- Capitalism and Alternatives -

is there Capitalism in heaven with it's division, rank and cruelty to the poor and unfortunate?

Posted by: Lark on November 22, 1999 at 11:45:15:

In Reply to: Socianity and the Bible posted by Stuart Gort on November 21, 1999 at 19:24:14:

:Do you intend, by nature of the fact that you justify your idealism biblically, to advocate an all encompassing, universal economic plan or do you intend instead to effect change in one person at a time by teaching Christ?

No, DEFINITELY NOT, I'm not reading socialism into the bible, I cant stand people who read modern concerns into the past, like people who analyse ancient societies and decide they are or are not communitic when their inclinations and motivations where entirely a product of their age.

As far as is possible I think all change should be effected by persuasion alone. It wasnt socialists or anarchists who set the bomb in Oklahoma and I dont think they should ever follow the example of Capitalists and Racists.

:Would you hold an unbeliever accountable to your interpretative spin of Christ's words by forcing submission to the system you advocate?

No I would not force submission but if people cant live with it I see no reason why they should wish to stay in a community grounded in these principles, they could leave, unlike under Capitalism where you cant leave.

: This is what it boils down to, Lark; The central message of the Bible has nothing to do with a world economic/political system. The Jews of Christ's day failed to identify the Messiah because that is exactly what they expected - Messiah as a world conquerer. Their view of Messiah was formed by using those scriptures that did speak of a conquering Messiah (second coming) but they ignored those that spoke of a suffering servant (first coming).

No, ABSOLUTELY NOT :(, I cant condone that for a second, the Jews believed that acts meant for nothing and that the rich where blessed with favour and JC came to correct that, have you not heared the prayer?: "Let it be done on earth as it is in heaven", that is a call to action not speculation.

:Helping the poor and others in need is a biblical mandate to be sure but nowhere, and I mean absolutely nowhere, are you going find the scriptural mandate to justify the implementation of such acts that characterized the early church (living under great persecution) as a model for world social order.

Well, it is repeated in the letters of the dsiciples they provide a model for people to live by and Jesus outlined the Judegement himself, what do you want a written statement of intent? "We the believers must..." It appears pretty obvious to me I've no idea how your missing this, can I ask you a question, is your conviction important enough to you to contemplate such a change in lifestyle etc.?

:The suggestion that collectivism as practiced by the early church should be implemented on a mass scale (presumably including vast numbers of unbelievers) is patently ridiculous and it underscores the fact that your idealism was established long before you seriously perused your Bible.

How can you speak about what I believe with authority? You are prejudiced and are trying to suggest that I am using the bible as cannon fodder in a collectivist faith, which isnt the truth and infact I find it really, really insulting Mr. I was a Christian before I was a Socialist, it was the vague (and not so vague) notions of equality and justice in the bible that led me to study politics and philosophy to seek a social system or social perspective that was more consistant with that of Christianity.

: Ponder the central biblical message contained in Matthew 26: 6-13. A woman had annointed Christ with very expensive oil. The disciples complained that they could have sold it to the poor. Christ said, "Don't bother the woman for she did good to Me. The poor you have with you always but you do not always have Me. She was preparing Me for My burial. Wherever the Gospel is preached in this world this woman will be spoken of also because of what she did."

The Poor you will always have with you? Fine, Jesus knows humanity better than it knows itself, he knows it's perpetual failure etc. but is that a mandate for the rectionary, violently intolerant society that the Christian Right advocate? Hardly it's an indictment of human capacity to change.

: I'm fulfilling Christ's prophecy right now, Lark. Christ placed His death and resurrection above all other concerns and in His sacrafice is our freedom from all manner of oppression. That woman placed Christ's mission to be our sin sacrafice above all else too.

Really, this sounds like mumbo-jumbo to me created by the thousands of theological pharisees and apologists for human failure, Jesus spoke of the Judgement, in Matthew it is there in black and white!! He didn't make a sectarian qualification but a socio-economic, behaviourial, qualification.

: That is the central message of the Bible - your passionate post notwithstanding.

: "For I am determined to know nothing among you but Christ, and Him crucified" 1 Cor 2:2.

This is RUBBISH.

: I argue capitalism above collectivism in a purely secular arena - partially because McSpot gets a little squeamish around the subject of absolute truth. I'd be inclined to offer quite a bit more by way of scriptural rebuttal but I fear they might get a little testy.

If you wish to be all scriptural, let's take it to anything else, because you dont have a foot to stand on the actual WORD SPOKEN BY GOD is in and it isnt capitalist.

:I also think I had quite a few salient points to make on this subject in my post to Gideon which you dismissed with a banal comment. Yet the facts of the matter remain.

The 'banal comments' where legitimate.

: 1. There is no New Testament judgement of interest, usury, or lending. Rather, there is quite a load of evidence to suggest that is was a common and acceptable practice of that day. Many of Christ's parables mention the practice with no criticism of the practice.

I'd have thought the whole 'Do on to others' message was clear without hunting out minor oversights to try and provide apologetics.

: 2. The Old Testament references are quite narrow in their judgements of the issue of usury and interest - focusing on the practice as it might exploit the poor. The only one scriptural reference (Deuteronomy 23:19) that speaks directly and generally against the practice follows with an allowance to charge foreigners interest.

A question for you, is there Capitalism in heaven with it's division, rank and cruelty to the poor and unfortunate? If there is then you are consistant with the last instruction of God prior to the Crucifixion, 'let it be done on earth as it is in heaven' if not then you are not, full stop, no two ways about it, you can argue otherwise but you might aswell argue the sea isnt made of water.

: For what it is worth, I do believe the U.S. credit industry is quite exploitive of the poor and I find it at odds with biblical teaching.

Oh, your very generous, I do believe that, that may just excuse your other apologetics and behaviour come the judgement.....

: Stuart Gort

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