“‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.'” – Matt. 25:28-29 NIV
Jesus Christ may not have been a capitalist but He clearly was not a socialist.
In recent years, capitalism (and America) have been under immense attack in our schools, the media, and government at large. While capitalism may not be implicitly taught in God’s Word, there are many capitalist principles in the Scriptures that our Founding Fathers understood and developed in the formation of our government.
Most of the opposing attacks against capitalism argue that greedy, selfish people, determined to take their “fair share,” are hoarding the wealth, which ought to be distributed to the less fortunate. This is the consistent message that your children and grandchildren are being indoctrinated with, yet when we study history and God’s Word it is clear how off base this thinking really is.
The proponents’ of anti-capitalism teach that wealth —all of it—belongs to the community. No one specifically earned the wealth, and no one has an exclusive right to it. Wealth is produced collectively, and therefore everyone is collectively entitled to it. This belief is rooted in Marxism as much as it is in socialism.
This is also contrary to the word of God.
Consider Micah 4:4:
“Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.” – Micah 4:4
In both the Old and New Testaments, people possessed their own home and garden, which was their own private domain and property. In this sense, each person or family practiced self-government enabling them to live in peace and safety.
“During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.” – 1 Kings 4:25
These verses were the basis of religious liberty taught by Reverend John Robinson who pastored the pilgrim church prior to their departure to the new world. This pastor taught the young church while in Holland how to govern themselves as a body of believers and in a society. These verses would also be the foundation for the Mayflower Compact.
True religious liberty could only be built upon the genuine practice of self-government. The principle of self-government is also repeated in Micah 4:4 and Zechariah 4:10.
Muse over 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 and 1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12. I am including portions of the passages below, which teach that every individual has a responsibility to work whether they are poor or rich.
Each of my men’s discipleship groups have examined these verses on account of their interest in self-enterprise, their desire to be diligent providers, and industrious workers. They are realizing that God’s Word has so much to say about these things! I did not initiate these conversations either. They were simply seeking clarity about what God’s Word says about these things, as well as what our responsibility is toward the poor or those who choose not to work. What they are hearing in their churches is how important it is for Christians to be giving and caring toward the poor, yet with little or no attention to equipping the poor with tools to get out of their purported poverty.
“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’ … Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.’ And 1 Thessalonians 4:11 “and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10, 12; 1 Thessalonians 4:11
Some Christians suggest that the Bible teaches a communal type of care that would be similar to socialism.
“And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” – Acts 2:44-45 ESV
A closer look at the passage suggests that there was not a “common pot” that everyone gave to and then distributed from it. It is best understood that when a brother or sister in Christ “had a need” they would sell their possessions accordingly and give until that need was eliminated. This best fits the other portions of Scripture that support the value of working hard for one’s own family. (See 1 Timothy 5:8)
Indiscriminate Generosity Leads to Irresponsibility