Saturday, December 28, 2013 4:24 AM

Is Capitalism Biblical?

Saturday, December 28, 2013 4:24 AM
Saturday, December 28, 2013 4:24 AM

Let us consider our text in its literal application to modern economic life, for it has been used to attack capitalism and the credit system. “Owe no man anything.” Is this a denial of capitalism? Is it sinful for a Christian to be in debt?

 First, instead of being against capitalism, the Bible takes it for granted. One of the Ten Commandments is, “Thou shall not steal.” Not only must I keep my fingers off other men’s property, but every man must keep his hands off mine. When Ananias and Sapphira sold their property and laid part of the price at the apostle’s feet, they were reproved not for what they gave, but for lying about how much they gave. Peter’s remarks are a recognition of the right of private ownership. The property was theirs, he said, and they could dispose of it as they wished. When they sold it, the money was theirs to do with as they pleased. If they had decided to use it for a vacation, God would not have punished them. Death was inflicted only because they pretended to give one hundred per cent when they were keeping back some. They were punished for their hypocrisy. The story is a great illustration of the right of private ownership and control of property.

 Furthermore, the Lord made use of capitalistic phraseology in His parables. A capitalist had great capital and he loaned ten talents to one man, five to another, and one to a third. They were to invest the money and gain profit. The Bible inveighs against usury, but it does not forbid the gaining of interest.[1]



[1] Barnhouse, D. G. (1964). God's Discipline : Romans 12:1-14:12 (126–127). Grand Rapids, MI.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

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