Drollinger: Capitalism vs. Communism - Only One Is Based on Scriptural Truth


Karl Marx said in his Communist Manifesto, “The theory of the Communists may be summed up in a single sentence: Abolition of private property.”

On the other hand, the Bible is pro-private property. The difference between capitalism and communism is clear — one is based on scriptural truth, and the other is not. So what do we believe? A man-concocted theory that enriches a few and enslaves the majority, or the timeless truth of God’s Word?

For the Christian, there is no question. The Scriptures support private property ownership and, therefore, all governments should be pro-private property.

Can you articulate a pro-property rights position from Scripture? This week’s study is designed to aid you in that regard and help you form personal and political convictions based on God’s guidance as explicated in his revelation.

The Christian begins with the understanding that God owns everything. Scripture teaches that God — not governments, be they communist or otherwise — is the ultimate owner of the earth and all that is therein and that he desires individuals to be stewards of what he possesses. Note this first point in the following Scriptures:

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“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1).

“Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it” (Deuteronomy 10:14).

In granting stewardship, God entrusts the responsibilities of management to the top of his creative order: man, whom he created in his image, unlike any other parts of his creation. This fundamental idea is conveyed in Genesis 1:26-28:

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'”

To clarify man’s stewardship role over all of creation, God uses the descriptive verb “subdue” (kabash) to encompass what he intends for man to do. The Hebrew word kabash specifically means “to bring into servitude.” In Numbers 32:22, 29, and Joshua 18:1, the same word has a parallel contextual meaning, i.e., Israel was to subdue the land of Canaan so the land would serve Israel.

Having first established the principle of God’s ultimate ownership, the following point needs to be made: Scripture repeatedly communicates that God intends for individuals — not his institution of civil government — to steward his property. In the previously quoted Genesis passage, emphasis needs to be placed on the word “them.” Civil government is not in view in this Scripture.

From the first book of the Bible all the way through to the book of Revelation, Scripture makes it clear that God conveys property ownership to individuals — not to totalitarian regimes, democratic civil governments, or any other kind of nation as a whole.

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Delving deeply into Scripture, this Bible study offers validation of personal property ownership, the results of government quashing personal property rights, the dire impact of the religion of unchecked environmentalism, what happens when governments overreach, and the critical issue of how personal liberty and the individual’s ability to reflect the glory of God are greatly diminished when governments deny personal property rights.

The Founding Fathers built the United States on a biblical foundation that included an unwavering right of citizens to own private property. The right to own property is the single greatest reason why this nation grew to become the world’s largest economy in a relatively short period of time.

This Bible study offers an easy-to-understand biblical contrast between governments that deny personal property rights and those that embrace God’s plan for mankind.

Click here to read the full study.

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Ralph Drollinger, president and founder of Capitol Ministries, leads three Bible studies with political leaders every week. One on the Hill for U.S. senators and one for representatives, plus a weekly remote Bible study for state governors, former governors, and former White House Cabinet members and senior staff. Learn more at

Drollinger played basketball at UCLA under coach John Wooden and was the first player in NCAA history to go to the Final Four four times. Drollinger was taken in the NBA draft three times but chose to forgo the NBA to play with Athletes in Action, an evangelistic basketball team that toured the world and preached the gospel at halftime. Drollinger signed with the Dallas Mavericks in 1980 as a free agent, becoming the first Maverick in the history of the franchise.