Weekly Bible Study
Capitalism and Democracy
“…But she, out of her poverty, put in everything…” Mark 12:44
Do the words capitalism and democracy have any relationship to Christianity? Do any of the Christian tenets align themselves with these words? No. Jesus Christ did not take his last breath on Calvary’s cross so we in this country could demand our individual rights and live in materialism. For true followers of Jesus, capitalism and democracy are polar opposites of how we should live.
When we say something like, “God has really blessed us (our church, family, business)”, what do we usually mean? Most often we are referring to numbers in attendance, material possessions, and money .
Until we realize capitalism and democracy have nothing to do with God’s Word, our understanding will be off center, warped. We must stop viewing the Scriptures through the filter that sees success as monetary gain or employment recognition (raise, promotion).
As long as we continue viewing the Bible through capitalistic/democratic glasses, our spiritual vision will be skewed in favor of what’s best for us. Remember that the Bible was not written in America.
Mark 12:41-44 As Jesus sat near the Temple treasury, he watched the people as they dropped in their money. Many rich men dropped in a lot of money;42 then a poor widow came along and dropped in two little copper coins, worth about a penny.43 He called his disciples together and said to them, “I tell you that this poor widow put more in the offering box than all the others.44 For the others put in what they had to spare of their riches; but she, poor as she is, put in all she had–she gave all she had to live on.”
Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 Well, religion does make us very rich, if we are satisfied with what we have. What did we bring into the world? Nothing! What can we take out of the world? Nothing! So then, if we have food and clothes, that should be enough for us. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and are caught in the trap of many foolish and harmful desires, which pull them down to ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a source of all kinds of evil. Some have been so eager to have it that they have wandered away from the faith and have broken their hearts with many sorrows.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.
Matthew 6:19-21, 24 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
24 No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Matthew 5:42 When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something, lend it to him.
Luke 6:34-35 And if you lend only to those from whom you hope to get it back, why should you receive a blessing? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount! No! Love your enemies and do good to them; lend and expect nothing back. You will then have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God. For he is good to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Now that we’ve read these verses do we give up our reliance on capitalism and democracy to be refined by our Lord, focusing on the true rewards of eternal life, or do we settle in for a reasonable life here on earth?
James 4:4-8 You unfaithful people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? Or do you suppose that scripture is meaningless? Doesn’t God long for our faithfulness in the life he has given to us? But he gives us more grace. This is why it says, *God stands against the proud, but favors the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you. (*Prov. 3:34)
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.