Monday, November 28, 2005

The Christian Agrarian Plan to Conquer the World

There are many myths floating around out there on what we who advocate Christian Agrarianism think and believe. Some are honest misunderstandings, others are straw man type arguments. One myth is that we propose a retreatist agenda. Some think that we plan to drop out of society and live an isolated existence. While we do want to leave the current wicked system and, to some extent build our "own little world", we have great plans for that "little world" growing and replacing the old. Make no mistake, we believe that the whole world should be in subjection to Christ! Biblical Agrarianism is the only alternative we have. How has the Church fared in the industrial system? The worldly political, economic and social system we find ourselves the sorry heirs to, will see God's judgment. A system that is built on wickedness will not endure. What will replace the it? Will God's faithful remnant be willing to try and build a biblical system or simply resurrect the old. Can a handful of Christian Agrarians change the world, you ask. History has shown that the dedicated and faithful minority can do huge things.

Jon put it well when he was explaining why he and his family are moving in a more "agrarian direction".

Another reason has to do with St. Paul's admonition: Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to work with your own hands, to not be dependent on outsiders. It's not to say that much of the work I do is sinful, but when you examine the structures that undergird my work, they definitely are. Whether the socialistic government (I work for a company that derives the majority of its work from socialized government spending), or the unjust weights and measures of a fiat money system, most of my work (and most of everyone else's, too) would not exist. Some of this work might exist had we taken a Biblically permissible path -- but most of it, in its present state, is the result of breaking God's law at a number of steps along the way. So, I want for my sons to be able to work quietly, providing for their families, without depending on a system that is -- at many points -- in rebellion against God. All this to say, I want to give my sons a foundation in this.

So, to all that think we are a bunch of backward hicks that are "heading for the hills", nothing could be farther from the truth. It might take generations to accomplish, but we plan on changing the world. Put down that Wallstreet Journal, pick up a Bible and a pitchfork, and join us in our epic undertaking.

9 Comments:

At 11/28/2005 9:02 AM, Blogger The Bradshaws said...

Wonderfully put, yet again, Scott.

Mary Susan

 
At 11/28/2005 10:45 AM, Blogger Randall Gerard said...

I see similarities between the christian agrarian movement today and the monastic movement that preserved civilization after Rome fell. Sometimes you have to retreat a little in order to go forward again. Home schooling is another example of this. We bring our children home and disciple them so they can go out and make disciples themselves. We only 'shelter' long enough to fortify them for fruitful dominion.

 
At 11/29/2005 8:42 AM, Anonymous KS Milkmaid said...

Scott:

You have some very interesting points here.

This may not seem related to your post, but it is bear with me:

I have seen a discontentment in some folks that follows them no matter where they go and what they try...like the Isrealites. I have a few friends who move and move. They are searching for that "right place". It seems they lack contentment internally and strive to find it in external things. I would hate to see folks like this wrap themselves up in farming and then find they were just as discontent and maybe more worse off when they go to the farm. They then bad mouth the agrarian movement when they really need to bad mouth their heart condition. It wouldn't matter where they are they couldn't find joy or a quiet living. They spend their lives wandering and grumbling. In a sense they misuse and abuse the goodness of something and discard it by the wayside announcing to the world that it is worthless. I have seen a few examples of people discarding the city life moving to the country and hating every minute of it. They retreat to the city and blast country folks who have the contentment.

I believe in the agrarian movement, like I believe in homeschooling. But, some folks just don't get it. There must be a purging of the worldly notions or you are just creating a superficial life change and ineffective at that.


You ask:
How has the Church fared in the industrial system?

I wonder how has God fared in the industrial system. How has God fared since the man failed to obey back in that lush garden? He will continue to reign supreme regardless of man's feeble attempts to correct the error of mankind with systems and methods. If only we could make sure we are turning to God and doing his will, sharing the light of peace as we experiencing the blessing of following His will this world will be changed. We can only plant, someone else might water, But God will cause the growth/change. I am reluctantant to say agrarians will change the world...only becuase of my struggle with pride. I would place to much emphasis on me and not enough on God in that case. Course, you may have that all balanced out in your perspective already. I tend to be slow on the uptake when it comes to those kind of things. As much as I want to create a better world for my children to live in, the hard reality is we live in a fallen world. Our current focus is to equip them with bibical truths on how to let their light shine in a dark world. No paradigmn of living will end such corruption. But following God's will will help us be instruments for His purposes while living in a fallen world.

 
At 11/29/2005 9:35 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...

Thanks for the kind words Mary Susan.

Balestaker, I agree. Thats a good way of looking at it.

Christina

I agree that some people will never be happy! That said, Agrarianism is not just a "back to the land movement". I think that the agrarian system is the product of obeying God's Law/Word. It is the most compatable with Gospel living.

You said...."As much as I want to create a better world for my children to live in, the hard reality is we live in a fallen world."

I think we may be approaching this from different Eschatological veiws. I beleive that the Bible teaches before Christ returns, all nations will confess him as King and there will be a golden age of prosperity for the elect on earth. In other words before He returns....we (the Church, by His Grace) win the war against pagans and conquer the world! This is not accomplished outside of Christ by our flesh, but through Him by the Holy Spirit. The church is his tool for dominion.

So while I think our short term future(here in the US) will be full of trials and judgement, I have a great Hope in the long term future of Christendom. Slow but sure, Christ's Kingdom is advancing.

 
At 11/29/2005 11:12 PM, Anonymous KS Milkmaid said...

Scott:

I must say I have to run to the dictionary. I have heard the word eschatology but don't really know what it means. I do study the bible and ask God to give me wisdom and discernment in understanding and applying his word. I haven't seen the Word to say what you are describing. But, I want to remain a teachable spirit so please tell me where to look to find what you are describing here.

The greatest thing about God's word is the continual treasure I find daily. There is always new understanding to be grapsed. One can never tire of reading scripture because each reading will bring further and deeper understanding. Looks like I need to put my nose further in the good book and pray earnestly to understand what you have grapsed here.

In my personal walk, I have found anytime, I suggest that there is a only one way God will bless his people with prosperity, I find myself in trouble. Though, I do feel extremely blessed farming, home schooling and letting God plan my family. I am not at a stage where I feel I can say I am more rigtheous then the city folk who public educate and had a surgical proceedure. My pride takes over and I put myself on some kind of special status thing. I create a rift between me and the other folks who don't do what I do. I then go a step further and elevate myself to sitting in the judgement seat. These are just my personal hangups. It could be I am stuck in a developmental stage in my walk and need to move forward. But, I haven't found saying that agrarain living is the most compatible to gospel living to be helpful in sharing God's word with anyone. When I make those statements I do so in a self righteous way. I have found that when I enjoy the prosperity that I have genuinely that people are attracted to that light. They want what I have. Just personal style I guess and perhaps how God uses his people in different ways. You are gifted at telling it like it is. I am gifted in encouraging from a joyous perspective.

Blessings!!

 
At 11/30/2005 4:42 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

"I have found anytime, I suggest that there is a only one way God will bless his people with prosperity, I find myself in trouble."

Again, I'm not teaching sanctifaction by farming here. God forbid I do that. This is more than rural-farm vs urban stuff we are talking about. You could be an agrarain manufacturer or shop keeper. Biblical Agrarianism is the natural outcome of following Gods law. We can call it something else if we have to. It seems the words mean different things to different folks.

There is only one way for a nation/people to be blessed by God. They must follow and obey his Law/Word in every area of life. Jon's quote best explains why the current system is incompatable with the Christian faith.

About Eschatology. It has consequences, as evedent by the fruit of this centuries obsession with a premill dispensational veiw of the future. Rick sells a book in his catalog you may like to read and study. Its called Postmillennialism, an eschatology of hope by Keith Mathison. Mr. Kimball has my copy of my favorite one by Bahnsen called Victory in Jesus. It is now out of print. If you would like to borrow it, ask him to send it your way when he's done with it.

One of the best things about the readers of this blog is that we truly represent the holy catholic church. There are readers and commenters from every denomination you can think of and then some you didn't know existed. We don't have to agree on everything, but its sure fun to look at things from other perspectives.

 
At 11/30/2005 6:24 AM, Anonymous KS Milkmaid said...

Scott:

I am not at the point where I can agree or disagree because I really am unfamiliar with the terms you are using. Ignorance is bliss sometimes...not all the time I realize.

My main objective is to remain graciously teachable. I am thrilled to learn...I have been dragging my feet on the learning about these words I see on blogs. I have had a lot of tags thrown on me when talking with other Christians about the Lord. Lets see...Some say I am a Calvinist...some say I am a Arminian...some say I am dispensationalist....some say I am no creed but Jesus...I guess some folks want to pin me down to a label for their some reason and I am not sure it is because they want to glorify God when thinking of me. It may be more so they can pray for my lost soul. I say I am pretty confused by it all :) I really need to study those tags. I really can't be offended because I don't know what they mean or all of what they embrace.
I would absolutely love to borrow the book you refer to here. I will most certainly check into the book Rick carries as well. In a sense I get frustrated because the study of movements prevents me from rolling up my sleeves and getting on my knees to read the best book of all. I was kind of hoping you could refer me to the bible chapters and verses. I would rather be reading the bible and so busy living it out that I have less time to study people's views of what the bible means. But, it is clear I can't get away with this approach much longer. I have been getting a gentle nudging to do this from someone sweet and kind any way. I really can't even express views without seeing these terms come up anymore.

BTW, I don't see you as preaching salvation via farming. I just think that is a fine human line I cross when feeling the hope and joy of leading the life I lead. I find I cross that more when non agrarian folks get hostile and lash out. My reaction is to wrestle with what I just described. I continually have to humble myself.

All stated with a spirit of respect and desire to learn more.

 
At 11/30/2005 10:14 AM, Blogger Scott Holtzman said...

"Can a handful of Christian Agrarians change the world, you ask. History has shown that the dedicated and faithful minority can do huge things."

A thought that seems to resonate quietly in the heart of man from the last strike to the next, where it rings ever more true to wake the sleeping ears of the discontent and the slothful. (Ephesians 5:14)

It is a sound of refuge my wife and I hear and that rings loud within our heart and soul. One day (if the Lord shall tarry) we will see it bear fruit in our children, and if we are ever so fortunate; our children’s children. For in that a generation of faith passed on have we well educated our children and provided a treasure that truly nether moth and rust destroy, nor thieves beak in and steal. (Matthew 6:19)

Eschatology simply put means the study of last things. Though I am more prone to focusing upon the hear and now, I do keep an I on the future, some dry powder (and not just the milk variety) for having been a Boy Scout and ex-military there is much to be said for the motto “Be Prepared”. Proverbs has stores of wisdom on this subject. I would probably have somewhat dissenting opinion over ‘high hopes’ for the future as I gaze across our current landscape and keep tripping over things like that ‘little stone’ (II Peter 3:10) on my way to Revelation, but I do not wish to tread to heavily in the ‘theological pond’ in an electronic landscape. I do know this that Revelation 22:17 has a wonderful offer to the believer of God and His Word and being a member of a resurrected army of the only true sovereign has it’s benefits. After all what is life so dear………as an great American patriot once wrote “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”

So I’ll take my stand with you on that ‘high hill’, plowshare sharpened with biblical edge………

 
At 12/15/2005 10:44 AM, Blogger HomesteadHerbs said...

I just found your blog, and was thrilled to see this post. My little family, and many in our church community are also striving towards covenantal, scriptural agrarianism. We've got a ways to go, but our Lord is merciful and full of grace.

Blessings to you this Christmas season.

 

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