On my blog recently, I wrote about the continuity (and the discontinuity) between the compilation of the Common Law, Magna Charta, and the American Constitution, and how they were written for moral people to work within and with. That post is here, and I see this as a follow-up to it, explaining some basics.
John Adams said that:
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
Many of us have wondered why, and yes, it is applicable to any people who wish to be free. Here is part of the reason. And it has a lot to do with how God ordered the universe. Dr. Jack Kilcrease recently saw The Wolf of Wallstreet and it made him think A few excerpts may be in order.
In many respects though, I think Scorsese got fundamentally wrong why Jordan Belfort became corrupt and the nature of his corruption….I would of course make a couple of points about this. First, of course, any economic system is corruptible, because humans are by nature corrupt. This is obvious and I need not historically elaborate this. Secondly, there is nevertheless a possibility for Capitalism with virtue (one might say). Certainly the Puritans had a vibrant Capitalist culture while maintaining a relatively high level of morality (at least in human terms). The Dutch did as well. Simon Schama has documented this in his book about the Dutch in the 17th century:http://www.amazon.com/Embarrassment-Riches-Interpretation-Culture-Golden/dp/0006861369/ref=la_B000AQ8WPO_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390136403&sr=1-17…..Scorsese somehow thinks there needs to be more State-control. Indeed, over the previous 100 years or so, we have developed the notion that the State is really the center of human life. This is a mistake made not only by the Left of the political spectrum, but also by the Right. That being the case, in our current political discourse the State is meant to bear weight that as an Order of Creation that it wasn’t established by God to bear. In other words, the assumption is that human flourishing happens if we get politics right. In fact, not just human flourishing happens but maybe even the Kingdom of God happens- witness the strange messianic projects that both liberal and conservative Presidents have wanted to take up in recent decades.
In fact the State is not and can not be the center of the universe. In his Genesis Commentary, Martin Luther explained this, in this way
In his commentary on the primal narrative of human life before the Fall, Luther shows that God established first the Family and then the Church as the original and most authentic setting of human existence. They were created before the Fall into sin and therefore are not necessarily a response to the condition of human sin. Rather, they are a natural setting for human life on earth. They only become unworkable on their own when sin comes in. Therefore after the Flood, in Genesis 9 God promulgates the new law of retribution, thereby implying the establishment of the Order of the State as Paul confirms in Romans 13. Hence, the State and its coercion are not meant as a means of the fulfillment of human life. It is, unlike the other Orders, something created in order to counteract human sin and therefore make up for the failures of the first two Orders.
In the context of the film, Belfort has no constraints from his home training, he only has the State and the State is neither omnipresent nor omniscient, and so he gets away with a lot. We would say for now but, that is not operative in his worldview, that of an unbeliever.
Within such a situation then, the State must either remain impotent in the face of a corrupt culture where the Orders of the Church and Family are non-functional, or it must actually take over those functions and become more and more intrusive, totalizing, and, indeed, tyrannical. And this latter course more often than not happens. And so there comes about a kind of symbiotic effect. The more the Church and the Family deteriorate as Orders, so the Order of the State takes over their functions. And the State feeds children and supports families because there is no father. The State teaches “virtue” (after a fashion) in public schools. And the State becomes a kind of religion and now brings the kingdom. Nevertheless, it is likewise the case, that as the State takes over these functions and becomes more and more totalizing, it also accelerates the deterioration of the Orders of the Family and the Church as well.
You should read the entire article: theologia crucis: The “Wolf of Wallstreet” and the Orders of Creation.
With a hattip to Cranach: The Blog of Veith as well
And so we see the proper ordering of society is Family, then Church, then State, if we disrupt the order we will have trouble, and we do.