Free Enterprise and Honest Money

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money-changing-hands 645x400The 10 Commandments (not "the 10 Suggestions" note) still stand:

"Thou shall not steal", Exodus 20:15 and "Thou shall not covet thy neighbour's goods", Exodus 20:17.

Socialism is legalised theft. It is institutionalised envy. And it just doesn't work. Socialism produces nothing - except poverty and bureaucracy. Socialists are parasites who consume what others have earned by hard work and ingenuity. There is a world of difference between voluntary Christian generosity and sharing, and compulsory Socialist confiscation and coercion. Private ownership of property and of the means of production is Biblical.

59863448Any taxation of 10% or higher is defined as oppression (1 Samuel 8:l0-18) and any taxation of property or inheritance is strictly forbidden (1 Kings 21:3). Institutions and individuals involved in the full-time service of the Lord may not be taxed (Ezra 7:23,24). Any unequal or progressive system of taxation is also unscriptural.

 

"The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less..." Exodus 30:14,15

 

"Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the rich, but judge your neighbour fairly." Leviticus 19:15

 

Instead of nationalisation (theft and bureaucracy), the Bible advocates privatisation (private ownership and personal responsibility). Rather than encouraging a beggar mentality of the outstretched hand demanding charity, the Bible commands diligent hard work, honesty and thrift (1 Thess 4:11, 2 Thess 3:10).

 

"Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death. The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but He thwarts the craving of the wicked. Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth." Proverbs 10:2-4

 

"Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends up in slave labour." Proverbs 12:24

 

"The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied...Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow." Proverbs 13:4,11

 

chrome 2019-05-10 15-47-11Accordingly, the KwaSizabantu Affirmation declares: "We affirm that the Bible is clearly against oppression of the poor by the rich. It is also very clear about the right to own land and property: "You shall not covet your neighbour's house; you shall not covet your neighbour's wife...nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour's" (Ex. 20:17); "While it (the land) remained, was it not your own?" (Acts 5:4; Matt. 20:15). Based on the commandments "Thou shall not steal" and "Thou shall not covet" we reject any form of 'nationalisation' and forced redistribution of wealth and land. It is an observable fact that wherever this Biblical law has been violated, as in Socialist countries, the result has been starvation, wastage and death for millions."

 

Biblical economics also forbids unjust weights and measures/inflation.

 

"Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights... I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:35,36

 

Coin-Scale-GettyImages-143221921-5b2c4129ba61770036c374abThroughout the Bible, money is spoken of by weight. God's law requires that financial transactions be made in terms of honest measures. Inflation is the theft of wages and the destruction of savings by the devaluing of the currency. This is the result of counterfeiting - printing more "money" than there is gold to back it. It is essentially dishonesty - a hidden tax - where "silver has become dross" (Isaiah 1:22). If you or I print money it is called counterfeiting. When the government prints money it is called inflation.

 

"The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are His delight." Proverbs 11:1

 

A survey on inflation in South Africa (undertaken by the Old Mutual) reported that in 1971 you could buy a car for about R1000. In 1981 the same amount of money could buy a motorbike. By 1991 the buying power of R1000 had so collapsed that you could buy a bicycle. By 2001 a good pair of running shoes cost over R1000. In Zambia at independence (1964) one Kwacha equalled one British Pound. Today one Pound equals over eight thousand Kwacha. At independence one could buy a car for about K140. Today a bottle of Coca Cola costs over K1200.

 

new-zim-dollar-to-be-backed-by-the-sa-randIn Zimbabwe inflation had reached 54000% by January 2008. In Zimbabwe in 2007 a single brick cost more than a mansion in the best suburb of Salisbury in 1980. Whereas, in 1975 it took 3 US dollars to buy 1 Rhodesian dollar, by 2007 it took over 2 million Zimbabwe dollars to buy a single US dollar! That was after dropping 3 zeros from the currency! Therefore, in about 3 decades, the dollar in Zimbabwe has deteriorated to one six billionth of its previous value!

 

"Skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales,... I will never forgive." Amos 8:5-7

 

The devastating impact of unbacked currency/inflation on pensions and savings is criminal. Biblical law requires that we use honest scales and honest weights - in other words, honest money backed by real constant value (Proverbs 20:10).

 

"Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights? Her rich men are violent; her people are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully."   Micah 6:11,12

The above article is a Chapter in Biblical Principles for Africa.

 

Dr. Peter Hammond

 

Africa Christian Action
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