Many socialists and other liberals build a straw-man argument and then attack it by contending that Christ condemned private ownership, money, and the making of money.  This article will show from the Bible that Christ and His Word give full support to these elements of capitalism.

What is capitalism and how does it differ from socialism?  Capitalism is an economic system based on a free market with open competition, and includes the elements of private ownership, profit motive, and private ownership of the means of production.  Capitalism encourages private investment by individuals as opposed to socialism, which is a centrally, government-controlled economy.  It advocates state ownership and control of the means of production and distribution of goods.

Scripture supports the concept of private property rights.  Exodus 20: 15 and 17 are absolutely clear on this point.  Here we have the Ten Commandments, which were written on two tablets of stone by the finger of God, Himself (Exodus 31:18).  The first four of these commandments address man’s relationship to his Creator, and the last six focus on man’s relationship to his fellowman.  If we love God, one way we show that love is by obeying the first four commandments; if we love our fellowman, we show this by observing the last six commandments.

The eighth commandment states: “Thou shall not steal.”  We cannot steal from a neighbor if that neighbor owns nothing.  Therefore, the clear implication is that the neighbor has the right of ownership.  Continuing in verse 17, the tenth commandment reads in part: “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife …, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.”  Here, the individual’s right to ownership is clearly spelled out; another person is not to infringe upon that right!

Not only is the foundation for capitalism laid in the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, but the New Testament is just as emphatic and assertive in this matter as is the Old Testament.

Christ often taught in parables, short stories that carried a clear moral message.  One of these parables in found in Matthew 25: 14-31.

The parable goes like this:  A businessman had to take a long trip; therefore, he called into his office three of his money managers.  To the first, he gave 5 talents, to the second he gave two talents, and to the third he gave one talent.  One historical source believes that one talent in Christ’s day was worth approximately $1,150,000.00.  Therefore, we can see that the business man was talking real money when he gave these three men money to manage.   The owner of the business desired that these three men expand the funds given them.

When the business man returned from his trip, he called the three money managers into his office and asked them to report on how their investing went.  The first man doubled the initial amount; the second man doubled the initial amount; and the third man simply sat on his funds, without investing them. 

When payday came for the first and second money managers, the business owner rewarded them handsomely.  However, the manager who did not increase his funds, was dismissed, fired!

The meaning of this parable is clear.  When God gives us talents,  money, abilities, time, or whatever asset, He expects us to develop those talents.  If we don’t, He will reject us in the judgment.

1 Timothy 6:10 tells us that the “LOVE” of money is the root of all evil.  Money isn’t evil, but loving it more than we love our Heavenly Father is a sin because we are making money our god.  Anything that we allow to come between us and God is our god.  

Yes, even though many socialists and communists would try to make us believe that capitalism is evil, the Scriptures teach just the opposite. In this life, we are responsible for expanding any talents that God loans to us for a time; yes, this responsibility includes the talent of being a good business manager!

“The love of money is the root of all evil!  The wise investment of money is required, even praised, by our Master, Jesus Christ!


Written by:
Dr. Fillmer Hevener, Pastor, Guthrie Memorial Chapel
224 Mohele Road, Farmville, Va. 23901
(434) 392-6255




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