The Invisible Hand

is a metaphor in economics used by Adam Smith to describe unintended social benefits resulting from individual actions.

In the realm of Christian thought, all men including unbelievers have the capacity to discover the laws of God in nature. The natural order is the revelation of the Creator from which he makes Himself known (Romans 2:14-15). To say that we cannot find God in nature is a false presumption. Nature speaks, and all the systems of the universe point to the Master Designer. This includes the system of economics.

In the free market, there is no central planner, executor, limiter and whatsoever, only the invisible hand exists. No one dictates who and what to sell, where and how they’re gonna sell it. There are no central planners or big brothers who “assign” services to the individuals in the society. The invisible hand is there within the system, just like a conductor in an orchestra that produces a wonderful symphony.

A Christian song sings, “I can see the hand when I look around me…” This hand sung by the Christian is the same hand seen by Adam Smith. The free market is a self-regulating, self-correcting, self-managing system installed by the Great Designer in the market system of the world.

This speaks of redemption. The free market is freedom itself: Freedom from the tyranny of self-willed economic dictators, freedom from the power of sinful systems, freedom from the whims and dictations of mere human will.

When a single dictator tries to control the system of the economy, he is trying to be a god, just as what the Serpent used to tempt Eve. Humans, if not subdued under the Will of the Creator’s Natural Law through Free Market, tends to fall into the illusion that he is the captain of his soul and even the souls of others. He “lacks faith” in the real Captain of the soul which is Christ.

Freedom of the Market is synonymous to Freedom of the Will. Man has to be free from his own will because his will is fallen. He must be captivated by the Will of the Master, thus making him a “free slave.” It is a system that frees men from the deception of human “free will”, the naturally- depraved state, and brings them to a “system of freedom” where they can serve the needs of others. Free Market in two words is “serving others.” On the other hand, economic dictatorship, oligarchy, anarchy, monopoly is the economic transgression that can be summarized into “serve me.”

This invisible hand exists in the free market system which destabilizes the sinful economic fortresses, and establishes a system where a society reflect the Trinity, serving one another, carrying the burdens of one another and ultimately loving one another. Outside the Free Market economy is nothing but a fallen economic system.

As Stephen Carson writes, “In being ignorant of economics, they are not only ignoring a great secular science but our own Christian heritage.”

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