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Dr. Paul J. Dean Christian Blog and Commentary

Walmart Socialistic Shopping Spree

  • Paul Dean

    Dr. Paul Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. He serves as a Regional Mentor with the International Association of Biblical Counselors, speaks at several conferences throughout the year, and provides training for ministers and churches on a regular basis. Paul resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with his wife and three children.

  • 2013 Oct 16
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Part of our problem is well-meaning but biblically uninformed Christians. Now we could say that in lots of areas but I’m talking about the Walmart Shopping Spree resulting from a computer glitch that temporarily erased the spending limits on EBT cards (food stamps). Word spread fast and Walmart food shelves were emptied as shopping carts were piled high. People felt free to use other people’s money to get while the gettin’s good. Where I come from that’s called stealing. But that minor detail didn’t stop shoppers nor did it stop Walmart from allowing it. When the government resolved the computer glitch some tried to leave the store without paying for stuff to which they felt entitled. After all, they had made the effort to fill their buggies. Most everyone else simply left their over-loaded shopping carts in the middle of the aisles and walked out.

We all know sin is the culprit here. And yet I said part of our problem is well-meaning but biblically uninformed Christians. What gives? On my way to answering that question, let me point something out.

Over at American Vision Dr. Joel McDurmon posted a fine piece on this incident and highlighted the evil nature of socialism and it’s instillation of entitlement ideas into the populace at large. Here’s an excerpt:

Socialism is the belief that individual private property is a bad idea. It is thus an anti-Christian and anti-biblical belief. Socialists believe that governments should own most or all property and distribute it out as government experts, scientists, politicians, or occasionally voters see fit. Under socialism, the State puts itself in the place of God and says, “The earth is the State’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” Under this view, the individual has no protection . . . the State simply uses force to take that individual’s property and give it to someone else. . . . Socialism is the belief, therefore, that stealing is acceptable as long as another man or group of men says so. Socialism believes in theft by majority vote, or theft by a majority of representatives’ votes in Congress. Socialism is the belief that it’s OK to steal from your neighbor if you do it by means of the government’s gun. Socialism places man, and ultimately the State, in the place of God. Man becomes owned by other men, instead of by his Maker. Socialism is an entirely humanistic, God-denying, God-usurping belief.

McDurmon is right and reading the post in its entirety is well worth your time.

But I want to add a thought and this brings me back to the problem and us. When Christians abandon their post; when they withdraw from culture; when they become wrapped up in their own lives and forsake their public responsibility; when they fail to subdue the earth in the name of Christ; when they lose their saltiness; when they privatize their faith; not only is the gospel practically hindered in the sense that we normally think about it (people not being saved), but it is also hindered in its public influence on every area of life including morals and public policy and how the two are connected. When Christians are not engaging or making culture there is a void. There is a lack of transformation of hearts, ideas, and structures. Because the void is the absence of truth and goodness it can only be filled with error and evil. People are sinful and the systems they create and take advantage of are sinful when there is no gospel influence in their lives.

Now some will ask how Christians who have abandoned their posts can be well-meaning. Posts can be abandoned in different ways. As noted, some can disengage. Others can become disoriented and fire their weapons in the wrong direction. There are Christians who are concerned with the poor and they should be. But those who think socialism is the answer are biblically AWOL (translate deserters). They’ve abandoned major Scriptural themes related to the goodness of work and the virtue of responsibility. They view resources as limited when God has enabled us to cultivate resources in more efficient ways over time, discover new resources as we go, and indeed create new resources to boot. It’s not a zero-sum game. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Be fruitful and multiply says the Lord. We’re created in God’s image which means we’re created to create.

So yes, when it comes to the Walmart Socialistic Shopping Spree, we’re part of the problem. It’s time to return to our posts.

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