The Glory of God in the Gospel-Centered Life
Be watching for Bill’s upcoming book, Seven Dimensions of Spiritual Masculinity, How God Changes Biological Masculinity into Spiritual Masculinity and Why It Matters.
The Pilgrims and Socialism?
THE UNITED STATES IS SLOWLY MOVING toward socialism. However, although socialism—and its advanced form, Communism—have never worked, the naive in the U.S. pursue it anyway. Socialism doesn’t work because the State finally runs out of other people’s money. Then everyone, except the elites running the government is reduced to poverty.
Socialism runs out of money because it contradicts human nature. God has designed us to pursue our best interests. Another way to say this is, we will do what the state incentivizes us to do. Socialism incentivizes people to work little and spend the income produced by the hard-working minority. By contrast, capitalism motivates everyone to work—and work hard. Capitalism convinces me that diligent work is in my best interest. If I don’t work I will starve. No one else will take care of me. An even bigger motivation is the hope that my hard work will ultimately produce an abundance.
Socialism fails because people ultimately do what the state incentivizes—little or nothing—and eventually, everyone runs out of food and money.
The Pilgrim Fathers are an interesting case study. I am reading The Mayflower by Philbrick. The author recounts how the Pilgrims, after arriving at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, practiced socialism for the first two years. They almost starved. Knowing that the crops would be shared equally, there was little incentive to “go the extra mile.’ The men worked in the fields half-heartedly, while the women stayed home and cared for the children. At harvest time the meager crop was distributed equally no matter how much effort the hungry mouth had contributed.
However, the Pilgrim fathers were realists. Realizing that their economic system was failing, in the third year they reverted to capitalism.
In April, Bradford had decided that each household should be assigned its own plot to cultivate, with the understanding that each family kept whatever it grew. The change in attitude was stunning. Families were now willing to work much harder than they had ever worked before. In previous years, the men had tended the fields while the women tended the children at home. “The women now went willingly into the field,” Bradford wrote, “and took their little ones with them to set corn.” The Pilgrims had stumbled on the power of capitalism. Although the fortunes of the colony still teetered precariously in the years ahead, the inhabitants never again starved.Philbrick, Nathaniel. Mayflower (p. 167). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
From this point forward there was food for all with a growing surplus.
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. At the root of all socialist experiments is a failure to accept the reality of human sinfulness. Because the Pilgrims understood human nature, they quickly adjusted their approach and ultimately prospered.
Are we smart enough to do this? We have the dismal experience of Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Eastern Europe, Viet Nam, etc. before us. Can we learn from their experience? Only time will tell.
This blog is about the gospel and how it influences every aspect of Christian life. Many Christians here the word, “gospel,” and think, that’s for beginners. I want to move on to the deeper truths. But this kind of thinking is a problem. Properly understood the gospel is the deepest truth in scripture. If you knew nothing about the Bible but the gospel, but knew it really well, you would have all the knowledge necessary for a life of godliness.
The gospel reconciles Old Testament and New. It is the center of the Bible. The Old Testament demonstrates the need for it . The Old Testament predicts it. Then the four gospels record the life and death of Jesus, the Messiah, which is the gospel. Last, the epistles look back on the gospels interpreting and applying them.
The gospel is also about ultimate issues. A display of the glory of God is God’s purpose for creation and redemption. The cross of Christ, the center of the gospel, is the greatest display of God’s glory in human history. It also displays the bankruptcy of man. In sum, the cross glorifies God and humbles humanity, and this is how it should be.
The gospel informs how married couples should relate, how they should raise their children, how they should relate to other Christians, why they should evangelize, and how they should conduct themselves in the market place. It’s all there for those who have eyes to see.
The gospel is the heart and soul of the Christian worldview. It explains how we got here, why life is often problematic, and the glorious hope that God has set before all true Believers.
These subjects and others, this blog will explore. Occasionally we will address culture and politics, but the main subject will be the gospel and its application.
If you have questions or concerns my email firstname.lastname@example.org
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