Talk:Was Jesus a socialist?

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https://www.prageru.com/video/was-jesus-a-socialist/ Did Jesus support socialism? Do the teachings of Jesus Christ condemn the accumulation of wealth while pushing for the equal distribution of resources? Lawrence Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education, explains the misconceptions surrounding one of history’s greatest figures.


Was Jesus a socialist?

Well, if socialism is nothing more than being kind to other people, then you might think the answer is yes. But you can be kind to other people and be a capitalist. John D. Rockefeller probably gave away more money than anyone in human history, and he was certainly a capitalist. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have given away millions, too.

To get an accurate answer to our question, we need to define socialism.

Socialism is the concentration of power into the hands of government elites to achieve the following purposes: central planning of the economy and the radical redistribution of wealth.

Jesus never called for any of that.

Nowhere in the New Testament does he advocate for the government to punish the rich – or even to use tax money to help the poor. Nor does he promote the ideas of state ownership of businesses or central planning of the economy.

In Luke 12, Jesus is confronted by a man who wants him to redistribute wealth. "Master," the man says to Jesus, "tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." Jesus replies, "Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?" and then he rebukes the man for being envious of his sibling.

How about Jesus's Parable of the Talents (talents were a form of money in Jesus's day)? A man entrusted three of his workers with his wealth. The two who invested the money and made a profit were praised and the one who buried his share so he wouldn't lose any of it was reprimanded. Sounds a lot more like an endorsement for capitalism than socialism, doesn't it?

Yes, Jesus spoke of the difficulty for a rich man to enter Heaven, but not because having money is evil. It's not money; rather, it is the love of money, the New Testament tells us, that leads to evil. Jesus was warning us not to put acquisition of money and material possessions above our spiritual and moral lives.

Was Jesus promoting a socialist model when he kicked the "moneychangers" out of the Temple in Jerusalem? Again, the answer is no. Note the location where the incident occurred: it was in the holiest of places – God's house. Jesus was not angry at buying and selling in and of themselves; he was angry that these things happened in a house of prayer. He never drove a "moneychanger" from a marketplace or from a bank.

Jesus advises us to be of "generous spirit" – to show kindness, to assist the widow and the orphan. But he clearly means this to be our responsibility, not the government's.

Consider Jesus's Good Samaritan story. A traveler comes upon a man at the side of a road. The man had been beaten and robbed and left half-dead. What did the traveler, the Good Samaritan, do? He helps the unfortunate man on the spot, with his own resources.

Ask yourself: To help the poor, would Jesus prefer that you give your money freely to the Salvation Army, for example, or have it taxed by politicians to fund a welfare bureaucracy?

Progressives like to point out that Jesus said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." But that has absolutely nothing to do with high taxes or wealth redistribution. It was the seed for the idea of separating church and state. It certainly wasn't the same as saying that whatever Caesar says is his must then be so, no matter how much he demands or what he intends to use it for.

So, there is no evidence that Jesus was a socialist. And there is lots of evidence that he supported free markets.

In addition to the Parable of the Talents, Jesus offers his Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. In it, a landowner hires some laborers to pick grapes. Near the end of the day, he realizes he needs more workers to get the job done.

To recruit them, he agrees to pay a full day's wage for just one hour of work. When one of the laborers who had worked an entire day complains, the landowner answers, "I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?" That's a testament to the principles of supply and demand, of private property, and of voluntary contracts, not socialism.

Jesus never endorsed the forced redistribution of wealth. That idea is rooted in envy, something that he, and the Tenth of the Ten Commandments, railed against. Most importantly, Jesus cared about helping the less fortunate. He never would have approved anything that undermines wealth creation. And the only thing that has ever created wealth and lifted masses of people out of poverty is free market capitalism. Read the New Testament. The plain meaning of the text is loud and clear: Jesus was not a socialist.

He couldn't be. He loved people, not the state.

I'm Lawrence Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education, for Prager University.



Some of this is already answered but this is put here to deal with anything we missed.


From http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2011/08/the-wall-o-socialist-bible-quotes/

website Daniel Florien Article by fatemeh "Their basic argument was that Jesus was in no way a socialist, he would have approved whole heartedly of capitalism, the Liberal Left don’t know what they’re talking about, how dare you invoke the name of our pure, white, American English speaking Jesus in support of dirty socialism, taxes are evil, the government is evil, universal healthcare is evil, yada yada yada, you get the drift."

Ladies and gentlemen, in what is a genuine first for me, I am now going to post a giant wall of text from the Bible in support of the idea that the character of Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament was a left-wing socialist liberal, bordering on communist.

Enjoy.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. Acts 2: 44, 45

32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Acts 4:32-37

31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Mathew 25: 31-46

1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:1-7 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. 14 You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:13, 14

If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Matthew 19:21

24 You cannot serve both God and Money. Matthew 6:24.

Additions and rebuttals are welcome :-)

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