Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti challenges biblical authority, rejects revelation dictating human action (economics) and replaces God’s principles with totalitarianism. The church of Revelation 17 and political economy of Revelation 18 joined hand in hand.
The thesis of Fratelli Tutti is the need to remold human society in the bounds of love and social concern. The problem is a lack of concern caused by technology, greed, nationalism and lack of universal rights for all man. As with all misrepresentation of the truth, there is some truth to his assertions. Nonetheless, like many in the ecumenical movement, denying the Word of God is never the solution.
“In God’s plan, each individual is called to promote his or her own development, and this includes finding the best economic and technological means of multiplying goods and increasing wealth. Business abilities, which are a gift from God, should always be clearly directed to the development of others and to eliminating poverty, especially through the creation of diversified work opportunities. The right to private property is always accompanied by the primary and prior principle of the subordination of all private property to the universal destination of the earth’s goods, and thus the right of all to their use.”
His observation that “each individual is called to promote his or her own development, and this includes finding the best economic and technological means of multiplying goods and increasing wealth” is compelling, but ultimately, it is wrong. The biblical admonition is first to be born again and then to “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18). Each born again believer is to develop and grow in our knowledge of Christ, and we are to be useful and productive citizens “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men”. (Colossians 3:23).
But this does not include “finding the best economic and technological means of multiplying goods and increasing wealth”. Why not? Because God has already instructed humanity how to “multiply goods and increase wealth”. There is no need to find the “best economic and technological means” outside of looking to God’s Word and following the instructions He has previously given.
God created man in His image and gave the earth to Adam as an individual. God then instructed Adam and Eve, and subsequently Noah, to be “fruitful, multiple, replenish and subdue” the earth. Individuals use their intellect to understand and develop the resources (property) to be fruitful, multiple, replenish and subdue, or in other terms, produces goods to meet the needs of humanity.
Further, God gave human government the responsibility to protect life (the highest form of property) and then instituted the rules for human action in the Ten Commandments to protect individuals from violence and foster the liberty to produce. The Pope seeks to undermine the biblical instruction by changing what God has said and replacing it with the thoughts of man.
“The right to private property is always accompanied by the primary and prior principle of the subordination of all private property to the universal destination of the earth’s goods, and thus the right of all to their use.” The Pope is wrong, the right to private property is not accompanied or subordinated by any universal destination of the earth’s goods. In fact, there is no universal destination of the earth’s goods. The earth has no “goods”, the earth possesses no goods; the earth is a means to goods. Using anthropomorphic language to describe the earth misleads readers to believe there is a quality about planet earth that is shared by mankind. Humans matter, the earth is simply where we live.
Private property is one of the many protections God has given us. As a consequence of sin, we live in a world of limited resources. Private property is crucial in the conservation of those resources. The individual risks their own resources in the market of goods and services. Those who are successful in exchanging, have conserved resources with both parties in the exchange being satisfied. Because resources are limited, the risk of loss motivates both sides of the exchange to conserve their resources.
Furthermore, wasted resources reduce future opportunities for production of goods and services that employ individuals and in turn means needs go unmet. Without private property, loss is not limited to the individual who has failed. The loss is spread throughout all of society as it has done in every country that has eliminated private property.
A property less society requires the collection (theft) of all property by the authority that God designed to protect property. It is brought under the control of an authoritarian individual who must determine which goods and services will be produced and who will consume them. There is no a market for exchange since there is nothing to exchange! The civil authority that God designed to protect the individual and their property has become the thief who uses violence, or the threat of violence, to steal from the individual. The individual who is to produce and consume can no longer do both.
I no longer own my labor, which is now the state’s property and a perspective employer no longer has wealth to hire me, since his wealth is owned by the state too. I cannot exchange what I no longer possess (labor) for something I want (wealth), because employers no longer possess the wealth to exchange for my labor.
How will the authoritarian individual know what to produce to meet the needs of people without private property? They cannot know. Without private property (and the associated risk/reward inherent in property), there is no market and means of conservation. With no market there is no feedback loop to direct individuals on the use of resources. With no feedback loop it is impossible to determine what consumers want. Collective authoritarian is a claim of deity. It is a claim to knowing the exact needs of all people, at all times and in all places. The Babylonian economic system (collectivism) supported by the Babylonian religion. God has judged them both.
We all want shelter, clothing and food, but what kind of shelter, clothing and food? Where will it be provided? What amenities will it have? One size fits all production mentality breeds discontent. Discontent leads to “black market” goods, but not the kind of things we would regularly associate as being black market. Black market goods in a totalitarian system of production include such innocuous things as fresh vegetables.
But black-market vegetables lead to more authoritarianism; in the propertyless system where did the seeds come from? Where is the dirt that the seeds were planted in? What about the fertilizer, water and labor needed to grow the vegetables? In a property less state, all these factors of production are owned by the state and any production outside of a dictated system is lawlessness to be met with violence.
We may scoff at the notion, or even consider this silly, but, consider the history of civilization. The world is rushing to authoritarianism. The natural man is deceived and hastening to either be a tyrant or, unbeknownst to the supporters of despotism, a slave.
We see the end of the false church and the false economic system described at the book of Revelation. But between now and then, the deceived will continue to spiritually and economically enslave the simple, with catastrophic results for individual humans.
Our responsibility, as always, “Preach the Word, be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2