A Full Reward 800x800

Chapter 10: Getting Paid to Save Souls (Pt.1)

A Full Reward: Reformation Through Family-Run Christian Schools

Rev. Aaron Slack

Pastor, Author, Marketing Manager, Preschool Director

Chapter 10

Getting Paid to Save Souls (Part 1)

“As Christ multiplied the loaves and fishes, so can the capitalist multiply goods under his gifted hands.”—Ellsworth McIntyre

Ihave the best job in the world. Every day I am able to make a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of children through both the preaching of the Gospel and the personal testimony of my family. Unlike the pastor of a conventional church, I am able to do this without any fear of repercussion from my congregation. I do not worry that my congregation will not be back next Sunday because of something I said. I will not live with the regret that I was too true to Scripture for their comfort, that I said too much or spoke too forthrightly. More than that, the parents of the children in my school will bring my congregation back tomorrow and pay me to preach the Gospel again.

Also unlike the typical pastor or missionary, my family is well-provided for. My family and I are able to live comfortably and still save up money. We own our own home. My ministry makes it possible for me to fulfill the commands of Proverbs 13:22 (“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.”) and 1 Timothy 5:8 (“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”). My evangelistic ministry is completely self-supporting, and then some, paid for by the parents of my students. In effect, I am getting paid to save souls! It is truly a wonderful system.

Your Worst Enemies

Should you decide to put what you have read in this book into action, be warned: you will have enemies. That is to be expected, of course; we are in a war. You may, however, be unprepared for the level of opposition you will face from the Christian community itself. If you are operating a Christian school, and running it in a manner that is even close to the Grace Community School model, you will be operating your ministry as a business—with the goal of it being a successful business. For many Christians, that’s a big problem. To put it simply, they don’t think you should be getting paid to save souls—certainly not being well-paid. Your worst enemies may be from the ranks of professing Christians!

While no one will quite come out and say it, the church by and large reviles the businessman. You don’t have to be a member of Obama’s congregation to encounter Marxism in the modern church. The attitude of far too many Christians is that anyone who is wealthy (meaning anyone who has more money than they) must be dishonest—a crook. In a moment we will take a look to see why that is.

The corollary of this is that poverty, or at least relative poverty (the United States is so blessed that almost no one here is truly poor by world standards), is a virtue. This is Greek thinking, courtesy of Plato. According to Plato, what we experience here in the material world is not actually real. The world is like a cave, and what we see and touch are just shadows projected on the wall by the “real” things. Christianity has assimilated this belief into its worldview with a vengeance.

The Christian who holds to Platonism or Neoplatonism (nearly all do) believes that the physical world is dirty, debased, and that our true area of dominion is in the great by and by. Christians who place too great an emphasis on the material and concrete are just not as devout as they should be, somehow. To these people, the holiest Christian is the ascetic, shunning the pleasures of this world, and especially money. For the Neoplatonist, the Christian walk is one where believers become less and less worldly, and more and more spiritual. The Christian who most successfully separates himself from materialistic concerns, especially money and business cares, is the most Christ-like. God’s army of Christian soldiers is replaced by a monastic order of navel-gazers.

One thing I have noticed is that this outlook on life appeals greatly to lazy Christians because they don’t have to accomplish anything! When poverty is seen as a virtue and the material world is despised, the Christian who fails in the real world, does not provide for his family or build up an inheritance, does not own property, and does not engage in any constructive work can still see himself as a winner—a godly man.

Commandment-keeping and applying those commandments to one’s self and family, productivity, saving money, faithful teaching of God’s law—these have all been replaced by easy externals like long hours of prayer, church attendance, Bible verse memorization, abstinence from alcohol, and other like things. Anyone can be poor. Anyone can attend church three times a week. Anyone can read his Bible daily. These cannot replace obedience to God. This mental framework greatly appeals to the loser. Indeed, those who do make accomplishments, especially in business, are looked on with distrust by the Christian community. Losing has become the mark of the Christian.

Prominent Christian leaders today often limit the Christian faith to purely personal and spiritual concerns, and the theology they teach shows this. Their lives may be purpose-driven, but the purposes are purely personal and limited to abstract spiritual things. It’s as if everyone is competing to see who can be the least relevant to society. When heaven is our goal, and the possibility of rapture is ever-present, it does not make sense to focus on reconstructing the whole world, especially if you believe the Bible does not speak to us about anything other than spiritual issues. Christianity becomes a method of escape.

We even love to sing about our escapism. The classic hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” explains,

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.”

You see, if you are focused on spiritual things (with your eyes on Jesus), you will realize that this world isn’t so very important. “This world is not my home.” Your job, money, your marriage, sex, your children: these are all temporal things, part of the physical world; they will pass away like shadows on a cave wall. To place too much emphasis or take too much pleasure in these worldly things is sin. The worst of these sinners is the businessman: all he (supposedly) cares about is the material world—the bottom line!

Orthodoxy tells us the exact opposite of this. If you have your eyes fixed on Jesus, paying attention to His commands, this world will seem very real. The physical creation, created by God, is where God has put us, and where we are to work. To be sure, some things (marriage for example) will pass away in eternity, but that does not make them any less important right now. Anything else is false spirituality. The material and the spiritual are not opposed to each other. I will confess: I enjoy possessions. I enjoy food and drink. I enjoy my family and the company of my wife. I enjoy my work and this world. There is a reason that there is so much feasting in the Bible by God’s people. We are to enjoy this material world and work hard in it!

It’s Easy Being Green (With Envy)

The modern established church has made the godly businessman very uncomfortable. John Wesley said, “If I leave behind me ten (pounds), you and all mankind bear witness against me that I lived and died a thief and a robber.” Some Christians may begrudgingly accept the possibility that a man may become wealthy and still be a Christian, provided he gives away all his money to the poor or worthy causes. The businessman who has a desire to hold on to his God-given profits will face suspicion and persecution, to the point where he may be driven out. This is sin on the church’s part. The established church is only God’s ally to the extent that it advances God’s kingdom. To the extent that it persecutes godly businessmen, it is God’s enemy. We as Christians must give up the stereotype of the “dirty businessman.” Platonism has no place in God’s kingdom.

One might chalk up the church’s misguided views on money and business to bad philosophy, but there is more. There is a deeper, more personal and spiritual reason the church does this: envy.

What is envy? Envy is the feeling or attitude that one’s personal problems (poverty, for example) are caused by another person’s success. It is a spiritual defect. Envy often manifests itself not as a desire to gain more so much as a desire to take away from someone else. The root cause of envy is our sin nature. When envy rules a society and becomes organized, the resulting condition is called “socialism.” Envy is the foundation of socialism and Marxism.

A discussion of envy should include this question: Why does one man have more than another? The envious have their answers. “Because he cheats.” “Because he makes too much profit.” “Because he makes ‘shrewd’ business deals.” “Because he is a compromiser.” There is a limit, the envious say, to how much profit one can make and still be Christian. The implication is that someone making a “big” profit is ripping someone off. In reality, in the free market, the person making the most profits is doing the most to satisfy a need—helping people.

When you purchase something in the free market (for example, childcare services), it benefits both parties. Both walk away with more than they had before, not necessarily monetarily. When I buy a book, I trade some money for something I want more: the book. I buy because I believe I am getting something out of the deal. Obviously, these transactions are subject to God’s law. Making a profit, however, even a “really big” profit is not theft, unless one or more of God’s specific laws has been violated, such as the laws of just weights and measures (Deut. 25). In God’s detailed commands, you will not find a limit to how much profit is allowed, or how wealthy a person can become.

When a business or businessman is criticized, you should carefully assess why they are being criticized and for what. Why does the rich man have more than we do? In most cases, it is because he is better than we are at making money! Being able to create wealth is a God-given talent. Making a profit is taking dominion. The envious man hates the wealthy man because the wealthy man has demonstrated a better ability to take dominion. We cannot stand anyone who is better than we are. Didn’t we kill Christ?

There are, of course, obvious exceptions to this. Not every rich person is godly. So you say a man has gained wealth unjustly. What of it? All wealth ultimately serves God. If a man does not put his wealth to good use, or gains it by theft, it will be taken away sooner or later and given to someone who will put it to godly use. Wealth must be used for God’s purposes, or it will be lost. Thus we should not worry about the wicked or their money. We should however, question our reasons for being concerned about the profit someone is making.

When we complain about the sins, real or supposed, of corporations like Walmart, are we really complaining about its sins or are we just complaining because it is so prosperous? The answer depends on how Marxist we are in our thinking. A prosperous business benefits its community, it does not “take advantage” of it. The more prosperous businesses a community contains, the more wealth increases for everyone. The fact that wealth increases unequally should not color our view of this. In this respect, envy is suicidal. We seek to destroy that which does us the most good.

You will not find any people more envious than modern churchmen. Is it any wonder that our churches, weighted down with Marxism and Platonism, have trouble running financially successful schools? Does that matter? Yes, it does. The Christian school must be financially successful if it is to truly advance God’s kingdom.

Marxism in the Church

The average American is not opposed to socialism, even though he thinks he is. Socialism in America is nothing new. We love Big Brother. I have watched with some amusement the recent debates over government health care. I am afraid that for most of the people complaining about socialized healthcare, the protest is just a knee-jerk reaction. Would these same people agree to give up our government roads, the public school system, state regulations on food and drugs, government subsidies for businesses, government scholarships, state-funded science institutions and museums, national, state, and local parks, and the hundreds of other things that (biblically) the government has no business doing? Are they willing to dispense with zoning codes, anti-discrimination legislation, the national space program, and government investment in business and technology? Would we feel safe, for example, living in a house that had not been carefully checked by government inspectors, or eating in a restaurant that has not been checked by the health department? Probably not. We have let the government do so much for us. Why stop when it comes to health care? In my state of Florida, for example, you cannot operate as an interior decorator without a special state license. Is there a public outcry about this ludicrous level of state intrusion into private business? No. Truth is, we like government interference. The person on welfare or unemployment, or who receives food stamps, certainly does. This goes for business owners as well; state regulations keep out competitors. Cradle-to-grave security is the name of the game. This security is paid for through theft.

Even the most antinomian Christians will say that stealing is wrong, yet they will wholeheartedly support progressive income taxes for the wealthy. Somehow it is not stealing if the government does it for you. Most Christians do not have a problem with the government taking more than the Bible says it should so long as it is used for good, “reasonable” things like roads, the post office, education, and so on. They may object to the particulars, but on the whole they are firmly in the Marxist camp. Whatever it is, someone else should pay for it! The key to raising the standard of living and making the world a better place is more government programs.

I would encourage you to read the ten planks of the Communist Manifesto. I would then challenge you to see how many of these planks are rejected, even in principle, by the vast majority of church members and pastors. The planks include the graduated income tax, public education, taxes on inheritance, regulation of labor and agriculture, and state banks. The average modern Christian, deprived of even a basic education in God’s law, does not even know that these things are wrong. Our pulpits have failed us. Increase in big government is perpetuated by the public school system. Do we really expect to place our children in government schools and have them come out believing there should be less government?

Modern Christians are so weak theologically that they have really no ideological disputes with the public schools. While parents may object to certain details of the public school education, they do not object to a public school education in general. Furthermore, when they do complain about the latest outrage, it is most likely just another knee-jerk reaction to something because it is different, rather than a deep-rooted concern—certainly nothing springing from a devout desire to please God.

I have witnessed many discussions over whether the public schools are “bad” or not. People go back and forth weighing various evidences, arguing about at which point the public schools are so bad that Christians should avoid them. Someone will inevitably bring up the “salt and light” argument. The public school was good once-upon-a-time, you see, but it needs to be reformed. Apparently, Christians should keep their children in the public schools to evangelize the non-Christian children. Such arguments, aside from being extremely naïve, are based on the false assumption that it is possible for an institution founded on theft (property tax), with no Scriptural authority, to ever be good. The answer is no. One might as well talk about reforming prostitution! Education is just one of the many things almost all Americans think the government should do for us. Americans—including Christians—want the government to educate and take care of them.

When we perceive something as wrong, like not having as much money as we would like, we look to the government for help. Poverty is always blamed on someone or something else. Because we do not see any fault in ourselves, we look for anyone else to fix our poverty; we seek external solutions, and when we see someone else prospering, our first impulse is to seek to take it away—with government help, of course. The truth is uncomfortable. In general, poverty is a result of God’s judgment. It is not always the result of personal sin, but neither is it a normal condition for a person under God’s blessing, nor is the primary cause of poverty wealthy individuals and businesses.

Above all, God does not require prosperous Christians to subsidize poverty, or somehow pay for the sins of the poor, as Marxism demands. When the poor envy the rich, it does not improve their lot. Yes, wealthy Christians are to help the poor, but the Bible is careful to spell out who to help and how. Poverty is not a virtue, nor is tossing cash around indiscriminately. We must address the root cause: immorality. The more a people as a whole, and families specifically, obey God’s law, the better off they will be. Our nation is under judgment, and the poverty some of us face is part of this judgment. The Marxist church, with its heretical teachings and promotion of envy, exacerbates this judgment.

The Biblical Solution to Poverty

What can be done to fight poverty? Handouts do not and will not work because giving immoral people money does not help them. Our nation’s welfare programs have proven that rather empirically. Biblical welfare programs always had prerequisites. People (primarily widows) had to meet these criteria before they were worthy of receiving help, and this welfare did not consist of mere handouts. There are laws requiring the blessed of God of aid the poor, but it must be realized that these were stop-gap measures. No amount of money can overcome a defect of character, or remove the curse of God.

There is a way to promote permanent wealth and raise a society’s standard of living: teach the Gospel, particularly to those most receptive to it—very young children. To be truly effective, this Gospel must not be the watered down, lawless Gospel of the mainline churches. It must be the real thing. Our Gospel message can be summed up thus: You don’t need to keep the commandments for God to save you, but if He has saved you, you will keep the commandments. This is a message that changes lives.

Programs attempting to fight poverty almost exclusively focus on alleviating the symptoms of poverty, not the root cause. When I see a touching Bono commercial asking me to send money to feed starving people in Africa, I think, “Give money to feed someone who will die of AIDS before age 18?” The root cause of starvation in Africa is not lack of natural resources or AIDS medication, it is a lack of people following God and His commandments. Grace Community School’s program is a bit different—we are providing a Christian education. Our charity program is a scholarship fund that gives discounts off of tuition for deserving families. There is nothing that will benefit these children’s lives more than what we are doing. This is how to fight poverty.

A population increasingly faithful to God’s commandments will see diminishing poverty and more and more of the blessings God has promised in places like Leviticus 26. It will start from the bottom up, and it will start with the children. It’s funny how so many of those promised blessings refer to concrete, material blessings. Humanistic welfare enslaves, but teaching the law of God empowers. We have a nation of people enslaved to the government. We have let ourselves become enslaved willingly, and the government has used envy to do it. To break the chains of envy will require supernatural intervention and the work of faithful Christians.

Why Preschool?

This book, and Grace Community School’s educational ministry, has a common focus: preschool. Dr. Ellsworth McIntyre’s book, How to Become a Millionaire in Christian Education, is about preschools. Why preschools, and not elementary, middle, and high schools, you might ask? Let me tell you.

Preschools are not taken very seriously by the Christian education community. They are pretty much lumped together with Sunday School and VBS—something nice for the church to do with the youngsters. A decent outreach program, but not too important. Predictably, the selection of homeschool curricula for pre-K is minimal. The preschool grades, if they are provided for at all by a Christian school, are an afterthought. The glorious upper grades are the crown of the school.

Many excellent books have been published on the topic of what is wrong with the public schools. Hardly anything has been written on what is wrong with typical preschools from a Christian perspective. I believe this is because preschools have been ignored by the Christian community. Some small preschools are started by local churches, of course, but these are little more than “mother’s day out” programs, or just a stepping stone to starting a “real” school. They are not set up with the goal of advancing God’s kingdom the way elementary and higher Christian schools are. I know of no large Christian schools other than Grace Community School that have preschool as the primary emphasis, despite the fact that we have been encouraging others to establish such schools for years. An aim of this book is to change this, but I know it is an uphill battle. Christians do not want to start preschools!

A school that does not have upper grades is not considered to be a “real school”. We disagree. Grace Community School does have upper grades, but that is not our primary mission. We maintain that the pre-K grades are actually the most important. This is where the good fight is being fought, or would be but for the fact that most Christians have utterly abandoned the battlefield! Or rather, they never reported for duty in the first place.

Preschools are not prestigious. They will not earn you any academic respectability. Your students will not be renowned for their scholarship or athletic achievement. In fact, many people (especially Christians) will refuse to believe that the work you do is of much importance at all. If you are like us, your critics will deny that it is even possible to teach kids to read and have them understand the Ten Commandments. No, preschools will not get you the praise of man. No matter how much you teach the children, people will always disparage it as nothing more than glorified babysitting. Some “Christians” will even call you wicked and accuse you of luring mothers out of the home for profit.

Why do we do it? There are many reasons. As Dr. McIntyre explains in his book, there is an under-served market in the preschool area. This is where the customers are. With the free schooling available for kindergarten and higher grades in the public school, competition for those ages is fierce, and those looking for private schools are often more interested in obtaining a status symbol (see what I said earlier about the charter schools) rather than in getting a good education for their children. Grace Community School does not seek to be considered a status symbol.

The government makes the private school’s job very difficult by offering primary schooling for free (or, at least, it is seen as free). It’s hard to compete with free. Even if the free product is terrible, it’s still free! But daycare is different. People still have to pay for daycare; the government does not quite have a monopoly here. Parents footing the bill for childcare will at least make some pretense at shopping around and comparing educational programs. This is an area in which you can excel with much fewer resources than you could with older grades. This is because the higher the grade level, the more resources are required to  teach “adequately” to fulfill parental expectations. One benefit of dealing with younger children is that, despite the best efforts of early childhood educrats, educational degree requirements for teachers are much more relaxed (read: less government interference). Unfortunately, elementary and higher grades become focused on the trappings of school—sports, after school clubs and the like. It’s not that there is something inherently wrong with those things, but parents and teachers tend to see them as the main point of school, to the detriment of actual education.

A small school attempting to satisfy those kinds of demands, while charging modest tuition, will run into problems. And to what end? The children you teach will have already, to a large degree, had their basic attitudes, prejudices, and religion formed by others. Parents will place more and more demands upon you and your faculty. You will also have to deal with a growing body of complaints from parents and discipline problems from kids—God forbid you harm the self-esteem of one of those perfect angels! Parental demands for preschool are much simpler, enabling the small preschool operator to compete on a more even level. What this means is that the Christian entrepreneur can excel, make money, and at the same time make much more of a spiritual impact than a regular Christian school could ever hope to.

All of the preceding is true, and important, but it is not the primary reason to emphasize preschool education.

Children are most impressionable while they are young—very young. Piaget, Rousseau, and their humanist disciples since then, have understood this very well. This is a great opportunity generally wasted by Christians. Young children are largely left out of real education, whether that be religious training or academics. Just as childcare experts claim that children are too young to learn to read, many in the church believe children are too young for “serious” theology. They probably would not say that out loud, but you do not have to look further than the concept of “Children’s Church” to see in what low regard children are held. On this topic, the church and humanistic early childhood gurus agree. I and my fellow Grace Community School missionaries have been told many times that the Ten Commandments are too complicated and abstract for four-year olds to understand, and so should not be taught. Grace Community School knows different.

My time spent in this ministry has taught me that if you want to truly reach children and really change them, the preschool years are the ones to hit. We are given a brief window to make a lasting impression on children, a few years in which they accept what they are told with far less skepticism than older children do. I am occasionally asked by thinking children, “Rev. Aaron, are the stories in the Bible real?” It does sound a bit hard to believe—a talking donkey, a man who survived three days in the belly of a fish, dead people who came back to life, an omnipotent and omnipresent Creator—but it is all true. That is what I tell them, and they accept it. Try telling the average adult that! Furthermore, they are at an age in which they will accept the morality of the Ten Commandments. Not that they follow them perfectly, nor does anyone, but they accept the truth of them. They will believe in a world of right and wrong governed by God and His law.

Does it last? It can. I have to believe that the things we teach will influence children later in life, even if they seem to have mostly suppressed it. The moral sense instilled in them will be used by God to drive them back to the straight and narrow. Or, perhaps they will sin less than they would have had they never received the spiritual education we gave them. I pray that Grace Community School will be that nagging voice in the head of the man tempted by adultery, that we will be that thought seemingly out of nowhere saying that maybe an unequal tax is not as righteous as the mainstream media portrays it. If even in some small way evil is reduced, my work will have been worth it. The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways, and can use whomever and whatever He pleases to do His work.

Typically, at least a couple times a year, individuals or organizations contact Grace Community School wanting help with starting a Christian school or schools. We try to assist where we can. In almost every case, those wanting to establish Christian schools have as the primary emphasis elementary or higher grades. They forbid the little children to come. Reality is that the thick of the battle is being waged in the early years of our children’s lives. Do not be surprised that the government has poured billions upon billions of dollars into programs like Head Start. The enemies of Christianity know how important the early years are. You may have heard of the “Birth to Five” movement. Those in early childhood education want ever greater government involvement in young children’s lives. Large numbers of supposedly private advocacy groups and think tanks are lobbying for more funds to this end. Those who have read Brave New World can guess where this is heading.

Hitler famously said, “When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.’” Hitler understood what God’s people do not seem to. Humanist preschools begin indoctrination in the cradle; Christians need to do the same. It is very hard to convince Christians that preschool is where the battle is being waged, even when they should know better. I worked with a man once whose stated ambition was to teach theology to high school students. Even though he had witnessed first hand the power of the Gospel in the lives of very young children, he considered his current ministry just a stepping stone to the great dividends (in his mind) of teaching older children. If changed lives are your goal, high school is too late to make a difference. How many Christians unknowingly give up the reward that could have been theirs for a bit of academic prestige?

Preschool is Christian education. Do you want to make a real, lasting difference in the lives of children and in society, and at the same time earn a great reward? Start a Christian preschool.

No Fundraising

Unlike virtually every other Christian charity or organization, Grace Community Schools does not do any fundraising. None at all. Also unlike the usual Christian organization, we do not need to. The Christian ministry not dependent on charity itself is in a position of strength. We are able to give charity without needing it ourselves. We are not beggars.

Those who answer the phones at our schools have to constantly decline offers from telemarketers offering all sorts of fundraising schemes like Mary Kay, hardware store coupons, trike-a-thons, bake sale kits—just about anything you can imagine. Calling a Christian school and offering a fundraising solution is a pretty safe bet, unless that school is a Grace Community School.

Fundraising puts you at the mercy of how people perceive you. We are not at the mercy of public opinion, thank God. People who would not give to us as a charity have no problem paying us to perform a service. We offer incredible education at the lowest price in our market. It’s a win-win scenario for all involved. Parents feel good because they are getting something, and not spending too much for it.

Contrast this with the typical Christian school, which charges extremely high tuition rates, and then constantly begs for money on top of that. Not only are they beggars, they are well-paid beggars as well! Do they do anything especially useful with this money? No, the school is still not run at a profit, in true Marxist fashion. The children are still not taught God’s law, or that it is in any way binding upon them. Should the school manage to get its hands on some kind of disposable income, it will be spent on something extraneous to the school’s mission, such as the school’s sports program. To be sure, this does appeal to a certain demographic. I am certain that Grace Community School’s public image among the elite could be improved if we charged more for our services and took students only from the upper middle-class. We, however, are trying to please God rather than man.


God’s usual plan for the redeemed man and family is for that man and his family to be free. Freedom is often talked about but seldom defined. The world holds freedom to be freedom to sin. This is not the biblical definition. The man who lives according to God’s law will be a free man, biblically. What does that mean?

To be truly free is to be able to exercise your calling without restriction. This requires the ability to own and control private property. In the field of early childhood Christian education, this means freedom from both the institutional church and the government. Neither will be on your side. No man is truly free who does not own property. In the hands of the godly, possessions and money are far from evil. They are very necessary tools needed to take dominion—in our case, to do evangelism. In business terms, the things you need to do business are collectively called capital. Capital is land and money plus time—what you need to produce.

The Marxism inherent in the modern institutionalized church requires that the Christian school be separate and independent from the church. This is a key aspect of the Grace Community School system. Our goal is to serve God and build His kingdom, not boost church attendance. If government schooling is to be defeated, it will require money and power in the hands of Christian families educating their children to keep the commandments of God. Decentralized power in the hands of property-owning Christian families working to build God’s kingdom is our best hope for reconstructing a Christian society.

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5). God has promised that He will give this earth to His people. This means that Christians are to gain control over the earth; this requires capital. Christians—Christian families—must own and control private property.

God wants Christians active in all areas of society; to refuse to earn money and achieve dominion over the earth here and now is to surrender to the enemy. The man in the best position to take dominion is the wealthy man. Many of the great saints of the Bible were rich businessmen. Men such as Abraham, Job, Isaac, and Jacob were fantastically wealthy. Were these saints rich because of sin? Did they oppress the little man? No, the Bible tells us they were rich because God blessed them. Furthermore, their wealth was a blessing to those around them. God requires the wealthy to keep His laws concerning the poor and to tithe, but nowhere in Scripture is it even insinuated that there is some sort of upper limit on the amount of wealth a person can accumulate. Wealth in the hands of God’s people is a very good thing.

Successful Christian businessmen face tremendous pressure from others in the church to hand over their God-given profits to charity, loosely defined. Whether it is foreign missions work, church renovations, or the local soup kitchen, anyone with money is expected to foot the bill; the church teaches that the well-off have a responsibility to redistribute their wealth. Forced giving is socialism—theft. The church may not be able to use armed coercion, but it certainly tries to achieve the same result via preaching, guilt-manipulation, and peer pressure. I remember in my less-sanctified days thinking about wealthy people in our congregation, “They have so much! Why can’t they give more?” This is the typical attitude.

This is not the Scriptural model. The godly businessman who gives away his money to charity at the expense of pursuing his calling and expanding his business will not receive God’s blessing. Christians putting wealth to productive work is God’s normal means of blessing a community, not subsidizing beggarly institutions and financing church projects. Productivity is primary; charity is secondary.

The godly businessman will do the most good by expanding his business. Case in point: McDonald’s has done more to fight hunger than any non-profit charity. By expanding its business, it is able to offer extremely low-cost meals to millions and millions of people worldwide each day. Of course, the McDonald’s corporation does give to charity. Had its founder felt guilty about his success and given in to wealth redistribution schemes, the present business would be in far less of a position to help philanthropically or provide cheap meals to hungry people.

Charity is best supported by prosperous Christian businesses. The wealthier Christians become, the more they can give and still expand those businesses. Again, charity is a secondary goal, and must not be to the detriment of the business.

Since the church has as its goal its own growth, not the growth of God’s kingdom or the welfare of your students, your school must be free from the church. The separated Christian school has the freedom to teach the full Gospel without interference. I assure you that your students will be far better off without the lowest common denominator morality and Arminian theology ingrained in most modern churches. Even should you find a theologically orthodox church, having a church running a Christian school is a conflict of interest, and the Marxism present in even the best of Christians will handicap the business. The Grace Community School system frees the Christian school owner-operator from church control and the guilt the church seeks to lay on those materially blessed of God.

Righteousness is Marketable

Stuck in a post-Christian culture in a corrupt world, you may feel that it is impossible to get ahead in business while still playing by God’s rules. This is particularly the case if you have the mindset that capitalistic business is the world’s realm. The solution is not to withdraw from business. Instead, trust God. He has promised blessings to those who obey his commandments; this applies to the realm of capitalism just as it does to every other realm. Do not despair. God turns seeming weakness into strength. My experience has been that even nonbelievers can respect the virtues of Christians.

Sometimes, at government classes and meetings, I come in contact with management and staff of other local childcare centers. I have seen the people who run Grace Community School’s competition. When the management of a childcare center looks immoral, irresponsible, and unprofessional, chances are that it is more than mere appearances.

Now look at Grace Community School’s managers. You will see clean-cut, responsible-looking, professional men and women. Their appearance inspires confidence and trust. A mother may be a degenerate fallen woman, but when it comes to find someone to care for her child, she will seek out someone with the appearance of righteousness if she can. I have never met a parent who did not want the school to instill a sense of morality in his or her children. Our parents know that we stand for something other centers do not. Even if they do not consider themselves Christians, they would like Christian values to be taught.

Beyond all this, parents feel more secure dealing with a school practicing Christian business principles (above all “Thou shalt not steal”). As I said before, we do no fundraising. We do not harass our clients asking for handouts. Parents like that Grace Community School is a self-supporting Christian ministry. We are proof that it is possible to run a flourishing business in a corrupt real world environment without betraying God and His commandments.

The Entrepreneur as Evangelist

There is a big difference between intellectually assenting to Christian economic principles and laws, and being able to use them successfully. This is the task of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur is a person blessed by God with the talents and skills needed to apply God’s laws of economics in the real world. The entrepreneur operating in the free market seems to be able to create wealth as if by magic. It is not magic, however, it is the direct result of God’s blessings. There are few areas of life in which God gives such immediate, direct feedback about the keeping of His commandments than in the area of business. It is very concrete. God, through the market, blesses those who are best able to satisfy a need. The entrepreneur is a master at fulfilling the demands of the market.

Because he is responsible for so many of the blessings society enjoys, as well as being the source of jobs, God compensates the entrepreneur with tremendous material rewards. Consequently, the entrepreneur faces envy like no other man, despite the fact that he benefits society like no other. This is sin. “Thou shalt not covet,” says God.

It is vital to remember that the wealth creation process benefits everyone involved. The business owner makes a profit, his employees receive wages, and the customer receives something he would like to have more than the money he paid for the goods or services. The business owner does not “rip off” anyone by making a profit. Jesus often used business scenarios in His parables, such as the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. Clearly God wants His people to be in business, and be successful at it. Our society’s war against successful business owners and entrepreneurs is homicidal, as well as suicidal. We seek to murder them, and in thus to murder ourselves by destroying society’s most productive elements.

Typically, the businessman sins less than he is sinned against. In particular, the graduated income tax is a sin committed by majority rule. Since a man’s profits are a product of his work and investments over time, theft of those wages is theft of his time. To steal a man’s time is to steal a portion of his life—a form of murder.

The entrepreneur takes raw materials—land, time, personnel, etc.— and turns them into profit. Crucially, the Christian entrepreneur-businessman uses his profits to build God’s kingdom. It is not wealth for wealth’s sake, it is wealth for God’s sake. God blesses his faithful people with wealth so that they may be more productive. The best thing Christians can do for God’s kingdom is to work hard, grow their businesses, and teach their families God’s commandments.

The counterpart to the Christian businessman are the evangelists and teachers of God’s law. In the Bible, whenever God’s people came under His judgment it was because of disobedience. We have an identical state of affairs in America today. A people who forget God’s law will not prosper for long, no matter how strong they seem. Teachers of God’s law are an absolute necessity for a strong Christian nation. Here in the Grace Community model we have the best of both worlds: the entrepreneurial evangelist.

Self-Supporting Missionaries

We with Grace Community School describe ourselves as missionaries. We might not travel to far off countries or brave dysentery, but the description is still apt. To be sure, God does call people to go overseas to share His Word with strangers. However, too often, ministry opportunities at home are passed over. God commands us to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” It is easier to love someone far, far away! When it comes to helping those close by, many churches limit their local evangelism to church building. There are local evangelistic organizations, of course, but these typically have the goal of enlarging a particular local church. Churches are not interested in activities that do not add to the church’s membership. For this reason the church-controlled Christian school is always a tool of the church, rather than primarily a tool of God.

I have a great respect for foreign missionaries. I do not envy the fund-raising they must face. Getting tens of thousands of dollars (in the case of a family) through begging is not an easy task. It involves great sacrifice on the part of the family as well as on those who donate. Being strapped for funds is not a virtue. Does evangelism have to be a burden on others?

There are precedents. Sometimes these self-supporting missionaries are called “tentmakers,” after the archetypal self-supporting missionary, the Apostle Paul. Often these self-supporting missionaries find their personal testimonies greatly increased because they do pull their own weight in the community. Many cultures find it very hard to respect missionaries who (in their eyes) do not do real work, and live off of donations. Wouldn’t you have more respect for someone who earns his own living and provides for his family? I would. I believe God does as well. One ministry which is very similar to Grace Community School belongs to missionaries who make money teaching English to Japanese people and their children. There is a lot of money to be made in teaching English in Japan, and these missionaries live comfortably and are completely self-supporting. They have a great product for sale (the teaching of English), and by operating as a business, sales of the product finance an extensive evangelism program in Japan.

Many people consider any Christian organization not supported by donations and fundraising to be “un-Christian.” Marxism would have us believe that it is immoral for a ministry to charge money for its services and make a profit. The average Christian agrees. To say that a missionary should live comfortably, own property, save money, and lay up an inheritance for his children’s children is considered the height of immorality by churchmen. Does the Bible support this? Does God say that missionaries should not work, provide for their families, own property, and save up an inheritance? Not at all.

Which is better: soul-winning supported by charity, or soul-winning that supports itself? One earns more respect from those being ministered to, and does away with the constant need for panhandling. Which is more rewardable by God? Since the Scriptures nowhere call poverty a virtue or something desirable, I see no reason why those in a ministry ought to be “beggars for Christ.” God helps those who help themselves.

We are entrepreneurs who are also evangelists; we use our business opportunities to spread the Gospel. Grace Community School has been able to reach far more people as a business selling services than we would as a charity dependent upon others’ goodwill. This is particularly true in our case, since most of the Christian community has very little good will for Grace Community School!

Paying close attention to the market is important. We are competing in an overwhelmingly anti-Christian marketplace in a battle for souls. It is a battle that our low prices help us win. Grace Community schools has done well in our time of economic decline, because childcare services are always in demand; the same cannot be said for many of our competitors: they have become more and more dependent on government funding (which is dependent on the whim of government agents), and steeped in debt to a point where they are unable to lower their prices to a competitive point.

Our services are not given away, nor do we swing towards the other end of the spectrum and charge high tuition rates to church members trying to feel superior. Since we are not subject to the whims of a local church, we preserve our freedom to preach the Gospel unimpeded. Self-support is the name of the game.

Obviously, if missions work is to be self-supporting, it must have a product worth selling. Grace Community School is a missionary organization—one that focuses on our local community. We add members to no local church, nor do we require professions of faith from any parents. Whosoever will come, may. No ministry is more evangelistic. The more profit Grace Community School makes, the more resources we have to expand and the more souls we can win. Most importantly, we have a fantastic product for sale.