Politics According to the Bible–Economics Part 3: Government & Business

Posted: December 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

In his new book Politics According to the Bible (Zondervan: 2010), Wayne Grudem argues that governments should assist not penalize private enterprise.  Grudem argues for minimal government interference with the free enterprise system because “the competitive free market continually rewards those who improve their productivity and the quality of their products, while keeping their prices low.” 

Many progressive Christians argue that competition is antithetical to the Christian faith.  Grudem disagrees and points out that even shopping at a farmer’s market or growing your own food is a form of free market capitalism.  He also points out that competition historically has produced a more comfortable existence and a longer life.

Liberals will ask, “but at what cost?”  Here is where I wish Grudem would have dug a little deeper for there are good answers to these objections.

 First of all, good quality and lower prices obviously benefit the poor more than anyone else and, historically, these are not produced by government control.  Ask yourself which is more efficient, The Apple Store or the DMV?

Second, while competition can become harmful that really depends on the individual.  I have served as a development director for a ministry for 3-years and have found that many Christian business leaders with whom I meet regularly are incredibly generous and gracious with their employees.  On the other hand, when I worked in politics and law, I met many non-Christian business people who viewed their “surplus income,” which they give away as a means to earn visibility or power.  It all depends on the person and their relationship with God.

Third, and I may be beating a dead horse, but the evidence is overwhelming that the alternative is disastrous.  Ask the average Cuban or former denizen of the Soviet Union how they feel about government control of the economy? After all, command of the fiscal system is an awesome power that grants the government a free reign into every area of a citizen’s lives.  More often than not, such an approach eventually leads to outright tyranny.

Thus, government aiding business is a good that generally helps all people not just “the rich,” which will lead us into tax policy and we will turn to that issue tomorrow.

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