Friday, 5 September 2014

Response to a Critic of 'Capitalism's False Ethic of Giving' (1)

Below is my response to a critic of my article Capitalism's False Ethic of Giving. His comments in green are enclosed in square brackets. My response in purple is interspersed between his comments. Look at how individualistic and humanistic the critic's interpretation of the Bible is.

[Private property exists because God said "Thou shall not steal" thereby establishing the right of individuals to own property (which is really a stewardship of God's property).]

This is essentially to say that because God said “thou shalt not steal”, individuals have the ‘right’ to “own” property. That people should not steal does not itself mean that God gives people the “right” to “own” anything.  Everything belongs to God, not humans. Nothing belongs to us humans at all. The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein (Psalm 24:1). Hebrews 2:10 tells us that “Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power.” That everything belongs to God explicitly tells us that all things belongs to God exclusively.
The verse about dominion, or stewardship is from Genesis 1:26 is the verse that has been manipulated the most when professing Christians try to justify capitalism. The gift of dominion was given before the Fall. It is a gift, because God has no obligation in giving anything to us. It is just like how He does not need to save anyone, but He choose to out of grace alone.
In Genesis 3:17-19, God said to Adam: “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”
This means that instead of humans being free to do as they choose with the land, they must work which is an obligation. Working of the land does not mean that one must own it. To say that one that one must own something to work with it like saying that because one must drive a company’s car, one must own it. God did give humanity the land, but only to work it and not own it. Humanity rejected God’s order for work and dominion over Creation by eating the forbidden fruit, a creation of God. Therefore, owing property is the absolute opposite of stewardship for God. It is only be God’s grace that the He did not destroy His Creation that is under the Adamic curse.
It is either humans owning property, or God owing property. There is no middle ground as this person is trying to imply. Private property is about human-owned property, in opposition to God. It is to presume to God that because He has not destroyed the world that is under the Adamic curse, He must have given humanity His Creation to own.
["Capitalism" is a fuzzy word, but the idea of producing more than you need for the benefit of others is explicitly commanded by Paul in Eph. 4:28.]

Ephesians 4:28 says: Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
That one does not produce more than one needs is not stealing. That one does not work does not itself mean that one stealing. 

Stealing is to take something away is from another  That something is taken from another does not mean that the person from who the thing is stolen from owns it. The person may possess it. All the moral Laws of God hinge on one characteristic – the Law of Love. 

A person can take something that does not belong to anyone, including themselves. That would be stealing because of what is indicates about His heart – that he is covetous and greedy, and therefore, a hater of God. Murder is wrong, not because it involves taking of live per se, but because indicates hatred of God. The hatred of God is a lack of love.

[Work is also commanded in 2 Thess. 3 - that would be helpful for you to reread. Thus, working hard to earn money can/should be an act of worship of God.]

A person either works hard to earn money for oneself or for God. There is no middle ground. Either your heart is for yourself, or for God. You either serve God or mammon. You love one or hate the other (Matthew 6:24). The article is nothing to do with whether people should work or not. 

[ The place where desiring to earn money goes wrong is when money is sought for sinful ends. ]

This is to imply that desire to earn money is right when it is for “good” means. The desire to earn money shows anxiety for one’s earthly needs. In Matthew 6:25-32, Jesus commands His followers to not worry about their material needs as the pagans do: 
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 
This is a command not to worry. To worry about one’s earthly needs is to be like a pagan per se.

[Money and wealth a blessing that God would give to Israel for obedience (Deut 28), blessings that were abundantly given to them in the time of Solomon.]

It is irrelevant that God wanted to bless Solomon with much wealth. It has nothing to do with what Jesus said about not serving God and mammon. A person who loves God must HATE mammon, the world, the flesh, and everything else that is against God. This is because these things seduce one to put his hand back in the plough (Luke 9:62). To put one’s hand back into the plough refers to even the mere DESIRE to seek after the things of the world. “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

 [The OT law regulated the use of money (e.g. "honest weights and measures") but didn't forbid its use, and neither should we.]

The article is does not talk about how whether money should be forbidden. All it mentions is that money is a ‘social construct’ or a human made object, indicating how people give glorify to the things of this world, the Creation of God, or anything else, but God. Such people are those who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever (Romans 1:25).