Christianity & Capitalism
Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple (Rembrandt, 1635)
Recently I saw this posted by a Christian on social media:
I believe that capitalism is as satanic as socialism, which is why we as followers of Christ must be careful where we stand politically. No Christian should vote for a left-leaning party in my opinion. But that doesn’t mean we should glorify a right-leaning party. It’s important for us to vote, but any vote should also come with an element of sadness knowing what we’re voting for[.]
This individual, though well-intentioned, simply isn’t perceiving or defining things within the Biblical worldview. This leads them to draw a false moral equivalence between socialism and capitalism.
If I save a portion of my own money, and then invest those savings in a business venture—that’s capitalism. And there’s precisely nothing satanic about it. Capitalism is a business methodology based on private property—which is Biblical—and which methodology can be used for good or evil. The methodology itself not only isn’t evil, but is self-evidently logical and natural.
By contrast, socialism is automatically condemned because it (a) rejects private property, and (b) assumes that Party A has some “right” or mandate to confiscate the property of Party B and redistribute it to Party C. This isn’t generosity or compassion; it’s theft by the State. It would be sinful if you or I did it, and the moral nature of it doesn’t change just because the State’s doing it.
Moreover, socialism is always accompanied by other evils: the nullification of the basic freedoms of expression, association, and movement—along with the deaths of millions due to government abuses and rampant poverty.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10). Socialism steals, kills, and destroys. By nature. It is thus satanic by nature—whereas, although capitalists as people can and do perpetrate evil, capitalism itself is entirely innocent.
No Christian should vote for a left-leaning party in my opinion. But that doesn’t mean we should glorify a right-leaning party.
A “vote for” this or that party/candidate isn’t equivalent to “glorifying” them. Christians should vote for the candidate whose platform is most commensurate with the Biblical worldview. It’s really that simple. No reasonable, discerning Christian will take issue with that statement.
It’s important for us to vote but any vote should also come with an element of sadness knowing what we’re voting for[.]
This wrongly presupposes that any vote, no matter the rationale, is tainted with sin—an error that goes hand-in-hand with the false dilemma known as “the lesser of two evils.” Christians must never “choose evil.” God never requires this, for any reason. Any choice that a Christian is morally obligated to make is, by definition, a righteous choice.
Applied to politics, we ought to understand that all candidates are sinners, and all parties are made up of sinners. Therefore, in a different sense, any time we cast a vote, we’re aiming to vote for a “lesser evil”—i.e., a candidate or platform less evil than their opponent(s). But a vote for the most biblical and least evil platform available is always, by definition, a righteous vote.
None of the above is hard to understand. It is patently biblical and logical. Any Christian who thinks otherwise has been influenced by “progressivism,” leading them to develop an incoherent hybrid perspective that’s partially biblical and partly pagan.
The outcome of this bifurcated stance is a flattening of all values and ethics so as to make them appear equivalent; the Christian is left incapable of repudiating ideological error from a solidly biblical standpoint. In other words, a “progressivism”-influenced Christian has adopted what is essentially a camouflaged form of relativism and nihilism—both of which are satanic.
More food for thought: