Most people are aware that we are facing some very serious crises in our world in many areas. Scholars like Dr. Homer Dixon are very concerned about these. In his 2006 book “The Upside of Down” he writes that 5 of the most serious ones are the crisis of not having enough energy for people’s needs, economic stresses of the top 1% owning more wealth than the 99% (which leads directly to debt slavery, chattel slavery, sex slavery/trafficking and other forms of exploitation), population/disease crises, environmental crises such as pollution (that kills ~13 million people a year), and climate stress. He warns that these are interlocking issues and so if comes more serious, it contributes to worsening several other crises.
Even more serious is the health crisis which causes up to 41 million people to die every year and costs the planet ~$6.5 trillion a year and is a factor in many other problems but which God’s health principles solve.
Then there are the political crises, with the widespread use of deception (in both major political parties) and propaganda and the subsequent loss of trust. There are crises with many broken families with kids raised more by Hollywood than their own parents. Underlying it all is a chronic spiritual and moral crisis that has been worsening over decades.
Research and history show that these crises and others have their root in greed, especially the rejection of equitable land rights and materialism, the last stage of civilizations that are collapsing into various forms of exploitation and/or totalitarianism. This confirms the Bible’s claim that greed is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10).
a day after the latest Oxfam report was published and presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“It’s disgusting, let’s be honest, it’s absolutely grotesque. That’s eight people, eight men, who own the same amount of wealth as 3.6 billion people. That’s huge. At the same time, we have 1.9 billion people going hungry very night, we have close to a billion people who are living on less than $2 a day. It’s completely unacceptable,”She continues,“Voices across the world, across the political and economic spectrum, have voiced that concern, for example, Obama, the pope, but also billionaires like Nick Hanauer, and even the World Economic Forum itself, for the third year in a row, has named inequality as the biggest threat to our security,” Arendar noted. https://www.rt.com/news/373966-oxfam-report-poverty-wealth/
“We may have democracy in this country, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.”
This is not just future, it’s the present. Research shows that almost all of the developed countries (including America, Europe, Canada, South Korea, Australia, etc.) are plutocracies and while people think they are living in freedom, they aren’t. Certain areas of America are now becoming like the 3rd world. And the 3rd world is losing up to $2 trillion a year due to various kinds of embezzlement by corporations, especially western corporations.
Every generation has challenges and crises, but at the bottom of every crisis that the world faces is almost always a spiritual crisis, people being ignorant of or rebelling against God’s principles which are actually what makes nations great.
“Righteousness makes nations great. But sin is a disgrace to all people.” Prov. 14:13
Now in America, Barna Research indicates that only 9 – 10% of Americans and 17% of Christians and 4% of Generation Z have a biblical worldview in even bare bones basic area like belief that God is the Creator of the Universe, Jesus is fully God, the Bible is inspired and accurate, there are moral absolutes, salvation is a free gift by faith, etc. If the surveys included Bible economics, Bible health principles and Bible psychology, it would be far less. Focus on the Family reported:
“A recent nationwide survey completed by the Barna Research Group determined that only 4 percent of Americans had a “biblical” worldview [and for] “born- again” believers in America, the results were a dismal 9 percent.”And that’s based on people answering yes to just these questions (which ignores doctrines that God, prophets and apostles spoke of in 1000s of verses such as Bible economics, justice, poverty, health principles, marriage/family principles and more, principles that scientists have shown affect 10s of millions of lives with life and death consequences as well as trillions of dollars per year):
- “Do absolute moral truths exist?
- Is absolute truth defined by the Bible?
- Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
- Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
- Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
- Is Satan real?
- Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
- Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?”
One big cause of this is that many Christian pastors themselves don’t have a biblical worldview. Only 50% of Protestant pastors have a basic biblical worldview (since many denominations accept the deceptions of legalism or anti-nomian which the Bible strongly opposes (Eph. 2:8,9, Jude 3,4) and don’t teach a full biblical gospel).
Many researchers such as Dr. Tyyler have studied an interesting phenomon called the Cycle of Nations. Tytler described it like this:
These are 2 good links that go into more depth about this cycle.
You can see this cycle throughout the history of Israel. But you can also see it throughout the history of almost every nation on earth. Surprisingly, I learned about one of the most profound examples of what happens when nations, leaders and their people don’t follow God’s principles or have confidence in eternal life in China. Yuan Zhiming was co-leader of the 1989 Tianenmen Square protest, and later fled to America and became a Christian. He made a series of documentaries about Christianity in China. One of of them, China’s Confession 神州忏悔录 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh5cBIZscSA) covers ~5,000 years of Chinese history. It show that it’s extremely difficult or impossible to get large numbers of people to live in altruistic ways if they don’t believe in God/have confidence in eternal life. China got stronger and more peaceful when people believed in God and weaker, more corrupt, had more crime, violence and war when they didn’t.
There is a key thought in the documentary that is true of all nations and fulfills the Bible’s claim that righteousness makes nations great (Prov. 14:34):
“Oh China! This is where your misery resides. The one who sits on the central throne is not God, but an earthly man…men who did not know God became gods of men. Is not this the source of all China’s tragedies?…because you firmly believe there is no God, you give full reign to sinful men to carry out their self-abuse in hopelessness.”
God has principles for the government and the church as well as other institutions. Sometimes they are completely separate duties, but in some cases they overlap. Below you will see most of the major traits and duties that the Bible tells us that national leaders and governments should follow for long term security and stability and also in order to thrive. These principles don’t include the numerous laws on criminal justice that God gave, that all governments around the world follow to some degree (such as laws against murder, theft, etc.). Those will be put in a separate post later. But these are ~13 valuable principles that should help Christians and any who wish to have their nation thrive and progress know what leaders to support and which ones to reject has harmful to our future. There are higher level ideals for Israel at first to show the world a much higher way of wisdom that would bring wealth and freedom from debt, health, strong families, happiness, intelligence and national stability with thriving civilizations (Deut. 4:1-8, Deut. 28, Deut. 30:15-20).
Through Israel, these principles would be an example and blessing to all nations of the world as has most certain come true in areas ranging from human rights to civil law to education to medicine to Nobel Prizes and more (Gen. 18:22, 22:18). In time, other nations would be expected to follow these principles as well and they would also receive blessings for doing so (Jer. 12:14-17). There was a bare minimum level of ethical justice and human rights standards and prevention of poverty that even the worst pagans were expected to follow that as well (Ez. 16:49, Daniel 4:27 ).
Vast economic research by many researchers, both Christian and non-Christian has confirmed that following the simple principles of God that contain unrivaled wisdom will resolve a host of other problems that societies have. Economic professors such as Harvard professor of economics Dr. Niall Ferguson to Dr. Richard Wilkinson retired Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham to the widely respected Christian economist Dr. Michael Hudson have proven clearly in their extensive research that God’s principles are the ones that work.
1) KNOW GOD’S PRINCIPLES (crucial for national stability):
If nation want to have success and thrive long term, God says they need to choose leaders that know God’s law well, leaders who are not addicted to greed or pride or sex with many women. These are some of the most important principles for making nations secure for generations. Here are some verses about that…for both Israeli and foreign leaders.
“The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the Lord. And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself. “When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel.” Deuteronomy 17:17-20
“If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations.” Leviticus 25:18 (NLT)
“If a king judges the poor fairly, his throne will last forever.” Proverbs 29:4-14
“His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” Isaiah 9:7
“Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.” 1 Kings 10:9 (see also 2 Chron. 9:8)
“Solomon also built the throne room, known as the Hall of Justice, where he sat to hear legal matters. It was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling.” 1 Kings 7:7
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.” Psalm 89:14
“The godly care about the rights of the poor;the wicked don’t care at all.” Proverbs 29:7
“Now Israel pleads with me,‘Help us, for you are our God!’ But it is too late.The people of Israel have rejected what is good,and now their enemies will chase after them. The people have appointed kings without my consent,and princes without my approval.By making idols for themselves from their silver and gold,they have brought about their own destruction….Even though I gave them all my laws,they act as if those laws don’t apply to them.” Hosea 8:2-4 (NLT)
“Native-born Israelites and foreigners are equal before the Lord and are subject to the same decrees. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation.” Numbers 15:15 (NLT)
“You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way.” Exodus 22:21 (see also Ex. 23:9, Zech. 7:10)“Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.” Zechariah 7:10 (see also: Malachi 3:5)“This is what the Lord says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent! Jeremiah 22:3
“Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. May the mountains yield prosperity for all,and may the hills be fruitful.4 Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. Psalms 72:1-4 (see also v. 12-14)
“King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.” Daniel 4:27“Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” Ezekiel 16:49
“True justice must be given to foreigners living among you and to orphans…” Deuteronomy 24:17“Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.” Leviticus 19:15
“The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the Lord. And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself.” Deut. 17:17
“Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” Ezekiel 16:49“‘King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.’
“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT)“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’” Luke 12:15
“I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners.” Ecclesiastes 5:13
“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.” James 5:1-3
“If Americans want to live the American dream, they should go to Denmark….there are endless problems with social gradients [crime, health, infant mortality, education, mental illness, trust, divorce, etc.) that are worse in more [economically] unequal countries — not just a little bit worse, but anything from twice as common to 10 times as common. Think of the expense, the human cost of that. …in the more equal countries on the left — Japan, Finland, Norway, Sweden — the top 20 percent are about three and a half, four times as rich as the bottom 20 percent. But on the more unequal end — U.K., Portugal, USA, Singapore — the differences are twice as big. ” Dr. Wilkinson (in his TED talk)
Wilkinson reports evidence that suggests that if we halved inequality (in the UK specifically, but it would apply similarly elsewhere):
- – Murder rates could halve
- – Mental illness could reduce by two thirds
- – Obesity could halve
- – Imprisonment could reduce by 80%
- – Teen births could reduce by 80%
- – Levels of trust could increase by 85%
This may help people understand why the Bible says things like this:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21“Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken. The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” Proverbs 22:8-9
Finally, regulation and taxation play a critical role in reining in extreme wealth and inequality. Limits to bonuses, or to how much people can earn as a multiple of the earnings of the lowest paid, limits to interest rates, limits to capital accumulation are all only recently-abandoned policy instruments that can be revived.
One of the most important job of national leaders in Israel (as well as in other countries in ancient times) was to prevent extremes of economic injustice.
“Give your love of justice to the king, O God,and righteousness to the king’s son. Help him judge your people in the right way;let the poor always be treated fairly. May the mountains yield prosperity for all,and may the hills be fruitful. Help him to defend the poor,to rescue the children of the needy,and to crush their oppressors….He will rescue the poor when they cry to him;he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.He feels pity for the weak and the needy,and he will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence,for their lives are precious to him.” Psalms 72:1-4,12-14
“If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations….Then the land will yield large crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it…“The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me…In the jubilee year, the land must be returned to the original owners so they can return to their family land. Do not charge interest or make a profit at his expense. Leviticus 25:18-19,23, 28, 36 (see also Joshua 13-18)
“During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.” 1 Kings 4:25 NLT
“About this time some of the men and their wives raised a cry of protest against their fellow Jews…We belong to the same family as those who are wealthy, and our children are just like theirs. Yet we must sell our children into slavery just to get enough money to live. When I heard their complaints, I was very angry. After thinking it over, I spoke out against these nobles and officials. I told them, “You are hurting your own relatives by charging interest when they borrow money!” Then I called a public meeting to deal with the problem. At the meeting I said to them, “We are doing all we can to redeem our Jewish relatives who have had to sell themselves to pagan foreigners, but you are selling them back into slavery again. How often must we redeem them?” And they had nothing to say in their defense.
“What you are doing is not right! Should you not walk in the fear of our God in order to avoid being mocked by enemy nations?…now let us stop this business of charging interest. You must restore their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and homes to them this very day. And repay the interest you charged when you lent them money, grain, new wine, and olive oil. They replied, “We will give back everything and demand nothing more from the people. We will do as you say.”” Nehemiah 5:1,5-12 (NLT)
“Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you. They will be like native-born Israelites to you and will receive an allotment among the tribes. These foreigners are to be given land within the territory of the tribe with whom they now live. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” Ezekiel 47:22,23
“A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.” Proverbs 22:16
What is profoundly disappointing about the Trump campaign’s stab at a semi-coherent economic plan is that it is a dog’s breakfast of some plausible policy ideas, really bad fiscal math and a relapse to the discredited, 35 year-old dogma of sweeping income tax cuts which pay for themselves.
They don’t. As the great Dwight D. Eisenhower proved in the context of the modern welfare and warfare states, politicians have to earn the right to favor the voters with tax reductions by firstdispensing the pain of spending cutbacks and without an exemption for the military-industrial complex, either.Following those precepts, Ike balanced the budget several times; generated an average deficit of less than 1% of GDP during his tenure; shrank the defense budget by 33% in real terms; and presided over the strongest 8-year growth rate (about 3.3%) of any post-war GOP president, including Ronald Reagan.By contrast, the Reagan White House—me included—-fell for the theory of “dynamic scoring” and that the big cuts in the income tax rates would partially pay for themselves via revenue “flowback”. Back in those days the latter was expressed in an economic forecast known as Rosy Scenario, which assumed that in response to the supply side tax cuts, the US economy would get up on its hind legs and leap forward at a real GDP growth rate of more than 4% per year, and as far as the eye could see.What happened instead, of course, is that the US economy plunged into the drink of the deep 1982 recession and the Federal deficit soared to 5% of GDP—a truly shocking outcome back in those innocent days when the old-time fiscal religion still had roots inside the beltway. And it would have also caused enormous economic havoc had not the Gipper’s advisors—me included—talked him to signing three tax bills over 1982-1984 that recaptured roughly 40% of the revenue loss from his cherished tax cuts.Even then, the public debt grew by 250% during Reagan’s eight years—-or by more than under any peacetime President in American history. Yet even to this day the GOP politicians and their economic advisers profess a case of heavy duty amnesia about what happened, claiming that real GDP grew by upwards of 4.5% and that these results were proof positive that “dynamic scoring” of budget of tax cuts is valid.Worse still, they appear to have convinced Donald Trump of this same fallacious revisionist history because it was embedded at the core of the Thursday speech’s fiscal math. (David Stockman’s Contra Corner)Reagan’s chief budget advisor, David Stockman would have delighted in telling the world that Reagan’s tax cuts accomplished exactly what the Reagan administration promised … if he could as an honest man. Here is his own evaluation of the Reagan tax cuts in response to Trump’s tax plan: (I admire his honesty.)http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-22/trump-tax-plan-turns-donald-trickle-down-kingSee also:
Dr. Piketty published an exhaustive tome of hundreds of pages on current economic realities. It was summarized well by VOX.
“One of the big takeaways in Thomas Piketty’s much-discussed Capital in the Twenty-First Century was that deep gulfs of inequality are the historical norm, and the relatively low inequality of the mid-20th century was in fact an anomaly. There is no reason, in other words, to assume inequalities will flatten without policy changes.The International Monetary Fund has also done research showing that there is no clear link between inequality, redistribution, and growth among rich Western nations. So we know that smart efforts to push back on inequality and provide economic security won’t — as conservative economists love to argue — make us all poorer. Inequality, in sum, is a choice, and we can make a different choice.There is growing realization that government action is the only reason poverty fell since the late 1960s, and likely the only reason it would fall again in the future. This recognition has spurred liberals to become much more aggressive in defending the winning parts of the war on poverty, which, properly measured, cut poverty by 40 percent. There’s been a renaissance for the minimum wage in terms of cutting-edge research and activism. The debate is now not whether it should rise but how high it should go.”
8) ALL SHOULD PAY TAX: All must pay taxes so that government workers can be paid (Romans 13:6,7). This must be done with no partiality, so no special handouts to the rich.
“You must never twist justice or show partiality.” Deuteronomy 16:19 (2 Chron. 19:7, Prov. 28:21, Deut. 10:17)
The Panama papers scandals and others have shown that the most wealthy people are not paying taxes that they should. They have hidden up to $32 trillion dollars in offshore accounts and it’s not been taxed. They use loopholes and tax havens to avoid paying a great deal of taxes, sometimes all taxes that they should. If that money was taxed at normal rates, it could easily end poverty worldwide over 100 times (depending on which expert you read, it would take between $60 billion and $175 billion to end poverty worldwide). Greed truly causes enormous amounts of evil.
9) OPPOSE FREE TRADE
The Bible forbids charging interest to the poor, but at the same time it allows charging interest to people from other countries.
You may lend on interest to the foreigner, but to your countryman you may not lend on interest, so that Yahweh your God may bless you in all your undertakings in the land where you are going, in order to take possession of it. Deuteronomy 23:20
“Since 1981, the United States has followed a policy, until the last year or so when we started rethinking it, that we rich countries that produce a lot of food should sell it to poor countries and relieve them of the burden of producing their own food, so, thank goodness, they can leap directly into the industrial era. It has not worked. It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake. It was a mistake that I was a party to. I am not pointing the finger at anybody. I did that. I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did. Nobody else…
I first saw Bob Zoellick say the same thing, the head of the World Bank, where he said, you know, starting in 1981, the wealthy agricultural producing countries genuinely believed that they and the emerging agricultural powers in Brazil and Argentina, which are the only two places that have, parenthetically, increased wheat yields per acre, grain yields per acre in the last decade, because they’re the only places with more than twenty feet of topsoil, that they really believed for twenty years that if you moved agricultural production there and then facilitated its introduction into poorer places, you would free those places to get aid to skip agricultural development and go straight into an industrial era.
And it’s failed everywhere it’s been tried. And you just can’t take the food chain out of production. And it also undermines a lot of the culture, the fabric of life, the sense of self-determination. And I have been involved for several years in agricultural products, principally in Rwanda, Malawi, other places in Africa, and now increasingly in Latin America, and I see this.
So we genuinely thought we were helping Haiti when we restored President Aristide, made a commitment to help rebuild the infrastructure through the Army Corps of Engineers there, and do a lot of other things. And we made this devil’s bargain on rice. And it wasn’t the right thing to do. We should have continued to work to help them be self-sufficient in agriculture. And we — that’s a lot of what we’re doing now. We’re thinking about how can we get the coffee production up, how can we get other kinds of — the mango production up — we had an announcement on that yesterday —- the avocados, lots of other things.
Kim Ives of Haiti Liberté : This is Slick Willie, and they come with the message. They know the sensitivity of the Haitian community — I can say of the progressive American community, too — to all these maneuvers. And so they know the language. We hear the word “solidarity.” We hear the word “sovereignty.” We hear the word — we hear all the right words. But once again, to me, it’s total smoke.
“always try to do good to each other and to all people.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15 (see also Phil. 2:4 and others)
“Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.” 2 Cor. 8:13-14
“Aim for perfection…and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11
“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.” Psalms 51:1-3
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Hosea 4:6
Now Israel pleads with me,‘Help us, for you are our God!’ But it is too late.The people of Israel have rejected what is good,and now their enemies will chase after them. The people have appointed kings without my consent,and princes without my approval.By making idols for themselves from their silver and gold,they have brought about their own destruction….Even though I gave them all my laws,they act as if those laws don’t apply to them.” Hosea 8:2-4,12