Thursday, December 02, 2010
What does God think of economic equality?
In American evangelical circles, there's an idea that goes something like this: progressive taxation = socialism and socialism=satanic. Never mind the fact that both Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith (the founder of modern capitalism) favored progressive taxation, I'm wondering where we got the idea that political structures aiming for economic equality--or at least some semblance of economic equality--is a bad thing?
One of the reasons that many evangelicals believe the Apostles never attacked the institution of slavery directly is because they wanted slavery to lose its grip in the community of the church first so that society would eventually follow suit. Might the same principle also apply to economic equality? We know that early Christians in the Book of Acts practiced a form of voluntary socialism, but how much have we pondered what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 8:13-14?
“Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality…” (italics emphasis mine)
I think it’s a devastating indictment on the way things are today that we don’t even aim for this in our churches…but I digress. Here’s my question. If God’s vision for the Body of Christ is economic equality, then what does that say about God’s vision for society at large?
Think about it.