THE GOLDEN RULE
"All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you,
even so do ye also unto them:
for this is the law and the prophets."
-Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:12
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you,
and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven."
-Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:44-45
The Golden Rule
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:35-40)
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. (Mark 12:28-34)
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. (Luke 10:25-37)
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. (John 15:9-17)
Peter, James, and John:
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
(1 Peter 4:7-10, ESV)
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:3-11, ESV)
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:25-27)
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. (James 2:5-9)
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:10-18)
The Apostle Paul:
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet;” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, the reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. (Romans 15:1-7)
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:13-25)
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:24-32)
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:2-8)
"This is the rule of most perfect Christianity, its most exact definition, its highest point, namely, the seeking of the common good … for nothing can so make a person an imitator of Christ as caring for neighbors." —John Chrysostom (ca. 347–407)
The great secular religion that is at war with the Golden Rule
Mandeville was a Dutch doctor and writer who lived (1670-1733) in London at a time when many anti-Christian Enlightenment ideas were coming to the forefront and when London was quickly becoming the occult capital of the world. He was allegedly a member of the Hell-Fire Club, later led by Sir Francis Dashwood, that engaged in gluttony, drunkenness, and orgies, and practiced the "Do As Thou Wilt" satanic philosophy that later inspired Aleister Crowley, as well as modern Libertarianism (Mises and Hayek both praise Mandeville as the true father of Capitalism). Mandeville became a celebrity and champion of London's "Enlightenment" network of upper class hedonists through his poem The Grumbling Hive published in 1705 and released again as part of his book The Fable of the Bees in 1714. The basic point that Mandeville tried to argue for in his poem and in his book can be summed up in the short phrase: "Private vice makes public virtue."
In the Fable, Mandeville describes society using the parable of a hive of bees. According to Mandeville's understanding of human nature, man's primary motivation is to satisfy his own selfish sense-driven desires, and Mandeville concludes that blindly pursuing those desires, even if they cross the line into sin and vice, actually works for the betterment of the society as a whole. He writes,
The grave Industrious were the Same.
All Trades and Places knew some Cheat,
No Calling was without Deceit...
The Lawyers, of whose Art the Basis
Was raising Feuds and splitting Cases...
Physicians valued Fame and Wealth
Above the drooping Patient's Health...
Among the many Priests of Jove,
Hir'd to draw Blessings from Above,
Some few were learn'd and eloquent,
But Thousands hot and ignorant...
Mandeville goes on to describe how virtually every profession exists hand in hand with a particular vice, and then he writes,
Thus every Part was full of Vice,
Yet the whole Mass a Paradice;
Flatter'd in Peace, and fear'd in Wars
They were th'Esteem of Foreigners,
And lavish of their Wealth and Lives,
The Ballance of all other Hives.
Such were the Blessings of that State;
Their Crimes conspired to make 'em Great;
And Vertue, who from Politicks
Had learn'd a Thousand cunning Tricks,
Was, by their happy Influence,
Made Friends with Vice: And ever since
The worst of all the Multitude
Did something for the common Good.
Then Mandeville tries to explain how the vices themselves are the very engines of prosperity,
The Root of evil Avarice,
That damn'd ill-natur'd baneful Vice,
Was Slave to Prodigality,
That Noble Sin; whilst Luxury.
Employ'd a Million of the Poor,
And odious Pride a Million more
Envy it self, and Vanity
Were Ministers of Industry;
Their darling Folly, Fickleness
In Diet, Furniture, and Dress,
That strange, ridic'lous Vice, was made
The very Wheel, that turn'd the Trade.
According to Mandeville, every social evil actually works itself out as a public good simply because it helps to promote commerce, which Mandeville applauds as the ultimate source of society's freedom, prosperity, and security. Regarding the Golden Rule, it should be obvious that such an ethic has no place in Mandeville's ideal society that prospers on the foundation of sin, vice and wickedness.
A response to Mandeville:
"Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono"
Translated into English these words mean, "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness." This is the Hawaii State Motto that traces back over 185 years to 1825, when Queen Ke'opuolani spoke these words as she was baptized into the Christian faith. See http://www.netstate.com/states/mottoes/hi_motto.htm.
"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence if his fellow citizens." Adam Smith (the so-called "Father of Economics"), The Wealth of Nations, ed. Edwin Cannan (New York: Modern Library, 1937), book 1, chap. 2, p. 14.
A response to Adam Smith:
"In this famous passage Smith seems to be telling us that, within the range of human motives, those in the category of self-interest, and not those classed as benevolence, are chiefly responsible for our being adequately supplied with provisions for living and the other goods and services that an economy should provide...
Indeed, what makes this passage so striking, and what has given it its claim on the modern imagination, is its shock value. Certainly this was true in Smith's day, when the traditional religious conception of morality was still closely adhered to. That which had traditionally been seen as a bad thing—selfishness or self-interest—was advanced by Smith as a good thing, a social benefit. It is not the traditional social benefit of benevolence, says Smith, that nourishes and sustains us (and note the same linguistic root in benevolence and benefit), but its essential opposite—selfishness. What a startling revelation was offered to the world in Adam Smith's impressive and distinguished tome!" Kenneth Lux, Adam Smith's Mistake: How A Moral Philosopher Invented Economics and Ended Morality, 1990, pp. 80-81.
"The older ethical systems were almost unanimous in the condemnation of self-interest... Referring to the Sermon on the Mount, they exalted self-denial and indifference with regard to treasures which moth and rust corrupt, and branded self-interest as a reprehensible vice. Bernard de Mandeville in his Fable of the Bees, tried to discredit this doctrine. He pointed out that self-interest and the desire for material well-being, commonly stigmatized as vices, are in fact the incentives whose operation makes for welfare, prosperity, and civilization." Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History, 1957, pp. 166-167.
"This is a case in which the Redeemer's words bore evil seed. More harm has been done, and more blood shed, on account of them [i.e.- the teachings of Jesus] than by the persecution of heretics and the burning of witches...
"This evidence leads to the negation of the question asked above: whether it might be possible to reconcile Christianity with a free social order based on private ownership of property. A living Christianity cannot exist side by side with, and within, Capitalism." Ludwig von Mises, Socialism, p. 379 and p. 386, quotes taken from Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism, (Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007) by author Jorg Guido Hulsmann, kindle edition, locations 5456 and 5466.
A response to Mises:
According to Mises' biographer, Jorg Guido Hulsmann, ten years after publishing his first draft of Socialism, Mises "changed his mind" regarding the compatibility of Christianity and Capitalism. Mises wrote that such a synthesis might be possible but that it depended upon the Church's "unconditional acceptance of the indispensability of private ownership of the means of production." Yet Mises also believed that one could not "find a single passage in the New Testament that could be read as upholding private property." For Mises, it seems that the only hope for a synthesis between Christianity and Capitalism would be for the entire Church to embrace the lifestyle of the Laodicean Church that Jesus categorically rejects in Revelation 3:14-22! Now there is a "prosperous" Church that embraced the marketplace that Mises would be at home with! This Church is so blinded by Mammon that Jesus goes so far as to speak to them in perhaps the only language that they can understand, the language of consumerism: "I counsel thee to buy from me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
“It may be asked how restraints on instinctual demands serve to coordinate the activities of larger numbers. As an example, continued obedience to the command to treat all men as neighbours would have prevented the growth of an extended order. For those now living within the extended order gain from not treating one another as neighbours, and by applying, in their interactions, rules of the extended order – such as those of several property and contract - instead of the rules of solidarity and altruism. An order in which everyone treated his neighbour as himself would be one where comparatively few could be fruitful and multiply.” Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, The Fatal Conceit, 1988, page 13.
A response to Hayek:
"...Professor Hayek's attempt to dissect economic history contains an insidious lie which reveals his deep seated rage against moral law and the Judeo-Christian outlook. Hayek claims two cultural attitudes he labels "primitive instincts" had to be rooted out to allow modern industrialism to develop. He says primitive cultures burdened mankind with "solidarism," a concern for the welfare of the community, and "altruism", a charitable and self sacrificing attitude toward one's neighbors. According to Hayek, at the start of the eighteenth century, these "instincts" in Western culture finally broke down and gave way to naked self interest and greed. It was in those regions and towns where Christianity proved tolerant to this cultural shift that free markets and modern capitalism blossomed forth, which created unprecedented wealth and prosperity.
Solidarism and altruism are unequivocally the essence of a true Christian civilization. They are the cultural expression of "agape" or charity, derived from a devotion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Austrian School philosopher praises capitalism and individual freedom because he believes they are a triumph over the ridiculous superstitions of Christianity. Hayek insists that attempts to resurrect the outmoded "instincts" of human solidarity and social justice will lead to catastrophe and destroy freedom. All such laws must be stopped. In his view, "the distributive justice aimed at is thus inconsistent with the rule of law and that freedom which the rule of law is intended to secure."
Hayek's individualism is so extreme he speaks of social justice as a devious plot which will lead to fascism, “My basic contention is that in a society of free men ... the term social justice is wholly devoid of meaning or content. Attempts to ENFORCE IT in a free society must make society unworkable. Social Justice can be given meaning only in a directed command (i.e. totalitarian) economy in which individuals are ordered what to do.”
In Hayek's pessimistic vision, democratic society is entirely negative; there is no positive natural law. Government can only limit destructive behavior: it is but a referee that contains the clash of the combatants, the struggle that Social Darwinists call, 'the survival of the fittest.'" David J. Peterson, Revoking the Moral Order: The Ideology of Positivism and the Vienna Circle, 1999, pp.112-113.
"[T]here is one word—a single word—which can blast the morality of altruism out of existence and which it cannot withstand—the word: ‘Why?’ Why must man live for the sake of others? Why must he be a sacrificial animal? Why is that the good? There is no earthly reason for it—and, ladies and gentlemen, in the whole history of philosophy no earthly reason has ever been given." [Philosophy: Who Needs It, pp. 61–62] http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2006/05/altruism-the-morality-of-logical-fallacies/
“The man who attempts to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves. The relationship produces nothing but mutual corruption. It is impossible in concept. The nearest approach to it in reality -- the man who lives to serve others -- is the slave. If physical slavery is repulsive, how much more repulsive is the concept of servility of the spirit. The conquered slave has a vestige of honor. He has the merit of having resisted and of considering his condition evil. But the man who enslaves himself voluntarily in the name of love is the basest of creatures. He degrades the dignity of man, and he degrades the conception of love. But that is the essence of altruism.” http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/129091-the-man-who-attempts-to-live-for-others-is-a
A response to Ayn Rand:
"Ayn Rand, however, is much more certain that altruism is morally bad, and in fact she sees it purely and simply as the cause of society’s ills. In Ayn Rand we have … an ultimate case of moral transvaluation. In her book The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand sets forth her philosophy of moral principles, which she calls Objectivism. This she defines as the 'philosophy that holds man’s life, the life proper to a rational being, as the standard of moral values –and regards altruism as incompatible with man’s nature, with the creative requirements of his survival, and with a free society.' Rand connects this philosophy with capitalism, but a capitalism that presumably has never been tried. This is expressed in her book of essays, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. In this book we are told simply and starkly that 'the foundations of capitalism are being battered by a flood of altruism, which is the cause of the world's collapse.'" Kenneth Lux, Adam Smith's Mistake: How A Moral Philosopher Invented Economics and Ended Morality, 1990, p. 166.
June 26, 2013