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  1. #21
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    And yet Free Market Capitalism is centered around the concept that greed is a good thing accidentally, completely contrary to Jesus teachings.

    There really is no debate, Christians what to be greedy so they use Jesus to justify their real prevailing ideology: free market capitalism.

    One religion is more powerful than the other because it justifies something everyone wants.

    "You cannot love both God and Money."
    HINT: This is a trick question

  2. #22
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithran View Post
    And yet Free Market Capitalism is centered around the concept that greed is a good thing accidentally, completely contrary to Jesus teachings.
    Unsupported = assertion, not an argument.

    There really is no debate, Christians what to be greedy so they use Jesus to justify their real prevailing ideology: free market capitalism.
    unsupported = assertion, not an argument; statement merely intended to insult.

    "You cannot love both God and Money."
    Exactly. The issue is not possession but of values, specifically valuing wealth more than God.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    That was not my point. my point was the old testament glorifies wealth on occasion and on no occasion does Jesus do so. Indeed Jesus specifically warns against an attachment to the material. The old testament does not.
    That's not entirely true:

    This is what the Lord says:


    “The people of Israel have sinned again and again,
    and I will not let them go unpunished!
    They sell honorable people for silver
    and poor people for a pair of sandals.
    7 They trample helpless people in the dust
    and shove the oppressed out of the way.
    Both father and son sleep with the same woman,
    corrupting my holy name.
    8 At their religious festivals,
    they lounge in clothing their debtors put up as security.
    In the house of their gods,[b]
    they drink wine bought with unjust fines.
    Amos 2:6-8

    This is God speaking on the subject of money. His outcry is specifically about the heart behind the money (the greed) rather than the fact that they have wealth.

    Amos 3:10 - Their fortresses are filled with wealth taken by theft and violence.

    Again, He speaks not about the fact that they HAVE wealth, only the heart behind the wealth.

    How you hate honest judges!
    How you despise people who tell the truth!
    11 You trample the poor,
    stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent.

    Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses,
    you will never live in them.
    Though you plant lush vineyards,
    you will never drink wine from them.
    12 For I know the vast number of your sins
    and the depth of your rebellions.
    You oppress good people by taking bribes
    and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.

    Amos 5:10-12

    And again, God is speaking about the greed that has motivated the Israelites (their heart) rather than the wealth itself.

    So, there's at least a few instances in the Old Testament where God condemns the love of money (greed) rather than condemning or glorifying wealth itself. It should be noted that Amos was delivering these messages at a time when Israel was enjoying a good deal of prosperity.

    Then we can go back even further:

    He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
    Proverbs 28:27

    A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.
    Proverbs 22:9


    7 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. 8Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
    Dueteronomy 15:7-11

    Again, the verses speak to the heart of the individual with the wealth, rather than the wealth itself. God calls them to be charitable and generous, rather than greedy and self centered. It's not about the money, it's about the LOVE of money.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  4. #24
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Jesus makes no such claims and warns against it,
    Humm.... where does Jesus warn against the righteous heart of King David and his wealth, who he, Jesus, is a decedent of? Where does Jesus warn against the righteous heart of Abram and Jacob's wealth?

    The thing Jesus warns against is that we shouldn't get our priorities screwed up. Can you not see the difference between the two?

    Wealth flows naturally when we have our priorities in place. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33 (If you think about it, it's actually a very reasonable and common sense spiritual precept.)

    God, yes in the NT, shows no problem with wealth in our lives. In fact, we are encouraged to ask for all that we need. The concern and warning is when we have our priorities messed up.

    "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8

    "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11

    "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law."
    Romans 13:8

    my point was the old testament glorifies wealth on occasion and on no occasion does Jesus do so.
    The OT does not glorify wealth over God. It acknowledges that wealth is a natural phenomena from the Father. It is human abuse of this natural flow of abundance (wealth), our manipulation of it, our attempted control and attachment to it, that clouds our vision and heart.

    The NT also acknowledges this: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:1


    Indeed Jesus specifically warns against an attachment to the material. The old testament does not.
    Sure it does. See Hyde's post

    He was countering passages from the new testament with old testament
    You mean 'she' was countering passages.....

    ---------- Post added at 04:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:18 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithran View Post
    "You cannot love both God and Money."
    A fundamental priciple in the NT is that once we love God, not just intellectually but whole heartedely; once we figure out what that actually means and live it, money does not need to be loved. It will become part of the natural equation of our life.
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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  6. #25
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Unsupported = assertion, not an argument.
    Support Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by Wealth of Nations
    By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was not part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.
    Support Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by 1 John 2:15-17
    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
    First is Jesus, second is Paul. Intention is all important to Jesus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    unsupported = assertion, not an argument; statement merely intended to insult.
    Not really meant as an insult or an argument, just an opinion based on personal experience.



    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Exactly. The issue is not possession but of values, specifically valuing wealth more than God.
    How one gains those possessions is a value. You cannot separate the ends from the means.
    HINT: This is a trick question

  7. #26
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithran View Post
    Support Part I

    Support Part II
    Great.

    Here's mine: Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of capital goods and the means of production, with the creation of goods and services for profit.[1][2] Elements central to capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, and a price system.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism

    Capitalism is not about greed, it's about private ownership of capital goods and services (vs the state).

    Not really meant as an insult or an argument, just an opinion based on personal experience.
    It's my personal experience that atheists are uneducated and lack elementary critical thinking skills. That's not an insult of course, just my personal experience.

    How one gains those possessions is a value. You cannot separate the ends from the means.
    This is the fallacy of equivocation. Also, God tells people to work for their possessions. Your response there makes no sense.

    More importantly, there is a distinction between property ownership and making property ownership one of the, or the primary goals or loves in life. Jesus and Co. do not condemn property ownership. It's when the focus in one's life is the accumulation of property (or wealth). Why? Because it replaces God and the eternal, with materialism and the temporal.

    Undoubtedly, you'll disagree...I don't think for any good reason...but rather just atheist dogma. So let's challenge that dogmatic "reasoning."

    1) For what PURPOSE would God (aka Jesus) condemn people who are wealthy?

    2) Where in scripture does it make the distinction between not being wealthy and being wealthy? Where is the Christian to draw the line?

    3) Why are many of God's people and major characters of the Bible (Christianity's "heroes" if you will), blessed and considered righteous if being "blessed" (being prosperous) is immoral (according to you)?



    ---

    Here's the actual answers to those questions:

    1) There is none.
    2) Nowhere in scripture does it exist.
    3) Unanswerable because it's not true.

    However, I'd like to see your side of it. Surely, such simple questions can be answered considering you have such a strong view on the matter, probably consider your reasoning sound and objective, and understand that such questions would need to be addressed in order to come to your conclusion anyway.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  8. #27
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithran View Post
    First is Jesus, second is Paul. Intention is all important to Jesus.
    Right, intention (motive of the heart) is what God seems to observe. Is anyone arguing against that?

    Then, of course, another consideration is that you can have the right (pure) motive/intention, but then chose to engage in a negative immoral act.

    Let's see now.... what comes to mind is the Robin Hood methodology: stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. But that doesn't really cut it because stealing is a downer and doesn't lend itself well to a civilized thriving society operating within the Rule of Law.

    So today we've soften the terminology a bit in order to make it more politically correct. We simply call it re-distribution of wealth.

    I think this begs the question from a spiritual perspective, from God's laws perspective of "though shalt not steal." What are the consequences when the ends don't justify the means?
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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  9. #28
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    And? What do you think His point was about that?
    That greed conflicts with happiness. Buddha agreed: "the origin of suffering is attachment". Both these views are more consistent with Socialism than with Capitalism. Capitalists, for example, are appalled at the idea of 'wealth redistribution'. They are like the man Jesus spoke to, who would not surrender his wealth, even if that was necessary to enter Heaven. Socialists are comfortable with surrendering the means of wealth production while maintaining personal wealth, perhaps similar to the disciples.

    Interestingly, a huge social experiment was performed, by accident, to compare socialism to capitalism and the happiness resulting from this transition, at the time of the fall of the Soviet Union:

    Satisfaction with work, child care and health all decreased significantly during the transition from socialism to capitalism, reflecting a marked rise in symptoms of social stress such as divorce rates, suicide rates, domestic violence and increased alcoholism and drug use, Easterlin found. - See more at: http://news.usc.edu/#!/article/30047...an-Capitalists
    It is less important what you believe, than why you believe it.

  10. #29
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
    Socialists are comfortable with surrendering the means of wealth production while maintaining personal wealth, perhaps similar to the disciples.
    There is no lack of evidence from around the world of the failure of socialism.

    Both socialism and communism have their roots in the idea of some sort of utopian perfection. But thus far this appears to have been been unrealistic, unachievable and denies the nature and dignity of the individual. That may change in 1000 years or so, but not today.

    Now, if someone argues that the failure of socialism throughout history is because it wasn't "purely" practiced and that a perfect socialism would work. Well, if perfection really was an available and viable option in our world, doesn't the choice of economic and political systems become irrelevant?

    That's actually were Christ comes in or could come in if we allow it. "Let that mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5 In a world with close to perfect beings (selfless, enlightened, wise and compassionate) and infinite abundance, any economic or political system--socialism, capitalism, fascism, or communism--would work perfectly --Heaven on earth. Cool idea, as most would agree.

    But we don't live in a perfect world, and Christ knew that during his Galelian mission. Thus, he gave us two key fundamental spiritual principles to hopefully keep us on tack: love God, love your neighbor. And if we could somehow manage to figure out what those mean and live them, then "all things will be added unto you." ((i.e. priorities are important)

    Thus, as a society we have to make a choice of the best economic system within the context of our reality. The choice is between an imperfect capitalism and an imperfect socialism. If those are the choices, the historical evidence strongly favors capitalism as the most effective wealth-producing economic system available.

    As far as our personal economic system, we are certainly free to practice the principle of "let that mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus."
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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  11. #30
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
    That greed conflicts with happiness.
    Close. Jesus did not come to spread the word of "happiness," but rather salvation. Greed conflicts with salvation is what He was saying. To place the value of money or material things above that of the spiritual results in spiritual death.

    Interestingly, a huge social experiment was performed, by accident, to compare socialism to capitalism and the happiness resulting from this transition, at the time of the fall of the Soviet Union:

    Satisfaction with work, child care and health all decreased significantly during the transition from socialism to capitalism, reflecting a marked rise in symptoms of social stress such as divorce rates, suicide rates, domestic violence and increased alcoholism and drug use, Easterlin found. - See more at: http://news.usc.edu/#!/article/30047...an-Capitalists
    Without reviewing the article I can point out at least 1 potential yet serious flaw with it (as it relates to the conclusion): Capitalism isn't a system that is born overnight or even a short period of time. It's a struggle to get moving. And when there was a previous state of being such as which was found in Russia (where the state took care of practically everything), it is naturally going to be extremely difficult because one's entire philosophy must be changed.

    Moving from Communism to Capitalism is naturally and obviously much more difficult than moving from Communism to Socialism (since the latter two have much more in common).
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  12. #31
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Great.

    Here's mine: Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of capital goods and the means of production, with the creation of goods and services for profit.[1][2] Elements central to capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, and a price system.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism

    Capitalism is not about greed, it's about private ownership of capital goods and services (vs the state).

    Wikipedia vrs Adam Smith? Since I am talking about the base of capitalism I think Smith is a better example to prove my point. Capitalism is not all bad, all I am stating is that it is based on a principle that greed of individual actors in the market gets us all to a better economic state. This happens by accident, thus he calls it the "invisible hand".

    Christians in vast majorities (it is wrong to say all, since there are many that do not) worship capitalism like it is some holy system that is sanctioned by God. I am simply pointing out that at it's core, it's motivating factor, is that it delivers its results on the motivation of greed. There is a difference of working for ones keep and working to become stinking rich don't you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    It's my personal experience that atheists are uneducated and lack elementary critical thinking skills. That's not an insult of course, just my personal experience.
    "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody."

    I am not atheist so I won't take this as an insult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post

    This is the fallacy of equivocation. Also, God tells people to work for their possessions. Your response there makes no sense.
    The ends do not justify the means. God also tells you to give everything away to the poor. Do Christians do that? No.

    Some of them might be charitable with their finances, but give it all away? Never seen that once in my time in the church, yet there it is plain as day in scripture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    More importantly, there is a distinction between property ownership and making property ownership one of the, or the primary goals or loves in life. Jesus and Co. Do not condemn property ownership. It's when the focus in one's life is the accumulation of property (or wealth). Why? Because it replaces God and the eternal, with materialism and the temporal.
    Capitalism to it's core assumes human greed. It's the engine that drives it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    1) For what PURPOSE would God (aka Jesus) condemn people who are wealthy?
    Because vast sums of wealth are almost always attainted through the motivation of greed. The wealth might not be inherently evil, but the desire for it is.

    In capitalism you almost certainly had to step on someone to get that wealth. Very few people accidentaly stumble on wealth without this kind of motivation. However, there could be a few examples like musicians or artists that become famous by just by doing what they loved. However, most people don't become lawyers and doctors because it's what they love.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    2) Where in scripture does it make the distinction between not being wealthy and being wealthy? Where is the Christian to draw the line?
    Well they could start by recognizing that the primary motivation of economic system they think is so great is in fact greed. Just because something is effective does not make it right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    3) Why are many of God's people and major characters of the Bible (Christianity's "heroes" if you will), blessed and considered righteous if being "blessed" (being prosperous) is immoral (according to you)?
    There are no heroes in the Bible besides Jesus. All were sinners. And frankly the Old Testament is so full of silliness that I can't answer this question. I will stick to the New Testament and Jesus for this discussion since I think it is the pertinent document for Christianity. I mean God does all sorts of horrendously inconsistent things in the Old Testament there is no sense in arguing about all the vastly divergent "Gods" you have in that older book.
    HINT: This is a trick question

  13. #32
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithran View Post
    Wikipedia vrs Adam Smith?
    No. Wiki is an aggregate. And in this case, that part I pasted was from:

    1) Chris Jenks. Core Sociological Dichotomies. London, England, UK; Thousand Oaks, California, USA; New Delhi, India: SAGE. p. 383.
    2) Capitalism Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
    3) Heilbroner, Robert L. "capitalism." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume (Eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0198

    Since I am talking about the base of capitalism I think Smith is a better example to prove my point. Capitalism is not all bad, all I am stating is that it is based on a principle that greed of individual actors in the market gets us all to a better economic state. This happens by accident, thus he calls it the "invisible hand".
    There are 2 primary philosophies at work here:

    1) The philosophy that the individual should be independent; desire to be as freely independent from the state as possible; to own private property and goods; acknowledging that while challenging, the potential for prosperity is greater

    2) The philosophy that the individual should be more dependent upon the state; have life "easier" but give up the greater ability and opportunity of freedom of choice and earning potential

    GREED, has nothing to do with it. You are confusing "abuse" of something with that something itself.

    Christians in vast majorities (it is wrong to say all, since there are many that do not) worship capitalism like it is some holy system that is sanctioned by God.
    No, they don't. Shall I issue a formal challenge to support that claim? Or should we just dismiss it now?

    There is a difference of working for ones keep and working to become stinking rich don't you think?
    Of course. But it's a red herring and false dilemma. It isn't about "Hmm...should I work for my keep or should I work to be stinking rich?" Instead, it's about "I want to have the opportunity be as free as I can with my life and success and not rely on the state nor have the state limit my possibilities and therefore, potential."

    "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody."

    I am not atheist so I won't take this as an insult.
    1) You just got caught. You said that it was not an insult, just stating your opinion. But here, you are saying that AS a non-atheist you do not take this as an insult, implying that this would be insulting to an atheist (but not to a non-atheist). Obviously, you knew precisely what I meant by my first response and it was accurate.

    2) However, since apparently you can only take it as an insult IF it contains the group you are in, I'll amend:

    It's my personal experience that non-Christians are uneducated and lack elementary critical thinking skills. That's not an insult of course, just my personal experience.

    We could also say of course...

    It's my personal experience that Mithran is uneducated and lacks elementary critical thinking skills. That's not an insult of course, just my personal experience.

    And according to you, that still isn't insulting. Obviously, we both know better. That is why it's considered "underhanded."


    The ends do not justify the means.
    Agreed. It's also not relevant to anything being discussed in this thread. Thus, a red herring (and/or strawman).

    God also tells you to give everything away to the poor. Do Christians do that? No.
    God does no such thing.

    Formal challenge or shall we dismiss that statement too?

    You realize how silly that is don't you? If someone who has a lot, gives it all away to the poor, then that person becomes poor and the previous poor has a lot. Then that previous poor who now has a lot is immoral (according to your "logic") and must give away the stuff they just received to the original owner who is now poor. But wait! Now the previous rich, who was the original poor, has nothing and is poor again and the original rich, who was the previous poor, has become rich again. Oops! This guy is immoral again...so he has to give it all back. It's an endless cycle of recycling.

    Truly...a responsible, ethical, and reasonable philosophy.

    Some of them might be charitable with their finances, but give it all away? Never seen that once in my time in the church, yet there it is plain as day in scripture.
    Doesn't exist. You are making it up. Nowhere does God command all Christians to give all their possessions away.

    Capitalism to it's core assumes human greed. It's the engine that drives it.
    See above re: your confusion about abuse of X and X itself.

    Because vast sums of wealth are almost always attainted through the motivation of greed.
    You are using extremely loose language here.

    You are making a case against wealth, yet never once defining it. And as a result, you have run the entire gamet of its potential meaning, making your argument false and unsupported by default. What constitutes "wealth"?

    What is the scale or standard here? Do we use some arbitrary global scale? If so, then all socialist countries are evil as they possess more "wealth" per capita than impoverished nations.

    Do we use a cultural scale? Well, then you are saying that the Bible promotes moral relativism when it does not.

    Is someone who earns $50,000 / year being immoral? How about $100,000 / year? $250,000+? Or even someone who earns $20,000...are they evil in your view? None of this is scriptural of course, and you'll never be able to support it with scripture, but it seems as if you have something against anyone who earns money beyond the poverty line. Do you then feel that all people ought to just live in a commune and voluntarily pitch in what they harvest from the crops, berry bushes, and squirrel hunts?

    Lastly, let's say that it is the case that most vast sums of wealth are attained through greed...

    1) so then sums of wealth that are not vast are ok?
    2) so even so there exist some vast sums of wealth not obtained by greed they are still wrong to attain it?

    Either you are not thinking this through clearly or you are not presenting your actual argument. You just keep making miscellaneous assertions that have not been properly reasoned.

    The wealth might not be inherently evil, but the desire for it is.
    The desire for wealth is not evil. The "love" of money is the root of evil. To be greedy is evil. Wanting a successful, prosperous life is not. Nowhere have you demonstrated otherwise.

    In capitalism you almost certainly had to step on someone to get that wealth. Very few people accidentaly stumble on wealth without this kind of motivation.
    Yet another unsupported claim.

    What is "wealth"? Where is the line drawn numerically?

    However, most people don't become lawyers and doctors because it's what they love.
    The 4th unsupported claim that will never be able to be grounded in reason.

    Also, you for some reason are only considering the possibility of "stomp on little people", "do something you don't want but do it anyway just because it pays well," and "do something you enjoy and get paid well" as options for wealth. And while I agree that harming others, especially in order to gain profit, is unethical, the rest of your assertion here is just unsupported nonsense.

    Of the wealthy people I know (some of whom are in my family), they achieved such success through hard work, dedication, ambition, and passion for what they do. 1 is an attorney, 4 are (or were) doctors, a few are in real estate, several are in sales or are small business owners. Out of all of them, I can think of only one who loves his money and accumulation of wealth to an unhealthy degree. And out of all of them, he's the only one I know who in his 20's said it was his goal to obtain his 1st million by the time he was 25 (and he did). He's since built a fairly large real estate empire. I don't know if he has done anything unethical along the way, I would not be surprised if he did. But he's the exception to the rule, not the norm. Now obviously, all this is anecdotal...but you have offered ZERO evidence of ANYTHING you say. And because 1) you have offered no reasons to believe any of your claims (assertions) and 2) your claim is contrary to reality (my experience above), it's just not in the realm of actuality it seems. It stands without merit. You'll need to start supporting your arguments.

    Well they could start by recognizing that the primary motivation of economic system they think is so great is in fact greed. Just because something is effective does not make it right.
    That isn't what I asked. You have once again, committed the red herring fallacy.

    I'll ask again:

    Where in scripture does it make the distinction between not being wealthy and being wealthy? Where is the Christian to draw the line?

    There are no heroes in the Bible besides Jesus. All were sinners.
    lol A "hero" is not defined by being "sinless." By "Biblical Hero" I mean heroes of faith. Those who faced great trials or did wondrous things in the name of God. People like:

    Moses
    Abraham
    David
    Job
    Isaac
    Jacob
    Joshua
    Peter
    Luke
    Paul
    Samson
    Elijah
    Elisha
    etc...

    And frankly the Old Testament is so full of silliness that I can't answer this question. I will stick to the New Testament and Jesus for this discussion since I think it is the pertinent document for Christianity. I mean God does all sorts of horrendously inconsistent things in the Old Testament there is no sense in arguing about all the vastly divergent "Gods" you have in that older book.
    This is another red herring fallacy.

    You can do better Mithran.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; March 1st, 2013 at 01:36 PM.
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithran View Post
    The wealth might not be inherently evil, but the desire for it is.
    Just think about how illogical this position is: The Creator gives man the opportunity to experience wealth in a physical world: "ask and ye shall receive." But then, according to you, classifies that desire to ask as evil.

    I think the missing element in your reasoning "desire is evil, thus desire for wealth is evil" is that of discernment. We do have the ability to discern, even though it may be weakened. We also have the choice not be to attached to the results of our desires. Yes, it's tough, but it's doable. It's the attachment to results (one way or the other) that tends to make us miserable (cause of suffering).

    For example, Joe decides to work really hard at getting a promotion over the next year in order to make more money at his job. He spends extra time doing extra projects; he does everything he can to earn this promotion. As time passes, he can now see the promotion. He can feel the promotion. He can taste the promotion. His entire life is focused upon getting this promotion in order to earn more money. He is emotionally, mentally and physically committed to receiving this promotion that will earn him more money.

    The day arrives for the promotion results. He doesn't get the promotion. Joe breaks down. His life has just lost some meaning. He can't think. Why? Well, he was too attached to results though his desire was healthy and a worthy goal.

    There is nothing wrong with desiring to live in a nice home, feed our selves well, have our kids attend a good college and go on nice vacations. Our pain and suffering happens when for some reason or other, our desires don't manifest and our response to those circumstances is "life is miserable because it didn't happen the way I desired it to happen." How do we avoid that pain and suffering from the attachment to our desires? We don't have to give up desiring a good, healthy, successful and abundant life. But we could re-think our priorities and our response to life's circumstances.

    "Ask and you shall receive" taught by Jesus and mentioned throughout the NT involves desire, desire for supply, food, shelter, whatever we need to survive and then some. Now, just because some people abuse and manipulate this principle or because we (some people) haven't figured out what it really means or we can't seem to make this simple axiom work in our life consistently "ask and you will receive," doesn't mean desire is evil. It could just mean we should make an earnest effort to figure out how to tap into this amazing spiritual and physical blessing..... "ask and you will receive."

    And frankly the Old Testament is so full of silliness that I can't answer this question. I will stick to the New Testament and Jesus for this discussion since I think it is the pertinent document for Christianity.
    Bear in mind that there is no NT without the OT. They are intricately linked. There would be no incarnation of Christ without the events and circumstances of the OT. The OT is the cause; the NT is the effect.
    Last edited by eye4magic; March 1st, 2013 at 01:10 PM.
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post

    Thus, he gave us two key fundamental spiritual principles to hopefully keep us on tack: love God, love your neighbor. And if we could somehow manage to figure out what those mean and live them, then "all things will be added unto you." ((i.e. priorities are important)

    Thus, as a society we have to make a choice of the best economic system within the context of our reality. The choice is between an imperfect capitalism and an imperfect socialism. If those are the choices, the historical evidence strongly favors capitalism as the most effective wealth-producing economic system available.
    You first state that Jesus wanted his followers to love god and their neighbor. Then you say capitalism is the most effective wealth-producing economic system. I assume your intent is to prove that Jesus' philosophy was more akin to capitalism, than socialism. Do you see how your logic is missing a vital link? In fact, do you see how my original quote, from Jesus, refutes your conclusion entirely? Jesus did not say, 'to enter the kingdom of heaven, be sure to partake in the most effective wealth-producing economic system'. Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing about a wealth-producing system that ensures brotherly love. The data I posted suggests that the reverse is the case, compared to socialism, at least. Finally, this is not an argument about the relative pro's and con's of socialism and capitalism, but rather how these ideologies compare to those of Jesus.

    ---------- Post added at 07:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:54 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Close. Jesus did not come to spread the word of "happiness," but rather salvation. Greed conflicts with salvation is what He was saying. To place the value of money or material things above that of the spiritual results in spiritual death.
    And would you agree that this idea is more closely related to socialism than capitalism?

    Without reviewing the article I can point out at least 1 potential yet serious flaw with it (as it relates to the conclusion): Capitalism isn't a system that is born overnight or even a short period of time. It's a struggle to get moving. And when there was a previous state of being such as which was found in Russia (where the state took care of practically everything), it is naturally going to be extremely difficult because one's entire philosophy must be changed.

    Moving from Communism to Capitalism is naturally and obviously much more difficult than moving from Communism to Socialism (since the latter two have much more in common).
    Citing a criticism of the data does not refute it. There are no perfect studies, after all, so if you take that philosophy, then you would have to conclude that we know nothing, which is hyperbole. That said, the stresses encountered by the newly-capitalistic countries mirrored those in our own: higher rates of suicide, homicide, violence, etc. So it's unlikely a problem with the conversion from socialism to capitalism, but one inherent to capitalism, itself.

    While we're at it, let's consider the "Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes", in which Jesus expressed considerable concern over the nourishment of his followers, wanting them fed before departing. Conservatives, the most staunchly capitalistic members of American society, and proud of it, would consider this to be an 'entitlement' like school lunches, to be done away with. Democrats, who are in favor of social programs, are again more closely aligned to the views of Jesus than conservatives.

    I believe it's also important to consider the concept of "the kingdom of heaven' as compared to that of a commune. Capitalism has no comparable idea, so far as I know, forwarding only the concept of individual property.

    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, let's consider the question, posed to Jesus, about taxation to Caesar. His response: "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"

    Clearly he was not anti-taxation! This is obviously more in line with socialistic thinking than capitalistic.
    It is less important what you believe, than why you believe it.

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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
    And would you agree that this idea is more closely related to socialism than capitalism?
    No. Jesus doesn't care one way or the other about social or economic systems that establish a nations economy. People who say that Jesus does...are the same sort that say Jesus cares about a football game or winning in a hand of poker, or believe that God helped them win that Oscar. It isn't about this temporal world, but about the eternal.

    Citing a criticism of the data does not refute it.
    It criticizes it to the point that renders it dead in the water, thus refuting it.

    While we're at it, let's consider the "Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes", in which Jesus expressed considerable concern over the nourishment of his followers, wanting them fed before departing. Conservatives, the most staunchly capitalistic members of American society, and proud of it, would consider this to be an 'entitlement' like school lunches, to be done away with. Democrats, who are in favor of social programs, are again more closely aligned to the views of Jesus than conservatives.
    No. This was an example of God providing for His faithful and establishing evidence for His existence. To use event to promote Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, or any other -ism, displays a gross ignorance of Jesus and the event itself.

    In short...Jesus does not care about Capitalism or Socialism. Thus, the 3rd option in the title of this thread is the answer.

    I believe it's also important to consider the concept of "the kingdom of heaven' as compared to that of a commune. Capitalism has no comparable idea, so far as I know, forwarding only the concept of individual property.
    ROFL! Heaven...is no commune silly. You are going to have to do some mighty atheist/agnostic apologetic circustry to pull that one off...but I'll let ya have it a go.

    /gets bowl of popcorn

    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, let's consider the question, posed to Jesus, about taxation to Caesar. His response: "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"

    Clearly He was not anti-taxation! This is obviously more in line with socialistic thinking than capitalistic.
    No one said He was not anti-taxation. In fact, just the opposite was said by eye IIRC.

    Capitalists are not "anti-taxation." Thus, exposing another misunderstanding of the topics we are discussing.

    CONSERVATIVES (not necessarily Capitalists) oppose unnecessary taxation, taxation without proper representation, raises of taxes as the primary solution to a fiscal problem when there may be better solutions, etc... You are confusing the two issues.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; March 1st, 2013 at 06:53 PM.
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
    You first state that Jesus wanted his followers to love god and their neighbor. Then you say capitalism is the most effective wealth-producing economic system. I assume your intent is to prove that Jesus' philosophy was more akin to capitalism, than socialism.
    No, not at all. His philosophy was about neither. His philosophy was about "the Kingdom." Do you want to discuss the Kingdom of Heaven and a perfect state of existence?

    Do you see how your logic is missing a vital link?
    I don't think there is any real link between the philosophy of 'my Kingdom [my philosophy] is not of this world" and any of our ideological isms.

    In fact, do you see how my original quote, from Jesus, refutes your conclusion entirely? Jesus did not say, 'to enter the kingdom of heaven, be sure to partake in the most effective wealth-producing economic system'.
    Wealth has little to do with entering the Kingdom. God seems to measure the pure heart. Weather it's materially rich or materially poor matters little.

    Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing about a wealth-producing system that ensures brotherly love.
    There are no guarantees in any human system or in life, for that matter. But speaking of love, does any system really need to tell us (ensures) that we love? Can a system tell us to love? Can a system force someone to love if someone doesn't want to love? Just as we can't enforce morality in society, we can't enforce the free will expression of love.

    If it's not a natural willingness, if it's not voluntary, if it's not part of our psychological, mental and emotional makeup, it becomes a struggle. And with struggle there is contention. You can't force people to love each other, Zorak, if they are not ready or inclined to do so. We can talk about love all day, year, for centuries. But you can't make people love each other. I think the Creator understands this all too well.

    What we can do, what we do have control of is our life, at least in a free society. We can learn to personally love our brother, individually within our own family, community and friends. And when enough people choose to do that, when enough individuals choose to be responsible and share their love, this will naturally be reflected in the next layer up .. a city, a state, a country. But it always starts with the individual and our responsibility to exercise hopefully wise action. Change always starts when enough individual people begin to emulate and live the change they want to see in their society. An economic system cannot make us love our brother.

    The data I posted suggests that the reverse is the case, compared to socialism, at least. Finally, this is not an argument about the relative pro's and con's of socialism and capitalism, but rather how these ideologies compare to those of Jesus.
    In their perfect form, I would venture to say that both, along with other isms may share aspects to the Kingdom's perfect state of existence. However, as pointed out earlier, in a perfect state, an ideology would be irrelevant.
    Last edited by eye4magic; March 1st, 2013 at 08:53 PM.
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    No. Jesus doesn't care one way or the other about social or economic systems that establish a nations economy. People who say that Jesus does...are the same sort that say Jesus cares about a football game or winning in a hand of poker, or believe that God helped them win that Oscar. It isn't about this temporal world, but about the eternal.
    I wasn't arguing that Jesus specifically named one preferred social or economic system. I think you may be taking the OP headline too literally. The meaningful question is: which system (capitalism or socialism) has more in common with the ideas espoused by Jesus?

    I have listed several examples of how his teachings align with socialism. There are many others. Traditional Christian teachings oppose lending with interest. Christ went around healing poor sick people (Universal Health Care, anyone?). How about his warnings against 'wasting one's talents'. Similar to the socialist concept that everyone should have a job.

    It criticizes it to the point that renders it dead in the water, thus refuting it.
    How do you figure? You didn't read the study, you cite one possible criticism without any evidence, ignore the counter-argument as to why your criticism is false, then proclaim yourself the victor? Pretty sad.

    No. This was an example of God providing for His faithful and establishing evidence for His existence. To use event to promote Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, or any other -ism, displays a gross ignorance of Jesus and the event itself.
    I am not promoting socialism or any -ism, I am comparing one set of ideas to another, per the question posed in the OP. Giving away food, rather than asking people to pay for it, is closer to socialism than capitalism. Giving away free health care rather than asking someone to pay for it is more akin to socialism than capitalism.

    In short...Jesus does not care about Capitalism or Socialism.
    Perhaps not. However, the things he was concerned with (loving one's neighbor) is more akin to socialism than capitalism. Socialism has the 'social' part built in, social, like 'neighbor'. Get it? Hello?

    ROFL! Heaven...is no commune silly. You are going to have to do some mighty atheist/agnostic apologetic circustry to pull that one off...but I'll let ya have it a go.

    /gets bowl of popcorn
    You're going to need the comfort food, bud, cause you've lost this debate:

    Acts 4: "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need".
    It is less important what you believe, than why you believe it.

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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Jesus was definitely a socialist.

    And socialism as a system is defunct.

    ....?

    That's right. You should question your messiah.
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
    I wasn't arguing that Jesus specifically named one preferred social or economic system. I think you may be taking the OP headline too literally.
    Nope. In critical thinking, this is called "identifying the issue." The issue of the op, the topic of this discussion is not which one earthly economic system has more in common with Jesus' spiritual messages, but rather simply "Was Jesus a Socialist or Capitalist, or does it not matter?"

    You have mistakenly identified that issue Zorak. If you like, I can provide an explanation of what an "issue" of an argument is, is not, and how we go about identifying them.

    The meaningful question is: which system (capitalism or socialism) has more in common with the ideas espoused by Jesus?
    No, this is not the meaningful question.

    1) It is not the op's question, which is what we are here to discuss.
    2) It is not what I am addressing (since I am properly addressing the op).
    3) Jesus does not care about earthly economic systems.
    4) No meaning comes from questions that are irrelevant.

    Hence...the answer to the question is simply the 3rd option (see end of this post).

    I have listed several examples of how his teachings align with socialism. There are many others. Traditional Christian teachings oppose lending with interest. Christ went around healing poor sick people (Universal Health Care, anyone?). How about his warnings against 'wasting one's talents'. Similar to the socialist concept that everyone should have a job.
    None of this is "socialism" nor necessarily "aligns" more with socialism than any other form of economic system. Jesus was not advocating any sort of economic or social governing system. His display of miracles was not a call for social reform, it was for glorification of God and to reveal Himself to mankind. He did not heal people for the sake of healing, in fact, there were more people that He did not heal than He did (which that alone, refutes your position if we are to be consistent with its reasoning). He only did so when it would move people away from the worldly (which would be more aligned with a societies socio-economic system as it only addresses temporal, fleeting, and ultimately irrelevant issues of the physical world) and move people towards their spiritual well-being (that of eternal life)..

    How do you figure? You didn't read the study, you cite one possible criticism without any evidence, ignore the counter-argument as to why your criticism is false, then proclaim yourself the victor? Pretty sad.
    You confuse emotion with critical thinking (that's troublesome). You need to try to leave your emotions out of a rational discussion as they will do nothing but cloud judgement.
    I am not promoting socialism or any -ism, I am comparing one set of ideas to another, per the question posed in the OP. Giving away food, rather than asking people to pay for it, is closer to socialism than capitalism. Giving away free health care rather than asking someone to pay for it is more akin to socialism than capitalism.
    The op is not asking "Are some of the things Jesus did or say more akin to economic system A or economic system B?" It's asking a specific question from which we can identify the specific issue.

    Furthermore, you are quote mining. Jesus also said many things favoring Capitalism:

    Matthew 25:14-28
    The Parable of the Talents

    14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.

    This entire parable is drenched in ideals and values of Capitalism (private property ownership, private means of production, employee responsibility and accountability, investing, banking, profit, solid work ethic expected of everyone, not simply doing "nothing" for what one receives (no handouts), meritocracy, promotion based on achievement, equality of opportunity but not equality of result, accountability by private hands (not government), entrepreneurship, etc...). It's in alignment with our Founding Father's principle of "pursuit of happiness" vs any sort of socialist ideology of guaranteeing the achievement of happiness. He calls the last worker (who did nothing with what he was given) "wicked and slothful." He received nothing in return because he did nothing, and instead, gave that talent to the most successful and productive worker. I'll offer a summary from another editorial:

    So let's sum up. In this story, capital is in private hands. The owner of the capital is free to invest it as he chooses, and to entrust his private resources to anyone he chooses. Economic gain comes through investment, risk-taking and smart choices. The enterprise is based on ability and there is no quota system of any kind in place. Achievement rather than mere effort is rewarded. Accountability rests in the hands of private enterprise rather than in the hands of government. Laziness is punished rather than rewarded, and resources are not involuntarily transferred from the producers to the non-producers but the other way round. - Bryan Fischer

    The passage about the talents alone has more going for it in as far as setting a socio-economic tone than anything you have provided or could provide. So if we are to be consistent and apply your reasoning, we'd be forced to conclude that Jesus leaned more towards Capitalism. Yet, to anyone who would use this passage or any other passage to argue that Jesus leaned one way or the other about a worldly economic system, they would be incorrect. Jesus simply did not care. He taught the opposite, that what is here in the temporal is fleeting and we ought to focus on the eternal.He did not speak to matters of economic or political systems because they are all entirely irrelevant to what actually matters (to Him).

    So to say that what "matters" is simply whether He leaned one way or the other (or that it is the "meaningful question") completely misses the point of what Jesus was teaching as well as His purpose for being here. Jesus has no relevancy whatsoever to any sort of social/economic government system (Soc vs Cap) and because of the irrelevancy, there is not "meaningful question" to draw from it.

    Here's another "quote mine" for Capitalism (since apparently, that's the only way those who prefer hubris over rationalism can present their case:

    Matthew 25:29
    29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.


    Here, we could make the case that those who have will have more as they are blessed for achieving it. But those who don't have anything, the "have nots" will never have anything. We could employ the same "non-Christian illogicity" here and claim that Jesus is claiming that the "have nots" are lazy and that is why they have nothing.

    That is, that would be YOUR reasoning to be consistent. However, this is not the case at all in actuality. To use such a passage for or against any sort of socio-economic system would again, be a display of gross ignorance and serious lack of cognitive reasoning ability.

    And in Matthew 25:30:
    And cast hthe worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    This is still part of the parable above...the person who did nothing (representing Socialism here) is considered "worthless" to Jesus. Jesus even says that this person who does not produce, will be damned. Using strictly that of a socio-economic (yet false) understanding of this passage, we would conclude that Jesus encourages productivity and to each, a different result based on that yield. Even more extreme, we'd have to conclude that those who do not produce deserve their fate.

    Of course, again, this isn't about any socio-economic policy (as secularists arrogantly and ignorantly maintain), Jesus doesn't give two donkeys about that sort of stuff. See above.

    Perhaps not. However, the things he was concerned with (loving one's neighbor) is more akin to socialism than capitalism. Socialism has the 'social' part built in, social, like 'neighbor'. Get it? Hello?
    Irrelevant. See above.

    You're going to need the comfort food, bud, cause you've lost this debate:

    Acts 4: "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need".
    Yikes! So many problems with this it's difficult to know where to begin...I guess I'll just dive in, with no particular order of importance...

    1) First of all, it's not Acts 4. It's Acts 2:42-47.

    2) Secondly, this is not a call, command, or expectation...it's a recording of the first church (which was a group of 120 people) and how they were so moved by the Holy spirit (in the previous passage) to give up their worldly things and focus purely on the spiritual.

    3) Thirdly, this is not an example of any sort of socio-economic system, but rather one of charity and loving one another (which is expected of all human beings, particularly Christians...it is not an endorsement of any political system).

    4) This is not "Heaven" which you claimed it was in the previous post and to which I objected.

    5) This is after Jesus ascended (and the topic is Jesus' leanings toward a particular political system).

    6) Using your "social" is in the word "Socialism" reasoning, and to be consistent, since what we "seem" to have here (again, by your faulty reasoning, not that which is correspondent to reality and which is shared by academia), is an example of a "commune." And "commune" is in "Communism." So then Jesus must be a Communist! It's absurd reasoning you are using here Zorak. I've no doubt that you are brilliant when it comes to issues related to psychotherapy and I would not pretend to understand its several theories to such a degree that I could confidently speak on them nor would I display such hubris to insist that which is not...is, but your demonstrated understanding of the principles of critical thinking or reasoning are sorely lacking. There are actual rules and principles and methods of reasoning that must be employed. Critical Thinking is like a science, it is not an arbitrary methodology. You don't seem to be thinking things through, nor are you consistent in your reasoning and I can only presume it is because of a lack of education or experience with formal methods of reasoning or an insistence that there are no such rules that exist to guide one in proper reasoning. Either way, it's highly problematic and it is no wonder that such positions are being put forward as the ones you are favoring in this thread.

    7) 2:44 "all things in common". Though some people have referred to this situation as “early communism,” this is clearly not the case, since (1) the giving was voluntary and not compelled by the government, and (2) people still had personal possessions, because they still met in “their homes” (v. 46) and many other Christians after this still owned homes (see 12:12; 17:5; 18:7; 20:20; 21:8, 16; Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15; Philem. 2; 2 John 10). Further, Peter told Ananias and Sapphira that they did not have any obligation to sell their property and give away the money (Acts 5:4). In contrast to communist theory [or Socialism], the abolition of private property is not commanded or implied here. (See 1 Tim. 6:17–19; but also 1 Tim. 6:6–10.) On the other hand, there is a voluntary generosity in sharing possessions that is seen as commendable.

    Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (2085–2086). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

    8) re: v44, "common" (κοινὰ), they themselves felt the necessity of becoming more and more firmly established in the truth, and in fellowship with God in Christ, and on this account they adhered so steadfastly to the teaching of the apostles and to a fraternal fellowship with the believers. Such is the meaning of κοινωνία, and neither “Communion”, which interpretation gives an explicative sense to καὶ τῇ κλάσει τοῦ ἄρτου [καὶ explicativum= videlicet], nor, exclusively, charitable gifts to the needy.

    Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Gotthard, V. L., Gerok, C., & Schaeffer, C. F. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Acts (56). Bellingham, WA

    That is, what is in "common" is not material goods and possessions, but of fellowship and seeking the truth of Christ according to the Greek.

    9) re: v2:44 “and had all things in common” This early experiment in “community” was not successful (cf. 4:32–5:11). This is not meant to be a universal principle, but an attempt at a loving, mutually supportive community or faith. This is a good example that not everything recorded in the Bible is meant to be universally implemented! These early believers had a great love for one another.

    Utley, R. J. (2003). Vol. Volume 3B: Luke the Historian: The Book of Acts. Study Guide Commentary Series (45). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

    10) Some Jewish groups, like the group that lived at Qumran, followed the Pythagorean model and turned all their possessions over to the leaders of the community so they could all withdraw from society. That is hardly the case here, although the economic sharing is no less radical. The early Christians acknowledge that Jesus owns both them and their property (cf. 4:32); they sell off property to meet needs as they arise (4:34–35) and open their homes as meeting places for fellow Christians (2:46). These actions do not reflect an ascetic ideal, as in some Greek and Jewish sects, but instead the practice of radically valuing people over possessions. Such behavior reportedly continued among Christians well into the second century, and it was long ridiculed by pagans until pagan values finally overwhelmed the church.

    Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Ac 2:43–45). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

    From 7-10, this is not some socialist-like "commune" that many liberals would falsely believe and posit so matter-of-factly. It's the case that those in the early church sold their possession as needed as they no longer valued materialism over people, and instead, came together to focus on worshiping God, learning about God, and bringing others to God. This is neither the early example of socialism nor capitalism at work, but of spiritual fellowship.

    11) So no...I've "lost" nothing here. You are clearly demonstrating that you are walking in territory you are unfamiar with Zorak.

    If one doesn't understand something, it's wise to never speak of it so matter-of-factly. It just makes one look foolish. At the very least, they shouldn't come across as a pompous ass and instead they ought to show a little respect, charity, and humility in areas that are not of their expertise.

    As Bill Flax, contributor to Forbes magazine stated succinctly: "I’m a capitalist and you might be socialist. Christians can be both, but Christ was neither. He was the Author and Finisher of faith."

    For secularists to use Christ for a purpose which is not intended displays a gross ignorance of Christ Himself as well as His message. For Christians to abuse Christ's message for that which is not intended, shows a callous disregard for His message. Therefore, whenever either is guilty of doing so, they can be dismissed, with extreme prejudice as neither is grounded in reason or truth.

    ---------- Post added at 09:43 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:20 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Jesus was definitely a socialist.

    And socialism as a system is defunct.

    ....?

    That's right. You should question your messiah.
    I'll respond to this post with what this post deserves:

    1) Nope (see above).
    2) Probably. But perhaps there are examples that exist that show that for a particular culture, it's the best system possible.
    3) Nope (non sequitur).
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; March 2nd, 2013 at 01:12 PM.
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  21. #40
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    Re: Was Jesus Socialist or Capitalist?Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Jesus was definitely a socialist. And socialism as a system is defunct.
    Perhaps then socialist-run countries can learn something from Jesus and his philosophy, in which case, if they actually implemented his philosophy, they would probably no longer be a defunct socialist system. Instead they could become, after a gradual implementation, a budding democracy that allows individual initiative, personal responsibility, creativity and ingenuity to thrive and be rewarded accordingly, as well as voluntary sharing and giving. Now, let's see . . . has that worked in other countries?

    What can such countries learn from the Jesus' philosophy?

    1) Allow people to worship and believe in God freely.
    2) When you're spiritually of one mind and heart, giving is always voluntary, never mandatory.
    3) People donate what they want to donate (contribute) when a need arises or when ever they want.
    4) The state (Apostles community) did not produce anything.
    5 The individual chooses to share his/her personal creativity and ingenuity for a purpose.
    6) There is no state mandated coercion.
    7 There is no state production and control.
    8) People don't have to give up their rights to private property.

    Voluntary sharing and giving is not a socialistic principle. Mandatory and coercive giving is. In fact, some of the most successful Capitalistic companies today practice the idea of voluntary sharing their wealth with their community of employees. Why? Because it works.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKIu9yen5nc
    Starting at 3:16
    Last edited by eye4magic; March 2nd, 2013 at 11:58 AM.
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