9 December 2021

The music in today’s post dates back about 500 years. It is Bach: Gloria in Excelsis Deo (BVW191). The version I used is part of the authentic movement, and the orchestra and choic is stripped way back. The music is glorious.

But we forget that Bach was not part of the nobility, but a court musician or church musician. His job was writing something new for the great and good of his day. That system of governance — petty states, free cities, and limited central control — was left from the high middle ages, and remained until the mass wars of the Jacobins and the enlightenment. The governing system we have will fail and fall.

There is a role for the civil magistrate: and that is to punish evildoers and protect the people, so that they can live simply, soberly, uprightly and in a godly manner. The state should be supported and deserves our prayers. When the state stays within its roles, it is a great blessing. But when the rulers reject God, a few things happen. Evil is supported, lawlessness becomes rampant, and the quiet bulk of people who want to be left alone are harassed into supporting, indeed participating in evil.

We are supposed to look beyond our borders and use the disasters they have as a warning. We are not different to the Weimar Republic, which printed money to get out of debt, and hyperinflated. We will not be able to make a new socialist nation: no more than the Chinese, Cambodians or Russians could. And if there was suffering when those nations went down that path, there will be suffering if we follow the same track.

Amos 6:1-8

6 Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,
and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
you notable men of the foremost nation,
to whom the people of Israel come!
2 Go to Kalneh and look at it;
go from there to great Hamath,
and then go down to Gath in Philistia.
Are they better off than your two kingdoms?
Is their land larger than yours?
3 You put off the day of disaster
and bring near a reign of terror.
4 You lie on beds adorned with ivory
and lounge on your couches.
You dine on choice lambs
and fattened calves.
5 You strum away on your harps like David
and improvise on musical instruments.
6 You drink wine by the bowlful
and use the finest lotions,
but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
7 Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;
your feasting and lounging will end.
The Lord Abhors the Pride of Israel

8 The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himself—the Lord God Almighty declares:

“I abhor the pride of Jacob
and detest his fortresses;
I will deliver up the city
and everything in it.”

2 Corinthians 8:1-15

8 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

When we look over the border, we are supposed to do what we can. Not legalistically. Our first job, financially, is to support our families. (This is one reason that the vaxx mandates for jobs are so vicious: we are losing our means of earning dollars). But then the local church, and then the brothers in places that are suffering. This duty of charity and protection is nothing akin to the virtue signals that many aid organizations have.

Firstly, this charity is within the church. Locally, we may and we should do good in the local community, particularly when the social welfare system fails. But internationally? Support the local churches so they can do it.

Secondly, charity should not be a professional job: a career. And it has become that. There are people who are community activists. These people generally make things worse, not better. This includes within the churhc.

Finally, this should not be something based on emotion but on planning and budget. When we can, we are generous.

But when we are suffering, we pray that the support we gave will be returned. In general, as you were generous, or less generous, so it will be for you.

And the virtue signaller showing his or her generosity in the social pages of the decaying newspapers? Be not her. And be not the man who funds this.