Many will admit that they have never thought about this question because they live the status quo without critically evaluating it.

Others are generally polarised by the question, because those who are dependent on social policies tend to feel that nothing is more unbiblical than capitalism, while those who have made it on their own are irritated by the question. There are, of course, exceptions, nuanced positions. There are, for example, those who willingly give up the benefits of capitalism because they find some of its mechanisms immoral, while others are aware of and acknowledge the moral problems of capitalism, but without this affecting the way they do business.

But this question is only one of the dilemmas of Christians trying to position themselves correctly between the context that largely determines their lives and the values or principles they find in the Bible. And those who broaden the historical framework will discover that the question has been just as important in other eras. Was communism consistent with the principles of the Bible? What about monarchy? What about feudalism? What about class and race divisions? What about slavery?

Should a Christian live the status quo or try to shape it permanently to be as close as possible to the Bible?

If the answer to the question in the title seemed difficult to find, once the whole series of questions has been uncovered, the situation seems to become simpler. At the level of the intuitive answer, we are left with two options that are not very different from each other. The first would be that democracy and capitalism are, as Churchill said of the former, the best of the bad systems we know. And the second would be that they are all equally bad, and that there will never be a socio-political and economic system in this world that fully respects the principles of the Bible. Both answers highlight the fact that the problem of reconciling socio-political and economic systems with the Bible has existed virtually throughout the history of the earth.

This brings us to another difficult question: Should a Christian live the status quo or try to shape it permanently to be as close as possible to biblical principles?

Norel Iacob is editor-in-chief of Signs of the Times Romania and ST Network.

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