Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes


#205 Capitalism

posted by Stephanie Drury

capitalismmagnet.jpgIf you have spent time within American Christian culture, you have probably inferred that free-market capitalism is God’s chosen economic system. American evangelicals are some of capitalism’s biggest fans. Christians in many other parts of the world cannot believe this. They have no idea how someone could reconcile capitalism with the teachings of Christ. But in true American spirit, they seem to be reconciled by sheer force of will.

capitalismposter1911.jpgFor every ounce that American Christian culture loves capitalism, they detest socialism with equal passion. The reasons for this are murky. If you decide to ask an evangelical how it is that they can subscribe to both capitalism and Jesus’ teachings, you should be aware of a few things.

mrburns2.jpgFirst of all, evangelicals tend to become defensive when asked how capitalism is embraced by people who say they follow Jesus. I mean, in my experience, they will really get their dander up. If you want to have a peaceable, copacetic exchange then you probably shouldn’t broach this subject in the first place. But if the Christian you are dealing with doesn’t seem to derive their identity from their politics, you might have a reasonable shot at a productive conversation. (A word of warning: even though a conversation is peaceable it is still possible for them to dismiss you. Dismissal is a handy tactic that allows one to remain outside of relationship while superficially appearing to engage you and is Christian culture’s modus operandi. Just a heads up.)



Advertisement
Comments read comments(42)
post a comment
Thoughts on Socialism and Capitalism

posted December 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm


You raise a number of good points in this discussion. The “devil” as they say is in the details.
How do you define “capitalism”? Or “socialism”? If you reject “capitalism” as an aggregation of immense power and wealth in the hands of a few industrialists, why do you not reject socialism because it represents the aggregation of immense power and wealth in the hands of a few bureaucrats? So defined, capitalism and socialism are two sides of one coin.
But there is third way… It’s been affirmed by Roman Catholics and also a variety of Protestants as well. For lack of a better term it’s called “Christian Distributism” and it’s approach has been championed by none other than Chesterton and Belloc and it’s values have been embraced by a variety of other “Third Way” movements across the last 100 years – most of which were explicitly Christian.
The problem isn’t capital per se, it’s its distribution. The fact American Christians believe in hard work and family business isn’t so bad. The delusion that we’re still going in that direction under our current system is killing us. And socialism is no better.



report abuse
 

Tucker

posted December 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm


Capitalism looks so good on paper – at least on the monogrammed paper of the wealthy. The problem with capitalism begins as soon as one turns from the beautiful theory and turns to look at the capitalists themselves. Suddenly they look like the sinners they are. I would be thoroughly excited about capitalism (in the same way I would be excited about any other socio-economic system) if it solved the problem of sin, but it doesn’t.



report abuse
 

toujoursdan

posted December 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm


“How do you define “capitalism”? Or “socialism”? If you reject “capitalism” as an aggregation of immense power and wealth in the hands of a few industrialists, why do you not reject socialism because it represents the aggregation of immense power and wealth in the hands of a few bureaucrats? So defined, capitalism and socialism are two sides of one coin.”
Not exactly.
In a democratic socialist system those “bureaucrats” are accountable to their constituents in a way that industrialists aren’t. Industrialists are charged to exploit people are resources to benefit a small number of shareholders. “Bureaucrats” are charged to use public money to serve the public good, even if it isn’t profitable.
Not the same coin at all.
Besides, capitalism is based on greed which is one of the 7 deadly sins. How can God endorse an economy system based on exploitation and greed?



report abuse
 

Rollo Tomassi

posted December 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm


“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. – Matthew 6:24
Any questions?



report abuse
 

shelly

posted December 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm


“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” ~ Acts 2:44-45
“A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.” ~ Definition of communism
Just saying. *nods*
captcha: resembling Brohess



report abuse
 

Jess P

posted December 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm


“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” ~ Acts 2:44-45
Yeah, and I bet they weren’t very productive.



report abuse
 

Eli

posted December 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm


Perhaps we shouldn’t be looking for the answer in govenrnmental systems. They WILL fail. Regardless of how good they sound.
For example: Shelly – Yes, it does sound like the same thing. But it isn’t. Though communism may sound good on paper, in practice there are still people in power controlling the lowly. See China. They make it seem pretty, yes, but the government controls the people and tortures people who practice things they don’t like. So…that’s not a great idea either.
I think, honestly, people are scared of the unknown. This system may suck but we know it. Who knows what people’s greed would actually turn a socialist system into? At least, I can see that being the actual hang up. Fear usually is the real issue when people shut an idea down before even considering it.



report abuse
 

AdmNaismith

posted December 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm


Productive? Is that all you base a person’s or society’s worth?
What if everyone in the village worked together to house and feed and clothe each other without thoughts of accumulating or acquiring for its own sake?
Capitalism has it’s pluses and minuses, but it usually just ends in seflishness.
Socialism is great for roads, water, electricity, police protection, fire protection…well, I could go on (helath care). It does not inspire the most creativity, but it also doesn’t leave half the village dying in the streets.
Even the most ardent capitalist won’t put up with stepping over dying poor people. The inconvenience of it all…



report abuse
 

Peter T Chattaway

posted December 13, 2010 at 10:40 pm


Socialism typically ends in selfishness, too — and often the worst kind, since it’s the sort of selfishness that claims to be doing things for the greater good. By all means, we should encourage people to follow the teachings of Christ (and others), but we shouldn’t lose sight of basic human fallenness.
Consider how St. Paul explicitly disobeyed one of Jesus’ teachings in this regard. Jesus, speaking in a rural peasant environment, taught that preachers of the gospel should depend on the generosity of others for their livelihood — but Paul, writing a few decades later to an audience of well-to-do urban types in Corinth, said he would *not* accept any donations from them. Why did he say this? Perhaps because there was active competition between different church factions in Corinth (as evidenced in the earlier chapters of I Corinthians), and Paul didn’t want to let anyone claim bragging rights as his sponsor. At any rate, that’s one example of how teachings can morph over time, as contexts change.
The bigger question that Christians really ought to be dealing with, in my view, is the collecting of interest — without which, of course, the capitalist system as we know it could not exist. The Old Testament forbids the collecting of interest repeatedly, yet virtually no one I know has ever wondered why, or has felt the need to explain why the collecting of interest is justified in our current cultural context. When Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents/Minas and reaches the climax — a greedy boss chastising his employee for failing to collect interest on his investment — everyone assumes that the boss is a stand-in for God and the employee is a wicked, unfaithful servant. But is that how the story would have come across to Jesus’ original audience? What if, to them, the boss came across as a Mister Burns type who was basically clueless as to how greedy he sounded? What if, when Jesus said “to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away,” he was basically just saying “the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer”?



report abuse
 

Rich Kennedy

posted December 13, 2010 at 10:49 pm


Dismissive, eh? I’d say that Almost all are dismissive of capitalism and unquestioning of socialism or communism. Please, let’s dispense with Acts 2. So they held everything in common. What does that mean? I’d say that most local churches and parishes do just that today. All that the church owns is held in common on the part of the membership. If the apostles meant otherwise, why was Peter not consistent in Acts 5. Ananias and Saphirra were put to death for lying about the percentage of their offering. Peter even derides them for the uselessness of the lie. They could have given as much as they wanted of the proceeds of the sale of property.
Maybe forcing folks to thro all they have into the pot for communal use is the harm. What is to stop me from becoming dependent on the community rather than a contributor? What if everyone has that same impulse? That would be a selfish unintended consequence of such a communal arrangement. Actually, it would be easily foreseen as well if thought through. Capitalism does not have a monopoly on selfishness. Humans do.
Capitalism is designed to take advantage of self INTEREST. It would seem that socialism and communism depend on the constant kindness of strangers, or failing that the coercion of them by some other power, say a governmental entity. If that is what one wants, fine. However, I don’t see warrant for that in scripture. Scripture is probably not a good source of warrant for any system of government.
Capitalism actually depends amorally on moral people acting in their own interests and those over whom they have responsibility. Christians often act against their own self interest as a response to the grace and mercy shown to them by their Lord. That’s a good thing and not contrary to the laws of most societies. Many honor and reward such acts. I’m not sure such acts would be praiseworthy if such were coerced. Nor can I grasp just how such could be enforced justly either.



report abuse
 

Ben

posted December 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm


Great points Stephanie.
It appears that your comments are hitting a nerve with some people.



report abuse
 

urname

posted December 14, 2010 at 12:24 am


luv da 2nd graphic!



report abuse
 

Rich Kennedy

posted December 14, 2010 at 5:41 am


Aw shucks Ben. It was just a nerve, or a reaction? Not valid questions or counters?
BTW, I misspoke above in the first sentence. I meant to imply dismissiveness on the part of many here at this blog.



report abuse
 

Still Breathing

posted December 14, 2010 at 7:40 am


When the Communist Soviet empire collapsed there was much rejoicing in Christian circles here in the UK (and, I guess, in the US) so I wrote an article in our church magazine questioning why we thought that a system based on selfishness (capitalism) was better than one based on the common good (socialism / communism). Since then I have come to realise that neither system can be described as Christian for one simple reason: they are systems of this fallen world and not part of God’s Kingdom.
There is good and bad in both systems but if we work to bring about God’s Kingdom we should be doing something else and not putting either money or economic equality at the centre of our political philosophy.



report abuse
 

Kevin

posted December 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm


Wow, I’d never thought I see the day, a Christian claiming that scripture shouldn’t be used to make moral decisions about government while further arguing that people should be charitable for praise and not because it is simply the right thing to do.
You are a class act Rich.
That aside, I don’t see how social democracy is any more coercive than the American system. It seems quite a bit less coercive to me.



report abuse
 

guy

posted December 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm


Stephanie,
i do think your comment about identity deriving from politics is key. i think a great deal of animosity toward socialism is remnant McCarthy-ism type stuff. Socialism was a political enemy and “good” was presented as necessarily connected to opposing socialism (through extensive propagandizing).
In my own denomination, from WWI and earlier, a great number of people were members of the American socialist party or pacifists. Starting with WWII and after, those types were all but alienated from my fellowship. i think the complex of ideological influence that was in place during WWII and the years following have laid most of the foundation for the components of modern American Christian culture, especially the value of capitalism.
–guy



report abuse
 

George, American

posted December 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm


Ever notice how Christians who are apologetic for the American model of “capitalism” (that doesn’t actually exist) are usually the ones who are the most miserable over money and family problems?
It’s interesting because the Amish and Mennonites in my community all pool their wealth and resources to better be able to survive. Those godless bastards are undermining Traditional American Values© with their delicious jams and solid furniture!



report abuse
 

Rich Kennedy

posted December 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm


Kevin, thanks for reading what I wrote. I must say that I didn’t intend to argue what you summarize of my post. My intention was to suggest that Acts 2 should not be interpreted normatively as supporting socialism for such an interpretation would contradict the plain meaning of Acts 5 (the end of Acts 4 is an additional passager about selling all and giving to the community of faith). I am suggesting that the apostles never demanded such giving so we should not interpret Acts as such.
Further, holding all things in common has to be entirely voluntary or the whole thing will fall apart as a societal demand. Force will have to be used in a secular society in order for it to “work”. And it won’t work as communism has been shown not to. Further, traditional socialist societies are leaning more free market as well. Now christians among themselves…. That’s another thing altogether. And presumably, voluntary. Of course christians should interpret scripture and submit to its demands.
However, to use the Sermon on the Mount, for example, as a guide for the running of a nation would quickly turn things into incoherence. How does a ation turn the other cheek? How does a nation give the cloak off its back when something has been taken from it? I’d say that it would not be a nation long. It would be easily conquered by one or all of its neighbors. So much for that political entity. Nations must protect their citizens whether they accept the demands of the Gospel or not. I suggest that such teachings of Jesus were designed for the individual and not a political entity. To that end, I agree with Guy.
As to my notion of the praiseworthy, what I meant to say is that whatever praise or positive gain (even merely the crown one will lay at Jesus’ feet) from an act of grace or charity, it is not charity to do an act because law or authority commands, but charity is charity only when freely done or given. There is no glory in doing what one has to do, but what one does out of love and grace.



report abuse
 

David

posted December 14, 2010 at 5:39 pm


I challenge the premise that capitalism is based on selfishness. One performs a task (often called work – how dare they) in exchange for money (oh yeah, the root of all evil).
At the risk of being politically incorrect – not everyone is equal. Some are smarter, some are more talented, some just work harder. But socialism says all effort is the same and those that do more should give to those that don’t. And if they don’t share, we will make them, with a gun if we have to, but it’s not stealing, its fairness…
Since when is fairness a biblical value?



report abuse
 

stephanie drury

posted December 14, 2010 at 6:08 pm


Wow, David.



report abuse
 

Kevin

posted December 14, 2010 at 6:47 pm


Thanks Rich, your reply was very considerate given my unusually snide tone. Chalk it up to stress about the final I should be studying for.
Pleasantries aside, I find something strange in your entire argument. The disciples lived a praiseworthy life, and yet you are arguing that the virtuous element of their life, charity, should NOT be emulated on a grand scale. Strange, that. Stranger still that charity needs some kind of reward, even if it is laying the crown at his feet. I thought the point of charity was ensuring that the needy are aided. I don’t see anything particularly praiseworthy about people arguing against doing what can be done to mitigate social injustice and economic inequality. In fact, that seems downright uncharitable. And I don’t find the “well, it isn’t really good if I’m forced to help” argument particularly glorious either. Smacks of self-interest.
Speaking of self-interest, capitalism, at least the kind developed by, Adam Smith and his contemporaries, and as investigated by Smith’s biggest fan Karl Marx, is designed to accumulate capital. I’m thinking that Christ wasn’t too big on the accumulation of capital, “eye of the needle” and all.
We can disagree on the academic points (I don’t think communism has failed because there have never been any communistic governments, and I don’t think that Social democracies are doing anything new by trying market-related approaches, they’ve always done that) because they simply aren’t relavent here.
What is relavent is that there is a current in American Christian culture that loves money and its trappings, hates the poor, demonizes the sinner, and demands of its adherents a commitment to an attitude of self-righteousness which is, for lack of a better term, unchristian. I don’t think Jesus would love to see a person, no matter how unlike himself, exploited by someone whose only interest is self-interest. Jesus didn’t think everyone was self-interested, and if I were a christian, I’d listen to him before I’d listen to Hayek or Friedman.



report abuse
 

Still Breathing

posted December 14, 2010 at 7:03 pm


David, You claim that capitalism isn’t based on selfishness but that is what is right at the heart of the economic theories that underpin it. To put it rather simplistically (as it’s a long time since I actually studied economics) the basic thought is that people will always buy at the lowest price to maximise their (selfish) economic position even if this is at the expense of others. This does not leave any room for paying more out of compassion for the vender; be that to support a local shop or to only buy fairtrade goods that support the original producer.



report abuse
 

Ben

posted December 15, 2010 at 12:38 am


David,
Working for money isn’t the definition of capitalism. People have been doing that for long before the term capitalism was used.
Also, the elephant in the room: Capitalism wasn’t defined as a concept for most of the history of Christianity. How, then, can the religious right be telling the truth when they claim that capitalism is a prerequisite for living a good Christian life?



report abuse
 

Rich Kennedy

posted December 15, 2010 at 1:29 am


Kevin, what do you mean by “a grand scale”? That can be an innocuous term with which I have no problem. I do not think that the apostles’ exemplary lives are the kind of thing that can, or should be enshrined into law. All of a sudden there is nothing to emulate. One would be coerced into an allegedly saintly life. Alleged because it would be guys like you and/or me who would be doing the determining of such saintliness and composing the resultant laws. I do not argue against living as they might have lived. Making one’s conception of their lives a temporal requirement is different. Of course, we are talking only socio-economically (as if the apostles thought in such terms!?). We aren’t addressing their evangelism and missionary enterprise are we. I prefer to emulate that to the best of my ability.
Maybe I should use another term than praiseworthy. I’m not saying one should seek praise. I have been using the term as a way of distinguishing between good acts and merely forced acts that otherwise would be good if not forced. If some of my taxes have the good fortune of slinking past the welfare bureaucracy and wandering down to the poor, I don’t think that I should be credited as having done the good work of helping the poor. I was forced to have those taxes deducted. If I actually do something myself for a poor person that I encounter, that is a different matter. I don’t really want to advertise that act. Yet it is laudable, say philosophically, in a way that passively getting a smaller paycheck by law is not. This is what I mean. Literally, legislating charity takes the starch, the good, out of an otherwise good work. Same with advocating and praising the confiscation of yet more funds for a bureaucracy tangential to real help for poor and disadvantaged (ie.Health and Human Services)
Where capitalism comes in (to attempt to stay near the original topic) is in the resultant raising of the collective standard of living of a society where even the poor are better off and you and I have a real possibility of disposable income. As christians, we should be giving right off the top. Disposable income provides yet more wealth over living expenses that can be employed for charitable acts and causes.
Christianity can and does thrive in any governmental system, even draconian autocracies and kleptocracies that persecute the Church. However, nations like the U.S., South Korea, and Canada have churches and denominations that are capable of exporting the Gospel as well as charity on a large scale. One does not wisely didmiss this.
Good luck with the rest of exams.



report abuse
 

Greg

posted December 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm


So Rich hates “socialism”, “charity”, “taxes”, and “bureaucracy (AKA government)”. Loves “capitalism” and “God”. Which teabagger faction do you belong to? Glenn Beck must be your hero.



report abuse
 

MH

posted December 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm


Good post and the images were a hoot. After reading the comment thread, I agree with Ben’s observation that the post touched a nerve.



report abuse
 

Alan

posted December 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm


Greg, please provide a quote where Rich said that he hates charity.



report abuse
 

Stephen Charles

posted December 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm


Capitalism is man exploiting man. With Socialism it’s the other way around.
Bada-bop-ting.



report abuse
 

Frankie Machine

posted December 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm


“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”
–Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian archbishop
I love that line.



report abuse
 

Still Breathing

posted December 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm


As far as I can tell in theory communism / socialism is closer to the Christian ideal as it means everyone is looked after. In practice it doesn’t work out because we live in a fallen world and people’s selfishness, either is doing nothing for something or making sure they stay on top, ensures that it is an imperfectly implimented.
Capitalism, on the other hand, is meant to be based on selfishness and so, in a fallen world, should succeed and dominate the world. In practice all mankind is made in the image of God so there are times when people will not act selfishly and so underminer capitalism.
Does that make sense?
Captcha = Poreind conclusion



report abuse
 

Dave K

posted December 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm


Capitalism works because it is a system where individuals are free to pursue their dreams. Yes it is based on self, but in a fallen world, that’s what works. Socialism does NOT work because it is a system where the government provides for the masses(rather than God to the individual). You invariably end up with totalitarianism and a dead economy and loss of freedom. That also means religious freedom. History has shown us that whereever socialism is tried, society suffers, often in the most violent ways. I would hope Christians would have enough common sense to realize this and stay away from any notion embracing the bankruptcy of socialism. Whenever Jesus exhorted us to help the poor, he meant for the INDIVIDUAL to help the poor, not some overblown govt program!



report abuse
 

Still Breathing

posted December 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm


Dave K, I think you missed the point – neither system works in a fallen world. However, in theory, socialism cares if people are starving and have no homes while capitalism blames them for not working their way out of it. I think I know which one is nearer to Jesus’ attitude.
Also you are using a modern view of individualism; in the first century there wouldn’t have been a separation between individual and collective responsibility.



report abuse
 

George, American

posted January 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm


The only reason so many Christians engage in apologetics for capitalism is because the churches in this country have been conditioning them to do so since after the second world war. There’s nothing of substance behind it- it’s all a bunch of flag-waving Toby Keith BS that Christian culture feels compelled to engage in for whatever reason and quite frankly, it makes me sick.



report abuse
 

Tom

posted January 4, 2011 at 11:03 am


A Prayer From Jesus
It’s finally come down to this, I knew it would eventually. Unfortunately for YOU, who have missed the mark, which means you are going to hell. Your portion will be in the lake of fire. Don’t be offended at me, it’s your preacher, or that radio personality, even that man that told you that you are saved, blame them. Then again when your screaming in the pit it really doesn’t matter whose at fault, does it. For it is your responsibility to know the way of salvation.
Why? You ask. Simply, you trusted man to lead you to Christ. Not once have you asked Jesus if you are saved. If you did you never waited for an answer. There is only one that we should ask on how to be saved, that is Christ Jesus.
Jesus has made it easy for you to know where you will stand on the last day. Pray this Prayer, and Jesus will answer all who diligently seeks Him.
These are the last days, This is your last chance.
Pray the Prayer, and KNOW!
– A PRAYER FROM JESUS –
This prayer is from Jesus that we may hear from Him, that He may speak to our hearts. It only consist of three simple steps.
1) We need to read one scripture. This will focus us in the word that brings everlasting life.
2) Since this prayer is from Jesus we need to direct our prayer to Him personally. Too often Christian focuses they’re prayer’s to G_D the father. Scripture proclaims that Jesus should be the focus of our prayer.
3) The simplest part of this Prayer is to ask Jesus one question. Please, all that is required for this question is that it should be simple. Let Jesus Himself finish the question when He gives you that understanding through this prayer.
The PRAYER
The scripture that is the focus of this prayer is “ACTS 2:38″. It’s not necessary to do any study into this scripture. Jesus Himself will give you the understanding that will resonate in your heart. Just read Acts 2:38, keep it in your heart and take this one scripture to prayer
The most important part of this prayer is that we need to direct our prayer directly to Jesus. If you normally would say Father in your prayer, change your focus from the Father to Christ Jesus, by lifting Jesus name up every time you would normally use Father in your prayer.
Maybe the hardest part of this prayer is the question that we need to ask Jesus. For man as we are, always trying to understand the question instead of listening to the answer. The simplest question is all that is required.
Simply ask Jesus ‘WHY’
For those who are obedient
tsquare777(at)gmail.com



report abuse
 

Alex

posted January 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm


For the record, money is not said in the Bible to have been the root of all evil. According to 1 Timothy 6:10, ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’. Actually, even that’s not what it says: the original line is ‘Rhízda gár pánton tón kakón estin he philargyría’ (this is my transliteration). ‘Tón kakón’ is actually in the genitive plural, so a more accurate translation would be something like ‘For the root of all evils is the love of money’.
Dave K ought to bear in mind that although, under capitalism, individuals are theoretically ‘free to pursue their own dreams’, in practice they are only free to follow their own dreams if their dreams are achievable within the capitalist system, and in fact serve to maintain that system. Individuals who dream of an alternative to capitalism run the risk of persecution and brutal punishment by the forces that capitalism uses to maintain itself, i.e. the government and the police.



report abuse
 

Nicole

posted January 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm


It’s the Puritans. Material gain as a sign of God’s blessing, and therefore election, allows for the marriage of wealth and salvation while edging around the pesky little problem of greed. That’s why we see a connection between capitalism and Christ in America that we do not see in other countries.



report abuse
 

Pre-trib Perry

posted January 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm


I like making money. The protestant work ethic in me won’t die, as much as I beat it and beat it. Long vacations are for Europeans and retired folk.



report abuse
 

Gavin James Campbell

posted January 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm


Let me get this straight:
Charles Darwin repudiated Christianity, so evangelicals decide that evolution and Christianity are incompatible.
Karl Marx repudiated Christianity, so evangelicals decide that socialism and Christianity are incompatible.
Adam Smith repudiated Christianity, so evangelicals decide that capitalism is – obligatory?!
This is arrant hypocrisy.



report abuse
 

christy

posted February 6, 2011 at 1:09 pm


Of course American Christians don’t engage this issue–it would require changing their daily behavior. Growing up in a capitalist system does this to non-Christians as well. It’s not an exclusively Christian thing to want to maintain a worldview that permits and endorses a lavish lifestylfe. For many American Christians, the “safe” minivan, the “quality” clothing, the “successful” business, and any expenditure in the name of “fostering community” or “supporting a family”, override the destructiveness of those capitalist actions down the line. Nevermind that slave labor was used in construction or the resource providers weren’t paid a fair price etc. Myopic values of a myopic community. It is sad, but makes good sense.
My own past Christian conservativism was squelched when I realized how much of my economic behavior within capitalist frameworks was in fact increasing the plight of those very folks the church was sending missionaries to in the third world.



report abuse
 

Brian

posted June 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm


A conservative reading of scripture is clear, selfishness is a sin. Free market capitalism is nothing short of corporate Darwinism. The free markets handmaiden is marketing. Marketing is entirely based on stimulating covetousness. Without checks, capitalism as free-market economics is evil.



report abuse
 

Bradley

posted December 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm


The fact that this posting has this many argumentative comments means no one really got the point.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

auf Wiedersehen
My contract with Beliefnet is up and I'll be back on my own ad-free domain again. Beliefnet has been really lovely to me and I appreciate their letting me write whatever I want without trying to censor anything. I will be back on my blogger domain sometime this week, after I figure out how to export

posted 7:56:21pm Feb. 21, 2011 | read full post »

#210 Mandatory chapel at Bible college
Most Christian colleges require students to attend chapel services. Chapel is not an option, it's part of the curriculum. If you don't fulfill your chapel quota, you don't graduate. Though Christianity purports to operate under the auspices of grace and generally claims that church attendance isn't

posted 7:06:31pm Feb. 11, 2011 | read full post »

#209 Perceiving persecution
Christian culture is vigilant about persecution. Jesus said being persecuted goes with the territory of following him, and some of those followers are really on the lookout. Christian culture sees persecution in all sorts of things and they often say they're under attack. The institution of marriage

posted 6:16:31pm Feb. 03, 2011 | read full post »

#208 Missionary dating
When someone in Christian culture meets a delicious non-Christian they will usually assume a missionary position with them. Missionary dating is when you date a non-Christian for the express purpose of proselytizing so as to instigate their conversion. Youth group leaders heartily disapprove of mis

posted 6:16:57pm Jan. 27, 2011 | read full post »

#207 Marrying young
Christian culture gets married young. The reason isn't entirely clear, but the general consensus is that it drastically lowers the risk of fornication. You just can't fornicate if you're married, and that takes care of that. Fornication is Christian culture's natural enemy. Bible colleges (aka

posted 6:33:07pm Jan. 19, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.