Yaron Brook is president of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights and a columnist at Forbes.com; Onkar Ghate is a senior fellow at the center. Brook is one of the speakers at The Economist’s “Ideas Economy: Human Potential” conference in New York.
He recently wrote an article, “Our Moral Code is Out of Date” for CNN, and they bring out some compelling ideas I think are worth exploring.
His basic gist is that the “antiquated” moral code of the Old Testament or the Quran…
Although few of us would turn to the Old Testament or the Quran to determine the age of the Earth, too many of us still turn obediently to these books (or their secular copies) as authorities about morality. We learn therein the moral superiority of faith to reason and collective sacrifice to personal profit.
…was ok when we didn’t have science, and industry, but now that there has been a flurry of creation, a flurry of industry, an era of productivity, we ought to base our morality off a different code. “Times are a chang’in” and according to these writers, our moral code should too.
A great article to write would really be, “Should Christians get rich?” We know that Jesus said, “It is harder for a man to enter the kingdom of heaven, than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.” But isn’t monetary success included in God’s blessing us? It is around money, and religions seemingly forceful shaking of our hands to release any wealth we may possess, in the name of self-renunciation.
The fact that earning money is ignored by most moralists, or condemned as the root of evil, is telling of the distance we must travel.
As Jesus’ goal in his parables was to speak beyond the law and speak more to the nature of the heart, so money can be an evil in your life, if you allow your heart to be consumed by it. This fits into the category of idol, anything that takes the place of affection in your heart, where Jesus is supposed to be. The moralist will inevitably not grow rich if he abides by “do’s and don’ts”. Especially by the definition they give:
If morality is judgment to discern the truth and courage to act on it and make something of and for your own life, then these individuals, in their capacity as great creators, are moral exemplars. Put another way, if morality is a guide in the quest to achieve your own happiness by creating the values of mind and body that make a successful life, then morality is about personal profit, not its renunciation.
When you consider morality as binding, and restrictive to your personal profit, of course you’re going to move beyond it. But when you consider yourself under Christ, and all that he’s given you, is for your good, including the law of morality, which is his will for us (that we walk uprightly, pursuing righteousness), its more of a pleasure for us to live moral lives.
As a husband will do things that please his wife, so we Christian do things that please our Savior. He’s asked of us, defend the poor, take care of the needy, shelter the widowed, do good to others as you would have them do to you, and this we do with pleasure!
But can we pursue riches? Firstly, there is a reason why he said its so hard for rich men to enter the kingdom of heaven…THEY’RE RICH! They lose their ability to behold God, when their sufficiency grows from themselves. High wealth is for the spiritually mature I believe. To those who can be good stewards of the wealth that is ultimately Gods, to them he will give it.
I’m not going to go any further…what do you think? How can a man grow rich, but still maintain his walk with God? Do you feel you need to be rich? Why? Poor? Why?