Saturday, August 3, 2013

Free Market Leads to Slavery

Today’s Old Testament reading described the system of the Jubilee, where God commanded that, every 50 years (among other things), any land that had been bought or sold during that time would revert back to the original families.  This, our pastor explained, is because the earth belongs to GOD, and no one has the right to own it indefinitely.  No one has the right to keep and accumulate more and more material wealth ad infinitum, ad nauseum, while (of necessity) others thereby have less and less.  This necessarily leads to practical, if not literal, slavery.

And, as Christians, we are called BEYOND the requirements of mere law—we should walk not just the one required mile, but two; we should not only not kill our enemy, but love and bless him.  The first Christians didn’t accept the system of “7-year Sabbath for the earth, and every 50 years a Jubilee”—they went above and beyond, and “everything they shared in common, according to their needs.”  That’s right, they were communists!  Not the screwed-up, morally-bankrupt modern version of “communism,” which still involves some few at the top lapping up the cream while the peasants stand in line for bread—but true communal living; sharing that springs from mutual love in Christ.

That’s why it always shocks me to hear people who wrap themselves in a “Christian” veneer chuntering on about Capitalism (a system based upon and extolling the deadly sin of greed) and a “Free Market.”  In a market without limits, without right relationship to God and others, you inevitably end up with Pharoah building his palaces on the backs of whip-striped slaves.  So, you either need to shut up about a “Free Market” and work passionately for conversion for all—so that we can all be truly FREE, and thus our “market” will be, too—or shut up about a “Free Market” and make sure there are regulations that truly prevent both the tragedy of the commons and the “company store” enslavement of the have-nots.  One or the other, and either way, “Christian” pundits, you need to shut up about a “Free Market.”  Period.

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