Acts 19: 23-41: The riot at Ephesus and the NGC Strategy
liberalism and corporatism
Paul spent several years at Ephesus and his ministry proved so successful it threatened the business community. Silversmith, Demetrius fermented a riot against ‘The Way’ by arguing Christian conversions threatened the idol making business and undermined belief in the pagan gods, amongst whom Artemis (Diana) was the greatest.
Parallels with the NGC Strategy are striking. Note that Paul’s ministry in the province of Asia challenged the two primary sources of power money making and idolatry. A NGC promoting the 12 Reforms in its community, to increase the pool of people open to evangelism, would be confronting the same things - money and idolatry. Four of the reforms are directed at dismantling corporate power (the neo-liberal corporatist system, not ordinary free market business). This is the money making parallel. The other eight reforms, if implemented would disarm the liberal / progressive creed with all its dogmas designed to replace Christianity with an idolatrous, false religion. For more on this go to my books, available as free PDF manuscripts on www.lastpost.net. Liberalism demands everyone in public life bows to its precepts. In fact the U.S. Supreme Court once acknowledged in one of its rulings that liberalism, which it refers to as humanism, is a religion. In its first humanist manifesto published in the 30’s liberalism acknowledged it was an alternative to Christianity.
Christians in Ephesus were contesting with the close collaboration between business and man-made gods. The two operated in a symbiotic relationship. The same is true today. The liberal political-media-academic classes work in partnership with their corporate donor-supporters to maintain the self-interests of both. Like Paul in the province of Asia the NGC strategy targets both. In fact, it is probably a truism that whenever the Church is being effective in any community it will inevitably run up against those out to profit off business interests where they are aligned with the dominant belief and power system.
Another parallel comes from v.37 where the city clerk quells the riot by pointing out preachers of The Way had not been singling out their goddess for attack. The NGC Strategy takes the same approach. It does not target liberalism and corporatism per se. Instead, it seeks to create more advanced social, political and economic mechanisms that would effectively end their dominance and do away with their perceived necessity. Nor does it focus directly on the big moral issues. That would only incite a ‘riot’ of attacks. The objective, beyond the primary focus on evangelism, is to create the democratic conditions where it would be possible, amongst many other things, to re-litigate all the big moral issues like abortion, same sex marriage and easy divorce by appealing to the ‘wisdom of crowds’ through the first reform (direct democracy).
In most cases the moral re-engineering over the last 40-60 years was done against the will of the people. Most morality challenging dogmas within the liberal creed were originally minority issues, without the support of most people. Backdoor methods, including the courts and the hegemony of government, were used to legalise immorality. Even loose abortion law is not that popular. Those for and against it in the U.S. balance out at around 50/50. Social re-engineering was followed by incessant propagandising and politically correct brown shirt and jackboot tactics to condition and cajole acceptance. Once the people have the power to re-visit the moral issues through referenda there is a very real possibility that the moral horses can be corralled and put back in the stable. Now I am not saying the Church should stop contesting the moral issues, but it is now clear that making any inroads using the courts and other forms of public pressure has not had and will not have any real effect. The NGC Strategy would open a powerful and hitherto unused front against liberalism moral relativism.
Finally, you can bank on the fact that as soon as NGC churches began to raise awareness of alternatives to the liberal-corporate creeds opposition and persecution will follow. By championing the 12 Reforms Christians would not be going into the political arena but they would be back in the public square. They would be a direct existential threat to the established power-idolatry establishment. Any industrious NGC can expect to face rioters.