Search powered by Google



Sins in the market

How do you reconcile your belief in unregulated free-market capitalism as a divine protection against tyranny, with the fact that so many of the most profitable commodities in a capitalist market are the ones that appeal to our very basest and most disordered desires (drugs, p&rn, etc.)?

As long as this world lasts we are going to be struggling with the problem of sin. And the solution to sin is always going to be Jesus Christ. "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) Jesus is the sacrifice for sin, "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) Moreover, those who receive Jesus will have God, the Father, and the Holy Spirit living within them (John 14:23), which is how they will begin to have the power to resist sin, by virtue of the fact that over time they will become more and more like Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).

God's word has been sent out into this world with this purpose, and it will not fail (Isaiah 55:11). God's power to save is the Gospel, a message -- not force (Romans 1:16).

Any other proposed solution to the sin problem will be substandard. God's word is more powerful than all the other solutions we can imagine. It is more effective to preach God's word to a sinner than it is to force that sinner to stop his sin. We can change a man's outward behavior, but it is God's word that reaches the heart. Moreover, a sinner who stops sinning is still not saved. His guilt will only be taken away by Jesus. Until then, "
all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment" (Isaiah 64:6). His garments are dirty, and ceasing to apply more dirt will not make them cleaner. He needs to be cleaned.

Government is not the solution to the sin problem. It will not work because it can only affect outward behavior. It will not work because it cannot reach the heart. It will not work because it cannot atone for sin. And it will not work because it cannot accomplish a transformation of a person's character into the image of Jesus Christ.

But even more specifically, this avenue is forbidden to us. I Corinthians 5:10-13 prohibits us from executing judgment against those outside the church. We're not allowed to interfere with the behavior of those people. We're required to allow them to go on their way, abandoning them Satan, with the hopes that the destruction of this world will inspire them to seek salvation in Christ. More on this later this week, I hope.

But the free-market is not the solution to this either. The free market is simply the way God has mandated for us to handle property. He mandated this when He commanded "Thou shalt not steal," and He confirmed it when He taught through the apostle Peter that property belongs to its owner, to be done with as the owner (not the electorate) wills (Acts 5:4).

That does not mean the free market solves all our problems. It just means that it's the best way we can live in this fallen world. The free market will not eliminate scarcity, but it has been proved to achieve the best allocation of our scarce resources in order to meet the most wants. Thankfully the free market allows us to use our time, property, and other resources to bring about true change through the preaching of the Gospel, using the power of Jesus Christ to transform people's wants. When the market is not free, the interference constitutes economic waste. That's waste that could be put to better use. And without freedom, people have the right to vote on whether or not we can share the Gospel, how we can share it, and what portions of it we can share.

For whatever reason, God gave us liberty to sin. And He does not empower us in any passage of Scripture that I am aware of to take that liberty away from anyone else.

No comments: