The 12 Reforms
“The choice before us is between the formation of a new Christian culture and the acceptance of a pagan one.” T.S. Eliot (1939): The Idea of a Christian Society.
This is my definite statement on the 12 Reforms…
These reforms will seem radical to the uninitiated. They are supposed to be and given the situation they have to be. No-one listens to a prophet with a non-controversial message. Download and read the PDF Against Our Night from www.lastpost.net for the reasons that lie behind each of these reforms. They are a direct response to a proper understanding of the times in which we now live. They are radical of absolute necessity, but they are not ideologically driven. Their aim, in a separation of Church and state context, is to make evangelism a whole lot easier and more ubiquitous by doing two complementary things: greatly increase awareness of Christianity’s relevance (expanding the interest pool, or catchment) and facilitate easy transitions to the gospel by introducing the listener, in any conversation about our times, to the 12 Reforms before transiting through the five core CWV principles to the gospel. A secondary aim (also very important) is to make possible the toppling the two atheistic giants within The Problem – fascist liberalism and feudal global corporatism.
Put aside any political or ideological biases. A Christian should live apart from them (Must read: Eph 4:14-24). The reforms’ social policy implications run concurrently with standing out as transformationally salt and light in defence of truth and in opposition to the things God hates while being a vehicle for the spiritual warfare that wins souls. When David took to Goliath a punch on the nose was not going to do it. A killer blow was needed. If the Church is to re-establish its place evangelistically and counter-culturally at the heart of the culture, a transforming, counter-cultural strike is necessary; incremental ideas will never succeed and compromise has proven to be disastrous. The giants’ agendas pursued relentlessly for the last forty years have left human and cultural carnage in their wake. It has been wicked to its core. The 12 Reforms transformationally challenge the atheistic elites, retain the separation of Church and state and elevate opportunities for evangelism. Here they are minus the detailed justifications and implementation ideas found in my book Against Our Night, available off this site:
1. Direct democracy: Introduce the Swiss system of direct democracy using binding citizen’s initiated referenda (BCIR). It frees individuals to wrest control of their communities and nation from our self-appointed elite and provides opportunities to sanction changes that our moribund political class would not recognize or accept. Most importantly it would free the Church, using the opportunities afforded by the referenda process, to challenge the moral relativism that dismantled God’s ordained natural moral order. Direct democracy also allows the Church to maintain the separation between Church and state by avoiding partisan politics and accusations it is imposing its will on society. Trying to restore nineteenth century ‘compulsory morality’ is not the goal - voluntary moral probity is.
2. Representative reform: End control by the ‘establishment’ political elite and their political party system over the system of representative government. Introduce term limits for representatives – no more than 2 consecutive terms. Abolish political parties. Have each representative stand in their own right, with a strict and standard electioneering spending limit. Employ the ‘recall’ where the people can, by referendum, fire their representative and vote in a replacement. Add BCIR to this mix and the liberal-corporate stranglehold on government would be broken and democracy would be released into all it should be. Achieving these seven ultimate aims for democracy would finally be possible:
· No citizen should live in fear of another.
· Truth and freedom must never be sacrificed for safety.
· People should be left in final control of the most important things in their lives.
· Equality must never triumph over liberty.
· Liberty exists to do only what is just and good.
· Central government must not do what local communities can do for themselves.
· Power should be equally shared by all the people.
3. Maximise each individual’s opportunities: Provide the means, incentives and disincentives necessary for individuals to make the right choices in life and reach their full potential, because they are made in God’s image. This will involve restoring the role of the family, reducing the role of government (Reform 8) and changes to education, the workplace and systems of banking and finance. Reforms 1 and 2 also come into play by challenging individuals to vest control of their society in the people’s democratic will.
4. End income tax: Taxing a person’s time, labour, innovation and enterprise is iniquitous. It was only introduced in the twentieth century to finance big government. Replace income and most other taxes with a single ‘fair tax’ (sales tax), making taxation far simpler, transparent and equitable. It will all-but remove the need for the IRD/IRS. It will also reduce the cost of business and commodity prices while providing a simple mechanism for selectively helping the poor by removing the fair tax on a wide range of essential products and services. Conversely luxury items can be taxed more heavily to offset the tax reductions for the poor. It will provide a strong incentive for governments to live within their means and equitably spread the cost of government across individuals, tourists and businesses. Add a ‘Tobin’-style tax on financial market transactions. By all accounts this would bring in a great deal of money and help facilitate some of the other reforms (c.f. Reforms 8 and 12).
5. Empower local communities: Equip and require local communities to reform and oversee their own education, health, welfare provision and local economy under something similar to the old ‘parish’ system – in a more ‘village-like’ environment where members of each community can be much more tuned to need, demands and function in their local area. This theme is developed more fully in both my other books. Family life, small businesses (the backbone of any economy) and community life will grow in strength. The need for government interventions and large corporate ‘chain’ businesses will drastically diminish, especially when combined with Reform 11 – workplace democracy. Clearly, the size of these communities would vary according to conditions.
6. Preserve the culture: Oppose liberal practices causing the West’s demographic and cultural collapse. Celebrate the West’s achievements and values, recognising their Christian foundations. Re-establish the traditional family, end identity and gender politics. Re-appraise moral issues using referenda. Ensure immigrants fully integrate. Re-set the West’s foundational Judeo-Christian values. This reform set would be impossible without direct democracy (R1).
7. Advance true justice: Introduce a comprehensive system of community ‘People’s Courts’ (the biblical ‘elders at the gate’) and make accessing these courts and the ‘old court system’ free of charge. The legal profession’s stranglehold on justice will be broken and the people will have immediate, local and open access to all forms of civil and criminal justice (Deut 27:19, Is 10:1-2) using hearings, trials, arbitration and mediation.
8. Reduce the size of government: Downsize government activity until it is less than 20% of GDP and replace GDP with ‘real progress indicators’ to gauge both the economic and social health of the country. The two democratic reforms, empowering local communities (R5) and moving to a single sales tax (R4) would need to happen in advance or concurrently. Complex and costly regulatory regimes would be reduced to statements of minimum standards and compliance on a ‘my choice - my risk – my cost basis, enforced by the people’s courts.
9. End current banking and financial market practices: Issue all credit (loans) as interest free debt issued and administered by an independent public body. Money would come into existence and be cancelled out of existence using this mechanism. End the invention and marketing of ‘financial products’. Cancel shares or stocks once they have been traded seven times. This has been recommended by economist Steve Keen to stop the stock markets being used as gambling machines, creating dangerous economic volatility.
10. Eliminate gross wealth inequalities: Introducing a wealth cap ($10 million?) without limiting free enterprise and entrepreneurship. Require those already over the cap to philanthropically invest their excess wealth over a five year period. Wealth hidden in tax havens will have to be repatriated. It is estimated the super-wealthy are hording over 21 trillion in financial assets and at least 5 trillion in property). This is an appalling injustice given all the problems in the world. There would be nothing unusual in a dramatic step like a wealth cap. In the 15th Century Henry VIII reduced the wealth and power of the Catholic Church in England and last century the British government introduced a death duty system that stripped the old aristocracy of much of its wealth. In Isaiah Tyre is told its ill-gotten gains would be taken from it (Is 23:17-18) and in 1 Sam 8 God eliminated any argument that a few have a right to amass vast and unnecessary fortunes. A co-committal introduction of a universal minimum wage payable to everyone, in lieu of welfare and other government handouts, might also reduce inequality and remove disincentives to stay out of work to avoid losing welfare support. A wealth cap would also discourage excessive profit taking. This would make goods less expensive, encourage increased re-investment in job-creating businesses and incentivise employers to pay their staff more.
11. Introduce workplace democracy: Require all businesses employing more than 100 people to apply the Semler - Semco principles of ‘workplace democracy’. Staff play a greater role in organizing their work and making decisions, but the owners and managers of the business still retain full control. Staff are representation on company boards. Their pay includes a profit sharing component, incentivizing them to do their best for the business. CEO salaries are pegged at no more than 10 times the average wage. Staff elect their immediate bosses and may be given more control over the management and operation of productive units – under contract to the parent company, if business owners deem it good for the business to do so.
12. Re-establish classical capitalism: End neo-liberal practices that allow global corporatism to control commerce, exchange rates and conduct money market speculation. Eliminate corporate lobbying and ‘pay to play’ practices. Eliminate central banking fiscal management through quantitative easing and allow businesses to find their own place within an open, level playing field market. Reintroduce tariffs where the benefits of free trade are outweighed by wider social costs. Create real free market competition by limiting any one company’s share of a market to no more than 15%.
It may surprise you to know that only reforms 3, 7 and 10 are, to the best of my knowledge, unique. A few have been introduced with great success. Others have been recommended by others more qualified to do so than I. The fair tax has been supported by senior U.S. politicians.
Because these reforms are designed to re-kindle the strength of the western Church and bring down the liberal-corporatist giants doing all the things God hates they are not a starting point for consultation, or a party political platform. It is not necessary to agree with all of them, or massage them into your particular ideological preference – it can’t be done. It is not even necessary for the Church to try and get them implemented. They are a practical, truth-based expression of the spiritual warfare that must be waged against the ‘pretentious arguments’ and false philosophies arrayed in the West (2 Cor 10:5; Col 3:8) against its Judeo-Christian foundations and by extension Jesus Christ. The situation is now at a stage where watering any of them down would be a really bad idea. Defeating the giants while drawing people to Christ is the central purpose. Individual Christians and non-Christians may try to get any or all of the reforms implemented, but the institutional Church should concentrate on evangelism and maintaining the separation of Church and state.
This 12 point platform eschews the left-right divide; there is no biblical mandate for political partisanship. The NGC will harbour no political or ideological bias, other than for biblical pre-suppositions; like the special character of the individual and the need to keep governments small (c.f. 1 Sam 8). The anti-corporatist and tax reforms should appeal to classical capitalists while socialists would probably find those dealing with the workplace and wealth cap appealing. Taken as a whole though the left and the right will find the 12 Reforms unacceptable. In strategic management terms the reforms are unlikely to be purloined by the opposition because they undermine their position. The NGC church will take advantage of this situation, using the 12 Reforms as its unique non-partisan evangelistic enabler that will bring the Christian world view into the public square to do what it is intended to do – stand out as countercultural, salt and light, transformational, prophetic and evangelistic. By being these things the NGC takes on the giants. It tackles The Problem head on by being the right spiritual and scriptural response to our times. The NGC is out of the wilderness and prophetically opposing the things God hates. Of course, by metaphorically re-crossing the Jordan it makes itself the enemy of the anti-Christian forces running amok on the other side. The Israelites faced the same reality.
NGC evangelism using transformation in our times
Now we come to the crux, the nub of the NGC strategy; understanding how it works practically for evangelism. In trial one-on-one conversations with people I work off any or all of the 12 reforms to get to the gospel. How is that done? It is a whole lot easier and less forced than standard evangelistic methods, although it can dovetail smoothlywith other methods, like Ray Comfort’s law-to-grace approach. A church applying the NGC strategy would make it work like this:
Stage one: Prepare the ground community wide. Use ever available means to ply entire communities with the 12 Reforms and their biblical antecedents – the five core Christian world view principles. Do this to massively expand the catchment of those interested in Christianity by propelling the Church back into the public square of ideas and discourse. Prove Christianity is a transformational world view of counter-cultural proportions. Persevere, it will take a while; like getting a heavy fly-wheel to turn freely. Be bold, dynamic and resolute because opposition will surely come.
Stage two: Take any discussion on anything going on in the world today and introduce any number of the 12 Reforms to demonstrate a command of the situation in our times. Providing the listener with a sense of your transformational vision for a better world heightens the attention paid to your views and your faith.
Stage three: Transition to the core Judeo-Christian principles (the 5 core CWV principles) underpinning the 12 Reforms. Make it clear these are the West’s founding values, the main themes running through the Bible and the basis for the 12 Reforms you have just outlines wholly, or in part.
Stage four: Transition to the gospel by explaining that Christianity can change lives just as effectively as it can transform society. It answers the crucial questions in life. No-one can really live a life of trust, fulfilment, hope and love unless they know the prince of peace, Jesus Christ. Explain the gospel and illustrate it with your personal testimony. Also utilise the Way of the Master law-to-grace method, as appropriate - https://www.livingwaters.com).
NGC evangelism: large catchments and easy transitions
For decades evangelism has relied on creating or happening upon opportunities to take people to the gospel. Doing so is often un-natural and awkward, discouraging large numbers of Christians from taking the plunge because broaching the subject is often difficult and all too painfully obvious and forced. The three stage evangelistic process just outlined is possible because community wide promotion of the 12 Reforms would encourage far greater interest in Christianity. Their purpose is to create a much enlarged catchment or pool of people re-awakened to Christianity while they and the five core principles provide easy, natural transitions to the gospel itself.
The 12 reforms as the NGC enabler
“For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” 1 Cor 10:33b.
“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are perishing. To one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life...” (2 Cor 15-16)
We now come to the core of the NGC strategy - the 12 Reform platform or enabler. Together these reforms are a radically transformative and countercultural demonstration of the Church’s compassion for people, champion for justice, servant of God and finger on the pulse innovator. But it goes even further. The 12 Reforms exist as an evangelistic catalyst. They provide an incredibly broad reach for those engaging with the unsaved on just about anything happening in western societies while being the first stage in an evangelistic process. The limited ways the Church has been reaching out to western societies has manifestly failed to do much more than put God’s talents or minas out on interest (you need to be familiar with the parables - Mt 25:14-30; Lk 19:12-27). The NGC’s 12 Reform platform is the engine that resets the Church’s sense of calling. Let me list the ways:
· They provide an enabling strategy for churches to reassert their historic role in the public square as the prophetic conscience and moral leader in society by breaking their wilderness addiction to pietism and social service (see p.30 insert – the section on the NGC model).
· Used in this way they will re-arouse widespread latent interest in Christianity, expanding the pool of those open to hear the gospel.
· They can be used evangelistically by inserting them into any conversation before transitioning from them to the five core CWV principles. From there it is possible to make a second transition to the gospel. Used in in this way they would increase evangelistic activity in any church by making it easy to turn most conversations towards the gospel.
· They are less likely to snare the Church in a hostile liberal PC reaction by addressing strategic issues, rather than the more obvious moral manifestations of liberal dogmas.
· Democratic reforms (Reforms 1 and 2) will allow the Church to re-litigate the big moral issues without transgressing the separation of Church and state convention.
· They are enablers for the Great Command and Great Commission by re-inserting the Church into mainstream discourse, taking an axe to the roots of liberalism and corporatism. A more relevant Church (for our times) is a Church with more opportunities for evangelism-discipleship.
· A big-cause ‘infrastructure’ is created for churches to find the unity in purpose that transcends the factionalism of Calvinism, Pentecostalism or other inhibiting Church cultural ‘isms’.
· All 12 collectively give expression to the Christian world view’s five core principles. This is vital since they all stem from the five core principles and those principles are the fulcrum from an everyday discussion to the gospel.
· Properly prosecuted they would attack The Problem head on by undermining the giants of liberalism, and neo-liberal corporatism. Metaphorically speaking they would carry the Church out of its self-imposed wilderness and back across the Jordan to confront God’s enemies – those institutions, organisations and ideologues promoting or sustaining the things God hates.
· They would galvanise Christians around a big idea, a core set of goals that should transcend misdirected leadership and false theology, because they are not an end in themselves but a transformative vehicle for opening up far wider opportunities to engage communities with the gospel. The gospel brings both salvation and an openness to honour God’s commands across society.
· Taken together they indirectly call for western nations (following the example of the prophets) to confess their collective national sin and turn back to a path aligned with God’s commands and the Christian world view.
· They are an accurate, forensic and compassionate response to our times.
· If implemented they would provide a powerful counter to those perverse drivers in mankind’s fallen nature – the will to power, the fuehrerprinzip, the normalcy bias, vacant expectation, group think and the Toynbee Effect.
· As a vehicle for countercultural transformation they are neither judgmental, pharisaical, pride-driven, or politically partisan.
· They are a compassionate, passionate, inclusive and far-sighted vision for nations to recognise each human is made in God’s image and deserves every opportunity to achieve the potential latent in the attributes God has bestowed on each person.
· They would allow Christians to bring the existence of God, creation, the veracity of the Bible and moral standards back into full public square focus.
· The challenges posed by AI fall within the reforms’ ability to respond.
The western church does not come close to a missional vision with this sort of depth and scale. As laudable as meeting need, other social service demands and exiting forms of evangelism are they fail to address the big causal issues at the heart of the West’s existential and spiritual crisis. It is not necessary to agree with any or all of the reforms at a personal level. Any Christian doing so will be putting fixed, partisan and ideological beliefs before the commands and precepts of God and the realities of our times. Keep this in mind:
“Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” 1Cor 3:18-19.
Accepting the 12 Reforms is vital. They are the means to advance the fundamental transformative stance the church needs to adopt in the face of God’s enemies. Christians who balk at doing so must stump-up with a better alternative, rather than the status-quo, or find themselves on the road to the same fate that awaited those who buried their talents (Mt 25:14-30).
The 12 Reforms attack the foundations of the whole anti-Christian enterprise being orchestrated by the giants across the Jordan: fascist liberalism and feudal corporatism. These giants have caused just about all the social, political and economic harm being done to our neighbor today. They have taken particular care to rage against Jesus Christ. If they are not defeated they will destroy western civilisation – the only one founded on Judeo-Christian values. If the Church refuses to understand and respond to the times we are now in it will have failed in both the two great commands.
The notion that saving souls is all the Church needs to be about finds no support before God who repeatedly says he will judge the nations (“come and worship before me” – Rev 15:4; Joel 3:2) as well as individuals. The two are inseparable. The gospel is essential for salvation but it is part of God’s wider injunction to love our neighbor who has, after all, to not only find salvation but also find coherence in a fallen world prone to evil and injustice. If saving souls was the only reason for the great command Jesus would not have illustrated it with the example of the Good Samaritan. Tables 12 and 13 depict the 12 Reform platform at the heart of the NGC model because, as the reasons listed to the side of Figure 12 indicate, it is the driver, the enabler, the vehicle for NGC public square and evangelistic action.
I’ve been challenged by a few Christians who contend the 12 Reforms are only one set of ideas. That might be true if your purpose is limited to salving some preferred set of social ills, but that falls well short on any effectiveness scale. Christians have been fighting all sorts of social and moral issue battles for decades and got no-where because issues like school choice, homosexuality, intrusive government and poverty are symptoms, not causes. To coin a few of my favourite phrases this sort of approach merely ‘chops at the weeds around the porch’. Weeds don’t go away, they grow back. It fails miserably to ‘take the axe to the root’. If the two giants are the cause of the evil tearing at the West they must be brought down. The 12 Reforms are designed to do just that. My situation analysis also revealed they would create all the conditions necessary to advance the five core Christian principles, which are the primary values that made the West possible. Furthermore they are so transformational they will grab people’s attention and make raising interest in Christianity and transitioning to the gospel so much easier. The many more prosaic ‘issues’ Christians habitually default to are too insignificant to do any of this. If you want to cast low the giants by grabbing people’s attention, being prophetic, aligning with God against the things he hates, create a dynamic environment for evangelism and counter the ubiquitous perverse forces within our fallen natures you need the 12 Reforms. There may be some useful additions out there but my analysis convinces me confronting the two giants would be impossible without them.
 I gleaned these foundational principles directly or indirectly from the writings of G.K. Chesterton, Alexis de Tocqueville, Thomas Paine, Winthrop and Montesquieu – all great thinkers on matters democratic.
 Research leading to the so called Dunbar Number suggests we can form meaningful relationships with about 150 people without creating structures, like the police, to help manage communities.
 The my choice – my risk – my cost formula is explained in Against Our Night.
 Go to The Way of the Master site