Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It?

Posted by: NJK Project

Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/19/06 02:55 AM

I. The Crisis
II. The Cause
III. The Root Cause
IV. The Alternative
V. The Resources
VI. Decision Time
VII. The Endtime Mandate
VIII. The Biblical Challenge
IX. The Project
X. Further Information


I. The Crisis
One of the foremost questions posed by unbelievers concerning Christianity, and God in particular, is: How could God exist when there is so much suffering in this world? Where is "your God" when so many people are gratuitously dying? They cannot reconcile how a loving God can allow all these things to go on. But in reality, the question that should be asked is : Where is God’s Church and His people in this world? Where are his supposed “ambassadors” and “representatives” in the face of the world's humanitarian needs? There are hundreds of million suffer and die from chronic malnutrition. Around 1.1 billion do not have access to clean freshwater, with an additional 1.5 billion not having proper sanitation resulting in a total of over 5.3 million deaths a year. An estimated 1.3 billion people lack access to basic healthcare resulting in the suffering and death of tens of millions each year from preventable and/or treatable diseases. Over 46 million babies worldwide are killed every year through the practice of abortion. Many more are orphans without a proper home; abjectly poor; uneducated and without the hope of an education. Many more are unable to be functional in society due to a disability which, with the proper aids and/or assistance, can be surmounted or coped with. Can God’s Church do something to redress these injustices and downright evils? And if yes, then should it not do it?

II. The Cause
To state it frankly there is a single, subtle, yet powerful (actually: “empowered”) evil that is preventing the Church from “Triumphing” over these problems. It is “subtle” because no one seems to recognize it as what it really is, or even wants to denounce it. It is “powerful” (actually “empowered”) because it only gets its power from those who consider it to be worth the godlike status that it has been given. What is this hidden evil. Well to find out one simply has to ask "why is the Church actually not doing works that will heal the world of its problems. Why isn’t the Church growing crops to feed the world’s hungry? After all were not Adventist Educational Institution established in areas where agricultural skills can also be developed. Why is freshwater unavailable to so many when the world surface is 70% water, and that thousands of feet deep? Why is there not a better alternative for women when they are intending to have an abortion for social and/or economic reasons? And so on. Well, the primary, if not, the only reason that comes to one’s mind is that: ‘the Church does not have that kind of MONEY to provide such resources.’ And that usually silences that debate. This supposed “reality” is viewed as the final arbitrator in these matters and comes to decide how much, if any, humanitarian work the Church will or could do. Sure this is the right answer for many in this world, but should it also be accepted as truth by God’s people? Is this world economic’s system a true measure of the world’s (i.e., this planet’s) “economy”, or is it just a subjective spurious system driven by, and at the profit of, those who have, at whatever level of this pyramid-like scheme they are on, at the expense of those who do not have. In the end, it is those who are at the very bottom of this pyramid who have all the weight come and crush them (i.e., the poor and suffering of the world).

III. The Root Cause
Consider this fact. The single most influential factor in any nation’s economy is not the value of raw materials and natural resources, nor the tools and machinery needed to process theses materials, but it is the “human factor.” It is what men and women believe that their knowledge, innovations and services are worth to others. This is tangibly reflected in “labor costs.” These labor cost almost always make up 70-75% of the value of a nation economy. This means that in a powerful economic engine like the United States of America, if labor costs were subtracted from its economy, its GDP/per capita value would go from its present value of $41,800 to around $10,000. Furthermore, consider this other fact. In 2005 the U.S. had a $12.5 trillion dollar economy, yet the total value of non-fuel raw materials used domestically during that year was a mere $58.9 billion dollars (source: usgs.gov). That represents a meager 0.005% of its economy. This is all due to the fact that by the time a shapeless raw material has reach a final useful form, it has gone through and been affected by so many cumulative and varying levels of this “human factor” that it suddenly is now worth up to hundreds of times its primitive value. As a consequence, a house that has a value of well over $750,000 in the American economy actually only has less than $2,500 worth of raw materials in it; or a mid-size car worth around $18,000 has less than $250 worth of metals and raw materials. Compounded to that (pun will be intended), have you ever, or are you having to, pay a mortgage almost 3 times more than what its principle value was. Or does anything justify a professional athlete making in 8 month of work, or rather play, 3 times more than what a surgeon will make in a lifetime. There is a widely accepted saying that states that: “Money makes the world go round” but the facts clearly indicate that it is ‘People who make the world go round.” All this to say that it is the human factor in economies that have come to make things so unbalanced and so unattainable for many.

IV. The Alternative
What would happen if God’s people pooled their knowledge, know-how and resources, to labor for those in need. For example, what if instead of Seventh Day Adventist working for various secular industries and companies, what if they instead came together and formed denomination owned and operated companies/industries. If they in turn did not charge labor cost, but had their needs met by the other, similarly operated, denominational companies/industries, then at the base of all of this, and at the very least, only the money needed for raw materials would be needed.
So many humanitarian accomplishments could then be made because of such a system by those who would benefit from it:
-Intensive, and more efficient farms can be established and operated for those in need of adequate nutrition.
-Proper sanitation and freshwater could be supplied to many. (If the oil and gas industry can retrieve oil from hundreds of feet below the ocean floor, process it and then transport it thousands of miles away by tankers and/or pipelines, overland and/or under sea, with pumping stations and all, surely freshwater can be produced and/or filtered from various bodies of water and distributed to those who need it.)
-Would-be aborted babies could be spared by being purchased for adoption through legal means from willing mothers who would also not incur any debt from the expenses related to the pregnancy and birth of the child.
-The sick and those with health ailments would receive much more medical care.
-Many would receive an education and would eventually help themselves out of poverty.
-(And the addition of a church annex and fellowship hall would not cost, e.g., $4 million at the detriment of the needy who would greatly benefit from these sums of money).
Consider this alternative method as a mega-do-it-yourself project, in essence similar to, e.g., a group of construction friends getting together to freely build a backyard deck for a friend with materials they purchased at a hardware store and equally shared the costs.

V. The Resources
Of course, one will now ask: Where will all these raw materials come from? Isn’t the world running out of sufficient resources? The answer is actually: no. What the world is supposedly running out of is what economist considered as “economically viable" resources, i.e., what would not demand more effort and better technology to procure. This planet contains sufficient resources to meet this world present and future needs many times over. The oceans alone are a vast reservoir of untapped resources ranging from polymetallic nodules and metal rich sediments to dissolved minerals. While these resources (in International Waters) are freely available for exploitation, the UN Law of the Seas (LOS) requires that developing countries receive (at least) 1%-7% of the withdrawn resources, which is exactly what this project plans to do. Furthermore, if all known technologies today were fully and widely implemented in world economies, the present need of resources would drop considerably. All energy needs would all be met by renewable, clean systems. How much waste is generated annually because things are subjectively considered to be “uneconomical.” Many times it is less costly to discard something that requires a trivial repair and buy a new one. The same goes for items and materials that can be recycled but are not. The $140+ billion dollars spent annually in the U.S. alone on commercial advertisements could easily feed all of the world’s hungry. All of these wastes are a direct result of individualism, commercial competition and the profit-making mentality. In actual direct contradiction to the supposed “economical” argument they propose, these actions rather significantly waste and reduce the amount of resources that could be available to help others with.

VI. Decision Time
Do the people of God have to live that way? Do they have to be constrained by such an unGodly system? Yet we are either convinced that this way is the only way to live by, as if it was God’s own way, or we are left with no other apparent choice than to go along with it. Whether we believe in this system or not it still greatly affect our every day life and our ability to minister in behalf of those who really need it. How many would like to become missionaries, but under this current economical system, it would not be feasible. How can God’s people help others in need, if they in turn become people in need. Clearly there must be a way to overcome this major hurdle. And if ever the people of God can rise above this worldly system and live according to the many Godly principles found in the Bible which are categorically opposed to all of this, it is now. In this computer age, when the basis of most technologies are in the public domain, (or, if need be, can be licensed), the knowledge, the freedom, the educational resources and the human power (i.e., 20+ million people) are all available to accomplish this through a Biblical, needs-based economy (cf. Acts 2:44,45; 4:32-35 [36, 37]) of Apostolic times that will allow for the mandates of God to be carried out. (e.g., Isa 58:6-12; Mat. 25:31-46). (And no, there would not be a need to "sell all.")

VII. The Endtime Mandate
It was Christ’s method to meet the needs of the people he taught, and it is his method alone will give true success in reaching the people (MH 143). Surely this is also to be the Church’s. If we were to present this dilemma to Jesus, He would, as He did before, likewise say: “You give them something to eat. (Mark 6:37). As “the decisions of the last day turn upon our practical benevolence” (TM 399); and as Isaiah 58 is indeed stipulating the conditions for God’s covenant with His people through the fuller understanding/observance of His Glorious Sabbath (by taking care of those in need); and since Christ's main criteria in separating the sheep from the goats mainly focuses on how those in need are treated (Matt 25:31-46), then shouldn’t God’s people be taking all the necessary means to bring about these works? Indeed: “there is need of a deeper, stronger, more constraining testimony on the power of the truth as seen in the practical godliness of those who profess to believe it.” (Mar 107). Then will the ‘good news of God’s Kingdom’ be fully preach as a witness to the nations of this world (Matt 28:13) as the world will clearly see what healing the principles of God bring. Then will the (benevolent) character of Christ be perfectly reproduced in his people (COL 69; read in its context of pp. 62-69). The world will no longer ask: “Where is your God?” or “What kind of God is this?”, for His people will truly be representing Him on earth (COL 68).

Quote:

“It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth. This is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the words, "O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him." Isa. 40:9,10. Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. (COL 415)




VIII. The Project
You may have noticed that such an undertaking takes extensive planning, precise structuring, and efficient organization. Among other things it will require the establishment of a legal entity to “house” and facilitate this project and for physical provisions to be made to accommodate a potential membership/population that can grow, through the project's various ministries, by as much as 50 million people per year. Yet in terms of the required finance and work time needed to implement this project, extensive feasibility studies have shown that each participant in the project aged 21 and older would only have to spend up to a total of US$2,800, disbursed as needed over a period of 7 years; and some would have to work onsite for only 2 weeks per year over this same period (e.g., during a work vacation period).

IX. The Biblical Challenge
On the one hand there is a worldly system known as “capitalism”. A spurious, unwritten, enslaving, survival-of-the-fittest/richest law which encourages unbridled selfishness, greed, strife and oppression. On the other hand there is the liberating, caring, peacemaking, Sabbatical system of God, which reaches out a saving and indiscriminating hand to all those in need. Therefore “choose you this day whom you will serve” (Jos 24:14, 15). If you consider this man-valued system, championed by western nations (of which 80% of their population are Christians) and obediently adhered to or desired by the rest of the world, whether rich or poor, to be worthy of the godlike value it is given, then by all means, do no changes. Give it its “worth-ship”! Let it continue to dictate who will eat or starve, who will live or die, who will hear, understand and experience the Gospel or go to Christ-less grave. Let it continue be to god (1 Kgs 18:21, 24). There is no difference with this and when ancient pagan nations would themselves mold and shape little statuettes from various metals and then ascribe to them godlike qualities and do whatever these gods supposedly told them they should do, even passing their children through the fire, and then the people of God virtually or actually adhering to these standards in trying to conduct the work of the Creator God. (cf. PK chap. 14). But remember, you actually cannot serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other (Matt 6:24). Hundreds, if not thousands, of times more can be done than what is currently being done. [Matt. 25:14-30]. And in case you have not noticed it yet, “Revelation’s Babylon” does not solely have influence in ecclesiastical matters but her “sensuous” i.e., contra-God, anti-Sabbath, principles and practices also lead to the rise and propagation of a worldwide spurious economic system (Rev 18). Clearly God considers His Sabbath to be more than a day of Worship or a day off occurring every seventh day. It is also the basis the everyday lifestyle and "economy” of His people. Correspondingly, the Mark of the Beast, to be enforced through economic means by the second beast of Revelation 13 is based on more than only a day of the week as it seeks to completely undermine and obliterate the true character of the Creator God by substituting His Sabbatical economic principles for self-centered, materialistic ones. The combined, threefold light of the Three Angels’ Message (MS 52, 1900) must be given to counter this religious, socioeconomic counterfeit.

X. Further Information
To have more information concerning the accomplishing of this endeavor to help those in need, you can go to website listed in this user's profile.

Quote:

“In God's great plan for the redemption of a lost race, He has placed Himself under the necessity of using human agencies as His helping hand. He must have a helping hand, in order to reach humanity. He must have the cooperation of those who will be active, quick to see opportunities, quick to discern what must be done for their fellow men.” (1 SM 99)


Posted by: vastergotland

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/19/06 10:22 AM

Ive read of such a project as this before. Last time it catalyzed the growth of european nations into becoming the leading nations of the world, though it later became corrupt. That time it was the Catholic monastic movements.
Adventist monasticism..
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/20/06 12:21 AM

As stated clearly in this post, the purpose of this project from the outset is to minister to other people in the world who are in need and not to try to focus on self in order to achieve a high spiritual or intellectual state. People who remain guided by Biblical truths do not inevitably become corrupt. To fail to try to do something to be in a position to significantly help the billions of people in this world who are in spiritual and physcial need because of the past failures of another movement or the remote possibility of unknown future events is not fair to these people and not justifiable.

Furthermore, the project's "final picture" as described and illustrated in detail on the website, resembles nothing physically to "monasticism." No one is suggesting to reduce one's way of life to living in sackcloth robes and sleeping on wooden boards. To the contrary, it is capitalism, to the profit of a few, that subjectively deprives many other people of what life can easily offer in order to make their everyday lives less of a burden.
Posted by: Daryl FSite Administrator

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/20/06 05:46 PM

I just moved this topic here as this is the better forum to discuss such a topic.
Posted by: Mark Shipowick

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/22/06 10:15 AM

Hmmm... Interesting site Ron. Unfortunately, I don't see a scriptural mandate to launch a project like this. Israel was a demonstration of what an ideal agricultural society could be. Individual property owners, 'capitalists', were specifically assigned their land by lot in Moses' and Joshua's day.

The early church pooled their resources for a time but individual property was still respected. So God's people have always been viewed as stewards entrusted with the blessings of God and at an individual level are accountable for their stewardship. They are capitalists in the sense that they are entrusted with capital - the talents and goods that God expects us to make good use of.

If God thought that the church needed to become a polital entity, own land and cities, etc., He would have shown that to the apostles. But Christ himself has said, 'My kingdom is not of this world.'
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 04/22/06 11:52 AM

Capitalism by it's very nature benifits the poor by virtue of trickle down economics. The best way to help the poor is by gaining wealth. In most, if not all, developed countries the poor among us are very rich by 3rd world standards because of the vast wealth of the rich people.

Redfog

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Subject name correction only - Daryl
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/25/06 04:33 PM

The Bible is unequivocal as to what the mandate of the followers of God is: minister both spiritually and physically to all those in need (see e.g., Isa 58; Matt. 25:31-46). The goal of the NJK Project is not to build cities for the sake of building Christian cities, but, as stated in the website, to provide the necessary platform from which Global Ministry and Missions can be facilitated and fully accomplished. The imperative and scope of God’s revealed mandate in the Bible, requires that whatever means necessary and possible will be used to fulfill it.

The HC Project involves much more than only agriculture to reach its end goal. It involves everything that is necessary in order for people to function efficiently, e.g., Organization (at whatever level necessary), an Economy, Transportation, Utilities, etc.

In the time of Moses and Joshua, there were indeed property owners. Yet the actual way in which this was done was makes it far from what “capitalism” is to the extent that it is being discussed here. As stated, the properties were given out to the heads of families by lot (cf. Num 34:13-29). If they had instead paid for whichever land that they wanted, wherever they wanted it, then that would have made them capitalistic owners in the inevitable full sense of the word. But God Himself instructed that, they received their lots of inheritance according to the actual size of their household (Num 26:52-56). That this is exactly the same principle that is used in the NJK Project concerning housing and thus lot size. Residents of HC’s will also have the freedom to choose wherever they want to live locally and globally, and will also be full owners of these properties. Under capitalism, one can for example own 20 connected one acre lots in a new residential development and make one large estate out of them if they can afford it. It does not matter if 19 other interested buyers really wanted to live in this new development as it would have been better for their everyday life, as long as that single buyer has the capital to (1) pay for these properties and (2) can legally purchase it before them, then under capitalism they are fully entitled to them.

There is no indication in the Bible that the sharing of wealth and resources by the Early Church and apostles was only temporary. This is only assumed because such a practice has come to disappear from the Christian Church. However, many practices of the early Church have, for a long time and from a very early time, been replaced over time. This was and is due mainly to the dominant influence of worldly, unconverted new adherents to Christianity. Therefore, based on this general trend in the historical Christian Church which saw radical changes in even what had been didactically taught by Jesus and the apostles, it is more than likely that this practice of the Early Church used to meet the needs of the poor was also replaced, by, e.g., the Wealth Class system of the Roman Empire.

God does entrust us with various talents and he expects us to be good stewards of them. He certainly does not give them to individuals so that they can ‘lord it over others’ as unbelievers do or to establish people in higher social classes, but to fully serve others with them as Jesus Himself, the Most Talented of all, did (Matt 20:25-28). That is definitively not in nature “capitalism.”

At the time of the Early Church, the apostles fully considered themselves as part of Israel. Israel was a political entity, though under the authority of the Roman Empire, and the headquarters of the Church was located in Jerusalem (cf. Acts 15:2). It therefore was not necessary to reestablish the nation of Israel. The fact that the NJK project will be physically and politically independent, in this time of relative freedom, is so that it may be able to fully carry out its ministry objectives according to the laws and principles of the Bible without having to be subject to unnecessary worldly demands, dues and criteria. That is the same reason why Israel came out from under the rule of Egypt, in the time of the Exodus; why they were formed as a nation and continued as such until their reoccurring rebellious attitude towards God cause them completely lose this position of full independence and privilege in the world. Furthermore, God did show the disciples to establish Grade Schools, Colleges, Universities, Health Care Institutions, Food Industries, Publishing Houses, Media Ministries, etc. God reveals what needs to be done in their time and usually it is the need to best fulfill His ultimate plan that determine when these advancements are necessary, as now is the case. That is if one really wants to reach the world that is in need. If anyone can point out one country in the world where its “structural” entities allow for God’s people to be able to fully accomplish Global Missions and Ministry, then this entire project is therefore not necessary.

The kingdom that Jesus Christ will establish is indeed not “of this world” and this project is not an attempt to build the Kingdom that Jesus will establish. It is instead, as stated before, a physical necessity in order to allow God’s people to successfully carry out thorough Global Missions and also provide a home and living environment for the potential millions who will need a place to live due to the various, and in many ways, life-giving ministries of this project. If current economies of country do not encourage such expansions of population, they certainly will not support it then.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 04/25/06 04:37 PM

Only one who is completely convinced by capitalism can believe and claim that it even remotely “benefits the poor.” Why are they still considered “poor” if they are being “benefitted?” It is like saying that slavery “benefitted” the slaves because it allowed them to enjoy life by having a shack to sleep in and enough food to survive on. And in many ways what we are experiencing now is nothing more than a neo, but more sophisticated form of slavery. A disguised system of “economic slavery.” The very term “trickle down” is quite self descriptive in itself as it never provides more than a just “trickle,” if anything at all. For that reason, it can easily be categorized as a “straw man” because even its “trickle down provision” is not a default result, nor is it guaranteed. The wealthy gaining wealth will only have the result of causing the exclusive class of the rich to get richer and the more frail and faster growing class of the poor to get poorer, as global statistics clearly show. The poor in developed countries are obviously rich when compared to the poor of 3rd world countries, yet that hardly makes capitalism right. In fact, many of these 3rd world countries themselves fully operate according to capitalistic ways. Organization, Culture, and Technological Advances have much to do with the overall wealth of a nation than solely its chosen economic system. That is really why “developed” countries are as well off as they are compared to poorer countries.

===========

Subject name correction only - Daryl
Posted by: Tom

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/25/06 06:12 PM

The reason capitalism works is that it is founded on the realistic principle that most people are motivated to take care of themselves and their families. It is grounded on the premise that man is basically motivated by greed. This is true.

The altruistic system being suggested would be great if you could find unself Christ-like human beings to take part of it. Good luck with that. I think if you compared SDA's with "worldlings" you would not, on the average, find much difference (except that we live a bit longer). Most of us are motivated by greed, and want to take care of ourselves and our familes as much as the non-SDA. We dream of acquring more and more until one day we can retire and live a life of ease.

In conclusion, I think your idea is find in theory, but unrealistic in practise. The problem is not with the idea, but with finding people to implement it. If we founded denominational, I'm not sure of the right word here, I'll say resources, they would become as corrupt as other governments and organizations which have tried the same thing. I suppose that's a synical view, but it seems realistic to me.

Capitalism may not be ideal, but it's better than the alternatives. It serves to limit the extent of corruption by spreading it out rather than limiting it to just a very few. Isn't that what happens in non-Capalistic economies? Rather than wealth being spread out more evenly, it winds up being even more disproportionately divided, winding up in the pockets of a few government officials.
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/25/06 07:01 PM

The poor will always, repeat, always be with us. There is no getting around this fact. Now there are different degrees of poorness, as noted the poor in developed countries are much ahead of the poor in third world nations.

When the rich get richer what do they do with their money? They spend it, and what do they spend it on? Airplanes, cars, boats etc. And who builds these things? Many times it is the poor, and a low paying job is better than no job at all. We only need to look at the old USSR to see how when there is a cap on earnings those at the bottom also see a decrease in their incomes.

I think of the rich within our SDA church and see what they have done with it and realize how much good their wealth has done. And I look at Bill Gates and realize how much good that wealth does.

Redfog
Posted by: Mark Shipowick

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/25/06 10:56 PM

Don't we have a comprehensive 'blueprint' on the kinds of institutions that will work. Not to say all ideas have been exhausted, but to say we should try the ones we've been told to try. Some of them have been tried and they have been shown to work - small health sanitariums, small agriculturally based educational institutions, home industries. If you look at her advice, a recurring theme is 'keep it small'.
Posted by: Will

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/26/06 01:21 AM

Mark,
Can you share with me, or us more about this blueprint? I wouldlike to find out more and understand what will basically work and its principles.
God Bless,
Will
Posted by: Mark Shipowick

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/26/06 07:23 AM

OK I'll see what I can do Will. It may be a few days or so. I'll open a new thread or find one that is more on that topic I think.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/26/06 06:30 PM

(1) If the statement “The poor will always ... be with us.” is to be accepted as an always true statement, it should really be qualified with the modifying phrase: “Within the system of capitalism...”. Because under a system that wholly follows the revealed principles of God, this would not be the case.

(2) If, on the other hand, this statement is understood as a reference to an actual bible verse, namely John 12:8, then it must be used as it was meant to be understood in its Biblical context. Otherwise it is nothing more than what is negatively known as a “proof text.” This statement, as it is understood in its passage, implies that after Jesus would have departed from the midst of Israel, the “expense” (worth at that time 11 months of wages) that was made on Him by Mary, while she had the chance to, would similarly be made to the poor who would then still be in their midst. It implies that ministry to significantly alleviate the needs of the poor is desired and greatly encouraged. Indeed if that “expense rate” of Mary was followed, there very quickly would not be any poor people left in Israel.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/26/06 06:35 PM

I would also like to see the Biblical and SOP support for a supposed “keep it small” blueprint and most importantly how it reconciles with Jesus Christ’s not-so implicit command and unwavering expectation for his “followers” to minister to ‘even the least of those who are in need’. I cannot think that if the Church had the supposedly required “money” to actually aid everyone in the world who are in need that they would instead strive to “keep things small” (as this term is apparently being advanced here). The size of a local institution should logically be capable of adequately meeting the actual local need and demand.

It is a shame to see how Atheistic Soviet-style communism has come to cast a dark and looming shadow on what is a originally an outright God-ordained economic system. (Num 26:52-56; Isa 58; Mat 25:31-46; Acts 4:33-37), but what else can one expect the devil to do in order to desperately try delay the light in God’s Truths to fully shining forth. (cf. e.g., Isa 52:1-12). In the Great Controversy between Good and Evil, taking a Godly Truth and contaminating it with falsehoods has always been the devil’s most deceptive tool.

Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/26/06 06:48 PM

The poor will always be with us because they are the people who are on the lower end of the economic scale. Unless everyone earns the same there will be poor people. The poor in a developed country are rich compared to the worlds poor but they are poor compared to those who live in their country. Nothing can prevent it. It matters not what system of govenment you have there will be poor people. The lowest paid people will always be considered poor.

Redfog
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/27/06 04:50 PM

A Godly system that does not use a monetary renumerative system will not have wealth classes or poor people. Only in worldly systems do these classes inevitably exist. Money is not indispensable.
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/27/06 09:01 PM

While money might not be indispensable there has to be something that takes the place of money. A barter system is just uses another form of money.

There will always be different classes of people on this earth, there will be leaders and followers, there will be people who are richer than others. I personlly would not want it any other way. Being able to obtain wealth is what makes people strive to better themselves and raises everyones standard of living.

Redfog
Posted by: Jeff

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/27/06 11:34 PM


Quote: posted by Redfog
Being able to obtain wealth is what makes people strive to better themselves and raises everyones standard of living.

The question that comes to mind is, does the poor’s standard of living raise simply by other people gaining wealth? Jeff
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/28/06 01:23 AM

Yes of course, whenever a country gains wealth it helps the poor. The best way to help the poor is to increase the wealth, of a country or the people in that country. The wealthy have to spend their money on something, and that something will eventually benifit the poor.

Redfog
Posted by: Mark Shipowick

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/28/06 05:25 AM

Will and Ron: Below is a very small sample of the many statements from Ellen White on some of the kinds of institutions she was shown would work. Ellen White always credited God for her views on how to work for God to relieve suffering and spread the gospel. She claimed to have direct divine instructions. See the last quote for an example of where she quotes her ‘instructor’ directly.

Here as always, the context needs to be considered. For example, where she refers to learning the blacksmithing trade we should understand her to mean a modern trade that meets the same need – mechanics, engineers etc. Where she talks of typing, we now call it keyboarding. But an unbiased look at her philosophy will show IMO that the advance of technology, the changes in culture and society, etc do not change the principles of this blueprint. It still works today.

Small Sanitariums:
Quote:


The sick are to be reached, not by massive buildings, but by the establishment of many small sanitariums, which are to be as lights shining in a dark place. Those who are engaged in this work are to reflect the sunlight of Christ's face. They are to be as salt that has not lost its savor. By sanitarium work, properly conducted, the influence of true, pure religion will be extended to many souls. {CH 211.4}

From our sanitariums, trained workers are to go forth into places where the truth has never been proclaimed, and do missionary work for the Master, claiming the promise, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20.--Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 8, pp. 13, 14 (1907).

The great medical institutions in our cities, called sanitariums do but a small part of the good they might do were they located where the patients could have the advantages of outdoor life. I have been instructed that sanitariums are to be established in many places in the country, and that the work of these institutions will greatly advance the cause of health and righteousness. {CH 169.1}

The things of nature are God's blessings, provided to give health to body, mind, and soul. They are given to the well to keep them well, and to the sick to make them well. Connected with water treatment, they are more effective in restoring health than all the drug medication in the world. {CH 169.2}

To absorb a large amount of means in a few places is contrary to Christian principles. Every building is to be erected with reference to the need for similar buildings in other places. God calls upon men in positions of trust in His work not to block the way of advance by selfishly using in a few favored places, or in one or two lines of work, all the means that can be secured. {CH 217.1}

The Lord has instructed me to warn those who in the future establish sanitariums in new places, to begin their work in humility, consecrating their abilities to His service. The buildings erected are not to be large or expensive. Small local sanitariums are to be established in connection with our training schools. In these sanitariums young men and young women of ability and consecration are to be gathered--those who will conduct themselves in the love and fear of God, those who, when prepared for graduation, will not feel that they know all that they need to know, but will diligently study and carefully practice the lessons given by Christ. The righteousness of Christ will go before such ones, and the glory of God will be their rearward. {CH 220.2}

In various places, properties are to be purchased to be used for sanitarium purposes. Our people should be looking for opportunities to purchase properties away from the cities, on which are buildings already erected and orchards already in bearing. Land is a valuable possession. Connected with our sanitariums there should be lands, small portions of which can be used for the homes of the helpers and others who are receiving a training for medical missionary work. {CH 227.3}



Small sanitariums are to be established in many places.-- Medical Ministry, p. 327. (1905) {Ev 536.3}




Small Useful Industries, Especially Health Food Factories
Quote:


Attention should be given to the establishment of various industries so that poor families can find employment. Carpenters, blacksmiths, and indeed every one who understands some line of useful labor, should feel a responsibility to teach and help the ignorant and the unemployed.--The Ministry of Healing, p. 194. {ChS 129.2}

Missionary families are needed to settle in the waste places. Let farmers, financiers, builders, and those who are skilled in various arts and crafts, go to neglected fields, to improve the land, to establish industries, to prepare humble homes for themselves, and to help their neighbors. --The Ministry of Healing, p. 194. {ChS 182.3}

It is our wisdom to prepare simple, inexpensive, healthful foods. Many of our people are poor, and healthful foods are to be provided that can be supplied at prices that the poor can afford to pay. It is the Lord's design that the poorest people in every place shall be supplied with inexpensive, healthful foods. In many places industries for the manufacture of these foods are to be established. That which is a blessing to the work in one place will be a blessing in another place where money is very much harder to obtain. {CD 270.3}

Especially in the Southern States of North America many things will be devised and many facilities provided that the poor and needy can sustain themselves by the health-food industries. Under teachers who are laboring for the salvation of their souls, they will be taught how to cultivate and prepare for food those things that grow most readily in their locality.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, pp. 128, 129 (1901).





Small Educational Institutions Tied to Industry and Agriculture

Quote:


To the managers and teachers of that school I was instructed to say: {CT 310.1}
"Various industries should be carried on in our schools. The industrial instruction given should include the keeping of accounts, carpentry, and all that is comprehended in farming. Preparation should be made for the teaching of blacksmithing, painting, shoemaking, and for cooking, baking, washing, mending, typewriting, and printing. Every power at our command is to be brought into this training work, that students may go forth well equipped for the duties of practical life. {CT 310.2}
"Students should be given a practical education in agriculture. This will be of inestimable value to many in their future work. The training to be obtained in felling trees and in tilling the soil, as well as in literary lines, is the education that our youth should seek to obtain. Agriculture will open resources for self-support. Other lines of work, adapted to different students, may also be carried on. But the cultivation of the land will bring a special blessing to the workers. We should so train the youth that they will love to engage in the cultivation of the soil. {CT 311.1}
"There should be opened to the youth means whereby many may, while attending school, learn the trade of carpentry. Under the guidance of experienced workmen, carpenters who are apt to teach, patient, and kind, the youth should be taught how to build substantially and economically. Cottages and other buildings essential to the various lines of schoolwork are to be erected by the students themselves. These buildings should not be crowded close together, or built near the school buildings proper. In the management of the schoolwork, small companies should be formed, who should be taught to carry a full sense of their responsibility. All these things cannot be accomplished at once, but we can begin to work in faith." {CT 311.2}


Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/29/06 01:32 PM

Mark: I agree fully with the principles laid out in the instructions you’ve quoted. In fact the project I have proposed is in accordance with these principles for its outreach ministries. I think you may have confused the project’s needed “economic platform” with its separate ministry and missions works. The project plans to have various local ministries, headquartered in the outskirts of the 4,000+ population centers of the world where 100,000 or more people live. Each of these “missions campuses” will have their own, hospitals and clinics, pharmacies, intensive farms, media ministries, etc, sized according to the actual local need. These places of ministry are called “campuses” because they will resemble a university or college campus in layout, landscape and structure. There, various outreach ministries will be able to efficiently function and provide the local community with appropriate services. See e.g., on this page: http://www.njkproject.info/njk/hc_ministry/njkmissions.html.

From these campuses, further missions to more remote regions will then become more feasible as they will now be capable of being fully and readily supported.

Now the whole purpose of the Christian cities proposed in the project is to, as stated in the introductory page of the project, provide the necessary economic platform so that these local global missions and ministries can be realized. Currently, the economic systems in which we are living simply do not allow for such financial freedom and/or for the needed time for such ministry endeavors. We are essentially imprisoned in systems where the cost of living just keeps on rising, thus always further limiting the actual humanitarian work that can be done. The social and economic platform that the NJK Project’s cities will provide will fully support these ministry outreaches. So in agreement with the instructions mentioned above, local, appropriately-sized institutions of various trades will be available where they are actually needed and also every member will have their personal needs met. The latter here (needs met) cannot realistically nor economically be accomplished if concerned members are spread hundreds and thousands of miles apart from each other, and the former (global ministry) cannot be achieved without the background work of the latter.

Furthermore, the presence of church members in local communities will then have a much more significant impact under the NJK Project’s plan, because members will now all be involved in full time ministry to others in need, instead of spending most, if not all, of their time trying to keep up with the subjective, expensive and ever increasing demands of worldly systems, as now is generally the case. If ever the church is in a position to actually attain this necessary independence and interdependence in order to fully do all of God’s works, it is now.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/29/06 01:34 PM

Redfog:

Quote:

While money might not be indispensable there has to be something that takes the place of money. A barter system is just uses another form of money.




We live today in a time of advanced scientific knowledge and measurements and lightning-quick calculations and communications where the subjectivity of the value of goods, services and money is frankly quite primitive and also an insult to one’s intelligence. Things can now be precisely “priced” for what they are really worth in comparison to others. For example, simply referring to the cases I stated in my initial post, is a professional athlete’s “service” really worth 40+ times more than a surgeon’s. One can simply answer that question by answering who needs who when a cartilage has to be repaired or when a heart condition becomes threatening. Only in capitalism can such an irrationality be viewed and accepted as “gospel truth.” The very fact that businesses are capable of making colossal profits is proof that the value of goods and services are grossly over inflated.

The NJK’s economy, will not need a bartering or monetary system in providing its citizens with goods and services but will instead use exact scientific calculations and values to meet the needs of everyone. (See e.g., http://www.njkproject.info/njk/hc_economy/njkcurrency.html )

Quote:

There will always be different classes of people on this earth, there will be leaders and followers, there will be people who are richer than others. I personlly would not want it any other way. Being able to obtain wealth is what makes people strive to better themselves and raises everyones standard of living.




Again, in a Godly system, which capitalism definitely is not, the “leaders” and even supposed “Benefactors” are to be the servants of the “followers”, as Jesus clearly taught. (Luke 22:25, 26). And that is to be what is to be accepted as truth and followed by Christians and presented to the world as part of the gospel. (Matt 28:19, 20). The selfish motivating factor of ‘one wanting to gain wealth’ is not to be the basis of the actions of a follower of Christ. Christians are to be motivated by the “golden rule” (Matt 7:12; Luke 6:31 cf. DA 637-641: “The Least of These my Brethren”) and the all encompassing “eleventh commandment” (Matt 22:37-40) and not by the potential power or wealth in the “rule of gold”. The goal of the NJK Project is not to eventually, maybe, help the suffering and dying of the world, with a “trickle”, but to FULLY help them NOW. I choose to think that human beings created, and recreated through Christ, in the image of their God would rather want to live according to the higher, moral, noble and intelligent principles of their God, than the self-centered, base, “pain and pleasure” and “survival-of-the-fittest” principles of capitalism.
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/29/06 02:18 PM


What you see as waste is actually not. For instance you call advertising waste. Waste to whom? Is it waste to the person who gets money for a billboard on his property? Is it waste to the person who installs that billboard? Is it waste to the person working in the store that put up the billboard? The answer of course is no. All those people use those advertising dollars to put food on the table, they might pay a tithe to their church, and they might contribute to World Vision or ADRA who are putting in water wells in Africa.

Greed is what puts money into an economy that in turn helps the poor. The only way that money cannot help the poor is to hide it in the basement. That athlete who makes $8 million a year spends that money on things made, altimately, by poor people.

While I'm the first one to decry the fact that we have moved far away from the vision put forth by Mrs. White for school industries and farms, at the same time it is also wrong to blame capitalism for the wrongs in the world today. (And those farms and industries would have to work within the framework of capitalism) After all, while paying a person in India 50 cents an hour to sew Nike shoes seems terrible that is 50 cents an hour more than he would be getting is it were not for capitalism.

Capitalism and the free enterprise system, with all it's flaws is still the best system we have on this earth. And many many companies in that system are run by God fearing committed Christians, who just happen to be fine businessmen.

Redfog
Posted by: Mark Shipowick

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/30/06 08:26 AM

Capitalism is neutral like television. It is a system that can be used or abused. The irony about capitalism is that it thrives where people are honest and philanthropic but languishes where people are dishonest and selfish. Wasn't Carnagie, one of the greatest capitalists of all time who said it was a shame for a man to die rich.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/30/06 06:44 PM

Advertising is wasteful because its sole purpose and reason for existence is to promote a product in the eyes of potential customers and thus increase its chances of being sold in more quantity than a competitor. The facts are clear that if that money, which consumers actually pay themselves every time they purchase an item, whether they want to or not, if that money was instead given to e.g., the UN World Food Organization, ALL of the worlds hungry would have had something to put on their table. Just recently the WFO had to cut its rations to the people of Darfur by half because of shortages of funds. (http://www.theworldlink.com/articles/2006/04/29/news/news10042906.txt). Advertising is only necessary where competition exists. The jobs needed to support the advertisement industry could easily be substituted for more worthwhile occupations that the world really needs in the area of development and humanitarian work. But that is only seen as important to people who value other people highly and who are truly concerned about their well-being, and in many cases, their actual life. To be convinced that a spurious “trickle down” effect is satisfactory is beyond reconciliation with reality. Billions of people, will never receive a penny from such a system. By the way “Free Enterprise” also fully allows for one to freely work outside of the framework of capitalism. Everyone still has free choice in that area. Only one’s true value will determine the choice taken. (By the way, wells are not the solution to providing the world’s thirsty with water because, among other problems, ‘hydrologically,’ ground water is being used up at a much faster rate than it is being replenished. (See e.g., http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/pubs/WWVisn/WSandPov.htm). A problem that will only get worst with global warming. Money would be better spent on a lasting solution).

Greed is a motivating factor for people who are greedy. This biblically sinful trait (cf. Luke 11:39-NKJV) is not dominant in the “born from above” Christian.

Why isn’t the person who is sowing Nike shoes for mainly the American market not worth an proportional income to what the shoe is actually worth? Because someone is trying to keep them in their ignorance and poverty so that they can make monster profits off their cheap labor. That is the reason they were selected in the first place. That by definition is, selfishness, exploitation, oppression and profiteering, at the very least. And that is indeed what capitalism inevitably is and leads to because gaining wealth will always be more valued than helping people.

With the western world being over 80% Christian (at least nominally), chances are that most businesses are run by Christian businessmen. Yet, as you say, look how flawed the system is. (And it is self-evident that whatever these Christians are supposedly doing is still not enough because there are still billions of people in vital need). History repeatedly reveals that just because nominal or apparent God fearing Christians espouse, practice, or endorse something by the masses, it does not automatically make it good and true. The deciding factor will always be the Bible and still not a single scripture has been given in support of the capitalism in practice today. Only human and worldly accepted reasoning can be made to support it. Fact is it does not allow for what God fully expects to be done and is therefore not Biblical and a false god that most people faithfully obey. (Matt 6:24). The economic system that is being proposed here is indeed not for everyone. It is for those who want to put into practice the principles of Christ and the rest of the Bible and accomplish the mission that God has entrusted to His people. Those who are foremost interesting in gaining wealth will never subscribe to this Biblical system. SDA Christians are not here to make a difference for God in this world and age.
Posted by: Darius

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/30/06 07:05 PM

Ronald, if we got rid of war and crime we would have almost $2 trillion annually to eradicate poverty and ignorance and still be able to advertise.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 04/30/06 07:46 PM

I agree, Darius, except for the advertising part. (cf. http://www.njkproject.info/njk/hc_security/hcsafety/zerocrime.html). The difference here is that in a free enterprise system is more realistic to generate funds from the commercial sector as people actually has significant control of their ultimate economic spending (enforceable through e.g., successive product boycotts). Unlike the fact that (1) war is funded by mandatory taxes imposed by law, by the government and (2) the eradication of crime will necessitate the ‘spiritual rebirth’ of many. Indeed, if everyone was indeed concerned on the welfare of others rather than focusing on themselves, the crime rate would significantly go down.

Advertising is needed where there is competition. If companies would unite to provide consumers with the best product available rather than trying to out do each other in order to corner a market, then it would be clear which product to buy. A many duplicate resources would also not be wasted in the multiplication of parallel companies.
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/01/06 03:44 AM

Ronald good luck in your proposal for a Utopian civilization, you will need it. What you are proposing is a socialist system to the extreme, as far as I know they've never worked in the past but there is a first time for everything. Your web site sounds like sci-fi but who knows, maybe it will work, if you can figure out how to finance it.

Redfog
Posted by: BeachBubbaDan (BBD)

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/01/06 07:41 AM

Redfog, maybe Ronald could "ADVERTISE"
alas, Capitalism is a healthy state if truly run in an honest manner! Do we as SDA's not advertise? (we should be advertising MORE! )
-just my 2cents worth. (great now I'm broke)
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/01/06 02:12 PM

Redfog. I only use biblical ideology and criteria to judge my project and not worldly thinking and concepts. This means that (1) my proposal is not an attempt for a “Utopian civilization” but an attempt to establish a truly, “born from above (John 3:3 NRSV)” Christian Society and all that this is to result in biblically. If that will result in a “socialist system to the extreme” then that is simply what it has to be. Although I do not like the term “socialist” because it tends to refer to a system based on the desires of a group of people rather than, as the case is here, people striving to accomplish the desires of their God and ‘His will on earth’ (Matt 6:10). I also do not regard the failure of past worldly socialist systems as being relevant to this project, because these systems were not biblical.

My website may be different but it definitely is not science fiction. Structurally, it is base on proven scientific concepts. Socially and economically, it is different because the world predominantly adheres to capitalistic socioeconomics. Also residences at sea are now becoming more popular and familiar to everyday people as seen in the (large) cruise ship industry (e.g. Queen Mary II , Freedom of the Seas and the proposed ~1-mile-long Freedom Ship project). If the world had been living according to God’s standards and I came up with an economic plan where e.g., a person would be paid $250 million over ten years to chase ball around or an oil painting would sell for $35 million, among the many other examples that can be used here, then that would sound quite abnormal.

In term of “financing” I will not be using worldly norms for this project by trying to find someone, or a financial institution from which to receive a loan in order to build the proposed “Holy Cities.” The project is already fully planned be paid for, and built up, by the actual people who will be residing there. Either these people will already know the trades and professions that will be needed to physically establish these cities or they will, if capable, be trained and educated in them. In any case everyone involved in the project will in some way significantly participate in its establishment and all the expenses will be shared evenly among adults. These shared expenses are calculated to be around $2800 regardless of the size of an HC. That is because the HC’s are designed to expand only as its population increases. Therefore no one group of people will ever have to incur all of the expenses related to the building of a full-sized, complete HC.

And finally, “luck” will be a complete non-factor in this project because, as is the case with industrial/construction projects, this project is an implementation of proven science and currently feasible and used technologies. The “goodwill” of Christians is all that is needed here as the will of God to reach all who need to be reach has already been made unequivocal. This may seem like a matter of "semantics", but every does have its distinct connotation and meaning.
Posted by: Darius

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/01/06 02:25 PM

Ronald, not all companies make the same quality of product. Advertising goes on in nature all the time. How do you think the animals decide which to mate with? If you want customers you have to advertise to beat off the competition, and competition is good.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/01/06 02:30 PM

For capitalism to be in any form to be “healthy” poor people have to be kept in their state of misery and suffering. Let "good" capitalists set out to fully resolve all of the world’s humanitarian problems within the next year and see if even this said "good" capitalism will still “be healthy” or exist then.
Posted by: BeachBubbaDan (BBD)

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/05/06 08:58 PM

I hope George W is not going to read this Anti-Capitalim thread! LOL
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/06/06 11:19 AM

Well somehow I don't think GWB will be reading this, but you never know

While capitalism will always have it's poor at least all the people will not be poor because in a capitalist system you are rewarded as an individual for striving for excellence.

There will come a day when all earthly systems will be abolished and we will all be living in mansions. Until that day the free enterprise, capitalistic system, along with a representative form of government is the best we have and it goes the farthest is alleviating poverty and all that goes with it.

Redfog
Posted by: Daryl FSite Administrator

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/09/06 08:47 PM

Ronald,

None of the links you provided are working.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/10/06 08:02 PM

URL links: The brackets around the url links were mistakenly included as part of the url address. This can now be corrected by removing them from the browser’s address bar after clicking on them from this page, or by copy and pasting the url from here without brackets.

NJK Project’s Currency:
http://www.njkproject.info/njk/hc_economy/njkcurrency.html
Groundwater Problems:
http://www.theworldlink.com/articles/2006/04/29/news/news10042906.txt
Cuts in Darfur Food Aid:
http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/pubs/WWVisn/WSandPov.htm
NJK Project’s Low to Absent Crime Rate:
http://www.njkproject.info/njk/hc_security/hcsafety/zerocrime.html
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/10/06 08:09 PM

Quote:


...not all companies make the same quality of product. Advertising goes on in nature all the time. How do you think the animals decide which to mate with? If you want customers you have to advertise to beat off the competition, and competition is good.





Point by point:
1) One will find very little material difference in the content of parallel products made by different companies. Certainly not enough to justify the great discrepancy in price between two comparable items accomplish the same function. The cause of the great difference that one is seeing or paying has more to do with the “name brand” and the market visibility of the company, than anything else. If all of these companies would unite efforts and resources (as it happens in hostile or non-hostile takeovers), top quality products would be easily produced at very low “market” prices.

2) The last time I checked, the ‘mating technique’ of animals was really a “luxury” and had very little economic impact. Animals that significantly affect the “economy of humans” are predominantly intensively and, at times, “artificially” reproduced and thus have very little ‘advertising’ input, if any, in the whole process.

3) Again, ‘competition’ is a necessity for worldly minded people and systems. There is no Biblical principle that supports the statement that “competition is good”. I see instead in the Bible principles that encourage people to respect what others have (e.g., Exo 20:17) and to build up and “not destroy” each other (Eph 4:29-32, Rom 14:19; Heb 3:13; Jude 1:20), etc. The focus of this forum’s topic is evaluating the Biblical value of ‘capitalism’, in the light of the Bible, for many Christians adopt and use it, and not trying to see whichever traits best meet and fulfill its spurious needs.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/10/06 08:12 PM

Quote:


While capitalism will always have it's poor at least all the people will not be poor because in a capitalist system you are rewarded as an individual for striving for excellence.


There will come a day when all earthly systems will be abolished and we will all be living in mansions. Until that day the free enterprise, capitalistic system, along with a representative form of government is the best we have and it goes the farthest is alleviating poverty and all that goes with it.





Contrary to popular belief, using another economic system other than capitalism does not automatically mean that ‘all will be poor’. If the United States were to switch its economic system to a literal “commonwealth”, by e.g., each company recognizing the contribution of every worker involved as being equally essential to the final output of the company, (as occasional strikes by “lower class” employees repeatedly demonstrate), then, America, which had a $11.57 trillion GDP and a $39,400 GDP/capita in 2004 (all data are from 2004 figures), the median income of a household (2.57 people) would be $101,257. This would be almost 60% more than that year’s $44,473 average. Households with incomes of over $100,000 would certainly not be “poor”. But in capitalistic systems the richest 10%-20% always make tens of times more than the corresponding poorest percentage. One only needs to check the figures for the measure of income inequality (the Gini coefficient) of world countries, ( http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/fields/2172.html ). The best that was achieved Denmark’s 23.2 figures (0 being the best, i.e., full equality), where there, the top 10% still made 8X more than the bottom 10%. Even supposed “communist” countries had very low figures (e.g., China 44.0) as the fundamental principles of capitalism are still active and present in these systems. This will not be the case in the NJK Project’s economic system. (see e.g., http://www.njkproject.info/njk/hc_economy/njkcurrency.html ). Of course, a capitalist will argue that great wealth would never exist in the first place if the inherent capitalistic motivations of e.g., greed, the possibility and desire of an individual to gain personal wealth, etc, were taken away, but, again, this is non-factor for the “born from above” Christians, where one’s true “excellence” naturally involves fully helping one’s “neighbor” and not ‘overlooking’, ‘neglecting’, ‘abandoning’, or ‘bypassing’ them in order to meet personal goals (Luke 10:25-37).

One cannot use the eclectic “if we’re okay, then everything must be okay” criteria in judging the true worthiness of an economic system. Capitalism hardly “goes the farthest is alleviating poverty and all that goes with it.” Scriptural principles along with actual world statistics and facts easily disprove such (essentially) wishful conclusions. There are clearly still billions of people in the world suffering and gratuitously dying and, e.g., statistics from reporting countries show that in 82% of these countries, 25% of their population and much more live below their country’s poverty line. ( http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/fields/2046.html ). (U.S. = 12%). Much more can easily be done with a more Biblically based economic system. And also, by definition, an “economy” is to make ‘efficient use of all related resource.’ This is something, as many cases can show, that inherently ranks at the bottom of capitalism’s priorities.

Also, a representative form of government is not “perfect in itself, but is only as good as the values and the people that it “represents.” Its use alone is still not a guarantee for faithful representation as e.g., the current high disapproval ratings of the current U.S. administrations show. (Nazi Germany was also established democratically and was a representative government). People of a country would be ensured to have a “perfect” government if actually Biblical truths were taught, accepted and upheld. Based on these factors, the NJK’s government primary function will be that of Biblical leadership (see e.g., http://www.njkproject.info/njk/hc_organization/hcfoundations.html ). Also to ensure that the decisions that will affect the lives and livelihood of millions of people will not be controlled by a few hundred people, the NJK project will also widely use an open democracy, where each household will have direct input in the final governmental decisions that are taken, as they inevitably come to affect them in some way. This will be accomplished by using referendums whenever applicable, through the securable and non-taxing means of computer and electronic technology. Without the use of such a system, a representative government can become somewhat of a monarchial system in its wielding of power when future decisions have to be made in regards to issues that were not foreseen or present at the time of their election.

If one thinks that God is going to reward His Church in this generation (with “mansions”) for what in reality is their willful neglect of the poor in the name of a spurious economic system and for reasons of selfishness; then one is blatantly misreading and/or ignoring the Bible and will be greatly shocked in the final reckoning. (Matt. 25:31-46; Luke 16:13). There is really no justifiable Biblical (or economical) “excuse” for not fully accomplishing the mandates of Christ’s comprehensive Gospel commission. All who are concerned should literally ‘snap out’ of capitalism’s spell and heed the eschatological trumpets!
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/11/06 01:52 PM

Sorry but I don't see a willful neglect of the poor within the SDA church or within the bigger framework of the Christian church. It seems to me that the Christian church more than any other goes out of it's way to help the poor. And governments that are founded on Christian principles seem to do more than other governments.

The very best way to help the poor is to employ them. Capitalism is the best way to spur the economy and create those jobs. Wealth creates jobs. A business owner making a million dollars a year spends his money employing people. Without that incentive of getting wealthy he would not create jobs. Wealth is not inherently anti-Christian as some would have us believe, indeed wealth is what fuels the church and helps the poor. Wealthy people have no choice but to spend their money (unless they bury it in the backyard). Even when they simply stash it in the bank it is used to fuel the economy. A wealthy person building a multi million dollar house is doing his or her part to raise the standard of living for poor people. By lowering the 10x (or whatever numbers you wish to choose) pay the wealthy recieve you would also lower they pay of those below them because those rich people would loose their incentive to push that company to do better.

Has there ever been a economic/political system where there have not been poor people? I think not.

A good example of a capitalistic system helping the poor is China. For years it suffered under a economic system that was anti-capitalistic and it's people starved, but now that it has started to embrace the free enterprise capitalistic system it is lifting it's people out of dire poverty. (And driving up the cost of oil) I'm in no way defending the China government, just it's opening up it's borders to free trade and capitalism.

Now granted I think it is possible for groups of people to operate a type of commune (for lack of a better word) where they might band together and all have the same standard of living within that group but even that would be achieved within a larger capitalistic society. For instance they might grow crops on a farm that they sell to the public. In our area we have the Amish that are somewhat of a group onto themselves that help each other put up barns and houses etc, however they still depend on a capitalistic system to survive.

There is a society where all members are pretty much equal and all work for the greater good of the group. They function as one unit for the survival of everyone (all 60,000 strong) and maybe it could be a model for a Christian group. To study this group just ask a local bee keeper for a look inside a hive.

Redfog
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/15/06 08:18 AM

If one cannot see what “in reality is a willful neglect” in the response of the Church in regards to the plight of the suffering and dying, it is because the minimal and selfish criteria of capitalism are being used here in the measuring stick. While SDA and Christians contribute the most to helping those in need compared to others, they very easily could do much more in meeting the immediate vital needs of all those who are suffering and dying. What we see being done now is nothing more than token work, and the only reason that “all” is not done, is because the Christians who can do something significant (i.e., First World Christians) are “willfully” busy meeting the demands of their spurious and wasteful economic system. (The billions of pounds of food that are needlessly thrown away in western countries could easily feed hundred of millions of starving people). The SDA Church, as a united, global denomination could do so much more with the various resources that they have and/or could readily obtain. Yet it also chooses to meet capitalistic demands rather than do what should be done in order to obey the will of God in these matters of thorough humanitarian work. Thus millions of dollars and other resources are under used as they are given away to fuel the inefficient capitalistic “system.” There was a day when the name “Missionary” was by default included in the naming of Adventist Institutions of Higher Education, but that has been completely replaced as the purpose and focus of these institution has also shifted.
In the eyes of the Heavenly Intelligence, the SDA church is judged by what she could do and “by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: "Found wanting." By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. (8T 247, par. 2). Similarly Christians in general are not judged by what they do more than “unbelievers” but if they also do all that they could do.

The story of China’s current situation after over 25 years of economic change must be fully given in order to provide a balanced view. China went from a mostly egalitarian country to one that now sees 10% of its population owning 45% of its wealth. Now previously non-existent problems of unemployment have also come to appear, and the income disparity between rural households (74 %) and urban households (26 %), and also within different regions, has also steadily increased since ca. 1978. (see e.g., in http://www.gwu.edu/~econ270/Taejoon.html
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20050621_2.htm http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/xw/t233972.htm ).
The simple large-scale opening up of China to the more advanced goods and service offered by developed countries through foreign trade has much to do with its overall economic growth. Better tools will achieve more valuable products and at greater outputs, and this thus invite greater foreign investments. (Similarly, the Amish would be better off if they made use of modern technology). This all allows China’s tremendous (and capitalistically desired “cheaper”) manpower to be greatly used for the production of goods for foreign countries. It is not for no actual reason that China is now considered as “the factory of the world.”

God is not against wealth, (that is: selfless/unselfish, non-oppressive wealth), What capitalism emphasizes, among other things, is the “love of wealth/money” over the ‘love of others as oneself’ (Matt 22:39). That is what is the “root of all evil” as seen in the final picture provided by capitalism (cf. 1 Tim. 6:10, 11; 3:3). One’s motive behind a “generous” act is just as important as the act itself, and like it does in capitalism, it will determine the true abundance of the “act”: whether a restrained “trickle” or a truly generous aid. The billions of suffering and dying in the world today do not need a “job” right now. Within the profit making framework of capitalism, (new) industries (that would provide these jobs), just do not spring up overnight. They take years, even decades, to be established and grow. By that time hundreds of millions of people would have suffered and died. But that is quite “acceptable” for the capitalist, for everything must first and foremost be a business, and profitable opportunity. Even outwardly generous economic aid that is given to needy countries are in reality quite self-serving as they have conditional, demanding, and even blackmailing, political and strategic military strings attached to it. Not to mention probable payback dues with interest. There is the joke that says that capitalism will gladly sell you the rope with which to hang yourself, but it surely will not give it to you. That also explains all of the various lucrative sinful industries that are condoned within the borders of even the countries supposedly founded on “Christian” principles.

It is really telling that those who defend capitalism always have to, in essence and also in reality, uphold and encourage the sinful traits and lower nature of man, and advance as “good,” what the Bible clearly condemns as being evil. The whole debate here is whether capitalism is Biblical for the follower of Christ. But this question clearly has to be ignored in the defense of capitalism. One should be very suspicious of any system that must make the follower of Christ think and behave in such an ungodly way and that needs to use a spiritual counterfeit in order to “be bought” by even Christians. It clearly all seems like a carefully crafted strategy that was conceived in a boardroom meeting chaired by the Devil himself. Deception does has its purpose. It is intended to brainwash or “lull” someone to sleep so that they can consider evil as good and vice versa. In the decisive events upon Mount Carmel, the only sign that indicated who the true God was and who should be obeyed, was the fire that came down from heaven in the sight of those present. This clearly indicated that contrary to what Israel had been led to believe, Baal and his ways were not their Provider who should be followed and obeyed. That same type of sign is allude to in the book of Revelation when speaking of the validation method that the second beast uses for the image of the first beast that it has set up (Rev 13:13ff). And, as it was mentioned previously, just like Sunday keeping is a counterfeit to the Sabbath day, the unbiblical ways of capitalism are a counterfeit to the Sabbatical principles in God’s economic plan. (e.g., Isa 58; Matt 25:31-46, etc). The fact that capitalism was a creation of (Protestant) Christians and is greatly supported and propagated by them is no accident. That is specifically the “validation” the devil needed in the end times so that his detrimental plan could flourish (Rev 18).

By the way, a wealthy person building a multi-million dollar house would better help the poor by building an average house for hundreds of families. That would go much further than his trickle down capitalistic “contribution.” Think simply of the many construction jobs that would directly create. Also the world’s demand for oil as a fuel could be reduced by as much as 50%+ if simply the existing “hybrid” technologies were more widely implemented and used (not to mention the reduction in pollution and global warming emissions), but capitalism does not allow for such a rapid and revolutionary transition. The very reason why the NJK Project is seeking physical as well as political independence is to achieve full freedom from such unnecessary subjective restrictions demands of capitalism. When the people of God remain guided by the truths and principles of God, they can and will accomplish what the world or past societies have never done or thought possible. (e.g., Acts 4:34a)

There is an inspired Textbook that God’s rational human beings can read and understand. It is filled with many God-given principles and spirit led models of how people and society can “economically” cooperate and function. It is of course, God’s word: The BIBLE and that is a volume that, as the many statements in this thread show, capitalism just cannot make reference to or turn for support.
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/15/06 07:50 PM

Well Ronald I obviously do not share your in your great dislike of capitalism. If you can direct me to a system that has ever worked better I'd like to see it. Throughout history other systems have come and gone, they have failed in either helping the poor or raising the standard of living for anyone, including the rich.

As far as I can tell capitalism is not shown to be Biblically wrong, indeed Christ Himself told the parable or men given money to invest and make more money. Making more money was a good thing, it is the key to capitalism. The free enterprise, capitalistic system is seen throughout the Bible as a good thing. Indeed through out Biblical times the market place is seen as good.

Yes businesses are in business to make a profit. Without profits there is no charity, no jobs, no trickle down economic etc. Profits are just about the most important thing in any business because without them there is no business.

And you will never convince me, or anyone else who has a basic understanding of economics that trickle down economics do not work. It has no choice but to work. What does not work is a system that is based on something other than profit. Without the incentive of making money there is little reason to create jobs, without profits there is no money for charity.

In your scheme you want a high tech city, high tech comes about because of the incentive of creating something to sell and make money with. Indeed the computer you are reading this on is the result of someone pushing the envelope for a profit. Very little is to achieved without a profit motive, as has been proved time after times in socialistic countries.

Even Godly Christian people are driven by the desire to make a profit, to acquire goods and yes, to give to charities. If I do not have excess money in my bank account I cannot give to the church beyond tithe and normal offerings. I can only help the poor if I have left over money after I make sure my family is cared for.

A very high percentage of the starvation in the world has nothing to do with lack of money, it has to do with a corrupt political systems and/or wars. The UN would love to feed more people but are not allowed to do so. Like you say there is plenty of food in the world to feed everyone and much of it goes to waste however just because we are Christian does not mean we can get that food to the starving, no matter how much we would wish too, no matter how much money we put into it.

Well you can respond to this if you wish but I won't be replying for awhile as I need to be gone for a few days, making a profit (not to mention using our bees to pollinate blueberries, so that the growers can make a profit)

Redfog
Posted by: vastergotland

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/17/06 05:39 PM

Where you just using the China of the cultural revolution as a positive example of a good society? I hope I missunderstood you there.

As you pointed out the capitalism we now know has its roots in christendom (not sure what the east asia or pre-european americas economic systems looked like). What I dont understand is why this would be proof that capitalism was of the devil? Why would you want to be a christian if things achived by other christians troughout history where directed by the devil (unless of course you where a devil worshiper).

I have spoken several times with a guy who has a vision about a truly socialistic community in a world where all that is based on capitalism is reduced to the history books. A society where noone works more than nesecary to produce what is consumed, where noone is boss or lord over another, where technology solves the problems that may arise in trying to achieve this. And I cant help thinking, this could be a nice place to live in, except that it neglects to account for one thing which will make it impossible to uphold. The selfishness of humans. If humans had been kind and loving and generous by nature none of the problems mentioned with the world in this thread would exist and then it would also be possible to see such a project as this work and flourish. But we live in a world where people do not ask how they best can help the helpless but in a world where they ask "whats in it for me".
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/17/06 11:12 PM

Redfog,
You arguments are rather circular and the Christian ideal is also lost within this closed loop that: People must be, or remain greedy, selfish, love themselves above all, etc. I simply do not believe in that closed, all-encompassing view, which is clearly contrary to Biblical principles and do not want to condition myself to live on that level.

You would also be surprised by how much more would be done, and much faster and better by economic cooperation as many such collective accomplishments have shown. It rather seems to me that "necessity is the mother of invention" (and also improvement). If people need more powerful/performant computers, then they will "invent it" even simply out of necessity.

If my average car has a 25% efficiency performance of 6.5 miles per gallon, how much of the physics of the internal combustion process do I need to know to understand that it is not performing like an average car should. If the goal of the true Christian is indeed, to meet the needs of all those who are in need (Matt 25:31-46), then the “trickle down effect” (that only really serves to silence the conscious of the capitalist) just does not work for them! It is as simple as that.

The “parable” of the talents (1) did not say that the people who doubled their income made it through the wrongful, neglectful, oppressive means among other condemnable ways used in capitalism; (2) a “parable”, using current everyday examples, (if that was even the case) to teach a lesson (in this case: make full use of your talents in the work of God as you await his return), There are many didactic sayings of Christ that directly spell out the “economic” ideals for the Christian.

I will also need to see more biblical examples to support your ‘good throughout the Bible’ claim.

While businessmen are indeed businessmen looking out for the “bottom line.” Christian are followers of Jesus Christ looking out for the well-being of their fellow man. That is my whole problem with capitalism and its trickle down effect, it does not really care for people. Hundreds of million may needlessly die in the process and all of that is quite acceptable. What kind of ‘godly’ system is that?

The last complaints I saw from the (representative) UN was that it lacked the necessary funds to feed people and not that it was not allowed to. And really what can stop the Security Council from carrying out any mission. If a government (or an armed rebel group) is willfully starving his people then that would be reason enough to (1) forcefully deliver the needed supplies to the local people and/or (2) remove this government (or group) from “power”. You will need to show a concrete example here where this has been completely impossible.

Food waste in particular are a direct result of inefficient, more than needed production and deliveries of crops and food where they are really not needed. And that is directly caused by an unplanned food market. That is a problem today that can easily be resolved without restricting the choices that one has in everyday meals. Also technology today will easily allowed for any food to be preserved or freshly delivered anywhere in the world. Even military personnel does not starve to death even when deployed in a desolate, hostile place, but of course such a supply and logistics “expense” on poor people is not worthwhile for the capitalist.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/17/06 11:26 PM

One just needs to take a look at the detrimental fruits (both spiritually and physically) of this western capitalism and its blatant contradiction of Christian principles to see that it can only come from the cunning Enemy of Righteousness. I personally do not want to be a “nominal” Christian and blindly do everything that such Christians do, in the name of conformity, but rather strive to be a “Biblical” Christian and that strict criteria in itself comes to simply exclude many things that have historically been done and are done by Christians in general.

If this generation of even “Biblical Christians” expects to be translated to Heaven then should they not now be living in a way that is anticipatory of this “translation.” Unless they expect to be also “reprogrammed” or brainwashed when they receive their new physical bodies. Is it really that impossible for a Christian today to care about someone who is starving or dying of thirst and do all that is necessary to supply their need or is it really just a spurious economic system, and their dedication to it that will not allow them to. If that is the case, then one needs to ask if they are even Christians, and truly worshiping Christ, in the first place. It is self-evident that this was and is the end goal of the real Spirit behind capitalism in the first place.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/17/06 11:29 PM

It is almost comical to see how Capitalism has had, and is still having to, on national levels, shield and protect itself, from its inherent survival-of-the-fittest self, and that by implementing what are by definition Socialist principles. This can be seen in many Federal|State Measures, Acts and Programs such as Social Security, Antitrust Legislation, The Federal Reserve System & Interest Rate; Socialized Healthcare (e.g., Canada), Welfare, Minimum wage Laws, Labor Unions, “tax brackets”, etc. Most of these measures were not implemented out of moral principles but as Recovery (and future Preventive) actions to the smarting “pain/pleasure” events of the Stock Market Crash & Great Depression of the late ‘20s and early ‘30s. Even then it took a nearly a whole decade, and the economic impact of a (victorious) World War, to adequately recover. Without these direct socialist government provisions and interventions (in both Market and Enterprise), Capitalism would have “self-destructed” and indeed exactly in accordance to the theory and prediction of socialist philosopher Karl Marx.

Contrary to the ‘self-correcting/sustaining’ claims of capitalism, its actual ‘house-of-card’ instead needs to be continually ‘propped up’ by a “visible hand” and even that to is “profitable” and “self-serving” in the face of the crippling alternative. It must likewise be said here that all this is certainly not said as an endorsement of the (national) applications of the Communist/Socialist ideology that this world has seen for they were also self-destructive by being interlaced with traits of greed, selfishness, injustice and corruption, among other ungodliness. Evils which proved to cause their demise.
Posted by: vastergotland

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/18/06 02:19 AM

Why do you assume that biblical christians today are not caring for the dying and supplying the needs of the poor? Just becourse no marxistic commune has been created for doing so? I am thinking that when the Holy Spirit calls a person to work, there will be blessed resoults, and if the Holy Spirit does not call there will at best be modest and contradictory resoults. No scheme to make a better society not started and supported by God is highly unlikely to acctually make life better for any majority and even less for all people.

/Thomas
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 05/18/06 02:53 AM

Thomas,

(1) Obviously there are not enough "Biblical Christians" out of 2 billion Christians worldwide. I just thought there would be. But if this is what Spirit led, "Biblical Christians" did in Apostolic times (Acts 2:44, 45; 4:32-35) then why should it be different for Biblical Christians today? This is not Marxism, this model existed and originated long before him.

(2) How would you logistically carry out an effort to meet all of these needs (within the next few years i.e., 7) as this can be done? Christians who are not Spirit led will not set out to accomplish such selfless work in behalf of others.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/18/06 06:35 AM

Redfog, The world needs much more than disbursements of money. It needs, above all the active hands on participation of the greatest factor in any advanced economy (70%+): the services of people. For that is what drives up the prices of nearly everything.

[cf. http://www.njkproject.info/njk/hc_economy/njkeconomy.html ]

==========

Subject name correciton only - Daryl
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/18/06 09:48 PM

Ronald in reading over your proposal it sounds like there will have to some sort of central government to micro-manage every aspect of life, everything to what is invented and when, to the most absolute of price controls. This will require a ruling class, no? Or a dictator?

Quite frankly I just don't see how your scheme would work. Everything invented is done so in the name of profits. You talk about a high tech society but high tech is very much a capitalist endevor. The best minds do it because there is a profit to be made. Cars, computers, TV's etc etc were all invented and made better because of competition. You just can't have someone sitting in a office decree that we need a faster computer and expect to have one built without the profit/competitive aspect that is unique to capitalism. It is capitalism that has forwarded things that have brought much less suffering to this world. Modern drugs for instance would not have been invented without capitalism.

Another thing is what kind of time frame are you talking about to build these floating cities? I mean this thing is so far out there, we're talking years and years (decades) if you ask me. Should our resourses not be better used in preparing the way for the One who is coming back soon to take away all suffering? You are talking about creating a whole new society from the ground up, er water in this case. Jesus is coming back very soon, proof of this is in the news every night, I don't think there is time for a new society.

I just don't see any Biblical mandate for this sort of enterprise.

Socialism tends to make everyone equal, as in equaly poor, hungry and cold.

If the UN is short of money, which I do not believe they are, where is the best sourse of more money? Rich nations. What nations are the richest? Ones who are capatalistic. Ones who have made their wealth letting free interprise run the show.

Now granted capitalism is far from perfect. We should be putting more of our money into helping the poor, we should not sanction porn, liquor, etc. We need cleaner rivers and air etc. However if capitalism is so bad why is it that the poor of the world all are trying to move to Western countries where they can get ahead in life? And send money back home to their families?

And contrary to what I think you are saying companies can and are run by very commited Christians. Capitalism is not anti-Christian. I've owned a business that was very commited to high Christian Standards and I've worked for a billon dollar company that was and is a beacon for God in it's area

Like I said before good luck with your project, I wish you the best but I do not see how it could ever work without the support of Capitalism and a profit motive. Even then it is way out there in concept.

Take care,

Redfog
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/21/06 02:06 PM

Redfog, Here are answers to the questions/issues you raised:


Resource Sharing
A central “administration” of the people that functions to meet the needs of all citizens does not by default require a “ruling class” or a “dictator.” If that were the case then, one would have to automatically consider the apostles as such (Acts 4:34). The resources that are shared by Njk citizens for the good of all are not one person’s personal property, therefore, like, and even better than, a current “free-market” economy, it will also be the general and specific preferences of every NJK citizen that will determine what is to be produced. As an example, each household can predetermine what kind and quantity of crops need to be produced in a coming growing season or year just by simply “filling out” (similarly to a weekly grocery shopping list) a sample preferred menu of various meals they would like to eat in the coming weeks (from e.g., a voluminous online recipe book). A citywide computer program will then, using also other applicable parameters, compute exactly all the resources that will be needed to fully meet all of these selective needs and determine if this is truly economically feasible, and if, for health reasons, normal/adequate calorific needs are met/kept and then request adjustments from applicable individuals/households. In this way, food wastes, along with the wastes of related production resources, will not occur. The same can go for every single item that need to be produced. Also, as it was stated earlier, “prices” in the NJK Economy will be fully determined scientifically as a true economic measure, and not a subjective one as is the case in current capitalistic and also socialist economies.


Also the Christian citizens of the NJK will naturally, and/or agreeably, have chosen to live in the most efficient way as possible and according to their actual needs, and not their frivolous wants in order that all may have an acceptable standard of living. That will mean, for example, that a household will not seek to have two or three cars as efficient, comfortable, public transportation will be widely and readily accessible to all and the NJK average 3:00 hour workday means that a single vehicle can be shared by the entire family, if need be. Other technologies like “online services” and the HC Service Rail will further decrease the need of one having to physically leave their homes to run trivial errands.


Efficiency and Inventions
All of the technologies implemented in an the NJK are strictly for reasons of efficiency and safety. Most of these technologies are significantly less demanding in terms of actual materials (and at times also, energy) the existing processes and technologies they are replacing. Therefore they would not be uneconomical in the NJK’s raw materials based economy. For example, (1) [for an HC] a drive-by-wire automobile “fueled” by a 300-mile battery pack is overall much more “efficient” in terms of materials, production, operation, maintenance and repair, durability, “recyclability”, etc, than a gasoline fueled car with heavy duty parts such as a engine block, transmission, wheel axles, exhaust system, etc. Or, (2) a magnetic convection stove is also overall much more “efficient” in terms of cooking performance, energy consumed and also fire/burn safety and prevention than a conventional electric or gas stove. But in today’s economy such technologies are highly priced based on the (subjective and “capital-istic) cumulative market replacements values that are also added to them.


In regards to the invention of products, to generalize and say that everything that has been invented was done for solely the sake of profit is quite unproven. Simply browsing through a historical book or yearbook of inventions show that many things are invented solely out of the creativity of individuals or to fulfill a need or want. Inventions that come to rise to the surface in capitalistic economies are preferably those that can be profitable and that is a direct result, and also handicap, of the system itself. Case in point, fuel cell use in energy production that is the craze of today’s automobile industry was discovered and invented way back in the 1840's. But because such factors as the environment and the efficient use of transportation fuel was not considered as being profitable to protect and achieved all of these years, it had never made to the forefront in capitalistic and thus world economies, until now, when backs are almost to the wall. The same can be said for hybrid technology which was invented in the 1960's.


Also, many people who care nothing about profits invent significant things just for the sake of efficiency, the safeguarding of the environment and/or simply for the good of others. Off the top of my head, I can think of the research scientist Jonas E. Salk who in the 1950's invented the vaccine for polio; an invention which has saved the lives of millions. Yet he did not do it for profit as he refuse to patent it or receive cash awards for it.


Achievable, further “effectiveness” and “efficiency” in products and processes, among other things will be a motivational reason for NJK developments. Furthermore, science, knowledge and the basis for most technologies is in the public domain. One would have to be lazy, willingly ignorant, or have a worshipful “I-am-not worthy-of-you” attitude and mentality to choose to remain “technologically” deprived.


In line with what I said earlier, capitalism will do anything for a profit. You sing the praises of capitalism for having developed (indirectly?) modern drugs to cure existing sickness yet it is also in the name of capitalism that millions of poor people are suffering and dying each year from these same drugs being withheld from them due to the “non-profitability” of supplying it to them. Overall even these “advances” within capitalism has really allowed many more people to suffer and die than it has actually relieved and treated.

Failure of Secular Socialism
The socialism we have seen in this world thus far has been done in a defiant, atheistic context where many evils such as greed, selfishness and oppression were pervasive and condoned. Socialism was heralded as the replacement for God and religion. I do not think it is fair to use these “unBlessed” (to say the least) models as a rule and expectation for what will be a Biblical society of “born from above” Christians. Like I said, people who remain faithful to their God will succeed where rebellious unbelievers have failed. If Biblical history means anything, God Himself will not allow them to be put to shame or fail, even if He has to directly intervene in various ways as the many accounts in the Bible of such Divine Guidance and Aid show.

“Time”, Christ’s Coming and Signs of the Times
In regards to “time” and the Second Coming of Christ, the Bible is quite clear in the fact that time will last as long as it is needs to so that the Saving and Final Testing truths of God’s Word will be absolutely clear to every single living human being on this planet. Contrary to “popular” belief, God is not preoccupied with keeping a particular date in time, but with saving as many people as possible. As Peter states, He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). As obvious as it sounds, when Jesus will make His appearance in the atmosphere of this planet, it will literally be all over. All who do not know and understand His Truths then will be doomed forever and of course will not be able to change sides then. Therefore, all of the work of convincing and conversion must be fully done before He returns. Outside of the warnings giving in the rejection of Jesus Christ as Saviour (e.g., John 3:36), the strongest warning given to humanity has to do with the rejection of the Three Angels Message and the acceptance of the “Mark of the Beast” (e.g., Rev 14:9-11). Therefore, the generation of people who will live until Jesus returns, will need to hear, understand and adhere to these Messages of Revelation in order to make it through the final events. That currently is 6 billion+ people and counting and also include 4 billion+ who do not even know or accept Jesus Christ at all. It seems to me that the resources of church members today are predominantly spent being “servants of the world,” and in the “deceitfulness of riches” (Mark 4:19) rather than in wholly labouring towards the glorious triumph of Christ’s kingdom.


Also, about the “signs of the time,” it is God who is in full control of them and their ultimate fulfilment. They are not an unstoppable nor uncontrollable chain of events. What we are seeing now is just a glimpse of what could be and also the natural destruction of an aging and weary planet. (Rom 8:22). As Revelation 7:1-3 states, God is holding back the destructive four winds that should and will be unleashed on this world so that: “the servants of God may be sealed in their foreheads.” These “servants of God” are clearly not those who already know the truth, but it is those who, at that point, still do not understand these important truths. I am sure if it was God who was to do this work of teaching for us, it would have been a long time ago. The Spirit of Prophecy makes a very interesting statement concerning the passage in Rev 7:1-3 as it says:

“Had the people of God believed Him and been doers of His word, had they kept His commandments, the angel would not have come flying through heaven with the message to the four angels that were to let loose the winds that they should blow upon the earth crying, Hold, hold the four winds that they may not blow upon the earth until I have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads. But because the people are disobedient, unthankful, unholy, as were ancient Israel, time is prolonged that all may hear the last message of mercy proclaimed with a loud voice. The Lord’s work has been hindered, the sealing time delayed. Many have not heard the truth. But the lord will give them a chance to hear and be converted, and the great work of God will go forward.” (MS 15:292; cf. EW 37, 38)


As Jesus said, the signs of the times are like birth pangs (Mat 24:8; cf. Rom 8:22). But these birth pangs are not to lull us into a “wait and see” state in which we just sit back and do nothing further, but rather should cause us to do all that can and should be done more to clearly present the testing truths to this world. And as the SOP passages I quoted in my initial post indicated, these truths will have to be demonstrated to the world. How long will that take? According to the Bible, until all can knowingly make a decision for God and his Truth or against Him. What is commonly thought of as the “Gospel” is usually solely the belief that Jesus is the Son of the Living God and that He died for the sins of the world. Yet when Jesus sent out His disciples He referred to the “Gospel” as (literally) “the good news of the kingdom (of God/Heaven)” Matt 24:14; cf. 4:17; Mark 1:14, 15, and all that He has taught His followers to observe (Matt 28:19, 20). This therefore includes the many statements that Jesus made concerning the mandatory belief in Him (e.g. John 3:18) along with everything else all that is taught in the Gospels (obedience to God’s commandments, ministering to those in need, etc.). As James says, the evidence of our faith will also lead to the meeting of the needs of those we witness to. (James 2:14-18). Our Biblical mandate is to fulfill the Comprehensive Gospel commission and that implies through whichever (Godly) way needed. This has been the basis for many SDA denominational institutions used today. Still, early Adventist were even reluctant to set out to establish some of them at first (e.g., schools, foreign missions, etc). Even formal denominational organization was greatly shunned at first, yet there was a Biblical model for it in the organization of Israel and a functional and beneficial value to it in its better efficiency in carrying out the mission of the Church. Similarly, the NJK Project itself is based on the explicit Biblical model of the Apostolic church and its presence and use will greatly facilitate the ability of concerned Christians to carry out significant and thorough global Gospel Evangelistic Missions and thorough Humanitarian Work. The NJK project is simply the necessary framework that is needed in order to efficiently focus available resources towards these objectives and goals. Then will the world have the clearest testimony of the true Character of God and make a knowing decision for Him and His ways or against Him.

HC Construction
Concerning the physical building of an HC. It is purposely being planned and designed to be achieved in a 7 year time table and that is independent of the actual starting populations for each HC is designed to fully expand as it population increases. So any group of people will only have to construct an HC according to its needed size and not to the full size for its maximum population. Furthermore, every NJK citizen will also be significantly and/or actively involved in the overall construction process. Also a great deal of automation will be implemented in the manufacturing of component and overall construction process.


In terms of materials, only the parts of the cities that will make it float is considered "extra." Otherwise the development and building of the city is very much parallel to the development of a “terra firma” city. Even these “float-structures” can be seen as equivalent replacements with the efforts and costs of the urbanization of the land site (e.g., clearing trees and other removable obstacle, soil compaction, interstate highways and roads, etc). Furthermore, these structures will be made of materials, (FRP’s and glass) that mainly require silica from readily accessible, and unused sand resources. Therefore in terms of additional resources, they will not be an added burden on the world as a whole. (More information on the construction process of an HC can be found here and in subsequent pages).


I have come to this present project only by having repeatedly seen the shortcomings and inefficiency in previous (scattered) plans. For example, how can one really live economically, provide a service for, and depend on restructured denominational institutions, companies or industries for everyday goods and services that are located on average 250+ miles away from them? Or how economical would it be to e.g., grow crops for church members if they are scattered miles away from each other? The only way an enabling Biblical economy can be fully implemented and sustained is if the people of God are assembled together physically. Also the NJK project is quite capable of functioning without being dependent of capitalistic economies. Yet as no country (even an island country) is “an island” the NJK will be entering into basic trading partnership with other countries in keeping with its humanitarian and humane development mission, eventhough, according to current market values, this will be at an accepted lopsided trade imbalance for the NJK. All of these countries will also easily be capable of affording the prices of the raw materials needed to supply the various humanitarian projects and services that NJK citizens will be carrying out.

Miscellaneous
Like I am sure you know, the UN is a representative body made up of nations of the world, including rich ones. The best way for these rich nations to achieve humanitarian work is through the UN which they (1) have great input over its decisions and (2) unofficially do “run the show.” So if the UN needs more money to carry out its humanitarian work, it really needs to look to itself and particularly to the rich nations. The lack of funds for the World Food Programme, from, particularly rich western nations, was exactly the reason given in a BBC News report for the cutting of food resources to the people in the Darfur Region. The UN is not at all preventing rich nations from being more charitable, even if they would want to do this all on their own (which would in itself be quite inefficient).


You will find capitalism in all but a handful of world economies/countries today. If it was so great in itself then how come it does not work in third world countries where it is also used and many capitalistic countries have negative net migration rates. Like I have said before, other factors such as Organization, Culture, Technological Advance and Development, among other things, contribute more to the wealth of a nation than solely capitalism as a economic system. If it was not for the solid administrative, law enforcement and judicial system of the United States along with a relatively higher degree of morality, and its use of socialist practices, its capitalistic system by itself could not protected it from the corruption and mayhem, along with the lopsided capitalism, that exist in poorer (capitalistic) countries where e.g., 50-80% of the population live below the poverty line.

Christianity and Capitalism
Just because Christians make use of capitalism that does not automatically baptize it as God’s ideal. As you admit on the one hand, ‘capitalism is far from perfect.’ But if the Bible does shows us a much better, Godly model then how can capitalism not but be in opposition to God, His His Word and His desire and will for His people. There is an economic alternative that Biblical Christians can and should follow. Contrary to what you have suggested, capitalism and ‘making money by charging interest’ is not taught throughout the Bible as a default and virtuous economic principle for God’s people. Charging interest is clearly prohibited by God as a practice among His people (Exo 22:25; Lev 23:35, 36; Deut 23:19 ). Not doing so is also seen as the natural actions of the just person (Ezek. 18:8, 17) and the ‘citizen of Zion’ (Psa 15:5) as opposed to the one who commits an “abomination” (Ezek. 18:13; 22:12). It is only allowed when money is lent to “foreigners” (to Israel) i.e., an unbeliever (Deut 23:20). It is also seen as worthy when it is “gathered” to be used to help the poor (Pro 18:8). How Israel was supposed to “legally” operate ‘capitalistically’ here is practically impossible as they made no profit from lending money to their countrymen. They would have had to have many foreign borrowers to live ‘capitalistically” and that is a significant “interaction” that does not appear to have been the case. It also seems to me that Israelites were allowed to charge interest to foreign borrowers as an incentive for them to repay these loans as quickly as possible in order that Israel’s wealth was not crippled by unpaid, outstanding loans. Based on these Biblical economic principles, Christians today (or, at least, individual denominations) should be operating interest-free financial institutions for their members. Yet apparently the 80%+ of Christians in America and the First World prefer to consider their fellow brother and sisters in Christ as “unbelieving foreigner,” even denominationally. But of course, when it comes to creating wealth and reaping in profits, anything under capitalism is permissible. How widespread, “domestic” capitalism in its inevitable “survival-of-the-fittest form” ever took such a foothold in a predominantly united and devout early Christian America and western Europe in the first place is quite intriguing. Christ’s words are again indeed true here: you simply cannot love and serve God (John 14:15) and Wealth (Luke 16:13).

In closing:

Our money has not been given us that we might honor and glorify ourselves. As faithful stewards we are to use it for the honor and glory of God. Some think that only a portion of their means is the Lord's. When they have set apart a portion for religious and charitable purposes, they regard the remainder as their own, to be used as they see fit. But in this they mistake. All we possess is the Lord's, and we are accountable to Him for the use we make of it. In the use of every penny, it will be seen whether we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves.

Money has great value, because it can do great good. In the hands of God's children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, and clothing for the naked. It is a defense for the oppressed, and a means of help to the sick. But money is of no more value than sand, only as it is put to use in providing for the necessities of life, in blessing others, and advancing the cause of Christ.
COL 351

The oppressive, exploitative, eclectic, profiteering, etc “tenets” of capitalism do not harmonize with any Biblical teaching or principle. What is there to love in a system that values wealth and money over God and people??? Sorry but as a follower of Christ, capitalism is not for me. I rather choose to serve the LORD according to His ways. (Jos 24:14, 15; Matt 6:24)

Ronald
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/21/06 04:14 PM

Ronald: "Also the Christian citizens of the NJK will naturally, and/or agreeably, have chosen to live in the most efficient way as possible and according to their actual needs, and not their frivolous wants in order that all may have an acceptable standard of living."

Question: Who will determine what a persons actual needs are? One persons needs are another's wants. I don't see where you have taken differences in people into account in you scheme. For instance one person might consider a bicycle a need where as another would consider it a frivolous want. Some consider a car necessary where as another would not. Even the most committed Christians have different wants and needs. Somehow someone, or group of someone's, is going to have to micro-manage such a place and dictate what is and is not necessary. You talk of calorie intake being a basis for food production. How do you take into consideration that everyone's calorie needs are different? One couple will want 1 child, another couple will want a half dozen. Who is to decide how many kids you have? Somehow this reminds me of George Orwell's 1984. Well I could go on and on but will spare my time and yours.

Well in any case I think you are dreaming enormously and unrealistically big, however if it's Gods will that this thing falls together then I guess I can't knock what you are doing though I still see no Biblical mandate for such a fantastic scheme.

I'm defending capitalism because in 6 thousand years I've never seen anything work better or do more to help the poor. And yes there are countries where capitalism is failing, but in all those places corruption runs rampant. It does take a strong democracy to make the free enterprise system work.

Redfog
Posted by: BeachBubbaDan (BBD)

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/23/06 09:29 AM

Thankfully there is a promise that "WE SHALL BE CHANGED" this is God's changing of us, we have NO authority to create in and of ourselves a UTOPIAN nation of people, HECK we can't even create a perfect person within ourselves. I agree with you Red of all the systems that we have seen over the past Millenia capitalism does "appear" to be the better of the systems. Well I must be off I "need" to go to the store to BUY some food, nothing like supporting a Capitalistic system, eh?
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/23/06 01:07 PM

When I refer to the determination of actual needs, I have in mind what is basically necessary for people to have an enjoyable, fully functional everyday life, in contrast to the unwarranted collection of various major items having, more specifically, the same function, i.e., 2 or 3 automobiles; a home with 4 regular (i.e., non-guest) bedrooms for a static household of 2 people, etc. Even in today's economies, money constraints will force this extra "expense" to be readily corrected. In regards to lesser/micro (i.e., less resource demanding) products, the NJK economy will allow for people to spend their
share of resources on whatever products their want but like “spending money” this will limit or reduce the resources they have for other products or services. The wide and free availability of skilled and professional services will also allow for a significant reduction in the repeated/wasteful production of lower quality/individual items that mainly sit useless on one’s shelf or garage 99.5% of the time (e.g., power tools; high-end vacuum cleaners; even a quality set travel bags/equipment and accessories. cf. ).

I guess I did not make it clear enough but “adequate calorific needs” are individually determined by a person’s physical makeup, just like when determining’s one’s healthy and normal Body Mass Index (BMI).
Also, the limiting of a family’s size is the furthest and most contradictory idea from the NJK objectives and goals. The freedom for families to naturally have and/or adopt as many children as they will want to is one of the fundamental pillars of the NJK project. Such a limitation is implicitly found in many economies, rich or poor, capitalist or socialist and is really the main, implicit, “fuel” for worldwide abortions. The NJK project exist so that this factor will not come to “interfere” in any citizen’s family life. The full (economic) cost for this ideal of this Project has literally been counted; and this planet has more than enough resources and space to fully support free family development for anyone. Only accepted subjective and artificial self-imposed (socioeconomic) restrictions have stood in opposition to this in the world today.

I will defend the Apostolic/Biblical Economic Model because it proved to be 100% successful among committed Christians. (Acts 4:34). Our mandate is to directly and thoroughly minister to all those in need, and not to only a few, as, hopefully, byproducts of individual selfishness, and when profits allow. (Matt 25:31-46). I do not see how an unbiblical economic system is the highest accomplishment that “born from above” Christians can ever produce.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/23/06 01:09 PM

BBD,
A text without a context is really a pretext. The “we will be changed” quote you are using (1 Cor 15:51, 52) to justify apparently that we have no responsibility to strive for the “perfection”of our Christian character is actually specifically referring to the ‘physical change of our mortal bodies to incorruptible ones’ and that in order to also be just like those who will be resurrected with new physical bodies. This is not at all speaking of what would have to be a literal ‘brainwashing.’ God has created all His creation as free moral agents for the start- free live according to His ways or to ours. Jesus Christ specifically came to this planet to set for us the perfect example for us to emulate in this earthly life and He can and will fully supply us with the enabling Power to do so. (Matt 28:18-20)
Posted by: vastergotland

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/23/06 02:04 PM

Ronald

I may have missed the answere to this question by inadeqate reading but here goes, can this society you are describeing be observed anywhere on earth today? Has this plan been started to work yet? Or is there a time plan for when it will be started? If no, why not? It would appear that the best way to silence critics would be to invite them to tour the society you are describeing.

/Thomas
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/24/06 03:17 PM

Thomas,
As it is stated on my website, (see on this page), before an HC is physically built, it first needs to reach a preferred minimum starting population. So when that will happen at any of the NJK’s proposed HC locations, construction there will begin. The NJK Project is only in its first few weeks of wide public release/awareness. Further knowledge of it and its objectives will also continue to be made through various forms. Currently I am wrapping up the release of its general feasibility studies, with more detailed studies forthcoming. The main thing that counts, (for me anyway) is that it has been demonstrated that it can actually be done, particularly within its Biblical and Christian context and environment. Furthermore, when the actual goals and objectives of the project are kept in perspective that should be reason enough for one to do all the needs to be done in order to establish these various Gospel and Humanitarian ministries, supported by its needed physical, socioeconomic platform. In case someone may not be fully aware, some of the essential basic needs of world currently are for:

-over 700 million people [net] in need of clean freshwater; (1.5 billion gross)
-over 200 million people [net] starving to death (892 million gross)
-2.6 billion people lacking adequate sanitation;
-1.3 billion people needing medical aid;
-46 million babies being aborted each year;
-44 million orphans needing a normal family environment;
-1.3 billion people lacking education;
-2.8 billion people in poverty;
-4 billion people+ needing to understand the Gospel Message and,
-6 billion people+ needing to understand the Three Angels' Message.

Like the “Application” section/form of my project provides for, the NJK Project is looking for leaders and pioneers who will make this project and society tangible. People who currently are knowledgeable in a profession, trade or industry can help establish and pioneer the various similar sectors that will be implemented in the NJK.
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/27/06 12:20 PM

To all the worlds problems that Ronald throws out there the problem is not capitalism. The problem is, are we, God's people, using the wealth that God has entrusted us with through capitalism to do anything about it? Are we sponsoring water projects where we politically can do so? Are we giving to ADRA and other entities that are feeding the poor? Are we volunteering our time at the local soup kitchen? Are we spreading the Gospel to the people we come in contact with on a daily basis?

Instead of putting our time and money into a future utopian society on this present earth should we not be preparing others for the ultimate utopian society on the New Earth?

Redfog
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/29/06 12:11 PM

Ronald I've looked up all the texts you have listed on this thread and I've seen nothing that says we are to do what you have proposed, which is basically to start a whole new country. 50 million people joining in is indeed a grand program on a scale that has never been attempted before. Now if you were to propose little commune types, with a couple hundred or so people, sharing their wealth then yes I could think there is some merit in what you are proposing. In fact this is somewhat what churches do now, we pool our resources and build churches, schools, community services buildings etc. We also use our money to spread the Gospel. We all have our talents that we use to make the church work, but we do this within a capitalistic system.

We know that in the end we are to sell what we have to finish the work.

You state that your system would be needs based, is that not what Capitalism does? By supply and demand the needs of the people are met. Any other system would try to dictate the needs of the people. And one person's needs is another's wants, there is no getting around this fact.

If we were to start a system on such a grand scale then would not Mrs. White have seen this?

I admire you for thinking big (ok, off the scale gigantic )and planning such a thing but I just don't see a Biblical mandate (or even a suggestion) for such a project. Nor do I see anything in the Bible that says Capitalism is not Biblical, indeed in the parable of the talents there is a mandate for investing and increasing wealth (capitalism). What I do see in the Bible is guidance for individuals to wisely use the money they are given within a Capitalistic system. Those who God has blessed with wealth are to give to the poor. Now an argument could be easily made that those of us that are in a Capitalistic system have abused it and wasted our wealth, and that would be true, but that is not because the system is necessarily bad, it's because individuals have failed in their personal lives.

Redfog
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/30/06 04:30 PM

Redfog, capitalism will always, inevitably lead to the entrenched disparity that we are seeing now- a world of have and have not. Why can’t the 80% of Christians in the First world model a would-be perfect “Christian” capitalism. I do not at all see that God or His Word recommends, encourages or models capitalism, usury and economic individualism for His people as many texts clearly speak against these (e.g., Exo 22:25; Lev 23:35, 36; Deut 23:19; Ezek. 18:8, 13, 17; 22:12; Psa 15:5; Acts 4:32-36). Jesus also clearly teaches His followers to: “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed” Luke 12:15a. I would like to hear how you understand and apply these passages. Building a doctrine on a single verse (especially from the statement of a character in an illustrative parable/story no less) and interpreting all other verses that clearly say the opposite according to one’s understanding of that verse is what many people do today to support various unbiblical doctrine such as Sunday sacredness, conscious life after death and eternal torment. Christ’s parable of the talents does not at all by default recommend capitalism to His followers. For one thing, there is no indication that those who had gained more talents did so by e.g., charging interest. The actual notion of using interest to increase wealth is only given as a minimal option that the “wicked and lazy” slave (Matt. 25:26) could have used at the very least. There are many ways, (as it will also be seen in the NJK economy) that resources can be used to produce more resources without going through the money/finance route. As EGW commentary on this parable also says, various “talents” are to be used to increase ‘possessions/goods’ (vs. Matt 25:13b) i.e., various resources (COL 325-365).

I choose to make truly helping others as I would like to be helped if I was in that situation my primary focus. And many things such as the subjective values of money are seen in their spurious and futile light. People who have the good of others in mind can easily make the difference between needs and frivolous wants and will not see this as a major obstacle as you do. In life, at some point we all have to make a rational choice between various options. When one keeps the principle of Christ as their arbitrator and guide they will always come to make the Biblical choice. In capitalism, a multi-million dollar house is definitely never a need. Nor is a $70,000 automobile; or owning 11 homes/mansions in various states and countries; or a $25 million dollar salary; and the list could go on and on.

God does not compel anyone to do His will. He instead gives us many principles which we are to live by and if we follow them, then we will naturally do and live according to what He expects of us as His people. In the establishment of the SDA Church, God did not dictate to the early group of believers what doctrines to believe or what institutions and missions to undertake or accomplish. It is as they set out to do these things that He confirmed and/or guided their actions then through visions and dreams given to Ellen White, even in their prophetic interpretation, and He fully continues to operate in this way today. Through the end time event visions of EGW, God has giving us a view of the accomplishment of mission and the opposition we can expect. How we accomplish this mission has really be left up to us to do. He never told Ellen White that e.g., the Church needed satellite or shortwave media ministries but this tool has been essential in accomplishing our mission. Likewise we are called to fully help all of those who are in need (e.g., Matt 25:31-46), and the plans of the NJK have been made to accomplish this mission. Let the Remnant Church and every member truly set out today to fully accomplish what God expects of them (even at a local level) and it will be quickly seen what really has to be done so that every member can be in a position to have the time, ability and various resources to adequately support a generous, global ministry and giving a glorious witness given to over 6.5 billion people. Until everyone has made a knowing choice for or against God and His ways, His Church will be here to give it. My whole point, and the function and purpose of the NJK Project is that much more can be done with the resources that the Church currently has without having to do it according to ways of a capitalistic, money, interest/finance way or system. The various local institutions (Churches, Schools, Hospitals, etc) that the Church have established to date have cost billions of dollars and still are costing millions annually in operating costs as they are forced to meet the demands of those who control the various “capital” they need to operate. If it will help you, you can view the NJK project as a parallel control of these needed various “capitals” into the hands of the Church in order to avoid capitalistically inflated prices. And in order to legally and truly accomplish this in many areas, physical independence and an organization into a country is necessary. A comparable separation and organization had to be done in some degree for spiritual reasons by the Church for its various institutions to avoid having to obey certain worldly/secular criteria and demands. A united church, as proposed by the NJK’s free-services, raw-material based economy, pooling the services of members would have done and do the same thing and much more at a thousandth and less of this cost. The most valuable factor in any economy is by far the various service of people and that is what inflates the costs in any economy.

Ronald
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 05/30/06 09:36 PM

Exo 22:25; Lev 23:35, 36; Deut 23:19; Ezek. 18:8, 13, 17; 22:12; Psa 15:5; Acts 4:32-36).

Ronald, of the texts above only one supports a system that resembles socialism and there is no indication that that was to be a model for the future. (Lev 23:35, 36, I believe either you posted in error or I cannot find the relevance to this discussion, or maybe I just can't find it) :-) All the rest say we should not be charging interest. mostly to the poor. They say nothing against a free enterprise system.

I never suggested that the parable of the talents was about charging interest, what I did say was that it was about investing and making a profit, which is a tenant of capitalism.

Is capitalism perfect? No far from it. But what I'm hearing you say, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that it is somehow wrong (sinful) to make a profit and those Christian business owners in a capitalistic system are somehow not following God. This I'm sure would be a major surprise to those business people who are making profits and funneling their funds and time into philanthropic deeds. A person can just as well help the poor in a capitalistic system as in any other system, and maybe more. When someone makes more than their needs they can then do good with that extra money. Helping others is not at odds with capitalism, indeed building businesses and making a profit is helping others by virtue of creating jobs. There is absolutely no better way to help our fellowman than providing him or her employment. None. Work is the most basic and meaningful way of helping the poor, (and very Biblical) with the exception of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. Businesses create businesses, profits create jobs, jobs alleviate the ravages of poverty. No other system has ever been able to do this as efficiently as the free enterprise system as far as I know.

As far as that multi million dollar house you spoke of. Lets look at that for a moment. Where did that money go? Did it evaporate into thin air? I think not. Some of it paid a $15 dollar an hour dry wall hanger who put his kids in a Christian school with that money, some paid an electrician for a year and put food on his table and a roof over his head. Some of it paid for a piece of machinery made in the Mid-West by a young man whose wife is pregnant with their first child. And that machine was used by a immigrant landscaper to plant a beautiful lawn, a lawn that will keep him employed for years to come so that he can send money to his family in Honduras. And that owner will be paying taxes on that home, taxes that will keep a school funded so that a young girl from a poor single parent home can be educated and lift herself out of poverty.

Yes for me that house would be wrong to own but it is not a waste of money. If that business person can meet his obligations to God and his family then I'm not convinced it is wrong to own it, that is between him and God. Was it wrong for Job to own 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 1000 ox etc etc? Were those things beyond his needs? Yes! (Indeed God then doubled all those things!) Many times God blesses us way way way beyond our needs. Throughout the Bible God blessed people with much more than their needs. He is like that. I don't need a computer, but God has blessed me and seen fit that I own a computer. I don't need snow skis but God has blessed me so that I can own them. Yes maybe greed is wrong, in one sense of the word but wants are apparently not wrong nor sinful.

I once owned a company that made log swings (among other things) for front lawns. Do people need swing under a shade tree? No of course not, however people do want them and as a result of those wants our employees sent their kids to church school, academy and college, they bought houses, they fed their families and they went on mission trips to help the poor in Honduras. As a business owner I was able to help with some special needs of our church with the profits. In any other economic system I'm not convinced any of those things would have happened. I could write a book about the miracles that God performed, through our capitalistic system, for that business, (and still is), and if He did those things for us it could not be wrong.

I see much in the Bible supporting wealth, making profit and having individual businesses, which is basic to the capitalistic system. Now what would you say about Christians banding together to do what you are proposing based on the free enterprise system? A utopian society based on Christian principles within the framework of capitalism might have some merit, no?

Redfog
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 06/02/06 03:14 PM

I found the following to be interesting though only minimally related to this thread. It is a list of new countries that people are trying to form, some serious some otherwise.



http://www.angelfire.com/nv/micronations/newcountry.html
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 06/05/06 04:19 AM

Redfog, Here are the answers to your previous post:

Interest and Usury Texts
The text I was referring to was Lev 25:35, 36. Now, of the 6 passages regarding interest that I cited and that you “found” (5) only 1 had a reference to “the poor” (Exodus 22:25). How 1 out of 5 becomes “mostly” you’ll have to explain. The other 4 passages make absolutely no qualification in their ‘condemnatory’ statements. If it was a practice for an Israelite to charge interest and usury to a countryman who was wealthy but not the poor, it would have been proper for all of these other passages to include a “...from/to the poor”clause in their statements of rebuke. The passage also in the books of the Law, namely Deut 23:19, 20, makes this unqualified absoluteness quite clear by straightly contrasting a “countryman” vs. a “foreigner.” Therefore the passage of Exo 22:25 must be interpreted and understood in the light of the greater context provided by the rest of the Bible, especially as the Hebrew of Exo 22:25 is somewhat ambiguous. The syntactical construction of the phrase in question in this text is: a verb followed by back to back accusatives prefixed by identical particles. Text= alewh (cause to lend) ‘et-`amm (to countrymen) ‘et-he|`n (to the poor). Such a construction can either functions as being purely “distributively” or purely “explicatively” or even a nuance of the two. The "‘et-"s accusative particle itself has the underlying meaning of “with.” Some versions have translated it simply as ‘If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you’ (NASB 1977, 1995; NRSV) other instead have added some words to render it as: ‘If you lend to any/one of My people who are poor among you,’ (ASV, KJV, NJKV, NIV, NAB, RSV). [Interestingly, the RSV has “revised” its translation of this text for its NRSV]. In the case here, it is the independent and outside knowledge regarding this regulation provided in the rest of the Bible that really should determine what is really meant here. The actual context and knowledge is all of the statements which deal with this subject, and in the light of the general absolute nature of this command in the rest of the Bible, the passage of Exod 22:25 should be understood to be referring simultaneously to both ‘My people (Israelites)with/including [i.e., especially] the poor/afflicted among you’. Why the distinction? Well it may have been quite tempting/natural to charge interest and usury to a countryman who was or had become poor and was unable to then repay a loan. Lev 25:35, 36 addresses this issue in particular and outright condemns it. Today a would-be similar practice of charging interest to the relatively “poor” can be seen in credit card schemes. These lending institutions usually advertise “no interest” loans and credit as long as one is able to meet the minimum payments, or repay the principle amount in time. Of course, those who are relatively wealthy will end up having this no interest loan, but those who are poor will not enjoy this benefit. (This is certainly not a benevolent action on the part of these lending businesses to provide people with interest free loan, but a major part of their scheme to maximize their chances of collecting much more interest in the long run as more people are more apt to accept their credit because of the zero interest possibility, whereas if interest was by default a due of the loan from the start, people would be more likely to avoid making use of it.)

Additional Comment
In the Bible, the anti-typical meaning of the text of Deut 15:9, 10, comes to condemn as “base thinking” using the “nearnest” of the Second Coming as a reason to, in reality, be indifferent to the present needs of those who are in need. ‘They are not my responsibility/brother’, one may say; well Jesus, takes into full consideration even “the least of these” (Matt 25:46; cf. DA 637-641)

Verse 11 of this passage may seem to suggest that their will or should always be a “poor class,” even among God’s people, but its statement should be interpreted in the light of Israel’s localized economy. People were not by default poor in Israel. They simply became poor i.e., “afflicted and needy”. (cf. 6T 271; PP 530, 531; cf. Neh 5:4 where even the poor previously had their own means of subsistence). This “affliction/humbling” may have come upon them through various circumstances (sickness, a death, etc); and/or from some sort of sudden failure in their local/household economy. But when that became the case, others were automatically suppose to come to their aid by sharing with them to meet their need. That, by the way is a tenet of Socialism, resembling Welfare. Apparently God did not prevent such a situation from ever occurring in the history of Israel, because, as Ellen White comments, ‘[poverty] is one of His means for the development of character.’ (MH 186; PP 530, 531). Many of these affliction also came as a natural result of the sinful world we live in. This all indeed teaches us to be generous and caring towards others. (Deut 15:8). Should not this fully be the case today? The Apostlic Church seemed to have fully learned this lesson. (Acts 2:44, 45; 4:32-37)

Economy in Ancient Israel...
The particulars of the economy of Israel fairly requires an in depth study, but for now here is my working thesis:

Ancient Israel’s economy was not of a commercial nature but localized to primarily households and focused on providing the necessities of life. The raw materials and economic basis (and inheritance) for these household economies was freely provided collectively from the plentiful and resource-full land in which they lived and which had been apportioned to them (1) ‘according to their household size i.e, their need; and (2) further by lot (e.g., Num 26:52-56). ’ Our economy today is extremely specialized and greatly uses a division of labour and natural resources have been “capitalized” to corporations. (This naturally forms the base of the capitalistic mountain that is our present economy). Now, the various “sectors” of the previous household economy in Ancient Israel have really become specialized/commercialized/nationalized today, and that in only recent years (i.e., around the time of the Industrial Revolution. For example in 1820 71.8% of U.S. Workers were involved in farm occupations whereas today it is less than 2.5% Source: USDA). If we are going to rather use such a complex national economic structure instead of a household one, then it should still rightly and correspondingly be seen as a larger extension of the previous “household economy” but which now encompasses ‘family members’ of the Faith. Therefore the necessities of life which are now provided from a more collective source should still be considered as being for a single household even if things have now become more complex to produce today. Just like the resources within an household owned and shared collectively and are distributed equally and as needs are, so too should be the production/distribution of these basic collective resources. Now if in Israel there was a person who specialized in a trade and provided a service to others, it is quite apparent to me from the Biblical account that no one then naturally/lawfully used this to amass a personal fortune and become a then “millionaire/billionaire.” That would have been automatically categorized as being oppressive and sinful as this greater than needed profit would have been made by actually overpricing others for their product/services. It seems to me that profits then, were strictly utilitarian in nature, i.e., to enable the person using his productive hours to provide a service to others to be able to have the necessities of life for himself and his family. It is not surprising that today (1) banks make a major part of their money from the interest gained on the most important need of all, through mortgage payments for homes; (2) people spend most of their money on basic needs such a food; shelter, clothing, education and other related relative necessities such as appliances/furniture, transportation and energy; and the likes. In the complex economy of the NJK where services are widely provided by all citizens, the needs of all, (i.e., the rewards for their labour) will come to be automatically met within the economic structure itself. There will still be a great deal of varying products and services that will be available for the different preferences of people and then, just like the present spending of money today, people will use their finite available resources how and where they see fit. In the end what people really need and can just as easily obtain are products/services of top functional quality. This really prevents them from having to spend for the same product/service again or even repeatedly and actually saves much on resources for while that comes to have a high value and price tag within a capitalistic economy, there really is very little material difference between a high-quality version of a product and a lesser one. The difference in capitalism is mainly a result of lesser production. That is why items can cost several thousands of dollars in their first years and then less than $200 in later years. ...

The Wealth of Job
When you read the story of Job, you clearly see that God greatly blessed him because he was a tremendously generous and benevolent person. This is seen in passages like Job 29:7-17; 31:13-40 and as opposed to the wicked dealings of others (Job 24). Therefore the blessing of Job was in keeping with God’s promise to those who are faithful in meeting the needs of the poor and needy (e.g., Deut 14:29b, 15:10b-(compare with Job 1:10b); Psa 41;1, 2ff; Pro 22:9). Not to mention that Job had a large household of ten children (Job 1:2) and many (hired) servants (3b). Also Job’s wealth was mostly natural wealth, i.e., livestock which could be increased/multiplied naturally and almost effortlessly. So if Job simply gave away a couple of these livestocks occasionally, he would given them a very valuable gift. Furthermore, Job being, as many Bible Scholars agree, one of the earliest patriarchs living sometime right after the flood, was one of the few followers of God in his area at the time, surrounded no doubt by many rebellious wicked people (Job 24:13ff) Therefore enriching them by sharing his wealth with them would in reality be funding their injustices, wickedness and debauchery. I have seen in the Bible such (mainly natural) wealth only among the early patriarchs like Abraham (Gen 13:2; 24:35) and Isaac (Gen 26:12-14) who were actually a micro-nation/people of God within themselves. However I do not read about such a private consolidation wealth when the people of God are settled in their Promised land, had abundant resource readily available to them and numbered in the millions. As far as I know, such opulence was only seen in the palace and households of the kings of Israel and Judah, but quite contrary to God’s instruction (Deut 17:17). The wealth of the early patriarchs was certainly not ‘“greed” in any form’ (that would certainly be quite contradictory on God’s part), but a utilitarian means of ensuring basic survival for their large communities while they were living in mainly barren, drought/famine-threatened land (cf., Gen 12:10; 26:1). Not to mention that these early patriarchs really could not depend on the heathens around them for subsistence, so they had to literally “stock up” on their livelihood, including a form of the apparently-then-used currency in the case of Abraham and his family. God blessed these households just like He would have blessed Israel as a nation if they had observed His precepts and lived according to His benevolent ways.

Also concerning Job, who knows how long his trial lasted during the 140 years of his life (Job 42:16). The double blessing of God may simply have been a compensation for what he would then have had if all had not been taken away from him in the first place. It also may have been a way for God to make a point to those in the Opposition who would want to harm any of God’s blessed followers and make known/emphasize His policy on how He will generously reward them (i.e., ‘you’ll only double their blessing in the long run.’ cf. Mar 8:35; (Matt. 10:36+Luke 18:29, 30)).

Multi-million dollar House
Concerning the multi-million dollar house. Let us do take a closer look at it and its “justification/‘raison d’etre’” using actual facts and a concrete example to see if it really is that beneficial to society as a whole.
Take these randomly selected homes from the region of Miami, Florida. (A city where I lived for 7 years). The first is a $32,000,000 house (taxable value= $18,210,829). It has an area of 19,440 sq. ft; 8 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms (2 partial); and is built on over 2 acres of land. (Let’s set, for uniform calculations sake, this area at the somewhat median 2.43 acres (105,774 sq. ft ~[325ft X 325ft])). It also pays around $453,000 in real estate taxes a year. Now, on the other hand, the value for this house would, in that local market/economy, build (based on taxable values) 110 normal but well-off, 3 bedroom, 2 baths, 1,247 ft2 homes worth $350,000 each (land = 6,785 ft2) (tx.v.= $166,140) that each pay $4484 in real estate taxes. Simply using the examples you brought up as the “trickle down” ‘advantages’ of a single multi-million dollar house and keeping the realistic fact that the various individual contracted jobs that went into building the house did not each last a full year but rather a couple of weeks each. (For example, a house’s electrical wiring is logically and normally done (1) while the house is in its framework/“skeletal” form and then later when the house is close to be finished (i.e., electrical fixtures). So the above mentioned contracted electrician(s) more than likely spent only few total days/weeks (over two “waves”) doing his job; and also at the rate of the market value of his salary which is medianly $20.57/hr = $42,790/yr or in the top 10 percentile level: $33.88/hr = $70,480). Based on this comparison, it is easily conceivable that by building regular homes instead of one multi-million dollar one, there would be:
(1) 110 times more dry-wallers and electricians could have been employed
(2) much more pieces of machinery could have been produced and sold
(3) there would be at least 638,000 more sq. ft. of (land and) lawn to (clear, prepare and then) take care of either by the owners themselves (which requires the procurement of lawn mowers and other tools); or even some by businesses who render this service (which could also be run by many more “Honduran immigrants with dependents”). By the way, both the Luxurious home and the normal house in this comparison have the same land-to-house area ratios of 5.4:1.
(4) Concerning taxes. The individual homes in this example would bring in nearly 9% more taxes than the single homes (~$39,000/year; almost the value of 9 more single homes) which would help many more children out of poverty.
(5) Individual homes also require more individualized products/services than a single home/household (e.g., water gas and electric meters/supply lines; fuse boxes; telephone lines; even individual pools; among many other things). The production of all of additional these individual items will create many more jobs than just having to produce one.
(8) All of these greater advantages are also just for one multi-million dollar house. Multiply this by 100 or 1000 such luxurious homes and one can see the greater benefits of increasing production/employment by 11,000 or 110,000 times. (There are over 8.3 million U.S. households that have a net worth of more than $1 million; $5M = 930,000; $500,000 = 14,000,000 (2005 data); (371) billionaires - billionaires who average a wealth of around $3,000,000,000 each).


Throughout the Bible, the practice of amassing wealth by profiting from others is not seen as righteous but as oppression. It is only by making more than enough profits and ignoring the poor that such a costly mansion can ever be built in the first place.

Quote:

God's word sanctions no policy that will enrich one class by the oppression and suffering of another. In all our business transactions it teaches us to put ourselves in the place of those with whom we are dealing, to look not only on our own things, but also on the things of others. He who would take advantage of another's misfortunes in order to benefit himself, or who seeks to profit himself through another's weakness or incompetence, is a transgressor both of the principles and of the precepts of the word of God. MH 187-188




Capitalism for Benevolence???
Notice in the parable of the Talents that all of the “profits” that were made, were made entirely for the master, who in this story represents Christ. No doubt the servants had a regular separate income that was ultimately derived from the work they did for their master. Probably it was just enough to meet their needs, even if it was in a monetary form. In a parallel way, whatever we do with what God has entrusted us with should be entirely returned into the work of the Kingdom of God, and not for personal wealth and gain. (A business expansion fund/expense can be considered as an operating cost; for normally, when a business owner invests it as such, they are not taxed for it). So this parable of the talents focuses only on exponentially increasing the “wealth” of God’s resource for His work and is not a guide on how one can increase their personal wealth. (Not that you have said that). On that principle alone, a Christian owner should return all excess profits made from a business into the work of God.

Even after having said that, I still do not see how your suggestion to raise money to meet the needs of the poor through what I understand to be the same system of capitalism in use today will ever come to fully meet the actual vital needs of the world. I could now give you my understanding of how, “capitalistically”, such an attempt will end up “putting itself out of business,” but I guess it is only fair that you explain how this will be done and according to what “sanitized” capitalistic parameters. As an example, such a philanthropic owner would somehow have to increase his company’s revenue, but within capitalism that has to be done by really cornering the market in a certain area with a high demand and/or costly product. Also if the owner goes the route of increasing his profit margin, they will have to either cut operating expenses significantly (1) without affecting salaries (or they will lose employees) (2) maintaining a perfect balance between the final product/prices and customers/sales. Now unless many owner in e.g., America can do this successfully, i.e., really shift their respective market towards them, they will simply still continue to give to philanthropic works at the same rate and amount in which they are giving now. And to date, that has not help resolve the basic/vital humanitarian needs of the world and millions of people are still needlessly dying everyday. These hundred of millions of people do not need a jobs right now. Such jobs/industry would really have to be out of a capitalistic/profitability context to meet the needs of all. These people need food, water, medicine, a basic education, a normal development, not to mention outright life in the case of aborted infants. After that, when they are alive, healthy, fit and socially stable, Capitalism can seek to employ them according to its rentability criteria, is of course, they are then profitable and more importantly if people still care anything about such an indifferent system then. To talk about the actual needs of these people as if it was not really an urgent matter of life and death that the Christian has the obligation to fully meet as soon as possible and by what ever means needed is certainly not Christlike and Biblical.

The NJK Project fully sees as its end objective to enable these people help themselves out of poverty, but in the mean time it will provide the necessary supply, support and infrastructure to defeat and keep in check life damaging and threatening poverty. Unless you can come up with a plan to turn a Third World country into a First World country in a few years, hundred of millions of people will gratuitously die, and that is simply unacceptable. Also a ‘new capitalism’ plan that will do better than the Free-Service, Raw Materials Cost NJK Economy will have to do at least 1000 times better than what it is doing now for this is what the NJK’s humane economy will do. As soon as a group of people set out to establish this needed socioeconomic platform for an HC and its ministries, significant work can then also simultaneously be started and done towards helping those in need. Of course, the larger the starting population the more work that can and will be done.

Free-Enterprise Efficiency???
If you look at the many comparisons and advantages on various pages of my website concerning the proposed on-demand/pre-planned system of national production, you will see that it this system, especially in our electronic and scientific age will be much more efficient than what capitalism has ever done. The goal, by definition, of an “economy” is to actually be “economic in its use of resources,” isn’t it? Well, based on this criteria, Capitalism has been and continues to be extremely wasteful in many points.

Any economic system that is preventing the people of God from fully accomplishing or being what God expects of them, especially because of the artificial demands and claims it has, has ascended to a status of being a god and that is Biblically evil. It should rightly be discarded and replaced with another one which incorporates and upholds the standards and criteria of God.

Ronald

P.S. You would also have found the “New Country” link on this page on my website. It was placed there for comparative purposes. My project is also listed on that site.
Posted by: Redfog

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 06/05/06 08:08 AM

Well Ronald I must say you are a visionary, much more so than this simple bee keeper. My vision for eliminating poverty is in the second coming of Christ, which the way things have been changing in the last 4 or 5 years could come very quickly. Long before any of our feeble plans can take place.

You ask how capitalism can help the poor countries. Well just look at India and China, they are raising their economic standards because of capitalism.

To say that when some get rich others get oppressed is not something I can subscribe to. I can think of several SDA business people who have provided good paying jobs for many in their communities. No one is getting oppressed, some are simply making more than others.

And take the example of Henry Ford. He became wealthy because he had a large part in creating a middle class of people from poor people. He did not oppress people, he brought them out of poverty by giving them jobs.

I know a man who employs about 500 people making yachts for the rich. Who is oppressed there?

Who is Bill Gates oppressing? Is he not providing thousands of jobs? Is he not giving away 100's of millions to charity? He is where he is today because of capitalism. We are using computers to discuss this because of the free enterprise system.

It is when a system is in place that pays everyone the same that people become poorer. Why? Because there is no incentive to work harder or smarter. When you give people the possibility of gaining wealth they will up their out put. They will create new products.

I'm not sure you can compare the theocracy that was Israel with any system in place today nor do I see any mandate that their system was to be a model for systems in this day and age.

In any case I think I've made my point, and you've made yours and neither of us will agree with the other. Such is life in a capitalistic world :-)

Good luck Ronald, let me know when you actually start building something, I'd like to see it.

Redfog
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 06/08/06 12:14 AM

As it has been explained more fully before, the Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to save people, and when individuals in the living generation will have made a knowing willful choice for or against Him and His will, then He will return (2 Pet 3:9). If He were to come simply to even eliminate poverty, then many of these same people in poverty would be found in an unsaved and condemn state. Christ has given us the clear benevolent missions we need to accomplish to fully prepare the way for His coming and that includes fully responding to the various forms and effects of poverty. Throughout the Bible, I only see Him and the apostles setting out to accomplish this through self-sacrificing, directly benevolent, all-out work and actions. If the artificial dictates and requirements capitalism cannot allow these things to be fully done, then that is just quite unfortunate for this system. Christians must obey God rather then men (Acts 5:29). Another system will have to be used in its placed, and contrary to what you believe, that does not automatically and only have to mean ‘the socialist systems that we’ve seen in our times.’ The proposed system of the NJK is unlike anything this unbelieving world has ever conceived or used. The Church will remain on this Earth until it has accomplished its mandate as God’s representatives. How long that will be entirely depends on when they fulfill their part in this Great Controversy that allows God to fully intervene. The Creator, and not man or nature, is in total control of the ultimate destiny of this planet. However man will still live through whatever consequences their destructive actions towards this ecosystem have caused and the natural effects of an aging planet- shifting, massive tectonic plates, on land and undersea, and all. Maybe if people do remain in ignorance of God’s ways and true will and Christ’s Lordship, they’ll end up fairing better in their final judgement.

Concerning China and India, it has taken over 25 and 50 years respectively for them to reach the relative level of economic growth that they currently have, yet poverty in this countries is still a major issue, especially when measured by international and standards. China extreme measure of a “one child policy” has “contributed” (no justification intended) to their economic growth as there are much less purely dependent people to take care of, and most of the population is “solvent.” Just wait until this same population group becomes senior citizens. Among other poverty indicators, democratic India, (who does not overtly have such a policy), has a GDP/capita which is over half that of China’s ($3,300 to $6,800). There is clearly still existent in our world today a major problem of suffering and needless dying affecting hundreds of millions and billion of people and to intervene and eradicate this crisis should be wholly the concern of the true follower of Christ today.

Companies do not make their profits off of their employees, they make it off the people who use/choose/depend on their particular product and/or services. Usually the more such a product or service is relatively “indispensable”, the greater will be the profit margin, e.g., gasoline. In our specialized and divided economy the exponential sum of all of these profit margins at the various level of production is what ultimately leads to the suppressing of those who do not have a share of this limited pie. They have to remain in poverty and lower class, e.g., below the poverty line, so that those who want to have more and much more than others could meet their wants. They are the ones who are being crushed by the pyramid-like scheme of capitalism. This would be far worse without the forced redistribution of wealth by governments, among other socialist interventions as mentioned before. It is not out of the ordinary that Henry Ford’s company had the effect it had in society, the automobile industry was an upstart and booming industry which needed a lot of manpower and manual labour, especially at that time. But once all of the pieces of that industrial and economic “pie” were taken, that was it for the remaining poor. Capitalism will never create industries to meet the needs of all, but solely the needs of those who can afford the cumulative and suggested prices of their various goods and services. Also, shipbuilding in general is a very manual labour demanding work. Luxury yacht building usually requires even more particular attention and labour due to the great customization included in this non-uniform process. So if a company is building yachts for the rich and wants to keep an acceptable/reasonable turnaround time (i.e., completion time) for their orders especially if they have many orders to fulfill, then it would not be out of the ordinary or ‘magnanimous’ for them to employ many workers.

Again concerning your ‘needed motivation of wealth and greed’ (which has been responded to before), you’ll have to convince an “unconverted” or an outright unbeliever with its supposed ‘indispensability’, especially in the context of a Truly Christian society. Also, correct me if I am wrong, but I have not read about or seen a socialist economy that has had a, strictly speaking, ‘“equal pay” policy right across the economic board.’ And arguably, that is really what has caused them to transition to and/or incorporate capitalism due to the unfairness and active “fault line” that the incongruity that such a mixed economic theory and application created within their system.

If the example of the people of God throughout history and how God established, instructed and guided them is not the point of reference for the Remnant’s today, then what is??? The Ancient Spartan community? Or the wealth class system of the Roman Empire? Or, better yet, that is for our advanced “day and age,” the moral and ethical judgements and values of the capitalist today? God does not need to literally and continually have to come down to a mountain top and repeat the eternal and timeless principles that He has made known in the past for every new generation of believers. This has happened at one time before in the History of His people and the instructions given then have been recorded and preserved in the Bible. Through Jesus Christ’s Advent, the Godhead set the record straight for believers in the light of the Gospel and even greatly “raised the bar.” All of these things definitely clearly speak to us today and are our unequivocal mandate. That is something the just in Ancient Israel and the Early Christian Church in particular understood quite clearly and did. And that is to be the model for the Remnant today. If such a system has not been preserved or does not exist today, it is not because the Word of God is irrelevant, pass, or even, has failed in anyway. It is because men and women have chosen to remain in its path but have followed the ungodly inclinations of their heart. I guess they’ll just have to live with the true rewards of their choices, in this age and forever. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Jos 24:14, 15; Luke 16:13). The NJK Project will help those who want to, and/or would want to, live according to God’s ways. If the Bible’s actual truth and its many just and righteous principles and exhortations are going to be literally ignored and treated as being of no real consequence in this discussion then I guess you’ll do have to claim the “laissez faire” tenet of capitalism and its underlying theory of relativism. I guess I am just too convinced that the Bible is Truly the Final Arbitrator and Authority. (Isa 40:8; 55:8-56:2ff)

Ronald

P.S. In this media and information age, when construction starts on an HC, I will not need to personally tell you about it. You’ll surely hear about it otherwise.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 11/17/09 11:25 PM

Update:
Visit the NJK Project's blog at http://njkproject.blogspot.com
It presents some pertinent issues that form the basis of, and show the necessity for, this planned Global Humanitarian Mission and Ministry, both using Biblical parameters.

Currently examined topics are:
1. Book Preview: The Biblical Interpretation of Daniel's 70 Weeks (Dan 9:1-27)
2. Testimony to the Church - Part 1
3. Book Preview: God All Mighty! (Divine Foreknowledge or Divine Foreplanning?)
4. The Church Triumphant
5. Ed Reid: 7 Year Christian Mortgage
6. Text Proof - Reply to TC1 Message
7. The Ministry of David Gates
8. Daniel 11 - The Text - North vs. South
9. Our Final Test
10. The Sealing of God's People - Part 1 (Ezekiel 8)
11. The Sealing of God's People - Part 2 (Ezekiel 9)
12. The Heart of the Elijah Message (Malachi 4:5, 6)

[These topics can be discussed here]
Posted by: Mountain Man

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 11/19/09 10:40 PM

Are you advertising something?
Posted by: Daryl FSite Administrator

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be Going Along With It? - 11/20/09 06:43 PM

I do not normally allow these type of posts, however, I will make an exception in this case, as long as it doesn't affect the integrity of this thread.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Update:
Visit the NJK Project's blog at http://njkproject.blogspot.com
It presents some pertinent issues that form the basis of, and show the necessity for, this planned Global Humanitarian Mission and Ministry, both using Biblical parameters.

Currently examined topics are:
1. Book Preview: The Biblical Interpretation of Daniel's 70 Weeks (Dan 9:1-27)
2. Testimony to the Church - Part 1
3. Book Preview: God All Mighty! (Divine Foreknowledge or Divine Foreplanning?)
4. The Church Triumphant
5. Ed Reid: 7 Year Christian Mortgage
6. Text Proof - Reply to TC1 Message
7. The Ministry of David Gates
8. Daniel 11 - The Text - North vs. South
9. Our Final Test
10. The Sealing of God's People - Part 1 (Ezekiel 8)
11. The Sealing of God's People - Part 2 (Ezekiel 9)
12. The Heart of the Elijah Message (Malachi 4:5, 6)

[These topics can be discussed here]
Posted by: Rick H

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 11/21/09 08:49 AM

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
I. The Crisis
II. The Cause
III. The Root Cause
IV. The Alternative
V. The Resources
VI. Decision Time
VII. The Endtime Mandate
VIII. The Biblical Challenge
IX. The Project
X. Further Information


I. The Crisis
One of the foremost questions posed by unbelievers concerning Christianity, and God in particular, is: How could God exist when there is so much suffering in this world? Where is "your God" when so many people are gratuitously dying? They cannot reconcile how a loving God can allow all these things to go on. But in reality, the question that should be asked is : Where is God’s Church and His people in this world? Where are his supposed “ambassadors” and “representatives” in the face of the world's humanitarian needs? There are hundreds of million suffer and die from chronic malnutrition. Around 1.1 billion do not have access to clean freshwater, with an additional 1.5 billion not having proper sanitation resulting in a total of over 5.3 million deaths a year. An estimated 1.3 billion people lack access to basic healthcare resulting in the suffering and death of tens of millions each year from preventable and/or treatable diseases. Over 46 million babies worldwide are killed every year through the practice of abortion. Many more are orphans without a proper home; abjectly poor; uneducated and without the hope of an education. Many more are unable to be functional in society due to a disability which, with the proper aids and/or assistance, can be surmounted or coped with. Can God’s Church do something to redress these injustices and downright evils? And if yes, then should it not do it?

II. The Cause
To state it frankly there is a single, subtle, yet powerful (actually: “empowered”) evil that is preventing the Church from “Triumphing” over these problems. It is “subtle” because no one seems to recognize it as what it really is, or even wants to denounce it. It is “powerful” (actually “empowered”) because it only gets its power from those who consider it to be worth the godlike status that it has been given. What is this hidden evil. Well to find out one simply has to ask "why is the Church actually not doing works that will heal the world of its problems. Why isn’t the Church growing crops to feed the world’s hungry? After all were not Adventist Educational Institution established in areas where agricultural skills can also be developed. Why is freshwater unavailable to so many when the world surface is 70% water, and that thousands of feet deep? Why is there not a better alternative for women when they are intending to have an abortion for social and/or economic reasons? And so on. Well, the primary, if not, the only reason that comes to one’s mind is that: ‘the Church does not have that kind of MONEY to provide such resources.’ And that usually silences that debate. This supposed “reality” is viewed as the final arbitrator in these matters and comes to decide how much, if any, humanitarian work the Church will or could do. Sure this is the right answer for many in this world, but should it also be accepted as truth by God’s people? Is this world economic’s system a true measure of the world’s (i.e., this planet’s) “economy”, or is it just a subjective spurious system driven by, and at the profit of, those who have, at whatever level of this pyramid-like scheme they are on, at the expense of those who do not have. In the end, it is those who are at the very bottom of this pyramid who have all the weight come and crush them (i.e., the poor and suffering of the world).

III. The Root Cause
Consider this fact. The single most influential factor in any nation’s economy is not the value of raw materials and natural resources, nor the tools and machinery needed to process theses materials, but it is the “human factor.” It is what men and women believe that their knowledge, innovations and services are worth to others. This is tangibly reflected in “labor costs.” These labor cost almost always make up 70-75% of the value of a nation economy. This means that in a powerful economic engine like the United States of America, if labor costs were subtracted from its economy, its GDP/per capita value would go from its present value of $41,800 to around $10,000. Furthermore, consider this other fact. In 2005 the U.S. had a $12.5 trillion dollar economy, yet the total value of non-fuel raw materials used domestically during that year was a mere $58.9 billion dollars (source: usgs.gov). That represents a meager 0.005% of its economy. This is all due to the fact that by the time a shapeless raw material has reach a final useful form, it has gone through and been affected by so many cumulative and varying levels of this “human factor” that it suddenly is now worth up to hundreds of times its primitive value. As a consequence, a house that has a value of well over $750,000 in the American economy actually only has less than $2,500 worth of raw materials in it; or a mid-size car worth around $18,000 has less than $250 worth of metals and raw materials. Compounded to that (pun will be intended), have you ever, or are you having to, pay a mortgage almost 3 times more than what its principle value was. Or does anything justify a professional athlete making in 8 month of work, or rather play, 3 times more than what a surgeon will make in a lifetime. There is a widely accepted saying that states that: “Money makes the world go round” but the facts clearly indicate that it is ‘People who make the world go round.” All this to say that it is the human factor in economies that have come to make things so unbalanced and so unattainable for many.

IV. The Alternative
What would happen if God’s people pooled their knowledge, know-how and resources, to labor for those in need. For example, what if instead of Seventh Day Adventist working for various secular industries and companies, what if they instead came together and formed denomination owned and operated companies/industries. If they in turn did not charge labor cost, but had their needs met by the other, similarly operated, denominational companies/industries, then at the base of all of this, and at the very least, only the money needed for raw materials would be needed.
So many humanitarian accomplishments could then be made because of such a system by those who would benefit from it:
-Intensive, and more efficient farms can be established and operated for those in need of adequate nutrition.
-Proper sanitation and freshwater could be supplied to many. (If the oil and gas industry can retrieve oil from hundreds of feet below the ocean floor, process it and then transport it thousands of miles away by tankers and/or pipelines, overland and/or under sea, with pumping stations and all, surely freshwater can be produced and/or filtered from various bodies of water and distributed to those who need it.)
-Would-be aborted babies could be spared by being purchased for adoption through legal means from willing mothers who would also not incur any debt from the expenses related to the pregnancy and birth of the child.
-The sick and those with health ailments would receive much more medical care.
-Many would receive an education and would eventually help themselves out of poverty.
-(And the addition of a church annex and fellowship hall would not cost, e.g., $4 million at the detriment of the needy who would greatly benefit from these sums of money).
Consider this alternative method as a mega-do-it-yourself project, in essence similar to, e.g., a group of construction friends getting together to freely build a backyard deck for a friend with materials they purchased at a hardware store and equally shared the costs.

V. The Resources
Of course, one will now ask: Where will all these raw materials come from? Isn’t the world running out of sufficient resources? The answer is actually: no. What the world is supposedly running out of is what economist considered as “economically viable" resources, i.e., what would not demand more effort and better technology to procure. This planet contains sufficient resources to meet this world present and future needs many times over. The oceans alone are a vast reservoir of untapped resources ranging from polymetallic nodules and metal rich sediments to dissolved minerals. While these resources (in International Waters) are freely available for exploitation, the UN Law of the Seas (LOS) requires that developing countries receive (at least) 1%-7% of the withdrawn resources, which is exactly what this project plans to do. Furthermore, if all known technologies today were fully and widely implemented in world economies, the present need of resources would drop considerably. All energy needs would all be met by renewable, clean systems. How much waste is generated annually because things are subjectively considered to be “uneconomical.” Many times it is less costly to discard something that requires a trivial repair and buy a new one. The same goes for items and materials that can be recycled but are not. The $140+ billion dollars spent annually in the U.S. alone on commercial advertisements could easily feed all of the world’s hungry. All of these wastes are a direct result of individualism, commercial competition and the profit-making mentality. In actual direct contradiction to the supposed “economical” argument they propose, these actions rather significantly waste and reduce the amount of resources that could be available to help others with.

VI. Decision Time
Do the people of God have to live that way? Do they have to be constrained by such an unGodly system? Yet we are either convinced that this way is the only way to live by, as if it was God’s own way, or we are left with no other apparent choice than to go along with it. Whether we believe in this system or not it still greatly affect our every day life and our ability to minister in behalf of those who really need it. How many would like to become missionaries, but under this current economical system, it would not be feasible. How can God’s people help others in need, if they in turn become people in need. Clearly there must be a way to overcome this major hurdle. And if ever the people of God can rise above this worldly system and live according to the many Godly principles found in the Bible which are categorically opposed to all of this, it is now. In this computer age, when the basis of most technologies are in the public domain, (or, if need be, can be licensed), the knowledge, the freedom, the educational resources and the human power (i.e., 20+ million people) are all available to accomplish this through a Biblical, needs-based economy (cf. Acts 2:44,45; 4:32-35 [36, 37]) of Apostolic times that will allow for the mandates of God to be carried out. (e.g., Isa 58:6-12; Mat. 25:31-46). (And no, there would not be a need to "sell all.")

VII. The Endtime Mandate
It was Christ’s method to meet the needs of the people he taught, and it is his method alone will give true success in reaching the people (MH 143). Surely this is also to be the Church’s. If we were to present this dilemma to Jesus, He would, as He did before, likewise say: “You give them something to eat. (Mark 6:37). As “the decisions of the last day turn upon our practical benevolence” (TM 399); and as Isaiah 58 is indeed stipulating the conditions for God’s covenant with His people through the fuller understanding/observance of His Glorious Sabbath (by taking care of those in need); and since Christ's main criteria in separating the sheep from the goats mainly focuses on how those in need are treated (Matt 25:31-46), then shouldn’t God’s people be taking all the necessary means to bring about these works? Indeed: “there is need of a deeper, stronger, more constraining testimony on the power of the truth as seen in the practical godliness of those who profess to believe it.” (Mar 107). Then will the ‘good news of God’s Kingdom’ be fully preach as a witness to the nations of this world (Matt 28:13) as the world will clearly see what healing the principles of God bring. Then will the (benevolent) character of Christ be perfectly reproduced in his people (COL 69; read in its context of pp. 62-69). The world will no longer ask: “Where is your God?” or “What kind of God is this?”, for His people will truly be representing Him on earth (COL 68).

[]“It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth. This is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the words, "O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him." Isa. 40:9,10. Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. (COL 415)[/]

VIII. The Project
You may have noticed that such an undertaking takes extensive planning, precise structuring, and efficient organization. Among other things it will require the establishment of a legal entity to “house” and facilitate this project and for physical provisions to be made to accommodate a potential membership/population that can grow, through the project's various ministries, by as much as 50 million people per year. Yet in terms of the required finance and work time needed to implement this project, extensive feasibility studies have shown that each participant in the project aged 21 and older would only have to spend up to a total of US$2,800, disbursed as needed over a period of 7 years; and some would have to work onsite for only 2 weeks per year over this same period (e.g., during a work vacation period).

IX. The Biblical Challenge
On the one hand there is a worldly system known as “capitalism”. A spurious, unwritten, enslaving, survival-of-the-fittest/richest law which encourages unbridled selfishness, greed, strife and oppression. On the other hand there is the liberating, caring, peacemaking, Sabbatical system of God, which reaches out a saving and indiscriminating hand to all those in need. Therefore “choose you this day whom you will serve” (Jos 24:14, 15). If you consider this man-valued system, championed by western nations (of which 80% of their population are Christians) and obediently adhered to or desired by the rest of the world, whether rich or poor, to be worthy of the godlike value it is given, then by all means, do no changes. Give it its “worth-ship”! Let it continue to dictate who will eat or starve, who will live or die, who will hear, understand and experience the Gospel or go to Christ-less grave. Let it continue be to god (1 Kgs 18:21, 24). There is no difference with this and when ancient pagan nations would themselves mold and shape little statuettes from various metals and then ascribe to them godlike qualities and do whatever these gods supposedly told them they should do, even passing their children through the fire, and then the people of God virtually or actually adhering to these standards in trying to conduct the work of the Creator God. (cf. PK chap. 14). But remember, you actually cannot serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other (Matt 6:24). Hundreds, if not thousands, of times more can be done than what is currently being done. [Matt. 25:14-30]. And in case you have not noticed it yet, “Revelation’s Babylon” does not solely have influence in ecclesiastical matters but her “sensuous” i.e., contra-God, anti-Sabbath, principles and practices also lead to the rise and propagation of a worldwide spurious economic system (Rev 18). Clearly God considers His Sabbath to be more than a day of Worship or a day off occurring every seventh day. It is also the basis the everyday lifestyle and "economy” of His people. Correspondingly, the Mark of the Beast, to be enforced through economic means by the second beast of Revelation 13 is based on more than only a day of the week as it seeks to completely undermine and obliterate the true character of the Creator God by substituting His Sabbatical economic principles for self-centered, materialistic ones. The combined, threefold light of the Three Angels’ Message (MS 52, 1900) must be given to counter this religious, socioeconomic counterfeit.

X. Further Information
To have more information concerning the accomplishing of this endeavor to help those in need, you can go to website listed in this user's profile.

[]“In God's great plan for the redemption of a lost race, He has placed Himself under the necessity of using human agencies as His helping hand. He must have a helping hand, in order to reach humanity. He must have the cooperation of those who will be active, quick to see opportunities, quick to discern what must be done for their fellow men.” (1 SM 99)[/]


What do you think Matthew 22:21 was about...
They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 12/10/09 10:06 AM

Sorry for the delay. I had noticed the comments made. Had to adjust my notification.

Mountain Man
This is not an "advertisement"; but an announcement of lengthy discussions that address many of the issues that were raised in this discussion thread. As I said, these related topics can be discussed here.

Daryl Fawcett
Thank You for understanding this and allowing it.

Richard
From the context of your text, Matt 22:21 is the reply of Jesus to the (attempted entrapment) question by the Pharisees of 'whether or not the Jews should be paying the poll-tax imposed upon them by the ruling Roman Empire.' I am not sure what correlation you see between this and the NJK Project. No where is the non-paying of taxes advocated. Also there is no law that restricts anyone from moving to another location on this globe, and that includes "non-claimed international areas." The UN's Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) specifies that international waters cannot be made into territorial waters by coastal states. In this sense the NJK does not plan to make the waters in which its floating cities will be located into territorial waters, although a protected 12 nautical mile limit, due to any coastal state, will be formally requested. It however, like any ocean going vessel will fully consider its "vessels" itself to be territorial.

The NJK Project is also not an attempt to evade paying taxes, if that is what you were trying to insinuate. Just as there are no "international taxes" imposed by foreign States on other sovereign States, the NJK, as a sovereign country itself, will not have any obligation to pay taxes to other States.
Posted by: dedication

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 12/30/09 12:26 AM

So is this project's aim to start commune type centers and evolve into a socialist "country"?







Originally Posted By: NJP
It is what men and women believe that their knowledge, innovations and services are worth to others. This is tangibly reflected in “labor costs.” These labor cost almost always make up 70-75% of the value of a nation economy. This means that in a powerful economic engine like the United States of America, if labor costs were subtracted from its economy, its GDP/per capita value would go from its present value of $41,800 to around $10,000.


But "free labor" soon demoralizes the laborer even if his "basic needs" are provided.
Just look at the communist countries -- once the socialist laws were enforced the people were POOR and living in sub-standard conditions with no more motivation to work and better the conditions either for themselves or for their families and neighbors because the government just took it anyway, and their basic needs were supplied -- so why work?

Originally Posted By: NJP
Furthermore, consider this ... have you ever, or are you having to, pay a mortgage almost 3 times more than what its principle value was. Or does anything justify a professional athlete making in 8 month of work, or rather play, 3 times more than what a surgeon will make in a lifetime. There is a widely accepted saying that states that: “Money makes the world go round” but the facts clearly indicate that it is ‘People who make the world go round.” All this to say that it is the human factor in economies that have come to make things so unbalanced and so unattainable for many.


The injustices come from monopolizing.
When the few get control and eliminate the opposition.
Creating a "social" government won't solve that, it simply solidifies it.

Also if millions of people didn't make "idols" out of professional atheletes they won't get paid those big bucks.



Quote:
IV. The Alternative
What would happen if God’s people pooled their knowledge, know-how and resources, to labor for those in need. For example, what if instead of Seventh Day Adventist working for various secular industries and companies, what if they instead came together and formed denomination owned and operated companies/industries.


Has been done --
There are Adventist Hospitals, there were Adventist lumber camps, furniture factories, etc.
These were great for Sabbath's off was assured, and membership in labour unions was not part of it.

But everyone still got their just wages.

Originally Posted By: NJP
If they in turn did not charge labor cost, but had their needs met by the other, similarly operated, denominational companies/industries, then at the base of all of this, and at the very least, only the money needed for raw materials would be needed.


You expect people to work for nothing? Someone, somewhere gets all the money and gives the workers just enough to meet their basic needs. Sorry -- doesn't work -- workers lose moral and will to work.


Originally Posted By: NJP
So many humanitarian accomplishments could then be made because of such a system by those who would benefit from it:
-Intensive, and more efficient farms can be established and operated for those in need of adequate nutrition.
-Proper sanitation and freshwater could be supplied to many.

So the people work for nothing and someone hands them just enough to meet their basic needs, and then those someones who apparently get all the money and distribute it according to their supperior wisdom is supposed to faciliate all these projects?

Originally Posted By: NJP
-Would-be aborted babies could be spared by being purchased for adoption through legal means from willing mothers who would also not incur any debt from the expenses related to the pregnancy and birth of the child.


Buying babies?
You know where that leads? People who only get enough to meet what the "overlord" sees as their basic needs, start having babies to try to get a little more money.

Besides why would their be any expenses related to the birth since everyone is supposed to work for free?
Well -- probably because to get any REAL service one would have to go outside the commune to where people are still motivated to work?


Originally Posted By: NJP
-The sick and those with health ailments would receive much more medical care.


No, socialized health care does not give BETTER care. True they may give MORE care, but not better.
In Canada, socialized health care has been good, but I believe it was good ONLY because the USA set a high standard and Canada had to offer much of the same services. If the USA goes socialist in health care -- then all the negatives will come into play with nothing to motivate to higher standards.

The long waiting lists for specialized medical care (which is very much part of Canada's socialized medical care) will become longer, the system will determine who is worthy to receive care and who is left to die.

Originally Posted By: NJK
-Many would receive an education and would eventually help themselves out of poverty.


How would education help?
If there are no "labor costs"?

Originally Posted By: NJK
-(And the addition of a church annex and fellowship hall would not cost, e.g., $4 million at the detriment of the needy who would greatly benefit from these sums of money).
Consider this alternative method as a mega-do-it-yourself project, in essence similar to, e.g., a group of construction friends getting together to freely build a backyard deck for a friend with materials they purchased at a hardware store and equally shared the costs.


There seems to be contradictions here -
Maybe I'm completely misunderstanding this but --

Firstly -- any church group and go and buy materials at the local hardware store and come together for a workbee where they all work together to get something built. That has been done since nearly forever.

But they still all need to have PAYING jobs in order to buy stuff from the hardware store, which they then donate.
These are temporary projects church members work together to achieve while still holding their own paying jobs elsewhere, it's not building a whole society.



Originally Posted By: NJK
V. The Resources
... This planet contains sufficient resources to meet this world present and future needs many times over. ... if all known technologies today were fully and widely implemented in world economies, the present need of resources would drop considerably. All energy needs would all be met by renewable, clean systems. How much waste is generated annually because things are subjectively considered to be “uneconomical.” Many times it is less costly to discard something that requires a trivial repair and buy a new one. The same goes for items and materials that can be recycled but are not. The $140+ billion dollars spent annually in the U.S. alone on commercial advertisements could easily feed all of the world’s hungry. All of these wastes are a direct result of individualism, commercial competition and the profit-making mentality. In actual direct contradiction to the supposed “economical” argument they propose, these actions rather significantly waste and reduce the amount of resources that could be available to help others with.


No, I don't think I misunderstood. I does sound like you are suggesting a socialistic society. Competition and the ability to "make a profit" is eliminated. Everyone gets a portion which someone deems will be enough to meet their basic needs. And all are expected to contribute by working.

As idealistic as it may sound, socialism DOES NOT WORK. The most basic and God given freedom is destroyed.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 01/14/11 02:00 PM

Hello dedication. Thanks for your reply. I just noticed your response here as my email notification settings were not set right and still do not work after fixing and updating them.

You apparently read through my, at least initial post, however it does not seem that you read the follow discussion because many of the points you raise here were already addressed their. I will therefore just summarily respond to them here.
Also I analyzing my planned project you mad the typical capitalistic mistake of viewing everything, including Biblical principles through capitalistic lenses. So it is not surprising that you can only see that another socio-economic approach, even one that is based on the Biblical model, “will not work”.

Also the model/example of Soviet Style communism is not at all taken into any contribution or consideration for this project. I have come to spiritually see that it was allowed by God to serve as an object lesson of what mistakes not to make. On the flip side, the Devil has used it to scare Westerners into endorsing anything that involves socialist/communist principles which both are/were Biblical ideals.

With this said as a response foundation, here are the answers to your objections/comments/questions. (Quotes beyond a secondary depth were not re-quoted for the sake of post length so, if necessary, see the previous post for these context quotes.)

Originally Posted By: dedication
So is this project's aim to start commune type centers and evolve into a socialist "country"?


This project is to build global floating cities in international waters, organized as a unified country and which will implement Biblical socio-economic principles which are indeed (Biblically) Socialist and Communist (which, again is not synonymous with the Soviet-Style Communism of the U.S.S.R, China, North Korea, Cuba, etcs.)

One of the biggest difference with these systems will be the adoption of a equal “income” standard. For example if the country as a who is capable of producing the equivalent of a $50,000 per capita GDP, then the purchasing power/income of every person will be just that $50,000 with factual adjustments made for household sizes. And no, just having more children will not make you richer because the income adjustments will only be for the typical, scientifically reckoned consumption/need of that child given their age.


Originally Posted By: NJP
It is what men and women believe that their knowledge, innovations and services are worth to others. This is tangibly reflected in “labor costs.” These labor cost almost always make up 70-75% of the value of a nation economy. This means that in a powerful economic engine like the United States of America, if labor costs were subtracted from its economy, its GDP/per capita value would go from its present value of $41,800 to around $10,000.


Originally Posted By: dedication
But "free labor" soon demoralizes the laborer even if his "basic needs" are provided.
Just look at the communist countries -- once the socialist laws were enforced the people were POOR and living in sub-standard conditions with no more motivation to work and better the conditions either for themselves or for their families and neighbors because the government just took it anyway, and their basic needs were supplied -- so why work?


This is the perfect example of viewing things only through a capitalistic mindset, because it has been, and still is, a most important fundamental and unwritten rule of the ‘eat-or-be-eaten’ tenet of Capitalism that people are to be virtual coin machines so that if they do not get paid they cannot or should not work, share or even think. The NJK Project completely dispense with this unChristlike mindset and instead seeks to encourage a Godlike Service of Good Will mindset in people.

In more temporal aspects, work and work hours will be carefully and scientifically regulated to ensure that everyone has an equivalent work load. So with income being equalized, everyone will thus be working the same type/amount of hours for the same pay. Also the economic system is not, as Soviet Style communism was, of the State owning everything, but instead of the people, by constitutional right, having an equal share in all industries. So they will be dictating what they want to be produce and at what practical quality (vs. mere luxury). So not being productive, not sharing idea, etc will also adversely affect that malevolent (vs. benevolent) individual. Hence in entrenched motivation to utmostly perform their share and contribution to the economy as a whole.

In short the NJK Project’s economy will be like a Capitalistic publically traded company when stockholders have a share in the profits of the company. In the case of the NJK, this stock share will be equally available to everyone, in every NJK Industry, and only the Executive officers and managers who best maximize the potential of an industry will be, by vote allowed to lead these various industries. And I say industries vs. companies because one does not necessarily need e.g., 30 different computer companies in the Personal computer industry, (which in capitalistic circles eventually dwindle down to a handful of companies through mergers, (hostile) takeovers and buyouts), as the same quality of output as well as design variety can be achieved by a single company in the industry. With the NJK Companies having a more client-side suggestion/demand where the people will tell, even through knowledgeable representative and realistic virtualization, companies what they produce, and at what quality/design vs. the capitalistic trial and error, company-suggesting side approach, it will be a much more efficient economy reduce wastes to “bombing” products to literally nothing.


Originally Posted By: dedication
The injustices come from monopolizing.
When the few get control and eliminate the opposition.
Creating a "social" government won't solve that, it simply solidifies it.


Monopolization is an inevitable outworking of Capitalism and it would be much more pronounced, as it occurred in the pre-1930 socialist interventions and reform days, indeed if government had not step into the economy to force private companies to share and surrender their intellectual property rights. So it actually was a “social government” that prevented monopolization in order to prevent company owner to only care about themselves and their bottom line!

Originally Posted By: dedication
Also if millions of people didn't make "idols" out of professional atheletes they won't get paid those big bucks.


Not to defend those overpaid professional athletes in any way, but they do not make their money because people idolize them. People don’t hand them money when they cross them in the street. They make most of their money because companies want to be associated with their fame. Also people generally “idolize” a sport/team in general and come by droves to sporting events. Team owners capitalize on this interest by raising prices given the demand and thus make an oodle of money. Then in turn, players clamor for their “fair” share of this pie and naturally owners have to pay them according to their on field performance thus with the most performing players getting the biggest salaries. Also through the available open market in free-agent bidding, star players are able to attract high salary offers even from their owners who may want at all cost to keep them on their team. So sports is nothing more than Capitalism at work and like usual “socialist” measures have had to be implements to keep things fair with measures such as salary caps, revenue sharing and equalization, etc. As usual capitalism needs to protect itself from its inherent survival-of-the-richest/fittest self.



Originally Posted By: dedication
Has been done --
There are Adventist Hospitals, there were Adventist lumber camps, furniture factories, etc.
These were great for Sabbath's off was assured, and membership in labour unions was not part of it.

But everyone still got their just wages.


How is “assured Sabbath off” and “no labour unions” comparable/equivalent to the raw-material cost only, when not freely obtainable, basis of the NJK compare to these examples you have cited?? These examples have not be done according to the full economic plans of the NJK, but more along the lines of a Capitalistic framework. Case in point, you will find that administrators in SDA Hospital have 7 figure salaries.

Originally Posted By: dedication
You expect people to work for nothing? Someone, somewhere gets all the money and gives the workers just enough to meet their basic needs. Sorry -- doesn't work -- workers lose moral and will to work.


Again, only in Capitalistic systems, where income inequality is the foundational norm and people have been rigorously trained and conditioned to behave live virtual coin machines!


Originally Posted By: dedication
So the people work for nothing and someone hands them just enough to meet their basic needs, and then those someones who apparently get all the money and distribute it according to their supperior wisdom is supposed to faciliate all these projects?


More of the same. No individual is “getting all the money”. All national income is equally/equivalently shared by all. Also these foreign aid projects are the undertaking of all NJK Citizens. I suggest you re-read, or actually read what my project is actually all about on its website and related blog, and also the follow up comments in this forum thread.

Originally Posted By: NJP
-Would-be aborted babies could be spared by being purchased for adoption through legal means from willing mothers who would also not incur any debt from the expenses related to the pregnancy and birth of the child.


Originally Posted By: dedication
Buying babies?
You know where that leads? People who only get enough to meet what the "overlord" sees as their basic needs, start having babies to try to get a little more money.


Indeed “buying babies”. In this bloody war against abortion one has to fight fire with fire and as abortions are fueled by economic factors, it has to be directly tackled to win this battle.

Given the depravity of man, some woman may seek to do this as some sort of income sort. The same risk occurs in other medical processes that pay for donations such as for blood, bone marrow, sperm, (dispensable) organ donations, surrogate mothers, hair for wigs etc. So all I can say is “more power to the woman who wants to put herself through 9 months of pregnancy, especially repeated pregnancies, as a business, however cancel this factor which will surely result in many adoptions and saved lived simply because of these depraved minority does not make any logical or vital sense. In a certain way, God has taken a similar risk in the various abilities and freedoms He has freely given to all men.

Also as stated on my webpage on this, this compensation is one a reducing payout scale for each new pregnancy by the same mother.

Originally Posted By: dedication
Besides why would their be any expenses related to the birth since everyone is supposed to work for free?


Fair enough question, in mindless part, however what I meant was that all of their birthing expenses would be covered by transporting them to an HC Hospital where they indeed will receive free medical services.

Originally Posted By: dedication
Well -- probably because to get any REAL service one would have to go outside the commune to where people are still motivated to work?


Whatever.... Obviously you need such oblivious circular reasoning to uphold your view. The “realness” of a Service, nor is quality is not fatality doomed to rise or fall if people are getting paid. That is again just the result of thorough Capitalistic brainwashing, where people are even suppose to die, even when there are material, technical, medical resources available to help them, and that simply because they cannot pay the whimsically associated prices. That clearly is your revered ideal, also for God’s people!?? Good Luck with that. As Jesus clearly thought, there is absolutely no approval for this mentality and practice in and from Heaven.



Originally Posted By: dedication
No, socialized health care does not give BETTER care. True they may give MORE care, but not better.
In Canada, socialized health care has been good, but I believe it was good ONLY because the USA set a high standard and Canada had to offer much of the same services. If the USA goes socialist in health care -- then all the negatives will come into play with nothing to motivate to higher standards.

The long waiting lists for specialized medical care (which is very much part of Canada's socialized medical care) will become longer, the system will determine who is worthy to receive care and who is left to die.


More of the ususal right-wing, talking points and socialized healthcare demonizing. Until recently, the United States was the only industrialized country without a form of socialized healthcare for its “working age population” i.e. ca. 24-65 and it, not surprisingly and despite its, arguably, high quality of medicine had one of the lowest life expectancies of these countries. Go figure. Furthermore countries with socialized medicine did not have the U.S. problems of ca. 35,000+ per year dying due to unobtainable/inafforable health care, nor one bankruptcy every 30 seconds due to unpayable health care debts.

Since healthcare has indeed been socialized, in some way, in the U.S. since this December 2009 post of yours, we will then be able to verify this supposed implosion!?

As Michael Moore has said in relation to his documentary on the healthcare debate, “Sicko”, there are not the same length of waiting lines in the U.S. because 50,000,000 people taken out of the lines!! So while people may have to wait slightly longer in countries where everyone has an equal right to access the healthcare system, I have not, most significantly, heard of people who have urgent medical needs dying because they had to wait. These people are correspondingly moved up the line.

Originally Posted By: NJK
-Many would receive an education and would eventually help themselves out of poverty.


Originally Posted By: dedication
How would education help?
If there are no "labor costs"?


First of all, as you ususally have done in your responses, you conflate the foreign aid that the NJK will do with its distinct internal economy. This given education is to non-NJK citizens who will use this freely given, through university, education to better compete in their Capitalistic environment.

In regards to the NJK, there will be an honorific dependence on people being willing to do the right thing because the believe in the cause and not for any monetary reward. Indeed just like people do not voluntarily merely join the army, especially in time of war, thus most surely risking their life, simply for the income that they army will give them, but rather because they believe in the cause that they are defending.

In the same way, NJK Citizen will be depended upon to maximize their natural, God-given talents/potential to the benefit of others and any extra/more strenuous work that they’ll need to do to educate themselves for this end will be equivalently rewarded. By each producing and giving the best of themselves the quality of life for all will be maximized.

Like the Spiritual Life, the NJK Project is founded on the godly principle of honor and righteousness vs. the basely capitalistic principles and tenets of selfish, greed, individualism, and wealth.


Originally Posted By: dedication
There seems to be contradictions here -
Maybe I'm completely misunderstanding this but –


Misunderstanding indeed, as usual....

Originally Posted By: dedication
Firstly -- any church group and go and buy materials at the local hardware store and come together for a workbee where they all work together to get something built. That has been done since nearly forever.


Sure they can, but it is usually not done, except perhaps/to some extent for e.g., Maranatha Volunteers. So Church/Schools do indeed spend millions of dollars to hire secular construction companies to do the manual labour.

Also what the NJK is planning, goes beyond the local hardware store level, to the inceptive raw material source level. So in this way prices are much further lowered.

But they still all need to have PAYING jobs in order to buy stuff from the hardware store, which they then donate.
These are temporary projects church members work together to achieve while still holding their own paying jobs elsewhere, it's not building a whole society.[/quote]

Originally Posted By: dedication
No, I don't think I misunderstood. I does sound like you are suggesting a socialistic society.


Indeed I am, even Communism, except not what you understand as Socialism which is Soviet-Style, State-Owning and production controlling Communism, with also salary inequalities. In the Biblical Socialism/Communism NJK system everyone will have the same/equivalent purchasing power based on Scientific parameters and will within themselves set their quality of life level mainly through the most costly aspect of human labour and idea contributions.

Originally Posted By: dedication
Competition and the ability to "make a profit" is eliminated. Everyone gets a portion which someone deems will be enough to meet their basic needs. And all are expected to contribute by working. As idealistic as it may sound, socialism DOES NOT WORK.


More of your capitalistically skewed misconstruing... I am really not surprised by this because that is how you have been conditioned to mindlessly think, especially as you actual life, in a Capitalistic system, comes to depend on it. Sort of a Roman Slave Gladiator mentality of ‘kill of be killed.’

Originally Posted By: dedication
The most basic and God given freedom is destroyed.


Nothing worst and useless than, supposedly, an SDA who is absolutely convinced that Capitalism and its tenets are “God-endorsed” and Biblical. As stated throughout my blog, (see e.g., starting here) that is the foundation of SDAs also receiving the Mark of the Beast which is implicated in this Fuller Sabbath of God opposing System.
Posted by: kland

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 02/15/11 10:20 AM

Has any socialism societies been successful? Why do you think a new one will be?

I heard a story given about the first Thanksgiving in America. The reason they were in such a predicament was because the colony was based on socialism. Something like, he who as greater need takes more but all contribute equally. Unfortunately, the people discovered they didn't need to contribute but still could take and the result was they almost starved to death. The colony allowed people to keep what they produced and then the colony thrived.

I too, think communism would work best and most efficiently. However, I believe that will never happen while there is sin as any time a few individuals get power, they take advantage. Which calls into question that there is no socialism, there is no communism, there is only capitalism: just there may be monopolistic capitalism that is so called socialism.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 02/16/11 03:02 AM

Originally Posted By: kland
Has any socialism societies been successful? Why do you think a new one will be?


I have already addressed this quite common, “knee-jerk”, and contextually-speaking, mindless question before (see here in the “Failure of Secular Socialism” section), and also above in latest post.

The short answer is because (a) this will be a Bible-based system and not a Soviet-style and (b) because it will wholly be “born from above” Christians in this society, who will agree to live according to God’s law and principles. So they will not need the pain or pleasure shackles of Capitalism be righteous, i.e, “to do was is right”. So this is not a “new one”, as in another Worldy Socialist system, but the “Biblical one” which God Himself had established for His people.

Originally Posted By: kland
I heard a story given about the first Thanksgiving in America. The reason they were in such a predicament was because the colony was based on socialism. Something like, he who as greater need takes more but all contribute equally. Unfortunately, the people discovered they didn't need to contribute but still could take and the result was they almost starved to death.


I am sure it is a wonderful, circular Capitalist propaganda story in that, as you state above, it was because sin (greed, covetousness, lying, stealing, etc) was also present therein that it failed. Capitalism on the other hand, being the Devil’s ideal, encourages such traits and justifies it with money. So rather than encouraging people to live righteously it sanctions unrighteousness, and people blindly go along with it even hailing it as God’s ideal, especially sin we are all so naturally sinful.

By the way, think about it, anything that involves paying taxes is Socialism. E.g., Bill Gates pays millions more in taxes than the average person because of his greater wealth, however he does not get spring water in his tap, nor drive on gold-paved road. That’s purely Socialism. Even the “common Defense and government” shouldn’t be socialized. Armies should be privatized groups like Xe (formerly blackwater) and “public servants” should live off their personal wealth, thus only CEO-types would be in public office. So Democracy needs Socialism to be a fair and just society.

Originally Posted By: kland
The colony allowed people to keep what they produced and then the colony thrived.


Logically, the solution was not that simplistic as even if they shared with other colonies, if there was enough for everyone, no one would be lacking. So in keeping what they produced, the capable colonies thrived while the less capable colonies suffered. Perhaps these others found another way in order to survive as necessity is the mother of invention. Still it is a fact that much more can be done through cooperation and “sharing” rather than by competition and individualism. That is why Capitalism forces people to “freely share” their intellectual property after some time and also do not allow corporate monopolies, which they naturally should, “forcing sharing” (misnomerly called “competition”.) Real competition is trying to take down/apart a monopoly with such government/legal assistance.

Originally Posted By: kland
I too, think communism would work best and most efficiently.


Agreed, over only in reference to Biblical Communism which seeks to meet the needs of others for the Glory of God, and not Soviet-style communism where the State was really/prominently the object of this cooperation.

Originally Posted By: kland
However, I believe that will never happen while there is sin...


Truly spirit-filled/“born from above” Christians (as the early Apostolic Church), the targeted type of people for my new country Project, should be able to live righteously even, and especially, in this life. If they cannot do they, thus violating all of God’s Commandments, then how are they fitted for Eternal Life, let alone deathless translation.

Originally Posted By: kland
... as any time a few individuals get power, they take advantage.


If you understand my project properly you will see that no one will have more power than someone else. As I said above in my latest post, corporately, it will all work out like having default equal shares in a public company, where managers and leaders and even production is fully democratically controlled. So no one will have unchecked power. (See also my related comments here in the “{27} NJK Organization” section).

Originally Posted By: kland
Which calls into question that there is no socialism, there is no communism, there is only capitalism ...


This only shows that man prefers to live unrighteously, led by Western, mainly Protetstant Christians (including most SDAs) most Religiously upholding the Devil’s brainchild of Capitalism.

Originally Posted By: kland
: just there may be monopolistic capitalism that is so called socialism.


I don’t see what you understand by “so called socialism” since in the comparison with the worst extent of Capitalism as “monopolistic capitalism” (the inevitable result of Laissez-Faire Capitalism) this can only mean the worst kind of Socialism, thus the historical aberrations of Soviet-style communism. If that is indeed what you meant, then that still does not affect me, since my ideal and model is what is proposed in the Bible along with the righteousness that God’s true people, who will live in this religious economy, should have.
Posted by: kland

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 02/16/11 09:19 AM

Quote:
The short answer is because (a) this will be a Bible-based system and not a Soviet-style and (b) because it will wholly be “born from above” Christians in this society, who will agree to live according to God’s law and principles. So they will not need the pain or pleasure shackles of Capitalism be righteous, i.e, “to do was is right”. So this is not a “new one”, as in another Worldy Socialist system, but the “Biblical one” which God Himself had established for His people.
I take offense at you saying a knee-jerk reaction. You say, "the “Biblical one” which God Himself had established for His people". And how did that work out?

Your Utopian society sounds nice. What if someone in it decides that they no longer want to play by your rules but wants to take advantage of others. What will you do to them?
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 02/16/11 11:45 AM

Originally Posted By: kland
I take offense at you saying a knee-jerk reaction.


You can quibbly “take” whatever you clearly need to “take”. The sooner the better for me! Such an, indeed, “quibbling” reaction just proves my point... and guess what, now two knee-jerk reactions do not make a right (i.e., mindful and substantively valid) one!!

Originally Posted By: kland
You say, "the “Biblical one” which God Himself had established for His people". And how did that work out?


This is what I mean by knee-jerk, which actually is what the Bible rather calls “moronic” (Matt 23:17). God does not need to change his ways because His people prefer to live like the surrounding, pagan and heathen nations!!

Originally Posted By: kland
Your Utopian society sounds nice.


Spare me the rhetorical vacuous compliments... it only helps to soothe your conscience... and it’s the Biblical Objective not “Utopia”.

Originally Posted By: kland
What if someone in it decides that they no longer want to play by your rules but wants to take advantage of others. What will you do to them?


Seriously... do you ever think before blurting something out???? The same thing that happens in today’s societies when e.g,. someone tries to bilk investors, or defraud the government, or cheat on their taxes, or when they choose not to go to, or not do, their work (i.e, for this latter one, the same results of being fired and not having an income to meet life’s needs). What did you think/wish: ‘summary death by drowning’?!? Who am I kidding, you probably did.
Posted by: kland

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 02/17/11 09:25 AM

You seem rather defensive. Would that be a knee-jerk reaction?

On your site, you basically say that there is no need for security because everyone will play nice. So that is why I asked. Your response sounds like your utopian (or “quibbling”, Biblical Objective) society is much like any of today's societies. And nothing to suggest the same things that happened of old, that happens of now, will not happen to it. Fraud, corruption, taking advantage, capitalism no matter what term you mask it with, whether it's for the gain of as many who choose or just for a few who are allowed.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 02/17/11 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By: kland
You seem rather defensive. Would that be a knee-jerk reaction?


Oh.... I’m just quite weary of, especially, SDA Christians who just don’t get this... in the light of all of the vital damage that this spiritual mindlessness is continuing to perpetuate. So my virtual lone stance vs. the world is indeed quite defensive in order to fight off all of the rubbish that is being cast on this, factually and Spiritually, most Biblical Project; but to be “knee-jerk” you’ll have to show, by definition, that a more pensive reply would have provided a better, i.e., more Biblical, response!

Originally Posted By: kland
On your site, you basically say that there is no need for security because everyone will play nice. So that is why I asked. Your response sounds like your utopian (or “quibbling”, Biblical Objective) society is much like any of today's societies. And nothing to suggest the same things that happened of old, that happens of now, will not happen to it. Fraud, corruption, taking advantage, capitalism no matter what term you mask it with, whether it's for the gain of as many who choose or just for a few who are allowed.


Fair enough... Thinking that I would be dealing with ‘born from above’ Christians, that is indeed what I initially expected. However, through various interactions with mainly SDA, I have since shifted to provide a protection for those who will want to live like this, vs. the inevitable rotten apples. That even existed in the society that God Himself established, i.e., OT Israel. However like God’s intentions for that earthly Israel, the NJK Project will aim to live according to God’s principles, and all Biblical measures will be implemented to make sure that this will be the case. No guarantee that it will not turn into an e.g., America Jr. down the road, however I cannot defeatedly prefer to live in Babylon, instead of, like the Returnees in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, returning to the Land of God’s Israel and rebuilding/upbuilding God earthly ideal. And currently I can think of 65,000,000 reasons a year to do so. If that statistically predominant generation of rescued infants wants to allow the socio-economic society that would have surely caused their death to sovereign reign over their lives as with today’s Capitalism, then that is freely up to them. As for me, and anyone else who wants to, I am just responsible for seeking to fully do God’s will.
Posted by: kland

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 02/17/11 04:01 PM

Quote:
However, through various interactions with mainly SDA, I have since shifted to provide a protection for those who will want to live like this, vs. the inevitable rotten apples.
Besides yourself, how many have you come across who you consider as qualifying?

And if you are saving the babies, how many do you suppose will choose to be born again, considering the assumed statistical probability regarding Cain. Or Eve, for that matter.

You're right. No guarantees. But, it would present a great opportunity for lots of devious ones. Another thought comes to mind is Jonestown. I understand it to have been planned on similar concepts. I guess that's why someone called it a commune.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but historical patterns says a lot.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 02/17/11 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: kland
Besides yourself, how many have you come across who you consider as qualifying?


The real issue is who has qualified, is qualifying themselves as the proper understanding and practice of Christ Gospel will do. And as Jesus said: “Many [indeed] have been called, but the choice ones are few.” (Matt 22:14), and that, as His preceding parable shows, because people insist on ‘wearing their own righteous’ instead of His.

Originally Posted By: kland
And if you are saving the babies, how many do you suppose will choose to be born again, considering the assumed statistical probability regarding Cain. Or Eve, for that matter.


As it is Biblically taught, when they are old enough, they’ll can choose to be baptized or not and then (if) later when they are adults and, as planned, if they so choose, after they have completed their free, through-Graduate School education, can choose whether to continue to live in the NJK or emigrate to another country in the world.

Originally Posted By: kland
You're right. No guarantees. But, it would present a great opportunity for lots of devious ones.


Spiritually and legally speaking, the won’t get very far in their devious plans, particularly in a holy and righteous society, as in many instances amongst God’s people in the Bible. When a nation decides to wholeheartedly, full live for God, He then has the default green light to step in at any needed moment and various protect His righteous people. Just ask Ananias and Sapphira. And even indirectly, God can use the prophetic gift to quash such attacks for a unrighteous few.

Originally Posted By: kland
Another thought comes to mind is Jonestown. I understand it to have been planned on similar concepts. I guess that's why someone called it a commune.


Well this is one of many examples that will serve as an object lesson for the NJK. And Jonestown primarily had spiritual problems caused by a misguided, if not outrightly crazy leader.

Originally Posted By: kland
Sorry to burst your bubble, but historical patterns says a lot.


You can only wish that you are bursting my bubble. My guide and “pattern” is God’s will and ideal, and seeking to save the lives of millions is also a greatly worthy enough reason to press on towards this High calling mark. Sorry if you just want to look at the fallen and sinful world for your ideal. Why should I give you any import when God Himself has spoken (And do knee-jerkly run amok with what you surely will want to understand by that statement!)
Posted by: kland

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 02/18/11 12:24 PM

Quote:
As it is Biblically taught, when they are old enough, they’ll can choose to be baptized or not and then (if) later when they are adults and, as planned, if they so choose, after they have completed their free, through-Graduate School education, can choose whether to continue to live in the NJK or emigrate to another country in the world.
Still my question: What if they choose not to be born again and choose not to leave NJK?

Quote:
Sorry if you just want to look at the fallen and sinful world for your ideal.
But we DO live in a fallen and sinful world and NJK will exist in a fallen and sinful world.
Posted by: NJK Project

Re: Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It? - 02/18/11 03:34 PM

Originally Posted By: kland
Still my question: What if they choose not to be born again and choose not to leave NJK?

Well then, they’ll have to abide by the Constitutional and Lower laws that the other citizens in the NJK have knowingly agreed to live by. Just like in todays society a citizen is not permitted to live outside of the laws of a country simply because he does not want to and does not want to emigrate, so will it be in the NJK. And any act that violates the NJK laws will carry the corresponding punishment and penalties

Originally Posted By: kland
But we DO live in a fallen and sinful world and NJK will exist in a fallen and sinful world.

There are many Biblical and Godly things that can be done to produce a great contrast between the “world” and God’s People. That is what God had in mind when He established Israel in the midst of surrounding pagan nation, to be the light of the world. So indeed in this same concretized intent that God established Israel will the NJK be established to fulfill this ultimate and necessary level of global and national witness to the world. (Matt 24:14).