Christian Capitalism, American Style

     Christian capitalism… Talk about an oxymoron. If you read the accounts in The Gospels and The Acts of the Apostles of the economics of the early Christian communities in Jerusalem and Samaria, you’ll see that they did not practice nor condone capitalism. Capitalism is the accumulation of wealth by private individuals. There are a number of quotations attributed to Jesus where he basically admonishes the wealthy to sell everything they own and give the money to the poor in order to gain entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. That sounds like Communism in it’s purest form to me.

      In 1905, Max Weber published and The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism in which he outlines how the accumulation of wealth by private individuals became, for Christians, and especially Protestants, a sign of God’s favor. Talk about heresy!

      There currently is a revival of Christian fundamentalism in this country and it is associated with the accumulation of wealth. The latest statistics show that one percent of the American population, many of them probably “God-fearing” Christians, own 37% of all the wealth in this country. How these people reconcile their capitalism with their Christianity is totally beyond me. Didn’t Jesus say, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven?”


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