Sunday, 24 August 2014
Exposing capitalism is to expose evil, not to claim that fighting capitalism is the ultimate thing that matters
The following is a response to a critic of my exposure of mammon. The criticism is in square brackets. My response is interspersed in between the paragraphs in square brackets. She misunderstood my article, and thought I was trying to claim that fighting capitalism is the ultimate thing that matters. No! I was exposing the evils of capitalism and the spirit behind it - the spirit of mammon.
[This is an interesting article and I appreciate your desire to do something for Christianity.]
Thanks. It is for God, not the “religion” of Christianity, but God.
[The problem, though, is not capitalism with its excesses. The problem is the human heart, in bondage to sin and greed and self. ]
What do you mean by ‘problem’? Why reject what I am saying? Yes, the problem is the human heart, and that is why capitalism thrives. That capitalism has its excesses is something that need not even be mentioned because it is obvious that capitalism is about gaining more wealth for oneself.
[Christ Jesus came to set us free from our sin not capitalism or any other system. We preach Christ and Him crucified.]
Yes, that is true. But I am seeking to expose the evils of capitalism. We are commanded to expose evil (Ephesians 5:11).
[There are many reasons for poverty: wicked leaders and governments, exorbitant medical bills, poor financial decisions, laziness, drug abuse, lack of education and ability, lack of motivation to better oneself, and just a general failing culture, etc. But the basic reason is sin.]
Poverty is not the issue I am getting at here. The issue is the immorality of capitalism itself.
[The Christians in Acts 4:34 were giving away their excess: houses and lands.]
Really? Where is that specified? What is meant by ‘excess’? There is not set standard for excess because giving is from the heart. True generosity is form the heart.
[Yes, Christ told the rich young ruler to sell all he had, but that was because it was standing between him and salvation. It was an idol preventing him from getting into the kingdom.]
He also told His followers in Matthew to give away all they had, not just the rich young ruler.
[In other passages the Bible does not tell the rich Christians to give away all they have.]
That is not the point I am trying to make. The point is to count all earthly things one possesses as rubbish. This means to be able to give away all one has from a whole heart.
[ If they did, who would help the poor in their need?]
This is a consequentialistic argument which implies that the rich are needed to be rich, that is, to use their possession, as a means to giving to the poor, so that the rich would still have their job of ‘giving to the poor’. So, if that is the case, one may as well argue that one keep the poor, poor and not help them.
[1 Timothy 6:17-18 says, "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed."]
To be generous and ready to share is that which needs to be whole-hearted to be truly generous and ready to share. If one is not prepared to give up all of one’s possessions, one is attempting to serve mammon.
[I went to college with a professing Christian who gave away everything she owned except the clothes on her back. One morning an elderly woman came out on her front porch and found the girl sleeping there. She called the police and they took her away and put her in a psych ward. I never knew what happened to her. ]
This person appears to be making that point that giving away everything one’s own is evil and that is the issue is that others might think one is crazy. The world should think that Christians are somewhat crazy, or nutcases.
[Private ownership is not condemned in the Bible (Acts 5:4) and we are given excess so that we may share it with others to bring glory to Christ and thanksgiving to God (2 Cor 9:6-12) and spiritual growth for us, "Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account" (Phil. 4:17).]
‘Private ownership’ is a secular term which means to own what one has because one is entitled to it. God gave humanity dominion over the Earth as a gift, and because God authorised it, no human is entitled to what is in the earth, that is land, property, and other physical resources (Genesis 1:26-28).
[Lady Catherwood was a rich Christian from the 1700's in England. She consistently made wealth and gave it away (for example, she built 64 chapels) so that at her death she had little left and you could see that she had used her wealth for Christ.]
It is irrelevant that there a rich Christians who used their wealth for God. I am not saying that money as a physical object is evil in and of itself.
[Christ didn't promote or condemn a certain type of political or economic system.]
I am not implying that. That is also not the issue. The issue is the evils of the system.
[These are "of the world" and will all be burned up in the end. "But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.]
[For neither is circumcision anything [or capitalism, or communism, or anything else], nor uncircumcision, but a new creation" (Gal. 6:14, 15).]
Circumcision is incomparable to any political system in this context. This is the twisting of Scripture. Circumcision concerned spiritual matters. Capitalism or communism concerned material matters, and so they have no place in speaking about people being a new creation. However, this does not mean that they are not evil. This is a separate issue, and this twisting of the verse creates a straw-man argument against touching on capitalism or communism. This really annoyed me.
[Spend your life serving and promoting Christ, not the things of the world which will perish. ]
I write this blog to do this.
[We will each stand before God and give an account of what we have done in the body."Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God" (1 Cor 4:5).]
I am not passing judgment before the time. Rather, I am exposing evil.