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Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman.

“We print it [money] digitally.  So as a central bank, we have the ability to create money digitally. And we do that by buying Treasury Bills or bonds or other government securities.  And that actually increases the money supply.”

I probably shouldn’t be, but I often am, amazed an God’s providential timing in providing illustrations of points I plan to talk about.  As I’ve been thinking about this series of posts, I planned this week to write about the Fed and the process of money, more properly currency, creation. 

In one respect, the process the Fed uses to bring currency into being is fairly easy to grasp.  On the other hand, it is so obviously fraudulent that it shocks people when they hear about it. “That simply can’t be.” is, I think, a fairly common reaction. 

In the Lord’s providence, and quite apart from any planning by me, it so happened that Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, was interviewed on 60 Minutes last Sunday by correspondent Scott Pelley of CBS News.  You can watch the full interview and ready the transcript here.  In my opinion, Pelley did a good job asking important questions of Powell, especially concerning the process by which the Fed prints money.  At one point, Pelley asked Powell about the Fed’s response to the coronavirus (CV) crisis, and Powell ticked off a list of the Fed’s market interventions.  Here’s what was said next,

PELLEY: Fair to say you simply flooded the system with money?

POWELL: Yes. We did. That’s another way to think about it. We did.

PELLEY: Where does it come from? Do you just print it?

POWELL: We print it digitally. So as a central bank, we have the ability to create money digitally. And we do that by buying Treasury Bills or bonds or other government guaranteed securities. And that actually increases the money supply. We also print actual currency and we distribute that through the Federal Reserve banks.

There you have it.  The Fed chairman admitting on national television that the Fed creates money and uses it to buy, “Treasury Bills or bonds or other government guaranteed securities.”  He also noted that this activity, “actually increases the money supply.” 

What I would like to do in today’s post is to examine these statements – Powell’s saying that the Fed “creates money” and that this act “actually increases the money supply” – in greater detail.  Just how does the Fed create money and what are the effects of “increasing the money supply” on our daily lives? 

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The_Phillip_Medhurst_Picture_Torah_122._Abraham_purchasing_Ephron._Genesis_cap_22_v_16._Hoet (2)
Abraham purchasing the cave of Machpelah from Ephron by Phillip Medhurst. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Abraham weighed out the silver for Ephron which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, currency of the merchants.

  • Genesis 23:16

In his lecture “Money, Freedom and the Bible,” John Robbins argued that the manufacturing of money was not a proper function of government, because there is no warrant for this in Scripture.  The Bible charges the civil magistrate with the duty to punish evildoers and reward the good.  There is no mention of anywhere in Scripture of God granting civil governments the right to manufacture money.

The first time I heard this many years ago, I was shocked by this idea.  “But all governments manufacture money,” I thought to myself.  “If the government didn’t supply money, who would?” I continued.

Of course, my initial objection can be answered by pointing out that simply because a thing is done does not logically imply that it ought to be done.  In the 18th century, David Hume famously made this point.

Secondly, concerning who would supply money in the absence of governments, the answer to this is the market would take care of this.  As Robbins noted in his lecture, there is such an example of this in Genesis 23, where Abraham pays for the field to bury Sarah by weighing 400 shekels of silver, “currency of the merchant.”  Note that it was not the currency of Pharaoh, nor the currency of the King of the Hittites that Abraham weighed out.  It was the currency of the merchants.  That is to say, it was a unit of money that arose from the common practice of the free market.  Importantly, it was not a government issued currency, neither was it the product of a government licensed central bank.

For that reason, that it arose in the marketplace and was privately managed by the merchants who used it, the shekel weighed out by Abraham was an honest unit of money.  The same cannot be said for sovereign currencies of our day.  Not only do they fail to maintain purchasing power, but they are deliberately designed to lose value over time.  To this author’s knowledge, there is not one honest currency in use today, including, and perhaps especially, the U.S. Dollar.

Last week’s post titled “This is Going to Hurt, Part 1: Honestly Facing our National Bankruptcy,” discussed the disastrous economic numbers coming out as a result of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Please note, I did not write, “the disastrous economic numbers coming out as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” but, “the disastrous economic numbers coming out as a result of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.” It is not the Chinese coronavirus that caused over 30 million Americans to lose their jobs in the past six weeks, it is decision, more accurately decisions, of various government officials that have led to this disaster.

But oddly, as I also noted, the stock market has rebounded even as economic activity has made record declines.  How can this be?  The short answer to this question is money printing on a mind-blowing scale by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States.

My purpose in this post is to lay out in non-technical language what a central bank is and what it does.  In subsequent posts, I shall illustrate the unbiblical, immoral nature of central banking by looking in detail at the origin, the workings and the disastrous effects Federal Reserve (the Fed) policy has had on our nation.

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Mnuchin.Unemployment
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warns that unemployment could reach 25%, a level equal to that of the Great Depression.  But according to economist John Williams, not only are we already at 25% unemployment, we’re well  past it.

Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

  • Matthew 5:26

“Trump administration is ‘willing to spend whatever it takes’ to mitigate coronavirus crisis says Steven Mnuchin as he continue to facilitate bipartisan negotiations – but admits unemployment could hit 25%.”

That somewhat longish headline leads a story from today, May 10, 2020, in the Daily Mail.  A few things are worth noting here.  First, the current economic crisis is called, inaccurately, the “coronavirus crisis.”  The massive unemployment and terrifying declines in industrial production that have hit the U.S. and other Western nations has not been caused by the coronavirus.  It is the government’s response to the coronavirus that is the immediate cause of the 20 + million private sector jobs lost in month of April.  To put that number is some perspective, the previous record monthly job loss number was 800,000 + which occurred during the height of the 2008 financial crisis in March 2009.  The virus did not shut down the economy and cause record job losses; the politicians and bureaucrats did.  By calling it the “coronavirus crisis,” politicians are attempting to shift the blame from themselves to a virus.

Second, the negotiations in which U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is immersed involved more money printing by the Federal Reserve and more deficit spending by Congress.  The truth, that Fed money printing and prodigal spending by Congress are the root cause of our current economic crisis, is nowhere to be seen.  Treasury Secretary Mnuchin wants you to believe that the cure for our financial woes us is doing more of the same things that put us in this mess in the first place.

Third, note well that Steve Mnuchin is facilitating “bipartisan negotiations.” As a lifelong Republican – I’m from the Tea Party/Ron Paul wing of the Republican party, not the mainstream, but nevertheless I am a Republican – I hate to admit that the my own party is in part responsible for the incompetent and immoral response to the coronavirus, a response that has included doling out literally trillions of dollars, dollars all which had to be borrowed into existence by the combined efforts of Congress and the Fed.  I would like to blame all of this on the Democrats, but that simply would not be honest.  It is Democrats and Republicans conspiring together to spend money we don’t have in ways that were never authorized by the Constitution.  With a few exceptions, nary a peep of protest is heard from either party concerning the shockingly large spending programs already put in place, programs which Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) called, “the largest wealth transfer in history.”  And now Congress is colluding with the Trump administration on even more deficit spending.

Fourth, Steve Mnuchin admits that unemployment could hit 25%.  Here’s some news for Mr. Mnuchin, most likely unemployment is already well north of that figure.  Actually, it’s probably not news to him at all.  One suspects he already knows this.  What a lot of people don’t know is that the government changed the way it calculates unemployment.  In 1994, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stopped counting long-term discouraged workers – a long term discouraged worker is someone who has not attempted to find work in the last four weeks – as unemployed.  Previous to that, such persons were included in the unemployment calculations released by the BLS.  John Williams is an economist who runs his own website called Shadow Stats.  Among the services he provides is a monthly calculation of the unemployment rate using the government’s old method.  Want to take a guess at where he puts current unemployment?  Try 35%!  If Williams’ numbers are anywhere near accurate, we already have a far worse employment situation than what occurred during the Great Depression, which is usually estimated at 25%.  Presumably, that’s the reason Mnuchin picked the number that he did.

So much for the Daily Mail’s headline.

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Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks at a White House press briefing.

The so-called corona virus (CV) pandemic has taken the world by storm.  Like many people, this author had never so much as heard the term “corona virus” until about three or four months ago.  But writing now in early May 2020, it seems as if it’s been with us forever.

One of the barriers to thinking clearly about the CV pandemic and resulting lock down of the economy was the remarkable speed at which it all occurred.  It seemed that one day all was well, and the next that governors across the country were ordering their citizens to “shelter in place.”  It was almost as if the entire nation were sucker punched at once.  One day we were going about our business, working our jobs as we always had, and the next we were working from home or not working at all.  Who could ever have imagined such a thing as recently as the beginning of this year?

The official narrative is that the virus is an unexpected event, originating in China.  Despite the Chinese leadership’s heroic efforts to contain it, the virus managed to spread throughout all the world.  Here in the US, Anthony Fauci is officially hailed as a hero and governors who locked down their states are thought to have taken bold action to save the nation from an even higher death count than has been reported.  They are heroes.  And the more severely they locked down their states, the more heroic they are.

Although the rapidity at which the crisis emerged and my unfamiliarity with pandemics made analysis difficult at first, the whole CV pandemic always seemed more than a bit suspect to me.  And the longer it has gone on and the more information that has come out, the more my original suspicions have been confirmed.  Below are thirteen reasons why I doubt CV narrative.

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All Seeing Eye

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed.

  • Psalm 2:2

 

In last week’s post, we considered the many passages in Scripture which speak of conspiracies.  It seemed good to approach the subject of conspiracies in this way for at least two reasons.  If the fist place, this is a Scripturalist blog.  As such, it is the goal of this author to approach every subject with the understanding that that the Bible has a systematic monopoly on truth.  If one can establish that the infallible, inerrant Bible clearly teaches that conspiracies have occurred in the past, this poses a significant problem for those who claim, as some do, that it is impossible for conspiracies to occur today and to dismiss those who have doubts about the official explanations as “conspiracy theorists.”

A second reason for placing a post on biblical examples of conspiracies first in this series is one of interest.  It’s likely that many Christians have not considered the extensive evidence supporting the existence of conspiracies furnished by well-known Bible passages.  Coming to see these passages as examples of conspiracies not only adds to our understanding of Scripture, but gives Christians added intellectual ammunition to analyze events of the present day.

In today’s post, I would like to explore the term “conspiracy theory” itself.  As it turns out, one can make the case that the term “conspiracy theory” is, oddly enough, something of a conspiracy.

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www.youtube.com/watch

All Seeing Eye

The masonic “All Seeing Eye of Providence” as seen on the back of the U.S. one dollar bill. This same symbol is found on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States.  Many of the founding fathers of America, George Washington included, were masons.  

And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

  • Mark 3:6

Conspiracy theorist.  Few words in the English language are freighted with more negative baggage than these.  To be so labeled is to be verbally ostracized from polite society and to cease to be taken seriously as a thinker or writer.

In recent times, so-called conspiracy theorists have been accused of spreading fake news, denounced as Russian bots, and removed from major social media platforms as punishment for daring to disagree with official narratives.

And this isn’t something that has taken place in Soviet Russia or Communist China either.  The silencing of dissenting opinion has taken place right here in the good old US of A, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The most recent push for censorship of dissenting voices can be dated to the fall of 2016.  On October 16th, less than four weeks from the presidential election that saw Donald Trump shock the nation’s pundits by defeating favorite Hillary Clinton to win the White House, then President Barak Obama gave a speech in Pittsburgh in which he, “decried America’s ‘wild, wild west’ media environment for allowing conspiracy theorists a broad platform and destroying a common basis for debate.”   Obama went on to say, “We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to…There has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.”

What’s that again?  Did the President of the United States just call for a Ministry of Truth?  It certainly appears that he did.

On November 24, 2016, the Washington Post ran what has become a very well-known article among independent journalists titled “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say.”   In that article was a link to a report by a shadowy group known as PropOrNot.  The report titled Black Friday Report:  On Russian Propaganda network Mapping, was supposedly, “a list of over 200 distinct website, YouTube channels and Facebook groups which qualify as Russian propaganda outlets according to our criteria and target audiences in the United States.”

So who’s behind the organization PropOrNot?  To this day, no one seems to know for sure.  Some think it’s the CIA, which seems a likely suspect to this author for at least four reasons.  First, the Washington Post is considered by some credible individuals to be a CIA asset.  For example, former Undersecretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts, a man who once held a top secret security clearance, wrote in 2018 that when he was working as a Congressional staffer he was told in a briefing that the Washington Post was a CIA asset.  Second, the Washington Post article and the PropOrNot report essentially made the case that Donald Trump won the election because the American people were duped into voting for him by websites under Russian influence.  Third, Donald Trump was barely sworn into office when the Russia, Russia, Russian drumbeat started, resulting in the Mueller Investigation, which ultimately turned out to be an embarrassment to Mueller and his supporters, but not before it consumed two years of Trump’s first term in office. Fourth, the by now well-established fact that US intelligence was actively working against the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.  Much more can be written about the various intelligence agencies and their plots against Trump.  Indeed, there is likely a great deal of information that has not yet been made public.  But, in the estimation of this author, there is enough evidence of a conspiracy from the highest levels – both to deny Donald Trump the presidency in 2016 and, once that failed, to silence his supporters on the internet and to discredit Trump himself as a Russian agent – that the matter is settled beyond a reasonable doubt.

There was a time when this author would have hesitated to accept that so-called conspiracy theories could be true.  Only crazy people believe those things, right?  But after watching the 2016 election and its aftermath, in my opinion it is foolish to discount the possibility that events are not necessarily what they seem at first glance. As John Robbins noted, events do not explain themselves but must themselves be explained.  And if those who control the explanations – and here I’m referring to those in government, the media and academia – have hidden agendas, then it is hardly surprising that they would make use of what Plato called “the noble lie” to support those agendas.

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Tweet_Rand Paul

We ought to obey God rather than men.

  • Acts 5:29

Rand Paul and Thomas Massie rip Kentucky governor for tracking license plates of Easter church attendees,” ran the headline in the Washington Examiner.  The story went on to detail the reactions of KY Senator Rand Paul and KY Representative Thomas Massie to KY Governor Andy Beshear’s Friday statement outlining the actions the state plans to take against Kentucky Christians who gather for in-person worship on Easter Sunday.  “Taking license plates at church?  Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday?  Someone needs to take a step back here,” tweeted Senator Paul.

Although the statement from the Governor’s office makes the point that the “order is for all mass gatherings and not just worship services,”  given the timing of the announcement (Good Friday), the preface that references people of “multiple faiths”, the statement’s specific warning that, “anyone planning to attend an in-person mass gathering this weekend [Easter] will face quarantine orders, and the statement’s reference to six churches in the commonwealth that are still planning to hold in-person services,” it is fair to see this statement from the Governor’s office as directed at Christians in particular.

Governor Beshear’s stance is not unique.  Last week, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer barred drive-through church services in the city, saying that he can’t allow “hundreds of thousands” of people to drive around town this weekend in observance of Easter festivities when they need to be home riding out the COVID-19 pandemic.  Just yesterday (April 11) a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order filed by a Louisville church against Mayor Fischer.  In his ruling, which applied only to the church that brought the suit, Judge Justin Walker blasted the mayor’s decision to prohibit drive-in church services as ‘beyond all reason’ and akin to what one might find only in a dystopian novel.

Earlier this month, a Tampa, Florida pastor was arrested for holding church services in defiance of a county order.  He was charged with violating quarantine orders during a public health emergency and later posted a $500 bond and was released.

Some Reformed brethren may argue that the churches in Louisville and Tampa are not Reformed and, therefore, these cases do not concern us.  But it’s worth asking this question, would it matter if the pastors of these churches were rock ribbed, 5-point Calvinist Presbyterians?  It’s highly doubtful.  They would have been arrested just the same.

These and other examples raise the important question, what is the relationship between church and state?  Does the civil government have the right to tell churches they may not hold in-person worship services, or have the magistrates overstepped the proper limits of their authority when they arrest or threaten pastors and church members for attending Sunday worship? It’s doubtful most American Christians have even considered this question before.  It’s simply never come up.  But now that it has, how do we as Christians answer it?

Citing Romans 13:1-7, some Christians have concluded that they must obey all coronavirus related government orders prohibiting mass gatherings.  Romans 13:1-7 reads,

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

For them, the command, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities,” and the conclusion, “Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves,” apply in the case of orders from the civil magistrate prohibiting in-person Sunday church gatherings.

Other Christians disagree, citing, for example, Jesus command to “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12.17).

It is this author’s studied conviction that the former group is in error and the latter group has the correct understanding to the relationship between church and state as set forth in the Scriptures.  What is more, this author believes the US Constitution is on the side of the latter group as well.

It is my goal in this post to defend the proposition that the government has no authority in matters related to church meetings and that by prohibiting in-person worship, these civil authorities have exceeded their rightful jurisdiction and have thereby sinned.  Further, it my conviction that this point can be proven from the Scriptures.

Before proceeding, it is worth noting what this argument is not as well as what it is.  This argument is not that churches are wrong to cancel in-person services and to seek alternate worship service arrangements due to concerns over coronavirus.  Citing 1 Cor. 11:13,  the Westminster Confession of Faith says, “Nevertheless, we acknowledge…that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.” If a church Session believes that, in light of that church’s circumstances that it is best to suspend regular worship and institute some alternate form or worship such as internet video, then the Session is within its right to do so.  This author has no argument with such a decision.

My argument is simply this, that there is no support in Scripture for civil government to prohibit church meetings, whether it be on the Lord’s Day or any other day, and that those civil magistrates who do prohibit such gatherings of the Lord’s people have overstepped their God-given authority and are sinning thereby.

Let us turn now to the Scriptural proofs.

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