Screams

New Testament Church:Socialism?


With all the hubbub(what is this, 1964? who uses that word?) over the recent election, a term has been thrown all over the place as to which direction our nation will be heading with its new leader preparing the way–>socialism.

Now, I don’t like getting into speculation, but…let’s speculate here for a moment that somehow, someway, President-elect Obama succeeded in his dastardly plans to turn the US of A (these colors don’t run!) into a socialist state. What’s so wrong about that?

After all, the always trustworthy definitions of Wikipedia lend me to believe that it doesn’t sound so bad…

Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society.

In theory, that sounds like a fairly reasonable idea, right?

Some of you may be saying, “But Jared, have you seen the atrocities that have come out of such idealism?”

To which I respond…yes. I have.

But in fairness, have not the atrocities of Capitalism touched many lives in a negative way as well?

But what do we say in response to a Christian mandate that seems eerily similar to the former?

Acts 2:43-45…

Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.

How do you feel about this? How does this change your view, if at all, in regards to socialism? Could socialism ever be good?

Comments are open…

Jar

Editor’s note: please do not think I am espousing an economic overthrow of what we already have in place. I’m merely trying to create a discourse concerning our present economic state, in light of Scripture. Regardless of your political agenda and affiliation, you can admit that these are very interesting points to consider and thus, beg discussion. Any derogatory/inflammatory/any other negative comments with descriptions ending in “ory” will be deleted.

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2 thoughts on “New Testament Church:Socialism?

  1. jeremy says:

    hmmm.. where to start.

    First, let me say that i completely agree with your sentiments. i instinctually want to cheer for the communist ideal.

    you might partially grasp the extent to which the tensions raised by this question have influenced my life by considering that i am currently finishing out my undergrad as an economics major. it is safe to say that the root of this question is the driving force behind what i do.

    there are multiple layers to the question you have asked. at its core, economics deals with the problem of scarcity. in short, there isn’t enough to go around so how do we divide it up or do we divide it up. mathematics consists of all the tools we have devised to divide it. morality is the argument that we should divide it. the moral argument depends on philosophic thought and how we view human nature. do we possess inherent value?

    if you want to approach economics from a christian perspective (i’ll limit this to the taylor perspective of christianity for the sake of clarity) then yes, we have an inherent value. and yes, we should divide it and share with the poor.

    but at the same time, what does scripture claim about scarcity? it says we were created as eternal beings. there was no scarcity. in fact scarcity entered the world when death entered the world and the first thing to be numbered was the days of man’s life. time was born when it became scarce.

    ancient hebrew poets made use of a literary technique which we know as parallelism. it is famously used over and over again in the book of proverbs as a teaching device to illuminate connections between physical and spiritual realities (not that the ancient hebrews were dualists… but that is anther story..). i would argue that parallelism is used even more frequently throughout the bible than we general give it credit. i believe that stories like those of the burning bush, manna falling from heaven, joshua’s daylight savings time, the widow’s oil, and christ’s feeding of the 5000 are teaching devices to illuminate connections between physical and spiritual realities. whether or not you interpret these stories from a literal or literary perspective they are direct attacks on our perception of scarcity. the determinist remains steadfast in his belief because he wants to believe they are literal. and the free will advocate has already headed in the opposite direction even if he doesn’t know it yet. the open theist sees the value of what could be if they coexisted peacefully.

    so yes, after writing the most ridiculously long and over-generalized comment wordpress has ever known.. i do believe the bible has a lot to say about economics, but i wouldn’t say that socialism, or specifically communism, is well aligned with its teachings. socialism still submits itself to the government of men by men.

  2. I’d have to say that your response is pretty airtight, especially when considering your area of study. Being that you are way smarter than me on this subject, I submit that your answer is way better than any I could have come up with on my own.

    You do make some other interesting points as well. Hopefully this adds fuel to the discussion (if one ever freakin’ develops).

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