Is capitalism biblical?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by 4His_glory, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. 4His_glory

    4His_glory
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    Is it? While I believe that historically we can demonstrate the a capitalistic society is much better off than a socialist one, can we biblically say that capitalism is biblical? Just something to think about.
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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    I do not believe any economic system is Biblical. That is there is no way to prove or disprove an econimic theory through the Bible. Surely the idea of capitalism did not exist at that time.

    You say that a capitalistic society is much better off than a socialist one.

    I am not disagreeing nor agreeing ... but better off in what way?
     
  3. 4His_glory

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    I would rather not derail the thread so soon, because I am interested in others response to the question I posed, however, in brief, I feel that there are many good disciplines that are manifested on a personal level in a capitalistic system over a socialistic one.
    Perhaps we should start a new thread on the differences of both (and perhaps their is a third alternative). That could make for an interesting discussion (if people remain civil and Christ-like, no?)
     
  4. Bro. James

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    There is a biblical example: King of Kings and Lord of Lords, aka: theocracy.

    Giving God complete control is contrary to our flesh. Israel was blessed when they allowed God to have control--their flesh got in the way. The went into captivity many times because of their unbelief. We have the same problems.

    History repeats itself.

    Thought for today: "they lived and reigned with Him for a thousand years".

    Even so, come Lord Jesus.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  5. Crabtownboy

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    A theoarcy is certainly not capitalism.
     
  6. Bro. James

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    "Theocracy" was in response to the statement: there is no form of government approved in the Bible.

    Man loves to be a free moral agent, even though he cannot make a correct spiritual choice, given his state of total depravity. This is what the Grace of God is about.

    Even though we all deserve Hell, God chose to save some. Jesus paid it all.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  7. Gold Dragon

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    Here are a few facets of the economy that God prescribed for the Israelites in the law. I would say they bear no resemblence to capitalism and some but little resemblence to socialism. I have added some creative terminology to parallel it to modern times. While the law is for Israel, I think many of the principles still apply to us.

    1) For two years of a three year cycle, the primary business owners (plant and animal farms) set aside 10% of their revenues, have a feast with it and give some to the central governing body that teaches the law and provides religious services for all citizens.
    Deut 14:22-27, 26:1-11

    2) Every third year, those same business owners give their 10% to the municipal government so that their wealth is redistributed to civil servants (Levites), welfare recipients (orphans and widows) and immigrants (aliens).
    Deut 14:28-29, 26:12-15

    3) Every seven years, all credit, loans and debts that are not mortgages are forgiven to break the cycle of poverty. Those with capital could not be stingy with loans to the poor in the 6th year of the cycle.
    Deut 15:1-18

    4) Every seven years, certain businesses (plant farms) will shut down to decrease their environmental impact.
    Lev 25:2-7

    5) Every 50 years, all mortgages are forgiven.
    Lev 25:8-17

    6) Certain businesses (plant farms) will intentionally be inefficient so that welfare recipients and immigrants have free access to some of their goods.
    Deut 24:19-21
     
    #7 Gold Dragon, Nov 13, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2008
  8. blackbird

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    Give you an example of capitalistic society verses socialist society---case in point-------World War 2 United States is Capitalistic Germany is Socialistic It is a proven fact that the United States "outclassed" Germany's military--------a Capitalistic society gave the US the abilitity to construct more Sherman tanks verses German Panther panzers-------it gave the US the ability to produce more submarines verses Germany's Unterseaboot---Uboat forces----and the military list goes on and on and on

    Overheard from a German commander overlooking United States Army invasion fleet as it poured over Germany's autobahn headed north from France-----------"So!!!! This is how rich men conduct war!!!"
     
  9. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Good question 4His glory. My answer would be yes it is, but here is why.

    Capitalism works because it is based on mankind’s sin nature, not his good will. If all men were good at heart, if they would work just as hard for their fellow man as they do for themselves, if they would give of themselves even when they had nothing to gain, well then communism would be great. But people are not like that. They are greedy and selfish and look out only for their own interests.

    God’s plan and will is for a theocracy where we allow him to be Lord of our lives and follow him. That is also great, but most people will not follow God. We rebel and follow our own path.

    Capitalism is not biblical in that the Bible does not recommend a capitalist system and it is not God’s ultimate will, but it works because it is based on a biblical truth, that we are fallen sinful creatures who are evil and sinful in our hearts.

    One of the best historical examples of this is the Mayflower colony. When everything went into the common store they were starving but when people had a stake in their production the colony survived. And these were pretty religious folks. Blackbird’s WWII example is good. We did not really “outclass” the German army. Lined up side by side their tanks and planes were vastly superior to ours, but we made a whole lot more of them. Nothing against the valiant men who fought that war, but the victory was won as much in the factories of the United States as it was on the battlefields of Europe and Asia.
     
  10. Andy T.

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    "Thou shalt not steal" is a direct statement that private ownership is protected by God. How can you steal from another, if what you steal is not really his to begin with?
     
  11. Crabtownboy

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    First and firmly, let me say I am not a Communist nor do I hold with Communist doctrine. Pure Communism does not work, never had worked and never will work. It did not work in the early church in Jerusalem. Why? Because man is flawed and one of the flaws is greed.

    It suddenly occured to me that the very early church in Jerusalem seemed to hold to what later became a tenet of Communism.

    Karl Marx.
     
  12. Jim1999

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    Quote: Lined up side by side their tanks and planes were vastly superior to ours, but we made a whole lot more of them. Nothing against the valiant men who fought that war, but the victory was won as much in the factories of the United States as it was on the battlefields of Europe and Asia.

    We didn't have access to those American factories during the Blitz when Brit and Canadian pilots held off that so-called superior air force for a whole year of day in and day out bombing of London. I can remember planes that landed after battles and some had wings repairs virtually with wallpaper and they took off again to do another battle. The Spitfire and the Lancaster Bomber were far superior planes to the German aircraft. Our tanks didn't do too badly in Europe, when they weren't bogged down in the knee-deep muddy fields of Belgium, Holland and France. It was the footsoldier and the artillary that stood face-to-face with the Nazis.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. Andy T.

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    A big difference between what we see in Acts vs. communist or socialist policies: The Jerusalem believers in Acts did so voluntarily, not by government coercion.
     
  14. Jim1999

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    The theory in a Capitalist system is that government is by the people, of the people and for the people. The western socialist theory is that it is capitalism with social responsibility. A far reach from communism.

    I personally believe that the New Testament, and in particular my Lord Jesus, advocated this very well in all His teaching and in His life....Take what you have, sell it, and GIVE to the poor, take up your cross and follow me.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. 4His_glory

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    It implies ownership but not necessarily the right to private ownership. What if I have nothing to steal?

    It just seems to be reading into the commandment to say that it is a direct statement that private ownership is protected by God. This places the emphasis on the person whose goods were stolen rather than the on the person who does the stealing.

    You may have a point though.
     
  16. Crabtownboy

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    I tend to agree with you Jim. Pure capitalism has not played well in history.
     
  17. Andy T.

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    The whole of Scripture shouts to us that God wishes for and protects private ownership of property. Read Proverbs and we see that God wants us to work hard, to be thrifty, etc. Also, Paul's statement that he who does not work shall not eat - why such a statement by Paul if God does not want us to work for our own food? If all the food in the world is not owned by anyone, then there is no need to work for it - all we need to do is find the right government agency that lays claim to such food supply and suck on its teats to our heart's content.
     
  18. rbell

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    Sharing freely from conviction is nothing like "sharing" at the point of a governmental gun.

    Apples and oranges.
     
  19. rbell

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    Examples, please.
     
  20. Andy T.

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    So you believe Jesus thought that the government should make us give to the poor? Last time I checked, Jesus let the Rich Young Ruler go his way; Jesus didn't petition the Roman gov't to make him give to the poor.

    Also, if every single person is called to give away all of their possessions to the poor how will future wealth be created, since you can't create any wealth without capital - i.e., possessions?
     

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