Concerning the Biblical Economic Systems
Copyright 2006, International Church Council Project
article may be freely distributed so long as it is not altered
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International Church Council Project (ICCP) is attempting to restore to the Body
of Christ twenty-three foundational doctrinal areas essential to the life and vitality
of the Church. Topic 15, Concerning Biblical Economic Systems is one of those
foundational areas. The ICCP document on this subject was written as a response
It is evident the Bible does not teach Socialism as a legitimate economic
system. Socialism is an unbiblical and wicked philosophy and system. The ICCP
document was written because of the trend of the modern church toward socialism.
There is a major “Christian” theological movement in Latin America called
“Liberation Theology” which teaches Marxism, and claims biblical support for it.
Here in America we are continually bombarded by a socialistic leaning media, and
a government that has grown increasingly socialistic as it takes from some
people in order to give to others.
The Bible teaches an economic system compatible with the words, “Thou shalt not
steal.” The Bible also teaches an economic system compatible with the words, “He
will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy he will
save” (Psalm 72:13). The Bible teaches the right to own and hold personal
property (“Thou shalt not steal.”), and also the compassionate use of wealth;
everyone who owns is responsible to use his wealth in a compassionate and
God gave man stewardship dominion over the earth. This stewardship has never
been withdrawn. God made man with creativeness and resourcefulness. Economic
activity is a major area in which man’s stewardship and gifts are manifest.
The Bible teaches that the one who works has the right both to enjoy the fruit
of his labor and to direct its use. The opportunity to gain is a primary motive
for man’s economic activity, and God has ordained it so. The Bible teaches that
economic activity calculated to make a profit is good and moral. The same Bible
also teaches that using one’s profit selfishly is immoral.
God has not given any person or entity the right to take the individual’s wealth
in order to distribute it to others. Each man is responsible before God as a
steward, and will be held accountable for the use of his wealth. It is immoral
for another (who has not labored for the increase) to take away the fruit of a
man’s labors whether he is taking it for himself or in order to give it to
another. This is true whether the taker is an individual or a collection of
individuals in a government. (Note: We are sure that civil government has a
legitimate sphere and jurisdiction, and that there are taxes appropriate in
order to carry out its functions within its jurisdiction. But the Bible
principles teach that government is outside its God-ordained jurisdiction when
it redistributes wealth, controls wealth, limits or regulates wealth, or
All men are created equal in rights, dignity, and god-likeness, yet not so in
their natural endowments. One man’s abilities, creativity, or intellectual
capacities varies from another’s. These giftings are bestowed by God who is
sovereign over such things. All men, therefore, are not created equally in their
economic opportunities. The more gifted – other things being equal – have an
The ICCP document Concerning Biblical Economic Systems affirms and I believe it
is true in its statement, that tithing is a fundamental Biblical economic
principle that applies to Christians today.
King David worshiped the Lord and said, “Both riches and honor come from Thee,
and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in
Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone” (1 Chron. 29:12).
You can read the actual ICCP document or print it from the internet at
Or you are welcome to call or write us and we will send it to you at no charge.
Please tell your pastor and church leaders about ICCP and give them our website
address. Consider giving your pastor or an elder this newsletter once you are
finished with it.