There is a lot of fear out there over what the government will do next. Will we be taxed insensible? Will our guns and gold be seized? Will homeschooling remain legal? Must we obtain more registrations and numbers from the central government? Are the banks going bankrupt? Will the dollar devalue into uselessness? Things look very grim.
But we are already taxed insensible, gold was already seized once (in 1933), homeschooling has often been treated as illegal, we already have a universal government registration number, the banks have been essentially bankrupt for decades, the dollar has been devaluing ever since it was invented. It is just devaluing a lot faster now. And things have certainly looked pretty grim in the past. So we do not have an entirely new situation here. I am not saying that nothing different is upon us. Certainly we have cause to be thinking pretty hard about the role of big government and its immoral rule. Some of what is going on is uniquely bad, especially when we consider the international scope of the foundations that are being shaken.
Cycles of Liberty & Judgment
However, let’s remember that the same God who judged the Israelites with the Midianite invasion also raised up Gideon. The God that allowed them (us) to have Saul as king also brought forth the lion-hearted David. Ahab and the devilish Jezebel were killed, with Ahab’s sons’ heads filling two large baskets at Jezreel. Then, better kings were given with Jehu destroying the prophets of Baal, and Jehoash who restored the temple. All of this occurred under the Old Covenant. Tongues of fire had not yet descended on God’s people, and the gospels were unwritten. Those of us enlightened by a better Sacrifice surely should have higher hope.
When Roosevelt declared gold to be illegal to “hoard” (meaning to have some) on April 5, 1933, he demanded that it be turned over to a Federal Reserve Bank or subsidiary by May 1st, only three weeks hence. His executive order #6102 forced wise and frugal private citizens to sell their gold by order of the Federal Government for $20.67 per ounce. Shortly thereafter Roosevelt’s government officially raised the price of gold to $35.00 per ounce and fixed that price by law, thus adding countless billions to the Federal Reserve balance sheets in a shameful act of public thievery.
Through the efforts of James U. Blanchard III, Gerald Ford was convinced to have the ownership of gold legalized in the United States in 1975, 42 years after its confiscation. To the good of the American people the pendulum had swung back. Some liberty was restored.
During the 1730’s our country and England suffered a major stocks and financial collapse. There had never been a strong supply of gold or silver coinage (specie, as they called it) since the time of our first settlement. Now difficulties multiplied and people struggled to survive. But God has a way of using those times of trouble. After several years of hardship the hearts of the people were ready to return to their faith. In the 1740s Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield led a revival that swept the nation bringing tens of thousands to Christ. The seeming curse of the 1730s led to abundant blessing in the 1740s and beyond. The power of that Great Awakening rolled forward into the 1770s laying a foundation that influenced the winning of our liberty and the writing of Godly laws for decades thereafter. Life in early America was far from perfect but conditions did improve and people experienced wider freedom than had been seen since the time of the Judges.
Awaken Our Hope in God’s Providence
Our era is marked by a church with no message, and, that is filled with disobedient people. Our hearts are harder than black obsidian stone. The church cannot speak to this culture because we are part and parcel of it. We think the world is corrupt but the world scorns us because we live just like they do. Our message is lost and along with it went our vision and hope. Jesus tells us that the man who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not worthy of the kingdom. We do not have to worry much looking back because we have never really put our hands to the plow. Maybe the present troubles will cause us to wake from our slumber and re-start the work of the kingdom. We wonder if things can get much worse. They can. When I read Deuteronomy 28, I think, yes they can. When I read about King Ahab I am reminded, yes they can. But they may also improve.
We are on the cusp of rapid change. The old enlightenment, humanist order is collapsing under its own immorality and financial impossibility. They have no answers. Everything they have tried (government schools, state welfare-ism, the abandonment of Biblical morality, glorification of single motherhood, heavy government debt to support utopian dreams) has led only to a morally and financially bankrupt society. Meanwhile, God’s answers to our needs remains as the wisest counsel of the ages. The church stands astride what could be the greatest opportunity since the Reformation, for the advance of God’s kingdom.
Hope for Our Nation & Our Neighbors
As our nation comes under increasing discipline and our families are put under stress within that nation, we need to remember a few things. Remember the One who died and rose again for us. Remember that we (the church) are a royal priesthood and a holy nation. Remember that the small voice in the midst of the storm comes from a mighty God who never forgets His own. Remember that our lost neighbors are a lot more scared than we are. This is a providential moment to share hope in Christ. Remember to pray tho the sky seems like brass. And, remember the brethren, encouraging the hearts of the saints.
This post was first published in Every Thought Captive magazine, 2009.
Economics for Everybody by Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr.
Everybody talks about it. The news is full of it. But most Christians know very little about it. Economics: it’s everywhere, influencing everything, yet so rarely understood.
Economics for Everybody seeks to remedy that through an insightful and entertaining exploration of the principles, practices, and consequences of economics. Thoroughly unconventional, it links entrepreneurship with lemonade, cartoons with markets, and Charlie Chaplin with supply and demand. It’s funny, clever, profound and instructive.