John Livingston

Spiritual Economics

We live in a material world and because of that we live our lives in the context of scarcity. We are called on to work by the necessity of having to provide for ourselves, our families, and our neighbors. In the creation story in Exodus God himself is seen as “working”, ultimately creating His greatest creation—man, who is also called on to continue God’s work. Creating, working, discovering, participating in commerce requires learning to live in a natural and spiritual world that is best accomplished by following the Biblical rules that have been in existence for thousands of years and if followed will allow us to live joyfully in a material and spiritual world. The fact that man “was born from dust” gives rise to our material needs. But God also ‘breathed the breath of life” into each of us confirming our spiritual natures.

The word ECONOMICS comes from two Greek words which were meant to be applied only to the study of household management. Households—families, have been the bases of economic study since ancient times. The moral principles that have come down through the ages were applied by philosophers and theologians as the disciplines of economics, law, and political philosophy evolved through Biblical and Ancient times, through The Enlightenment and into the Industrial Revolution and now into modern times. There are those who have usurped the authority and legitimacy of those principles; never more so than today by progressive Marxist Liberals who have no moral predicate other than their own nominalist “feelings” when trying to support their positions. The great apologetic G. K. Chesterton defined the situation:

“The problem of disbelieving in God is not that a man ends up believing nothing. Alas, it is much worse. He ends up believing anything.”

Today we are seeing Biblical teachings and truths taken out of context to justify actions that are purely political with only the acquisition of power as their goal. Justifying student loan forgiveness by equating temporal and transcendental forgiveness is itself sacrilegious and ignorant. Saying there is Biblical controversy regarding the sanctity of life and end of life issues is equally arrogant and disingenuous. Denying Biblical authority that is the bases of individual liberty and capitalism at best are an exercise of “presentism” and at worse a purposeful deployment of revisionist history. By trying to create their own moral truths and deploying any manner of “situational ethics”, Marxist, Progressive-Liberals and Fascists deny the spiritual predicate that has been the platform for Western spiritual and economic advancements that have created opportunities for abundance and joy that are unique in the fifteen-thousand-year history of man. By not recognizing both the spiritual and material aspects of man’s nature, (“the spiritual holes in our hearts”),Blasé Pascual— Life and liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness and Property; we replace spiritual values with pursuits of wealth, power, drugs, sex, and any other fillers of spiritual emptiness man can devise for their own sake. Materialistic means that can never find a spiritual end leads always to emptiness. Paul in Romans did not vilify “money” for its own sake but vilified the worshiping of money as an end unto itself. The same can be said about other pursuits. It is the context of the pursuit that defines its virtue—not what is being pursued. Wealth and ownership in the pursuit of charity and economic growth, when principles of stewardship are applied is a great “common good” How can there be charity if there isn’t ownership? If one is giving something away that doesn’t belong to them, is it stealing or “redistribution”? , Sex in pursuit of spiritual Godly love in a marriage fulfills us spiritually and materially and understanding that is important. The difference between killing and murder needs to be presented in the proper context. Judgement and forgiveness and mercy when not put in the proper context can be used by evil people toward a surreptitious end—think about liberal prosecutors releasing violent prisoners onto the streets or immigration policy that fails to protect citizens. Isn’t Joe Biden building a security fence around his sea front home and “Nancy P” has done the same around both her Pacific Heights and Nampa Estates? Justice and Mercy for whom?

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To say that we have an individual obligation to the marginalized is not saying that we should have a public policy incentivizing government action. The PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN informs us of our individual obligation to charity. He was not an agent of government but was acting on his own “free will” based on his own virtue and individual responsibility. Twelve million immigrants went through Ellis Island and were educated in private Catholic and Hebrew schools and were sheltered and fed in private homes and orphanages. There was no such thing as the “welfare state” until the Great Depression. Government welfare programs create dependency and a sense of entitlement to the recipient, and incentivize corruption, discourage value buying, and create a lust for control by government bureaucrats and their partners in symbiotic corruption. Lobbyists and special interests who create more value for themselves than those they are supposed to be serving—there were no hospital CEOs making $18million/2yr. in Idaho until Obama care, is a perfect example of such hubris! Justice and mercy for whom?

In Idaho, many progressive Republicans (formerly known as “RINOs”) have embraced the welfare state even though they call themselves “conservative”. The problem is that the politicians that control our government aren’t aligned with the WE THE PEOPLE, but rather with the lobbyists, corporations and non-profits, and special interests, that they are tasked with regulating. These very groups control the funding to their campaigns. Seems like a formula for corruption to me. Many—not all, have sold their souls to “The Fallacy of The Commons”. Many (unknowingly I hope) have rejected Biblical principles. Maybe they really don’t know themselves and what they believe in. Maybe that is why our governor refuses to introduce himself to the people and debate. He doesn’t want us to see who he is and what he believes. He might not even know himself.

Let’s end with another quote from G.K. Chesterton:

“But the truth is that it is only by believing in God that we can ever criticize the Government. Once abolish the God, and the Government becomes the God.”

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