“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, TO EACH ACCORDING TO HIS OWN ABILITY (capitals mine); and immediately he went on a journey.”
As the United States begins to gear up for its 2020 Presidential elections, many on the Democratic side of the aisle are endorsing a much more socialistic form of economy, culture and government than what we have had for hundreds of years. Of course, their argument (“tax the wealthy”) is to “balance” the wealth of the rich and poor to enable all to supposedly live a better life with “free” education, healthcare, retirement, guaranteed income equality, etc. What exactly is Socialism and Capitalism? First, Wikipedia describes Socialism as:
- “Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership of the means of production and workers’ self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various form.”
Furthermore, Wikipedia then goes on to describe Capitalism as:
- “Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.”
If you compare these two definitions, I believe you will agree Socialism is best described as the government or some other powerful, collective entity having the power to decide the entire economic fate of businesses, people, owners, shareholders, etc. In Capitalism the decision as to what to do with their personal wealth and investment is tied to what they believe is best for their product, service or brand AND the competition they face in marketing it profitably to the overall public.
Interestingly, in the opening Scripture above, the Bible gives us a unique story of how various servants are treated by their “lord” while he is away. He gave each of them talents (money) while he was away WITHOUT TELLING THEM WHAT TO DO WITH IT, but he gave to them “…each according to his OWN abilities.” They were not viewed or treated by their master as equal! And then what happened?
“Then he who had received the five talents went and traded them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. after a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.”
While the two servants who had received different amounts of talents (five and two) both DOUBLED what they had originally received, the third, the one we must obviously assume had the most limited abilities since he only received one talent, instead buried it in the ground and did nothing with what was given to him. At some time later (the Bible doesn’t say how long the master was gone), the master returned and “…settled accounts with them.” What happened to the servant who had received the most talents (5)?
“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, “Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.” His lord said to him, “WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT (capitals mine); you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
To the one who much had been expected, much was subsequently given! The master referred to him as “…good and faithful.” And for his performance, he was greatly rewarded by being made ruler over many things and told to “Enter into the joy of your lord”. Pretty tough to beat that! So, what did he say to the one who had received “only” two talents?
“He also who had received two talents came and said, “Lord, you have delivered to me two talents; look I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT (capitals mine): you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
The master said the exact same thing! HE didn’t praise the first servant more than the second one because the first went from 5 to 10 and the second “only” went from 2 to 4! No, he praised them both and apparently rewarded them both the same.
But, to the one who had received only one talent.
“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look there you have what is yours.’ But his lord answered and said to him, ‘YOU WICKED AND LAZY SERVANT (capitals mine), you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. SO TAKE THE TALENT FROM HIM, AND GIVE IT TO HIM WHO HAS TEN TALENTS (capitals mine).”
Now, this is fascinating! Immediately, the servant who had only received one talent began to besmirch the master for “…reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.” Instead of explaining why he had not doubled his one talent, he basically accused the master of falsely gaining his personal wealth even though the servant did not feel he deserved it! Amazing! By the master’s statement we must assume he would have been far happier if this servant had at least gotten paid interest on it. Something! Also, did you notice the master never said anything about where the 10 or 4 talents from the first two servants went but with the third servant they were told to “…take the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents.” Here I believe we see the first two got to keep their original gift and also what they made off of it. The one who did nothing, got nothing!
Jesus even clarifies this issue more concisely in His Mount of Olivet Discourse where He tells His disciples those things they can expect to witness in the Last Days.
“For to everyone who has, MORE WILL BE GIVEN (capitals mine), and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”
My take away from this Scripture is several fold:
- God gives to each of us various things “…according to his own ability.” Of course, we may never fully know all the glorious things God has planned for us but we do have a personal responsibility to maximize those gifts to His Glory so we may also one day be told “Well done good and faithful servant.”
- We simply cannot expect or put our faith in a non-religious “entity” for our own personal well being. No government, union or organization can ever accomplish the things the Lord can. We must first put all faith in God and ask Him as we are told to pray in Matthew 6:8-13:
- “Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD (capitals mine). And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen”
- One thing that is readily apparent is every socialistic (or communistic) country in history becomes absolutely anti-Christian and anti-Semitic. Think of those countries today that still hold onto the socialist mantra like Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela and even many European countries where Christianity has degraded substantially and where anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise. When you compare those countries to blatantly capitalistic countries like Israel, the U.S. and South Korea, (which has seen one of the greatest Christian evangelical movements in history), you can easily discern the very negative impact on people’s faith when they place their faith in the government instead of in God.
- The prophesied rise of a soon coming, one world government ruled by the anti-christ and his religious side kick, the false prophet, where no one will be able to buy or sell anything UNLESS they take the mark of the beast. This means they must swear allegiance to a one world ruler and his global economy. This should wake up all to the very soon coming of a socialist government ultimately controlled by Satan. For more info on this please read my past posts, The Mark of the Beast and Could the iPhone be the Mark of the Beast?
PLEASE, if you have read my post this far, DO NOT assume I am against helping my neighbors. The Bible is very explicit in many, many examples that we as Christians are obligated by God’s Law to help those who are in need. However, the burden falls on us, not on our government because we are individuals with freedom of choice. Our government is NOT our choice but rather is the accumulation of a majority of individuals who are following laws they made, not the Lord’s Law! We are told in the Bible repeatedly to take care of others. As Jesus told the sheep on His right hand when He issues His final Judgement:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And, the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, INASMUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF MY BRETHERN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME (capitals mine).”
Jesus clearly tells us we all have an obligation to take care of the needy for He views the way we treat them is as how we would treat Him. For that, we will individually we rewarded in Heaven. Not only does this drive my own personal desire of giving but it is comforting to know I will not be held accountable for the acts of others, whether they be organizations, governments, unions, etc. I hope you are strengthened in your resolve to help others and continue to tell others so we may all do as Jesus also told us, and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.”
May God Bless you as we await His Second Coming!