Ministers of the Gospel should be calling people to faith in Christ and repentance from sin. We are stewards of the mysteries of God, charged to preach the word, and given the good news of a way to be reconciled to God through faith in Christ and the power of the Spirit. Christ has died to pay the penalty for sin, risen in triumph over sin and death, and poured out the Spirit to inaugurate the age to come. Jesus is Lord. We serve his Kingdom.
Our business is not politics, except insofar as we warn people of the wrath to come on behavior that defiles the holiness of God and call them to repent of sin, trust in Christ, and live for his glory.
All this to say, what Great Britain needs from her ministers is the gospel, not advocacy of Sharia Law, which apparently is making inroads with the Archbishop’s approval: “Archbishop of Canterbury: Society is coming round to my views on sharia.”
My question to you is: Does behavior that defiles the holiness of God include speaking out against the greed of capitalism and the marginalization of the poor?
Please clarify: are you asking if speaking against capitalism and the marginalization of the poor defiles the holiness of God?
That’s what you indicate in your comment. . .
Sorry if I wasn’t clear. My question was really aimed at the “business is not politics” comment. There seems to be restriction in what a minister of the gospel should be preaching. I believe that a congregation should hear the gospel preached regularly but should also hear how the gospel will come to bear in its daily life. “If you have been saved and redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus, you ought to care about the poor and something should bother you about greed and corruption in the markets and at your job.” It seems as if today we divorce the preaching of the gospel from the implications of the gospel, which Jesus did not do. Case in point Matthew 25:31-46.
I don’t think you understand capitalism and the free market. It’s not as though one person’s success limits another person’s opportunities. Rather, the success of one, in capitalism, actually opens up possibilities and opportunities for others.
As for the poor, I think the church has a responsibility for its own, but Paul is clear that if anyone doesn’t work they’re not to be fed by others. . . People need to take responsibility for themselves rather than waiting around for someone else to provide for them (adults, of course).
Lol. I agree. But my questions are:
1. Aren’t there “working poor” in America? If I have a capitalist in my church, shouldn’t I let him know about his responsibility to treat those with less with more dignity and not give out ARM loans to those who may not qualify?
2. If we speak out about the individual sin in peoples lives as part of our mission to call sinner’s to repentance? Isn’t one of those greed? Are we not seeing an economy collapse under the weight of that greed?
3. As preachers do we not have a mandate to point to the individual sin of the believer and the corporate sin of the nation, so that men may see their need for Jesus. Wasn’t this what Jeremiah and some of the other prophets doing this very same thing.
4. Personally, I believe that no world system or philosophy, capitalism included, should ever be given more credence than the authority of the gospel. All world systems, economies, and ways of thinking, should come under the authority of Jesus, and hence are fare game for criticism and reflection.
1. I think anyone working in America would be rich when compared with world history and the rest of the world today, and I think a better use of our time is spent teaching Christians not to apply for loans they can’t pay off. I don’t know what an ARM loan is.
2. I don’t think greed is causing the economy to collapse. I’m of the opinion that unnecessary government meddling and regulation in combination with widespread corruption (dishonesty), which might be fueled by greed, are all factors. But whose greed? The guy who steals from a thrift store or the guy who has the corporate jet? Isn’t the greed the same with different opportunities?
3. Who is to be indicted for corporate sin? The nation? The nation isn’t in any covenant with God, so who do you indict? I think indicting impersonal people is useless. Better to talk to the people present about their need before God than to indict those people out there who don’t have names. All that does is make the people present resent those people out there who are causing all the problems. Who are those people, and how does making the people listening to you resent them help the people listening to you?
4. I’m not saying you can’t criticize it. But I would ask this: with what will you replace it? I think capitalism best accounts for human depravity. It forces all people to work, gives all people opportunity, and opens up competition. It thrives best when people are hardworking and honest. No other economic system better holds in check the sinfulness of humanity by the open competition of the free market.
An ARM loan is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage loan. The rate starts out at a low interest rate and then after a pre-determined period of time it adjusts, usually higher, to keep up the interests rates of today. So if I started out with a loan on the house of say, 5.0% and in 2 years the rate goes up to 9, 10, 11, or even 12 percent my mortgage has nearly doubled, making it relatively unaffordable for me to keep up that payment. It appears that you would say that the borrower is at fault for not considering the terms. I would say right you are, he should have looked at them twice. However, I would also go further to say that the lender is at fault too, for not considering whether this person is suitable for the house and type of loan you just gave him in the first place. I would speak to the sin of the borrower and the lender. Doubly so, if that lender was in my congregation, because if they have been touched by the gospel of Jesus, then their lives should reflect the implications of that gospel. Love for their brother should dictate how to deal with a fellow human being.
I don’t think this has been happening, that is why a man like Ken Lay can attend church under a well-regarded evangelical pastor, serve in many capacities, and feel relatively at ease when it comes to church life. No one called him into account for the excessive greed.
I agree that teaching people about not taking loans they can’t pay for is a good use of time. But what I am saying is that we preach that greed is not good and you must come into repentance. However, the preaching has been unequally applied to folk who do not have. I am not railing against rich people. I am saying that we should not be a respecter of persons in regard to this issue.
I think the preacher stands outside of the system and carries his prophetic role with him into the pulpit. The only kingdom he wholeheartedly espouses is the kingdom of God. All other systems and ways of living are mere attempts by man to build his Tower of Babel up to heaven, and they must crumble under the weight of the Word of God. Capitalism has its fundamental flaw of being fueled by human self-interest as does any other system. As long as human beings are depraved that will be the case. And we the church should not accept depravity because that’s the way things are. In fact, a critique of capitalism and its flaws will help some of our people to see that they have put their trust in a system that is based on sin and that they need to turn to repent and turn towards Jesus. You can keep the system as it is, if you like, but save the people in it.
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