A Little More Moral Economics

Trust your heart-mind for a proper moral analysis.

The whole end of mankind living on this earth is to seek the glory of God. Just so you understand completely, it’s “seek” in both ways: We seek to bring Him glory, but we also seek where His glory shines brightest in our world. It’s a question of drive and purpose.

And after the Fall, we have His revelation to provide the structure of His glory for our understanding. He has told us all we need to know about how to find and reflect back His glory in this world. One of the things I harp on is contextual discernment as a way of guiding our thinking. Sense the moral shape of the moment; don’t let your mind exclude possibilities. Standing in a deeply moving spiritual moment on that isolated hilltop today might find the same hilltop tomorrow an alien place. Don’t be surprised; it works that way. Seeking His glory includes sensing from whence it calls to you. Obedience and holiness includes letting our hearts tell us where to be and when.

Our hearts also tell us how to handle the resources He grants for our service in His glory. I’ve tried to explain repeatedly that, though I studied economics enough to teach the subject, that’s just mechanics. No academic pursuit of the intellect can ever assign moral value to one choice over another. What I’m about to say will shock most Western economists.

Resources exist for His glory; He made and owns all things. The objective of our academic study is to understand the mechanics of human activity as best we can so that we know how to execute His moral demands. Another thing I harp on is the primacy of social stability, but that assumes you live by the Covenant of Christ. Jesus defined what it means to have social stability when He told us the first two commandments of Divine Law: Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Just to make sure, He also defined at length what a “neighbor” is, by defining it as someone who obeys the same Divine Law from their hearts, never mind what their human identity might be otherwise (see The Good Samaritan). If it looks like faith, smells like faith and quacks like faith, you should assume it’s faith. Faith is rooted in the heart.

And while God knows for sure whether someone really belongs to Him, the question for you and I in this life is whether someone is walking in faith at any given moment. We can hope for the best, but if we aren’t paying attention and sensitive to this, we can end up feeding failure. Don’t get lost in tangents here. Your first loyalty is Christ; love does not grant your brother or sister a claim over you and your resources granted from God. Your heart knows the boundaries.

If you really have made Christ the Lord of your life and you live by your heart, then you cannot avoid a sense of duty to your fellow heart-led folks. We do have around us those who aren’t heart-led, but we can’t treat them the same. That should be obvious. You can toss in the trash all that nonsense about “everyone is equal.” That’s a heathen concept; Our Father specifically said He plays favorites. He said that everyone has potential, but some are not your concern in any given context because we are finite. There are people of the Covenant and there is everyone else. People of the Covenant get our priority, and a part of that priority is building up their existence on this earth to help reinforce the blessings of the Covenant. Those blessings are summed as shalom, which includes reasonable prosperity, peaceful relations, safety from threats, and a vivid powerful life. (That last one might mean a long life, but that’s not the point.) How we gain those blessings is standing in the context of where God calls us and seeking to bring stability to your fellow covenant members. If you can’t do that, you have no business doing anything at all.

That means that the sole purpose of economic activity is to bless your covenant family. We do not maximize profits and minimize costs. We maximize material blessings to the domain God placed within your hands — that is the biblical definition of “our economy.” We are trying to fatten the community, not the banks. So we would naturally seek to stuff the staffing from within our communion to the maximum we can afford and still operate. Nepotism is godly. We don’t measure profit as money in the bank after paying expenses; we measure profit as the number of people whose lives we have enabled. Our greatest treasure is people, not stuff. And yes, we expect a certain measure of loss, since the Bible hardly distinguishes between a loan and a gift within the Covenant family.

Now, it’s not as if we can’t allow this to spill over into the lives of those outside the Covenant. By all means, slosh it around if you can. It’s part of how we show them God’s glory. However, if you start letting them advise you as to how things ought to be, back away and remind them we are not of this world. Use whatever words or actions you sense will best help them see, but don’t be sucked into their games. Their needs and “claims” are not a part of our calculus; we act on a heart-led prompting for His glory.

Yeah, that’s part of what the biblical Eastern feudalism is all about. God hard-wired us to live by that social structure. Without it we cannot glimpse His glory and His holiness.

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About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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4 Responses to A Little More Moral Economics

  1. forrealone says:

    Another of your posts I will have to read over and over again. Not that I don’t get it, but it needs to really sink in. Really.

    Like

  2. Ed Hurst says:

    Yeah, it goes against all those business courses, doesn’t it?

    Like

  3. Jay DiNitto says:

    “You can toss in the trash all that nonsense about “everyone is equal.” That’s a heathen concept; Our Father specifically said He plays favorites.”

    Yes, can we trash it, please? Along with the false dilemma that would inevitably emerge, where I must “hate” someone if they are different. Can’t anyone imagine that there are degrees and not polarities? We live by degrees in the first place…most of us realize our family is more important than coworkers, but we don’t call the lesser consideration we give to coworkers as “hatred.”

    Like

  4. Ed Hurst says:

    Amen, Jay! Say it again, long and loud. Prophesy His truth, because without the frequent reminders the sheer entropy of social orthodoxy will swallow us.

    Like

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