The Problem of Economics in a Sinful World: How American Christians Fit in the Context of Capitalism
In this sinful world, a system of economics cannot exist without problems. To demonstrate this, the two most current and prominent systems of economics, socialism and capitalism, are compared. Under socialism, there tends to be extreme centralized control and minimal drive for the individual. Under capitalism, the poor are left to fend for themselves while the wealthy become wealthier. Christians are called to live under these systems. Just as biblical scholars investigate the context of a verse to better understand it, Christians need to know their economic context to understand their unique challenges in living and proclaiming the gospel as individuals and as a church. Since American Christians live under capitalism, the focus of this paper narrows to the challenges they face today from their capitalist context. Capitalism has led to five detrimental beliefs in the United States: individualism, materialism, consumerism, successism, and postmodernism. Each one of these beliefs pulls American Christians away from a biblical understanding of living truly secure, fulfilling, successful, meaningful and interdependent lives. In our present struggle against the influence of capitalism, we hope to remove any tendencies that cause the church to feel and act fake or superficial. Instead we do what we can to present and encourage the very real church that God has made us a part of. We strive to show our faith in our lives in a deep and meaningful way. We show genuine hospitality, commitment, care, and concern for others just as much as we would for ourselves. We run away from those things that cheapen the gospel and make the church into just another heartless business of capitalism.