I like taking pictures as a hobby on my smartphone. Hopefully I can make a living doing this in the near future. I took photography in high school for a year, and I have to admit the old darkroom style was a lot more challenging than these digital cameras.
One day I got to thinking as I was looking at some negatives of a photograph someone else took. We develop negatives by turning them into colorful photos. It is the same way with life. Rather than focus on the negative aspects of your life, just develop the negatives into something more positive, or colorful.
Is Capitalism a biblical system? Does everything really resolve around money? The biggest debate I have heard the past few years is which model is more in line with the bible: capitalism or socialism? Conservatives or liberals? Or in theological terms, Calvinist or Arminian.
When we get entrenched in these debates, we are beginning to lose focus. The Apostle Paul warned us about getting too involved in the doctrines of men. This turns the faith of Christ into a religion.
Paul only taught the doctrine of Christ: who He was as the promised Messiah and His Mission which was to build a spiritual kingdom. Anything we had to that becomes dogma and trivial at best.
You will recognize the dogma by the things that are most argued about among groups who profess to be Christian; i.e., trinity, rapture, eschatology, etc.
I’m still waiting to be called a heretic and a false prophet by the way. It’s been six years and makes me think I need to up my game.
Anyway, back to the original question: Is capitalism a biblical system? Does it have to be about money? What is material prosperity and is it really a sign of God’s favor?
The names of each political system are man-made, though the basic principles can have biblical values; i.e., thrift, enterprise, entrepreneurship, etc. They can also have drawbacks such as greed which cater to human weakness.
Likewise socialism values collectivism and working together (if you factor out the government intrusion). I mentioned in another blog post that the late GK Chesterton claimed socialism is the system that would save the world though it is the least desired.
This is because it goes against western values of individualism and involves giving up some basic rights; voluntarily of course out of love not at the hands of the government.
Does capitalism have to be about money?
Let us look at what is capital? Capital is more than just money. It is assets, or our resources. In a free market, or free enterprise system, we are free to use our resources to be innovative. No our motivation does not have to be money. This may sound surprising. Jesus even said you cannot serve God and money. If your primary goal is to make money, you are no doubt idolizing wealth.
This is not to say you cannot become wealthy by serving others. Though it is not guaranteed. There are many people who became wealthy by adding value to society. There are still many others who were murdered for the value that they added to society.
I always find it amusing when I hear someone talk about “healing their relationship with money”. For starters, you cannot have a relationship with an inanimate object. That would be creating a graven image.
Money is a resource. The primary medium of exchange. You work to get what you feel you need or want. Many work too hard for stuff they think they need or want because they don’t know God or themselves and they end up chasing after the wind. To this, Proverbs 23:4 says “to not labor to get rich but have the wisdom to show restraint.”
Money is a man-made product. Kind of like religion. Money does not move the world. In Physics we learn that the world moves on energy. If you understand the law of attraction, you attract whatever energy you put out. Money is a tool to compensate what you are putting out.
This is why there is truth to the saying that if you do what you love then the money will follow. Because you have more energy. You may or may not have more money but this brings us to the last question.
What is material prosperity?
John Calvin was known for saying that material prosperity is a product of divine favor. This had led to the prosperity gospel thinking God’s people should be loaded. After all the patriarchs were. It is possible but I’m sure material prosperity meant something different 400 years ago.
Material prosperity means pertaining to the material world and not necessarily consumer goods. It can be clean air, pure food and drinking water as well as a decent living.
You may or may not get rich but you can have a prosperity mindset where you feel content and always have enough no matter what income level.
As far as the prosperity gospel preachers, I don’t necessarily think it is always about money as I listen to them but it is hard to take them seriously when they are mega millionaires. One of them is damn near a billionaire.
I can’t judge how they got their wealth or what they do with it but it does make you wonder if they are just in it for the money. Of course those that know them would know if they genuinely exhibit the fruits of the spirit.
I have heard Joyce Meyer’s testimony of abuse so I have a feeling she is genuine. If anyone reading this believes otherwise, feel free to comment. Keep in mind you will always hear bad reports about anyone. I google my own name sometimes just to see what dirty laundry comes up. I guess I am not big enough yet.
TD Jakes is alright. He is actually the poorest of the prosperity teachers being he has probably the largest church (somewhere up there).
In closing, since life is meaningless and our whole duty is to revere the Divine presence and observe His commandments (Solomon’s words and not mine), you are free to create whatever life the Spirit puts on your heart). When you are aligned with the divine plan, all of your needs fall into place. Use your resources, your capital, whether it makes you rich or not to serve others.
Personally I feel fulfilled in many ways by this blog that I don’t even have to pursue a career as a writer. I actually wonder if the hustle of selling articles might be a distraction to a higher calling. Then there is pissing people off with truth since it has a tendency to do that. It also doesn’t sell very well.
Proverbs 23:7. . . As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
Today’s daily rant is just me wondering when a person’s opinion becomes a fact. People tend to think that because they, along with most of the people they associate with, believe that their opinion are the Gospel truth. Religious denominations have been formed around this. Anybody that questions it becomes an outcast.
The most known example is that most people believe life is hard. So they assume that it’s a fact that life is hard. It is still an opinion because some people know that life is what you make it. If it’s hard then you are making it hard. And creating a theology or philosophy that justifies it.
Part of the fall of man is that people are oriented toward the negative. On top of that, many don’t believe in freewill; thus they get a helpless victim mentality view of life.
Today’s verse says ,”as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”. If you want a positive life, you have to take personal responsibility and change your thoughts. Most mental and even physical illnesses are a result of “stinkin’ thinkin'” as Joyce Meyer would say.
Another opinion came from someone I dated. It goes “opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink.” Or as the Bible puts it, “let God’s Word be true and every man a liar.”
You know, it’s been said among some Christians that you can be so eternity focused that you are of no good to anybody in this life. To put it in human terms. . .B.S! Was Jesus any earthly good? He was popular but misunderstood, therefore people withdrew from Him. If He was rich from His vocation, He likely gave away all His money, even His home if His neighbor was in need.
To be more eternity focused is to be more God focused. The atheists are right when they say you can’t prove God exists. Most admit you can’t disprove it either. A person who has experienced a relationship with the Divine can’t deny it either. That’s all the proof you need.
The secularization of religion
Many religions, and most people in general, today are becoming more secular. The goal of the 17th and 18th century Enlightenment was to move away from religion and spirituality and focus more on science and intellectual reasoning.
In layman’s terms the more progress we experience, the more we move away from God. Even Jews are becoming more secular. I have even read some Jews profess to be atheist jews.
I couldn’t figure out how that worked when the first commandment in the Torah says to believe in God. But then someone pointed out that Jewry today is more of its own ethnicity. In other words very few Jews practice Judaism. Even fewer can probably trace their lineage back 2000 years or more. Especially since you can convert.
Salvation and finding God
The New Testament says God comes to save the world and not judge it. The Old Testament says if you seek God you will find Him. Even if very few do. God’s nation is His people, the spiritual Jews.
Even if finding God means you are no earthly good, you can still make a difference in life when God uses you to reach others. You can still enjoy life in the material world, though putting the Divine first will enable us to be more self controlled.
What exactly is Hell? It does exist
Since God is everywhere, the only hell that exists is an empty and meaningless life without life’s most important relationship. Nothing in the material world can make a person truly happy.
You can be good without God, as secular humanists teach, but still miss out on the whole point of life.
In closing, if you are really that heavenly minded, you are doing more earthly good than you realize. The world may think you are not doing much but God can do a lot with a little.
Several times in my life I have regarded intelligence as a curse. People I know say this is stupid, but only intelligent people will understand. The smarter you are the more people use you. In addition to this, it is also harder to relate to most people.
Also when you are above average intelligence, you don’t see life as hard so you often don’t work as hard. This doesn’t mean you are lazy, it just means you always find an efficient way to do stuff. The problem is you may very well be held back from promotions because you don’t “work” hard enough. The promotion is still going to the one who works the hardest. People will wonder why you are smarter and not getting anywhere. The natural presupposition is that you are just lazy and need to work harder.
When we go back to the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve (figurative of the human race) ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they ate of the wrong tree and put more trust in materialism, thus rejecting divine providence. Did you ever wonder why success required so much knowledge to get ahead? That is part of the curse.
The tree of life is simply resting in divine providence. It may lean more toward living off the land and look like poverty to a materialist. While there are righteous people who do get rich, many rich people are doing so because they may not trust in divine providence; i.e., they are trying to be gods.
Another thing about knowledge is that of all the knowledge that is out there, most of it is downright useless. Also that much knowledge crammed into your head can make a person struggle with anxiety and overthinking. This explains everything that is wrong with our education system.
So, in conclusion, it turns out intelligence is a curse. Yet Albert Einstein was right when he said that all people are born geniuses, yet they are de-geniusized by adults as they get older. Common sense is divine wisdom so it is not surprising that as we grow more materialistic, we die a little more spiritually.
The end result is common sense (divine wisdom) dies and we think we just need more “education.” The corporate/government controlled universities will capitalize on this. Now you probably see why they don’t promote any type of religion in public schools.
Don’t worry too much about Artificial Intelligence. It has been around for years. We have just been calling it “education.”