Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2014
The Gospel

Congress should:
  • Preach the Gospel


What is "the Gospel?"[2] That sounds like a simple question, and most Christians could probably give a simple answer, but their answer would be, in most cases, simply inadequate. The overwhelming majority of "christians" today have a crippled view of "the Gospel."

Are you sure you're going to heaven?

"Yes," they say, "because I believe the Gospel!"

What is "The Gospel?"

"'Believe The Gospel and you shall go to heaven.'"

But what exactly is "The Gospel" to be believed?

"The Gospel is the 'Good News' that everyone who believes the Gospel gets to go to heaven."

But how would you state the content of "The Gospel" that everyone should believe?

"That you go to heaven based on whether you believe The Gospel, not based on your works."

Do I sense an impenetrable circle here?

One of the words most frequently associated with "gospel" (or the Greek word for "preach the gospel") is "kingdom" (Matthew 4:23; Matthew 9:35; Matthew 24:14; Mark 1:14; Mark 1:15; Luke 4:43; Luke 8:1; Luke 16:16; Acts 8:12). The Gospel has something to do with the reign of Christ the King, which was "at hand."

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, {15} And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
(Mark 1:14-15)

But for most Christians, the reign of Christ is either limited to one's own heart, or postponed to the increasingly-distant future.

In Part One of The Christmas Conspiracy we saw the Biblical evidence for a Christian conspiracy to take over the world. The Architect of this conspiracy is the Triune God of Scripture. Jesus Christ came into the world on the first Christmas to put this Conspiracy into effect. The Machinery of His New World Order has been set up, and now He is raising up co-conspirators to take over the planet. The recruiting of billions of co-conspirators is the present task of His followers. We shall succeed. Part Two of The Christmas Conspiracy proves this guarantee of success from Scripture.


The God of the Bible has predestined The Christmas Conspiracy to succeed. The "Vine & Fig Tree" vision of heaven on earth spoken of by the Prophets will one day be "mainstream," although it is now just a minority.

Again, we look to the Prophet Micah, who has already described the victory of Christ's Kingdom:

And it will come about in the last days
That the mountain of the House of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains
And it will be raised above the hills
And the peoples will stream to it.
And many nations will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD
And to the House of the God of Jacob,
That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths."
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation
And never again will they train for war.
And each of them will sit under his
Vine and under his fig tree,
With no one to make them afraid.
For the LORD of hosts has spoken.
Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the Name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.
In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth,
and I will gather her that is driven out,
and her that I have afflicted;
And I will make her that halted a remnant,
and her that was cast far off a strong nation:
and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion
from henceforth, even for ever.

And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, 'All power is given to me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age'
(Matthew 28:18-20).

Here are some of the more popular "gospels" going around today:

The Neo-Platonist Gospel

Neo-Platonism is the view that the material is inferior to the spiritual. The body is to be despised, the soul (or spirit, or mind, or heart) is to be our focus. The "good news" of the Neo-Platonist is that we shall soon leave the planet and live forever as disembodied spirits. Until then we can ignore society-wide injustice, ignore the creation, become ascetics and perhaps, like the great Neo-Platonists of old, mutilate and abuse our bodies as a sign of our great self-control. Upbeat "evangelical" neo-platonists will sing about the "joy" they have "down in my heart."

The Gospel According to Hal Lindsey

The New York Times does not really tell us which are the best-selling books. Books sold in Christian bookstores or by direct-mail solicitations predicting that Christ will return before 1988 have not been counted by the Times, even if such books have sold more copies than the entire Times top ten list combined. This may be bad news for Hal Lindsey, but it makes for "good news" which is "fit to print" for those who cringe at the "good news" according to Hal: Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. Millions sold.[3] "Good News"?

The Gospel According to "Dispensationalism"

Deuteronomy 28 (and the rest of the Old Testament) speaks of God "blessing" those who seek first the Kingdom of God and "cursing" those who reject His Kingdom and Law in search of the "blessing" of the Empire of Man. The "good news" heard in the overwhelming majority of fundamentalist churches today is that no one is obligated to undergo metanoia (radical repentance) according the Standard set forth by the Law and the Prophets. "We're not under law, we're under grace."[4] No need to worry about being a peacemaker, or hungering for justice. The bad news? No "blessing." Except "down in your heart" (see "The Neo-Platonist Gospel").

The Gospel According to Amillennialism

From two Greek words, "A" (without), and "millennium" (golden age), this eschatological[5] option holds that things get worse and worse until we die or Christ comes back and everybody goes to heaven. (see "Neo-Platonism")

The Gospel According to Premillennialism

From "pre," (before), and millennium, this view of the Good News holds that Jesus comes again a Second time, before the "millennium" starts. The bad news: before He comes, the Roman Empire is revived, millions are tortured to death by the United Nations, and Russia nukes a third of the Earth into oblivion, beginning with Israel. Christ then returns to set up a top-down hierarchy administered by an army of born-again bureaucrats headquartered in Jerusalem, where He has reinstated Jewish-mandated animal sacrifices. More bad news: In the United States, at least 50 million people follow preachers of this "gospel." (see "Dispensationalism.")

The Gospel According to Caesar

In reaction to the pessimistic and Neo-Platonic "gospels" above, a growing number of Christians are attempting to "have an influence" in their society. They hope to replace secular politicians with Christian politicians. While they want the family and the institutional church to be strengthened, they do not challenge the state-centered paradigm of the Secular Humanist world. They believe that the State, rather than the "free market," is necessary to bring social order, health, harmony, and peace -- all concepts which are part of the Biblical word for "salvation." But the "good news" in the Bible is not that the political machinery of Babylon "will be the habitation of the saints." The "good news" is "Babylon has fallen!" (Revelation 18:2)

The "Good News": The Conspiracy Succeeds!

Where was "the Gospel" first preached? Early in the book of Acts? The Middle of Matthew? What was the content of this message? What exactly are the "glad tidings"? Galatians 3:8 gives us an answer:

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, "In thee shall all nations be blessed."

Everything in this verse strikes out at modern-day Evangelicalism. Modern evangelists limit the Word of God to but a few passages or books in the Bible (usually in the New Testament) and are surprised to find the Gospel in the book of Genesis. But it is also the content of this Gospel that is so foreign to most evangelists today. Again, for the overwhelming majority of "christians" in the latter part of the 20th century, "the gospel" is a crippled version of the original: it is the "good news" that although the world is getting worse and worse, I'm going to be "raptured" out of history and out of responsibility, and into eternal self-indulgence.

The Gospel which was preached to Abraham was that "all nations shall be blessed!" This is indeed "Good News!"

Good News: Law and Blessing

It is impossible to understand the Gospel without understanding the Law. In the Law of Moses (that is, the first five books of the Bible, and "The Book of the Covenant" [Ex. 24:7] - the "case laws" - in particular) we have not only promises of the coming Messiah but also concepts which are foundational to the Gospel. Without an understanding of these concepts the Gospel cannot be understood.[6]

According to Galatians 3:8, the Gospel is the promise that "all nations shall be blessed." What is "blessed?" This word is defined in the Law and the rest of the Bible assumes this definition without necessarily repeating it. We must, therefore, study the Law to find out what the Gospel is.

Perhaps the clearest definition of "blessing" is to be found in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy. The entire chapter is devoted to explaining the concept of "blessing" and its opposite, "cursing." Blessing comes upon the obedient, while cursing comes upon the disobedient. The first two verses set the stage for an explication of the word "blessing:"

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

We will see in more detail what exactly God commanded; by the time Deuteronomy 28 was handed down, it was already abundantly clear. The prophets made it clearer. Then Jesus upheld all these commands[7] (Matthew 5:17-20) and the rich, the powerful, usurers, adulterous politicians, religious extortioners, military imperialists, and self-indulgent escapists all clamored for His execution. Something in the Law of God obviously irritated these kinds of people.

The next twelve verses give the details of what it means to be "blessed." These include:

Increased fertility and productivity (vv. 4-5),
Regardless of geographical location (v. 2),
In all the affairs of life (v. 6).
Enemies shall self-destruct (v. 7),
All economic activities shall succeed (v. 8),
If we walk in His Ways (v. 9).
Our example of Godliness will be imitated by all other nations (v.10).
We will have a surplus of goods (v. 11),
Eliminating trade deficits and debt (v. 12),
If we observe His Law (v. 13).

Rather than print the verses here, I will allow you to read them in your own Bible, as you may wish to underline or mark the passage. (You may also wish to compare Leviticus 26.) All of these (very material) "blessings" are offensive to the Neo-Platonist.

The verses that follow (vv. 15-68) give a detailed description of the opposite of "blessing," which is "cursing." Verse 15 serves the same function as verses 1 and 2 did:

But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

That so much of the chapter is devoted to setting forth the meaning of cursing rather than blessing is due to the fact that Spirit-less Israel was not predestined to believe the Gospel, would not obey the LORD (as had already been hinted [Deuteronomy 17:14f.] and would shortly be more fully set forth [ch. 32; cf. 31:20-21]).

But the glorious fact about the New Covenant is that "all nations shall be blessed!" Of course, this is just another way of saying that, in sharp contrast to Israel, the heathen nations would be obedient to the LORD, in terms of His Covenant.[8] As Deuteronomy 28 makes very clear, blessings come upon the obedient, while upon the disobedient come cursings. That all nations would indeed[9] be obedient is set forth in the many Gospel promises found in the Old Testament. Let us examine some of them.

Prophetic Gospel and Promise

To understand the Old Testament prophets, it is necessary to recall[10] that in "the last days" of the Old Covenant world, Jesus the Messiah inaugurated a New Age, the Age of a Spiritual[11] Kingdom, wherein believers are priests and kings under the Christ, through whom He extends His reign through the power of the Holy Spirit and by the Word. We can begin our survey, as does Galatians 3:8, with Abraham.

The Gospel is given to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3. " thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." More specifically, "in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 28:14). The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 3:16 that Abraham's seed (singular) is Christ; thus in Christ shall all families be blessed; more specifically, in those who are "in Christ" (Galatians 3:7,9,14,28-29; Romans 4:16; 9:8), and for this essay, that means Jesus' "co-conspirators" and others who believe the Biblical Gospel.

Another promise of the successful spread of the Gospel is given in Genesis 49:10:

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between His feet, until Shiloah come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.

"The gathering of the people" was a concept picked up by ancient Empires and attributed to their acts of conquest and captivity.[12] They perished (Matthew 26:52). The Law and the Prophets spoke of this gathering as occurring freely, spontaneously, without tyranny. Only an all-powerful King could guarantee the coercion-free prosperity and spread of His Kingdom. Such dominion was prophesied of Christ by Balaam in Numbers 24:17-19:

There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel.... Out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion.

At the time of Moses, the refusal of the people of Israel to listen to the Lord's prophets became particularly evident. But the LORD promised to raise up a Prophet Who, although human ("made of a woman" [Galatians 4:4; John 1:14]), would have the Power to enable the people to hear. Moses declared,

The LORD thy God shall raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken.
Deuteronomy 18:15

By God's grace and power, people would hear, not reject, this Prophet. Peter, in Acts 3:22, and Stephen, in Acts 7:37, said that Christ was the Prophet spoken of in Deuteronomy 18:15. The Apostle Paul knew that all nations would be gathered unto Him, and knew that Christ was that Prophet Who would be heard. For this reason, when the Jews treated Christ as they did all the other prophets (Matthew 23:37- 38; Matthew 21:43), Paul turned from their Empire-worshiping stubbornness and preached unto the Gentiles of all the other nations, victims of the violence of Pax Romana, knowing that they would gladly receive the Good News of Christ's Kingship (Acts 18:6; 28:28; 13:48).

When the Jews heard that Christ of Nazareth was the Messiah-King promised by the Scripture, they were not at all delighted, for they were hoping for a political king who would militarily deliver them from oppression so that they could begin to oppress their oppressors. But Christ was not a political king, and His power is greater than mere military power. He doesn't just change the external behavior of citizens through coercion or threats of force; in His Kingdom behavior change comes from the heart: by His Holy Spirit, the King changes people's hearts! Although greatly sought after, this is the kind of power modern socialist planners and psycho-political manipulators can only dream of. Thus, when Peter and the Apostles did not hesitate to preach the full-orbed Gospel to the Gentiles, King Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit upon them. Their hearts were opened, and they believed the Gospel (Acts 10:44-48; cf. Acts 16:14). Christ truly is the Prophet Who would be heard.

It should be noted, however, that the Spirit does not act to open hearts to a diluted, statist, neo-platonic "gospel." When our hearts are opened, we hear the Gospel which Jesus preached to the poor (Luke 4:18-19), and lived out in a life of Self-sacrifice. We become Patriarchs, like Abraham.

"All Flesh Will See the Salvation of God"

What are "Blessings?"


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved. . . .  And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


"Blessing" means two things:

  • It means God is gracious (even though He is also "the Supreme Judge")
  • It means God is in control -- "Providence" -- and brings all things to pass in a way that benefits His People.

"God Bless America"

We heard this phrase a lot in the days following 9-11. But do we really want God intervening in human history, changing things, ruling things, undoing what man has done? Isn't deism more comfortable: God creating the universe but stepping back, refusing to get involved in any way, letting man the new god have his own way? 

Are we a nation of hypocrites?

God Bless America, by Irving Berlin

"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God Bless America.
Land that I love
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies ,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America
My home sweet home."

see also USA Today: 

Every "solemn prayer" is a request for God to take charge.
Every prayer is a request for Theocracy.

Jesus said the meek would be "blessed" and would "inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5; Psalm 37:11; Numbers 12:3). The New Testament says that "the Gospel" is the "good news" that God has promised world-wide "blessing" (Galatians 3:8).

What does it mean to be "blessed"?

There are two heretical answers to this question. Both of these views are in conflict with the vision of Vine & Fig Tree.

The first advises us to "Name it and Claim it." As Christians we are entitled to pink Cadillacs and green golf courses. If we have faith, we will have wealth. Vine & Fig Tree is a vision of conflict with "the powers that be," a conflict which Jesus says will lead to the Cross (that is, execution). It is a vision of solidarity with the "driven out" and "afflicted"; with the crippled and the cast off (Micah 4:6-7); with "the least of these" (Matthew 25:35). It is a willingness voluntarily to endure poverty in order to reach the City of God..
The second heresy is "pietism," or "neo-platonism." It says that the material world is inferior to the "spiritual" (non-material) world. It tells us to flee beauty and embrace poverty.
But Vine & Fig Tree is also a vision of
the world-wide restoration
Material abundance unimagined by the televangelists and pink cadillac set.

A popular bumper-sticker among the Berkeley crowd advises us to "Live Simply that others may Simply Live." The idea is that my wealth is stolen from others. The idea of "simple living" sometimes gets in the way of Biblical beauty.

Even those who have "simple living" bumper stickers on their cars do not live simply, and every person who signed the Declaration of Independence (1776) would consider such "simple" folk to be living in the lap of luxury in a highly-complex industrialized society. Every time they flush a toilet or turn on the heat (whether electricity or natural gas), they take advantage of huge and complex industries that provide a wealthy standard of living that human beings 200 years ago could not have have imagined.

The Bible is really really clear: When God created the material world, He said it was "very good." Wild wealth and beauty are promises to the righteous. Abraham had them, Solomon had them, Jesus promises them. They are promises of "blessing."

Whole chapters of the Bible are dedicated to describing promises of extravagant blessings to the faithful. Here's one from Leviticus:

{26:3} If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them,
{4} then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
{5} Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last till the time of sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
{6} I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword will not go through your land.
{7} You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you.
{8} Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.
{9} 'For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you.
{10} You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new.
{11} I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you.
{12} I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
{13} I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.

And more from Deuteronomy:

{28:1} "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.
{2} "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
{3} "Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
{4} "Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
{5} "Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
{6} "Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
{7} "The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
{8} "The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
{9} "The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.
{10} "Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.
{11} "And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
{12} "The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
{13} "And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.
{14} "So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Deuteronomy 28 is a long chapter. It is also an unfamiliar chapter to most "christians," because they are infected with "neo-platonism," a pagan philosophy which holds that the material world is inferior to the world of thought and ideas. But the Bible says that the material world was created by God. Therefore whole-Bible Christians work to have a healthy respect for the creation and its bounty.

Here's how I sum up the major blessings of Deuteronomy 28:

1. "Set thee on high above all peoples of the earth."[1]
2. "Blessed in the city" (v. 3)
3. "Blessed in the fields" (v. 3)
4. "Blessed children" (v. 4)
5. "Blessed crops" (v. 4)
6. "Blessed livestock" (v. 4)
7. "Blessed graineries" (v. 5)
8. "Blessed bakeries" (v. 5)
9. Successful business (v. 6)
10. Peaceful International relations (v. 7)
11. Abundance in the barns (v. 8)
12. Success in every activity (v. 8)
13. Enemies at peace with us (v. 10)
14. Abundant goods (v. 11)
15. Abundant children (v. 11)
16. Abundant cattle (v. 11)
17. Lots to eat (v. 11)
18. "His good treasure" (v. 12)
19. Adequate rain (v. 12)
20. Business success (v. 12)
21. Debts paid (v. 12)
22. Investments (v. 12)
23. Respect (v. 13)

And of course, verses 15-68 give the opposite, and we may deduce that "none of these" curses will come upon the saved (Exodus 15:26).[2]

Since God spent so much time here and in similar places spelling out in detail many material rewards and considerations which should motivate us to become Godly, I don't think it's too heretical to dwell on them just for a while.

Consider the economic implications of all that "abundance." It means that steak is a dime a pound and pineapples are a nickel each.

God created human beings to engage in a quest for unlimited material wealth, but to pursue that quest to the glory of God, and mindful of the needs of others.

Today, TV and junk email are filled with promises of $1,000,000 salaries and burgeoning bank accounts. One does not need a lot of money (cash) if the earth has all the abundance God promises. At those prices, food would be about 2% of our income. How much income would you have to have to arrive at the place where your current food budget is 2% of your income? If we had stable families and no State, we would have inherited the Family Farm and wouldn't have to be paying rent. Wouldn't that be a "blessing?"

But as wealth is promised in God's Covenant, any culture that violates God's Covenant can expect poverty. And God's Covenant is communitarian, not just individualistic. That means that a very Godly person in a very unGodly culture might not be wealthy. In our day, a money system which the Bible describes as "abominable" complicates our understanding of wealth. It's difficult to imagine living in a state of blessedness, because our economy is so unGodly. It is also difficult to imagine becoming wealthy and blessed in the modern economy because earning and spending money almost inescapably involves committing acts which are called "abominable" by the Scriptures. Because I try to avoid using modern money, I don't anticipate great wealth in my lifetime. I still believe, however, that wealth is a legitimate Biblical goal (Genesis 13:2).

Much of what passes for "wealth" in our day is actually poverty.

  • A programmable VCR -- instead of a vivid imagination, a gift for storytelling, and a room full of kids learning life-changing moral lessons;
  • An iPod -- instead of a home-schooled ability to play several musical instruments and a circle of like friends playing together for the benefit of others who are part of a community feast praising God for His blessings
  • A Stauffer's gourmet microwave meal -- instead of a home full of domestic apprentices who have left the streets and are learning valuable skills by preparing meals for that community banquet.
  • A 30-year mortgage on an over-priced tract home in the "right" neighborhood -- rather than land owned freely without threat of government regulation or confiscation.
  • Irradiated produce grown by underpaid pesticide-sprayed immigrants trucked to a trendy grocery store marked "garden fresh" -- rather than garden fresh.

Irwin Schiff paints a wonderful picture of economic decline in his delightful book, The Kingdom of Moltz. The typical 1950's family is seen in their front yard, husband and wife reclining in hammocks, neighbor kid mowing the lawn, another neighbor kid bringing groceries from the store on his bike, a big car with fins (pricetag: $1500), a nice house in good condition (price: $15,000). As the panels unfold through the '60's, '70's and '80's, the husband leaves the hammock to mow the lawn, kids no longer have after-school jobs, the wife leaves the hammock to get a second income, and the house and car get smaller as the pricetag gets larger. But because of the paper profits of a few, we are told that the economy has never been better.

In the years I spent in a Catholic Worker House of Hospitality, I noticed this schizophrenia: an anti-materialism combined with a love of community and the poor. We served abundant, home-cooked meals in our dining room. We used tablecloths, flower centerpieces, china plates and cloth napkins. The poor were not "clients," they were friends. Abraham rescued hundreds of castaways from Humanism's empires and adopted them into his household (Genesis 12:5; Psalm 68:6). And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold (Genesis 13:2).

And yet the Catholic Worker has a decided bias against wealth.

I think it would be Godly to ask the Lord to bless a business so that the "works of mercy" (Matthew 25:35) could be practiced; a House of Hospitality could be established and funded; a home could be a "community center" (as Gothard calls it). Everyone should have this goal. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I look at it this way: If I want to imitate Abraham and invite the homeless to live with me and become patriarchs themselves, what do I need? New beds, the old jalopy in the back yard fixed so people can go out for job interviews, suit (for meetings with people who are irrationally prejudiced against faded Levis), ability to help them wash their clothes, and so on. Is it also heretical to appreciate society-wide blessings which help the poor: clean air, health, etc.? And what about the promises of abundance? Are we supposed to be repulsed by them? The description of the temple and the "New Jerusalem" jewels, precious stones, unimaginable beauty. Jesus has brought us to the New Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22); shouldn't we at least have the "Hidden Art" that Edith Schaeffer wrote about?

I have to think about it this way: I'm content with the status quo. I have enough to eat. Things could be better, but they're OK. So why shouldn't they stay that way? Isn't "living simply" good enough? What could motivate me to want more than what I "need"? Why should I be attracted to abundance?

Two possibilities: Greed. Covetousness. The desire to be as God.
"NEW AGE HUMANISM!!!" some will probably say.

Or: God's Will.

Go back to Deuteronomy 28: I have enough food. Why should I be blessed with "abundant crops"? Why should I be happy when God says I'm going to prosper in "everything I put my hand to"? Why not just 50-50, enough to break even?

The answer just has to be, Because God wants abundance. Look at the New Jerusalem in Revelation. Is this "only what we need"? Is this "moderation in all things"? "Plain and sensible is best"?[3]

I get the feeling that a state of "blessing" as the Bible describes it would drive some people nuts -- they would hate it!

But my desire is to be a son of Abraham and a follower of Jesus. And so, I am preparing to be executed by the State, I am inviting the poor into my home, and I am cultivating a sense of WILD EXPECTATIONS.


(1) When some "christians" hear that kind of talk from "New Age" hucksters, they are shocked: "This is Humanism!" they might say. We should not let anyone take God's promises from us and allow our thinking (and lives!) to be diminished.  [return to text]

(2). including crop failure, livestock shortages, infertility, slumping production, spoilation, vandalism, fungus, disease, pests, sickness, drought, hemorrhoids, eczema, mental illness, broken marriages, eminent domain, confiscation, military drafts, centralized government, debt, (and at verse 45 I quit and say) etc.  [return to text]

(3). A line from Marilla, Anne of Green Gables' adopted mom.  [return to text]

Go to Next Installment of The Christmas Conspiracy: The Great Commission vs. the Wimp Commission

Other related resources:

The Biblical Doctrine of Salvation

Saving Faith

What Does God Require of You?


(1) "Then comes the end, when He delivers the Kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet." (I Corinthians 15:24-25).

(2) The literal meaning of the Greek word for "Gospel" is the "good news."

(3) Lindsey's publisher, Bantam Books, reports that by the end of the "Jesus Generation" only the Bible had sold more copies. Lindsey's book is thus the book for understanding Christendom at the end of the 20th century. (More information on Hal Lindsey's "apocalyptic" best-seller can be obtained by writing to Hal Lindsey's publisher, Bantam Books, Inc., at 666 Fifth Ave., NY, NY, 10103.)

(4) Everybody is "under law," culturally speaking. Our society is either under God's Law, or under Caesar's Law. Or as William Penn put it, "Men must choose to be governed by God, or they condemn themselves to be ruled by tyrants." The rise of "Dispensationalism" has also seen the rise in totalitarianism and mass destruction. Law is an inescapable concept.

(5) "Eschatology" is the Doctrine (Gk., logos) of "final events" (Gk., eschatos).

(6) See Essay Three in this series of essays.

(7) See Essay Three in this series of essays.

(8) Hebrews 8:7-10 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. {8} Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

Ezekiel 36:26-27 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. {27} I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Paul the Pharisee took the Gospel first to the Jews, then the Gentiles.

So they disagreed with each other; and as they were leaving, Paul made one further statement: "The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah, {26} 'Go to this people and say, You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. {27} For this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn-- and I would heal them.' {28} Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles [Gk.: ethnos]; they will listen."
(Acts 28:25-28)

Paul agreed with the indictment Christ leveled against the Jewish leaders:

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither permit ye them that are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13)
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation [Gk.: ethnos] bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Matthew 21:43)

Paul believed the claims of Christ, that He had bound Satan.

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, {3} And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations [Gk.: ethnos] no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
(Revelation 20:2-3)

(9) (as well as in thought and word!)

(10) from your reading of Essay One.

(11) As in "Holy Spirit," not "Neo-Platonism."

(12) See our paper, "Emperors and Shepherds: Statist Rivals to the Christian Messiah."

For Further Reading: The Great Commission vs. the Wimp Commission

next: Campaign Finance, Corruption and the Oath of Office