The last of our R.I.S.E. principles is represented by the “E”, which stands for Economic Empowerment. There are a plethora of biblical references to money, which we do not have time to explore. However, I will briefly point out the parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25:14-28 and also in Luke 19: 12-26, without a full explanation of the parables. The principle in both contexts is being prepared for Jesus’ return. Both speak of three servants who are given money to invest while the master is away. Two of the three servants in Matthew make a profit, while the third hides the money. The two who make a profit receive a reward. The third servant who hides the money is reprimanded for being wicked and lazy. The master then takes the money entrusted to the lazy servant and gives it to one of the other servants.
One of the explicit messages in this parable is that we each must be productive with what we have been given. The warning for those who are not productive is that whatever we were given, will be taken away. Jesus says,
“For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”
The final judgment for the unproductive servant was punishment. He was called a worthless servant and was to be thrown outside, into the darkness, “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 25:30).
Consequently, it is not where we start that matters. It is what we do with what God has given us, and our faithfulness to the task. Booker T. Washington understood this when he said,
“I have learned that success is to be measured, not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”Booker T. Washington
Fredrick Douglass is quoted as saying,
“Our destiny is largely in our own hands. If we find, we shall have to seek. If we succeed in the race of life it must be by our own energies, and by our own exertions. Others may clear the road, but we must go forward, or be left behind in the race of life.”Frederick Douglass
Douglass also warned against relying solely on others; but, instead urged Blacks to demonstrate self-sufficiency when he said,
“if we remain poor and dependent, the riches of other men will not avail us. If we are ignorant, the intelligence of other men will do but little for us. If we are foolish, the wisdom of other men will not guide us. If we are wasteful of time and money, the economy of other men will only make our destitution more disgraceful and hurtful.”Fredrick Douglass
Economic Empowerment underscores the principles:
Through free markets, individuals and groups form relationships and exercise self-government. The state should only intervene to establish minimum health and safety standards, and encourage competition. When the government does choose to use its power to regulate free people, it should be exceedingly cautious to use the least burdensome method possible.
The free market is the most efficient way for people who are less fortunate to advance from poverty to prosperity. Economic empowerment focuses on wealth production, not wealth redistribution, job creation versus job security, and investments in tomorrow without mortgaging our future.
As individuals, we have the right to choose in a free market albeit, we are vested with the responsibility to inform ourselves and make choices that best suit our needs. While the Government should actively enforce fraud statutes, it should not attempt to protect the public from what it perceives as poor choices by eliminating those possibilities from the market.
Healthcare service is a commodity that is best procured through the free market. Access to healthcare becomes more available and affordable when health professionals are allowed to compete in the free market. Individual health savings accounts, health clinics in retail stores, concierge medicine, are all products of the free market in the healthcare industry because one size does not fit all.
Private property is the cornerstone of a free nation. Therefore, public needs should override individual property rights only in the most convincing circumstances– not merely for the sake of convenience. In those instances when a compelling need does exist, property owners should be justly compensated for their whole loss.
Government largess is counter-productive to economic empowerment. Government handouts encourage dependency. Assistance given to the marginalized and disenfranchised members of society should always support and move individuals toward self-sufficiency. The private sector, such as a faith-based organization, is better equipped to offer counseling, housing, clothing, food, and education to help people get back on their feet.
Economic Empowerment is the engine of a free society whose legacy depends on the exercise and ingenuity of every contributing part.
This ends our explanation of the R.I.S.E. Principles. It is my hope and prayer that you have learned more about conservative ideas and values with a willingness to begin to look at political candidates and party platforms in light of the information provided in these videos. May God bless you and keep you. Thank you for watching.
The preamble to R.I.S.E.