Monday, September 25, 2017

Open Letter to Evangelical Christians

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

            I, like you, would love to see this country run based on Christian values. I want to live in a nation where we love God and our neighbors. I want us to love God instead of Mammon. I am writing in hopes that you will open your mind to the possibility that our economic system is severely impeding America from becoming a nation ran by Christian values. Matthew 6:24 states that you cannot serve God and wealth.  By allowing corporations and the wealthy 1% to run our country, we have chosen to worship Mammon instead of wealth. In fact, we should change our dollars to read “In Mammon we trust.”
            Capitalism by its very nature involves accumulation of private wealth as well as encourages vicious competition and coveting of others property and wealth. There is no biblical basis for this type of economic system. In fact it is quite the opposite.
            In ancient Israel, charity was indeed mandated or as you claim today, “Charity at gun point.” God instructed Israel how to run their country.  In Leviticus 23:33, God mandates that the Israelies leave their gleanings of harvest available for the poor and alien. Deuteronomy 14:22-29 goes into explicit detail of how to share your wealth with the rest of the community.  In the New Testament Christian communities were in fact communistic. For example Acts 2:44-45 states, “All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.” Jesus commanded us not to hoard and store wealth such as Luke 12:13-21.
            One of the basic tenants of the capitalistic economy, charging interest, is in fact forbidden in the Bible. According to Deuteronomy 23:19, “You shall not charge interest on loans to another Israelite, interest on money, interest on provisions, interest on anything that is lent.”  Not only that, but prophets demanded economic justice such as Isaiah 1:17: “learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”  Going in further, the Bible commands us not to exploit workers and pay low wages. Jeremiah warns against living in lavish homes while exploiting the workers (22:13-17).
            I understand that you do not trust the government, and you shouldn’t because the government is run by corporations. The enemy is not the government; it is the corporations running it. Humans are fallen beings. Can you really trust broken, sinful beings not to exploit each other? If God believed humanity on its own would help each other, then why did he mandate charity in ancient Israel? Another point I would like to make is that democracy is not synonymous with capitalism.  Capitalism is an economic system, not a type of government. You do not have to fear losing your freedom if we were to abandon a capitalistic economy. In fact, you might feel freer than ever because you would not have to worry about not being able to feed and provide for your family. You would be free to focus on spiritual matters.
            I encourage you to take the time to look at scripture through a difference lens. Remember that Golden calf? Take a look at that charging bull on Wall Street. See any similarities? Before we can ever become a truly Christian nation, we have to start worshipping God rather than Mammon.

Yours in Christ,