The existing chaotic scenario in global economy is largely blamed to capitalism. A superficial examination of the situation would lead to such baseless conclusion. However, if someone would take time to dig deeper, he would learn to distinguish between legitimate capitalism and the excessive use of power hiding behind an economic term. This article aims to present the primary and limited function of the church and state, destructive results of transgressing such limit, and the solution to prevent such destruction.
Primary and Limited Function of Church and State
As far as the Bible is concerned, the primary function of both the church and state are limited. The church holds the ministry of grace, while the state the ministry of justice (Romans 13:1-7). Both institutions are aspects of God’s kingdom here on earth. To deny this would have serious negative consequences to the people and the society as a whole.
In order for both the church and state to function properly, the Bible teaches the means to receive financial resources. In the Old Testament, we find that tithing is generally divided in at least two areas. 10 % of the tithes go to the priests to perform duties of worship, whereas the 90% is set aside for Levites to provide biblical education to the Israelites.
Biblical education is very important. It is the tool to dispense the ministry of grace to the people. As a result of receiving much grace, people respond in gratitude and worship. A rebellious society is partly an indication that those in charge to handle the ministry of grace are no longer doing their primary duty. This negatively affects worship and people tend to be negative also about anything connected to religion and the church.
Paying taxes is the legitimate means to finance the state in order to fulfill its primary task. The principle behind tithing is that God is the Ultimate Owner of all things and that we are stewards of His resources. There is a lesson behind this practice that the state has to learn. Since the state unlike God cannot legitimately claim that it owns the people, their salary, and property, the taxing power of the state should not surpass what has been required by the Ultimate Owner. This tells us that excessive taxation is illegitimate and destructive of people’s quality of life, liberty, capitalization, and property.
Destructive Results of Transgressing the Limits
Once both the church and the state go beyond their limits giving too much financial burden to the people, in time we will see disempowered people crying for change. The collapse of ancient civilizations is ascribed to this kind of financial abuses. Financial laws passed by both the state and the temple made the life of ancient people miserable. They wiped out capitalization and destroyed people’s productivity. People are forced not only to provide for themselves and their families but also under law to provide for the state and the temple. Consequently, people rebel against the system causing a revolution that finally resulted to the death of a civilization. Personally, a clear lesson to learn from history is that whenever and wherever church (temple) and state or whatever entity forces or deceives its own people either by legal or religious means resulting to the decapitalization, disempowerment, and enslavement of majority of people civilization begins to crumble.
In our time, we are facing similar decapitalization and increasing discontentment internationally. Many call it a revolution. It is claimed that increasing amount of financial resources has been transferring from the hands of the 99% into the hands of the 1%. And this is done "legally." The state still plays a significant role in this transfer. The only difference now is that the role of the “temple” has been replaced by powerful private financial corporations. The entities behind this transfer are described differently. You will encounter in the web “powers that be,” “fascists,” “crony capitalism” and “corporatocracy” as favorite terms describing this powerful few.
Solution to Prevent the Destructive Results
Monopolizing money supply by the state and financial institutions decapitalizes people and society. As such, it is a serious threat to the stability and progress of society. Remaining uncorrected, more and more people will wake up and will realize that the system does not serve the purpose it claims to serve. Growing distrust and suspicion will lead to social unrest, class conflicts, and perilous future both for the present generation and our posterity.
Recapitalizing the 99% is the solution. We cannot expect this to happen from the institutions that breed the problem in the first place. It must start from high level of individual responsibility and activism. Such awareness is only possible through re-education. And the best institution to see this re-education campaign flourishing is the family. This is because we cannot trust existing educational institutions to handle a task that they know nothing about.