The Truth About…Economics (Part 2)

When discussing economics, the Bible seems to support free market capitalism. Here are four points to consider: first, God, as Creator of all, makes humans to manage His resources (also called stewardship). Second, hard work is rewarded; laziness is not. Third, the concept of private property is supported through work and laws against stealing. Fourth, privately owned businesses are supported. But where in the Bible do you find these four points?

Stewardship is found in Genesis 1:28. God created us to manage His world. It says, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; 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.’”

Hard work is rewarded in Leviticus 19:13. It says, “Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.” We should pay people as they work for us, and not steal from them. Thus, hard work is rewarded. Laziness, on the other hand, is not rewarded. Proverbs 19:15 says, “Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.”

Laws against stealing other people’s private property can be seen in Exodus 22:1. It says, “Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.” You have a right to your property, and no one should take it. That’s why God gave the commandment, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

The idea of a privately owned businesses is supported in James 4:13-15. It says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’”

These are just a sample of the verses that deal with economics, and they all seem to point to the idea that we make decisions regarding God’s world and how we manage these resources, apart from government control.  That opposing view, socialism, will be addressed next.

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April 14, 2015

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