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Gerard de VosCreated by Gerard de Vos
on 05-03-2009
Category: Bible related
Is God a capitalist or a communist?

There was a time when the West feared that Communism might replace capitalism.

  • Capitalism is defined as an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are managed in competitive conditions by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. It is also called free enterprise.
  • Communism is defined as a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished and the means of production and subsistence belongs to the community. In practice it means that the government controls everything. Workers are not rewarded according to ability, but according to needs, because all people are supposed to be equal.

God’s eternal kingdom on the renewed earth will be a brilliant Utopia. Something similar was promised to the workers by the Communist agitators. The poor ignorant workers thought that once they got rid of the hated oppressors, then peace, stability and a righteous country would ensue. It never happened, but it never bothered its advocates. They saw to it that they themselves benefited hansomely from the system. History has shown that capitalism is a better system. In it people are rewarded for their diligence, effort and enterprise.

On which of these two systems is God’s kingdom based? As God is absolutely righteous, we would imagine that He would favour communism, because in theory all people are equal. The doctor and the factory technician should earn the same salary, as they need the same amount of money. The fact that the doctor studied and works many hours overtime is not regarded as an argument. In God’s kingdom that means that all saved people would have the same status in heaven. That would mean that everyone will be treated in the same way, and will have the same benefits. This would mean that there is no particular incentive for people to devote themselves to God. Why would they, if the less committed will have the same inheritance as those who laid down their lives for Jesus Christ?

When we page through Scripture, we find that God is a thorough capitalist. Look at these Scriptures:

  • ‘Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal’ (Matthew 6:20). We are to store up treasures. We call that wealth accumulation.
  • ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to’ (Luke 13:23b). That sounds like a hard working capitalist.
  • ‘Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling’ (Philippians 2:12). This verse does not give the impression that a child of God can rest on the laurels of others, or accept that everyone is equal.
  • This inequality and reward for effort is stated in 1 Corinthians 3: 12 where at the judgment all believers’ works will be judged. If we were all like good Communists, there should be no judgement, as all people are treated equal.
  • Likewise Romans 14:12 states that each of us will appear before God to give an account of himself.

God gives to anyone who wishes the gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit. It is, however not a lazy dreamboat trip to heaven. We are exhorted to action, to accumulate wealth in heaven.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinth 1:27