Skip to comments.Jesus is a Capitalist [Pope Francis Errs]
Posted on 12/01/2013 3:27:58 PM PST by Moseley
click here to read article
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:
Ping for later
You mean he can walk on water and make sense too?
Miracles never end with this guy.
Thank you Jesus.
Well, I do think that while poverty cannot be eliminated he could have at least started a foundation to study the problem.
I am catholic, but I don’t believe in updating the religion to please unbelievers.
I'm fed up with the people who try to spin his words into something they are not.
On the one hand Catholics always remind us that the Pope's infallibility only extends to a very narrow area.
However they seem to never be able to accept any criticism for stupid/wrong things he has said.
Its like they always believe he is right on everything and if a statement appears wrong/stupid then it MUST be either a translation error, a mainstream media distortion, or something taken out of context.
This constant spinning of all stupid/wrong statements from the Vatican really causes me to loose any and all respect for his rabid apologists.
I think people would respect Catholics more if they just owned up to the mistakes of their church.
If the Pope is a sinner just like the rest of us, then start treating him like a human being instead of some kind of demigod.
It can be said that Socialism could be considered a multifaceted promotion of sin. First, it is theft. Second it promotes coveting others’ property. Third and the most insidious, is it creates a barrier to spreading the Word by injecting a secular government in the place of the Christian duty to minister to the poor and needy.
Though the Bible is clear about helping the poor and charity to those who are in need, it should be from willing hearts. The Bible especially speaks against those who are lazy and unwilling to work for a living, and does not support them being given welfare.
The Bible does not support forced re-distribution of wealth, from those who work to those that don't want to work. The Bible speaks against tyrannical leaders who squeeze their people of their sweat and labor.
Jesus was not a community organizer. He came to save both the rich and poor and those in between from the enslavement of sin, and provide reconciliation with God.
Ironically, he's all for government interaction in markets
unless you're talking about labor markets.
In that case, he (and the whole rest of the Bishops) are all for open borders, letting cheap labor put out of work the original residents of those affected countries!
I think we can all agree that we are not our %#^*^%$ khakis, as Tyle Durden would say.
One of the reasons for the Protestant Reformation was because of the papacy’s intrusion into economics. Apparently that part of Jesus’ teaching where he says, “Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God” is ignored by Catholicism. For a papacy they derives its money primarily through donations (mostly from wealthy capitalist nations), produces nothing, and is run by a monarchy, to lecture on economics is pure hypocrisy.
Jesus was neither capitalist nor socialist, I believe that is all the Pope is saying.
Nope, Francis is calling OUTRIGHT for government intervention in the base economy. Please read his actual words. (I know it's not pleasant having to think of the office of the Pope in this way, but he's saying what he's saying.)
Today, we have the tares and goats saying the government is God and we should steal other peoples money and give it away. Telling a hungry person where the food stamp office is not storing any treasure for you in Heaven, but slipping them $10 for a burger might do the trick. Jesus expects YOU to help people, not force others to give their money the way you think best. Satan is a liar and has substituted government for God and convinced some believers that socialism is kind and full of mercy, only to find out later that is is theft and kills families and independence. Just look at the destruction of the families and the waste of human potential that comes from socialism. Jesus would never approve. To even suggest that anything progressive is Godly is blasphemy. The same people that want to steal your tax money and throw it down a hole, also murder children, sanction sodomy, prevent prayer, promote adultery and fornication, among the many sins that are too numerous to mention. No,....... Scripture was written for people, not governments. If Jesus is the governor of your life, you have the right government. If Obama and his ilk governs you, you are lost and headed for Hell.
Jesus is a capitalist. He advocates freedom. That is capitalism.
Wasn’t it also true that the animal market was in the Court of the Gentiles, and was thus preventing Gentiles from coming to worship in the Temple?
“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” — Jesus Christ
I think Jesus would probably classify Himself as a communalist, one who would be most comfortable in a commune.
But you must understand His perspective. All value is from God the Father and God the Father’s resources are inexhaustible. Therefore, we should gladly give all we have to the poor or to the church because God can supply us everything we could ever need.
I think that’s okay if you can find yourself in a society where everyone puts God’s desires above their own and there is no selfishness. However, such a utopian society can’t truly co=exist with our still-sinful state because we still have egos, envy and greed which would eventually corrupt a communal society.
Since that society is unworkable in our mortal state, capitalism combined with charity are the next best option. We work for our wages and give generously to the church and to those in need, not just in cash but with other resources. That’s what I try to practice.
Don’t know. I was not presuming to know or identify all the reasons for what Jesus did. It has simply been taught to me from history that (a) secular coins were not allowed into the temple, (b) one needed to exchange secular money for temple coins to give their tithe or gifts, and (c) the money-changers ripped people off when exchanging money.
Was there more going on than that? I expect so. With God there often was / is a lot going on at the same time.
That might be correct, but it overlooks an important point. In the case of Caesar at least, there was no need for anyone to say that he should have the means of production and distribution because in that place and time in history he pretty much had them already.
Jesus Christ was perfectly comfortable walking on this earth at a time when totalitarian rule was the norm. If anything, we may reach a point in the not-too-distant future where we find out that democratic governance is nothing more than a failed utopian experiment -- and that totalitarian rule is actually a "natural" state of human affairs.
Just something to think about ...
Mosaic law prohibited the use of Roman money in the temple, since the Roman coins contained the image of Caesar on them and were therefore considered "graven images" or symbols of idolatry. So anyone who wished to purchase doves or other small animals as offerings in the temple first had to exchange their Roman coins for the local currency. The money-changers were the ones who carried out this exchange.
In this sense they actually had a legitimate function in the temple, but when I read that Gospel passage it's obvious to me that they had strayed so far from their original mission and were ripping people off in the process.
I have put 3 posst on this thread all decrying the forcible taking of money by the government. What I am trying to say is that we need to take responsibility for our brothers and sisters in this world. It is part of the Gospel - with freedom comes that responsibility. If you are a Christian there is no getting around that - it is not optional. That doesn’t mean that I would agree in anyway about government redistribution in fact I think that it kills jobs and robs people of the ability to earn their own money and become part of God’s giving system.
So, was he a self-employed carpenter, or did he work for the state?
Like most today’s corporations he must have a Government Sales Department, which handled such orders as cross making.