I had an opportunity to speak with Glenn Beck recently about the Biblical case for free market capitalism. Here is a clip.
I was reading the book of Ruth again this week and struck by God’s powerful record of Godly business men. The book of Ruth should be called the Book of Naomi. It tells the story of a mother who endures terrible tragedy. Her business fails due to famine. She is forced to move cross country with her husband. In the span of a few years, she loses her husband and both of her sons. She is so terrified, so angry, so hardened by life’s relentless attacks that she changes her name to “bitter.” She returns to her hometown and asks everyone to call her bitter as a constant reminder that God is out to get her.
Enter the scene, Boaz. Boaz is a business owner. Boaz is a capitalist. Boaz owns lots of land. He is rich. He lives his life to do kingdom work. What is kingdom work? Well, first he runs a successful business making enough profit to provide jobs for many in his town. Secondly, he cuts his margins and expenses to enable generosity. He leaves the corners of his fields for the poor to glean. They still must work to pick up the food, but no one will go hungry. Boaz doesn’t sit up in some ivory tower away from his employees, but instead sleeps in the barn with them to protect the produce from animals. Boaz is a blessing not just by giving to the poor, but by providing jobs for the poor and middle class in his community. He is not to be demonized, but celebrated.
Ruth and Naomi are starving. Boaz allows Ruth to glean her fields. Boaz has heard about Ruth’s love for God and care for her bitter mother-in-law. Boaz asks his men to drop “extra” food as the glean for Ruth and her mother. Ruth comes home with a basket full. Naomi is surprised. She praises God for the first time… in a long time. She notes that God may not have forsaken them. Boaz’s business and generosity is the tool God uses to bring Naomi back to faith in the Great God Jehovah. The story is littered with Biblical principles of capitalism: Work Ethic, Property Rights, Incentive, Profit, Savings, Fair Wages, and a Generous Spirit.
We need to celebrate capitalism today. We need to distinguish capitalism from corruptionism in our culture. We need a thousand more Boaz’s in America to take down the unemployment rate. We need to educate our children to grow up to produce, profit, save, invest, and give. We need our children to intuitively see business as good and a blessing to our nation, instead of “evil” greedy trolls ~as they are portrayed in movies and TV shows. The Bible challenges the “progressive” movement to think deeper than bumper stickers. It challenges them to examine if they are being used as “useful idiots” for a coercive corrupt government clock and dagger. The Bible also challenges the unthinking banner waving republican who presumes business is always good. It challenges us as business leaders to pay fairly using the golden rule as our standard. It challenges us to put ourselves in the shoes of our employees. It challenges us not to use the government to steal from someone to enhance our endeavors over someone else. The Bible is not Red or Blue. It does not support Democrats or Republicans. God is not on “one side” or the other. God is on God’s side. We need to side with Him rather than trying to get Him to side with us. Capitalism (properly defined and implemented) is the most moral, wise, and generous system of elevated poverty in human history. We need more, not less, of it. Jesus worked and sold goods in his dad’s carpenter shop. His family celebrated when they made a profit so they could buy food and give to others. All records seem to indicate that Jesus’ family was very very poor. The sacrifice they offered at Jesus’ dedication was the cheapest sacrifice offering, further evidence to their financial struggles. The Bible doesn’t promise financial prosperity to all, but it does see prosperity as a critical stewardship. Jesus made money as a blue collar carpenter and didn’t promote hiring Rome to steal from the three kings to give to the shepherds. Jesus is no more a Marxist than he would be a murderer. Jesus is no more a socialist than he would be a bank robber.
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