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BS: On Acts 4:32-35

Kent Davis 18 Sep 10 - 11:51 PM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 10 - 01:18 AM
Kent Davis 19 Sep 10 - 02:06 AM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 10 - 02:19 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 19 Sep 10 - 02:35 AM
Kent Davis 19 Sep 10 - 03:42 AM
Slag 19 Sep 10 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Sugarfoot Jack sans cookie 19 Sep 10 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 19 Sep 10 - 02:43 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 19 Sep 10 - 04:55 PM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 10 - 05:44 PM
Slag 19 Sep 10 - 08:57 PM
Bobert 19 Sep 10 - 09:17 PM
Slag 19 Sep 10 - 10:21 PM
katlaughing 19 Sep 10 - 11:09 PM
Kent Davis 19 Sep 10 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 20 Sep 10 - 12:41 AM
Joe Offer 20 Sep 10 - 01:09 AM
Stu 20 Sep 10 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,Bob L 20 Sep 10 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 Sep 10 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 20 Sep 10 - 12:51 PM
Bobert 20 Sep 10 - 01:06 PM
Penny S. 20 Sep 10 - 01:58 PM
Jack the Sailor 20 Sep 10 - 02:30 PM
Joe Offer 20 Sep 10 - 05:39 PM
Slag 20 Sep 10 - 07:21 PM
mousethief 20 Sep 10 - 08:41 PM
Kent Davis 20 Sep 10 - 09:32 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 20 Sep 10 - 11:54 PM
Joe Offer 21 Sep 10 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 21 Sep 10 - 12:23 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 21 Sep 10 - 05:53 PM
Kent Davis 21 Sep 10 - 11:32 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 22 Sep 10 - 02:11 AM
Joe Offer 22 Sep 10 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Sep 10 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 22 Sep 10 - 12:07 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Sep 10 - 05:40 PM
Kent Davis 22 Sep 10 - 10:26 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 23 Sep 10 - 01:43 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 23 Sep 10 - 09:30 AM
Jack the Sailor 23 Sep 10 - 02:37 PM
Slag 23 Sep 10 - 03:19 PM
Kent Davis 23 Sep 10 - 09:27 PM
Joe Offer 24 Sep 10 - 01:38 AM
Slag 24 Sep 10 - 06:08 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 24 Sep 10 - 11:58 AM
Jack the Sailor 24 Sep 10 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 24 Sep 10 - 12:27 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Kent Davis
Date: 18 Sep 10 - 11:51 PM

Maybe I did miss the point. I thought WAV's point was that Acts 4:32-35 indicated that it is hypocritical for Christians to vote for a "right-wing" party. Maybe I misread the first post, in which he wrote "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..." Maybe I misread his last verse, "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."

Tell me, ollaimh, how do you read that?

My point is simple and, I would have thought, utterly uncontroversial: Acts 4:32-35 does not tell us which political parties deserve our votes. It does not deal with government policy. It does not deal with economic systems. It deals with private charity. Giving away other people's money is not charity.   Charity is giving away your own money.

There is nothing in Acts 4:32-35 about land enclosure. There is nothing about patents or copyrights or trademarks. Nothing about taking back Judean land seized by Rome. Nothing about returning to the ancient Israeli system of Jubilee years and inalienable inheritances. Nothing about politics. It's not there. The passage is about private charity. Read it for yourself:

"Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need."

In case there is any confusion about whether the individual Christians still retained legal ownership of the property which they were voluntarily sharing, consider the next two verses:

"Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet."

Consider also Peter's rebuke of Ananias (who sold property and gave away part of the proceeds, but who dishonestly claimed to be giving away ALL the proceeds). In Acts 5:4, Peter said, of the property, "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."   Notice that Peter explicitly says that Ananias had retained legal ownership of the property (until he sold it) and further says that, after he sold it, he still retained legal ownership of the proceeds. This is not a government program. This is private charity. In Ananias's case, it was private charity gone wrong, but it was still private charity.

These passages tell us a great private deal about charity.   They do not tell us whether or not we should vote for the political right.

Kent


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 01:18 AM

Well, Kent, you and I certainly read that passage differently. Seems to me that the early Christian community was well-nigh an ideal community, with everyone showing concern for the welfare of all - and sharing their resources. Yes, some owned property - but they sold it and gave the proceeds to the community.
Sounds like a commune or collective to me - and communes and collectives are the basic unit of socialist society.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Kent Davis
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 02:06 AM

Joe Offer,

Why do I think that you and I read Acts 4:32-35 differently?

Some of the early Christians owned property. Some sold their property and gave it all away. All shared voluntarily. Everyone showed concern for the welfare of all or, one might say, participated in private charity by giving away their own money. That's what I wrote. Unless I have suddenly developed a new form of dyslexia, that's also what you wrote.

How do you think I read it?

Do you think we read it differently because I didn't call the arrangement in Acts 4 a commune or a cooperative? I didn't call it a commune or a cooperative because, as I understand it, the terms "commune" and "cooperative" generally imply common ownership of the means of production and/or the land. The early Christians could have set up a commune by laying the deeds to their land at the Apostles' feet. They could have, but what they actually did, according to the passage, was they kept individual ownership of real estate until they individually chose to sell it, and then brought the money from the sale to the Apostles. We agree on that, don't we?

WAV's chosen title and first post, including his poem, imply that Acts 4 tells us how to vote. Surely we agree that it does not.

Kent


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 02:19 AM

Well, Kent, in the NRSV, Acts 4:32 says:

    Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.


You keep saying, "they kept individual ownership of real estate until they individually chose to sell it."

I think that means there's a big difference in our perspectives.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 02:35 AM

Bravo Kent!!! Well done.
When I posted earlier, that the disciples were on a 'mission' to spread the 'Gospel', some people do not realize, that ALL inclusive of that Gospel, is to obey the commandment of LOVE!...as this quote from Timothy I:

":3 As I urged you when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay on in Ephesus 3 to instruct 4 certain people not to spread false teachings, 5   1:4 nor to occupy themselves with myths and interminable genealogies. 6 Such things promote useless speculations rather than God's redemptive plan 7 that operates by faith. 1:5 But the aim of our instruction 8 is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 9   1:6 Some have strayed from these and turned away to empty discussion. 1:7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not understand what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently."

So, in light of that, wouldn't you agree, that the SHARING of property, and provisions, was to be governed, by the 'new found' LOVE, that was the commandment, and not by the order of a political persuasion??? That it was voluntary? Done by a motive of "Doing to others, as you would have done to you"?

Shouldn't that be the basis of our consciousness? Isn't that where our laws were originally intended to insure?..Equality for all??

But, alas, some don't see it that way...and want to use force and control, over the rights of others to live as they please,..then they lie, as to who they are!..and what they REALLY want! That is the form of our present political party(S). This is not what Jesus was talking about, nor should it be construed that Jesus was in any way recommending a worldly form of state government.

None the less.....Hats off to you KENT!!!!

Absolute Warmest Regards!!!

Guest from Sanity


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Kent Davis
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 03:42 AM

Joe, I could be wrong, but I believe you and I are in agreement that the early Christians kept LEGAL ownership of property UNTIL they sold it. We agree (I think) that, even before they sold property, "no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common". We agree (I think) that, from a LEGAL perspective, individuals remained the owners of property UNTIL the property was sold. Thus we read of "owners of lands or houses". If individuals had lost LEGAL ownership of property upon becoming members of the church, then it would make no sense to say "as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them". If the individuals had already lost LEGAL ownership, they would not have been "owners" and they would have had no "lands or houses" to sell. Right?

If no field belonged to Barnabas, then he could not have "sold a field that belonged to him". Right?

Furthermore, Peter specifically reminded Ananias of this fact when he asked Ananias about the property he had just sold, saying "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal?" We are in agreement, I believe, that while the property remained unsold, it remained Ananias's own, and even after it was sold, it remained at his disposal. Right?

I believe we are in agreement that the passage describes voluntary acts of charity, rather than a government program. We both believe (I think) that this passage, although it certainly ALLOWS Christians to vote for socialist political parties, does not MANDATE that they do so. Right?

Kent

P.S.

Thanks, Guest from Sanity. I appreciate your kind words.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 04:39 AM

Only Christians can be true socialists. Christians can only give one time because from then on evrything belongs to everybody. Makes you wonder why Christ would say, "A strong man armed keepeth his palace" (or "home" in some translations). Maybe Jesus should have looked up Paul and got some re-education.

One would have to agree that this was a unique time. When you examine the remainder of the Book of the Acts of the Apostoles you see that the early church was severely persecuted. Israel was in upheaval and political chaos. Jews were beginning to be despised by Romans and others of the Empire. Paul, at times had to take time out and work at his trade, that of a tent maker. He gathered donations from around the Mediterranean to help out those bretheran who apparently started off with no wants but ended up needing elyomasonary relief (alms). What happened to this wonderful system of shared communal living? And just because it was used by the apostles does that put a holy imprint upon it?

Were these early Christians right wingers or left wingers and how do you know? I submit they were neither but they WERE looking for the immiment return of Christ. Throughout history since that time we have had groups of people so sure that the Second Advent was at hand they have done what? They have sold everything gone out and stood on hilltops expecting to see Christ decending.

As far as the early Christians' modus and social organization, esepecially in this passage, it ought to be de-emphasized. This "poem" is a shining example of text-lifting and perverting scripture to fit one's ideological concern while completely missing the message.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Sugarfoot Jack sans cookie
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 07:19 AM

"Only Christians can be true socialists."

Utter, arrogant, codswallop. You might want to try to understand what socialism actually is before making fatuous statements like that. Socialism is a broad church (pun intended) and people from all creeds and walks of life choose to call themselves socialists; it's an inclusive school of thought and welcomes everyone as diversity of thought is one of it's strengths. As it's primarily an economic and political system it's irrelevant what a socialist's faith or lack thereof is.

One of my big gripes about today is anyone who thinks compassion should be the bedrock of our society is immediately classed as a 'left-winger'. It's as if altruism, caring and the wish to demonstrate some personal responsibility for the society we live in actually offends some people; invariably ones with more money then the rest of us. This idea that people who actually give a shit about those who are most vulnerable and at risk in society are some sort of malcontents jealous of those with material wealth is, I suspect, born of a innate sense of self-preservation and greed that makes such people very scared of what they perceive they will have to give up.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 02:43 PM

I haven't met one person, regardless of political persuasion,
Capitalist, Socialist, liberal, conservative, libertarian, or flying hippopotamus, upon receiving their paycheck, with increased tax taken out, and looking at what was left, for their wage, looking up and saying "Oh Goody, I'm helping the lazy, disenfranchised, needy, illegal immigrants, or single parents with a slug of kids! Damn, why didn't they take out more?!?" Love, indeed, is NOT the bedrock of socialism. A controlling ideology is.

The early Christians(too bad the organized church screwed that up, too) were giving out of a sense of love.
Ananias and his wife Sapphira, bought the 'big one', because, as the text reads, They lied to the 'Holy Spirit', in regards to what they held back.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 04:55 PM

Thanks for posting Acts 4:32-35 here, Kent; and, having read it again, I stand by the "socialist ideas" remark of my opening post.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 05:44 PM

Yeah, the whole Tea Party movement is based on the illusion that this is reality: "Oh Goody, I'm helping the lazy, disenfranchised, needy, illegal immigrants, or single parents with a slug of kids! Damn, why didn't they take out more?!?"

If you investigate further, you'll find that most of your tax money goes to support people who are wealthier than you are. A relatively small percentage of tax money goes to "social programs."

I certainly wouldn't say that only Christians can be true socialists but I would say that Acts 4 should make Christians open to socialism, since socialism embodies the same ideals expressed in Acts 4. I think that if a person is truly Christian, he/she should at the very least be very uncomfortable with capitalism and the possession of riches.

I think Jesus was serious when he said, "Go, sell all you have and give to the poor."

As for socialism taking wealth from unwilling victims, all I can say is, "That's the breaks." If the majority votes in a socialist form of government, then I guess that means we should have at least some level of redistribution of wealth.

And that brings up another thing: I think that the socialist ideal almost demands a democratic form of government. There have been authoritarian forms of socialism, but I think that an economic system based on shared resources should logically include shared decision-making.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 08:57 PM

Well, Sweetfoot Jack without your cookie, I see you are real swift on the uptake. That opening statement was what we like to call SARCASM. Ya see, I didn't REALLY mean that only Christians could be true socialists.

Joe, no one has mentioned the Tea Party until you! I believe that is on another thread! Also if you read the context of the "...go and sell..." story it was a specific direction given to a specific individual, a rich young ruler, who had a hang up about his wealth. That said character had a twisted way of thinking that he could please God while helping himself at the same time or rather that his only real duty to God was in keeping the Jewish laws while still amassing wealth unto himself. Christ gave that command to no other person in scripture. He ASKED the disciples to come and follow him.

Right on on your last statement Joe. It would surprize some here to learn that Marx had no love for socialism. He viewed it in about the same class as capitalism and just another step that society must endure on the invetible path to communism.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 09:17 PM

It's always hard to pick out that one part of the Bible that kinda says it all... Yeah, I know from Psalms that God is my rock... It it repeated enough but...

...I think my favorite passge is from the Book of Mathew where Jesus tells Methew that there is "nothing lost that one day won't be found nor secret kept that one day won't be common knowledge"... Can't quite put my finger on chapetr/verse but that's purdy much what Jesus said to Mathew and that is very comforting 'cause...

...it means that the bullshiters and liars and will be one day found out... When one thinks that one is on the right (correct) side of huymanity it is nice to know that the thugs will one day be pointed out... It's nice to think that one day the truth will be known...

I mean, if the American people knew during the mad-dash-to-Iraq what they know today Bush and Cheney wouldn't have been able to take the country into a senseless anti-human war... "nor secret kept that won't one day be common knowledge"...

If everyone lived knowing that their bukllshit would one day be known as just that then there would be alot less bullshit... I mean, people would have to play it straight up... Meaning, telling the truth...

In spite of people who are threatened by me I have allways lived in a ***truthfull*** manner where I don't have to cover old bullshit with new 'n improved bullshit... "[no] secret kept that won't one day be common knowledge"... Ain't a bad philosophy to live by... A supreme (and Godly) "personal responsibility" kinda thing...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 10:21 PM

You are right on Bobert. If you believe then you believe that ALL will be brought out. Luke 8:16-18. Elsewhere Jesus teaches that there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. However Psalms 103:11,12 tells us that as far as the east is from the west God will put away our transgressions and remember them against us no more. Jesus also tells us that our sins will be remembered against us no more.

The point in all this is that to those who come to Christ for forgiveness, they are forgiven all and for those who do not, their sin remains against them.

When we cry out for justice (and it is right that we do so) we also need to remember that there are two edges to that sword. It cuts both ways. We need to be sure of our facts in the case against those who oppress and we need to be sure about our own condition. For myself, I will call for justice for the next person to his relief but for myself, I know what I am. I ask only mercy and I forgive all those who owe me. Why? (Matt 6:14-15). And because I believe that Christ bore the punishment that was rightfully mine in his own body and paid the price I could NEVER pay. I cannot ask for justice for myself as that would also put that burden back on me. No thanks!

Also, I must consider that there are those on both side of a question who are in good conscience attemmpting to do what they believe to be the right thing. The questions they face are not easy and the ramifications are far-reaching. They seek guidence form above as well as from their peers and from those they represent. Let's be sure we are not buying into propaganda and that we are not calling for blood when all is not known to us.

I have good conscince about my political views and I know they are very different from many of you as I read your views. I cannot judge you but I can and do judge the merit of your ideas. Even so, your hearts may be truly in line with what you consider to be right (correct, that is!). So be it. That is what is great about the American system. We don't have to go killing each other just because we see things differently. We can try to convince others and then engage in fair and open elections, then live with the outcome. No rigme is forever in the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 11:09 PM

Personally, I follow what Woody said about God, the Bible, and Love.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Kent Davis
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 11:18 PM

It occurs to me that some of us seem to be starting from the assumption that, since it was good for people (i.e. the Christians of Acts 4) to do a thing voluntarily (i.e., have all things in common), then it is would also be good for a majority to impose a somewhat similar arrangement involuntarily.

Others don't share that assumption.

It is not enough to show that what the early Christians did was good. (All agree that giving away one's own money is good.) To reason from Acts 4 to state socialism, one would have to show two things:

1) that the voluntary economic arrangement of Acts 4 is good AND

2) that imposing such an arrangement upon the unwilling is also good.

Acts 4 does not address item 2. That is why one can never determine from Acts 4 which political party deserves one's vote.

Kent


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 12:41 AM

It would be safe to say, that Jesus was NOT talking about a political system, but rather a way of living that included LOVE being the beginning and end of your motives, and goal..not to mention that Love creates it own circumstances. Love is also the 'currency' of His 'kingdom'. Unless you are in that mindset, I think those outside, have little to opinion-ate about it....nor should they try to promote their favored ideology, claiming an endorsement from Jesus, on the matter.

You're talking about a earthly political systems, He was talking about spiritual laws to obey, which brings a different order of cause and effect.

Not the same thing.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 01:09 AM

I dunno. I would think the ultimate, ideal political system would be "a way of living that included LOVE being the beginning and end of your motives." Maybe it isn't a possibility in this life, but it's something to strive for. I think that if Christ's teaching means anything, it has to apply to this life first - not so much to the next life. I think that in the next life, we'll be living out the consequences of what we've chosen to do in this life.

I think that a concern for the common good is essential in all society. We cannot live together in peace if we have no concern for each other. The word "charity" implies something optional, done voluntarily out of good will. I think we have an obligation to show concern for each other and for our community.

It's interesting to see how some people start to dance around when they get forced into talking about Christ's attitudes about power and wealth. Jesus didn't have much good to say about either - but people still try to prove that their wealth and power are their God-given rights...

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Stu
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 04:24 AM

Slag - apologies, I missed your tone, as you say slow on the uptake, sorry.

Human beings are altruistic by nature in my opinion. There is a school of thought that believes this to be an evolutionary trait but I don't suppose it matters, but what does matter is that when the chips are down people really do care for each other. You only have to look at the army of carers in the UK that look after relatives at home, at their own expense, often without training and sometimes woeful help from the state. True heroes.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Bob L
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 04:41 AM

"Jesus didn't have much good to say about [power and wealth]"

OTOH, how many parables concern the actions of a (righteous) rich man/ruler? And what about Joseph of Arimathea?


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 10:18 AM

Matthew 19:24, Mark 10:25, Luke 18:25.

NB - This is not a reference to obscure / narrow passageways, rather a direct statement on the God / Mammon dilema which had afflicted wealthy Christians down the centuries.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 12:51 PM

Joe Offer: "Jesus didn't have much good to say about either - but people still try to prove that their wealth and power are their God-given rights..."

I think if you got a red letter 'New Testament', and read just the 'red letters'(actual quotes by Jesus), I think you may revise your thinking, on that.

However, you have said that you are Catholic, and Catholics, by in large, are not given to personal reading of the Bible, as much as they rely on the 'church's' interpretation, and Canon Law.

You might jump in and do some reading, of the 'red letters'. It's a lot heavier, than most folks initially think!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 01:06 PM

I have three Bibles and I love my "red letter" edition more than the other two, one of which is an old, old Phillips edition...

I agree with Joe 100% that taking care of the poor is an "obligation" that we are all charged with... That differs from the concept of "charity"... That is where the politics ("poli"cies) come into play... That is why I don't understand how so many folks on the right who profess to be Chriastain can be so against social progarms that help the poor among us??? There is a disconnect here...

(But, Boberdz... They just don't like the government doing that because it's "socialism"...)...

Hey, during my days as a "social"worker I had to fine food for my cliebnts on a regular basis... Some of the churches did have food closets or pantries that their congregation donated and that was all well and fine... Problem is that, given the needs, these food closets didn't scratch the surface...

So if the so-called Chrisyain Right wants to step to the plate and take care of the poor than I'm sure that if we find that they can handle the job then I'm sure the government would be more than happy to get outta that business...

Until then, we do have a collective obligation...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 01:58 PM

Going back to the render to Caesar passage, it is probably more complex than it looks. The group was in the Temple, where there should have been no money but Temple money (remember the money changers?) that is God's money. Bearing in mind the times, and the context - that people were trying to catch Jesus out, it is quite possible that He wanted people to think about what is due to God - and come to the conclusion that it is everything. As in "All things come from Thee, and of Thy own do we render Thee", which is obviously anachronistic. But with spies from the Antonia fortress about, He couldn't exactly say that, could He?

I know that it is argued that it is natural for humans to be altruistic, and that this could be accounted for by evolution. (But I'm just off to a dreaded meeting which may be attended by somwone who, with his partner, operates on opposite principles, acting as if others must provide him with what he wants. He is withholding his maintenance money until we do what he demands. The mills are grinding slowly, but will get him in the end - but in the meantime, I have to deal with him, and it is hard. Sorry about the bad pun, and the thread creep (and there's another one) but it's on my mind.) There are enough selfish people around to show that that has evolutionary advantage, too.

I am reminded of the slogan "the world has enough for everyone's need, but not for everyone's greed". The early church was trying to live by that, but has ended up with robes and marble halls, and shanty towns of believers.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 02:30 PM

>>Joe Offer: "Jesus didn't have much good to say about either - but people still try to prove that their wealth and power are their God-given rights..."

I think if you got a red letter 'New Testament', and read just the 'red letters'(actual quotes by Jesus), I think you may revise your thinking, on that.<<

Not me. I read the red words most often and truly agree with Joe. Furthermore I would say that the values required to accumulate and hold wealth and even the desire to enjoy wealth are not compatible with God's message.

I love the "Eye of the needle comparison. It speaks both to my sense of logic and to my imagination.

Is it impossible, no. But it is easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle. Theoretically with a fine enough blender, one could pass a camel through the eye of a needle. But once it came out the other side, it would not be recognizable as a camel. It think the same is true for the Kingdom of Heaven. I think that for the purposes of this example 99.99% of Western society, myself included are rich people.

Take Tim Tibow as a prime example. Considered by many to be a role model of Christian faith, he has signed a contract to work on the Lord's Day, supporting and enabling tens of thousands to work on the Lord's Day. He will probably do so for the next ten to twenty years and become very rich for doing so.

He is deliberately defying a Commandment and he certainly is not innocent of that fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 05:39 PM

Ah, Sanity, you may think I'm one of those Bible-illiterate Catholics, but I don't really think so. I have a BA Theology and 8 years of seminary treaining, and I've led a weekly Bible study since 1985, and I've translated a good deal of the New Testament from the Greek.
Yesterday's Gospel reading in the Catholic Lectionary was Luke 16:1-13, the passage about how one cannot serve both God and mammon, which is a very good example of the detachment from material goods that Jesus taught. I think the Common Lectionary reading was the same.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 07:21 PM

Penny S! Yes. The Jews had what was called the Temple Shekel and it was this standard that money changers changed other currency into. Judas Ischariot was paid in thiry pieces, that is thirty Temple Shekels. Understanding the difference does add some flavor and dimension to the story, doesn't it?

And yes, it would be heaven on earth if only... but that IS the problem, isn't it. A lot of your comments seem to forget that there is such a thing as evil in our world. Given human nature, it is much easier to pick out the evil in others than in ourselves and no matter how much we do NOT like to think of ourselves as evil, it exist. If evil doesn't exist in every man, then just what is Christ saving you from? Why did he have to die? Before Christ can be yours, you have to go through that humiliating little thing called repentence where you own your shortcomings and failures and outright crimes have to be admitted and turned from. That's the "being honest with yourself" you must have before you can be honest with God!

A fine example of this is following Peter's "Great Confession". I paraphrase: Jesus and company were walking along and Jesus stops short and turns to his followers and asks the question "Who is it that people are saying I am? Somebody say "Some say your are John the Baptist, come back from the dead!" Somebody else say" Some are saying you are Elijah the Prophet who is to preceed the coming of the Messiah!." Another says "They say you are the reincarnation of Jeremiah the Weeping Prophet" (as Jesus was known to weep openly and in public).

"OK" says Jesus, "Who do YOU say I am?" and Peter speaks right up and says "You ARE the Messiah, the Son of the Living God." Jesus goes on to pronounce Peter blessed because he (the flesh and blood Christ) did not tell him this but that the Holy Spirit from the Father in Heaven declared it to his heart. This is revealed Truth with a capital "T"! Rocky (Which is what Peter's name means) must have felt wall-to-wall and ten foot tall.

Jesus then tell the Disciples to keep it to themselves as time was not tripe for such revelations to be freely given out. He then began to tell them that he must first suffer many things at the hands of the powers that be and that he will soon be killed. Peter, probably still on a spiritual high from the praise he received says words to the effect "By the Living God, this must not be so!" BOOM! Christ says to Peter "Get thee behind me SATAN!"

Look, Peter's heart was in the right place but he didn't know everything. He did not know and was not made privy to God's plan for His Messiah. Peter was so righteous in his indignation against harm coming to his Messiah. And it is just so easy for ANYONE to fall into evil because of our limited natures and the limit to our own knowledge and understanding. Right up to the Garden of Gethsemane Peter didn't get it. That's why he drew the sword out and began whacking away.

Peter had to be devastated when Christ said that to him "Get thee behind me Satan!" What he missed is, even though we can receive spiritual enlightenment and be blessed by God Himself we remian pretty much spiritual dunces when left on our own. We see and read things and figure things out in this dimensional universe of ours and we can be down right clever about it too, but we are babes in the matters of the unseen worlds that be. God saves us. God protects us. God will let us "see" some things and not others. And without God's hand of mercy upon us Satan would own us. We are no match for him at all. I know these things to be true and I went through a taste of Hell to learn it and only by the grace of God did I survive that experience with my mind and soul in tact.

Elsewhere in the NT Paul explains that Christians do not wrestle agains flesh and blood but against spiritual powers and wickedness (literally "twistedness" in high places. As to the particulars of what this battle may appear like on this world, look around you. We see evil and wrong doing on ALL sides, not just the right and left. I believe the "right-left" thing is just a diversion to the honest seeker's heart, putting his attention on things that count little as far as their spiritual welfare is concerned. The things that must be and must come to pass will play out as scripted by the Almighty. My freewill is the freedom to choose or reject Christ, period. Once in Christ I have ultimate freedom, but then, that is another discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: mousethief
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:41 PM

Taxes are what we pay for living in a civil society.

According to a roughly Rousseauvian way of looking (which the founding fathers of the US&A were steeped in), a government is a contract between people to work together and cede some power to a government that in an anarchist world (move to Eritrea, anyone? didn't think so) would remain the prerogative of the individual.

As such, the government is the instrument of the nation-society acting as a whole. From a communitarian point of view, in addition to individual rights and responsibilities, the nation-society as a whole has rights and responsibilities, which devolve in a slightly changed form onto its members.

The capitalist system creates inequalities of wealth and opportunity in which the wealthy gain power over the non-wealthy which, if not corrected, result in damage to the nation-society as a whole. It is thus the job of the government, as the organ of action for the nation-state as a whole, to readjust the power/opportunity equation and prevent the rich from causing great harm to the non-rich through the exercise of the power that money affords. Or to put it blatantly, the only protection the non-rich have against Big Money is Big Government.

One way we ameliorate the damage of unequal distribution of wealth is through regulation of business and industry, in particular of the prevention of monopoly, which is bad for both the individual and business (all business except the holder of the monopoly). Without regulation there is no free market, because the tendency toward monopoly, which is endemic in capitalist systems/societies, leads to the ultimate non-free market (viz the monopoly).

The other way we ameliorate the damage to the nation-society caused by capitalism is through the social safety net. Since the accumulation of wealth by the wealthy through capitalist means, even when properly regulated, rides roughshod over the needs of the individual, the social safety net acts as a brake against total ruination of people who either through inability or bad luck cannot make a way in the labor marketplace. Yes, it is true that it can also be used by people who through laziness don't want to put in the effort to make a way in the labor marketplace. But the instances of this are far fewer than the shrill voices of the right make them out to be. That the right opposes not only welfare but also WPA-style jobs creation shows what the real issue is -- people not being willing to work is thus shown to be a smokescreen, the ultimate underlying issue being, "I want to participate in the nation-society enough to get rich, but not enough to where it costs me anything in the form of taxes."

And really the corporation is not a basic right. It is a charter granted by the nation-society which supposedly is for the betterment of the nation-society. When it is not acting for the betterment of the nation-society, the nation-society has the right (seldom exercises in the extremest sense/way), to take back the charter. I would dearly like to see more of this in certain instances, such as for entities that are "too big to fail" -- entities too big to fail are too big to exist. Let the nation-society's ability to charter or not charter corporations work for the betterment of the society as a whole, for spending shitloads of tax money to bail out large banks is not for the betterment of the society as a whole if there is another way. And there is.

Thus, since the entire monetary system is a way of ordering commerce (which is in any at the very least a necessary evil in a world where not everybody just eats their own produce and makes their own tools, etc., and is arguably, and I would argue for this, a positive good), and since the monetary system is a function of the nation-society itself and thus ought to be seen as serving the nation-society as a whole and not merely the super-rich, agreeing to take part in the commerce using the monetary system is tantamount to agreeing to take part in the government that makes it possible, which includes taxation. Taxation is a necessary part, from both a makes-it-possible and makes-it-moral point of view, of having a system in which it's possible for people to enrich themselves at all. Far from being "theft", as some demagogues of the right portray it, taxation is a vital part of what makes the system work in the first place. Without taxation there would be no government, and without government there would be no monetary system, and without a monetary system there would be no people getting rich by making (or mining) and selling things.

Thus I feel perfectly justified in telling taxophobes that if you don't like the way our system operates, go make your own, and let's see if you can make one that both has no taxes, and doesn't devolve into a serf- or slave-based economy. Buy an island with all your riches, and persuade people to live there and work in your factories, and so forth. No fair getting help from the outside world, which for the most part operates on principles that are direct outworkings of what you say you despise. A government (and all societies have a government, whatever nomenclature you wish to use) would be one governed not by representatives of the people, but by the rich, whose taxes would be taken out in blood and sweat. (I know I know that sounds Marxist but with only a little thought you can see that it isn't.) Although sadly our own country (US&A) is very rapidly devolving into an oligarchy, in which the elected officials are working not for the society as a whole, let alone the people who elected them, but for the large businesses that fund their election campaigns. And I fear the only thing that can change that, short of a massive outcry from the public resulting in great changes in how campaigns are conducted, is bloody revolution. May it not come while I'm alive.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Kent Davis
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 09:32 PM

Joe Offer,

You wrote "I would think the ultimate, ideal political system would be "a way of living that included LOVE being the beginning and end of your motives." Maybe it isn't a possibility in this life, but it's something to strive for". That is beautiful and I agree completely. I think every participant in this thread also agrees.

I hope you won't think this question is rude but, do you know anyone who thinks the IDEAL is something other than love?   

Kent

P.S.

Would you agree that a a moral obligation and a legal obligation are not necesssarily the same? Would you agree that Jesus teaches us our moral obligations but not necessarily our legal obligations? Or do you think that moral obligations should (provided that a majority agrees) be given the force of law?


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 11:54 PM

Ah, Joe, I didn't imply that you were 'Bible illiterate"...but being as you broached the subject of Bible literacy, Let's take a look at a verse in the most read book in the Bible, I Corinthians 13:3:If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing."

...and yet, there is no contradiction...unless it's in the applied interpretation!

Waving,

gfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 03:19 AM

Well, Sanity, as the Germans would say, "Na, und?" (Yes, and....?).

So, are you saying that as long as you have love in your heart, there's no need to be uncomfortable with power and wealth?

And Kent makes a similar point about love - and I don't know what he's getting at either, but I think his implication is that love is a wonderful but impossible ideal, so it can safely be avoided in real-life politics.

Seems to me that it's the usual song-and-dance that conservative Christians do, to rationalize their wealth and power and comfort in the face of poverty.

Jesus gave only one description of the Last Judgment, in Matthew 25, and it was a very graphic description. These are the criteria he says we'll be judged on:

  • feeding the hungry
  • giving drink to the thirsty
  • welcoming the stranger/alien
  • clothing the naked
  • caring for the sick
  • visiting the imprisoned

We Catholics call those the corporal works of mercy. Jesus gives the list four times in this short passage; so I get the impression he means it, that this is what we will be judged on. It doesn't say anything about having faith or the right creed or performing the proper rituals. It's very clear to me that these works of mercy are required of all humankind - it's the only way we can live together in a humane society.
To a good extent, socialism embodies these works of mercy and makes them a normal part of society. It seems to me that both Jesus and Socialism seek the same thing for humankind.

Oh, and next Sunday's gospel in the Common Lectionary (and the Catholic Lectionary) is Luke 16:19-31, the story of Dives and Lazarus. If you will recall, the rich man doesn't fare very well in this story.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 12:23 PM

Yes Joe, but those things are done on a personal basis, as from me to you...because of compassion to our fellow humans. Jesus was not instituting a political system, or ideology, to control other people. Perhaps, if you believe that's what Jesus was saying, then it would seem incumbent on you, that you should promote Jesus, and his 'message of socialism'...but many people, (and on here), gag at the thought of Jesus, because of what 'religion' has portrayed him....but then, use His message to promote their particular political bent. Sorta' rings of hypocritical, don't you think?

Yes, we should be of a compassionate mind and heart for our fellow man, and allow others to be free to choose what path to follow!....is that Democratic, or Republican???????..Liberal, or Conservative????....or personal, between you and God??????

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 05:53 PM

I've said, here, "If we like fair competition, we don't like capitalism"; tomorrow, apparently, at the Liberal Democrats Conference, Vince Cable is going to say: "capitalism kills competition."


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Kent Davis
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 11:32 PM

Dear Mudcatters,

Above it was said "Kent makes a similar point about love - and I don't know what he's getting at either, but I think his implication is that love is a wonderful but impossible ideal, so it can safely be avoided in real-life politics."

I implied nothing of the kind.

Seven times on this thread I have made one point, and yet various posters have responded as if I had said something else.

Here is my point: Acts 4:32-35 provides no information on how we should vote.

1. That is not a "contention…that socialism is necessarily godless".
2. That is not a claim that socialism is "taking things away just for the sake of taking
      things away".
3. That is not a denial that "Governments MUST make decisions that certain parties are
      not willing to make for themselves".
4. It is not an argument against paying taxes, nor an argument for lower taxes.
5. It is not a defense of capitalism.   
6. It is not an attack on regulation, nor a plea for less regulation.
7. It is not a denial that "the early Christian community was well-nigh an ideal
    community, with everyone showing concern for the welfare of all - and sharing their
    resources."
8. It is not a denial that "the ultimate, ideal political system would be a way of living
      that included LOVE being the beginning and end of your motives."
9. It is not a denial that Christ's teaching "has to apply to this life first".
10. It is not an implication that love "can safely be avoided in real-life politics".

It DOES imply that: Acts 4:32-35 provides no information on how we should vote.

The reason Acts 4:32-35 provides no information about how we should vote is that Acts 4 is not about the government. It is about the church. It is not about a government program. It is about voluntary charity. Charity is not giving away other people's money.

Giving away other people's money, be it good, bad, or indifferent; be it a crime or be it an obligation; be it necessary or expedient or democratic or wise or good or peachy-keen, is not charity. Acts 4 is about charity. It does not APPLY to politics.

I didn't say, and I don't think, that Acts 4 supports CONSERVATIVE politics. I didn't say, and don't think, that it opposes socialism. It doesn't apply to politics. It doesn't support OR oppose liberalism or conservatism or Maoism or anarchism or Stalinism or libertarianism or monarchism or feudalism. It isn't about politics. It isn't about government at all. It's about voluntary giving within the church.

Acts 4:32-35 provides no information on how we should vote.

Hoping that this is now clear, I remain,

Humbly Yours,

Kent


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 02:11 AM

Sounds pretty correct, to me. This was something that the disciples, and the church, at the time, did. It has no bearing on anything conjured up by the politicos...nor should it be construed as such.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 05:32 AM

Well, Kent, I disagree. If the U.S. had Social Democrats, I would be a Social Democrat - and I think that Acts 4 supports my belief that Social Democracy is the political system which supports a generous society that is closest to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

We can say that it's not nice to mix faith and politics, but it's simply not true. Both faith and politics express our most heartfelt values. My heartfelt belief is that individuals and the community must serve the needs of those in need. And if the community is to serve those in need, then the governmental system must also serve those in need. The wealthy can take care of themselves.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 05:52 AM

The wealthy can take care of themselves.

Which is why people are in need.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 12:07 PM

Joe Offer: "Both faith and politics express our most heartfelt values."

However, in our present reality, Faith is used to build up values and morals, because the human soul is valuable... Politics tries to talk you out of them!!...and 'it's all right, we're equally stupid, and immoral..VOTE FOR ME!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 05:40 PM

One could do worse than to study up a bit on the Shakers---whoe were a truly religious, wholly communistic society.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Kent Davis
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 10:26 PM

Acts 1:24-26. A treatise on electoral reform?

"And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place." And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles."

Well, does this passage mean that government officials should be selected by lot? If not, why not?

Is it because the passage is talking about the church, not the government?

Kent


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 01:43 AM

Correcto mundo, Kent.

Political minded people don't get it. The only time they bring up 'separation of church and state' is when in comes to shutting up us 'small people' who are trying to hold up morality!...or common sense!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 09:30 AM

If you take heart in any way from this, either by virtue of your interpretation or by hoping a hero of yours had similar views to yourself..

Good luck.

Just allow me to point out that trading within a community is still socialism, or at least allows for it. the difference is the divvying up of the profits to either enrich yourself (ultimate capitalism) or enrich the whole defined community (ultimate socialism.)

When Acts 4 etc was supposedly written, travel was far less, so the definition of community, greater good etc was a bit different to now. Indeed different to when Marx defined a nation as a socialist unit, or slightly further back when Adam Smith used a nation as a trading unit.

So, the conundrum of whether Jesus would back Karl or Adam seems to miss the point that neither was a defined concept,as the "unit" was so different.

Mind you, I remember as a kid hearing a bible story of Jesus kicking the crap out of traders in the temple? I think I got that right, or have I been eating cheese before bed time again?


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 02:37 PM

Socialism isn't about trading, profit is not the goal. The political "unit" during Jesus's day was the Roman empire.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 03:19 PM

Yes Kent, yes Ggfs, elsewhere in Acts (Ch 2) it says that they had all met in prayer in the Upper Room. They were of one mind and in one accord. Believe me, it wasn't a Union meeting. It wasn't a poltical meeting. By it's very definition, this is NOT what politcs is about. Nor was it for the establishment of a Utopia. It was a board meeting to fill a position and it was for guidance and direction. Peter gave the inspirational speech which was preceeded by a unique Holy Spirit demonstration (often immitated but never duplicated).

Acts 4:32-35 is excerpted out of this context. The disciples' goal was to "spread the gospel", that is to say the "Good News" of what Jesus Christ had done for sinful Mankind and IT SURE WASN'T TO SET UP A SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT! They encountered practical problems in doing so and they were attempting to take care of those problems that were preventing the accomplishment of their mission.

Church organization and government are addressed elsewhere in the scriptures, most notably in First and Second Timothy. This is, itself a most interesting and enlightening topic, the history and development of the primitive and early church(es), the rise of Catholocism, Church doctrine, classical heresies and etc. But honest folks, that is NOT what is going on in Acts 4:32-35. That passage has been TEXT LIFTED (a technical term) and co-opted by a socialist to lend color and credence to a human ideology that was completely unknown to people of Saint Peter's day. Indeed, if one were to have voiced such an idea or promoted such an idea at this time they would have immediately run afoul of the Roman Empire.

And to preclude the argument that that was exactly what happened to the early church, it wasn't. The early church was seen by the Romans as an offshoot of Judasim and an internal problem to Judasim. Judaism saw Jesus as a blasphemer and the early church as a problem that would draw Rome more into the affairs of Israel and therefore a threat to what remaind of stability and independence. After Paul's arrest (which was quite some years after the miracle of Pentecost), his arguments before the Tetrachy of Israel and the one that mattered most was the fact that he was a Roman Citizen, period. History denies what this little "poem" purports to be true.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Kent Davis
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 09:27 PM

Slag,

I just re-read all of your posts in succession. I appreciate your clarity, your insightful analysis, and your breadth of knowledge.

Kent


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 01:38 AM

Ah, you guys are sure doing the hokey-pokey here, dancing around trying to proved that Acts 4:32-35 says something other than it does.
It's clear the the early Christians lived by socialist principles, sharing their resources and taking care of the needs of all:
    32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. (NIV)

It certainly fits the dictionary definition of socialism.

You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out....That's what it's all about!

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Slag
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 06:08 AM

Joe O, I consider you a friend in the Lord, bear with me: a big difference between Catholic and Protestant theology comes down to the question of how we view grace and I suspect that our posts do have a little backwash over that basic difference. Briefly stated, many Protestants believe that there is no act or deed a human can do that will effect the salvation of one's soul. We see Christ as having paid the entire bill for all Mankind and the debt with Heaven is forever cancelled (John 3:17-21, John 5:24 and Rom 5:15-21, 8:1-28 among others). That only leaves the question of what you will do with the pardon which is offered to you in the person of Jesus Christ. It is completely personal and one-on-one with Christ himself. Do you surrender your living death and accept the new life in Christ or do you go your own way saying that you are good enough to impress God and gain His favor on your own. Are you saying "Savior? Your Son? We don' neeed no ----Savior!" to paraphrase an old movie.

The Roman Catholic Church has what Protestants see as "works" which garner or warrant merit with God. These are the sacraments which include baptism, confession, marriage and extreem unction among others. And Joe, yes, my bias is a mile wide here, I admit and I am sure I gave you the short end of the deal. I hope you will give a much better picture from your point of view. I welcome your comments.

But regardless of either point of view I think you must admit that the RCC is NOT endorsing any political system over another and especially not socialism. The temporal governments the RCC has historically been involved with are monarchies and indeed the Vatican heirarchy is setup to reflect the divine monarchy of God Himself, is it not? I think the very Church which you represent to us would tend to come down on my side of this argument rather than yours, but then, that is just my opinion. But that does tend to put it all back in the arena of Cristianity and not in the provence of human ideology.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 11:58 AM

Anyone who has been to the Vatican, will note the opulence, and wealth, of the place....gold, marble, finest woods and paintings, private security force, Mercedes-Benz limousines, finest fabrics, their own bank, top notch food, prepared by world class chefs........................................................................................................................................................................and Catholic beggars just outside the gates.

Surely, if the Pope is infallible, and that was Jesus had in mind, would he have overlooked that????

Instead, you have the poorest of people making donations, sometimes of their last amounts, just to light a votive candle, for a deceased loved one, in hopes they can get them out of 'Purgatory'.

Karl Marx said "If I had two men, Francis of Assisi, and (St.)Paul of Tarsus, he could have taken over Russia, and Western Europe, and never fire a shot"

In 1972, a film on Francis of Assisi, "Brother Sun, Sister Moon", by Franco Zeffirelli, Francis goes to the Vatican, to 'ask Pope Innocent III's advice. This scene, taken from Vatican archives, depicts that meeting. The scroll Francis begins to read, was a prepared statement, by his friend, Paulo, who was able to arrange the meeting, at great risk.

Music for the film was done by Donavan

The composer Leonard Bernstein had originally been approached to provide a score but the plans fell through.

The film is also known for the score composed by Riz Ortolani.

St. Francis of Assisi before the Pope


..and part two, to be fair.....

The film is worth seeing, in it's entirety.

In closing, I've heard it once said, "Religion is man's way of reaching God.....Jesus Christ, was God's way of reaching man"

Guest from Sanity


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 12:05 PM

I don't think that Acts 4:32-35 was telling people how to vote today. But it does put modern day "Christian" Tea Party followers who equate Socialism, Evil and Obama on shaky ground.


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Subject: RE: BS: On Acts 4:32-35
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 12:27 PM

No Jack, it puts us ALL to shame!

By the way, 100

GfS


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Mudcat time: 22 October 7:56 AM EDT

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