God's Economy - to be released in August 2018.

Godís Economy is a radical approach to economics based on the good news of the Kingdom of God. Everything on earth belongs to God, so all our economic activity is part of his economy, whether we acknowledge him or not. This book describes the Instructions for Economic Life that God gave through Moses. Jesus confirmed this guidance and adapted it for people who are loving one another in a Kingdom Community.

Everything on earth belongs to God, so all economic and business activity is part of Godís Economy, whether we acknowledge him or not. This book describes the Instructions for Economic Life that God gave through Moses. Jesus confirmed this guidance and adapted it for people who are loving one another in a Kingdom Community. Applying the Instructions for Economic Life will completely transform our economic behaviour and business activity.

Good Economy

Godís economy is a good economy. Since we have his ethical standards, we can describe how a good economy would function. What will produce the most wealth is not relevant. What matters for a follower of Jesus is obeying him. We want an economy that is right and good in his eyes, even if it does not function as well as other systems. It is better to be good before God than to be prosperous or wealthy.

Economic activity is interconnected, so most economic problems produce multiple symptoms. I try not to be distracted by symptoms and do not try to describe them all. Instead, I attempt to dig down to the underlying moral cause. A solution to these moral problems will eliminate the various symptoms.

Modern economics is purely pragmatic, focusing on what will work. This book sees economic issues as ethical questions: what should be done, not what will work. Our question about every economic policy should be this: Is it morally right? Does it comply with Godís word? Is it good?

A good economic policy is one that complies with Godís ethical standards. The irony is that the right economic policies may not achieve the goals that many politicianís desire: fast economic growth or equal income distribution. However, Christians should always be advocates for the right policies, not effective policies.

In the long term, obedience to God will lead to blessings, so everything will be fine, but in the short-term, the right economic policies may make some people worse off. However, they are still the right policies, because Godís way is the best way.

Three Word Version

Good economics can be expressed in three words (two in Hebrew).

Do not steal (Ex 20:15).

This is one of two universal laws that God gave through Moses. It is Godís most important standard for economic behaviour. If an economic policy or practice involves stealing it is wrong.

When investigating an economic problem, I ignore the symptoms and dig down to find the place where theft has occurred. This approach usually exposes the cause of economic problems, as they are mostly the result of a theft of some kind.

Most of the economic teaching in the Old Testament is an application of the command prohibiting theft. Jesusí teaching about economic activity affirmed this principle. He described money that had been stolen as unrighteous wealth.

Five Word Version

Godís economics can also be expressed in five words.

Love your neighbour as yourself (Lev 19:18).

The command was originally given by Moses as part of his instructions to the children of Israel. Jesus used this command as the heart of his teaching about economics. He said this is the second-greatest command, after loving God.

Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27).

The five-word version turns the three-word version positive. If we love people, we will not be able to steal from them. Love can guide all economic actions in the community in which we live.

Jesus expanded the definition of our neighbour to include everyone whom we have contact with during everyday life (Luke 10:25-37). This means that our neighbour is not just those we like, or those living close by. Our neighbour is everyone we encounter while engaged in economic activity. It includes those we buy from and sell to, as well as those we employ.

Jesus set a higher standard for his followers than Moses. Loving neighbours is much harder than not stealing. Only those who walk in the Holy Spirit are expected to do it. People who have not accepted the gospel and the Spirit just have to comply with the standard of the law, which is ďdo not stealĒ. Followers of Jesus have a higher standard. All their encounters with people during economic activity must be governed by Jesusí command to love your neighbour as yourself.

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The Big Picture

Godís Economy is the last in a series of five books that all fit together to tell Godís plan for his people and his earth.

Being Church Where We Live explains how a group of people who have chosen to follow Jesus can support each other in a neighbourhood church by giving and sharing. By living close together, they will establish a place where the authority of Jesus is acknowledged and the spiritual powers of evil are squeezed out.

Each neighbourhood church will be led by a team of elders with complementary and balanced giftings: one will be prophetic, at least one will be an evangelist and several will have a shepherd gifting. They will be bound together by love and submitted to each other for spiritual protection. They will watch over those who have chosen to follow Jesus.

Neighbourhood churches grow and multiply by sending apostles into a new neighbourhood to establish a new community. These communities of love are the essential foundation that makes possible everything described in subsequent books.

Kingdom Authority describes Godís plan for getting back the authority lost to the spiritual powers of evil and establishing his Kingdom on earth. Human politics are an obstacle to the Kingdom of God because they use Imposed Authority which empowers the powers of evil. Government-spirits have leveraged their feeble power by controlling political and military authorities. In contrast, God refuses to impose his authority on earth using force and coercion. He rejects all forms of political and military power. Instead, he calls people to serve him and freely submit to his will because they love Jesus. This is Free Authority.

Times and Seasons describes how human governments seize more and power to deal with the economic and social crises that their mistakes have created. They will collapse under the weight of their pride and hubris, which will provide an opportunity for Godís people who are prepared. During a season of distress, they will work with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel and bring in the Kingdom of God.

Government of God explains the perfect system of government that God gave through Moses when he was leading the children of Israel into the promised land. This alternative system of justice, welfare and defence relies on Free Authority. It does not need the coercion and force of Imposed Authority. The book describes how Godís people can prepare for the collapse of human government by applying these principles within Kingdom Communities.

A neighbourhood church becomes a Kingdom Community by providing everyone living in their neighbourhood with the services that governments promise, but fail to deliver. They will provide social support, justice and protection for everyone in their neighbourhood, regardless of whether they have chosen to follow Jesus. When people submit to the wisdom of the elders of a Kingdom Community to obtain these benefits, they are part of the Kingdom of God even though have not chosen to follow Jesus.

The Kingdom of God is the goal of everything, but there are no kingdoms left on earth, so the word ďkingdomĒ is not very helpful to modern people. The best way to understand the nature of a kingdom is to think of it as a ďgovernmentĒ, so I often refer to it as the ďGovernment of GodĒ to make its role and nature clear. This explains the title of this book.

Godís Economy is the final book in this series. Everything on earth belongs to God, so all our economic activity is part of his economy, whether we acknowledge him or not. This book describes the Instructions for Economic Life that God gave through Moses. Jesus confirmed this guidance and adapted it for people who are loving one another in a Kingdom Community.

All economic and business activity is part of Godís Economy. Applying the Instructions for Economic Life will completely transform our economic behaviour and business activity.

Book Outline

Godís Economy has three parts.

Part One describes Godís Instructions for Economic Life. Jesus confirmed these instructions and adapted them to work in a society in which tribal connections have broken down. He explained how they apply to the communities of love that he was establishing amongst the people who chose to follow him. He shifted the focus from neighbours to people who are committed to loving one another, but the core principles are the same.

Part Two applies Godís Instructions for Economic Life to modern society. God does not expect the people of the world to live according to these instructions, but he requires those who have chosen to serve Jesus who apply his wisdom in their lives and communities.

These instructions are only practical amongst people who are being the church where they live. They can apply Godís instructions without relying on government enforcement while continuing to live in a world that is dominated by the existing power systems. Godís economy will become a witness and sign to a world that has lost its way.

The first two chapters of Part Three describe the problems with modern money and banking. These flaws inevitably produce economic instability, inequality and often extreme poverty. Followers of Jesus need to understand these problems, but they do not prevent them from living out Godís Instructions for Economic Life within their Kingdom Communities.

The last three chapters of Part 3 explain how better money and financial institutions can be established within their Kingdom Communities in preparation for the time when the kingdoms of the world collapse and fall.

Getting everything that needs to be in a book about the Godís Economy is almost impossible. I have concentrated on economic ideas that are new and different, rather than trying to cover everything that might be relevant. I focus on the changes that are necessary for the emergence of the Government of God.

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Contents

Sample

The Author

Ron McKenzie is a Christian writer
living in Christchurch, New Zealand.
During the 1980s, he served as
the pastor of a church,
but found that he did not fit that task.
He was employed as an economist
but has recently retired from his role.
He is married with three adult children
and several grandchildren.

More Writing by Ron McKenzie at Kingwatch Books