Interview of Joseph McAuliffe - EC132

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Interview of Joseph McAuliffe
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 6
Length: 0:58:57
TapeCode: ec132
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 132, September 19, 1986.

Today we have a special treat. Otto and I are here with Joseph McAuliffe, another of our Chalcedon staff members and we are going to interview Joseph McAuliffe.

Joseph, why don’t you start by telling our listeners something about yourself and your background?

[McAuliffe] Ok, well, Rush, first off, it is a delight for me to be here with both you and Otto. And as an Easy Chair subscriber myself, I want you to know just now much I deeply appreciate this program. [00:00:47]

To tell you a little bit about myself and my background...[edit]

To tell you a little bit about myself and my background, my entrance into the Christian faith came in 1971. I was a junior at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and I was studying history at the time, but I was also very actively involved in the counter culture movement, had long hair and was a part of the whole hippie thing which was popular during that period of time and my conversion came out of that experience where three young men from Campus Crusade for Christ presented me with the claims of the gospel and the Holy Spirit was working in my life in such a way that for the first time I responded to the words of the gospel. I had been brought up in a Roman Catholic family, but by the time I was in high school, due to many reasons, but most being generally I was a pretty wilder partier on Saturday nights and rarely felt like going to church on Sunday mornings.

But anyway during my high school years I fell away from any kind of semblance of a relationship to the Christian faith. So when I was 21 I made a full fledged profession and commitment of my life to the Lord. I spent six months, right after my conversion at a Christian training center in Mansfield, Ohio where I got my basic introduction to the Christian faith. Much of the teaching, though, that I received during that time was very Premillennial and Dispensational. Next to the Bible the first book I read was Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth and so I lived in immanent anticipation of the coming of Christ.

At the training center, just to exhibit my faith, I used to sleep in the upper bunk thinking that if Christ was to return, I would be one of the first to go. Back then what was popular in many of our meetings was invariably during our religious meeting would make a statement that it is highly probable that before this meeting ends, Christ will have returned. [00:03:10]

So, having this as an introduction to my Christian...[edit]

So, having this as an introduction to my Christian faith pretty much put me in a state of what I would call future block. I remember Alvin Toffler wrote the book Future Shock. My future, though, had been pretty well blocked out from me and I couldn’t decide what to do, if I should go back to college, if I should marry this girl that I was deeply in love with. Everything was in a state of abeyance.

Anyway, I ended up returning to college in Bowling Green, Ohio and began witnessing of my newfound faith and that summer approximately 30 students committed themselves to Christ and we started a prayer fellowship. I continued on with my studies, but our prayer fellowship grew and I more or less evolved into the ministry. And pastor in Bowling Green, Ohio for, oh, the better part of the last 15 years with the exception of a two year stint out here in California during 1979-1980 which is where I met you for the first time. Then in 1985 my wife and I along with eight other families moved from Bowling Green down to Tampa, Florida to plant a new church in the Tampa area and that is where we now reside.

[Rushdoony] Where were you reared? What was your home town?

[McAuliffe] Well, my home town is Syracuse, New York.

[Rushdoony] And, yes, and some close to your family at that time was Father Hesburgh of Notre Dame, was he not? [00:04:49]

[McAuliffe] That is right...[edit]

[McAuliffe] That is right. Father Hesburgh is a Syracuse native and was a close friend of my parents. In fact, he married my mom and dad in South Bend, Indiana a good number of years ago.

[Rushdoony] Well, there is another aspect to your life that I think is very important. Your ministry in the area of business. Tell us about Busines Gram, about your contact with people in the area of business and something of you perspective there, Joseph.

[McAuliffe] Ok. When I was in college I started off as a business major my first quarter. Actually, my first two years in college I shifted my major each quarter. I was a multi major person. I ended up settling in history and ... but when I finished college and got married, I ended up managing a restaurant in Bowling Green, Ohio and learned a good amount of basic business principles through my job as manager of the restaurant.

I should also say that my father had somewhat of a formative impact on my relationship towards business as a young person. He was in commercial real estate and often times would take me and my brothers out for rides and show us different properties and explain to us the mechanics of selling real estate. But I wasn’t really that much of a business person as such. However, managing the restaurant, I did get a basic education in it and I was a Christian at the time. And so I began to really seek God about applying some scriptural principles to the management and the operation of the enterprise. Some of the things the Lord taught me were very simple things like the importance of advertising. We had... our restaurant had done very little advertising and I got an idea one day of offering this special that whereby a person could get a roast beef sandwich, French fries and a Coke for a buck and we started this dollar day special which became quite popular to such an extent that there used to be lines that on Wednesdays when we had our dollar day special that formed all the way out to the street. [00:07:17]

The owners of the restaurant were quite surprised as...[edit]

The owners of the restaurant were quite surprised as to what was taking place in the restaurant. It was basically being kept open as a tax write off. It was losing about 3000 dollars a month. However, within three months of my management the restaurant, which was a franchise restaurant, move from near the bottom. There was 110 of these restaurants in the country and I think we were 105th, but within three months we moved up to number one and stayed number one during the 10 year, my reign as manager of the restaurant.

Probably, though, the most significant development for me in terms of getting involved in business took place—and I know this isn’t a mutual admiration society we have here today—but that did take place as a result of me reading your book The Institutes of Biblical Law. I made reference earlier to my early theological training which was very Dispensational, to such an extent to me the kingdom of God was irrelevant with this present Dispensational age that I saw the Christian age, the Church age being likened to a parenthetical period, not quite a deviant period, but nonetheless a period that was awaiting a greater period to come which was the kingdom age which would come back when Christ returned.

Well, your book upset my theological apple cart totally and all the sudden I had to come to grips with the reality of God’s kingdom being here today and that the God that supplied us with a strategy and tools for the implementation and the expression of his kingdom through his long word and that the Scriptures were absolutely authoritative and reliable for addressing every area of life. [00:09:18]

One of the verses that became very prominent to me...[edit]

One of the verses that became very prominent to me at this period was in Psalm 119:128 where the psalmist declared, “Therefore, I have esteem right all thy precepts which concern everything.”

And that gripped me as to the whole comprehensive relevance of the Word of God that concerned everything. And the thought passed through my mind was: Could I actually find a subject that the Scriptures did not speak relevantly and authoritatively to? And I saw this... I just could not come up with an area where the Scriptures did not make some application to. And then I saw that it was the responsibility of the Church to be a prophetic voice to the earth in terms of the explication of God’s law to every spirit life.

The church that I was pastoring had a fairly good business school, Bowling Green State University had a fine business department. In fact, during the early 70s the Ford Foundation had ranked it the fourth best business school in the state or, excuse me, in the country. I guess that wouldn’t be saying a whole lot to just saying the state of Ohio, but it was a good business school and a lot of our people in our church had come out of the business department. Many of these were young men who had gotten jobs in the area. Yet because of our faith and our eschatology at that time, which had been Dispensational and quite dualistic, I should add, callings for us were something that were very spiritualized. When we looked at what the Scriptures had to say about the subject of calling, we generally had the tendency of identifying it simply with the area of ministry, that the call of God and ministry, for that matter, was something that would be occupied by a prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist, et cetera. And if you had a calling to business, then that was somewhat of an inferior status, occupying what you might say the coach section of the kingdom of God. [00:11:39]

And so your book was a revolutionary book for us...[edit]

And so your book was a revolutionary book for us. And we began to then... and I myself began to do a thorough study of what the Scriptures had to say about Christianity in business. And lo and behold, I found that it had just a multitude of things to say about particularly finance, economics and business.

One Bible teacher had done a study of the subject. His name was Howard Hendricks, popular evangelical teacher. He had done a study and discovered that there were more ... that there were over twice as many references in the Scriptures to the subject of finance, economics and business than there were on all the verses related to prayer and faith combined. And what startled me was that... how seldom I myself had preached about economics and business. And if I were to line up or list down all the sermons I had preached for the previous seven, eight years, I had a whole host of them on prayer and intercession and faith and trusting and believing God, but just a scant few on finance.

Of course, I, like every other pastor had memorized Malachi 3:8-12, which has a definite economic reference. Those are the verses that speak to the subject of the tithe, bringing the whole tithe into the storehouse. I often tease that is one of the very first verses that pastors memorize and when they do teach on the subject of money that is... that is the one they will go to.

But, again, basically a studied indifference towards applying the Scriptures to the business realm. [00:13:30]

To continue on, what took place as a result of my studies...[edit]

To continue on, what took place as a result of my studies, this was around the year 1980, myself and several of the businessmen in my church began to see the need for a publication that would be addressing the subject of business, finance and economics from a biblical perspective. So at that time we started the publishing of Business Gram. And I think Business Gram has, I believe made some contribution to the body of Christ in terms of at least trying to make a statement of the relevancy of our faith to the marketplace. And that is like what we try to do in business.

[Rushdoony] Yes, Otto. Otto Scott, as you know, has a background in business and in industry. Otto, let’s hear from you.

[Scott] Well, I think it is a fascinating story, Joseph. How much did they teach you when you went, when you finally majored in business? How much emphasis was placed upon ethics and was any emphasis at all placed upon religion?

[McAuliffe] Not at all. Of course, I was going to a state university. But then, again, I have talked to others who have gone to Christian universities and are receiving their MBA from Christian universities. Most do have some... a course that would deal with ethics. But it is not a very prominent topic even in the Christian universities and, of course, in the state universities like the one I went to, there was absolutely no attention given to the subject of ethics. [00:15:21]

[Scott] That is interesting...[edit]

[Scott] That is interesting. At one point I had a proposition to McGraw Hill. I wanted to write a book about how the Harvard School of Business did its business. And...

[Rushdoony] That would be an explosive subject.

[Scott] Oh, I wanted to know how much money they charged. I wanted to know how they advertised. I wanted to know how they marketed their courses, what they paid their professors and how much profit they obtained and the whole business. And they turned... McGraw Hill turned it down. And I said, “Well, why ... why ... why don’t you like it? I am sure it would be popular. It would be interesting.”

They said, “Well, it would... we get a lot of business out of Harvard and we have a lot of writers and... and editors and so forth that come through Harvard and we don’t want to make any enemies.”

And I said, “Well, now why do you assume that it would be hostile? Why do you assume they wouldn’t come out very credibly?”

They said, “We don’t know, but we don’t think they would.” [00:16:26]

[Rushdoony] Well, that in itself tells a lot about...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, that in itself tells a lot about Harvard. But people associated with it, working with people who come from Harvard are distrustful of the quality of their school of business administration. And I don’t think that would have been limited to McGraw Hill.

[McAuliffe] Well, I know George Gilder came out with a statement not too long ago where Harvard has not produced... well with maybe two or three exceptions, an entrepreneur in the last 10 years, that most of these students as a result of their training there are all set to go right into the institution and that is going to a large corporation and occupy some management position, but in terms of having the kind of entrepreneurial training or orientation that would put them in a position of going out there to create a new business, it is just not taking place.

[Scott] My observation was that business school teaches you everything except how to raise the money. And, of course, if you can’t raise the money, you can’t get into business.

Also, there are certain elements of... you probably remember the author’s name, Rush, and I don’t off hand, a lesson on how to be a courtier.

[Rushdoony] Castiglione.

[Scott] Yes. And Castiglione’s book on how to be a courtier reminds me very much of the business school cases that I have looked at. I know I talked with Jerry O’Neill of General Tire and he took Harvard business course and he had to sign up for two years. They wanted him to sign up for one and he wanted to sign up for one and they said, “No, you must come in for two years, the full course, the full program.” So he did and then he quit at the end of the first year. [00:18:34]

And I said, “Why did you quit?...[edit]

And I said, “Why did you quit?”

He said, “Well, they were teaching everybody to... training everybody for my job and I already had my job.”

[Rushdoony] What has been your experience, Otto, as far as the knowledge of the actual business they are managing, that these MBAs have?

[Scott] Well, I have gotten that impression, it is second hand, by dealing with the products, with the young men who come through it. They are presented with the case history approach so that they are given a manufacturing problem or an executive choice problem or something of that sort and they are supposed to come up with what is the best possible solution. And it is an off shoot of the game theory. But my own experience in corporate life has been that playing the... you can not teach a fellow how to play the game if he doesn’t understand the essence of the game.

Now unlike Hollywood, for instance, which has men fighting in profane terms in the executive suite, I have never heard bad language on the top levels. Nobody uses bad language. Everyone is courteous because your collaborators, your partners or your associates are all men of proven ability and intelligence. You don’t want to insult their intelligence in any way. On the other hand, you have to be absolutely candid about the situation, because if you are not, your report is worthless. Consequently, honesty is the number one quality or qualification for a top positions. And this I have never heard referred to in business schools. But if a man once discovers that he cannot rely upon your reply, you become utterly useless to him and to everyone else in the company. [00:20:41]

[Rushdoony] And that is...[edit]

[Rushdoony] And that is...

[Scott] In that sense pretty much like a court of law where one lie from a witness is enough to have his entire testimony thrown out as worthless, because how can you rely upon what he says at any other time.

On the other hand, I kept running in recent years, in recent years I kept running into younger men from the middle of the tree, you might say, who didn’t know that. And who kept trying to probe... probe me to find out what I expected to hear so they could give me what I would like to hear. And, of course, this is exactly what makes them unfit of elevation.

These are issues, however, that I have never heard openly discussed. I have heard them discussed in the top level. I remember when I first joined Ashland telling tales out of school. I fired a man within two weeks in the departments that were reporting to me because I caught him in a lie. And the others... the other men said, “Well, it didn’t take you long.” And there was no criticism of that particular decision.

Now if this were more... more discussed, if, for instance, business would do the elementary thing, take the elementary steps of self defense, when a program is presented on television showing a bunch of low lifes in the executive suite shrieking at each other, using foul language and behaving in unethical ways, its business would immediately say that is a ridiculous program and the writer, the writer is betraying ignorance of the American society as how it operates. It would go a long way toward destroying some of these malevolent myths that have been created. [00:22:52]

[McAuliffe] It is funny that business, having as one...[edit]

[McAuliffe] It is funny that business, having as one of its primary characteristics the whole field of public relations, you know, think of advertising and marketing in general, has done such a noticeably poor job in terms of the public relations of its own enterprise, business itself.

Mobil Oil, I know is at least taking a stab at that through its editorials that it publishes in newspapers that try to bring out that, hey, business isn’t all that bad. We are not all crooks, which is how, for the most part, the media portrays the modern business man. The business man has con and I agree with you, Otto. I think that business does need to come to its own defense, so to speak, and say, “This is absolutely foolishness, how we are being portrayed in our TV programs and movies, et cetera.”

[Scott] Well, my experience... pardon me, Rush.

[Rushdoony] Go ahead.

[Scott] My experience in PR was that the average corporation only wants itself defended. It doesn’t want to get involved in an issue where it isn’t directly concerned on the theory that if this is an exercise in altruism which isn’t going to bring any profit back. It is also a deeply rooted idea in the American society that a dispute turns people away and creates enemies. We have gotten to the point where socially speaking no one is supposed to disagree. If you disagree, you are causing trouble. You are exhibiting hostility. You are ruining the party. The hostess gets terribly upset, will never invite you back, will never forgive you. And your wife will abuse you later and so forth in most, in many instances. So therefore we have no discussions. [00:24:56]

[Rushdoony] Back at the end of the ...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Back at the end of the 40s and the very beginning of the 50s one man connected with the National Association of Manufacturers could see what was beginning to develop. And I heard him speak on one occasion when he said, in effect, that what industry should have was its own anti defamation league.

[Scott] {?}

[Rushdoony] But he found no one interested and, of course, since them, the National Association of Manufacturers has gone only in the wrong direction. It is not interested in defending itself. It is trying to please the enemy too often.

[Scott]

Well, then you could take this very easy shift, this particular observation to the Christian community.

[Rushdoony] You are absolutely... [00:25:58]

[Scott] When I grew up the Christian community didn...[edit]

[Scott] When I grew up the Christian community didn’t believe in defending itself and you recall, I am sure, that old cliché of American social life in the last generation that we will not discuss politics or religion here. We want to have a good time. We want to get along with each other. And, in fact, I believe that there is still some lingering sense of this to the effect that there are Christians who believe that to come to the defense of the faith is unchristian, we shouldn’t... we should rise above it. And her you are engaged with businessmen and with Christians so, therefore, you have a double barrel set of reflexes against which to operate.

I would like to know how you have been doing with this.

[McAuliffe] Well, I... I can say, well, the primary thing we do is ... is to... in giving a biblical perspective of business is to bring out that business is a ministry of God. It is an aspect of the kingdom of God and we were just making reference to how business needs to defend itself.

I also believe that the Church, if it is a prophetic church would also be making a defense of the business realm. [00:27:16]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] One of the things Rousas was so helpful in my thinking in terms of was understanding the various governments that comprise the spheres of life. I believe this was common in Puritan thinking, but that there were six or seven various spheres of institutions, ordinances of God, you might say, that were relevant to this life. It was self government, family government, church government, civil government and then business and vocations was seen as a separate governmental sphere and I believe culture may have been the other one. I am not quite sure of that.

But if business is seen in that light, that it is a creation of God, that it is a ministry and it is an activity in life that God has ordained, then to me that elevates business to a new plateau, to a higher plane. And that is one, for me like one of the foundational responsibilities that the Church has. Then, as our men and women engage in the business sphere the see that they are not going out into a corrupt, bad, evil, inferior environment, but rather they are going into a definite area of legitimate ministry that is of God. And I believe that that will, you might say, elevate the whole plane in our thinking towards the business realm, which I believe is a realm that is greatly maligned in our world today and it is particularly maligned in our churches.

[Scott] Oh, wonderful.

[Rushdoony] There is a point I would like to make at this time. You referred to the various spheres that are directly under God and not under the state nor under the Church. That kind of thinking developed very early in the history of the Church. It goes back to the Old Testament. It was first formulated in its early form by Pope Gelasius II and the Puritans developed the same kind of sphere of thinking only they called it covenant areas. [00:29:30]

Then Abraham Kuyper in the Netherlands developed it...[edit]

Then Abraham Kuyper in the Netherlands developed it to a great extent at the end of the last century, early years of this century. I do believe it is very, very important to our future, to develop the implications of that. Each of these spheres, independently of one another, not being governed by one another, but under God. That is basically the Christian faith.

I would like to ask you, Joseph, at this time to tell us two things. First, the address where people can write to subscribe to Business Gram and the cost of subscription. And then, second, why you didn’t follow the family desire and tradition and go to Notre Dame.

[McAuliffe] Ok, well, to subscribe to Business Gram or if one would just like sample issue of our publication, you would write to: Business Gram, Post Office Box 21, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402.

And you mentioned why I didn’t go to Notre Dame. My dad is a Notre Dame alumni and Notre Dame alumni are, I think, as strong as they come in terms of their commitment. I can remember as a young boy every year my parents taking the annual religious pilgrimage to South Bend to witness one of the holy events of autumn which was a Notre Dame football game. And I was very much impressed by the campus and the university. It is a fine academic school as well. [00:31:28]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] But one thing they lacked at that time was the female population. And being a red blooded American boy with strong male hormones, I just could not see going to that institution at that time. So I went to Bowling Green in Ohio.

[Rushdoony] Otto?

[Scott] Well, it is interesting that you should bring up {?} and {?} also, because Cal Thomas sent me a note recently saying that he and some of his associates in Washington are passing around some literature on that subject and I think probably you should, Joe, think of that in your efforts to put together literature for these business Christians.

[McAuliffe] Yes. I think this point of the spheres or the covenantal units that we have been discussing is so significant because if it is properly taught and understood, to me it is the death knell of dualistic thinking. [00:32:37]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] Which I see so prominent in our churches today. We know right from the first century that the early Church wrestled with Dualism through Gnostic teaching and the popularization of Manichaeism that came in shortly after that, that Augustine was an early ascriber to. But the whole division between the Spirit and the realm of matter, the division between the material and the immaterial or, to take us into the Middle Ages, the dichotomy that Aquinas fostered with the nature of grace.

I believe when we understand the kingdom of God and also a doctrine that is vitally related to this, of course, is the doctrine of creation, that God is the sovereign, that he is the source of all life, material and immaterial, spirit and soul or body. And to me this breaks down to me, what I perceive to be a great problem even amongst Christian businessmen today is that of not really accepting their calling as a holy calling under God to be businessmen operating in the material world.

I sat in a meeting in Denver, Colorado two years ago with seven chief executive officers of corporations and these seven CEOs were all professing evangelical Christians. Each one of them in turn expounded to me that they saw that their primary function of a CEO was to be an evangelist, that their businesses were merely platforms so that then they could have opportunities to communicate the gospel. Now what I went on and said to those men is that I was touched and appreciated their evangelistic desires and even the evangelistic aspects that are inherent to the business world, but what came out, Rush and Otto, was a discomfort in these men towards business, that, once again, it was that inferior thing that making a profit and ... and the whole rigmarole of operating in the nuts and bolts world of the business world was something that was tainted almost...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] ... with evil. And I addressed the men on that.

[Rushdoony] Good. [00:35:08]

[McAuliffe] ... and encouraged them in that if they could see that God created business as a ministry.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] This is... we are talking about something that is wholly under God. I believe there is a verse in Zechariah that talks about the pots and the pans being called holiness to the Lord.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] This whole ... this whole... this defining of the material as something evil, as something that you might be... must be done away with.

[Rushdoony] Very good.

[Scott] You mentioned the point... you used the word “spirit.” And this is what is denied. Now journalists, I have been in encouraged and propagandized and propagandize each other into believing that they are working for the betterment of society and essentially they are involved in a noble calling. And I was at the ... I was at the overseas press club in New York. I have been a member there for many years. And one of the men said, “Are you still getting money from the fat cats in the oil industry, Otto?” [00:36:12]

And I said, “Well, yes, I am...[edit]

And I said, “Well, yes, I am.”

And he said, “I really don't see how you can do it.”

And I said, “Do what?”

He said, “Get along with those business bastards.”

And I said, “Well, if you have any pretensions to be a writer and you want to see the effect of money, power and influence on men, I don’t see how you could stay away from business.”

Business is the arena of action of our society. Our society operates on it. When we look back at the medieval society, for instance, what do the historians examine? They examine how the prince or the baron or the count handled his territory, took care of his people, protected them, fed them, employed them, directed them, led them and so forth. It wasn’t the troubadours that made history and it isn’t the novelists that are making our history, it is the businessmen. And not to understand that is to not understand what makes our world. [00:37:24]

[McAuliffe] Exactly...[edit]

[McAuliffe] Exactly.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] And it is... it is the undermining of the sphere of business that is also the gateway to totalitarian governments who play on the whole... the whole Marxists thought of the class struggle as basically to try to get the people to revolt against the business sphere, the business world. And then, of course, as that... when that type of revolution takes place it is business that suffers. But then as business suffers, the people suffer, the economy suffers. And what you end up then with is a slave state.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] And this is like why I am concerned with the anti business message that is being proclaimed in your media today. People don't realize the assiduous consequences that will come out of this that when we continue to pass legislation that is anti business to the core—and I just want to comment right now congress is... seems to have finalized this tax reform bill, this tax simplification. We always fret when we hear the word reform coming out of Washington, DC, because, generally speaking it is always the opposite of reformation. In fact, we would probably be more appropriate to call it tax deformation. And even in this most recent proposal that, at face value, looks as though it is going to help us as individuals with now there only being two tax rates and supposedly the tax rates are lower in terms of filing our personal returns, we have got to understand that though this is coming at the expense of business. Business is now being expected to pick up the slack by the lower individual tax rates. What we have done is we have cut the investment tax credits which really had gone a long way to fuel capital development and new industries and to even improve the machinery and equipment in our older industries that in our manufacturing sector which has been suffering so much of late, the investment tax credit that was in our tax code which is now being repealed in the new bill, is definitely going to have consequences on our economy. Secondly, the corporate tax is going to be going up for business. [00:39:52]

It is interesting...[edit]

It is interesting. Shortly after Reagan came into office he had the audacity to... in fact, I believe he was in New York at the time, to come out and question whether or not there even should be a corporate tax. Of course, the media jumped all over him and he the next day retracted his statement and, in fact, a year ago he was in Tampa, Florida speaking to a group of senior citizens and said that he was going to ask the corporations to begin paying more taxes and lower the individual rate.

But people don’t understand that in one sense there really is not tax on corporations, that whenever we raise the taxes I the corporate sector it is the individuals that are going to have to pay for those taxes though the increase prices for the goods that are produced. And also the increased taxes for businesses make it that much harder for business to operate in our country. And it will contribute to us continuing to lose more of our business to our foreign competitors.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] So I am very concerned about like what has gone on in Washington, DC.

Our legislators... I have a brother who is very, very actively involved in government back in Washington, DC and he is also a successful businessman and he made a statement to me that 90 percent of our representatives know nothing of business.

[Scott] They are lawyers.

[McAuliffe] They are attorneys, right.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] And they don’t understand that business is at the heart and soul of our country and that when we begin to mishandle the whole business sphere, it has implications for every other sphere from an employment right on through to the kind of government with the possibility of a totalitarian government being able to make it more conducive for that type of thing to take place right here in our own country. [00:41:49]

[Rushdoony] The determining movement in the modern...[edit]

[Rushdoony] The determining movement in the modern era, since at least the French Revolution, has been the Romantic Movement. And the Romantic Movement has idolized everything that is impractical, unrealistic and in a very real sense sick. As a result, business has been a main target of the Romantic movement from the early years.

[Scott] Well, we heard echoes of that from Mr. Emerson and others.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...who talked about satanic factories.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And wage slaves and so forth. The deindustrialization of Great Britain who have in large measure attributed to the hypnotic fascination with the aristocracy which didn’t believe in toiling, which believed that trade was a step downward and that somebody in trade couldn’t be a gentlemen, end quote. [00:42:51]

We have a great deal of that now because what most...[edit]

We have a great deal of that now because what most people don't seem to realize is that much of the wealth of the United States is now inherited wealth. Despite the inheritance taxes, there are many, many families the are now in their fourth and fifth generation of inherited wealth and there seems to be with the business of inherited wealth a certain guilt complex where men feel, I suppose in their heart that they are enjoying the fruits of labors they didn’t indulge, that they didn’t do and that, therefore, they have to sort of pay a penance to society for in the sense of helping the other fellow.

Now this gets in, of course, with the Christian idea of charity, but charity is something which really deserves a hard look. I recall the publisher of a very good magazine in New York at one time asking my advice as to what to do about an alcoholic writer. He said he had a wonderful wife and a wonderful family. But, he said, he has this terrible problem with drinking and what should... how should we treat him?

And I said, “Well, how do you treat the writers on your staff who don’t drink?”

He said, “Well, we take care of them.”

Well, I said, “Why should you take care of a man who doesn't do his job? In what way are you helping his family? What sort of a lesson are you giving his children?” [00:44:23]

He said, “Well, that is very hard hearted of you...[edit]

He said, “Well, that is very hard hearted of you.”

I said, “Well, you asked me.”

But here we get into the essence of life and you cannot separate the private sector, the business sector from the society in which it functions. And... but what we have watched it a sort of a semantic shell game.

[McAuliffe] Yes.

[Scott] ... in which people have been addressed. Let’s just put it this way. And this... this is not an original thought. I wish it was. I read it by a woman economist. She said, “The clergyman’s wife would never attack Christianity. The doctor’s wife does not attack medicine. But a businessman’s wife will attack business.”

[Rushdoony] Good point.

[McAuliffe] Very true, very true.

[Scott] Without feeling disloyal.

[Rushdoony] Well, businessmen themselves will be apologetic for what they are in many, many cases. [00:45:21]

[McAuliffe] Yes...[edit]

[McAuliffe] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...because they have been given a bad conscience by the culture. And this is the problem you have had with those businessmen. They had to be apologetic.

[Scott] They wanted to be imitation ministers

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They wanted to be lay preachers, instead of doing what they were called to do.

[McAuliffe] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Well....

[McAuliffe] If I were to... if I were to ask them to define business from what they would say a Christian perspective they would say that a business is intended to lead souls to Christ.

Now there, to me, goes to the sphere confusion again. I believe that every sphere as its primary responsibility to glorify God and then carry out that function. For example, to me, the minister... the sphere of the Church has the responsibility to glorify God and to disciple nations. That is our commission. When I look at the sphere of business it is to glorify God and to generate profit. [00:46:19]

There... and so... but there is a distinction between the two. The common bond is no matter what we do, whether we eat or drink, we are to do all to the glory of God. But doing the glory of God in the business sphere is different than doing the glory of God in the church.’

[Scott] Well, work is a form of worship. Rush is a theologian. I am not. I am a writer. And... and a writer on a certain level which translates the ideas of better men to be candid about it, to lesser men.

[Rushdoony] I wouldn’t... but the idea that has crept in in our day about full time Christian service being the ministry or mission work is one of the most deadly ideas to infiltrate the Church, because it has stripped other vocations from being callings of God. But if we take the Scriptures seriously, every man where he is is called of God to serve him in his place. So everyone who is a Christian is equally called.

[McAuliffe] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...to full time Christian service in their particular vocation.

[Scott] And those who refuse the call are doomed to unhappiness.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:47:48]

[McAuliffe] That is certainly true...[edit]

[McAuliffe] That is certainly true.

[Scott] They are frustrated. They find themselves laboring in the fields for which they are unsuited or for which they are only mediocre and they do not succeed.

[McAuliffe] Well, you know, Calvin said, “There is no ethical superiority between the merchant and the minister.” I believe that accurately sums up or at least resolves the problem of this dichotomy that is often drawn out.

One point I want to make reference to, though is that I believe that there... amidst the darkness and the despair and the problems in Washington and in our economy today, there is light on the horizon. Just as similarly we are seeing in the sphere of education the development of Christian schools hope for our educational futures, even hope for this country as a result of the influence that our Christian educated children are going to make on future society here in the United States, I believe there is a work of reconstruction and restoration taking place and I believe this is also getting to take place in the sphere of business. Now up to this point I have mentioned some of the problems and the negative responses and the dualism that we see in our churches today relating to business. However, there is a move taking place throughout our country where Christian businessmen are beginning to come to grips with this message of the kingdom of God and that business is a ministry and that their calling in business is a noble calling and even a new entrepreneurial spirit is taking place amongst Christians who have broken out of this ... these false faiths and have begun to embrace the message of the kingdom of God and the dominion mandate that we are called to go forth and be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and are beginning to lay hold of those kinds of exhortations. And a good number of the businesses that are being created and generated in our country today is coming from Christians. And these are the ones that I am beginning to work quite extensively with and I am very much encouraged by it. And men and women who really want to take the precepts of Scripture and apply the revelation of the Word of God to every facet of their enterprise—and I get calls like, you know, could you give us information on marketing and advertising and production and accounting from a biblical frame of reference? [00:50:38]

I get calls where people say to me, ...[edit]

I get calls where people say to me, “God has opened up a new business for us. The Lord showed us that he wanted us to start this new business and he has.” And in many of these cases the business are doing quite well and they just want further information as to how they can steward that business to make it as successful as they can.

And here is my conviction. I believe God is raising up businesses in the Christian community right now and I believe the purpose of it, one of the purposes, there is many purposes that have to do with enhancing a man and a woman in their calling which is so important that a person will not be fulfilled unless they are functioning in the call that God has given them. And often times by working in some Philistine organization or some other kind of enterprise that is not related to them being able to live out their Christian faith, they are extremely frustrated and so the creation of Christian businesses is providing a tremendous outlet for men and women to fulfill their calling. But even aside from the personal benefits that result from operating a business successfully on biblical principles, I see on a larger frame of reference, something eschatological is taking place.

You know, Isaiah prophesied several thousand years ago that there was going to come a time when the wealth of the nations... [00:52:05]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] ...were to going to come to the people of God.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] And I believe that God wants to and desires and intends to bring wealth into the body of Christ not simply so we can be rich, but in order to accomplish the mission that God has given to us which is to disciple nations and to do the kind of discipling, cultural discipling...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] ... that needs to take place in the nations...

[Rushdoony] Amen.

[McAuliffe] ... require great sums of wealth. And I believe that the means... I believe that the way God is going to bring that wealth into the body of Christ... I don’t think he is going to rain it from heaven as he did like when the children of Israel left Egypt where people were just throwing their jewelry, bracelets upon God’s people as they made their exodus, but I believe he is going to teach men and women basic principles of business success and they... and as God’s people are obedient and faithful, I believe God will bless them and as they are blessed by God for operating their business in such a manner, God will bring great sums of wealth into those business which, in turn, will then be channeled into the larger Christian work of discipling the nations. And I am beginning to see that happen. [00:53:17]

[Rushdoony] Well, in Bowling Green you are responsible...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, in Bowling Green you are responsible for 28 new entrepreneurial businesses. So you have been a pioneer in this field, Joseph.

[McAuliffe] Well, it is... and it is... it is taking place in ... in a lot of... a lot of places throughout the country. It is... it is... it is really good. What happened to us in Bowling Green was Bowling... northwest Ohio during the early 80s was hit by a tremendous recession. Unemployment was 17, 18 percent. Most of the work was tied into the automotive industry which was going through very tough times. Work was scarce and we as a group of leaders there needed to address the situation and the conclusion we came to was that we could not trust the... our families and our futures to mere ... to the natural economy that we found ourselves in, that in order for us to survive and thrive, we were going to have to create our own enterprises. And that is like what we set out to do. And so we started several business back then and the first year at... we believe... I... we started eight businesses.

And I want to also make a very important distinction. I do not believe in church run businesses. Again, that blurs the spheres of distinction.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McAuliffe] In fact, every situation that I have been involved in where a church has started a business has always been disaster. It generally goes out of business within the first year because principles of operating a church are one thing, principles of operating a business are different. Your goals are different. What is common is that we both desire to glorify God, but the Church is more of a ministry of salvation and... and offering mercy. When you start running a business simply on mercy, you are going to get yourself in trouble quick, because sometimes you have to fire people and that is the godly thing to do, but it is... that may not be the appropriate response in the Church. So it is important to keep the spheres distinct. [00:55:30]

But the businesses that we started have done very,...[edit]

But the businesses that we started have done very, very well. And within two years we had zero unemployment in our church and we had to advertise actually with two other churches, because several of these businesses they just wanted Christians working in them and we actually had to move people in to fill available spots that we had in our businesses.

[Scott] Oh, this is a second reformation and this is really what we are talking about.

I did hear a speaker a few years ago say that he thought the Calvinists might have come on to the world’s stage prematurely and that this might be their proper time. And this is really the reformation revived. This is what you are talking about. The early reformers in Great Britain were the industrial entrepreneurs and they saw no contradiction between that and their faith. Just the opposite.

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is running out. I would like our listeners to know that Joseph is working on a book on this. It will be some years before it is finished, but it will be a very important study and we hope in the not too distant future we can have him here full time to work with us on this sort of thing because we are at the crossroads in the history of civilization. This is a world of crisis we are in and our hope is and our belief is that it is Christians who are going to turn things around. [00:57:18]

Is there any last word of a few seconds that either...[edit]

Is there any last word of a few seconds that either of you would like to get in before we finish?

[McAuliffe] The only last word I have, Rousas, is that sometimes people can hear a message like this about how God is moving in the business sphere and then go out and do something premature...

[Scott] Yes.

[McAuliffe] ... foolish. In fact, a lot of my ministry deals with one aspect at least is why Christian businesses fail and it is for the sake of our listeners out there, I really want to encourage you to not only seek God concerning getting into a new business or starting a new enterprise, but if and when you do, to get good counsel. You know, know the Bible says there is a wisdom in the multitude of counselors and to make sure that you are properly capitalized. And, lastly, to not be presumptuous. One of the biggest reasons why Christian businesses fail is because the man or the woman will think that because their business is being called a Christian business then it will inevitably succeed. Putting a fish shingle or a, you know, a Jesus logo or calling yourself Christ’s carpenters has nothing do with success in the business world.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Well, thank you, Joseph, and God bless you. And thank you all for listening.