The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

Archive for the category “Free Market”

That Your Joy May Be Full: Celebrating the Ascension of our Lord

By Uri Brito

The Church celebrates the Ascension of our Lord this Thursday. Since many Protestant churches find it difficult to gather parishioners for a Thursday service, many of them celebrate Ascension on Sunday.

The Ascension of Jesus is barely mentioned in the evangelical vocabulary. We make room for his birth, death, and resurrection, but we tend to put a period where God puts a comma.

If the resurrection was the beginning of Jesus’ enthronement, then the ascension is the establishment of his enthronement. The Ascension activates Christ’s victory in history. The Great Commission is only relevant because of the Ascension. Without the Ascension the call to baptize and disciple would be meaningless. It is on the basis of Jesus’ enthronement at the right-hand of the Father, that we image-bearers can de-throne rulers through the power and authority of our Great Ruler, Jesus Christ.

The Ascension then is a joyful event, because it is the genesis of the Church’s triumph over the world. Further, it defines us as a people of glory and power, not of weakness and shame. As Jesus is ascended, we too enter into his ascension glory (Col. 3:1) This glory exhorts us to embrace full joy. As Alexander Schmemann once wrote:

“The Church was victorious over the world through joy…and she will lose the world when she loses its joy… Of all accusations against Christians, the most terrible one was uttered by Nietzsche when he said that Christians had no joy.”[1]

But this joy is given to us by a bodily Lord.

We know that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. He is ruling and reigning from his heavenly throne. He has given the Father the kingdom, and now he is preserving, progressing, and perfecting his kingdom. He is bringing all things under subjection.

We know that when he was raised from the dead, Jesus was raised bodily. But Gnostic thinking would have us assume that since Jesus is in heaven he longer needs a physical body. But the same Father who raised Jesus physically, also has his Son sitting beside him in a physical body.  As one author observed:

Jesus has gone before us in a way we may follow through the Holy Spirit whom he has sent, because the way is in his flesh, in his humanity.[1]

Our Lord is in his incarnation body at the right hand of the Father. This has all sorts of implications for us in worship. We are worshipping a God/Man; one who descended in human flesh and who ascended in human flesh. He is not a disembodied spirit. He is truly God and truly man.

As we consider and celebrate the Ascension of our blessed Lord, remember that you are worshiping the One who understands your needs, because he has a body just like you; he understands your joy because he has a body just like you.

[1] Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World. Paraphrased

[2] Gerrit Dawson, see http://apologus.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/ascension-and-jesus-humanity/

Uri Brito is a pastor and blogger. He treasures earthly life, but dwells in the heavenly places.

Advertisements

Universal Healthcare, Universal Drone Strikes

by Adam McIntosh

Who else remembers the progressive-liberal movement displaying such moral outrage towards George W. Bush because of the “war on terror” and his unconstitutional invasion of Iraq? We’re talking impeachment-level outrage. Bush was deemed a war criminal worthy of imprisonment. He was condemned for passing the Patriot Act, a bill that essentially repeals the fourth amendment. Celebrities made a mockery of him and thousands upon thousands of protesters gathered all over the world in defense of peace and the rule of law.

The anti-Bush hysteria certainly included independents, libertarians and constitutionalists, but the majority aligned themselves with the Democratic Party. Riding the coattails of the anti-war movement was Senator Barack Obama, identifying himself as one who was against unconstitutional wars and the Patriot Act. He promised to bring the troops home from Iraq within the first year of his presidency. This sealed his White House victory quite easily. The movement had finally found their man. So, where aantiwarleftre they now?
Read more…

The Pseudo-Capitalist Border Patrol: With friends like this the free market doesn’t need any more enemies

The debate is raging over whether the latest immigration bill is an amnesty for illegal immigrants, but one part is clear: The legislation would forgive businesses that have employed those immigrants illegally.

via Immigration bill grants amnesty to employers of illegals; no prosecution for bogus IDs – Washington Times.

open borderIt is amazing to see the same people who, day and night, scream and moan against business regulation and Obama’s socialism, suddenly act as if this is some sort of “smoking gun” proving the evil nature of immigration reform.

Restricting who a business can hire is an inefficient regulation that hurts consumers. I can’t say as a Christian that I condone breaking the law in such as case, but then, if this law passes, the lawbreaking will be dealt with by the highest civil authority. Paul’s directions in Romans 13 will have been followed. Read more…

Money Comes From Society; The State Steals Credit

printing-moneyby Mark Horne

It is pretty common to hear conservatives or libertarians deride “fiat currency” as if it is worthless trash. They are absolutely right to insist that it is flawed. And those flaws will certainly lead to a bad end some day. But that is not the same as claiming it is “worthless.” If it were worthless, no one would give you anything in exchange for it. But they do.

The common claim is to say that money is “government created.” Supposedly, this leads to the conclusion that the money must not be really worth anything. But that is not the only way the argument could work. Many people hear that money is created by the state and then see how well it works for buying things and conclude that the state must be pretty competent in creating currency (I’d say, “making money,” but that would be confusing). Read more…

Anarchy, The State, And Christendom: Thinking About the Military

Let us think of the American military as we have it now and as we have known it since World War II. The military has a welcome place with Evangelicals because we know that government is supposed to protect us and the military is the government’s agency for that purpose. It is supposed to protect the American people from hostile invaders.

As clear as this seems to be, there are problems. In the first place, even though Evangelicals are correct that political leaders should lead in protecting their people from alien invaders, it still doesn’t make sense for those who honor the Bible to lobby for military buildups or technology. For it is written:

When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, “I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,” you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose… Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, “You shall never return that way again.” And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.

Horses, I am told, were the “war machine” of the ancient world. They allowed you to use chariots. This gave you equipment for your army that most people would not be able to afford or match. Naturally, such a build up would both require silver and gold as well as promise to be a means to acquire such silver and gold.

How does the military measure up? Read more…

Further Reflections on Anarchy

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Over the last four weeks, I’ve offered a series of critiques on anarcho-capitalism. I believe anarchy is an unworkable concept because it is self-refuting; in practice it cannot operate within its premises consistently. I’ve attempted to show that it assumes conformity to an unproven principle and that it cannot deliver its promise of better, more effective justice. In this last installment I’d like to make a few more observations.

1) Christian anarchists deny the nature of God’s courtroom.

In the opening chapters of the Bible, God sets up angels at the gate of the garden to prevent sinful man from eating from the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-24). The use of force is specifically described: God drove man out of the garden and if man tried to enter he would be killed. Adam was to be the guard of the garden but he failed. The angels were sent to do what Adam didn’t. This is relevant to our topic because it shows that God gives judicial authority to humanity. Later on in Scripture, the elders at the gate of each city were the judges with authority to punish and execute (Deut. 22:13-21, 25:5-10).  This creates a parallel between earthly rulers and heavenly rulers. To deny it is to ignore how the Bible is written.

God makes humanity stewards of creation to rule and reign. Jesus is the Gardener, he makes us gardeners. Jesus is the Shepherd, he makes us shepherds. Jesus is the Judge, he makes us judges. As images of God, this is the foundational way we mirror his sovereignty. The institution of civil government is set up by God to reflect his courtroom, his government. Read more…

Private Justice vs. Biblical Justice

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Anarcho-capitalists believe that all government services can be provided satisfactorily and more efficiently by the free market, including law enforcement. In their ideal society, judicial services would be offered by private agencies just like any other good or service. This must be the case if all taxation is inherently immoral.  Murray Rothbard explains:

Defense in the free society…would therefore have to be supplied by people or firms who (a) gained their revenue voluntarily rather than by coercion and (b) did not—as the State does—arrogate to themselves a compulsory monopoly of police or judicial protection. Only such libertarian provision of defense service would be consonant with a free market and a free society. Thus, defense firms would have to be as freely competitive and as noncoercive against noninvaders as are all other suppliers of goods and services on the free market.” – Man, Economy and State, chapter 13

What this means is that within any given territory, multiple judicial agencies would open up and compete for your business. Different agencies would provide different services based on different standards of law. Hypothetically, you could have a Muslim agency that operates under sharia law and a Christian agency that operates under biblical law. You simply pick which company you prefer. When two people are in conflict, their respective agencies will deliberate until they agree on the appropriate conviction and punishment. Rothbard admits that this could not work unless all agencies followed the non-aggression principle: Read more…

Is All Taxation Theft?

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

In chapter two of For A New Liberty, Murray Rothbard writes:

…The State habitually commits mass murder, which it calls ‘war,’ or sometimes ‘suppression of subversion’; the State engages in enslavement into its military forces, which it calls ‘conscription’; and it lives and has its being in the practice of forcible theft, which it calls ‘taxation.’”

While all of these accusations may be true, they don’t always have to be.

Read more…

A Christian Critique of the Non-Aggression Principle

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Congressman Ron Paul’s breakout in the public eye during the 2008 and 2012 presidential election cycles has made limited government – or “minarchy” – a popular concept across America, especially with young people. Other politicians such as Rand Paul, Justin Amash and Thomas Massie are carrying the principles of limited government forward, with conservatives rallying behind Rand as a potential nominee for president in 2016. This libertarian stream within the GOP has been known as the tea party, the liberty movement, or simply a return to the Constitution. Call it what you will, there’s no denying its influence in the political sphere.

Riding the coattails of this movement are the anarcho-capitalists. LewRockwell.com, a self-professed anarchist blog, has become a go-to resource for anyone who wishes to see civil government restrained to any degree. The site has a mixed bag of contributors including Ron Paul and theocrat Gary North. Though anarchists and minarchists share opposing worldviews they agree on many issues and are working towards a common goal, at least for the time being. Read more…

The Pyramid Power Illusion

all-seeing-eye-300x295It is a well known concept–the architectural analogy for the totalitarian state guiding all of society.

The few at the top guide the rest beneath them.

But the power of the image relies on a hidden reversal. The pyramid is supposed to represent a stable society in which the top directs the rest.

But where does the stability of the pyramid come from? It comes from the distribution of weight on the wider layers of brick.

upside-down-dollarIf the concept of elite management were to be accurately represented by the pyramid, it should picture the structure standing on its point.

The pyramid is wrongly used as a metaphor to promote what is really an upside down pyramid.

The Federal Reserve, for example, is supposed to promote growth and prevent recessions or depressions, or at least mitigate them. So what does it do? We now know it rolls up and suppresses all the possible small disturbances in the country and mashes them together into a massive economic meltdown that occurs at the end of a generation that is entirely unfamiliar with economic hardship.

What if, instead of expecting the Fed to “take care of” the economy and provide high growth (that turns out to be actually undermining the economy), the American population expected “hard times” to be a regular feature in normal life? What would they do?

Wouldn’t they make sure they saved a lot of money during the good times? Wouldn’ millions of families with stores of cash itself help the economy remain stable?

The welfare state is another example. Awhile back on my personal blog I asked what kind of society will be able to help those in need. I answered:

I’m not capable of listing every quality of such a society. But I do know one prerequisite:

Each individual must, all things being equal, believe it is a duty, privilege, and/or virtue to produce more than he/she consumes.

Is there any chance at all that such a society can continue to exist under the rule of a welfare state?  When politicians forcefully take from some and give to others (in the hopes of their continued support in voting and propaganda) what kind of society is formed?

Not the kind that will actually support the needy.

Here again, the point is that the pyramid illustration hides what is really going on. A free and un-managed society with an understood code of conduct is more like a pyramid in which every brick is able to bear proper weight and keep the structure balanced.

Of course, sometimes the “bricks” are weak and then some kind of central power might try to fix it. But that will always be second best to a society that functions with free people who cooperate by internalized ethics.

Solomon gives us the two options.

Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,

she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest (Proverbs 6.6-8).

And then:

The hand of the diligent will rule,
while the slothful will be put to forced labor (Proverbs 12.24).

So free people work themselves. Otherwise, someone else will work them.

Post Navigation