Dr. Tony Evans: Bad Theology is Bad Economics

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The greatest problem individuals face today is sin.  It has not changed in 6000 years.  The greatest challenge the church faces today is remaining true to God’s word.  This has not changed in 2000 years.  Perverting God’s Word to fit the times is sin. “To whom much is given, much will be expected (my paraphrase)” Luke 12:48. Much is expected of leaders within the church and when those leaders fail to preach the whole counsel then they must be corrected.  Refusing correction, they must be identified to protect the body of believers.  The process of discipline traditionally starts as a private matter.  Without violating scripture, the public nature of communication today allows apostates and heretics to deceive and lead astray believers outside of a church setting.  Hence, correction and rebuking should be likewise, with the goal of “gaining a brother” (Matthew 18:15) and protecting the church (Acts 20:29).

Dr. Tony Evans is a heretic and has be identified as such.  His heretical stance has moved further away from the bible as he teaches an old truth, Babylonianism, for a new truth. Dr. Evans would replace the voluntary actions of individual Christians with the force and collective nature of civil authority to address the needs of humanity.   The state that will provide for the needs of humanity, not God.  By perverting God’s law and proposing force and coercion, Dr. Evans is promoting rebellion against God’s Word. 

Biblical Background of Human Action

God’s command to Adam and Eve was straight forward.  “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28). God’s command to mankind is to “be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it”.  The success of which is proven in man’s ability to produce the stuff necessary for life.

Being created in God’s image, man possess an intellect that can observe the world around him and understanding a way to bring about its potential to meet man’s needs and God’s glory.  God commanded man to work (Genesis 2:5) and it is through the principle of labor that man uses his physical abilities.  Using material resources, man produces things that meet the needs of humanity by use of intellect and labor.

For example: Abel the agriculturalist and Cain the animal husbandman used their intellect to observe the world that God had created.  Observing patterns and developing means, they maximized the utility of the property (plants and animals) by applying their knowledge through labor.  God blessed their obedience and provided materially for both of these men.

When sin entered the world man’s nature became perverted, but it did not change God’s command.  Cain kills Abel out of envy, furthermore the “sons of God” took themselves wives  “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5).  Cain envied Abel because Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable to God and took Abel’s life (life being the highest expression of property). The sons of God man and lusted after the daughters of man; they forcibly took wives (the life of the women being the women’s property).  The world was wicked because the actions of men were wicked.  “Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”.  So evil that God destroyed the world and gave an additional commandment.

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The commandment to Noah did not change when he and his family left the ark.  “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Genesis 9:1).  But God did give them a new commandment in Genesis 9:5-7 that is His directive for human action in civil authority,  “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.”  God has given to civil authority the highest responsibility in society, to take the life of those who steal life. 

The charge to mankind, through the nation of Israel, is expanded in Exodus 20, and subsequent chapters, with the giving of the Law. The Law being all inclusive of God’s direction to the nation of Israel in order to build an orderly civilization for man’s good and God’s glory. Fidelity to the living God, the principles of life, property, fidelity in marriage and contentment are the operational principles (Exodus 20:1-17) for building a people that would glorify God. Fidelity to Jehovah being the relationship that brings obedience to the mandatory earthly principles (life, property, fidelity in marriage and contentment) possible.

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The law being fulfilled in Christ gives us the freedom to obey God (Romans 8:1-8). God desires humanity to have life abundantly.  Life first in Christ and then in obedience to God’s revelation brings blessing.  Disobedience brings condemnation. In pursuing “fruitfulness” man voluntarily produces things necessary for life.  By protecting life, property and marriage, civil authority gives liberty to its citizens. This allows them to free pursue “fruitfulness”. Perverting that pursuit by wrongfully representing the teaching of God’s Word is heresy.      

God gave to humanity the necessary qualities (intelligence, labor, property) and a framework (Exodus 20:1-17) to fulfill the commandment to “be fruitful”.  This is the basis for human action.

New Economics, Which is Old Economics

Dr. Evans is proposing a different economic theory and hence different human action than what God has commanded. “It’s only to the degree that you include God’s person and God’s policies in society through civil government — as He defines it, not as you prefer it — that we can begin to see healing in the Church so that it can be modeled in the culture.”  Like most heretics, there is truth in part of what he says.  No doubt (what he calls “policies” I will call principles) should be in civil government.  God created civil government such that His principles would guide humanity and keep humanity from foolish acts such as violence and envy. And God was noticeably clear what those principles are; protect life, property and the liberty to pursue God’s commandment to “be fruitful”.

Establishing penalties for murder, theft and lying protects my life, property and products of my labor etc. from you taking them.  Henceforth, I can use my intellect, labor and property, presumably without fear of murder, theft or deception, to develop products that meet not only my needs, but produce them in abundance that can meet your needs.  As you use your intellect, labor and property to produce goods in abundance, we than can voluntarily exchange.  This is God’s program for man, as it has been from the beginning.  But what happens when the civil authority that God has ordained to protect life, property and labor, takes the products, or the fruit of the exchange of products (wealth) for itself.

We Have Seen This Before

Two generations after Noah stepped off the ark, Nimrod rebelled.  Using his might (Genesis 10:8-10) and intellect (Genesis 11:1), he presented himself as a god and subjected individuals to his rule.  Building first a literal kingdom (Genesis 11:4)  to glorify himself and his false gods, and then using violence to conquer the people groups around him.  His rebellious civil authority enslaved people and false worship of man/god that justified the enslavement spread throughout Mesopotamia (see Paul Kriwaczek, Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization).  Down through the centuries the civilizations of the Mesopotamia region have been associated with violence, rebellion against God and the worship of false gods.  Babylonianism is term used to generalize a system of false theology, supporting a false Christ who promotes a rebellious civil authority that enslaves individuals (Revelation 17 & 18).  Today, the secular world refers to it as communism, socialism, fascism etc., but at the heart of it all is disobedience to the God given principles of life, property and liberty.

Dr. Evans in instructing his church to participate in Babylonianism.  Charismatic leaders, from Nimrod to Stalin, have used their might to control human activity.  By rejecting God’s Word and replacing it with the wisdom of man, they claim to be able to understand the material and spiritual needs of all people, at all time, in all places and arrange human action to produce the products necessary to meet those needs.  “Omniscience is denied to man”, (Ludwig von MisesHuman Action) and it is an attribute that only God possesses.   

Directing the material production of goods and services by force and thereby denying the liberty God designed is one side of the collectivist authoritarianism.  Confiscating the wealth generated by the individual liberty of those who produce and redistributing that wealth to the anointed favorites of politicians is the other side of authoritarianism. 

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Dr. Evans does not want civil authority as God wants it.  First, Dr. Evans wants to use civil authority so “that we can begin to see healing in the Church”. Inviting the state into the church to fix the church is thoroughly unbiblical (what church needs healing?) Dr. Evans, please read history and read your Bible.  We know from the past what happens when the state and church comingle, and we know what happens in the future when to two comingle.

Second, Dr. Evans wants to use civil authority to fix what he describes as the reduction of man’s dignity, which is an attack on God.  No doubt, debasing humanity is an attack on God.  But believing the poor are dignified when their education and health care are paid for by civil authority is a very strange thought. “When we allow the poor to have worse education than others because they don’t have the same dollar bill, when we don’t care about the health, well-being of people who do not have access to adequate healthcare, when we reduce their dignity we have attacked God”. Dr. Evans, diginity was lost at the fall and restored at the cross, preach the Gospel!

According to Dr. Evans, the rich are breaking God’s standard. “Don’t just talk to me about moral laws, talk to me about it but don’t put a period there. Talk to me also about the just application of the law without discrimination. Talk to me not only about what you’re going to do with the poor but how you’re going to handle the rich who are breaking my standard.”  “We need to handle the rich!”.

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Dr. Evans is right, we should have the just application of law without discrimination.  Using the force of law to take from the “rich” and give to the poor is discrimination.  God’s commandment is, “Thou shalt…. love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18).  Nowhere in God’s Word does he say, “Take from one neighbor, and give it another neighbor”.  Dr. Evans loves his neighbors so much he wants to forcibly take their wealth and give it to another.

God gave us the rule of law: broad laws, applicable at all times, to all people and in all situations (Exodus 20:1-17) because He only knows how to best organize humanity, he alone is omniscient.  “Thou shalt not steal” is not a suggestion. Regardless of how “right” man may think something is, if it violates God’s Word, it is wrong. The redistribution of wealth through taxation is wrong.

But man thinks that he can improve on God’s Word by creating “morally righteous” causes to help a specific group of people, with a specific problem, at specific time in history, at the expense of the rest of society and do it without negative consequences.  The “morally righteous” cause of taxpayer education and healthcare, among others, is more important than obeying God’s Word according to Dr. Evans.  According to God’s Word, Dr. Evans is wrong.

If an individual is wealthy because special laws have been created, that limit another person’s use of intellect, labor and property, then those laws should be abolished. If an individual is poor because special laws have been created that keep that individual from using their intellect, labor and property, then those laws should be abolished.  The National Labor Relations Board, and subsequent court rulings supporting their actions, would be a prime example of laws the specifically benefit one well defined group to the exclusion of another.

The best way to help the poor is to reduce taxes, which allows for the accumulation of capital, that can then be put to use to by producing more goods and services, which allows for the accumulation of wealth….as the saying goes, “rinse and repeat”.  Allowing individuals to use their unique talents to create wealth through voluntary association under the protection of civil authority is the best way to help the poor.  The only problem with this solution is there is no political gain.  Unfortunately, freedom and liberty have a ridiculously small constituency. 

The best way to help all of humanity?  Preach the gospel, teach the Word of God and equip the saints for the work of the ministry.

This article first appeared at The Fundamental Economist and was republished here with permission. To read more great articles like this one, visit The Fundamental Economist.

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