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Jesus, Economics and Capitalism

June 14, 2017

Jesus, Economics and Capitalism

by G. Shane Morris - guest author

(Edited for republishing by Greg "G.S. Muse" of GreenSlugg.com)


A friend of mine on Facebook makes a great point about the phrase "give back." This has become the millennial way of saying "charity." Charity, of course, is wonderful, and a necessary part of a functioning and humane society. Charity should be given out of a posture of thankfulness toward God, Who provides all means and resources, and from an awareness of the profound value and potential of each human being.

But "giving back" implies something more. It implies that successful and wealthy people owe society something for their success, not in the sense that their fellow citizens contributed to an infrastructure that made their work possible (which is true), but in the sense that they've taken something from society and owe it recompense. It suggests a zero-sum view of economics--that the rich have impoverished us all by their accumulation of wealth, or that they have somehow taken advantage of us. But of course, this is ridiculous in almost all cases. Had Bill Gates never started Microsoft, we would not all be wealthier. Millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars would simply never have existed. We would, in point of fact, all be poorer, and the total size of the economy would be far smaller.

The reason this matters is that Christians with a loose grip on economics have often fallen into browbeating the rich. We've lost a great deal of that Protestant work ethic and sense that God blesses industriousness, resourcefulness, and good stewardship. We forget that Jesus' harsh words for the well-to-do were directed at powerful religious leaders abusing their position and corrupt government officials stealing from the populace, not tradesmen who became wealthy through voluntary exchange of goods people wanted or needed at market values. Even if the rich young ruler came by his wealth honestly (a big assumption) let us remember that Jesus told him to sell all he had because He knew the self-righteous young man loved and trusted his money more than God. Elsewhere Jesus accepts the faith of rich followers without suggesting they take vows of poverty proving that (as Paul would later teach) it is the love of money which results in all kinds of evil, not the possession of money.

There's an even more important point to make. The free economy that created the phone or computer you're using to read this was not the result of imperial privilege or dirty dealings in an oppressed Roman province. It was the result of someone seeing a need, creating a solution, and doing business with people who valued that solution more highly than their money. It was the result, in other words, of a creative process of investment and application of divinely-bestowed faculties to subdue and take dominion over creation. Those who profit from these activities needn't "give back" to society because they never took anything from society. On the contrary, they greatly enriched all of our lives, and have enabled the most average among us to live as only the super-wealthy lived scarcely a century ago.

Do the rich have a greater responsibility to give charitably? Absolutely. From the one to whom much is given, much will be required. But we should retire language that implies the accumulation of wealth, itself, is inherently parasitic on society, or reduces the share of wealth available for the rest of us. It's just not true. In fact, without the self-interest and industry of those who become rich, we would all be far poorer. Let's drop "giving back" and go back to just "giving."


G Shane Morris is an author for The Federalist, and can be found on FaceBook, Twitter, and other media outlets.

https://twitter.com/gshanemorris?lang=en

https://www.facebook.com/gregory.s.morris.9

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/troublerofisrael/author/gsmorris/

http://www.breakpoint.org/author/shane-morris/

https://thefederalist.com/author/shanemorris/

 

The Paris Agreement VS Reality

June 3, 2017
I am seeing people freaking out about the withdrawl from the Paris Agreement. Yet people are ignoring the facts on this issue.

They are ignoring the fact that this agreement would devastate world economies, and the people it would hurt most are the poor. (In fact, knee-jerk environmental regulations often hurt people in poor countries the most.)

It also ignores the fact that due to solar activity, NASA projects a period of temporary Global Cooling over the next 50 years.

It also ignores the ama...

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The Attack on Marriage

May 23, 2017

Kids need a Mom and a Dad. Marriage has been under attack from so many fronts in our country. It started with an attack on the Bible, God's Word. Then we had "free love" men and women having sex with people who are not their spouse. Children being born out of the stability of wedlock - or worse, being killed in the womb. And we now have men "marrying" men and women "marrying" women, and men and women who are confused about what gender they are.

Sex is meant to be between a man and his wife onl...


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Autism and Star Trek - Reflections on Human Giftedness

May 19, 2017

My name is Greg, and I am autistic. When I hear people talk about autism, I often get the impression that they do not have a clue what it is. Often I get the impression that the first thing that comes to their mind is mental retardation, Down syndrome, or any other number of disabilities.

The specific type of autism I have is called Asperger's.

I once told someone that I was on the autism spectrum at a place where I worked, and her first question was whether I was going to come in and shoot...


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Zeitgeist Debunked: Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Gods

May 15, 2017
Zeitgeist Debunked: Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Gods
https://youtu.be/30AunYXtYDg

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God Will Go Before You

May 7, 2017
Joshua 1:9New American Standard Bible (NASB)

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


Deuteronomy 31:8

"The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."

Larger Context

7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land tha...

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Why We Can't Rationally Debate

May 3, 2017
THIS explains everything!
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe

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'Religion is Evil"

May 2, 2017
My response to a video that is claiming that religion is evil, while ignoring the evils of Atheism. Complaining that "religion" is evil, while ignoring that far more people have been killed in the name of Darwin-inspired ideologies in the history of the world than in the name of "religion". He conveniently ignores the fact that in the 20th Century alone, more than 100 million people were killed by Atheist-communist givernments.

And he ignroes that it was Christian philosophy that gave birth t...

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Life - Some Assembly Required

May 1, 2017
Life is just a mess.

Lots of pieces on the floor, and it's hard to figure out how to put them together - some assembly required.

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The Good of Capitalism

April 20, 2017
I was debating someone I know on FaceBook about the merits of Capitalism, and I wanted to share here a bit of what I wrote. [Person's name removed] the things you generally say are so nonsensical that I think it's going to be impossible to argue with you. But thanks to capitalism, automobiles are common. Henry Ford created the automobile assembly line and improved the lives of billions.

I can say the same for countless medical advances, and economic innovations.

Leftists are often mocked for c...

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