Christianity And The Industrial Problem -- By: David Findley Bonner

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 069:275 (Jul 1912)
Article: Christianity And The Industrial Problem
Author: David Findley Bonner

Christianity And The Industrial Problem

David Findley Bonner

Industrial conditions throughout our land to-day are by no means satisfactory. Capital and Labor are not in harmony. Indeed, not a few aver that they are actually at war. As a result, the normal processes of production are often interrupted, investments in the disturbed industries often become temporarily unproductive, wages in those industries largely or wholly cease, and the general public in various ways suffers.

These conditions should not be permitted to become permanent. Some adjustment of the conflicting demands of Capital and Labor must be discovered. Some system must be devised by which Capital will be assured reasonable interest, and at the same time Labor be assured a living wage. The discovery of that system is the industrial problem of the day.

For the solution of the problem the Christian instinctively turns to the teachings of the Prophet of Galilee. He is the more disposed to take this course for the reason that it is largely through the teachings of Jesus that the problem has arisen. It is to the teachings of Christianity in respect to the dignity of manhood that the dissatisfaction of the masses with existing conditions is largely due. These have brought to them a conception of their rights and privileges. It remains

to lead them to recognition of their duties and responsibilities. With mutual recognition on the part of both Capital and Labor of their reciprocal duties and obligations, as well as their respective rights and privileges, the industrial problem would soon be solved, and the conflicts which now occur so frequently would cease.

It is due to the nature of the religion of Jesus that this solution has not already been discovered. Christianity is not a religion of precepts, but of principles. It is not a system of statutes, but of ideals. These ideals are differently conceived, these principles differently applied. It will not be till these ideals are rightly apprehended, and these principles are rightly recognized and justly applied, that the conflict will cease.

Hence, so long as the problem remains unsolved — so long as a system securing harmony between capital and labor remains undiscovered, every earnest study of the teachings of the religion of Jesus, as the’ bear upon the labor problem, should be welcomed. It is in this spirit that the present paper is submitted. It will be a strictly inductive study. No attempt will be made to state ideal conditions as the writer conceives them. No attempt will be made to justify such ideals by appeal to the teachings of Christ or his Apostles. On the contrary, the effort will be, by inductive study, to asce...

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