Until only the last century had people pursued the connection between church and economics with most Christians with no doubt viewing economics as one moral spectrum. Today, several theologists have discussed and drawn comparisons between the Bible teachings on economics with the current economic policies in the modern world. The discussion of this topic has especially established contrasts between United States of America’s economic policies with the Bible teachings. In fact, the discussion reports that USA has actually overstepped Bible principles on so many economic policies among them: Provisions of economic stimulus and taxation policies, the Act that legalized direct spending and the monetary policies in use today.
It is imperative to note that Federal Reserve System which is a monopolized institution has been in the forefront of propagating the policies that overstep the Bible principles. The debate on whether this system has overstepped its mandate as it tries to foster economic growth is not a new thing. To begin with, the Bible clearly forbids the issue of money debasement which is normally purposed at enriching the government at the expense of her citizens. The USA policy that violated the Bible principle on this was the change from production of traditional dime and U.S quarter unmilled coins to milled ones. Bible speaks against violation of rights and oppression of any kind.
Secondly, USA has sanctioned multiple indebtedness in some of her states like Louisiana which is clearly forbade in the Bible. This policy, famously known as the Economic Stimulus Act, allows someone to owe several debts with all of them being secured with the property that someone owns. The term economic stimulus became so popular in America after the credit crisis in 2008-2009 that resulted to the infamous recession. So in a bid to avoid the recurrence of the same, this policy was enacted by Congress and it was viewed as a tool that would accelerate economic growth rate through provision of several economic stimuli. In spite of their striking differences, this is one policy that both the Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly agreed on. In this policy, the law allows for tax incentives and rebases and upon its implementation, it was estimated that the cost of this policy accrued to $152 billion.
Thirdly, the formulation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 contradicts the principles stipulated in the Bible. This act was officially approved and signed by U.S. President Barack Obama back in February, 2009.Just like the economic stimulus act, this act was also formulated when United States of America and needless to say, most countries in the world were facing economic recession with others even experiencing depression. Therefore, these two Acts were enacted in ordered to boost and bolster US economy by inducing and propagating sustainable growth rate. In this act, taxation imposed on corporate and individuals was highly reduced, the government increased the funding of social welfares, domestic spending was increased and even the benefits enjoyed by the unemployed lot of the American society were increased. Under increased domestic funding, this meant that government’s expenditures in several sectors of the economy skyrocketed. The government spent more in health, education, infrastructure, energy and federal incentives. This policy was estimated to accrue to a tune of $787 billion a figure that has America divided with conservatives contending that this policy was simply a waste of tax money because it has not created any jobs as earlier expected. By increasing unemployment benefits, this policy seamlessly contradicts the Bible teachings. It is written that those who do not work should not eat. The Bible also provides that people should pay tax, Jesus said that we should give Ceaser that which is Ceaser’s.Bible on other hand call for effective and rightly use of resources both by the government and individuals. This means that when these Acts propagate predatory taxation and wasteful spending, they violate Bible principles.
- Gordon, B. J. (1989). The economic problem in biblical and patristic thought. Brill.
- Hrynkow, C. (2009). The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion in Contemporary America. University Park.