Parasites vs. Producers – From Nebuchadnezzar to Wall Street

ParacitesIn reading of ancient civilizations and their conquests in the Bible, it strikes me that there are two categories of people. There are producers and there are parasites. Rather than build wealth through industry and effort, I suppose it was easier to go and conquer another civilization for its wealth. Rather than mine and refine the gold, it was easier to steal it. The ancient kings, like Nebuchadnezzar, were parasitic in that they conquered other civilizations to get the labor and raw materials needed to build their kingdoms. They sowed death and destruction abroad to reap opulence at home.

Things haven’t changed much. While conquest of other countries may no longer be the norm, we still have parasitic activity. The parasites have taken to more subtle forms of stealing. Instead of public servants, we have professional politicians who only look after their reelect-ability and power. Wall Street executives demand returns on investment that force corporations to make bad choices. CEO’s draw exorbitant salaries while cutting headcount and putting employees in duress. So while the parasites may not currently be overtly killing people, they do get rich while damaging others.

If naturalism were true, there would not be much point in writing this post. Survival of the fittest would seem to condone or even promote this parasitic behavior. If some are stronger or smarter than others, then why should they not exploit the weaker? Yet there seems to be something in the heart of man which fights against this. Once his exploits were known, Hitler was almost universally condemned for putting his naturalistic philosophy into practice.

In the Judeo / Christian tradition, the rights of producers is respected. If a man creates or produces something, he has the right to enjoy the rewards of that production. Is it any wonder then that totalitarian and socialist governments are antithetical toward Christianity?

In America we are seeing an erosion of the rights of Christians and Christian groups. Why are we considered dangerous? I think it is because we, as a nation, are creeping toward socialism or a more pernicious form of totalitarianism. Socialism is parasitic in nature, taking from the producers and giving to the parasites. In socialism, the state is the god and there shall be no other God before it.

Greed is a powerful force; it has damaged our political process. It has corrupted our corporations. It has trampled individual rights. Even a superficial reading of the Old Testament prophets shows that even the theocracy set up by God was eventually corrupted by greed. The prophets denounce greed, injustice and exploitation which eventually were the cause of Israel being carried off into captivity.

Circling back to the parasites, I would close with this thought. The church should be wary of aligning itself with any candidate, political party, economic system or political movement. Wherever power begins to coalesce, the parasites will begin to gather and vie for position. Parasites love power because it is the means used to continue their consumption of the host. The parasite’s one goal is his own survival, he has no concern for the welfare of the host.

The church is to follow her Lord, Jesus Christ. If so, we will not be fooled by a parasite. I’ll close with a thought that Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1–5 ESV)

As the government deteriorates into corruption and increasing control, the Church need to stand strong and unflinchingly proclaim that the only real cure for society’s ills is Jesus Christ.