I think I must have missed an email. Your post below starts out "Bob
wrote,..." but I don't recall receiving this information from "Bob." So
I'm not sure I can respond well without knowing all the context.
However, I will comment that capitalism with a tax base certainly does
provide oodles and oodles of benefit for the poorest people in our land
(roads, schools, food, assistance with energy bills, medical care, and
so on) while maintaining a strong foundation that works well with human
behavior patterns (reward those who work hard, etc.). In terms of
religion, I suppose we could take it denomination by denomination and
analyze the viewpoints, but I don't personally know anyone who thinks
it's wrong for the lawn maintenance man who dropped out of high school
in the ninth grade to be living in a modest home while the brain surgeon
who studied for 12 years after high school lives in a great house. I
just don't see those different living standards as un-Christian. Did I
get your point, or did I miss it entirely? I'm answering sort of "out
of context" here.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Darwinism/Compassion
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 02:05:04 EST
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 shortly thereafter, the Church in the rest of the world had to send
donations to Jerusalem where they had tried this experiment. Socialism has
never worked on a long term basis.
<< 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.">>
This went hand in hand with people selling all that they had and becoming
monks sworn to poverty. It was the Reformers who turned away from this
mentality and taught that every occupation was holy.
Certainly capitalism has its evils; but, everyone, even the supposed
communists have lived off of capitalism. Who is not living off of capitalism?
Insofar as consumerism is materialism, Christians should take a stand, but
this is different than opposing capitalism per se. I cannot see any way for a
person who is picking up a paycheck or a donation to oppose capitalism
without being hypocritical.
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