Some Christians see the market system as an evil system. The problem with this view is that a market is an abstract concept and not a real physical thing. A market often cannot be seen. When I look at the market all that I see is:
The most visible market that I know is the Sunday market operated by a Rotary Club on a Racecourse in the city where I live. In Europe it would be called a Flea Market and the UK it might be called a Car Boot sale. Vendors rent a site and set up a stall at which to sell their goods. Some are quite sophisticated, offering a delivery service and accepting credit card transactions. Most just accept cash. Large numbers of people come through the market looking for bargains.
When I look at the market all that I see is:
Can evil occur at this market? Yes. Evil can take place in a variety of ways.
- A visitor might shoplift from a stall.
- A vendor might be selling goods that are faulty
- A vendor might be selling a land mine.
- A visitor might assault a vendor.
- A vendor might sneak off early without paying the fee.
- A vendor might lie about the quality of the goods they are selling.
- A vendor might threaten to “beat up” a person, if they do not purchase an article that they have picked up.
A variety of evils can occur at a market, but that does not make the market evil. A market cannot take actions or make decisions. A market cannot be good or evil.
The evils listed above are all perpetrated by people: visitors, purchasers, vendors. Not all visitors, purchasers, or vendors are evil, but only those who do something wrong. The market is not evil. The piece of land is not evil. The goods are not evil, except for the land mine. The Portaloos are not evil, provided they are kept clean.
The rotary club is not responsible for any evil that occurs at the market, nor is the racing club. To suggest that they are responsible for what happens at the market is absurd. On the other hand, it may be in their interest to engage a security guard to minimize evil. If things got out of hand, the market might decline and they would suffer.
People can do evil at a market, but the market is not itself evil.
The full series is here.