May I offer another perspective? I think we who are Christians should be cautious in embracing capitalism as not un-Christian. I think the earliest Christians and their early successors in the Church, espcially the church fathers, might have good reason to rail against capitalism. As early the initial community described in Acts, the believers pooled their resources and gave to everyone according his/her need in a manner that I think Marx might have approved of. And he certainly would have approved of the many attacks against private property one may find in the writings of the church fathers. Usury was a sin for Christians until about the thirteenth century. Medieval theologians found Cain guilty of two sins, the murder of his brother and the taking of what belongs to all and making it private property (when he founded the first city). While we may have a different view of things now, it would do us well to ponder the church's thinking for more than the first millenium of its existence about what constitutes an "un-christian economy."
For all the good capitalism may have brought in raising living standards it has also brought great evil in exploiting classes and populations. I think Christians should always take a prophetic stance against any economic system and in particular the dominant one, as many Christians are taking today against Consumerism, the engine of modern capitalism and the dominant civil religion of America.
----- Original Message -----
From: Lucy Masters
Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2002 11:50 AM
Subject: [Fwd: Re: [Fwd: RE: [Fwd: RE: Darwinism/Compassion]]]
I'm ashamed of you for calling me un-Christian. That's a very un-Christian thing to do.
As I said in an earlier post to Adrian, I find the Bible scandalous in many respects. Were I to quote from it, I'd find myself endorsing all manner of offensive tribal action.
We just have different perspectives, that's all. You think the United States is a terrible place, and I think folks have a better life here than in most places I've visited. I see nothing "un-Christian" about capitalism, nor do I see anything "un-Christian" about some folks having a higher standard of living than others. This is basic human behavior - reward and punishment - depending upon behavior. I don't think that communism and socialism and other economic systems that force the sharing of wealth are more Christian than a system where folks raise their standard of living based upon their hard work.
Where do you travel? Look at the difference between rich and poor in Africa, South America, the Arabian peninsula, and many other places. Our maid (from Mexico) was living in a cardboard box over there. Now she lives in a white frame house here in the states - the highest standard of living she has ever had. "Poor" folks in this country have tremendous benefits.
I'm not sure I understand your complaints.
-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Re: [Fwd: RE: [Fwd: RE: Darwinism/Compassion]]
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 21:20:03 -0500
From: Jan de Koning <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Lucy Masters <email@example.com>,firstname.lastname@example.org
At 09:45 AM 23/02/02 -0600, Lucy Masters wrote:
>Well...I guess we'll just have to "agree to disagree." Your definition of
>what's "bad" or "evil" is just different from my definition. I don't
>think death is evil, I sympathize deeply with folks in the hospital who
>want to die, I think it's the heighth of stupidity to feed people who
>refuse to practice birth control, reckless to use antibiotics on a massive
>scale, and on and on. The argument which you and I engage in here on an
>individual basis is reflective of the science/religion debate on a larger
Lucy, I wonder how you defend your un-Christian attitudes on this forum
where most of the participants are believing Christians. Can you give
proper biblical arguments?
Jan de K.
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