Capitalism is defined as “an economic or political system that encourages private investment, ownership (of both assets and wealth), and the motivation of profit.” Capitalism, like money, is amoral (not immoral); it’s neither good nor evil of itself, nor does it have a conscience of its own. I believe capitalism provides a structure and the means for creative entrepreneurship to generate wealth and to thrive. Its core value or priority is not to heal social ills or to improve the plight of the oppressed (Silvoso 2007). The Church (the Body of Christ) must supply that.
It is important to realize that capitalism is not an anti-Judeo-Christian principle. In the New Testament we see an illustration of capitalism in Luke 19: 11–27 when the master gives his servants different amounts of money to increase primarily through trading for a profit, (the bible calls this stewardship). As we see here, as well as other places in Scripture, this way of profiting fits our definition of capitalism. So, capitalism is a just and biblically based system. The problem comes when people pervert the purpose of profit, which often takes the form of greed, especially in Western culture, and brings resentment toward capitalism and those companies that are honestly profitable (Silvoso 2007).
The growth of capitalism, void of any social conscience, places us on a dangerous course. If we withdraw our faith or “the Judeo-Christian culture from where [capitalism first] drew its ethical compass, [we will] end up abdicating social responsibility… and doing what is legal while missing the higher moral standard.”
In today’s world, capitalism, more than any other economic system, encourages private investment, ownership, and profit. In this system, entrepreneurs and others in the marketplace are freely allowed to grow and increase; benefitting themselves and the people in the communities and nations they are called to serve.
For more information and to learn from the best, join us at the 2017 Missions & Marketplace Conference, April 21–22, 2017 at Living Word Christian Center. Attend the conference in-person or register for a live streaming pass!