Skip to comments.Jesus is a Capitalist [Pope Francis Errs]
Posted on 12/01/2013 3:27:58 PM PST by Moseley
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By socialism, we must understand theft. A socialist government uses brute force, backed up by guns, to steal property from some people to give it to others.Pope Francis reflects the wish that governments might better organize society. But governments cannot do that apart from the threat of violence to enforce their schemes. Would Jesus endorse the violence needed for government intervention?
By capitalism, we mean individual initiative under freedom, with the right to use what people own and to reap the fruits of ones labor and initiative. Capitalist business must necessarily benefit society, because private businesses have no power to force anyone to buy their products or services. The consumer is king. Consumers wont buy unless the purchase benefits them. To reinforce that central pillar of capitalism, laws against lying and fraud are proper and necessary. The consumer must be able to know and understand what he is buying and what it truly costs. The same applies to employment.
We reject crony capitalism and monopolies. That is what the Vatican obviously believes capitalism means. When corrupt governments are entangled with businesses, then transactions are no longer voluntary. Crony capitalism is what most people experience in Francis native Argentina, throughout Latin America and much of the Third World. The benefit to society is absent without informed consent.
We know that Jesus condemns crony capitalism. Thats partly what the incident at the temple was all about in Matthew 21, when Jesus overturned the tables of money-changers. Some think money-changers were bankers. Actually they exchanged one currency for another. The temple priests required that special temple coins had to be used to give mandatory tithes. So worshipers had to exchange their secular money. But the money-changers were defrauding people with a dishonest exchange rate.
Jesus knew that mankind requires perfect freedom in order to love God. Love is not love which is forced. That’s why we’re free, and subject to the forces of the world.
The word capitalism does not even appear in the Apostolic Exhortation entitled The Joy of the Gospel. In fact, there is nothing new in what Francis says about economics in this document at all. These insights are a part of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church and have been for a very long time.
In a way, you are right. The only way for salvation was through Christ. In his words, deny yourself, pick up my cross, and follow Jesus.
Somehow Jesus never preached that Caesar and Herod should be the arbitrators of social justice or that they should have the means of production and distribution.
Whether new or old the thoughts about capitalism and socialism radically violate and contradict the teachings of Jesus Christ. They are wrong whether new or old.
Pope Francis uses the term “markets” instead of capitalism. But his meaning is unmistakable.
Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation explicitly argues for government intervention in the economy (markets) which can only be achieved by government violence or threat of violence. Jesus does not support violence to intervene in the economy.
I thought it was because Jesus didn't want the sanctity of the temple violated by commerce.
Thus the first separation of church and state.
Jesus was in favour of some redistribution of wealth - done through each and every individual. Even the widow’s small amount was wealth redistribution, but done by the widow.
Even when the tithe is given, to keep the storehouse full, it was done individually, voluntarily, to help others, and in obedience to God.
Jesus was not, imho, a socialist. Socialism is tyranny. It gives power to the power-hungry.
Jesus said in his own words:
Matt. 20: 15
Dont I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?
I`ll follow Jesus any day of the week, thank you Sir!
No more can we claim Jesus a capitalist as they can a socialist. Jesus was indeed for personal freedom and also personal responsibility. He also told his disciples to pay the tax to Caesar and would have been well acquainted with tithing and gleaning which were God ordered ways of a) Taking care of temple/kingly/governmental needs and of taking care of the poor.
Jesus did not ask His followers to ever do ANYTHING that He didn't do. If He said lay down your life, He did that. Therefore, I think it reasonable to think that He gave money away, regularly and generously, or He could not justly tell us to do so. ("He was tempted in all ways as are we, yet without sin.") I believe He had money from the kings who visited Joseph's HOUSE (not the manger!!) as a "young child" and gave Him gold, frankensense and myrrh. But I think it was more than three (no mention of "three kings" is ever made) and I think most brought gold---only one guy forgot his gift and stopped at Speedway for an air freshener, a Zippo lighter, frankensense, and myrrh :) Anyway, I believe (and have some evidence if you want me to share) that He and the disciples had on them cash at all times; that He was in the habit of giving it away anonymously, at night (see the comment on Judas at the Last Supper that he was going to "give something to the poor" . . . HUH? At midnight? Unless that's what he did all the time as per Jesus's orders).
So I believe that Jesus set an example of giving for His disciples and therefore can command us to give and it shall be given unto us because He gave.
Well, what else is new?
2 Thessalonians 3:10
Hardly a ringing endorsement for EBT cards or the Marxist food stamp program. Christianity is not collectivist in any way, shape or form.
Jesus died in what, 33AD? The word ‘capitalism’ was invented by Marx in the 19th century. But then you’re right, Jesus being God knew in 30AD that Marx would invent the word 1,900 years later. Never mind.
Funnily enough too - if you read Acts - you will see that the Apostles and their followers did live in a sort of collectivist association where everyone brought money to the cause. Also Paul said that true religion takes care of the widow and orphan this makes us realize along with the freedoms comes dire responsibility.
Yes, everyone knows Jesus came to Earth and died for free markets.
Jesus likes Kenny G., too.
IMO Pope Francis is a very nice but Naïve man who has no idea about the world economy.
Like everyone even we Freepers it hurts him to see poor people, People who are struggling, but he has no conception of the people who refuse to help themselves and he has no conception that their ranks are growing and instead of their finding work or wanting work they are perfectly willing to let others support them.
WE see people—Christians -—in Syria and Africa dying by the hands of Muslims, but we do not see the Pope raising a hue and cry for them. Yet he raises an alarm about the economic system. Where is his compassion for the Dying and persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
And another view on the translation problem: