Rabbi Daniel Lapin – Liberty University Convocation

>>DAVID NASSER: We’re just so blessed here
at Liberty University to have not only great leaders that are always coming to pour into
us, but really even leaders among us. And one of those leaders is our very own Erin
Kelly. Erin is an incredible servant in our department, Office of Spiritual Programs,
and so I’m always watching her, honestly as a very humble servant – just serve so many
of the humble people that come in here as guests. But she’s a bit of a, kind of renowned
speaker and author herself, and recently she had a book that just came out, and it hit
the New York Times best selling list. And so it’s an incredible thing, and we wanted
to give you a few minutes with Erin, I’ve asked if she would kind of tell you a little
bit about, not just the book, but just what God’s been doing in her life. Last year, many
of you remember that her family came; Jim Kelly, the football legend came, you know,
and Erin’s mom, Jill Kelly came and they kind of shared their testimony of how God had just
been working in and through their life, and many of you want to also know how Jim is doing
and so just as an update, and also to tell you a little bit more about that, can we put
our hands together for our very own, Erin Kelly, everybody. Erin, morning!>>ERIN KELLY: Good morning!>>DAVID NASSER: All right so a few questions
that we kind of put together just to ask you, first of all, just so proud of you. I mean
just the way, honestly you carry yourself with humility, and you carry yourself with
– just as a great witness for the Lord, it’s just been nothing short of impressive. And
so just for people who see you around campus, but maybe haven’t had the chance to get to
know you, these questions I think are an opportunity for them to know a little bit more about you.
Question number 1, all right? Most people look back and define their college experience,
Erin, as very different than yours, particularly in this particular season, right? You are
an extremely accomplished 20 year-old. You and your sister co-wrote a 5-book series,
which became an award winner. You travel extensively speaking and giving interviews to media outlets
all of the time. You’re juggling challenging class schedules as a Liberty student. You
are a sideline analyst, we see you, you know, a lot of times at the games as a sideline
analyst. And then, obviously, you work in our department and you serve, and you’re very
invested in all kinds of campus life, and then on top of all that you recently co-wrote
a book with your mom, and it has hit the New York Times best selling list, and so all that
said, what is all that been like for you as a college student?>>ERIN KELLY: Well first of all, just thank
you for having me up here just to share my heart and what God has been doing, and to
go through all those things, to write those 5 books with my sister, and then to write
Kelly Tough, and just the experiences that God has allowed me to walk through, I’ve realized
recently that they’ve all come out of pain, and that I wouldn’t have had those opportunities
to say, be on ESPN or the Today Show and to write a book that is a New York Times best
seller if it wasn’t for the pain that God allowed my family to walk through; to walk
through the pain of watching my younger brother suffer every single day of his life and then
when I was 10 years old he passed away and went to heaven from a terminally ill disease.
And then to watch my father go through cancer for a second time and really not knowing if
the next day I would wake up and I would have my dad there, and so to walk through those
trials and to walk through the valley, God really showed me his goodness and his power
in the midst of that. And so although it is such an honor and humbling to walk through
those things and for God to allow me to experience these things, they’ve been out of pain. And
I think a lot of times that’s what we all go through, that those high mountains are
once we have come out of the valley.>>DAVID NASSER: Yeah, I think a lot of people
just see you, Erin, and get to know you, and they just think you have a really charmed
life – I mean your father is a, you know, a legend obviously with that comes all kinds
of influence and affluence, and they just see you so put together the way you represent
– one time I was asking, where’s Erin today? In the green room and they pointed to the
TV, and they said, “She’s on TV,” and you were on the Today Show. So, people just think,
“Wow, she’s just really living this very protected, charmed life,” but you phrase it in a very
different way. You say so much of your testimony is coming out of tragedy and out of trials
and things, so how do you deal with that? I mean as somebody who goes through a lot
of hurt, or you go through real obstacles like your brother’s sickness and like your
father’s, you know, recent battle with cancer, how do you deal with that in a day-to-day
basis?>>ERIN KELLY: Well, God has really just given
us this platform, and like I said it’s out of pain, but at the same time it has grown
me and my relationship with Christ and I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for what
God had allowed my family to walk through, and just the platform he has given us, I believe
he’s – it’s far beyond football. Yes my dad was an amazing football player, but God
has used that platform to make his name known, to make his name known above all things – that
it’s not about the Kelly family, it’s really about God’s story in the midst of it all and
yeah, absolutely, like God is just far beyond us and He has used our weakness to show his
strength. And so dealing with the struggles on a day to day basis, and we don’t know what
tomorrow’s going to hold; he still has to get CAT scans constantly to make sure the
cancer doesn’t return and so although we don’t know, we trust the God who knows, and God
has really taught me just through the entire experience of watching my dad suffer through
cancer, that he’s good regardless and that in the midst of our valleys, he’s going to
carry us through it.>>DAVID NASSER: Yeah, I think that’s one
of the reasons a lot of people have resonated with Kelly Tough, the book. You know, I think
at first glance it looks like a memoir, you know, a daughter, a father, a memoir, but
a lot of men, and a lot of people who don’t really even give a rip about football have
really seen this book as a real ministry tool in their life. Tell us a little bit more about
the book and why it is so much more than just a story about a daughter watching her dad,
you know go through cancer or going through a life style that many people aren’t afforded.
What else is in this that could really help people?>>ERIN KELLY: Well Kelly Tough really is
just my heart on paper, just what God has done through our family, and a lot of people,
especially Bill’s fans have picked up the book because they think it’s about you know,
Jim Kelly and the Kelly family story, but it’s far beyond that, and it really isn’t
about the Kelly family at all. It’s not about being tough, it’s about finding your strength
in God in the midst of your weakness, and I think that’s where everyone can kind of
relate to it, is because we all go through struggles. There’s not a single person in
this room who hasn’t faced a trial or a circumstance where they’ve needed to cling onto something.
And so in the book I just share how our family really clung onto the garment of Christ in
that we sought him when we couldn’t go any further on our own. And so that’s really what
Kelly Tough is – it’s finding your strength in Christ when you can’t find your strength
in anything else.>>DAVID NASSER: Yeah, I just want to say,
if you are looking for a great Christmas gift or even just, you don’t want to wait ’til
then, just something to encourage a friend, someone who’s going through a real trial in
their life, maybe someone who is in the valley, I think this book is really is a gift that
can invest into the life of somebody. And I think also, beyond that in the way that
you would give that gift away to somebody is to say, “Hey, this is one of my classmates,
this is a girl that goes to school with me, this is one of my friends.” You know? And
it’s just an incredible thing for you to be able to do that. We want you to be able to
get that book today, and so we’ve asked you if you would to be there after convo and to
sign books and to – and just maybe pen a thought or a verse for somebody, and last thing that
they wrote down here for me to ask you, so I guess I will. If the Buffalo Bills don’t
get into playoffs, as a Dallas fan, when the Buffalo Bills don’t get into playoffs, who
will you be cheering for if they don’t get in.>>ERIN KELLY: Okay, well if there’s any Bills
fans out there, you know we haven’t been to the playoffs in 15 years, which is not very
good so – but one thing I will say, before I answer your question, is, as a Bills fan,
I was excited that the Patriots won the other night because – because.>>DAVID NASSER: Was that a fully inflated
ball that they won with or a…>>ERIN KELLY: I don’t know – Debatable. Debatable.
But as a Bills fan, I was like okay, the Giants, you know – you guys can lose to the Patriots
because we’ll be the ones to knock off their winning streak. What do you think? I don’t
know. I hear a lot of Patriots fans there. But if the Bills do not go to the playoffs,
I will not be rooting for the Patriots whatsoever. Thank you. I like that. But probably the Panthers
because they haven’t been in a long time and so I think that that would be good, and Cam
Newton’s a great guy and I think it will be good. So, that is my answer.>>DAVID NASSER: Hey, now I know what college
team you’ve been rooting for this semester – tell us why you’re an Ole Miss fan this
particular semester.>>ERIN KELLY: I am an Ole Miss fan because
my cousin Chad Kelly is the starting quarterback for Ole Miss and just, Hugh Freeze is a great
Christian man and he’s just taking that team and just doing amazing things with them, but
also I mean, we beat Alabama this year so, I don’t know.>>DAVID NASSER: We’re number two in the country
– you guys are in the top 25.>>ERIN KELLY: Okay, I get it. I get it.>>DAVID NASSER: Enjoy that one little moment
y’all had – God bless you. We’re both Flames fans though.>>ERIN KELLY: Yes, go Flames!>>DAVID NASSER: Beat Coastal, right? We want
to beat Coastal. All right, last thing, real quick – normally, normally Erin, we ask our
guests – our last question we always ask, how can we pray for you, but you’re not a
guest, you’re one of our own and so if you would instead. Not that we won’t pray for
you – we will but, would you mind, instead, I think, would you mind praying – I think
there are students here who are going through a difficult season in their life; there are
other students here who are seeing a parent suffer, who are maybe seeing a little brother
go through a tough time or maybe a family member or a friend or something. And so would
you pray for some of our own. Yeah, let’s pray together.>>ERIN KELLY: Heavenly father, Lord, I just,
I thank you for every single life in this room Lord, and you have them here for a specific
purpose. They wouldn’t be here at Liberty University unless you destined for them to
be here, Lord. And I know that each and every single person in this room is going through
a trial of their own, or they’re about to enter into one, Lord, and I pray that you
would just show them your strength. Show that in your, in their weakness, you are strong,
that you have overcome the world so that they have nothing to fear and that we are free
in you. Lord, I pray that they would rely on you fully, and that they would know that
you fight for them and that they only need to be still before you. Lord, I thank you
that you’re here in this room today and that you will guard us and protect us as we walk
around this campus, Lord, and that you will show us your goodness. In your heavenly name
we pray, amen.>>DAVID NASSER: Amen. Hey can we thank Erin,
again? And by the way, Erin’s mom Jill flew all the way in just to be a really good supportive
mom. Where are you at Miss Kelly, could you wave? It’s great to have you in the house
as well. Could we welcome her? Our guest today is gonna get to be introduced by our very
own president, and so it’s good to have President Falwell in the house today. Can we just welcome
President Falwell?>>PRESIDENT FALWELL: Thank you David. I am
excited about our speaker today; Rabbi Daniel Lapin is regarded as one of America’s most
courageous and eloquent voices for biblical values. He’s the president of the American
Alliance for Jews and Christians; it’s a national movement of Jewish and Christian cooperation
in the area of faith, family and fortune. He’s won the admiration of journalists, politicians,
educators, religious leaders and business professionals. And while Rabbi Lapin is not
a Messianic Jew, he has fought extensively for the rights of both Jews and Christians
and even started the American Alliance of Jews and Christians. He writes that “all
Americans who love, who love freedom, whether or not they are religious should welcome the
reawakening of earnest Christianity throughout the land, as Christianity is responsible for
the founding of America.” Rabbi Lapin, right after my father passed away, and I inherited
and adopted all of your guys suddenly. It was a very tough time for me – it was – he
wrote a letter that was just so encouraging and so uplifting and I always remembered that
letter, and ever since then I’ve wanted to have him come to Liberty and speak. And before
I welcome Rabbi Lapin, I want to mention I was talking to Erin before the convocation
this morning, and I confirmed that she is taken guys, so if you’re planning to go buy
a book for that reason, you’re out of luck. So anyway, but I wish you – I wish you would
join me in welcoming Rabbi Daniel Lapin to Liberty University. Thank you.>>RABBI DANIEL LAPIN: Thank you very much
indeed President Falwell, and in the words of King David, a prayer in the language in
which he wrote it in the closing of Psalm 19, “yih’yû l’rätzôn im’rëy-fiyw’heg’yôn
liBiy l’fäneykhä y’hwähtzûriy w’goáliy” “May the thoughts of my heart, and may the
words of my mouth find favor before you oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” It is a very poignant moment for me to stand
here before you this morning, because the late Dr. Falwell was a great American, a great
man of God and a very dear and wonderful friend, and I’m sure you’ve heard that same formula
from hundreds, if not thousands of other people who feel the same way. And he frequently would
joke with me – would say, “Why can’t we get you to come to Liberty?” And each time we
met that was always the opening introduction. And so, Dr. Falwell, I’m here. And I wanted to confide in you, the four words
my great grandfather in 19th century Europe, would have said had he seen me standing here
in a room in front of more than 10,000 fervent Christians. My grandfather would have looked
and said, “Run for your life!” ‘Cause that’s how it used to be. And today, this morning
I feel myself a cherished guest in the warm embrace of your hospitality. I will tell you that Jews have never had a
more tranquil, prosperous, durable home in the last two thousand years than right here
in America. And that my friends, is not in spite of America being a Christian nation,
it’s precisely because America is a Christian nation. I fear greatly about the prospect of a post-Christian
America, as we can watch and see a post-Christian Europe. I can only pray that God will strengthen
your hearts and your hands as you work to infuse His spirit and His word into every
soul, every mind and every heart in America because that is the only hope for this country. You might wonder why did the late Dr. Jerry
Falwell want me to come and speak here. And the answer is, well – it’s kind of embarrassing.
I want to shift my feet uncomfortably, but I have to tell you the truth. It’s about money.
You see, it so happens that Jews constitute less than 2% of America’s population, and
that means that on the Forbes 400 list of wealthy Americans, there should be about 6
or 7 or 8 Jews. There’s usually about 100. Now this does not mean that Jews – there are
no poor Jews, there are. But it also means that Jews are disproportionately good with
money. Now just one little word of caution here, if you don’t mind. Please, if any of
you repeat that, you’ll be accused of anti-Semitic bigotry. But being as I’m a circumcised American
of Jewish background, I’m allowed to not only research it; I can even say it. Now, I will
concede that this may be the only time in all of academia where the removal of a small
piece of skin converts bigotry to research. Now the Oxford English Dictionary used to
until relatively recently, used to define the word, “Jew,” as a verb, as in, “Boy, I
really got Jewed at the dealership.” And so, naturally, as I began to research, why is
it that Jews are disproportionately good with money; I had to explore the possibility that
maybe they just routinely rip everybody off. To my great relief, it turned out to be not
true. Like every other demographic group, Jews have their bad apples, but overwhelmingly
as I researched and interviewed hundreds and hundreds of Christian business professionals
around the country, each and every one of them spoke of long, profitable, warm relationships
with Jewish partners and Jewish associates. And so I had to research and find out, what
is it that is responsible? And does it require circumcision? If so, many people might prefer
poverty, right? What is the explanation for conspicuous and disproportionate Jewish financial
success? Well it’s not hard to notice that in the Hebrew Scriptures, there are more laws,
and regulations, and rules, and rituals about money than about anything else. There are
rules about how to acquire it and how to spend it about the charity, partnerships, civil
damages; it just goes on and on and on. And so, what we needed to find out was, what was
God’s plan for human economic interaction? Did God get distracted by some trouble spot
in the Balkans and then look back and say, whoa! What’s that? People came up with money
– we’ve got to put an end to that evil thing. Don’t think so, doesn’t appear to be the case.
Because not only do we have to explore how it is that those people, who for thousands
of years have poured diligently and lovingly over every page of scripture, those people
are prospering disproportionately in every country, in every time – hospitable times
and in rough times, but it’s not only that. It’s also countries, and this baffling enigma
has puzzled historians and scientists for hundreds of years. As a matter of fact, it
was in the year 1776 that Adam Smith wrote his famous study inquiry into the nature and
causes of the wealth of the nations. He asked what causes some nations to be wealthy. David
Landes wrote, Why Countries Fail. Robinson wrote, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations.
Neal Ferguson wrote, The West and the Rest. Again, why is it that some countries flourish?
And to look at it completely dispassionately, for the last few years people have been drowning
in the Mediterranean in their desperate yearning to get to, well I suppose some of them were
trying to get from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe, and I imagine others were
trying to get from Europe to the Middle Eastern North Afr- no! All of them were trying to
go only one way! And the answer, why? Well, the answer they’d say is obvious, it’s the
answer that Jared Diamond gave in Guns, Germs and Steel – well it’s the reason the countries
that have wealth so obviously people try to migrate to wealth, but that only postpones
the question; it doesn’t help. The question is, why did they have wealth today? With the
Internet and with internationalism, capitol and money can go anywhere. Knowledge and information
is available to all. And still, there are some countries that prosper, and there are
some countries that fail and ladies and gentlemen, the answer is very simple – there is only
one answer. It is an answer that in general is completely unacceptable and it is a great
pleasure and a privilege to be at one of the few universities in the country where yes,
I may tell the truth without fear of assassination, and that is the countries that succeed, are
the countries that were founded on Christianity and the Bible. And all of this work began to condense into
a series of tips and tools of techniques that each and every person, regardless of their
religious background can employ and use, and then it found it’s way into a book, and I
would be doing you a disservice as well as me if I didn’t tell you that the book is on
sale today, and I am willing to sign – I’m not no, correction, I’m not willing to sign,
I would love to sign books personalized to you. You see my friends, when I sell a book,
either I’m ripping you off or I’m doing you a favor – it’s one of the two. And if the
book has sold to a lot of people, and I have evidence that it is doing a service by making
these strategies these simple, spiritual tools available to everybody, because after all,
one of the things we discover is that money is at it’s essence, spiritual in nature. That’s
why you can’t pin it down. Is it strips of colored paper in your wallet, is it discs
of metal, is it the arrangement orientation of iron oxide molecules on the hard drive
of your – like what’s money? It’s something spiritual. It marks the goodness that one
human being does for another. Or to look at it another way, I would ask
each and every one of you to take out a dollar, but I’m not going to because I don’t want
you to think there’s going to be a collection and I’ll ask you to pass them all to the front.
But if you would take out a dollar, and I’d say to you – all of you who robbed a convenience
store this morning and got the dollar – put it away, I don’t want to see it, all of you
who defrauded somebody, all of you persuaded the government to take it from me and give
it to you, all of you who did anything dishonorable in acquiring that money, put it away, and
I look around and I see more than 10,000 dollar bills still waving in the air, so if that’s
the case, how did you get them if you did not point a gun at somebody? The only way
you’d love it is if another human being put that dollar bill in your hand… voluntarily
– willingly! It must be that what you did for them exceeded the value of the dollar
bill they gave to you; otherwise they wouldn’t have made the exchange. So I don’t know if
it was a customer, I don’t know if it was a client, I don’t know if it was a boss, I
don’t know if it was a relative, but somebody who feels that you are a valuable part of
their life put that money in your hand. That’s why it is that in the Lord’s language
– William Bradford, the second governor of Plymouth colony, who wrote the first 20 pages
of the history of Plymouth Plantation in his own hand in Hebrew called, “The Lord’s Language.”
In the Lord’s language, the word for a store, a place where transactions take place is the
word that speaks of God’s grace. In other words, God smiles on voluntary human economic
transactions. People walk in a store, strangers, they greet each other, “Good morning, what
can I do for you?” “Hi, how are you doing? I’d like a pair of shoes with lights that
flash in the heel when you walk.” And after the transaction, both parties are happier
than they were before. You can prove it because we can go to the storekeeper and say, “Hey,
a guy just ran out of the store with a pair of those great shoes.” He said, “What are
you talking about? He gave me $50! Leave me alone!” So we can go, “Oh well, the exploitation
must be elsewhere.” We run off to the customer and say, “Hey, do you realize you left $50
in the store? Come back! We’ll get your money.” And he says, “Get out of my way! I waited
weeks to find a pair of shoes that flash with lights in the heel.” Everybody is happier
after the transaction. Well obviously God smiles. And so, step number one. In the principles
of making money, is to believe in the dignity and morality of making money. My friends, making money is not taking money!
Taking money is one thing. Making money means you are delivering value to another one of
God’s children. You are caring for another child of God, and so you might see money as
God’s way of blessing those who are obsessively preoccupied with the needs and desires of
His other children. God wants to see us finding ways to bless one another, and the problem
is that it is very difficult to believe in the dignity and morality of making money.
And I’m not saying every single business professional is a saint, anymore than every politician
is a saint. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying overwhelmingly, the practice of making money
is one that encourages God’s virtues. And we’ve got to understand that we are thoroughly
indoctrinated. Every movie you see, today I can predict with utter certainty, that on
every TV show on every movie where there needs to be a villain, he’s going to be a wealthy,
business professional. That’s the villain. And they even distort things. In the 60s they
made a movie called The Manchurian Candidate where the villains were the communists of
North Korea and China. When that was remade by Paramount recently, guess who the villain
turned out to be? The Halliburton Corporation. That’s what happened. And when Tom Clancy
wrote, The Sum of All Fears, it was a book about Muslim terrorists attacking the city
of Baltimore, and in the movie the villians, well, they were Nazi businessmen. You’ve got
everything covered there. It wasn’t always like this friends. Back in
’54, you had Executive Suite with William Holden, where businessmen took care of everybody;
they watched out for their employees, they watched out for their customers and it was
a movie that glorified business and making money. Is it any wonder that America’s intrinsic,
economic vitality has been sliding downhill? Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life, and
many, many other movies up until 1960, treated the businessman as a hero – an icon of good
in society. Today, it’s not even balanced. In entertainment, the business professional
is highlighted as somebody evil and horrible, and don’t for a moment think that you can
be un-impacted by this. Samuel, book of Samuel, second book of Samuel, chapter 19, Mephibosheth
is late because he’s lame. He’s late in joining David’s army and a horrible person called
Ziba tells David, “Oh, he’s joined the other side; he’s become your enemy.” David can hardly
believe it, but Mephibosheth doesn’t show up. When he eventually arrives David says,
“What are you doing here?” He says, “Master, my master, I’ve come as quickly as I can – my
leg is lame; it takes me time!” Well previously, when David was told the story, he said to
the carrier of the news, Ziba, he said, “Well, how horrible it is that my dear friend Mephibosheth
has abandoned me. You may, when we win, you may take his entire estate.” And now Mephibosheth
shows up says, “Look this guy is evil, he spoke badly against me. I’m here, I’m with
you!” And David said, “Oh well in that case you and he can split the estate.” What’s that
all about? What that is all about is ancient Jewish wisdom teaching us that once something
is being imprinted in your heart and in your mind, it’s indelible; it’s there. David knows
– intellectually, he knows that Mephibosheth is on his side, but it’s too late. Because
for a short period of time, he was exposed to the slander that this man had abandoned
him. How awful is that? And you cannot get it out of your mind. Advertising works, that’s why it’s a multi-billion
dollar industry. It works. And that’s why wise institutions and wise educational institutions
encourage students not to expose their eyes and their ears and their hearts to things
that are bad. Because it’s almost impossible to expunge them from your soul! And so it
is, we’ve all been impacted by popular entertainment’s slandering of business. Even the language
in popular culture is awful. You’ve heard of what they say when a philanthropist makes
a gift to charity, “Oh isn’t it wonderful to see him giving back to society?” What does
that mean he was doing to society while he was making the money in the first place? That’s
right, ripping them off. And that’s what people believe. How’s about the phrase, profiteering?
Look, if you start a business, I really hope that you make a profit. Profit isn’t plunder;
it’s good, it’s evidence that you are pleasing God’s other children. And so they make up
a word, profiteering. See profiteer sounds like sneer, or jeer. Somehow, it’s evil to
make a profit. What does it mean? That you’re charging too much? Well then people go and
buy it from somebody that will charge less; you’ll go out of business. The system contains
the potential for moral rectification. But you see, once we get persuaded that it
is impossible to make money honorably and in a godly fashion, it’s very hard to do.
You know I’m sure there are many athletes here who can do a four-minute mile. But nobody
had ever done it until Roger Banister did it in May 1954. Why did nobody do it? Because
back then, they didn’t believe it could be done. Doctors said the effort would kill you.
Now they plead, no it’s possible. You see, as long as people believe that making money
is evil, good people are handicapped in their quest to make money and so one of the great
and important principles in ancient Jewish wisdom is learning, embracing, wrapping yourself
around, why exactly is making money a moral and honorable and dignified activity? Why
is it part of what God wants us to do? Well because partially, God wants us to connect
with one another. When God says, “Not good for man to be alone,” that was not only in
the context of Adam’s matrimonial prospects. That was in the context of everybody. God
wants us to be together. He wants us to connect with one another. And what a wonderful and
loving God, that He rewards us with the incredible blessing of financial abundance if we only
do one thing, and that’s we try and take care of all His other children. You know, two of
my daughters went to the same school for a while, and as parents, my wife and I wanted
to make sure that they stayed close to one another, even though they were at school,
and so she wrote them letters where she wrote an alternate word of each letter of separate
pieces of paper, sent it to the two girls. The only way they could read a letter from
home prior to email – the only way they could do it was by coming together over lunch and
reading from the two sheets of paper. That’s a little bit of how God does – He incentivizes
us for connecting with one another. Genesis, chapter 37, Joseph is about to be killed by
his brothers. And Judah, the great Judah says these most amazing words, and some of the
English translations cosmeticize; they camouflage a little bit of what he really says. I’ll
tell you what he says in the Hebrew (quote) Hey guys, how do we make a dollar by killing
our brother? How do you make money from killing your brother? Well you can’t charge entrance
and seat people in the arena while we kill him, ‘cause we don’t want Dad- Jacob-to
find out! And so what are we going to do? And everybody scratches their head and says,
“Oh, if only we could figure a way of making some money by killing our brother.” Because
they thought making money was more important than relationships. In fact, many people – they
thought you build relationships and friendships when you get money. Now we understand why,
when later on Joseph sent them home with their bags full of wheat during the famine, what
else did he include in the bags? It terrified them. He put their money back on the top of
the bag. They found it; they thought they were being set up. What was Joseph saying,
“Hey guys, it’s not about the money, you fools! I want a relationship, not the money.” Because
relationships produce money; money never produces relationships. And this is one of the reasons
that at the end of Genesis when father Jacob
at 147 years old is getting ready to die, you know, if it was me, I would say, “Hey
guys you know what? You 12 sons, you’re being a real handful I’ve got to tell you guys,
anyways, God bless you all, I’m going home.” Instead, chapter 49 of Genesis, 30 verses
– Rueben this is your blessing, Simon, Judah, Levi, Naphtali, Dan, it’s like 30 verses – separate
blessings. And then it gets repeated at the end of Deuteronomy! Where again, if it was
me I’d say, “Hey Moses, Moses addresses the children of Israel, you know guys, it’s been
40 years, you’ve been a gigantic pain in the neck – God bless you, I hope Joshua can deal
with you, I’m going home. But it doesn’t say that – it’s again nearly 30 verses of Moses
blessing each one. What’s he doing? Exactly what we did with our two daughters? Making
the tribes all need one another, that’s the beauty of specialization. Adam Smith didn’t
speak about it until the 1800s. But before that, in God’s blueprint for affluence, specialization
is crucial because it makes us need one another; it makes us love one another. If you have a favorite pair of shoes, in one
way or another you pray for the financial health of the company that makes them. ‘Cause
if they go out of business, you’re gonna start looking for somebody else who makes your favorite
shoes. It’s tough to work like that. And so our system tends towards specialization. Again,
God’s saying, “Hey, if you are a musician, pay an accounting major to do your taxes,
don’t waste your time doing your taxes yourself. Specialization works better.” And God once
again rewards us with the fantastic blessing of financial abundance when we use the principle
of specialization. And how about ownership? Again, I have to
tell you that in the absence of God’s word and in utter ignorance of his book, the default
condition for decent people is socialism. A world in which equality becomes the ultimate
virtue and freedom is trodden underfoot. Let’s check and see; is God’s model for human economic
interaction that everything should belong to the state and people should be tenants?
Well, it doesn’t really seem that way because in the book of Micah chapter 4, verse 4, the
prophet says in this ideal condition, when people are living according to God’s model,
everybody will live and sit under His fig tree and under His vine. It doesn’t say you
will sit under the fig tree that belongs to the local community activist. It doesn’t say
you’ll sit under a vine in the city park. It doesn’t say you’ll sit under a tree that
belongs to government. It’s each man will sit under His fig tree and under His vine.
Yes God wants us to own things. Charity – how are you supposed to give charity if you don’t
have money? It’s fun giving away other people’s money, obviously. But there’s no moral virtue
in that. And so, how can charity be a requirement in Deuteronomy, chapter 15, if you don’t have
it in the first place? Or how about Exodus chapter 23, verse 4? Guess what? You’re walking
down the road, you’re on your way to a terrific concert, you’re in a hurry and you see your
friend or your enemies’ ox walking, obviously lost, best thing to do – avert your eyes,
pretend you’ve never seen them and walk on – no you’re not allowed to do that! God doesn’t
like ownerlessness. And by the way, things that are owned by everybody are just as if
they were owned by? Nobody! And the proof of it is that the commons is a tragedy – people
do not take care of things that belong to everybody. We take care of things that belong
to us! And God doesn’t like ownerlessness. If that ox, even if it belongs to your enemy
is walking around, Exodus, chapter 23, guess what? You have to stop what you’re doing,
cancel your plans for the concert and you have an obligation to return that lost object
to its owner. God wants us to own things. Ladies and gentlemen, the pattern is abundantly
clear. And we’ve spoken of only a few points this morning, but there are many, many, many
more specific techniques and tools that are spiritual at source and that result amazingly
in the generation of wealth. And these are principles that are embedded in ancient Jewish
wisdom, they’re imbedded in the Lord’s language and they are the principles that it is my
mission to write about, to publish about and to speak about, to make sure that everybody
can participate in God’s blessing intended to bring us together in joy and closeness
and love for one another, and thereby to benefit from the world in which he set up whereas
where we try and please all His other children, He responds with the extraordinary blessing
of wealth. And that is the nature of prosperity from a Biblical perspective. I do believe that the economic vitality of
the United States of America absolutely depends upon the restoration of a vibrant, fervent
Christianity of which you all are the most effective spokesmen. I thank you profoundly. I thank you profoundly for your dedication,
for your love of God and His word, and your courage in taking that word out to the country
and ultimately to the world, for that is what you are all doing and because of that, America’s
financial vitality can return; it’s cultural purity can return; its military security can
return. And yes, there will even continue to be a place for me and my children in this
blessed land, the United States of America. Thank you all, and God bless you in every
step you take.

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