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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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.
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:10
Thanks for your above post.
I was wondering where William Bradford of the pilgrims had the idea that their attempt at communial living had gone against God. Excerpt from a previous thread with Bradford’s journal”
The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; and that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.
For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labor and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense....
Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them. And would have been worse if they had been men of another condition.
Let none object this is men’s corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.
Thank you, Mel.
The communism of the Jerusalem Church reflected that the community was under siege and under a sort of martial law. Everybody was to pitch in, as their very survival was at stake. It was a “lifeboat” situation. There is not much in the experience to inform us of how to organize society under normal circumstances. Well, that’s the way most people have read Acts. But, if you’re into the Christian communist point of view, you wouldn’t be the first one. Christians have been forming voluntary communes all through the centuries, including the pilgrims who came here on the Mayflower, and the Shakers, and the Hutterites. Most of these experiments in communism fail. Some re-organize or simply evolve into more or less indistinguishable individualistic communities. The Shakers, one of the most successful communist experiments in history, died out as they became suspicious that those who would join were only interested in inheriting the wealth they had built up. The Hutterites are going as strong as ever and like the Amish, who technically speaking are communist, but cooperatists, are a great testimony to the Christian faith.
Capitalism is by far and away the best system the world has - that does not make it Christian - it allows it’s adherents the freedom to do as they wish within the context of their faith - to give as they should - as God demands of them but it also gives them the freedom not to give a toss and ignore God altogether!
Now if I as a Christian do not take the freedom of capitalism to give then what good will capitalism do for me in the hereafter - it will be my curse not my savior.
God will get you for that.
Thank-you for a most informative post in such a beautiful spirit. I know the Lord loves a joyful giver and that He is never failing to bless those who give - maybe not with money (or not always) but rather manifest spiritual blessings of joy and peace and love for our fellow human being!
With regard to Hong Kong, from a poor place forty years ago, it has turned into a place with a higher standard of living than the U.S. According to the Pope, this is not possible because the poor people of the world are waiting for the rich people to redistribute their wealth to them. People who wait and stay poor are the good people of the world. The Pope loves them. But people who adopt the “trickle down” economics, which is “naive”, which “kills”, and become rich, they would be the evil people. But, they don’t exist according to the Pope because “trickle down” only enriches the few and leaves the masses at the subsistence level. Hong Kong, therefore, doesn’t actually exist.
As to property rights in Hong Kong, it scores a 90 on a scale of 100, tied with Singapore for the highest in Asia:
Technically, land isn’t owned by private parties (or corporations). Land is owned by the government and leased to private parties. The leases, however, are very long-term. Because the leases are very long-term, they effectively create property rights in land:
Possibly the law of land ownership in Hong Kong will change with the adoption of the new basic law (or, Constitution) of the People’s Republic of China, which authorizes private property in land. But, I have no knowledge of this.
I think Jesus himself said this. My kingdom is not of this world. The immediately prior Pope (Benedict XVI) said Christianity is neither a political system nor an economic system.
Just about all people of good will speak to the goodness and necessity of justice and charity, but if this Pope wants a shiny sticker for this, fine. What makes the Bible remarkable in this era of “social justice,” is the following: The BIble recognizes and accepts inequality; it describes God as intending inequality; and it describes inequality as characterizing many aspect of the human condition, not just money.
Although he didn't "loudly" show off his deep faith (unlike the fraudulent and thoroughly evil Carter), President Ronald Reagan, along with Calvin Coolidge, were the two most Christlike presidents of the 20th century. Both were champions of liberty, freedom and, yes, capitalism. In my opinion, those principles are built on the solid foundation of Biblical principles.
Ultimately Christ is capitalist. He purchased with His blood for himself people of every tribe and nation.
Charity is not an exception to it. Charity is personally purchasing something to benefit someone else and it is chosen.
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