First, let me give you some very simplistic definitions of three forms of government
Capitalism: An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry is controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. Antonym (opposite): Communism
Socialism: An economic and political system that advocates production, distribution, and exchange of goods and services should be owned or regulated by the government.
Communism: A system where all property is public and all people work and are given things by the government based on their needs.
So, is God a Capitalist?
Let's start with the Ten Commandments. The first four deal with our worship of God. The last 6 deal with our relationship to others. You will honor your father and mother, you will not murder, you will not steal, you will not commit adultery, you will not lie, you will not covet/lust after your neighbor's possessions. (Exodus 20:3-17)
Two of those final 6 commandments deal with personal ownership of property.You will not steal, you will not lust for/covet your neighbor's possessions. This would seem to indicate that people and not government own property and things, right?
The Parable of the Talents
Most of us know this parable that Jesus taught in Matthew 25. He started out by saying "The Kingdom of heaven is like..." which would indicate that He is talking about a kingdom or a form or government. He goes on to tell the story of 3 people who were each given money, one 10 coins, another 5, and the last 1. Then the owner went on a journey and when he returned, he asked the 3 men what they made with the money he gave them. The first two people invested their money and made more. The last guy hid his money and made nothing. The owner was angry and took the single coin he'd given that man and cast him away.
The laws of the kingdom of heaven Jesus teaches include personal ownership, management, being given responsibility based on ability, being rewarded by promotion for integrity and good and hard work, and the suffering of consequences for the mismanagement of money, time, and responsibility. Sounds like capitalism to me.
But what about the early church who sold everything they had and shared it with others? Again, that was very noble and kind of them and we should definitely follow in their example by giving as much as we can to those in need. But they were good Godly people sharing their wealth, making a personal decisions to give away property and things they owned. It was not the government taking things from the people and giving them away to others. The power was still in the hands of the people, not the government.
The truth is, God doesn't trust man's government in any form. He always speaks to people at an individual level or to His church. When the people of Israel demanded that God appoint a king over them, God warned them through the prophet Samuel that a king would tax them, send their men to war, and take their property. They still wanted a king and that's exactly what they got. God knew that fallen man + power = corruption and greed. What was true then is true now. Yet one day soon, Jesus will return and set up His Kingdom in Jerusalem. Yes, a Kingdom, a theocracy, a Kingdom of Righteousness. That will be the perfect government because it will be run by the Son of God. And of that Kingdom there will be no end!
(Information about God and capitalism obtained from John Fenn's newsletter at Supernational House Church.org )
Have a GREAT Weekend, everyone!!!