Posts Tagged ‘capitalism’

“No Sin There.”

Monday, August 29th, 2011 by JEL

There are shades of grey in almost every debate. Take Christianity vs. Capitalism. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus makes it pretty clear where He stands on the wealthy. Remember the camel and the eye of the needle? Well, St Margaret Lothbury, a very old church in London, has a different take. It doesn’t have services on Sundays and caters to financial services executives during the week. The vicar, Reverend Jeremy Crossley, has no problems with Christians making money:

“As long as you’re being honest about what you do, it’s not a sin to make money. God rewards industriousness, and that’s what most of the people who come here are. Good, hard-working honest people who want to make money. No sin there.”

Read the whole article here. What do you think?

Mind Your Own…Faith

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 by JEL

I happen to be a big proponent of the separation of Church and State. Believe in whatever God/faith you wish, but please don’t impose your beliefs on me or others who don’t share those beliefs. Sounds pretty simple, and it’s worked pretty well here in the US for over 200 years.

Others disagree. Newt Gingrich for one. Newt, who has a long history of behavior inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ, feels there is currently a “crisis of secularism” in America:

“The American elites are guided by their desire to emulate the European elites and, as a result, anti-religious values and principles are coming to dominate the academic, news media and judicial class in America.”

And then there’s Vishal Mangalwadi, a Christian scholar in India, who thinks the Antichrist is going to come from the U.S.

“If America does not return to the Bible as the cultural authority – having influence over the Congress, over the courts, over the universities – if that does not happen, then the antichrist in the 21st century will come from America.”

And of course there’s Gary North’s Reconstructionism that seeks to institute Old Testament Biblical law throughout our system of government and schools (kind of like the Taliban does with the Koran). Adherents shoo away Jesus’ commands to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and heal the sick, and claim that the Bible is against any form of welfare. Capitalism is what it’s all about.

The Public Religion Research Institute released a study on April 21 where they investigated whether people thought capitalism was in conflict with Christianity. People who thought they were in competition beat out those who thought they were compatible by 44% to 36%. 53% of Democrats see capitalism and Christian values at odds, while only 37 % of Republicans have trouble with the combination.

Jesus and Capitalism

Monday, January 11th, 2010 by JEL

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has been a lightning rod for controversy over the past several years. His latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story continues the trend. In the film he wonders if Jesus would have supported the current system of capitalism and concludes that He wouldn’t have. Jesus’ teachings to help the poor and give away your money, to Moore, seem incompatible with the greed for money that drives much of the market today.

This interesting article provides a number of viewpoints. Clement Mehlman, a Lutheran chaplain at Dalhousie University, agrees with Moore:

“Jesus says to follow Him, you have to give everything you own to the poor. How many Christians do you see doing that? It’s a text that should be thrown at the wealthy fat cats.”

Others feel that the problems lie not in capitalism, itself, but in the way it is used. Rev. Gary Thorne, an Anglican minister and chaplain with Dalhousie and the Canadian Forces Reserves, talks about the “intent of the heart” in looking at free markets. He cites the history of the church and points out the Martin Luther and John Calvin were all in favor of capitalism as a way to motivate people to work hard, support their families and please God. Thorne also says that the most important thing about acquiring wealth, for a Christian, should be a willingness to share it.

“Any Christian who says that we pay too much in taxes is just bonkers.”

The article goes on to talk about a middle ground and I encourage you to dive in.