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Economic Principles, Part 5 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 22 September 2008 15:43

How do the Principles we have been discussing apply today? We jump ahead and begin by declaring our belief that the Covenant People of God today are the Church, the Body of Christ. What follows is predicated upon this truth. Inasmuch as the Church is the New Israel, the Land now belongs to it. “Israel and the Land” is a paradigm, a model, for the Church and the Land. [How we got to this position is another long study. Especially helpful is God's Design: A Focus on Old Testament Theology by Elmer Armerding and An Eye for an Eye: The Place of Old Testament Ethics Today by Christopher J.H.Wright]

What could the “Land” be vis-a-vis the Church? Originally, the Land [not the entire Earth- the particular Land promised to Abraham and his descendants] was gifted to each Israelite Tribe and family for two reason. First, it was a sign of membership in the Covenant People of God. But, Land no longer is a sign of this. Second, Land was given to the Israelites as a means of self-support: to provide income, sustenance, for its owners. Land is no longer the primary means of self-support for hundreds of millions of Christians around the globe. They are leaving any land they had and moving to live in ever growing cities. Of course, there is no life for anyone, apart from the Earth and its resources; but, the days of “family farming” are long gone for most people. Finally, there is virtually nothing about actual land in the New Testament at all.

For these three reasons, we will look for a parallel concept in which the “Land” would be an analogy or type of something else. That something else is the Kingdom. To live in the Land today is to live in the Kingdom of God. The latter must be carefully defined.

The major subject of the preaching and teaching of Jesus was the Kingdom. (Matt 9:35, et. al.). The word itself has two basic meanings: dynamic, spiritual Reign and objective Realm. “Kingdom” is not a synonym for Church. (Actually, the Kingdom is far greater and more inclusive than the Church. The Church is better considered the primary means or channel through which Christ works to accomplish the Goal, which is the Kingdom.)

Principles of Economics, Part 6 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 22 September 2008 15:40
Here are those Biblical Economic Principles, revealed in the Torah and given to Israel, which are to be practiced by the Covenant People of God Church) today:

Stewardship still comes first. The Creation or Cultural Mandate remains in effect and is to be taught and obeyed by the Church. It is understood that this still involves the care and cultivation of the entire earth and its resources- everything that sustains life and the economic processes that make that possible for all.

Sharing is to be the defining characteristic of life for all Christians. See 1 Timothy 6:17. Money and Profit are to be vigorously pursued, but motivated by Ministry, not self-gratification. Compare the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35) with the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-14, 18)

The extended Family is particularly the provenance of sharing. 1 Timothy 5:3 Here is the heart, the source, the well spring from which sharing flows. Note: Christians must be activists on behalf of the family, especially the extended family. This means the family is the primary care giver of its members who might become homeless or destitute due to tragedy, crisis or oppression. We must be pro-natalist, pro-elderly, pro-life in every sense, across the generations. Thus would mean opposing trends in society, as well as government programs and legislation, that undermine extended and muti-generational families. I say “extended”, because it is far closer to the Biblical Family than either the contemporary (any combination of two or more people of any age living together) or Victorian (the nuclear combination of a married Dad and Mom and their two ? children) definitions of family.
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