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Open Forum: God owns everything

I agree with the writer who suggested that it is false to claim the private business sector can flourish without good government and regulations.  But to say that God creates all wealth falls short of the Bible’s proclamation that that God created and therefore owns everything. This makes all of us temporary stewards with only two options: trying to be God’s good stewards, or something less. There will be an accounting. In Jesus’ words, “It will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them…”

God created the kingdom of David and its wealth. He also was the “invisible hand” that destroyed their wealth by using adjacent nations (Assyria, Babylon, Persia) as his temporary “servants” to end the kingdom(s). This was because of backtracking on a covenant to love neighbors as one’s self. Wealth had magnified a false sense of ownership that was at odds with living as God’s stewards.  Most Americans claim to believe in God, but it seems doubtful that most of us believe that this biblical view of history is real or relevant.

It takes no great insight to have a disturbing sense that our society is shot through with failures in being good stewards of the blessings bequeathed to us. We should at least ask ourselves if we, like ancient Israel, mistakenly think our affluence has been a sign of our godliness, when in reality it may have turned more of us to thinking its OK to act like greedy owners. If we wish to preserve our nation, it might help to return to the biblical concept of being God’s stewards, and reject secular doctrines of captains of our fates, masters of our souls, and self-made owners.  Otherwise, God may make us face our own “Babylonian captivity.”

Dick Peterson