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 Was Jesus a socialist?

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PeacethroughX

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PostSubject: Was Jesus a socialist?   Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:54 am

Gwalchmai wrote:
Quote :
I take it she didn't realize that the person she spent all morning worshipping (Jesus, I assume) was perhaps one of the biggest socialists of all time.

You actually think Jesus was a socialist? Even the biggest of all time? Prove it. You've already begun bandying political rhetoric-finish it. Ian, I'm honestly very curious to see if you can show us how this is in your very next response to me. I am so ready to go on this one. Please make my day.

I brought this over to a new thread. Our dear Gwalchmai seems eager to discuss it. Scripture clearly shows that Jesus lived "in community". Even after His death and resurrection, the disciples lived in community, combined all their possessions and shared everything.

Acts 2:44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;
45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.

Is it possible that He advocated a form of socialism, but without today's definition of it?

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Gwalchmai

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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:07 am

Quote :
Is it possible that He advocated a form of socialism, but without today's definition of it?

I'll give that anything is possible. But I've never read any evidence of it-in the Gospels or otherwise. Allow me to highlight a major difference between socialism and Jesus/the early church. With the Biblical faith, it is God who compells the believer to give as God sees fit. With socialism (moderate, Marxist, what have you), it is the government/man-designed beauracracy which compels the individual to give as the government sees fit.

I love that passage in Acts. But I happen to personally know people who read politics into it where there are none-none. The Scriptural mandate is between God and me.

Jesus lived and shared of himself not because he was compeled by a governing body of humans. It was His Father who compelled Him.

Is it possible? What do you think?
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PeacethroughX

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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:59 am

Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head - He lived the way He lived because of His Father, not because of His environment. And I think He advocated THAT lifestyle.

Let's get a modern definition of socialism. This is straight from Merriam-Webster online:

Main Entry: so·cial·ism
Function: noun
Date:1837

1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done


Wow! I was shocked when I read definition three - leave out the words "Marxist theory" and you've got America as it is now! Now THAT is a 'hole new conversation there.... Smile

The more I read the definitions and the more I think of Jesus' life and words, I don't think He advocated socialism at all. I don't think He even CARED about government and how it affected our lives.

His ONLY words about government were in response to being asked about paying taxes to Caesar. He asked for a coin and returned the question with a question: Whose image is on this coin? The answer, of course, was Caesar, and Jesus countered with, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."

Combine that attitude/answer with the answer to the rich young man who asked Jesus what must he do to inherit eternal life, plus the entire Beatitudes, and I conclude Jesus couldn't care less about govenment at all.

What He cared about was our attitude towards government and it's place in our lives. I think He considered it a minor nusiance to be reckoned with respectfully when necessary (i.e. taxes) but on the whole, we are to take care of each other's needs within community.

Other possiblities?

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Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?"
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rock4king

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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:05 am

I agree with Gwalchmai. I stated this on the other thread but not as succinctly Smile Man I need to work on expressing myself better Wink

Good points Ian. I agree that there is some validity to the socialist argument for Christians, but I am not sure that the government should be the ones taking care of us. That is the problem i have. We should give freely to help those less fortunate than us.
Is it a perfect plan? Hardly.
Will people give to others out of the goodness of their hearts? Some will.
Should we be forced to help others? No.

In a perfect world, the church should be the one to care for the poor, not the government.

I found this scripture that may or may not be relevent:
Romans 13:1) Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Obama is a little too charismatic for my taste, I dont trust him. I am concerned about his turning our back on Israel, and we wont even have a say about it. I dont think government has proved that it should be the entity to control our finances and healthcare. Free enterprise is not perfect, but if we dont like it we have a choice. We can vote with our pocketbooks.
Vote your conscience everyone, this is an important election.


just some random thoughts....


Expounding on what Peaceirl said, Romans 13 talks about this:

Romans 13


Submission to the Authorities


1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.study

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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:41 pm

I take great issue with the above passage, not only because i have *huge* problems with athority, but because 90% of my "superiors" have no sense of responsibilty, and are generally clueless.....

do i respect them? yes. until they prove they are otherwise unworthy. but i am curious...are we to respect and obey those who have time and time again proven they are incapable of leading, but still remain in such a position?
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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:23 pm

Well, Victor, how much do you allow your life to be lead by the Scriptures - how important are they in your decision making?

Do the Scriptures give a time as to when we are to quit obeying those in authority? Is there a time in Scripture when rebellion against authority is applauded and revered by Jesus?

Especially for you since you are Catholic, you have papal authority as well as Scriptural authority, correct? How much influence do these things have in your life?

So I guess it depends on the weight of Scripture in your life as to your obedience to the authority around you. You may get many, many different answers for that.

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Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?"
Exodus 15:11

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"I don't reject your Christ, I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ." Mahatma Ghandi
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Rastus

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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:32 pm

hmm...
yes, yes i AM supposed to respect and obey priests and such.

however, my priest is not exactly....respectable. i believe him to be incapable of performing his duties.

but aside from priests and the like (which i've always had the utmost respect for) what are the thoughts on conventional athourity, such as police, teachers, whatever.

i have my own ideas, i'm just curious about the general public's view.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:06 am

My life is governed by Scripture, period.

Read the Romans 13 passage above again. While it says to pay your taxes, notice that the "respect" and "honor" is not aligned there.

7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor

I pay my taxes every year to a government I don't respect or approve. I live here - more importantly, I CHOOSE to live here, so I will obey my country's laws, or I will WORK to change them in a manner that works with the government in place, i.e. no rebellion or anarchy.

I was a teacher for many years. I taught, and expected, obedience and respect for my position from my students. I homeschooled for over 10 years. I taught my son to respect those in authority over him, whether or not he agreed with them. If he disagreed, he was to follow proper channels to get his viewpoint attention.

This has proved very interesting now that he is in college. He definitely challenges his teachers, and makes his views known, but they all find him respectful and polite. (He's taking American Government this quarter... hehehe)

I believe in going through and using the proper channels to get things changed. I learned first hand in the 70s, in college, that loud, or even peaceful, protesting did not work! You just got hauled off campus, or to jail... 'nuff said about THAT part of my life. Suspect

It's more work, more aggravation, and sometimes takes YEARS for results, but I believe pushing through the existing laws and government are the most effective way to change them, no matter the level - high school, college, city or federal - it can be done.

Most people just aren't patient or persistent enough to keep going.

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"Who among the gods is like you, O LORD ?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?"
Exodus 15:11

http://www.achurchforthecity.org

"I don't reject your Christ, I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ." Mahatma Ghandi
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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:10 pm

well put.

perhaps i shall start a thread concerning taxation without representation and how unconstitultional it is....

haha
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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:15 pm

Actually, you are quite right. Income Tax is totally against the Constitution, and yet you go to jail if you don't pay it. There are a lot of laws that are against the constitution, but they still are laws, and we still have to obey them. How is it possible that laws can be made that take away are Constitutional rights? But, yeah, we definitely need to obey authority, even if we don't necessarily agree with or respect its choices.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:27 am

userwolf1898 wrote:
Income Tax is totally against the Constitution, and yet you go to jail if you don't pay it.

Unless you're Amish.

Or you have a non-profit agency!
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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:32 am

IMO Socialism works great in families and communities but not so great in government and definitely not when forced.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:46 am

Tonnenator wrote:
IMO Socialism works great in families and communities but not so great in government and definitely not when forced.

I totally agree Tonne

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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:30 am

I also have to agree, here as well.

To care for those in need is admirable. A lot of the job the church had in taking care of the poor sort of shifted when FDR started the New Deal back in the '30's. These plans were to get people working again. They were supposed to be temporary, but they ended up being permanent. Suddenly, the government was in charge, and now, people have not learned from history about how they are now dependent. Where does it end?

We need to get back to where we came from, when the caring for the poor started at the church.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Jesus a socialist?   Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:21 pm

i think it is shameful to take sacred pearls and drag them through political sludge.

i refuse to label my saviour socialist, or ever democrat or republican for that matter!

labels suck.
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