Chad Hovind, lead pastor at Horizon Community Church, in Cincinnati, Ohio, was so frustrated with "Christians who had been brainwashed into thinking that Jesus was a socialist or Marxist" that he decided to set the record straight, publishing "Godonomics," a book that analyzes the Bible's take on finances.
Hovind, who re-released a paperback version of the book this summer, said that another motivating factor for penning it was the fact that many of the Christians he's encountered through ministry have had a plethora of questions surrounding what the Bible actually says about economics.
In "Godonomics" he argues that the holy book offers up tips, parameters and information that can help Christians and societies find their financial footing. TheBlaze recently interviewed the pastor about the book and what he believes the U.S. is doing wrong, financially speaking.
Read the exchange below:
THEBLAZE: What led you to write "Godonomics?"
HOVIND: I had two motivators for writing "Godonomics." First, many in my congregation were asking if the Bible addressed the issues everyone was discussing, like inflation, deficit spending, capitalism versus socialism, and entrepreneurship. Secondly, Glenn Beck had just launched the idea of the 9-12 project and inspired me to use my gifts as an edutainer (educator and entertainer) to inspire and teach others that "Capitalism is not just a good idea; it’ God’s idea."
Further, I was so frustrated with Christians who had been brainwashed into thinking that Jesus was a socialist or Marxist. Marxism has killed 90-110 million people in history and yet people still held that position. Jesus is no more a Marxist, than he was a murderer.
THEBLAZE: What is the book's central premise?
HOVIND: "Godonomics" brings liberty, productivity, and generosity to an individual, a family, and a nation. Entrepreneurship and capitalism is not just a good idea, it’s God’s idea. Capitalism is the free exchange of privately held goods and services. The Ten Commandments talk about private property ... and liberty is mentioned from Genesis to Revelation: “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” and “Proclaim Liberty unto all the land.”
Free exchange plays to both personal incentive while requiring an others-focused approach. In order for me to profit, I must put the buyer’s needs first and offer them a quality and price that they would freely choose to engage in. Proverbs 31 summarizes it this way: A business woman produces, she profits, and she gives money to the poor. The Bible mentions that she “discerned her merchandise was good” because in order for her to profit (the fruit of her hands), she had to offer a product (merchandise) that others wanted and needed.
Adam Smith, the founder of modern capitalism and a moral philosopher who wrote "The Weath of Nations," believed that morality was the key to capitalism. He wrote "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" to show the moral connection to capitalism.
THEBLAZE: What does the Bible — and your book — say about personal finances?
HOVIND: Many of us don’t look backward to see the destructive habits we keep practicing. We need to stop being foolish. The Bible states that “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to folly” while a “wise man sees danger coming and hides himself.” "Godonomics" lays out a simple process: Produce, Profit, Save, Invest, and Give in contrast to Consume, Borrow, and Enslave to Credit.
My 16 year old bought her own car, pays for her a percentage of her own expenses, and shops for discounts joyfully. My fourteen year old saved to buy his own Xbox, started his own video production business, and is currently saving for his own car. The principles of "Godonomics" will teach you how to practice and parent with successful financial skills.
The book is filled with real stories of how I’ve trained my kids to work, spend, and give. The book teaches us to teach responsibility and generosity to our kids starting in elementary school. These principles we teach must be modeled personally too.
Multnomah Books/Chad Hovind
THEBLAZE: So, what does it say about America's finances?
HOVIND: God laid out powerfully practical principles in the Bible that taught people how to live in a free society: Property rights, incentive, liberty. The history of the world shows how these principles articulated in the Bible unleashed a wave of liberty, productivity, and generosity that turned the Roman Empire upside-down, unleashed free enterprise, and established America’s founding principles.
Most of us have been brainwashed (unintentionally perhaps) into thinking that socialism = generosity, while capitalism = greed. History shows the opposite. Societies that embraced socialism were almost always atheistic and oppressive while free enterprise societies were the most generous in human history. When folks think Christianity endorses socialism, I wonder if they’ve ever read the Bible or studied history.
God tells nations not to borrow from other nations in Deuteronomy 25,"You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.” As a nation, we have totally rejected this idea and are now 17 trillion dollars in debt. We talk openly about needing people to “spend more” and “borrow more,” rather than produce and save.
THEBLAZE: What are some of the things the U.S. is currently doing wrong, fiscally speaking?
HOVIND: Financially speaking, America’s typical mode of operation is the opposite. We’re spending tomorrow’s money today. We are trading personal liberty and designing policies that encourage entitlement and stealing over personal responsibility.
In a world of donkeys, elephants, and rhinos, God offers the voice of a lion. He roars timeless principles that are common sense. Do not spend more than you make. Do not spend tomorrow’s money today. Don’t trade liberty for perceived security. Do not steal. Do not elect politicians to do your stealing for you. The foundation of our country was built on a theistic worldview. The Declaration of Independence connects the dots between freedom and God with the worlds, “We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.”
Individuals loan the powers given to us by God to governments to secure personal rights. Socialism thinks individuals serve the state while free enterprise endorses a limited government with checks and balances because we are skeptical about collective power. Capitalism also teaches that the state serves the individual. ...
THEBLAZE: What do you say to those who dismiss the Bible as having economic value?
HOVIND: For those who dismiss the Bible’s economic value, I’d encourage them to examine the proven track record. History offers crystal-clear evidence of success. Socialism, Marxism, and communism have a common opposition to capitalism, “Abolish private property.” They have a track record of failure. The Bible instructs and history validates that wherever God’s principles are applied; liberty, productivity, and generosity increase.
After [Adam Smith's] book "Wealth of Nations" was published and its principles took hold, wages quadrupled in the next 50 years, and then quadrupled again over the next 50. Every society that has leaned into free enterprise has prospered and benefited the poor and needy. Profits are good. They are not a four letter word. They are the incentive for work.
The Bible describes work as a gift from God. One of the many reasons we work is for the incentive of what the Bible calls, “The fruit of our labor.” The Bible tells us that “if we don’t work, we shouldn’t eat,” and that we should “work for our own bread.” This is true in parenting as well. Children who lack reward and discipline are not incentivized to work.