Friday, 5 September 2014

Capitalism's False Ethic of Giving

Many in the modern church think that capitalism has Biblical grounds because it is of the ethic of give-and-take. Nothing can be further from the true. The philosophy of capitalism is that the individual is justified in accumulating more for oneself. Giving is to be done only when one chooses to give, rather than because one wants to give freely. The capitalist worldview justifies private property, treating the environment and the resources that God has provided to humanity as that which humans are entitled to use for their own purposes. Rather than give thanks to God and show Him gratefulness for His Creation that He has allowed humans to have dominion over (Genesis 1:26), it steals from God. 

It is the notion of private property that gives birth to capitalism. The heart of capitalism is that humanity can do as it chooses with the environment and its resources as it sees fit - whether it is to distribute government-owned land among the masses or treat oneself as the master over all the material possessions that one has. The resources that God has given to humanity are that which humanity has made to make money out of for its own enjoyment, rather than to serve God and others.

Jesus made it clear that no one can serve God and mammon. A person will love one and hate the other, which means that every person will either serve God or mammon (Matthew 6:24). As long as a person, even to the slightest bit, fail to serve God, that person is serving mammon. To serve God is to have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3). To serve God is to love God because a person who does not serve God, serves mammon. A person who serve mammon is not for God. Whoever is not for God is against God (Matthew 12:30). Thus, if one loves God one will serve God because he loves God. Loving God and serving God are synonymous. Likewise, hating God, not serving God and serving mammon are synonymous. Capitalism is a system built on serving mammon to keep the generation of wealth, in esteeming the filthy idol of mammon. Capitalism is anti-Christian. 

The object that humanity has idolised the most, is none other than - MONEY. It is a creation of humankind, a social construct of its most obvious kind, but yet never derided to be a mere 'social construct' that anyone challenges. People challenge all social constructs whether it be in politics, culture or religion, but they never challenge money for being a 'social construct', which one's attitude towards it should change. Instead, the concept of money itself is rarely, if ever challenged. When one does challenge the very concept of money, one is mocked as a lunatic. There is no greater proof than this that money is the greatest idol of humanity. Even many Christians are trying to serve mammon.

Many Christians object to the critique of capitalism being anti-Christian on the grounds that capitalism is not about accumulating wealth, but rather provides wealth for people to serve the poor. If one really does seek to serve others, one would seek to do so irrespective of what one has, because serving is essentially from the heart. Giving out of one's wealth is not to serve. Neither is giving out of one's poverty to serve. Rather, it is to give out of one's heart which seeks to do good for others, and its prepared to sacrifice out of love for others. 

As Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Further along in 1 Corinthians 13:13, he continues:
 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The heart of serving is LOVE. Giving things to others, or sacrifice are not acts of love in themselves. Love can only come from the heart, and such love can only come from Jesus Christ who gave His life so that many can be saved from their depravity, which wages is death. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). It is not the act of sacrifice or giving itself that is love. They are fruits of the spirit of love which only come from God, who became a human like the depraved wretches as we are, and became suffering himself, to provide a way for humanity to become reconciled with God.