Jay W. Richards, Ph.D. asks Can’t We Build A Just Society? Here’s his answer:
While Christians can offer a foretaste of God’s kingdom, we recognize that only God can and will bring it in full. With this in mind, when we ask whether we can build a just society we need to keep the question nailed to solid ground: “Just compared to what?”
It doesn’t do anyone any good to tear down a society that is “unjust” compared to the kingdom of God, if that society is more just than any of the ones that will replace it.
Of course a modern market-based society like the United States looks terrible compared with the kingdom of God. But that’s bad moral reasoning. The question isn’t whether free enterprise measures up to the kingdom of God. The question is whether there is a better alternative in this life.
If we’re going to compare free enterprise with an extreme, we should compare it with a real extreme – like communism in Cambodia, China, or the former Soviet Union. Unlike Nirvana, these experiments are well within our power to bring about.
If we insist on comparing live options with live options, modern free enterprise could hardly be more different, more just, or more desirable than the outcomes produced by these communist experiments.
That doesn’t mean we should rest on our laurels. We should do everything we can to build a more just society. Micah 6:8 exhorts us to “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with [our] God.”
The best way to do that is to stay focused on reality and the truth of scripture rather than romantic ideals.
This post is adapted from Richards’ book Money, Greed, and God.