As an economic system Capitalism works as well if not better than any other that has ever been used. We need to remember, however, that an economic system is just an economic system and not any part of the foundation for Christianity. It seems to me by all accounts of the early church that the system of economics working actively among them was a form of voluntary socialism or communism. Not that they divided everything equally, nor was it forced, but they had all things in common, no one thought of the possessions he had as his own, and they willingly sold their goods to care for the poor among them. I would like to see this attitude of stewardship return to the Lord’s church.
Capitalism is an effective economic system for a country, but the church cannot be effective if it holds too tightly to that doctrine. I have been in congregations where capitalism had taken over the church and the results were disastrous for the body. Here are a few of the problems that developed and the error of the thinking involved.
1) “Don’t sit there that is MY seat” - Have you ever seen this? Are you guilty of it? The Pharisees had a problem kind of like this one; (Mat 23:2) “Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:” (Mat 23:6) “And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,” We don’t want to be like them
2) “Do it how I want or I will take MY money out of the treasury” - We need to remember that all that we have is a gift from God. The money that has been given into our keeping is not ours, nor do we deserve it any more than we deserve the air we breathe or the water we drink. We have no right to take God’s money out of the treasury unless the church is being disobedient to Him with it.
3) “This is MY/OUR church and we decide how things are done” - Is it really? Did any of us die to purchase the church with our blood? Are we baptized into our names our Christ’s name? What name does the church wear? If it is the bride of Christ it better wear his name. There are no doubt many congregations and entire denominations that don’t belong to Christ, but we better. Christ is the one who decides what his church is to do and we are here to obey.
4) “ME and MY FAMILY built this church” - Did you really, now?! If you and your family or my family and I built the church with which we worship then it is safe to say it isn’t the same one that Christ promised to build in Matthew 16:18
Now someone will say, “You know what I meant, and it isn’t like you are interpreting it”. I realize that we many times use phrases in our common language that are not meant in the way we say them. We say it is MY church meaning that it is the congregation I worship with. Often when someone speaks of building the church they mean the building. We must realize that many of the things we say leave the wrong impression and sometimes our speech exposes our true feelings. The church is spiritual and not physical, and it belongs to Christ. We cannot nor should we want to own it. We instead should be content and happy to be part of it.