- Capitalism and Alternatives -

It's no mystery if you study it.

Posted by: Stuart Gort ( USA ) on November 18, 1999 at 10:21:30:

In Reply to: mysterious combinations posted by Lypiatt on November 17, 1999 at 10:42:34:

:: Although it has been awhile since i last peered into the luminous pages of the 'good book' i seem to recall passages akin to 'it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter through the gates of heaven' and 'the last shall soon be first'.

Read the Matthew 19 text. The disciples queried Christ after that statement asking, "Who, then can be saved" understanding that Christ was making a very generalized statement about the difficulty of getting into heaven. Christ answered that "with men this (getting into heaven) is impossible but with God, all things are possible". Then the disciples said, "we have left everything and followed you" wherein Christ reiterated the point that got the whole sequence rolling, which was that one needs to prioritize Christ's kingdom above their own interests.

If you wish to read the text as support of collectivst principles you are only looking in a very cursory and selfish manner. Christ is certainly suggesting that wealth can be one of those things which distracts one from His truth but His statements in no way condemn capitalism. A man can have loads of money and still have his priorites right as Christ certainly allows in this passage by not disallowing a rich man in heaven.

:: As capitalism is based on having a wealthly class it seems to me that the natural question to ask is how can one be both christian and devoted capitalist without suffering that most dreaded condition of cognitive dissonance? (more so if one belongs to the capitalist class).

Your premise is rubbish. Capitalism is not predicated on having a rich class at all. Capitalism is allowing me or anyone else with discretionary income to invest into someone else who just might have a good idea. The fact that a rich class is allowed to exist is a result of freedom - not capitalism. If my industriousness results in me having more money than you, freedom allows me to give that surplus to another, possibly smarter guy than me who can use it to bring his own clever ideas to fruition and profit us both.

:: (Christians i take it should be happy to live in poverty, safe in the knowledge that the kingdom of heaven awaits for those lucky enough to have their names embossed in the 'book of life')

Your very sarcastic statement implies that Christ really wanted every single christian to live in abject poverty. The logical progression of that is to relegate every single christian into dependency to a godless person or state. I'm sure that the encroaching socialist state would desire such a thing so as to finally control christians but I assure there is a wonderful truth passing you by to see this teaching as a simple judgement of wealth. You know, for every scripture you use out of context like this, I can give you one that has God actually giving fabulous wealth to one man. I can assure you that God does not want His children dependant upon godless men.

: This biblical apologism is really quite outrageous.

Flatly, you have only a cursory understanding of your subject matter here. That's a hard statment, to be sure, but there is quite a long history of folks who would trivialize and steal from God by attempting to suboordinate Christ's integrity, authority, and spiritual imperative to their measly agenda. If anyone wishes to suggest Christ was teaching a message that pushed a secular humanistic agenda it only shows that they haven't the least interest in knowing what He really wants of them. But this very scripture says what he wants - and that is your undivided attention. Money is good at diving one's attentions from God but before you judge the rich man too harshly, make sure money (and the equitable redistribution of it) isn't doing the same thing to you.

Stuart Gort

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