Word from the Pastor
The following is information gleaned from Regent College Marketplace.
Capitalism is not just an economic system. Capitalism is also a system that embodies an ideology or thinking process founded on the human person, culture, and the societal make-up of any nation. Hopefully, we can elucidate a Christian understanding of why a Christian theology is extremely important to a nation’s economy.
Sacred Scriptures explain a very different concept of the human person and society. In our individualistic society the bible offers a deep sense of relationships with God and others and what is best for creation. In Genesis we can clearly read about Adam and Eve communicating with God on a regular basis and then relating their conversation with the creation that surrounds this early historic couple. Consequently, we can draw a very distinct relationship between ourselves to God and then to our everyday surroundings. In the United States, our everyday surroundings involve capitalism. But we have in a calculated process taken our communication with God and absented it from the demands of our society and our relationships. In essence, we have replaced God with individualistic needs and wants. It is precisely why religious freedom needs to be upheld in this society if it is to be effective in a positive mode with the handlings of how we choose to live with one another even within an economic structure. Bonhoeffer writes how we have carefully surgically removed religious freedom from the relationships between God and mankind by stating how true religious freedom should evolve. Bonhoeffer writes:
“Freedom is a relationship between two persons. Being free means ‘Being free for the other’, because I am bound to the other. Only by being in relation with the other am I free.”
Within the contextual basis of relationship, God has
humans “…to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen 1:28) This command tells us to make our living useful and productive in God’s creation. Humans are called by God to be stewards by taking the gifts that God has given and entrusted to us to be diligently carried out through an effective work ethic, through the cultivating of individual gifts and talents, and with the motivating force to accomplish a good which is intended for all.
We hear little of how God expects us to live with one another in not only our politics but also in the general functioning within our American society. This was not the intent of our Founding Fathers. Scripture asks us to allocate goods and resources to meet human needs and wants. Humans still have a very strong notion of scarcity because we are imbued with unlimited wants that cannot ever be satisfied. Instead, a Christian vision offers the notion of fulfillment can be found through human relationships that includes Jesus Christ. Ergo, the human person should not be reduced to simply being a “consumer.” Humans must consume, but to consume does not define what it means to be human. God has created a world with enough resources for everyone’s needs; not wants. Subsequently, poverty still rears its ugly head because policies from current institutions regarding an advancing culture and wanton human behavior still center secular view of individualism.
There is still more on economics to come. Do our candidates reflect this Christian ideology?