The Bible supports free market capitalism for a variety of reasons.
1) Free market capitalism requires the voluntary exchange of goods and services. Therefore, Freedom is the fuel for the system. Someone must freely choose to buy your product forcing you to put their needs ahead of your own by setting a price and quality that THEY will want to buy.
2 Cor 3:17 and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
From the theology of the Garden of Eden to the Exodus from Egypt, freedom is the recurring theme of the Bible. Wherever true followers of Christ have taken seriously the message of the Scripture, they have pushed for more freedom for everyone.
2) The free market system is built on Biblical ideals: property rights, reward and incentive that are scattered throughout the Biblical narratives.
1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house,he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
The early church reformers and followers of Christ wanted to design a system where everyone provided for his own. This bedrock ideal was part of the framework for the their understanding of the free market system.
Here is a clip between Glenn Beck and I about the Biblical foundations for free market capitalism:
3) The free market always produces more prosperity throughout history. Socialism, communism, and increasing degrees of government interventionism always lead to poverty and loss of liberty.
Take this example from The Mature Man by David Dewitt
“One of the false values of the Soviet Communists was peace at all costs. There were signs in Romania that equated peace with their communist dictator Niklai Ceausescu. Signs such as “Ceausescu Is Peace.” He kept that peace alright. His secret police terrorized the country. Everybody was under surveillance. People were starved until they had to steal to survive. They stole corn from large government owned farms. They planted and raised the corn, but they couldn’t have any of it. The government sold the corn, probably to Russia, and Ceausescu would pocket the money. They had to steal the corn or else they would starve to death. The government knows they are stealing it, but won’t do anything about it unless they want to compromise someone. For example, they might want to know if a person is speaking against Ceausescu, so they would take his neighbor to jail. They tell the person they know he has been stealing, and won’t be released unless they inform on his neighbor. The stores in Romania were empty. There were lines to buy bread, meat, and gas. Bread was rationed. Meat was rationed to one chicken per family member per month. Meanwhile, Ceausescu was padding his already fat Swiss bank account with the money made selling Romania’s products to foreign markets. BUT HEY, AT LEAST THEY HAD PEACE.
Finally in December of 1989 the Romanians had all the “peace” they could stand. The army refused orders to fire on their fellow citizens. That was followed by a few weeks of war between the regular army and Ceausescu’s secret police and foreign mercenaries. On Christmas Day in 1989, Nikolai Ceausescu was shot by a firing squad. Before his death he told his executioners they should restore power to him so that he could end all the violence they had caused and once again establish “PEACE.”
Throughout history, every time socialism is tried. Everytime. The result is a loss of liberty. A loss of prosperity for the masses as the government confiscates property, rights, and incentive. A loss of generosity is the net result of government interventionism.
For more information, check out the two DVD series Godonomics at www.godonomics.com
Here’s a video on “Money, Greed and Spiritual Lies”
“Where’s the Beef?” says the old woman as she pulls up the hamburger bun. “Where’s America’s Savings?” says the economist looking at US trends. Why aren’t we saving more? Why do we spend more than we make? Why are we worried and talking about May 21 and the rapture when our currency is being destroyed before our very eyes. How should people of faith respond to the possibility of any tragedy? How do we prepare for the unexpected?
Remember the seven lean cows swallowing the seven plump cows in the vision Joseph interpreted for Pharaoh? It was a reminder that there can be years of plenty and years of want. Joseph told Pharaoh that God wanted to save an entire nation by giving some cosmic wisdom about preparing for the unexpected.
His plan was to set aside money and grain during the good years to prepare for the coming lean ones.
This is good advice for all of us. Perhaps many of us would love to get in a time machine and head back a few years and begin the “preparing process.” It’s never too late. The secret to the Joseph principle is producing more than you consume. If you are currently consuming (spending) all you make -plus some-you must do the hard work of cutting your expenses. You do this by evaluating your necessities to locate which ones are really luxuries (based on your current income).
After that hard work is over, there is more hard work to come. You don’t just want expenses to meet revenue. You want to spend less than you produce. You need Margin for savings, Margin for the unexpected. and Margin for the lean years. Breathing room for emergencies like broken down cars, new brakes, or a new washer and dryer are important. You need money set aside for the unexpected. James warns us not to “presume upon tomorrow” by naively thinking that our jobs are guaranteed for life, or a particular business venture is a “sure thing.”
We must assume that things might cost more than we think, and we might make less than we think. These conservative assumptions should help us plan for margin, and then will produce financial breathing room in our lives.
Solomon said it best in Ecc 11:2 “Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will come upon the earth.”
What does that mean? It means evil happens. The unexpected comes our way. We must assume bad things will occur in an evil world. So, each of us must diversify. We need to have savings and divide our money into seven or eight different areas : i.e. stocks, land, CD’s, gold, extra food, and cash. In short, keep money aside to prepare for the unexpected. God warns us to prepare for times when the skinny cows come our way. It’s naive and unwise to assume our lives will always entertain the fat cows.
For more information, check out www.godonomics.com
My father was a clown in college. A very talented juggler in the Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State University. I followed in the clowning tradition on a mission trip in high school. I took up the family tradition as a magician, a juggler, and a balloon artist.
As a former clown -although my wife might say I never fully retired in behavior- I’d like to share Bozo’s frustration with birth control. Why would clowns be so angry about birth control? There are many reasons. Some are moral, some are Biblical, and some are simple economics.
As a clown, I buy packages of latex balloons to make balloon animals. As with all economic commodities, latex is subject to the laws of supply and demand. By making condoms available so readily to anyone and everyone “freely,” the supply goes down and price goes up for those “clowns” who actually pay. Since birth control is given out “freely” to some, the price goes up for everyone else. This is why clowns are always such angry unhappy people [You may not see it, but under all that makeup and honking red noses are real bitter economists 🙂 ] There is an important lesson to be learned from our jesters and jokers. Supply and demand are laws that operate as consistently as the law of gravity.
Protestant and Catholic clowns do part company on birth control in general. Protestants believe in “Sola Scriptura,” a Latin phrase made famous by Martin Luther which means “Only Scripture.” Protestants believe that physical intimacy in marriage has multiple Biblical purposes. In the Bible, sex is used for comforting one another (David and Bathsheba post miscarriage), reconnecting, forming families (Genesis 1-3), and pure pleasure and recreation (Song of Solomon). Since sexual intimacy is for BOTH recreation and procreation, Protestants can enjoy birth control in the context of marriage without thwarting God’s will. Since the Bible doesn’t align to the Catholic church’s teaching that intimacy is always for the sole purpose of procreation, protestants can enjoy birth control in the marital bed with no guilt. In fact, we think clowning around in the bedroom is God’s will.
Proverbs 5:18-19 18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.
As you can see, the Bible is not prudish at all on the joys and wonders of being intimate.
When it comes to abortion as birth control, I am personally impacted by this issue. My adopted son Quinn, who just turned two, is alive today because his birth mother cried-her-way-out of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. She realized that this life within her was a life. She realized intuitively what the Bible teaches about the sacredness of life. God forms us in the womb (Psalms 139). God placed his Spirit in John the Baptist in utero as a clear sign that pre-born babies are -in fact- babies. I am so glad that my son Quinn is alive because his mother saved his life by realizing he was alive. The role of government according to the Moral law -as well as the Declaration of Independence- is to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The order of those three is important. Life must be protected. Why? It’s hard to enjoy your liberty and pursuit of happiness when you are dead. C.S. Lewis confirmed that the restraints of government are limited to the moral law when he said
As our family went to the adoption judge to have Quinn officially placed into our family, we had an interesting irony. My neighbor, several doors down, was the judge who officially signed the paper work. A few months earlier, my kids and I went Trick-or-Treating at his house. He was dressed as a Clown passing out candy to the neighborhood kids. We thought it was so appropriate that my son was commissioned into our family by a clown. A reminder that clowns are not big fans of abortion, but love welcoming new people into a loving family. Clowns love the recreation of the bedroom within the sacred context of marriage, but are affected by the economics of giving out “free services” to others.
For more information, check out www.godonomics.com
Biblical teaching about economics goes deep into our heart. The Bible says that until we place God at the center of our lives, and acknowledge that He is the source of our approval and identity, we will constantly be chasing things that only bring discontentment. This “Why Question” is at the heart of it. Jesus said it this way:
Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
There’s A Wabbit Behind Your Habit
Remember Elmer Fudd tip-toeing across the field saying, “Shhhhh, you must bevwery, vwery, qui-et, I’m hunting Wabbits.”? The Bible says there is a wabbit behind every habit. Until we go hunting for the inner wabbits that are driving our habits, we will never make lasting changes. Every culture has offered different wabbits at different times. Some cultures elevate honor. Others elevate beauty. Some turn sexual intimacy into a wabbit. When we go wabbit hunting in our own hearts, we must keep in mind that wabbits are almost always good things that we turn into ultimate things. As long as our hearts are in love with some wabbit such as control, status, appearance, performance, or even money itself, our habits will always follow those longings-even if we know the decisions are unwise. We can try working harder to stay within our budgets. We can educate ourselves about finances. However, determination and education alone won’t cut it. It’s a heart problem first. That is why finances have everything to do with God.
- When money is our god…
- When clothes are our god…
- When respect is our god…
We will consume and borrow in order to feed our god. Unfortunately, wabbits eat and eat and are never satisfied. Wabbits are a lot like that man-eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors, “Feed Me Seymour! Feed Me!” Looking inward presents us with the opportunity to find the REAL god in our lives. In fact, all other steps will be relatively worthless if we don’t look inward first. This is true individually and nationally. Our nation is consuming far, far, far more than it produces. We are over 14 trillion dollars in debt and have made promises into the future that reach estimates between 90-120 trillion dollars. We need fiscal responsibility. We need to reject Keynesian nonsense, but until we deal with the national heart problem, we will drive ourselves into the ground. Deeper and deeper we’ll spiral until we hurt everyone. Looking inward to correct the heart problem is step one in learning to act our own wage.
For more information, check out www.godonomics.com.
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