The Bible and Capitalism
By Bill Perkins
Our public schools have for 40 years or more have disparaged capitalism and elevated socialism to the point that today’s surveys show an astonishing 35 percent of Americans, and the majority of our youth, think socialism is better than capitalism. 
This movement defies logic; it is built on lies and, worst of all, it is anti-biblical. Today’s youth have a distorted view of how our country works and need to wake-up and smell the coffee. There’s no free lunch. Biblical capitalism works. Socialism, communism, fascism or whatever label you put on it, doesn’t.
The United States, founded on biblical capitalism, has produced the wealthiest and most productive country in the history of mankind. Only recently has the humanistic worldview evolved that Man is born good; that Man is the standard; that Man’s environment is responsible for his behavior and that rights come from the government.
The biblical worldview teaches that God is good, that Man is born in sin and needs a savior; that the Bible is the standard; Man is responsible for all his behavior and our rights come from God. We have regressed somewhat, due to implementation of humanistic socialist policies. Biblical capitalism is built on freedom as its centerpiece. The greater the freedom, the greater the wealth.
On the opposite side—the greater the government, the greater the poverty. In the last presidential election, Bernie Sanders, garnered a lot of votes touting socialism. But he literally had to tell half-truths to make socialism sound good. For anyone who looks at the facts, socialism tries to make everyone equal, regardless of their effort. That has proven over and over not to work.
The Disasters of Socialistic Countries
The once-mighty USSR fell apart in 1989 due to iron-fisted socialistic policies that destroyed the economy while taking away virtually ALL freedoms from its citizens. Not long ago, former President Obama opened up Cuba for U.S. citizens to visit.
People who have visited there say it’s like time stopped in 1959 when Castro and communism took over. Literally all the cars on the road were manufactured in, or before, 1959. Cuba today still looks like 1955. Unemployment is 48 percent and 80 percent of those who have jobs work for the government, making Cuba’s economy a disaster.
Venezuela is a bigger disaster. Their hospitals are germ-infested trash dumps and they’re currently rioting over food. Venezuela’s hospitals are horrible. In less than 20 years they’ve gone from the most prosperous South American nation to the poorest—all because it elected a socialistic government that did away with capitalistic policies.
North and South Korea are perfect examples of the difference between biblical capitalism (freedom) and communism (slavery). In communist North Korea, 2.5 million people starve each year. In capitalistic South Korea, her GDP is the 10th largest in the world.
What about the Scandinavian countries? Often people try to use the Scandinavian countries, like Sweden, to show how socialism can work today. But they are NOT Democratic socialist countries. In the Scandinavian countries, the means of production are primarily owned by private individuals, not the government.
For instance, Denmark has a market-based economy that embraces global capitalism and free trade. As does Sweden. They have no minimum wage and wages vary depending on the industry. They have school choice using public money in the form of vouchers that citizens can use for private schools. And some of the most successful private schools are FOR PROFIT.
Why Socialism Doesn’t Work Socialism
Socialism takes income away from productive people and gives it to non-productive people. When a percentage of your hard-earned money is confiscated you have fewer choices and a lower standard of living. If all your money is confiscated, you’re a slave. Socialism is simply a camouflaged stepping stone to communism.
We should never abandon the biblical principles on which our nation was founded, lest we forever lose our remaining liberties. Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1979 to 1990, summed up socialism nicely: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
Government doesn’t produce, it only consumes. A past staunch capitalistic president said it best:
Government is not a solution to our problems, government IS the problem…Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them. Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it. The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much. —Ronald Reagan
So Bernie Sanders and his “Feel the Bern” embracement of socialism is full of lies and misinformation. Millennials, especially, need to wake up to capitalist facts. The basics of biblical capitalism. It’s important to understand the basics of biblical capitalism, it’s roots, and its basis for providing workers with liberty and motivation. So let’s first look at the very beginning.
“Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
As part of the original creation, work was considered “good.” But with Adam’s sin, work was corrupted along with everything else.
“Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground.” (Genesis 3:17, 19.
Because of Adam’s sin, a new dispensation began and every man had to work hard, toil, to eat…all the days of their life. There is no getting around this. You are commanded by God to work until you “return to the ground,” meaning when you die. So working “all the days of your life” means retirement is unbiblical.
You should never plan to reach a point in life where you stop working. It’s certainly biblical to save money so you can share with others and have the option to change what you do later in life. But you should never make “retirement” your savings goal.
Applying this in the Church Age, Paul was quite clear: “…if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
“Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.” (2 Thessalonians 3:12)
The Bible says hunger is a motivator to work. If you take away hunger, you take away a major motivator.
“A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on” (Proverbs 16:26).
Therefore, it’s incumbent for the man of the house to work for wages and be the provider for his family. Other than temporary circumstances where you might use your unemployment insurance to temporally tide you over (Workman’s Comp), there is no reason to be dependent on the government for money.
“The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labor.” (Proverbs 12:24)
The U.S. Social Program Quagmire
Yet in the last 70 years we’ve moved from our biblical roots and have begun socialistic welfare programs to help those who, for whatever reason, have no housing or food. Based on the off-balance idea that we need to protect the rights of people to have higher education, housing and food, Democrats have passed legislation that began instituting socialistic policies—forcibly taking from those who have and giving it to those who don’t.
Food stamps, now called “Electronic Benefits Transfer Card” (EBT), HUD Section 8 housing, SNAP and other programs have been added through the years ENABLING people NOT to work. By having endless programs that reward people for not working, we have abandoned the biblical principles that made this nation great and even threaten its continued existence.
“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat.” (Proverbs 13:4)
However, allowing the government to take over as the provider-god has not helped in the long run because it’s made people dependent on handouts. This sends a not-so-subtle message that the government is more important than God. Americans no longer look to God to solve their problems; rather, it looks to the government.
Concurrently we have kicked God out of the classroom and are attempting to erase all religious symbols in public places. And there’s a price to pay when you go Satan’s way instead of God’s way.
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
“There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and understand that his labor is good.” (Ecclesiastes 2:24)
If there’s nothing better than to work, then there’s nothing worse than to not work.
Every male believer has read and understood the commandment to “provide for his own.” God’s truth is written on the heart of every non-believer, too. People on government handouts intrinsically know that they are in a ever-deepening hole. But they are told they have been discriminated against…so they have to blame someone.
“It not your fault you’re poor, it’s (someone else’s) fault.”
This solves nothing and only adds misery on top of misery.
The government is not dealing with the root problem—which is abandoning the biblical principles of capitalism and work.
Money Is Not Evil
Socialists are attacking our tried and true system—making “money” an evil pursuit. Legally earned money is not evil, regardless of how much you have. It’s the LOVE of money that trips people up—when you make money your god.
“For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
“Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.” (Proverbs 16:8).
I recently counseled with a (supposedly) Christian man who was divorcing his wife for the express purpose to save money. I pointed out all the biblical reasons for not divorcing his wife, including the impact on his kids. But he said he “had to do what is right for him.” He had made money his god.
It All Comes from God
The key is to understand that all income is a gift from the Lord.
“…moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:13).
God gives you the ability to work, the mind to think and the strength to do the job. Your job is to work hard. It’s God’s call whether or not you’re wealthy. It’s imperative to keep this in focus.
“…remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
“It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.” (Proverbs 10:22)
Our work emphasis and motivation should be on doing a good job, providing a quality product, satisfying a need, etc., not on getting rich.
“Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.” (Proverbs. 23:4-5)
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.” (Psalm 127:2)
“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” (1 Tim. 6:17)
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matthew 6:24)
Profit Is Not a Dirty Word
Profit is not a “necessary evil.” It’s part of the first rule of business —which is “your net income must exceed your net costs.” You can’t stay in business unless you mark up your products or services by reasonable margins to make a profit. Profit allows you to stay in business, otherwise you can’t keep the lights on. God doesn’t think “profit” is evil because He speaks positively about making a profit, even promising Israel He will teach them how to “profit.”
“I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)
“In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23)
Lending and Borrowing Are Not Evil
God also said He would make Israel a lender to many nations, but not borrowers.
“The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.” (Deuteronomy 28:12)
If lending isn’t a sin, then obviously this means borrowing is not a sin either… it just has a huge downside if things don’t work out. “Do not be among those who give pledges, among those who become guarantors for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take your bed from under you?” (Proverbs 22:26-27)
Benefits of Working Hard and Making a Profit
“Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Psalm 37:5)
You’ll be happier “When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well with you.” (Psalm 128:2; Proverbs 22:7)
“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” (Philippians 4:11-12)
You’ll always have enough:
“I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25)
“He who tills his land will have plenty of bread.” (Proverbs 12:11)
“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5 3).
Hard Work Is a Witness
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men” (Proverbs. 22:29 4)
The possibility of financial gain “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands” (Psalm 90:17).
“The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.” (2 Timothy 2:6).
“Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4 5)
You can share with those in need “…he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need” (Ephesians 4:28).
“He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” (Proverbs 22:9)
God Is Your Ultimate Employer
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
I have always said that if you want to be successful working for someone else, tell them you will work free for a week to show them what you can do. Then, consider your employer is actually giving you orders from Jesus Christ. If Jesus is personally giving you orders, through your employer, you should break doors down doing what He says. You would get there early, stay late, making sure your ultimate employer (Jesus) is getting more than his money’s worth.
If you work like this, you’ll have a job forever at top pay. Should you work for yourself? But for many, being independent (owning your own business) gives you the best opportunity to earn a good living. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but instead of making someone else successful, entrepreneurs make themselves successful—and keep the profits. You’re paid exactly what you deserve.
The capitalistic free enterprise system in the U.S. encourages ambition, incentive, competition and hard work. If you are willing to work hard to reach your dreams, you have that opportunity.
Success Is Not a Sure Thing
Starting a business is not that hard, but making a profit takes a lot of work—especially in the early stages. Some 20 percent of small businesses fail within the first year. Half only last five years. And only a third last 10 years or longer.
Your best chance with a non-franchised business is when you have a compelling desire to make something work. Whether your motivation is feeding your family, increasing your income for a bigger house, trying to prove that a business or service will work, you need a compelling incentive to carry you through the hard times.
There are also structured “franchise” opportunities. These tried and true businesses have track records of success and are looking for someone to instruct what to do to be successful. Whether food service, health care, real estate or any of the myriads of other areas, if you have the start-up cash you can be your own boss and have a higher likelihood of success—especially if you operate your business with biblical principles.
“This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.” (Titus 3:8)
Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A are businesses that have stood their ground using the Bible to guide their business decisions and have done extremely well. There are tens of thousands of smaller mom-and-pop businesses doing the same thing—working hard using biblical principles and trusting God to provide.
“Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)
“Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States” stated the late President Ronald Reagan.
If capitalism moves one toward the Bible and socialism not, then this chart makes a simple but pointed statement: Slavery Freedom The bottom line is that the opposite of socialism/slavery/ Satan is capitalism/freedom/God. God has allowed a free enterprise system in the United States and it encourages ambition, competition and hard work with a monetary incentive.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
“Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4).
Not only should you never take our great system for granted, you’re going to have to defend it too—to what we refer to the youth today as the Millennials who have been poorly taught economics. And since the Bible says our real enemy is not flesh and blood, I must call a spade a spade:
This movement to take apart our Judeo-Christian capitalistic system is straight from Satan, straight from the pit of hell. So it’s time to put on the full-armor big-boy (big-girl) pants the next time someone talks positively about socialism.