Christianity and Agrarianism, Cause and Effect

Christianity and Agrarianism, Cause and Effect

I’m often asked why on earth I feel compelled to advocate a Covenantal Agrarian social and economic order. What is Christian about agrarianism, they ask? I have always maintained that if we “live the bible” and take the commands and examples to heart, we by default create an agrarian society. As Clark points out…

The economic system of the Bible is agrarian; it is based upon the supposition that nearly all of the people live upon the land and engage in agricultural pursuits. It was intended that there should be neither poverty nor riches—neither beggary nor great wealth—in the land, but that every man should be economically independent and self-supporting, possessing his habitation and means of live-lihood and enjoying the products of his labor; in short, that each should sit “under his vine and fig tree” and “eat the fruit thereof.”

According to Biblical law, it is elemental that every man should “bear his own burden,” —maintain himself and his family—and should “labour,” plant his garden and till his land.

~H.B. Clark, Biblical Law Sec.245

Tractor Supply

I challenge anyone to show me how by obeying the Law of God we can create anything other than an agrarian order. No, the bible does not come out and say “Thou shalt create an agrarian order”, but if we simply act on God’s commands, His restrictions and limitations that is exactly what we do. Berry makes an interesting observation about our current system and the church…

What, for Christians, would be the economy, the practices and the restraints, of “right livelihood”? I do not believe that organized Christianity now has any idea. I think its idea of a Christian economy is no more or less than the industrial economy-which is an economy firmly founded on the seven deadly sins and the breaking of all ten of the Ten Commandments. ~Wendell Berry

Who can argue that our current system is not founded on the breaking of God’s Law? What would a world look like without usury, gross indebtedness, the desecration of creation and all our other high crimes against God? What if Christians took seriously what the bible teaches about gleaning for example, or embraced the biblical concept of Decentralization? What if we tithed real wealth and stored it in Tithe Barns. We can rest assured that the current system will fall and be destroyed. When will the church begin the task of agrarian restoration?

3 thoughts on “Christianity and Agrarianism, Cause and Effect

  • December 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Scott:
    Thanks for the post and the convicting words. I am seeing more and more as I study that we are trying to mold God and His word to our world systems instead of the other way around .

    Over the last year I have had some paradigm changes that are difficult as I see we are so ingrained in our culture and dependent on technology. I say this as I write on my computer and am on the internet:) We are in the process of working towards change but at times this is difficult but by God’s power it can be done.

    I think often that we ignore the culture of the times of Christ and Scripture and just seek to fit His word to our culture instead of asking is that how it is to be. Since we are told that Christ came in the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4) is it not possible we are to see that as more than speaking to a point in time but maybe even we should look to the times? Just some things I have been contemplating and have not worked them all out yet.

    Again thanks for the post.


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