberg continues in his chapter, "Idols of Mammon" with the observation that it was during the time of the Great Depression that it became increasingly respectable to believe that capital investment, and especially the pursuit of profit, was antithetical to the Christian gospel.

Funny how much we hear these days of the CEOs and Wall Street barons, those arrogant rich, who do not care for the working class. Just like in the days of the Great Depression, although the idea has certainly continued to cultivate in many over the last few years.

But there is a resurgence of what has been called the Christian left that claims to be evangelical and yet promotes these kinds of ideas. The power of envy has not only gripped American life, but even the church.

The place to fight this is in the centrality of our worship, through which we bring our tithes and offerings in the tribute offering, giving thanks to God alone for all of our increase, acknowledging Him as Sovereign over all, and filling the deacons' fund with more than enough to care for those in need.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chuck Colson on Classical Christian Education

Getting an endorsement for Classical Christian Education from a Christian leader like Chuck Colson is a great shot in the arm. It is a shame so many Christian leaders, starting with pastors, refuse to shepherd the flock in regard to training their children up in the paideia of God.

Watch this:

One man once said, "If every Christian pulled their kids out of the government school system, that system would be forced to shut down tomorrow." Of course this means that churches must work together to build wonderful Christian education systems, school and homeschool models, to support their chidlren. And then, these schools would themselves become powerful salt and light to the world around.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Covenant Relationships and Covenant Life

Deuteronomy 21 could be a bee's nest of problems for the preacher. He will likely have to deal with the difficult topics of women-slaves, polygamy, and rebellious sons being turned over to the authorities for execution. All of this has to be dealt with, but that is not the greatest issue in Deuteronomy 21 which is where Moses, I believe, is continuing to expound on the sixth commandment.

These are not little, miscellaneous laws. There is structure to be found. If "thou shalt not kill" means that we have a variety of responsibilities for life and the lives of others in our covenant communities, then these laws begin to cohere.

A city must take responsibility for the quality of life in its midst. A man may not take advantage of a woman even in times of warfare. A father must follow God's law with regard to his sons regardless of his personal favor. Parents must take responsibility for their childrens' actions and the consequences of such actions upon and within a community. And when justice must be carried out, we must not let the sun go down on our anger.

In all of these situations, covenant life and responsibility are at issue.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Corrupt Economics and Envy

"The original federal minimum wage laws were supported by northern textile manufacturers who wanted protection from the competition of southern manufacturers benefiting from low cost labor. From the avidity with which businessmen seek to avoid having competitors, we can infer that competition is at least as distasteful to capitalists as it is to socialists. They may praise it on the lecute tour, but when it comes to questions of public policy, they seem to believe that it works well only in other industries." - Schlossberg, p112, Idols for Destruction.

In his chapter, "Idols of Mammon", Schlossberg gives multiple examples of the power of envy that is at work in our economic and political system. However, he is quick also to note that the problem is not with "them" - the ones in the system or the system itself. The American culture, and the Americans that live in it, love the benefits of the system even at the expense of the costs of socialistic regimes placed over them.

"Resistance has always been possible...and with enough participants, may be effective. It is even more clear that the citizens in democracies cannot be absolved from the crimes and stupidities of their leaders. There is no refuge in the cry that the system is responsible." - p106.

And so we witness this summer the inability of the conservatives or the liberals in Congress to honestly handle our debt crisis. Capitalism and the free market systems are not losing to liberal politicians but to the envy of the people. The rare jewel of Christian contentment (Burroughs), and not more Republicans in the Senate or White House, is the only answer.