Jesus is Not a Socialist
2011-01-23 at 19:40:58

2011-01-24 20:38:45

Reminds me of those people who like to say Jesus was somehow against the death penalty. Really? Oi ... It's aggravating.

2011-02-11 09:19:08

Of course Jesus wouldn't be a Democrat -- he was a monarchist who believed in the divine right of kings. The U.S. rejected that idea at its founding. Jesus would have a hard time finding a place in our political parties -- if he could even get over our immense flying metal beasts and demon-carriages!

2011-02-13 22:08:17

Nice, Jol. Another useful demonstration of mischaracterizing Jesus and the Bible for an agenda.

2011-02-14 07:40:29

How have I mischaracterized? And what's my agenda? Lastly, what do you find most useful about it?

2011-02-14 18:03:19

Oh, I was thinking you were kidding ... just making an ironic statement ... one-upping those silly folks who like to say Jesus would endorse their political causes based on some superficial, needful-based reading of the Bible.

It's fascinating, really, how superficial those characterization would be from a person whom I have taken to be a serious thinker about religion and politics ... when there is so little that Jesus said about the politics of men and, interestingly, how God first organized the Jewish people.

I mean ... was Jesus even a monarchist in the way you suggest? Did He say that the only authority over people should always be kings (a monarchy), because that's what God commanded in the Bible? I mean, if Jesus agreed with God, and God didn't even choose a monarchy for His own people, but actually warned them against it, then we might discuss the notion that Jesus probably didn't think kingship was the best route for humanity ... that an alternative was better. God only gave the Jews a king at their request (one that, in my opinion, wasn't entirely unreasonable), and told them quite openly that they would be abused by that king. (See 1 Samuel 8 or 9, I think.) That's just one thought of several where this discussion could go.

So I implore you, and others who want to characterize Jesus as some political guru or attack Him just to sound nasty, as you seem to be doing now, to pause a moment and really think and study it out before implying such a comment as being obviously true. It isn't obviously true. It's more than likely wrong. Don't take someone's talking points as gospel. I certainly haven't when it comes to my understanding of Jesus, and if you're a serious person, you won't either.

I'd be fascinated where you pulled this concept that Jesus endorsed the doctrine of Divine Right of Kings when that doctrine came to be more than 1,500 years after He died. I also think it could be adequately argued that if the Founders wouldn't haven't reject the teachings of Jesus. (Some did, sure.) Would He have endorsed a political system designed to spiritually arrest entire nations? I doubt it.

According to Wiki,"the doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act." Except that God appears to permit the open rebellion of a nation that orders His people to defy His laws. So how are we to take what the apostle said about obeying earthly rulers in Romans 13 (I think) ... well, that's another discussion.

I'm not sure we could say that Jesus would be concerned with being a Democrat or Republican, or a tea-partier. He wouldn't seek a place in politics in this age if His mission was the same as it was when He first came. (The next time He comes will be to take over ... so ... I guess He will be quite political then.) I believe I could show that it is more likely that He would be concerned with the spreading of the gospel, feeding the poor, healing the sick, and obeying the will of God.

That last statement of yours was a joke, right? C'mon! ;-)

2011-02-14 19:21:16

So I guess you never thought about what the ramifications of claiming descent from David -- Israel's king at the height of its power -- actually means. Well, if Wikipedia is telling you that god-ordained monarchies weren't invented until the late middle ages it can't possibly be wrong, right? No. The very idea of a heritable crown relies on the idea that a lineage has been chosen by the gods to rule over men. The Egyptians thought so, the Hebrews thought so (it's what the word messiah means in Hebrew, after all), as did the Romans, Sumerians, Hittites, Celts, etc.

Both Paul (the first evangelist) and Peter (head of the fist congregation) were deep in Jesus' council and said directly that God himself gave men rule over other men. That's pretty much the definition of divine-right, by my understanding.

But really the point I was trying to make was that Jesus as described in the Gospels was a man of his time. And a person from Palestine two thousand years ago would find our ideas of capitalism, communism, and socialism completely alien. Jesus wouldn't know that socialism meant government control over industry (though CK doesn't seem to either...) since in his day, nations didn't have clear divisions between secular authorities and industry the same way we do. As I've been saying, they didn't even have secular authorities the same way we do.

2011-02-19 13:54:56

Well, I agree heartily with your real point ... so there you go.

Perhaps your point got lost in what (I believe) to be your misuse of term Divine Right. I don't suckle the breast of Wikipedia because I don't generally like Wikipedia ... and I didn't visit it ... but (as I understand it) Divine Right is a sort of political adoption or kin of papal infallibility. One must obey a certain king, whatever was commanded, even against one's conscienceóbecause they are a representative of God on earth.

But we know that isn't likely a winning proposition for Jesus who would have looked back to Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These are men who served a pagan king because God ordained that the Jews would go into captivity and they were not to fight it. Yet when they were commanded by that king to violate a commandment, they refused ... and God rewarded them. Divine Right would not allow for this kind of rebellion.

This is information that Paul certainly would have be aware of when writing in Romans. At the time, the Jews were generally troublemakers for the Romans. Paul was instructing Christians not to get caught up in that. The Jews didn't believe that the Romans were legitimate rulers over them, and Paul was correcting them. Christians enjoyed a tolerant Roman authority, free to evangelize. So Christianized Jews still wanting to challenge Roman authority would necessarily harm this relationship. Indeed, Paul himself a Jew, was very much concerned with "

So on the whole of the Bible, we might say that Christians are to obey our authorities because government is God's ordained institution to keep peace on the earth. However, when those rulers violate God's statutes and command their people into sin, they are not to be followed. The doctrine of Divine Right counters this biblical principle by saying that a kingship is always right in what it commanded. As often happens, Divine Right is the creation of men twisting Scripture to protect their tyranny.

And that's why I believe Jesus could not be said to believe in Divine Right. Nor do I believe He would think that the only legitimate government is monarchy. Let's say that a Jewish follower asked him, "Jesus, is the only legitimate form of government a monarchy?" He might have said, "Have you considered the judges and how Israel prospered under them?" Moreover, the Jews understanding of Messiah as a political ruler on earth was very much in error, at least according to the Christian idea of Him.


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