Skip to comments.Was Jesus A Socialist, Capitalist Or Something Else?
Posted on 01/31/2012 7:05:50 PM PST by billflax
Its fascinating how frequently modern dilettantes re-make Christ in their image via Matthew 25. Socialists finesse Scripture to justify redistributing wealth to the least of these (Matthew 25:40), while capitalists overplay the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Both tout Christs teachings as a trump card.
Other passages are mentioned. Socialists highlight descriptions in Acts of voluntary, privately orchestrated, local and temporary communalization to prescribe permanent, coerced communism under a distant, godless government. But Matthew 25 leads from both directions.
The rapidity and carelessness of these misappropriations of End Time parables startles anyone who actually reads Matthew 25. Either these essential lessons are torn from context transforming Christ into favored worldly philosophers, or he contradicted himself within several sentences.
He demanded sustenance for the least of these twenty seconds after declaring For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. Like most of Christs ministry, Matthew 25 teaches spiritual lessons. We are to serve Christ with all our talent which entails supporting brothers and sisters being persecuted. The least of these in Matthew 25 are Believers enduring the tribulation described in Matthew 24.
Taking these passages in an economic sense eschews their essential meaning. Christs mission wasnt to elevate our physical status, but to redeem mankind. Christ came to ransom sinners, not to cure cancer and extend voting rights; nor implement free markets. He comforted temporal afflictions to authenticate his claims so wed believe, not for physical comfort.
Politicians expand power by sowing discontent with our worldly estates relative to others what the Bible calls covetousness. Demagogues encourage jealousy to justify looting taxpayers. They violate the eighth and tenth commandments through programs enabling recipients to avoid the fourth commandments requirement of work.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
Yes, sir. Jesus was the Son of God. But here we go down that socialist road.
none of the above
Jesus is Christ the Son of the living God; and therefore, well above petty crap like economic systems.
Jesus was a Capricorn
Not if you actually read it we don’t.
Did Him and Joseph sell their carpentry products or were they taken to re-distribute?
Jesus was a RINO - He associated with tax collectors and whores. According to self-righteous FReepers, He’s Just Not Good Enough.
I assume he was a carpenter by trade like Joseph. The bible doesn’t have a lot of detail on the years between his birth and events leading to the crucifixion but he probably did what all boys did and learned the trade of his father (Do we consider Joseph to be his father?)
We also know he did some fishing of both fish and men.
Jesus did not come for political change.. He submitted to the governmental authority..
He is also a monarchist.
Considering the lack of historical and Biblical knowledge most Americans have, it is not surprising that many have fallen for the misinformation on what Jesus taught (and for whom the teachings were given). These Biblical revisionists have become especially adept at cherry picking Scripture to suit their agenda. Hence, many have come to misunderstand the gospel of Christ by equating it with modern day Socialism.
My first point of contention with the idea that Christ was a socialist, is His teachings and the example of His life. Throughout the time that Christ lived with His disciples, He never worked. Instead he was dependent upon the charity and good hearts of those who surrounded Him. Now that is not to say Jesus was lazy or a bum either. Jesus was always about His Fathers business, and that business was the salvation of mankind. Nowhere in the Scriptures will you find Jesus telling His followers to rely upon anyone except those who were willing to hear the gospel and share what they had. If the people refused to hear the gospel or be charitable, Jesus told His disciples to rebuke them and go to others who were willing to hear the teachings, as when He sent them out by pairs. (Matthew chapter 10)
I must emphasize that all of the lessons Jesus taught were for those who followed Him, or would listen to His teachings. When a person asked for healing or for forgiveness, Jesus always told them that their sins were forgiven and to go and sin no more. As for money, there was only one time He mentioned the wealth of an individual and that was because that individual treasured his wealth over God. Jesus used the incident as a lesson to tell His disciples that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then for a rich man to get into heaven. Not impossible, but more difficult. He tells us elsewhere that where your treasure is there too is where your heart will be.(Matthew 6:21)
Jesus also taught that we should not let our charitable work be publicly known. (Matthew 6:1-4) Those who love to brag about all the good they have done for others through the Social programs of the government would not be true followers of Jesus or his teachings.
When Jesus did finally have His big chance to influence the government and it's rulers, he did not broach the subject of socialism or it's supposed glory. Not only did He not enlighten them upon the benefits of Socialism, He would not even share the Gospel with them.
If Jesus was the great Socialist leader the left wants you to believe then why would He not get the government to follow His lead. After all, the perfect time to influence the government was when he was in front of Pontius Pilot or Herod. He did not. The Scriptures tell us that He kept silent in front of Herod. (Luke 23:6- 12) He said only a few words to Pontius Pilot. (John 18:33-19:11) That is because Jesus did not come to influence the government, but the people who needed salvation. He wanted men to believe in Him not some social agenda that would get the government to do what Christians were called to do. These are the lessons His disciples continued to teach after he was gone, and those lessons would come into play in the Book of Acts.
Most people have heard the story about the early days of Christianity, where everyone sold their possessions and distributed the proceeds to other Christians in need.(Acts 4:34-35) This is one of the main Scriptures used by the left to convince people that the early Christians practiced Socialism. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that this is something that happened mainly among the Christian believers. By taking into consideration the historical setting of the Book of Acts, you will begin to better understand the reason why there was a need for this kind of outpouring among the early Christians.
During the time when Christ walked among us and taught His disciples, and later after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into Heaven, Jerusalem was an economically depressed area. Most of the employment opportunities centered around the building of Herod's Temple, and the only ones eligible to work on the Temple were Jews. The only Jews that were allowed to work on the Temple were those who were ceremonially clean. Anyone that was unclean or found to be unfit by the priests were barred from working on the Temple. There were various reasons one could be considered unclean or at odds with the Priests who controlled the work force. A Jew who openly confessed faith in Christ and followed His teachings, was automatically considered a Heretic and unfit for consideration of employment in the Temple. They were also ostracized by their close relatives and the community, and soon found themselves unable to support themselves or their family.
It was under these conditions that the first Christians came together and pooled their resources so that the many who lacked the basics to care for themselves could be taken care of in the face of such harsh treatment in their communities. These early Christians were not only shunned by society, but many like Stephen were stoned to death for their faith in Christ. All they had was other Christians to depend upon. So while we do read in the Book of Acts about communal living, where all things were in common, it was from the excess many had so that those in need could be cared for. That does not mean that all were equal, or that those who had means split those means equally with those who did not have means, but rather they provided for the necessities of those who could not do so for themselves. What the Book of Acts records is that the early Christians stepped up and did what Christ called them to do.
We can also see in the Book of Acts that a Christian could give as much or as little as they wanted, as in the account of Ananias and his wife Sapphira. (Acts 5:1-10) The Scriptures tell us they were put to death by the Holy Spirit for lying about how much they received because they wanted everyone to believe they donated all the proceeds from some possessions they sold. The lesson we learn from the incident is that they were not required to give everything but to be honest about their donation. Later when it was prophesied that a famine would come to the land, the disciples in Antioch collected money to send with Paul and Barnabas to be delivered to Jerusalem. (Acts 11:27-30) They did not ask Herod, Caesar, the Jews, or unbelieving Gentiles for help, they collected the money from other Christians.
Now for those who want to equate this outpouring of sharing with the idea of modern day socialism, I would suggest a short course in Biblical Theology. Christianity teaches that it is up to the individual to care for others, whereas, Socialism demands forced equality enacted by the government. Also, while it is the Christian's obligation to look after the widows and the poor, Paul specifically told the Thessalonians in his 2nd letter to them, that if a healthy able bodied brother will not work he will not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Socialism on the other hand, not only promotes but demands that those who work will feed those who are lazy and will not work. This is not what Christ taught. Jesus did not have the Good Samaritan in Luke's Gospel tell the injured man in the road to seek a government social worker. The Good Samaritan gave of what was his own willingly, not under the duress of the state. (Luke 10:25-37)
Throughout the life of Christ, He always emphasized personal responsibility and love. That is because Christ came to save mankind from the penalty of sin, which is eternal death. It is through the substitutionary death of Christ and His resurrection that we are provided with the means for justification and thus salvation. Jesus said that all who believe and receive Him through faith, will be born again and saved to become children of God. Christ could care less about the governments and their so-called compassion. That is why you will not find anywhere in the Scriptures a verse that says He died for the salvation of the state.
Jesus died for the salvation of man and it is men's hearts that will be judged on judgment day. No man will be judged according to how much he paid in taxes, or how many government programs he supported We are told to pay tribute to our rulers if they ask, but charity starts and ends at home with each individual. That is why Christ said, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. Notice that He said, as you did, not as the government did. (Matthew 25:35-39 )
One last point that needs to be made, and that is for anyone who doubts that Communism and Socialism are two feathers from the same bird. Frederick Engels' wrote the preface to the 1888 edition of the Communist Manifesto, in which he declares that the Communist Manifesto "is undoubtedly the most widespread, the most international production of all Socialist literature, the common platform acknowledged by millions of working men from Siberia to California."
Socialism means economic control of the people by government. In a socialist country, the state is all-powerful. Such an all-powerful state views itself and not God as the ultimate authority. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Communist Manifesto calls for abolishing family, marriage, countries, and religion as well as private property. Under the socialist system the state determines what is right and wrong without any competing loyalties to God, family, or country.
Make no mistake about it, Jesus was not what politicians and their mimics in the media claim He was. He was not, and He did not teach, Socialism. He said I am the way, the truth, and the light, no one comes to the Father accept through Me. Christians are called to be the light of the world, we should influence the world through our lives and share the gospel with those who are receptive. If the Gospel, as Christ taught it, is rejected by those we whom we share it, then we are told to kick the dust from our shoes and go on. (Mark 6:11) We are not instructed to force them to be loving and charitable through the power of a Socialized government.
AMEN! Walking on water wouldn’t have been good enough. LOL!
Yes He is.
[ Was Jesus A Socialist, Capitalist Or Something Else? ]
Jesus was something else.... He was and is a KING...
A King of another place.. which includes this planet..
He inherited from “his father” EVERYTHING!...
He literally OWNS everything and everybody everywhere...
He is NOT an apparatchik... but the rightful heir of YOU... your family and your dog..
Your money is not “yours”...
Argh. This Jesus of Nazareth came to earth as God-in-human-flesh. He represented and represents eternal aspirations. As far as any earthly system of economy or commerce is concerned, God already made it clear that it should be based on just and fair transactions, that taxes are OK but have limited legitimate use, that giving to the poor is encouraged but entirely private and voluntary, and the entire process should glorify God.
I guess you could call God a capitalist, though. He purchased the souls of men.
Quoting from another Freeper, God is not a republican but Satan is certainly a democrat.
Jesus was a religious being. He ministered to his flock. He was not a politician but a minister. Only a small, devious mind would try to cast him as a politician.
“He who does not have a sword, should sell his cloak and buy one.”
That pic is border line blasphemous.
I say borderline, because Christ would never smoke.
A socialist works with imperfect people who do not necessarily believe in God, they believe in government. In fact, you could say their government is their god.
Actually, Jesus is a monarchist - of the absolute variety.
who says that’s tobacco (duck’n & runn’n)
the Man did drink. that is documented.
and yet a quite unusual one, because he yielded himself to be a sacrifice for the sake of his voluntary subjects.
I was thinking more like a Benevolent Dictator :)
Yes, he did drink wine, but it was not like the wine they drink today.
Plus he drank it with a meal, not to get sloshed.
I guess I have too much respect to ever consider posting an image of my God with a cigarette in His mouth.
It just reeks of what the left would do to marginalize Him so that they will feel less sinful.
Capitalism and Christianity both emphasize personal responsibility. You’re free to choose your fate, your financial fate and the fate of your soul. Some will refuse to work and be poor. Some will go to Hell. This is inherently “unfair” in the eyes of the left. Nevertheless, it’s reality. The very idea that Christ was a Socialist or a leftist is absurd.
Nobody has shown that modern Jews do not have the same potency of traditional wine that existed in the days of the 2nd temple. Even if the concord grape is a modern innovation (Mogen David is actually pretty good stuff, if seeming to want peanut butter along with it). Baptist-style parsing over “new wine” and “grape juice” is colossally unconvincing to me.
Being a divine soul in union with a mortal-style body, it also appeared logical to me that Jesus would have a choice about how intoxicated/tipsy/drunk/etc. he would actually get from a given quantity of alcohol. We can see a pale shadow of this sort of power in the way that some Zen monks manage to melt off a number of frozen robes during their ordeals (and this isn’t even Christian).
He was Messiah. He is Messiah.
And Paul was a tent maker. He said he could have survived on contributions of the faithfull but he earned his living to be an example.
And the only legitimate king was Him. Everyone who claimed to be a king was a liar.
It can be argued that Marxism is radical Christianity without Jesus. It was embraced by agnostics, marginalized people, anti clerics and others who had come to shun or have an antipathy to religion. The devotion of these people was as fervent and passionate as the most dedicated Christian. Of course communism was a rotten enterprise to its very core. The suffering and deaths of millions is well known. But it is interesting that its fervent followers did need a “god” like figure at its head. Stalin, Lenin , Mao and other communist leaders were deified and literally worshiped by their followers.
Didn’t Jesus’ political advisor burn Bush? So he’s a socialist? /S
Jesus Christ set up his form of >government in ancient Israel as set out in the Old Testament. Jesus provided for:
1. A 10% flat tax.
2. A Theocracy. (God is ultimately in charge.)
These ‘truths’ found in the Bible should always be pointed out when anyone makes claims about the ‘type’ of >government Jesus wants!
Jesus, himself, wants -everything- from all of us (even from the people that say they don’t believe in God). Unfortunately, a lot of people think -they are ‘God’- & they have the >right to everything that belongs to someone else. —Even when all that ‘someone’ has is life itself!—
Joel3:10, “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak man say, >I am a warrior!”
I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
While living among us Christ was all human. He got hungry, tired, happy, and even angry,( He got righteously angry, and He did not sin by hating while being angry) and if He drank too much He could have gotten drunk.
The difference is He had 100% faith and that is why He was able to perform miracles. Remember, He told his disciples, if they had the faith of a mustard sea they could command a mountain to be thrown into the sea. They could do what he did if they had the faith He had. We still could, IF WE HAD THE FAITH HE SPOKE OF, but alas we are weak in our faith.
His disciples did have faith, and some performed miracles like Peter and Paul did, but even they admitted their faith was weak. Peter denied Christ 3 times, and all abandoned Him in His hour of need for fear of being arrested and harmed.
Ultimately Jesus died, which proves He was all Human. One must believe He was all Human when He walked among us, or else His perfect life would not have been good enough to be the perfect unblemished sinless sacrifice that died for the sins of mankind. He had to live the perfect sinless life as a man, not as a God. Remember, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death.
Smoking is a sin against your body. That is not a baptist thing, it is reality. Your body is your a type of a temple of God. We fail to treat it as so, and that is one of the many reasons Jesus died for us, because we fail to treat it as His temple.
So I re-iterate, Christ could have, but never did drink enough to get drunk, and he never ever would have smoked. That is a sin against one self, and Jesus was sinless.
Just look at Occupy Wall Street. They started off with theft and it didn't take a month before their were into violence. And how many deaths have there been at their camps?
Of course they're none of those things and they always fail.
Two things are needed for success in society: God and freedom. Simple as that. God + freedom = astounding prosperity.
He did not seem to view Ceasar as the center of Christian action and life. He said that we should give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and give to God what is God’s. I take that to mean alms and Christian service belong to God. Ceasar does his thing in taxes, which is different than the action of God on earth through Christians.
“The very idea that Christ was a Socialist or a leftist is absurd.”
You’re right; in the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus in no way implied that the civil authority had any responsibilty for the injured traveler. He made clear how He felt about the general public’s inaction, but certainly didn’t expect Herod or Pilate to send out the “camelance” to bring him to a hospital.
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Thanks for the ping. This is a good article. It is true that all kinds of -ists take His words out of context to support their own worldly agendas, but Jesus is not an -ist and does not endorse any worldly agendas.
Jesus is my King, and His kingdom is not of this world.
The Old Testament also says that Usary (interest) is sinful and that charging interest when loaning to the poor is wrong. Something tells me that that idea isn’t exactly a popular one nowadays, least of all here.
Act 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Act 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
Act 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
The wine was no different than today, it was quite capable of getting someone “drunken”.
Christ expected moderation in all things.
1Ti 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
If a religious, but still carnal mind, can't grasp this, than everything else will be askew in its reasoning.
Christ was “Pro 4:27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”.
Socialism is entrenched in both right and left politics.
True conservatism is of Christ, but, not as we know it today. Conservatism was on a personal level, in other words, moderation.
The liberal aspect of Christ was generosity with ones own blessings from God, and neither were a endorsement of a form of government.
Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.
A Christian's concern must always be the foundation....thy neighbor....taking care of the widow, orphan, stranger, but not a form of government.
When selfishness permeates the citizenry, there will be those that rise up to take care of these ones, under pretense, all the while, bringing those not mindful of the poor into a political/spiritual slavery.
Political polarization is counted upon to create confusion while the author of confusion, Satan, assembles his final opposition to the return of Christ....to no avail.
Actually, unless I am mistaken, the Word only forbids charging usery to brethren. I do not think it addresses charging interest to those outside of God's family. This fits in also with making a slave out of a brethren who is poor. It is only for a few years, and then they are set free. Unless they choose to stay with you after that.
I don't think I have ever read in Scripture where it says that lending to the poor and charging interest to those outside of the family of God is wrong, in context. Perhaps it is there, but I have not seen it. I find it interesting that this point is rarely brought up.
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