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BS: On Acts 4:32-35

WalkaboutsVerse 14 Sep 10 - 05:43 AM
Slag 14 Sep 10 - 06:33 AM
Emma B 14 Sep 10 - 07:49 AM
katlaughing 14 Sep 10 - 10:56 AM
catspaw49 14 Sep 10 - 11:09 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 14 Sep 10 - 02:38 PM
Joe Offer 14 Sep 10 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Ed 14 Sep 10 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 14 Sep 10 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,Ed 14 Sep 10 - 05:43 PM
Slag 14 Sep 10 - 06:35 PM
Bobert 14 Sep 10 - 08:15 PM
Ebbie 14 Sep 10 - 09:27 PM
Bobert 14 Sep 10 - 09:43 PM
Kent Davis 14 Sep 10 - 10:08 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 10 - 12:07 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 15 Sep 10 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Sep 10 - 06:12 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 15 Sep 10 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Sep 10 - 07:07 AM
Bill D 15 Sep 10 - 11:13 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 15 Sep 10 - 11:52 AM
Bobert 15 Sep 10 - 12:35 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 10 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 15 Sep 10 - 02:59 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 10 - 03:34 PM
Penny S. 15 Sep 10 - 04:04 PM
Slag 15 Sep 10 - 04:31 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 10 - 05:48 PM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Sep 10 - 06:25 PM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Sep 10 - 06:31 PM
Slag 15 Sep 10 - 08:30 PM
mousethief 15 Sep 10 - 10:53 PM
Kent Davis 15 Sep 10 - 11:55 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Sep 10 - 01:21 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Sep 10 - 10:57 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Sep 10 - 01:58 PM
Joe Offer 16 Sep 10 - 08:06 PM
Slag 17 Sep 10 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 17 Sep 10 - 01:22 AM
Joe Offer 17 Sep 10 - 02:30 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 17 Sep 10 - 06:00 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 17 Sep 10 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 17 Sep 10 - 06:32 AM
s&r 17 Sep 10 - 06:40 AM
Joe Offer 17 Sep 10 - 03:17 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 17 Sep 10 - 03:45 PM
Slag 17 Sep 10 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 18 Sep 10 - 01:59 AM
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Subject: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 05:43 AM

Socialist ideas, of course, pre-date Karl Marx by centuries: e.g., the Levellers in the 17th century, John Ball and the peasants revolt
in the 14th century, and in the Bible...

Poem 82 of 230: ON ACTS 4:32-35

Believers were all one in heart and mind -
    They shared their excesses, giving in kind.
No-one claimed any possessions one's own -
    Yes, it was socialism on the throne.

So not long were there desperate folk -
    Fair distribution was the tongue they spoke.
And wealthy owners would sell part their deed -
    Funds, via apostles, to those in need.

Yet today, all round our troubled earth,
    Some Christians, safe at their own snug hearth,
Vote for their electorate's Right-Wing party -
    That's hypocritical, it seems to me.

(C) David Franks 2003
From http://walkaboutsverse.webs.com (e-scroll)
Or http://blogs.myspace.com/walkaboutsverse (e-book)


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 06:33 AM

Yes, if you lift the text from its context you see the element of socialism, don't you. When you consider that the fledgling "religion" was in survival mode it looks a little different. These folks were being hunted down and murdered by their brothers according to the flesh and by the Romans who were trying to maintain Pax Roma. Israel itself was under attack and in 70 AD was destroyed by Rome and the Second Diaspora ensued. It was hardly a political movement. Infact you might argue that it is the nature of Christianity to SURVIVE any and all political schemes including socialism. It is a subtle deceit to shift the focus of Christianity off of Christ and onto socialism. That was NOT their concern nor the intent nor the impetus of their beliefs. They were taking care of practical matters of their immediate condition while focusing on spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and what He had done by His sacrifice.

If you are a political bird you can choose either wing and it matters not. You can't fly to heaven on politics.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Emma B
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 07:49 AM

None of the four gospels of the New Testament mention the Essenes despite specific mention of the Pharisees, and the Sadducees.

According to historians, the Essenes flourished between the 2nd century B.C. and the 1st century AD
Josephus gave a detailed account of the Essenes in The Jewish War (c.75 A.D.)
Claiming first hand knowledge, he states that they comprised one of three major Torah schools – the other two being the Pharisees and the Sadducees - but were significantly less in number
He echoed the description by Roman writer Pliny the Elder that they had customs and observances such as collective ownership

The holy Essenes did not marry and lived a celibate life; the sect practiced communal residence, money, property, food and clothing.
Additionally they practised ritual immersion in water and ate together after prayer
Some scholars have asserted that Jesus himself was an Essene, since his teachings espoused many of the same codes of conduct.

The Essenes disappeared from history after the Diaspora whether, as a small pacifist group, they were massacred by the Romans or, as some have theorized, evolved into the early Christian church remains a mystery but they were certainly practising what some term 'Christian communism' - based on Biblical verses in Acts 2 and 4 - before the birth of Jesus


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 10:56 AM

I have not read this issue, but the Rosicrucian DIGEST of Nov. 2007 has several articles and podcasts on the ESSENES.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 11:09 AM

Fifth time this one has been posted WavyFWBR..........New thread no less...............


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 02:38 PM

Frankly, I didn't check that, Spaw, and didn't know some of the interesting details posted above, thanks. And, given them, one wonders why the Soviet leaders, e.g., bothered so much to put Orthodoxy down..? They could have just said: "Your God is a socialist, too."


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 03:12 PM

While I can see the purpose in quoting the poem in this thread, the fact that it has been posted four times before, makes it tacky. Well, I guess it's not as blatant as some.


But anyhow, I think WAV makes a good point here. It would seem to be that the verse from Acts makes it pretty hard to Christians to condemn socialism. Indeed, it would seem that socialism should be the ideal that Christians should strive for.

I suppose you could say that Jesus speaks favorably of capitalism in some parables (like the parable of the talents) - but when it comes to actual living, it appears that Christ and his followers shared their resources.

Maybe we need to learn to do the same.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 05:11 PM

Joe, you have an astonishingly gentle and peacable wisdom. And you are wise full stop!


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 05:12 PM

As long as people are being seduced by the supernatural mumbo-jumbo then it's a bit of a joke calling it Socialism. Placing the teachings of Christ in an entirely Secular / Humanist context can be interesting, but the rest of it is the same old God Fearing crap. Where there is religion there can never be Socialism.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 05:43 PM

Placing the teachings of Christ in an entirely Secular / Humanist context can be interesting

I suggest placing the best teachings of Christ in an entirely Secular / Humanist context to be a good way forward. But only I know which they are...


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 06:35 PM

I guess I used invisible digits in my post because my argument was completely ignored. When Christ stood before Pilate and was asked if he were King of the Jews, he responded that his kingdom was not of this world. Significant is the fact that his kingdom is just that; a monarchy and I am sure that the scripture points out in a couple of places, I seem to remember, that Christ is called the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That does not sound like socialism. Church and church governments have been an issue for the intervening centuries since the time of Christ and many of these forms of church government have lead to denominationalism, violence and murder and some of the most heinous and dispicable acts of history, none of which reflect the teachings of Christ.

The Christian is about Christ and His kingdom of which there is no end (the only way a monarchy can really succeed)). On this plane of existence it is a matter of heart, mind and soul. The Christian's first allegiance is to Christ. Christ prioritizes all that remains. This is seen in Christ's summation of the Hebrew Law "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy mind and thy neighbor as thyself". He also told his followers to love their enemies and do good to those who persecute them. The Christian's interaction with the world is to be based in peace and love and non-violence. Paul points out in Ephesians and elsewhere that we battle spiritual wickedness (an interesting word unto itself) by SPIRITUAL means as demonstrated by the putting on of the armour of God. And, you may note, that the battle is not offensive but is so that the Christian will be able to stand his ground and give account for the beliefs he holds.

I have to agree with Suibhne Astray that most "religion" is mumbo jumbo. Many people follow a religion and some religions purport to follow Christ. I will say now that never a religion "saved" anybody. The writer of James had a few terse comments on what "true religion" ought to be and that is about ALL the Bible has to say on THAT subject. At best, a religious body may perserve the teachings of the Bible and may introduce folks to the good news, the gospel and point the way to Christ but they themslevs cannot effect salvation. That is the sole province of God.

Human governments are of man and inherently flawed by all foibles that befall mankind. History has seen a full range of human governments come and go and not a one has lasted the ages. Much more could be said about that but not here. Abuses of any form of government occur and those abuses are almost always against the common folk.

The Acts of the Apostles is about the establishment of the early Christian church amid the hostility of the Roman Empire, how they found ways to survive Rome and keep their core beliefs intact. How they took care of their own may be seen as a form of government but I see it more as how a loving family takes care of its own. What good parent would not care with all their means, their children? And how do they do this? Do you think of your family order as a government? Do you elect a Father and a Mother? Do you have periodic revolutions and bloodbaths? Do you submit to tyrants? Yes, I suppose that some do but such is not a normal healthy loving family. If you use the standards set forth in the Bible to judge religions and the institutions of mankind you may just see the need of a savior who is loving and kind.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 08:15 PM

Jesus was a good socialist... Guess that's why I love Him...

Ya'll ever notice how so many so-called Christains never get outta the Old Testament??? Hmmmmmm??? How many references are there to Jesus in the Old Testament, BTW???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 09:27 PM

SA says that where there is religion there can never be socialism.
Communalism, to me, is living with a like group, sharing resources and assets, liabilities and shortcomings. In what way socialism - and for that matter, communism - differs from that description I'm not sure; what I do know is that many religious groups in this country and in others have succeeded in that ideal for generations. There are at least two of those groups in Alaska, not Hutterites, that I know of. I know Canada has Hutterites who live communally and have for a hundred years or more.


http://www.hutterites.org/HutteriteHistory/

From that link:
"Hutterites differ in one major aspect (from Amish and Mennonites/eb): they believe in sharing their possessions in commons as demonstrated by Christ and His Apostles and as later further refined and described in the Book of Acts.
Christ commanded us to love one another, and Hutterites believe that living together is a wonderful and unique expression of love for their fellow man."


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 09:43 PM

Now that's what Jesus is all about!!!

And bein' an ol' hippie, I'd rather us the word communalism than socialism... And there is a difference... Either beats what the US has now....

BTW, back in the 60s a bunch of folks started one of the longest runnin' communes in the country... They went by the name of "Twin Oaks" and made hammocks and other stuff...

Wonder what happened to them folks???

"Communalism" is kinda hard and long jump fir most folks but ya'll know what??? Come back in a hundred years an' people will be clustered in "work/live/play" communities where people just read about a time when silly people, ahhhhh, drove cars!?!?!?... And it will be "communal"... Gonna happen... It's smart, efficient and, best of all, it's, ahhhhhhhh, human??? What a concept???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Kent Davis
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 10:08 PM

Christianity is voluntarily giving what belongs to you to those with whom you choose to share it.

Socialism is forcibly taking what belongs to others and giving it to those with whom the authorities choose to share it.

Whether Socialism is good, whether it is right, whether it is justifiable, whether it is the best system, dose not affect this fact: Socialism is not what is referred to in Acts 4:23-35.

Giving away other people's money is not charity.

Kent


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 12:07 AM

"Forcibly taking" may be your perspective, Kent; but many socialist systems operate by community consent. Socialism is an economic system based on shared resources. How the political control is exercised, is a different matter.

And it's clear to me that the early Christian church was a close approximation of the socialist ideal, with an expectation of respect and fairness for every member of the community - NOT a rigid system imposed by a strong authority, but a society that takes the needs and abilities of everyone into consideration.

In recent history, the Israeli kibbutz is a close approximation of the socialist ideal. I can't buy the contention above that socialism is necessarily godless, by the way. It's an economic system, fer chrissake...


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 06:11 AM

Bobert: hadn't heard it for a while, but one of my anthropology lecturers also preffered the term "communalism". Important to me is the idea of "fair competition", which requires strong regulation, best achieved through natioinalisation/socialism - instead of free market capitalism, which produces revoltingly unfair and inhumane inequality.

Slag: The Bible looks at monarchism elsewhere and, although I probably have posted it before, this may save folks clicking a link...

Poem 225 of 230: AFTER PSALM 118:9 AND MATTHEW 4:8-10

The monarchies
    Now are blasphemies -
The only born-ruler
    Is a God-chosen Schooler.

(C) David Franks 2003
From http://blogs.myspace.com/walkaboutsverse (e-scroll)
Or http://walkaboutsverse.webs.com (e-book)


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 06:12 AM

Both WAV's poem & the verses in Acts (and much posted above) concern how Believers behave towards one another - in other words this is about Religious Nutters sharing their earthly possessions in the conviction their rewards will be in heaven. It is not a call for the emacipation of the Proletariat. Indeed, said Apostles would go on the lay the foundations for The Roman Catholic Church, perhaps the most long-lived instrument of human oppression yet devised. Socialism? I think not. Odd that WAV for all his published ultra right-wing polemic should even think such a thing!


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 06:34 AM

S: you've called me, amongst other things, "right-wing" for being critical of economic immigration - this would not be "odd" if you'd finally realise that economic immigration is synonymous with capitalist immigration. I.e., if you are genuinley left-wing, you appreciate whatever the greenness of your grass and question economic immigration.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 07:07 AM

You don't question economic immigration, WAV - your entire philosophy centres around culture & enthicity and the supposed dangers of what happens when people lose their cultural identity. Your notion of Culture is a volkish fantasy based on dodgy notions of racial purity & Nationalism, which you further compound by hiking it to the Occult in your espousals of a Global Christianity which is somehow in sympathy with your Nice Multicultural World. Basically what you want is a totalitarian segregated world order of enforced Bogus Folk Culture maintained by each Nation State for the purposes of Tourism. As dystopian future visions go I'd say it doesn't get any grimmer than that!


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 11:13 AM

"Socialism is forcibly taking what belongs to others and giving it to those with whom the authorities choose to share it.

And what is the system called where "those who have plenty" use the government to write laws ensuring they will have MORE, no matter how those who are struggling try to cope?

The Golden Rule: "He who has the gold makes the rules"


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 11:52 AM

...on The Daily Politics (BBC), today, one chap was given the chance to argue how quickly (without public sector cuts) the deficit could be fixed by taxing the rich - the ridiculously and inhumanely rich, as has been suggested above.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 12:35 PM

Hey, all governments "govern"... That means that there will be certain laws and standards that the government sets which are hopefully in the best interest of everyone... Socialism isn't taking things away just for the sake of taking things away... It is a system that tends to rewards everyone for hard work rather than just a few... So exactly what is wrong with that, Kent???

b~


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 12:54 PM

Not only that, but if the rich don't pay enough of their share of taxes, those bridges & roads won't be comfy for their Mercedes and Lexus, and their gardeners and house cleaners won't be able to afford to live close enough to get to work... (well, you get the idea).

Governments MUST make decisions that certain parties are not willing to make for themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 02:59 PM

This thread should be a HOOT!..Being as some of the posters 'don't know shit from Shinola', about what they're talking about!!!

'Jesus was a socialist'???!!?? That is almost hilarious!...Except it's just so 'off the wall'!

I don't think anyone on here can be so screwed up, to suggest the Jesus would recommend belonging to either political party or either party's ideologies...but then, this is 'Mudcat', and there are some pretty far out wishful thinking crazies out there!

Here, play with this one, "My Kingdom is not of this world.'!!!!

Waving,
GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 03:34 PM

Hmmmm. It appears the ideologues on all sides, may make rational discussion impossible here....

Socialism is an economic system involving the sharing of resources for the common good. Socialism can be democratic, or not - but authoritarian forms of socialism seem to me to be a violation of the socialist ideal, which assumes equality among people. I think that ideal socialism also requires a high amount of concern for the community as a whole, with individual preferences subordinated to to the needs of the community.

Jesus seems to have been apolitical, but it's clear that he and his followers lived in a community which shared resources for the common good. Their religious beliefs and their sanity (or lack thereof) were immaterial...except to those who can only see the world through the blinders of mindless ideology.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Penny S.
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 04:04 PM

This reminds me of a study weekend held by East Kent Young Congregationalists back in the early sixties, led by our minister. He used three quotes, one to summarise socialism, one communism, and one Christianity.

Socialism would have been, I suppose, Lenin, (quoting St Paul, but neither he nor the minister seem to have mentioned this) "he who does not work, neither shall he eat". Seen as wrong because it may leave the weaker unprotected. (Seems a bit like the coalition, too.)

Communism would have been Marx, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". I did not grasp what was wrong with this, but there was some reason, apparently.

I cannot, unfortunately, remember what phrase summed up the Christian position. Possibly because I was still pondering what was wrong with Marx, possibly because of the minister's later behaviour to our family. If it was the bit about loving your neighbour, he didn't live up to it. (He wouldn't have done well by the other criteria either.)

He did issue handouts, but I've lost them.

As for people who think that monarchy is a model for divine rule, they should just study the history of monarchies. God wasn't, I recall, in favour of one for Israel, was He?

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 04:31 PM

Gee Joe, can't ideologies be rooted in rational thought? Impossible? Don'tcha remember that with God, all things are possible?

How a small group, a following of a peripatetic rabbi, manages their funds (Judas held the purse) hardly constitutes a doctrine on governing a nation. The break with worldly orders is clearly deomnstrated when Christ asked for the coin with Ceaser's image. "'Render' (repay, give back) to Ceaser, the things that are Ceaser's and to God, the thing's that are God's". A clear division.

It is not accurate to say Jesus was apolitical. He was (is) a Prince, representing the King of all Kings and he was here to claim what is rightfully belonging to his Father. And yes! He told Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world (at least not yet!).

Christ had a lot to say about money and it makes an intersting study. Bill_D is right on about the fact that those with the gold make the rules and most of those rules are about keeping the geetus out of your pockets and in theirs. Christ scared the hell out of the authorities and Rome with his attitude toward their power. That gold was the carrot before the donkey that keeps the whole thing working! What would happen if the peons quit caring about the carrot???!!! Arrrrgh! Crucify him! It was the only solution. All those elements are still in play today. Someone has just recently started a thread about "how poor were you or are you". I haven't looked in yet but I can tell you now that my rank or standing in what the world may consider success or failure means nothing. I have all that I need in this world. I have the Lord and the Earth and all that is in it is available to me if He decides that I need it.

Christ asks the question "What does it profit someone if a man should gain the entire world but lose his own soul?" And you know, we are here for such a short time. We don't "own" anything. We claim a right to use and / or abuse those things under our control but eventually we have to surrender them to someone else. Therefore we are "stewards" of the things under our control for that period of time. I believe this is the right perspective and it greatly troubles those wh would have ultimate control over us.

Another thing the Bible points out is that whoever holds the debt, owns the debtor and that is a fact. If you are deep in debt do you rest easy? I was shocked when President Obama said that the basis of America's economy was debt! And then I was really shocked when I considered that what he said was true! That IS a frightening thought! We are owned by those who hold our debt, a debt so great (by the estimation of some economists) that there is not enough money in the entire world to pay it off. There are big things in store for this world in the very near future.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 05:48 PM

Well, Slag, semantics can be tricky.

I would think that while "ideology" and "ideologue" may come from the same root, "ideologue" has the implication of a mindless adherent to a political creed, while "ideology" does not necessarily have that same implication of mindlessness. In this thread, both extremes agree that religious belief and socialism are incompatible. Ideologues on both extremes agree that Jesus was a mind-controlling, authoritarian capitalist; and that socialist thought does not allow for those who have religious leanings. As for me, I take a gentler view of religious faith - and of socialism.

One could say that the basis of the American economy is debt; but it is equally true that the basis of the American economy is credit, which isn't so frightening.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 06:25 PM

"Monarchy ... God wasn't, I recall, in favour of one for Israel, was He"

Only His Own.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 06:31 PM

Twin Oaks Community (Wikipedia)

Twin Oaks Intentional Community

And a lot of other links if you Google ...


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 08:30 PM

Absolutely correct Foolestroupe! They had self-rule under the judges and they foolishly wanted what the other nations had, a King! And boy, did they ever get a winner. That is one of the funnier/sadder stories in the Bible.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 10:53 PM

Christianity is voluntarily giving what belongs to you to those with whom you choose to share it.

Socialism is forcibly taking what belongs to others and giving it to those with whom the authorities choose to share it.


Could be.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Kent Davis
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 11:55 PM

Joe Offer,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply to my post of 10:08 p.m. last night. We agree that that the word "socialism" can, in certain contexts, refer to a voluntary sharing. More commonly, such an arrangement is, I believe, called a "commune" if the means of production are jointly owned, and simply called "sharing" or "charity" if the means of production remain in individual ownership. However, the poem which opens this thread, and many of the posts prior to mine, are not talking about establishing voluntary communes nor about giving to charity, but are rather talking about state socialism. I'm sure we are in agreement that state socialism does indeed involve "forcibly taking".

I also "can't buy the contention above that socialism is necessarily godless, by the way". I'm not sure who made that contention. I certainly said nothing of the kind

Bobert,

You said that socialism "is a system that tends to rewards everyone for hard work rather than just a few... So exactly what is wrong with that, Kent???" There is nothing wrong with that. How well socialism actually succeeds at rewarding everyone for hard work is, of course, a matter of debate. However, I did not address that issue, nor do I intend to address it.

My point is simple: "Whether Socialism is good, whether it is right, whether it is justifiable, whether it is the best system, does not affect this fact: Socialism is not what is referred to in Acts 4:23-35. Giving away other people's money is not charity.

Bill D.,

I believe you and Jesus and the right-wing parties and the left-wing parties and I are all in agreement that people should pay taxes and that governments "MUST make decisions that certain parties are not willing to make for themselves." Only the anarchists disagree.

Some people, however, seem to think that voting for a tax increase is an act of charity. Voting for a tax increase may be good and wise (or otherwise), but it is not an act of charity. Giving away other people's money is not charity.

Kent


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Sep 10 - 01:21 AM

Master, should we pay taxes to Ceaser?

Whose head is on this coin?

Ceaser.

Render unto Ceaser, that which is Ceasar's, and unto God that which is God's.

No more, no less.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Sep 10 - 10:57 AM

Today Elizabeth Windsor said to Joseph Ratzinger that the car which had brought him from Edinburgh Airport to Holyrood Palace was "very small" - it was a Jaguar.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Sep 10 - 01:58 PM

...just walked home from a nice C. of E. Evensong.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Sep 10 - 08:06 PM

I suppose there is a natural tendency to demonize, that which we are not. If we're Conservative, we think Socialists are horrible. But the fact of the matter is that a good many Socialists choose Socialism because they truly believe it is the best thing for humankind - to provide for the needs of all.
And Capitalists think the same of their economic system, that it is the only way humankind can survive - to provide for the needs of those who earn what they need.

But most Socialists and most Capitalists seek to serve the needs of the community, not to impose tyranny upon people. Of course, there are a few megalomaniacal tyrants who seek to accumulate vast and oppressive powers; and it's also true that such persons are drawn to positions of authority. But on the whole, most people mean well. Of course, the worst tyrant is fear - if we fear our political opponents, there's not telling what we might do to them.

But for the most part, Socialists are well-meaning people - and so are Capitalists.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 12:46 AM

You are so right Joe. If you have an extended conversation with someone who is not in agreement with your view of HOW things should get done you usually find out that your goals are essentially the same. Diasagreements focus on ways and means and the ethics involved. Phrases like "The ends justify the means" challenge core beliefs. Same for "Jesus is the answer to everything". In the practical world these types of inflammatory statements serve no good. They may be useful as a motivator or winning the undecided but that's it. And that is also my way of agreeing with you concerning the difference between ideology and an ideologue.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 01:22 AM

Just to clarify: Jesus was not recommending a political system as to itself, but rather, to his disciples, who were embarking on a mission to 'spread the Gospel', and believing that this world's goods, were NOT the goal, but acknowledging the needs of others, and meeting their needs..being as the disciples were now on a 'mission'. He also said, not to take money, with them, not store up 'STUFF'....and actually, 'STUFF' and the quest for more 'STUFF', often just get's in the way!

Twisting those passages is just nonsense!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 02:30 AM

Ideology and religious belief aside, I think it makes good sense to share resources for the common good. To me, socialism has an element of generosity in it that capitalism lacks. And yes, when it involves taking things from unwilling givers, the ideal of socialism falls down. In Chapter 5 of Acts, Ananias and his wife Sapphira didn't go along with the program, and they didn't fare so well.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 06:00 AM

I agree with that Joe, but, as suggested above, also important to me is the idea of fair competition, which requires REGULATION (best done via nationalisation/socialism), rather than FREE-market capitalism, which produces very unfair inequality.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 06:15 AM

...by the way, I also think that the idea of no-inequality (doctors paid the same as process workers, e.g.), that may be heard from, e.g., some members of the Socialist Workers Party, in England, is also unfair.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 06:32 AM

Why?


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: s&r
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 06:40 AM

So one can tug one's forelock to the better paid instead of the Monarchy?
People with degrees and certificates must be worth more than the hoi polloi

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 03:17 PM

Hmmm. The idea of equal pay for all workers is not something one hears of here in the United States. I think that might bring back the lynch mobs. At first thought, it would seem that someone who put in extra years of education, should be paid significantly more than somebody doing less-skilled labor. BUT the highly-educated workers usually have jobs that are far more comfortable than manual labor, so maybe there IS a point in suggesting that all workers get equal pay. Don't know that I'm that generous, though. Would that mean we'd have to pay a living wage to somebody who works as a folk musician?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 03:45 PM

...and we want doctors, e.g., to go home to a few more creature comforts as, the next day, they have a more important job to do - helping heal a human is more vital than anything I've done on the shop-floor.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 05:47 PM

I figured we'd get to Ananias and Saphira eventually. Their great sin was in lying to God. They demonstrated their UNBELIEF by lying. Had they truly believed they would have known they would have been found out (compare with the story of Achan in Joshua 7 [7:19 being key]). They were in it for prestige of some sort. Paul (Luke?) recognizes the rights of ownership when he states that as long as it was theirs they could do as they pleased but once they claimed to have given all to God it was no longer under their control. Giving, not taking, is the action.

Orwell's Animal Farm is a nice little parable of how socialism and the collective is susceptible to abuses. Unbridled captialism is also a potential evil. Robber barons and monopolists have demonstrated the latter. In truth there is NO human system, ideology or endeavor that is not susceptible to selfish and malicious intent. It seems that the majority of the wealth of the nations goes to combating evil which is itself a most corrupt and greedy endeavor. Price any lawyers lately?. The other extreem alternative is the loss of freedom and independence to a totalitarian regime.

A limited socialism seems to work for some countries as does a limited captialism for others or a combination of both. Like most things, the truth is in the middle and marked by moderation.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 18 Sep 10 - 01:59 AM

NOW THAT was a stupid 'poem', void of understanding.....or substance. Where do you guys get this shit???.....Sheeesh!!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: ollaimh
Date: 18 Sep 10 - 10:04 PM

i think kent missed the point. socialism is about taking back what other took improperly in the first place. like the land emclosures or the idea enclosures of modern intellectual property laws


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