I’m posting this late in the evening because I had to let it percolate into my soul all day before I knew what to say.
This is an issue of biblical justice, not doctrine. Indeed, the whole thing rests squarely on shalom and social stability. Has it ever occurred to you that the Bible seldom addresses what we would call “economics”? That’s because the whole concept of economics presumes a social structure contrary to Scripture. One more time: God hard-wired us to live in ANE feudalism. If the only place you can do that is in your church communion, at least you’ll do one thing right. However, this goes all the way back to the prerequisites for the Law of Noah, so it’s universal to all mankind as long as there are rainbows.
So whatever modern minds might make of biblical economics rests squarely on the assumption that most of your exchange of goods and services is within your extended family. The whole point of engaging in production of goods and services is feeding into social stability (AKA shalom). Do this and you will live in God’s promises, reaping His blessings. When you stand back and survey the larger scope of things, it is economically inefficient. But it’s morally righteous. You know your labor is first to God, and in obedience to His covenant expectations for us. That means we invest the labor and products of that labor back into the family/community. Don’t get lost here: Community was presumed to be kinfolks of varying consanguinity. Folks from within the covenant but outside the literal extended family, who felt led of God to join your community, would expect to take some time and effort to actually become family-in-effect.
And every community has at least one shepherd of souls who was the focus of leadership on practical matters of keeping that shalom. He was your local feudal “lord” so to speak, but likely a close relation. He would have some limited authority to direct how you dispose of the product of your labor. Not in the sense of devising plans for your stuff, but he would observe and help keep you on track consistent with the covenant. Context would vary but you were expected to keep your mind subjected to your heart and know what was morally essential. Your community social stability was more important than your personal material comfort and you knew that. Their welfare was your welfare.
Bogus cosmopolitan mythology about every-man-your-brother is a blasphemous rejection of God’s revelation. Without that covenant bond, you must not place others on par with our family. You should be kind to strangers, but you were not responsible for their long-term welfare unless your heart specifically put the burden on you. Whatever people call “social justice” is lie from Hell.
How many times did we see the phrase, “Do not lend to strangers” in Proverbs? While the warning seems related to losing your investment, there is another edge to that sword not obvious to Western minds. Your loss was a loss for the community, a loss of shalom and defiance against the Laws of God. So the idea that you can invest impersonally in some business based purely on some regulated system of venture loans and such is entirely evil. You are not permitted to invest money in business that isn’t run by a relative. There’s this thing about assuming control of what you personally own, what you can actually run by yourself or through a family proxy, so exercising authority over someone else’s business requires a covenant — a contract won’t do. Further, you must already be in covenant authority over the person who borrows. You must hold a shepherd’s moral duty for care and a readiness to take a loss on account of covenant love and mercy.
Take a moment to breathe here. Yes, all deposits are a loan to the bank. You putting money in the bank does technically transgress the principle behind the Law on that point, but God doesn’t put all of us in the place to fight that. There is this matter of government’s fraudulent claim on all wealth and persons, but backed by the full weight of violent government power. So if your heart tells you that your hands are tied, God’s wrath on your account rests on the people who tied your hands. Because if your government was closer to the Law of Noah, your hands would be free to keep your assets inside your family boundaries and you wouldn’t need a bank. The key here is being aware of what the Law requires, and then being aware of what your heart tells you is or isn’t worth fighting. Follow your faith. We can guess what the ideal might look like, but we do not worship some impersonal objective ideal. Plato was not a prophet of God.
However, stepping back a bit, you can begin to understand some of what makes the West so abominable to God. God’s wrath rests on America in particular for striving to lay an unjust claim to ownership of persons and property, and ruling in defiance of God. This is prophetic thinking. Governments that intrude on God’s authority are storing up wrath for themselves. And if there is one single moral flaw that truly marks the horrific satanic evil of America, this business of economics is it. The plutocrats have great plans for all this wealth, but God has other plans, so their folly will be revealed in due time.
We are at the beginning of that time. Here’s a prophetic word of advice for you: Invest in social stability. In more concrete terms, that’s likely to mean that you purchase the means to pursue your calling with the bogus fiat currency and with your labor. For some, that means hording precious metals for exchange when things break. Beware how easily it can be taken, and how likely the government is watching your habit of buying such things. Trust in God. For many of us with less wealth, that means buying the things we know we’ll use to bless others in our calling. You’ll be the one to know what you can use when things get tough. For example, I keep a few hand tools that I know how to use, some that my neighbors can’t imagine I have because the need has not yet arisen. If all goes well, I’ll have my bike back and maybe some kind of personal boat someday soon. I’ll be able to get around on just human power. Don’t read into that some kind of movie or TV “Armageddon” image. Just make sure you have what you are likely to need in serving God when you can no longer access whatever the bank holds in your name. Besides, we all know that skills and heart-led living is the only real treasure we have on this earth.
The idea is to focus on things God has said belong in your hands. That’s the “domain” doctrine I mention from time to time. He grants to each of us, His children, a feudal domain to exercise on His behalf. He takes it back on His whims — that’s a little of the Hebrew hyperbole designed to break up false mental images. You don’t have to understand why if He allows things to destroy your plans and someone plunders your domain. You just have to be faithful and be ready for whatever He shows you as His plan.