If we want to look at the Bible as a commentary on which is better, capitalism or socialism, we are missing the point. The Bible is not intended as a commentary on how to best govern (although it does give wisdom in that regard as well). It is intended to guide us on how to best love God. Throughout the Old and New Testament, God’s main focus has always been the relationship of Himself with His people. He looks at one’s heart and works on those things which get in the way of that relationship. If you read the Bible closely, every human action, along with its consequences, was always secondary to the condition of one’s heart in relation to God.
- That is why David, although he committed adultery and murder, was still called a man after God’s own heart. (1 Sam 13:14)
- That is why a former prostitute is in the bloodline of Jesus (Jos 2, 6: 22-25, Heb 11:31)
- That is why the woman caught in the sin of adultery was forgiven. (John 8:1-11)
- That is why the rich man, while seemingly very pious, was challenged by Jesus to give up that which was an idol to him: his wealth. (Matt 19:16-23).
God always knows when we truly love Him, even when our humanity gets in the way.
“The Lord does not look at the things that man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7)
God has an eternal perspective so His focus is different than ours. Perhaps that is why Jesus cares more about our relationship with Him than anything else; more than the condition of the poor (Mark 14:4-9), or the political climate (Matt 22:17-21), or even equal rights and freedoms (Col 3:22). He knows that all of these things will pass away – ultimately only our relationship with Him will be eternal.
Was Jesus a Socialist? No. But neither was he a Capitalist. He was God.
When folks start turning their hearts to Him and seek His will, good things start to happen without a government mandate. We are less focused on ourselves and more on others. We seek justice. We are more content. We see our lives as blessed and try to pass on that blessing. We become conduits instead of storehouses. Why? Because our standard is no longer that of Man, but that of God. Charity, selfless service and compassion are ways we can personally respond to the love that God has shown to us. It is how we grow in our faith, how we strengthen our walk, and how we truly understand what God’s sacrificial love is all about. Responding to His love by loving others is the only way we can overcome our sin nature – it cannot be done by proxy.
My dear readers, loving our neighbor requires more than just words and philosophical theories – it requires an active response. So, which shall you choose? Will you show your love to God personally, or will you allow the secular government to do it for you? Which do you think God would prefer?