Series: Protecting and Preserving Our Republic, Part II – By Drs. Eric and Kelli Criss
This week’s blog, Capitalism and Its Biblical Basis, aims to encourage the faith community to study God’s Word concerning the structures and systems that undergird our Republic. Today, we discuss the Scriptural pattern for capitalism and answer the questions:
- What is capitalism from a Biblical worldview?
- What perspective does the world at large, particularly, the media and liberal pundits, hold of the faith community in light of our Biblically based embrace of capitalism?
For the purpose of this blog, we will use the terms capitalism, democratic capitalism, free market economy, and free enterprise interchangeably. Capitalism is an economic system with three characteristics: private ownership, free markets, and profit-driven nature.
“You shall not steal,” the eighth commandment is the primary basis for a free market economy (Exodus 20:15, New King James). Indeed, a Scriptural view of legal ownership and private property means that a person or institution, governmental or otherwise, is not permitted to steal anything which is not legally his/hers/theirs from another person or institution.
In addition to the right to private property and legal ownership, Scripture undergirds capitalism in additional ways. Within Scripture, private property co-exists with maintaining said property. Stewardship is a concept frequently linked to property maintenance in Scripture. Taking care of one’s private property relates to how a free market economy allows individuals the chance to take responsibility by amassing funds and assets as well seeking future financially lucrative prospects. A Biblical worldview also aligns with capitalism because hard work is rewarded and giving to those in need is possible because individuals have amassed wealth.
Likewise, John Calvin’s theology is credited as the source of the “protestant work ethic” which helped his followers create wealth. John Calvin, himself, is frequently named as the founder of capitalism.
The Biblical Pattern for Free-Market Economics
Throughout the Bible, numerous verses compose a Biblical pattern for a free-market economy. The following are examples of the laws governing private ownership and of the principles driving a free market which is profit-driven.
God said, “You shall pay your neighbor according to the number of years after the jubilee, and he shall sell to you according to the number of years for crops” (Leviticus 25:15, English Standard Version).
God said, “You shall purchase food from them with the money, that you may eat, and you shall also buy water from them with money, that you may drink” (Deuteronomy 2:6, English Standard Version).
God said, “Fields shall be bought for money and deeds shall be signed and sealed and witnessed, in the land of Benjamin, in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of Shephelah, and in the cities of Negeb for I will restore their fortunes, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 32:44, English Standard Version).
Jeremiah said, “I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales. Then I took the sealed deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my cousin, in the presence of witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard” (Jeremiah 32:10-12, English Standard Version).
These verses demonstrate Biblical support for free-market economics: the free-will exchange of goods and services between consenting individuals. With the support of a Biblical worldview, the faith community has the strength of Scripture undergirding the democratic capitalism that powers our Republic’s economy and the laws that protect commerce. Knowing God’s truths is a step toward internalizing these truths personally. We can each glorify God by following His design and ensuring our country’s governance is based upon Scriptural principles.
Go Ahead – Call Us Names
As you well know, we are faced with opposition to our Biblical worldview. Operating constantly is a propaganda machine of lies from the liberal media, Hollywood, the elites, the insiders, the socialists, the atheists, entertainers, and the abortionists who mock us, laugh at us, and call us names. As we are confronted by these playground bullies, we read the tweets and the articles and listen to the news reports about how we are Islamaphobes, racists, bigots, xenophobes, sexists, red necks, uneducated, and the poor working class.
They hope to socialize our economy and to turn our Republic into a dictatorship tyrannized by their whims rather than Scripturally based systems. They seek to discourage, suppress, bully, deceive, and intimidate us and our vote. They say the election is over. Socialism has won. They proclaim that we will never win. But God has told us to proclaim His truth on political issues. Will you listen and will you believe the voice of truth which is His voice?
Next week, we will define socialism and explain how it is contrary to Scripture. In addition, we’ll discuss what the faith community can do to resist socialism and wisely cast our votes in the upcoming 2020 election to reflect God’s glory.