Four powerful words: “We Can’t Afford It.” These are words that are lobotomized out of the vocabulary of insatiable materialism and politicians. Instead of admitting that we as a nation can’t afford helpful, but expensive programs; we keep spending. (Both Democrats and Republicans Spend, Spend, Spend!) Washington D.C. lives up to the meaning of poli-tics– “Poly” meaning many, and “Tics” meaning blood-sucking.  Our leaders are sucking the blood from our children by spending too much today.   I heard a marriage counselor quip about this once.  He said, “The problem with most marriages is that one person is the tick, and the other person is the dog.  Unfortunately in too many marriages, the real problem is that you have two ticks, and no dog!   And that’s why your marriage “sucks.”  His point is clear, taking rather than giving not only destroys relationships, it also bankrupts countries. What would God say about debt for a family, or for a nation? Actually, He says quite a bit!

When we borrow from the future by committing our grandchildren to interest on our reckless spending, it’s foolish and immoral. Proverbs 15:22 states, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children”. We should not leave our children or grandchildren with the burden of paying for our wasteful spending. As of today, we are 14 trillion in the hole or 120 trillion in the whole with unfunded liabilities according to Does it seem wise or moral to commit our children and grandchildren to paying later for our overspending today?

Proverbs 13:7 tells us that there are two types of people: those who “pretend to be rich” buying stuff they can’t afford, and “those who pretend to be poor” and don’t spend all the money they could. The overspending pretender really has nothing but a bill, while the frugal and wise saver has money in the bank.

You’d think at over 110 trillion, we could all look ourselves in the mirror and say, “WHOA! This is not good. This is not wise. This is immoral. We are in trouble. We can’t afford it–whatever “it is!” We want to see the common sense wisdom of Proverbs 21:20: “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.”  Solomon noted that when you stop by the bank account of a wise man (or wise nation), they have treasure (savings) in their bank accounts. Solomon says that when you stop by the foolish nation (or family), they have spent everything they have (no margin, no savings, just credit card bills). At a national level, we want our grandchildren to go to America’s bank vault and find oil and treasure when they grow up, not the bill for all the stuff we “spent” a generation ago.  When we demand that our government keep providing services for things we cannot afford, we are asking them to enslave our grandchildren.

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I had an opportunity to speak with Glenn Beck recently about the Biblical case for free market capitalism.  Here is a clip.

I was reading the book of Ruth again this week and struck by God’s powerful record of Godly business men.  The book of Ruth should be called the Book of Naomi.   It tells the story of a mother who endures terrible tragedy.  Her business fails due to famine. She is forced to move cross country with her husband. In the span of a few years, she loses her husband and both of her sons. She is so terrified, so angry, so hardened by life’s relentless attacks that she changes her name to “bitter.” She returns to her hometown and asks everyone to call her bitter as a constant reminder that God is out to get her.

Enter the scene, Boaz.   Boaz is a business owner. Boaz is a capitalist.  Boaz owns lots of land.   He is rich.  He lives his life to do kingdom work. What is kingdom work?  Well, first he runs a successful business making enough profit to provide jobs for many in his town.  Secondly, he cuts his margins and expenses to enable generosity.  He leaves the corners of his fields for the poor to glean. They still must work to pick up the food, but no one will go hungry.    Boaz doesn’t sit up in some ivory tower away from his employees, but instead sleeps in the barn with them to protect the produce from animals.   Boaz is a blessing not just by giving to the poor, but by providing jobs for the poor and middle class in his community.  He is not to be demonized, but celebrated.

Ruth and Naomi are starving. Boaz allows Ruth to glean her fields. Boaz has heard about Ruth’s love for God and care for her bitter mother-in-law.  Boaz asks his men to drop “extra” food as the glean for Ruth and her mother.   Ruth comes home with a basket full.  Naomi is surprised.  She praises God for the first time… in a long time. She notes that God may not have forsaken them.  Boaz’s business and generosity is the tool God uses to bring Naomi back to faith in the Great God Jehovah. The story is littered with Biblical principles of capitalism:  Work Ethic, Property Rights, Incentive, Profit, Savings, Fair Wages, and a Generous Spirit.

We need to celebrate capitalism today. We need to distinguish capitalism from corruptionism in our culture. We need a thousand more Boaz’s in America to take down the unemployment rate.  We need to educate our children to grow up to produce, profit, save, invest, and give.   We need our children to intuitively see business as good and a blessing to our nation, instead of “evil” greedy trolls ~as they are portrayed in movies and TV shows.  The Bible challenges the “progressive” movement to think deeper than bumper stickers. It challenges them to examine if they are being used as “useful idiots” for a coercive corrupt government clock and dagger.  The Bible also challenges the unthinking banner waving republican who presumes business is always good.   It challenges us as business leaders to pay fairly using the golden rule as our standard.   It challenges us to put ourselves in the shoes of our employees.  It challenges us not to use the government to steal from someone to enhance our endeavors over someone else.   The Bible is not Red or Blue.  It does not support Democrats or Republicans. God is not on “one side” or the other.  God is on God’s side.  We need to side with Him rather than trying to get Him to side with us.    Capitalism (properly defined and implemented) is the most moral, wise, and generous system of elevated poverty in human history.  We need more, not less, of it.  Jesus worked and sold goods in his dad’s carpenter shop.  His family celebrated when they made a profit so they could buy food and give to others.   All records seem to indicate that Jesus’ family was very very poor.  The sacrifice they offered at Jesus’ dedication was the cheapest sacrifice offering, further evidence to their financial struggles.   The Bible doesn’t promise financial prosperity to all, but it does see prosperity as a critical stewardship.  Jesus made money as a blue collar carpenter and didn’t promote hiring Rome to steal from the three kings to give to the shepherds.   Jesus is no more a Marxist than he would be a murderer. Jesus is no more a socialist than he would be a bank robber.

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In the Old Testament, Ruth chapter 2, we see a great example of Godonomics. His name is Boaz, a rather wealthy land owner.

1 “There was a relative of Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech

He is such a successful producer that he is able to both hire lots of employees (reapers for his field), as well as leave the corners of his fields for the poor and needy. Ruth and her mother-in-law are in financial trouble, but are allowed to “work” for their food from the percentage of his field that he left available to the needy. Notice that even in this model, we see Boaz as an example of prosperity and generosity to those in need; however, as he helps the poor, he still requires them to work for their reward and incentive. Ruth, comes ready to work (glean) and asks Boaz’s employees for permission (respecting his property rights).

His name was Boaz. 2 So Ruth went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. 7 And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.

As a boss, Boaz is respected by his employees. He treats them with respect, provides a means for income, and a way for them to be generous with his money, as well as their own.

4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered him, “The LORD bless you!” 5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” 8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. 9 Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them.”

Although Boaz is often generous to the needy, he goes out of his way to reward her hard work. He doesn’t treat everyone who comes to him equally, but fairly. And his special treatment is the reward for her hard work and her selfless generosity to her mother-in-law. Notice how the concept of both repayment and reward are on his mind, as he speaks about her reputation in the town.

11 And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”

Godonomics is about liberty, prosperity, and generosity. It values property rights, pays people fairly not equally, and understands that reward and incentive are critical for both employees and those in need.  God’s wisdom challenges us to steward the talents and opportunities we’ve been given to make lots of money and give generously to the poor and needy.  Godonomics transcends politics and labels. Some might call Boaz an “evil-conservative” big business rich guy because of his wealth. Others might call him a “bleeding-heart” liberal who champions the cause of the poor, the downtrodden, and the hurting.  God calls him a faithful steward.


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Here is a recent sermon describing how we can all worship through our work, without worshipping our work

09/02/12 “Uncovering the Entrepreneur” (Chad Hovind)

The Gift of Work
At the heart of Godonomics is the value and God-given joy of work. Work and labor are gifts from God. He has given us talents to develop and opportunities to utilize them. God expects us to see work as a gift from Him. God wants His people working to provide for themselves and others rather than depending on others to provide for them. In fact, as soon as God made mankind, He gave them work to do.

Genesis 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

This theme of seeing work as both important and a Biblical command is critical to Godonomics, capitalism, and any successful business or family. Scriptures teach that all of life is spiritual. Work can be as holy as prayer or communion. All of life can be an act of service to God. This was a radically different lens when it was introduced compared to the Greek philosophers of the first century who taught Dualism. Dualism, or Gnosticism, is the belief that there are “spiritual activities” like prayer and church attendance and “nonspiritual” activities like work, recreation, and career.

The Bible teaches that every moment of every day is to be infused with the potential of pleasing God. There is no distinction between spiritual and non-spiritual. Since our work is a way to please God, every day is ripe with the potential for meaning and purpose. Whether you like your job or not… Whether you like your boss or not… The Bible says we can see work through a totally different lens. When we work, we are ultimately working for God. When we use every moment as a spiritual act of worship, we are looking forward to the reward of our labor. There is both an earthly reward (my paycheck and profits) as well as the heavenly reward of hearing “Well done, good and faithful servant.” God will reward us eternally for working diligently and wisely today.

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