Thursday, July 16, 2009

God's plan for economics?

Acts 4

32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

What does God think of keeping what you earn? Read what happened to Ananias and Sapphira.

OK, I'm pulling your leg, but only partly.


normajean said...

This sounds like Acts Church economics.

Latenter said...

Can't you both think that you should give all your money to the church and also not think that the government should force you to give X-amount to it?

I don't see the connection between Christian alms and government redistribution. They seem to be completely different moral things.

Ilíon said...

VR: "What does God think of keeping what you earn? Read what happened to Ananias and Sapphira."

Oh, do you mean something like the following --
Peter: "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land [while claiming to have donated the whole proceeds to the Fellowship]? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, was not the money at your disposal? ..."

Clearly, the sin was not of "greed" (as that word is misused by you "liberals"), but rather of hypocritical "charity" ... of making a great, yet false, show of their "compassion" for the poor.

Hmmm. Ananias and Sapphira sound much like modern American "liberals."

And, oddly enough, I distinctly recall you bitching because *you yourself* have to pay "too much" in taxes ... even as you support the confiscation of others' earnings asnd wealth. How like a "liberal."

But, hey! I'm just pulling your leg! Sort of.

Ilíon said...

And, their sin was further the intention to dishonestly live off the common charity of the Fellowship.

Nick said...

Gary North makes the case for "Biblical economics" being capitalistic: The Bible mandates free market capitalism.

Ilíon said...

Only those in the grip of the heresy which leftism is will fail to understand that "Biblical economics" is indeed "free market capitalism."

When a society has and recognizes and protects:
1) personal stewardship, under God's ownership, of one's own self (or, to put it into truncated secular terms, self-ownership);
2) personal stewardship, under God's ownership, of one's own time and labor;
3) personal stewardship, under God's ownership, of the result of one's own labor;
then that society will *naturally* have a free market economy.

When the people are free, their economy must be free. When the people are not free, their economy cannot be free.
This post underwritten by "mentor."

Dan Lower said...

Government-involved or no it seems like the most important message here is a very very strong obligation that those who have need do not go without. This doesn't necessarily mean government redistribution of wealth, but it definitely doesn't constitute a wholehearted endorsement of free-market capitalism in the early Church.

In other words, I'm kind of with Bert Power and llion (comment #1 re: Ananias/Sapphira's real sin), but I'd put a strong emphasis on the practice of Christian alms, because it does seem quite to be...there.

unkleE said...

I can't help concluding that, if we followed Jesus and the NT, we'd be free like capitalists but would voluntarily behave like socialists. Everybody's happy! : )

Ilíon said...

Charity is not charity when it is coerced; and freedom cannot exist when “charity” is coerced.

When the primary message of Christianity -- deliverance and freedom, in Christ, from sin -- works as a leaven in a society, that society will have freedom and justice and mercy (and a workable balance between mercy and justice, for mercy is the negation of justice) . And, when a society has freedom and justice, if cannot but have “free market capitalism.”

However, let the people of a society take their eyes off freedom-in-Christ, say to elevate “mercy” or “social justice” as the Highest Good, and they will lose freedom and justice … and, ultimately, mercy.