Was Jesus an Evolutionary Socialist (Progressive, Socialist) or a Revolutionary Socialist (Communist)?

It’s unfortunate, this question did not come to me as an inquiry, but rather, was shoved in my face as an assertion.  So how did this conversation about Jesus being a socialist proceed?  As follows:

After claiming that Jesus was a socialist, and being asked for hard references to support that view, Critic of Christ says:

Well, hard references are obviously something that Christians don’t believe in, but off the top of my head…

  1. Jesus believed in no possessions
  2. Jesus loved everyone regardless of their ethnicity or class
  3. Jesus revolted against the government and established religion and capitalism
  4. Jesus taught that we should act as one
  5. Jesus taught that we should ‘turn the other cheek’
  6. Jesus was a laborer and a teacher
  7. Jesus practiced healing and forgiveness

I guess one thing that can be said. that he’s definitely, not, a Capitalist

And my reply:

Interesting, and thank you.

First off, you have an incredibly foreign opinion to me, supported by no facts. By what authority do you claim that "Christians don’t believe in hard references"?

First off, I am a Christian, and in assessing such a claim as to what were the economic dispositions of Jesus Christ, I have apparently used more hard references than you.

Secondly, if you reference historical texts on comparative religion, you might discover that Christian monks (along with other religious monks of prophetic category of religion, such as Confucianism) are some of histories greatest harbingers of hard references, almost entirely responsible for all hard references of historical record, alchemy, religion, nutrition, natural taxonomy, and pre-Sir Francis Bacon science.

Uncorrupted by thousands of hours of entertainment as modern society is, they enjoyed those thousands of hours actually producing and developing such hard references. At the Age of Enlightenment, almost all of the scientific and technological breakthroughs that make your modern life a king’s dream in historical terms, were generated by faithful Christians (should we note the father of Physics, Sir Isaac Newton, a zealous theologian himself?).

You see, those of the prophetic categories of religion tend to take hard references more seriously than their counterparts in mysticism and sacramental. If the foundation of my belief system is all about the experiential or sacrament, then the written information obviously takes a backseat.

If I am of the persuasion of a prophetic religion such as Christianity or Confucianism, then obviously hard references are first and foremost in all of my dealings and worldviews.  Perhaps your experience is with bad Christians who do not respect dogma and study.  This gets us into the essence of ideals versus the personal willpower to accurately match and live the ideals – a shade of lighter or darker gray in all of us.  But let’s not digress.

In terms of your tiny listing above, herein referred to as the Dogma of Moby, developed with no references to any original source, I can even see failures of language and logic in the small treatise – even using zero knowledge of Christianity. This is actually how liberals in the Democrat party end up losing debate after debate – because they draw from half-baked information which is derived from half-truths from the original sources, far removed from the origin of the thoughts and concepts.

Take verse 3 of the Dogma of Moby. It directly contradicts the epilogue of the Dogma of Moby. Verse 3 claims that Jesus established capitalism. The Epilogue claims that he is "definitely not a capitalist". Extremely black and white contradiction.

Verse 2 is a strange injection. Economic systems are colorblind. You can have the communist economic system of USSR for instance purporting "racial unity" as an ideal while at the same time they murder racial sects indiscriminately. You can have a socialist economic system of the Nazi’s, total government control, also outwardly exploiting and murdering those of ethnic origin as well. At the same time you can have a capitalist system that treats people of different racial backgrounds with preference simply by birthright – previously WASPs over my families, or WASPs over blacks, and now with affirmative action, we have new institutionalized favoritism in a semi-capitalist system.

The point is that economic systems may touch ends with ethnic policies in governance, and politicians of all persuasions throughout history have mingled the two by dictatorial imposition or mandate from the people, but the two are independent concepts in correct Christian dogma. In Muslim dogma – different story. The concept of a dhimmi and an exorbitant tax upon Jews and Christians with total intolerance of other "infidels" mingles economic policy with ethnic expression of tradition and faith.

Verse 1 is also immensely strange. A note for all of your exegesis (I assume that you actually have read the entire bible and studied various dogmas derived throughout history) – it appears to be much like many of the incorrect and corrupted dogmas derived by bible-by-verse instead of bible-in-toto. Exegetes who are more politicians and cultural icons than true clergy simply pick verses that, in isolation, represent a dogma which is contradicted when compared to other verses of the bible. True dogma respects every verse to derive the indisputable truths, which agree with each other.

So why is verse 1 strange? Because Jesus on numerous occasions spoke of the right to property of individuals, protecting it, and honoring it. The Ten Commandments and all moral imperatives issued throughout The Word refer to only voluntary charity – not theft and not imposition by government for seizures and redistribution or "forced charity". No place in The Word does Jesus issue a directive for men to abandon all possessions during our earthly lives. In fact, if the dogma of Christ claimed no possession, there could be no moral imperative to "not steal", for if no one owns anything, then stealing is impossible.

Jesus did not "revolt" against the government, he respected its authority in the earthly realm, as in "render unto Caesar". Perhaps you have confused Jesus with Spartacus? The Kingdom that Jesus refers to is The Kingdom of Heaven which operates within the soul of each of us, and on a different plane of existence.

Jesus did not "establish" religion, Pagans did, and in fact, The State Religion is a Pagan tradition that was carried on by the Pagans who converted to Christianity. One of the primary diplomatic components to the success of the Roman Empire was its State Religion which would absorb the gods of its conquered peoples into the fold. Using certain religious cults (including early Christians) as scapegoats in the late empire would prove to be a tincture in Roman power.

How in the world did Jesus "establish capitalism". Analysis of biblical references to economy need to be observed in terms of a barter economy and transformed to modern concepts. Claiming that Jesus established capitalism is outright insane. It would be more accurate to say that emerging from a feudal economy, Calvinist dogma inspired the entire West to historical prosperity using concepts which were in agreement and INSPIRED by moral commands of God in the bible. In fact, Max Weber, the father of sociology explained quite nicely the origins of Capitalism in post-reformation Christian dogma in his classic work "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Weber

Such analysis is old news – that the doctrine of Marx, socialism-communism is directly opposed to true Christian dogma. These debates and rigorous analyses were performed ad nauseum by thousands of men much more dedicated, passionate about the subject and more intelligent than you or I.

Verse 4 is also strange. Jesus did not teach that we should act as one. Jesus taught that we are all individuals blessed with free will, that we can choose to accept His divine command and earn His grace, or we can choose not to, and not receive His grace. He taught that we all have our individual crosses to bear and that we should accept them willingly and persevere with the hand we’re dealt, always keeping our eye on His grace and directives.

You confuse the free will of the Abrahamic religions with Pantheism – of the Hindu, Buddhist, and other eastern mystical religions which purport that we are all part of "one" "communal" life force. In the Abrahamic religions, no, we are not a spiritual or literal commune, we are individuals gifted with life and independence by our God, free will, and freedom.

Verse 5. Yes Jesus taught we should "turn the other cheek" sometimes. Other times, Jesus exploded with righteous indignation, turning over tables and screaming at the top of his lungs.

There is a beautiful and indisputably truthful dogma in Christianity. How are we instructed to confront evil? There is an incredibly good piece here:

http://ascendingintellect.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!F1A32E4E3219991B!319.entry

In summary, I would point to 1 Pet 3:15, Matt 5:23, 2 Thess 3:13, and "acting out of understandable pain, frustration, or anger, we likely have given into "the violence that under the illusion of fighting evil only makes it worse" (Centessimus Annus 25)"

We must be relentlessly constructive. Read the article for more details.

Your verse #5 shows a very profound misunderstanding of Christian directives of legitimate redress, again only possible by bible-by-verse (and misinterpreted verse on top of it).

Verse #6? Ahh…well, Calvin was also a teacher and laborer and literally billions of Christians throughout history who understood the superiority of Capitalism and its agreement with Christian dogma…what is your point? Jesus was a laborer and a teacher during a time in which the prevailing economy was barter-based – something much closer to capitalism than communism. Verse 6 is just outright in dead water.

Verse 7? And so do capitalists provide healing and forgiveness, much more than any communist system ever produced. Or should we recommend you take a time machine back to the USSR in 1985 and watch the rural folk enjoy fried rabbit as their best meal, the urban folk eat potato and beet gruel on a daily basis while the oligarchy enjoys lives of kings? Or how about you take a trip back to Mao Zedong’s great leap forward and eat a bowl of rice per day? Even my poor grandparents in the inner city during The Great Depression and before any social programming enjoyed better living standards. What healing and forgiveness is more than the most generous country in history – the USA – whose donations and VOLUNTARY charity on a worldwide basis are greater for over a century than any nation – when private and government aid is combined? What greater act of forgiveness can be demonstrated than the USA’s nurturing of Japan after WW2, after they had murdered hundreds of thousands of civilians in the pacific islands and China? Even dissected human beings alive in Unit 731?

And on, and on, and on.

This Country is a great Country because of its judeo-Christian foundations, albeit far from perfect, but closer than any Country of our day. If you would prefer an earlier source of western ethical though, I recommend Aristotle’s Ethics.

As it stands, your contention of Jesus’ supposed disposition towards Karl Marx, is entirely refuted and holds zero credence as demonstrated here. I again would request that a more reputable hard reference be provisioned if your passionate opinion and zealous faith in the topic does dictate such constructive exchange.

As an additional source, I recommend you follow this video from part 1 through part 4 to understand the difference between equal justice and "social" justice, lest you continuously be decieved by those corruptors who purport to represent Christian thought, when in fact, they do not: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9clRzX1aWrk

What is amazing to me is that the disturbed individuals who hate religion, don’t realize how much they have in common with annoying evangelizing religionists.  Both troll around seeking to impose their beliefs on their neighbors, by either breaking down their neighbors belief systems with unsolicited ridicule, or executing marketing campaigns that could rival McDonalds in their propaganda.

How about everyone take a lesson from the post-19th century Catholic Church and the Jesuits?  Trust the Holy Spirit to do the conversion, if it’s in the cards.  Your job is simply to know the beauty of Christian doctrine, live it, and be it.  Any Christian whose actions match the beautiful doctrine of their religion will in the least gain respect from open minded people, and at best make them curious about the incredible value well-practiced Christianity adds to the lives of themselves and their neighbors.

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 11:23 AM  Leave a Comment  

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