Joshua Fauver: Why I’m a Christian Socialist

Joshua Fauver, a frequent IPR contributor, is a Louisianan political activist who was formerly a member of the Constitution and Libertarian parties. He now describes himself as an unaffiliated democratic socialist. He recently started a blog called Bayou State Socialist

 

Posted on July 8, 2014 on the Bayou State Socialist blog:

WHY I’M A CHRISTIAN SOCIALIST

Most people will in all likelihood read the title of this piece and shudder. To most the words “Christian” and “Socialist” will seem wholly incompatible. Many are of the opinion that socialism is a word that means “Godless liberal”. In my own experience, however, what I have found is that the contrary is true. It is, in fact, my deeply held belief in God, in the teachings of the Bible, the teachings of the Gospels, and the sense of morality they have developed in me that have led me to embrace socialism. Allow me to explain.

 

The Bible has a lot to say about the poor. Specifically it has a lot to say about taking care of the poor. For example: “If there is any poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.” (Deuteronomy 15:7) But this isn’t a scripture you’ll often hear quoted by most Christians involved in politics. In fact, the only teachings of the Bible that seem to be brought up by Christians involved in politics today is marriage and abortion. When it comes to taking care of the poor Christian politicians take the capitalistic approach, it should be left to private charity and not government. (Only to turn around and preach about the previous mentioned issues of marriage and abortion, claiming this is a nation based on Christian principles and therefore it must be the role of government to act on these issues.)

The Christians of today seem to have forgotten all that the Bible says about the poor, and the commission we were given to take care of them. Let’s look at some of what the Bible has to say about this, shall we?

“There will always be poor in the land. Therefore I command you to be orphaned toward your brothers and toward the poor and the needy in your land. (Deuteronomy 15:11)

“Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns.” (Deuteronomy 24:14)

“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for his Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31)

“If a man shuts his ear to the cry of the poor, he to will cry out and not be answered.” (Proverbs 21:13)

“The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” (Proverbs 29:7)

“Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17)

“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:10)

Are we hearing this kind of talk from any of the Christian politicians in office today? I certainly am not. What we are hearing from Christian office holders today is “We can’t raise the minimum wage! We shouldn’t even have one.” We’re hearing, “Cut the unemployment benefits that help the poorest Americans make ends meet.” We’re hearing “Cut funding to WIC programs that help single mothers to take care of themselves and their children.” That’s what we are hearing from Christian politicians today. But there is something else they are saying too. “We must give tax breaks to the richest 1% in America.” “We must give subsidies to the billion dollar oil companies.” “We must bail out big banks and big businesses that hijacked and wrecked the American economy.” “We must spend $600 billion to fund our bloated military so we can wage war across the globe.” I find this wholly incompatible with what the Bible teaches us.

The participation of Christians in the upholding of the capitalist system in place in America runs counter to the belief system that they claim to have. I find capitalism, namely the way it approaches solving poverty, to run counter to the teachings of the Bible. Let’s take a look at something that Pope Francis just recently wrote, “Some people continue to defend trickle down economic theories which assume that growth, encouraged by a free-market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile the excluded are still waiting. “

The capitalist approach to solving poverty is, not just go address it only via private charity, to let the rich get richer in “hope” that the wealth will just trickle down. While the theory should be apparently laughable just on the face of it, the facts over time have shown this theory to be just plain wrong. But, again, I turn back to the Bible. Christians should have never embraced a system that addressed poverty this way. What does the Bible teach us?

“Now this was the sin of your sister in Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did help the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:49)

“The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice.” (Ezekiel 22:29)

“This is what the Lord says: “For three sin of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. They sell the righteous for silver, the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample of the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed….”(Amos 2:6-7)

The Bible is very clear on this matter. God is not pleased when the rich oppress the poor for their own gain. God is not pleased when the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The Bible teaches that this is wrong, that we are to help the poor. That we are to come to the defense of those who are oppressed. That we should be a voice to the voiceless. That we should be of help to the needy. In fact, we are even taught that doing so is what it is to know God. (Jeremiah 22:16) But it seems to me that the Christian politicians today are advocating for the exact opposite! They are advocating for the rich to get richer while the poor get poorer. Pope Francis had something to say about this quite recently as well, “We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.”

He really hit that one out of the park, didn’t he? After all, what are the arguments we are given by Christian politicians against things like renewing unemployment benefits, against expanding medicaid, against universal healthcare, etc. etc. “Why should I have to pay for someone else’s (insert necessary good or service here)” That seems to be what it always boil down to! (Though, again, I would like to point out, they don’t mind others being forced to pay for a corporation’s subsidy or for another oil company’s war in the middle east.)That is the very definition of an economy that lacks a truly human purpose. It’s a economy that is being ran by and for the super wealthy. An economy that ignores the needs of the vast majority, of the working class, and of the very poor. I believe that Jesus had something to say about this in the gospel of Saint Matthew:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?”

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Then He will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me,  I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”

They will also answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or in prison, and did not help you?”

He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for on of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

When I step back and look at the entirety of this, when I look at what it is the Bible teaches, what it is that Christ teaches, and then I look at what our capitalist economic situation is doing, how it treating the wealthy versus how it is treating the poor, I cannot escape this conclusion. I cannot escape the conclusion that a capitalistic economic system is contrary to the teachings of the Bible whereas a socialist one embodies them.

That is why I am proudly a Christian Socialist.

36 thoughts on “Joshua Fauver: Why I’m a Christian Socialist

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    Those are compelling scriptures, Joshua. I certainly don’t hear the “religious right” or evangelicals speaking of them. Is it possible the Bible talks more about kindness and helping otghers, than the few Scriptures re: homosexuality and abortion?

  2. Joshua Fauver

    I would say that it is beyond just possible, I believe that the scriptures talk much more about kindness, and loving one another than they do about homosexuality and abortion.

  3. Cody Quirk

    Josh, I would like to see you debate Riley Hood; it would make for an interesting article here.

  4. Dave Terry

    Joshua Fauver;> ” I cannot escape the conclusion that a capitalistic economic system is contrary to the teachings of the Bible whereas a socialist one embodies them.
    That is why I am proudly a Christian Socialist”<.

    Clearly a simple answer for/from a simple mind!

    Clearly NEITHER ascribe any value to the individual human being, in terms of self-esteem OR
    respect for the value of others.

    Further, both forms of this altruistic debasement view mankind as a helpless herd of retards, who
    cannot survive, much less prosper by their own means but must be rescued from their inherent incompetence a/o depravity

    Libertarianism is inherently antagonistic to both cults!

  5. Chris

    In order to claim Biblical support for socialism, a person has to ignore three prominent texts. The first is the Eighth Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15) Notice that there is no exception for government. The second is the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), especially verse 15, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?” And finally, II Thessalonians 3:10, “If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” And in his list of verses, I notice that none of them say, “Take from your neighbor in order to give to someone else.”

  6. Joshua Fauver

    First and foremost I would point to another prominent text from the Gospels, in Mark chapter 12 verse 17, “Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.” (This can be found in the gospel of Matthew as well, chapter 22 verses 20-22) So, in that regard it is not stealing. It would, in fact, be obeying the teachings of Jesus. Secondly, I’d point out that the goal of socialism is not to make it where everyone does not work. What we are after is a level playing field. What we are after is equality. I’d say that the scripture in Thessalonians is a charge against capitalism, a system where the few can be lazy, doing nothing, at the expense of the many who work hard for unfair wages. To Paulie, I’d say the Bible does not teach anarchy at all. Look to the writings of the apostle Paul, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation, or it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be in fear, for it does not bear the sword in vain. It is God’s servant to administer retribution on the wrongdoer. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience. For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants devoted to governing. Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.(Romans 13:1-7) So there’s that.

  7. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Libertarianism and socialism are both equally compatible with Christianity.

    * Christianity recognizes Caesar’s right to form either a more socialistic or free market system of government.

    * Christianity is a personal way of life, a search for salvation, which includes spreading the word to those who would listen. It is APOLITICAL. “My Kingdom is not of this Earth.”

    This means that Christians can vote for either libertarianism or socialism, and be good with God.

    * A Christian should endeavor to follow the entire Bible. It doesn’t matter which issues the Bible speaks more of. Scripture is a seamless garment.

  8. Dave Terry

    Joshua Fauver; ” “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.”

    This is nothing more then the origin of the rationale for the Church-State duopoly.
    They were amazed because they couldn’t believe that he was that naïve OR duplicitous!

    >”So, in that regard it is not stealing. It would, in fact, be obeying the teachings of Jesus.”“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.””I’d say that the scripture in Thessalonians is a charge against capitalism, a system where the few can be lazy, doing nothing, at the expense of the many who work hard for unfair wages.

    So Karl Marx was a Christian! WHO KNEW!

    Clearly you demonstrate a total lack of understanding of economics OR the fundamental terms used.

  9. Joshua Fauver

    Sir, we haven’t even for a moment debated economics. If what you want is a debate on economics rather than having a discussion on the religious roots of my political views then by all means sir, lets talk economics. (But I hardly see how my belief in scriptures have anything to do with “my lack of understanding of economics? Or are you just purposely being an ignorant, rude, degrading jackwagon?)

  10. paulie

    “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.

    Since nothing is rightfully Caesar’s, that is a clever way of saying give Caesar nothing whatseover, ie exactly what he is entitled to. See http://www.anti-state.com/redford/redford4.html for details, including why that is the only thing it can possibly mean and why it had to be phrased that way.

    To Paulie, I’d say the Bible does not teach anarchy at all.

    Read the article I linked. Every single point you raise is thoroughly addressed there. Including the specific verses you cite.

    It’s rather dense to argue against an article’s title with points which are addressed in that very article.

    Actually try reading http://www.anti-state.com/redford/redford4.html and then discuss its merits.

  11. paulie

    Libertarianism and socialism are both equally compatible with Christianity.

    Only if it is voluntary socialism, which can also be libertarian.

    * Christianity recognizes Caesar’s right to form either a more socialistic or free market system of government.

    Not true. See Redford (same link as above).

  12. Joshua Fauver

    While the article makes some interesting points, but int he gospel of John Jesus himself makes the same claim that those who have authority (particularly earthly governments) have been given said authority by God. Look at the text, “”Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” (John 19:10-11) And as far as authority and governments go I would point to the book of 1st Samuel chapter 8 and 9. The people of Israel ask God for a king, he warns them, through the prophet Samuel, that a king will tax them, and take their men in the army, etc etc etc, but the people still cry out for a king, so God sends Samuel to anoint Saul as King, (and God would instruct the prophet to later anoint David as king) so you see, it’s quite clear that our earthly authorities (yes governments) are given their authority from God. (If you are a Bible believing Christian that is.)

  13. paulie

    While the article makes some interesting points,

    You must be a very fast reader if you read the whole thing already. There’s a lot there. Might want to read it more slowly and thoroughly.

    “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.

    Exactly. In other words, a clever way of saying that Pilate actualy does not have the ultimate power; as proven by the resurrection. Pilate’s power to crucify is overome by a higher authority.

    The people of Israel ask God for a king, he warns them, through the prophet Samuel, that a king will tax them, and take their men in the army, etc etc etc, but the people still cry out for a king, so God sends Samuel to anoint Saul as King,

    Whereupon the people proceed to suffer and lament just as they were warned they would.

    BTW, how does Satan have power to tempt Jesus with control over all the governments of the earth? It would have to be a real offer to be tempting.

    And if Jesus and Paul are really telling people to obey earthly governments, why did they defy them themselves?

  14. Joshua Fauver

    I’m a very fast reader. (Reading is without a doubt my favorite hobby. I’ve read countless thousands of books.) But I think you’re missing the larger point, Jesus was clear that Pilate, a man in position in an earthly government, was given his power from on high. And while yes it is true that Pilate did not hold the ultimate authority, the authority he was given was given to him from God. Much like the kings in the old testament, God instructed a prophet to go and anoint the king. (See Saul and David.) The authority to rule and reign came from on high. To answer the question regarding Satan having the power to tempt Jesus with control over all governments of the earth, Satan is the prince of the air is he not? Isn’t that what the word says? (Ephesians 2:2) But, furthering the point that all of the earthly authority is placed by God and therefor to be honored look at the book of Proverbs (21:1) “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water, He turn it whenever he wishes.” Or in the book of Exodus (4:21). “And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” (God would harden the heart of Pharaoh more than once, 7:3, 7:13, 14, 7:22, 8:15, 8:19, 8:32, 9:7, 9:12, 9:34, 9:35, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, 14:8 Ex 9:16 Ex 10:1) But that wasn’t the only king whose heart was hardened by God. “But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.(Deuteronomy 2:30) There is plethora of scriptural support for the notion that eartlhy authority is apointed by God and should therefor be honored.

  15. paulie

    To answer the question regarding Satan having the power to tempt Jesus with control over all governments of the earth, Satan is the prince of the air is he not?

    If it was not a real offer there would be no temptation, and Jesus would be in a position to know whether the offer was real or not. That’s in the article, BTW.

  16. Joshua Fauver

    I think the point you’re trying to make is a valid one, that if Satan could offer Jesus the kingdoms of the world then they must be his to offer. How then could God have authority over them. Let me explain, Satan could have no power except what has been committed to him. Whatever power he had was his only because it had been “delivered” to him. The extent of his rule is clearly indicated when he is called “the prince of this world” On. 12:31), and “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). In 2 Corinthians 4:4 he is called “the god of this world.” John says that “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 Jn. 5:19), and Revelation 12:9 attributes this to the fact that “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, . . . deceiveth the whole world.” That Satan does not, however, have equal power with God is affirmed when of Christ it is said that “one stronger than he” had come to “assail and overcome him” (Lk. 11:22).

    I sincerely hope that helps you understand my point of view, where I’m coming from, how I’m approaching this.

  17. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Paulie: “And if Jesus and Paul are really telling people to obey earthly governments, why did they defy them themselves? “

    I’m not aware that Jesus or Paul ever did defy earthly governments.

    Jesus claimed to be God, a blasphemy under Judaism if untrue. He was nearly stoned for it on previous occasions, but got away. (John 10:30-39).

    The Jewish authorities eventually, organized a lynch mob to drag Jesus before Pilate (the earthly government), demanding he be executed. They needed a rationale under Roman law for Pilate to do it, so they charged that Jesus was defying Caesar. After considering the case, Pilate said he found no guilt in Jesus. But the lynch mob persisted, so Pilate relented in order to avoid a riot.

    Nor did Paul ever defy earthly authorities, though he was accused of such on several occasions, often imprisoned and beaten, and eventually executed.

    Neither Jesus or Paul ever disobeyed the law. Jesus even made a point of paying the temple tax.

  18. paulie

    RTAA

    From Redford’s article….you really should read it

    In fact, Paul would be an outright, boldfaced hypocrite were he to command anyone to do such a thing: for Paul himself did not submit to government, and if he had then he would not even have been alive to be able to write Romans 13. For Paul himself disobeyed government, and it is a good thing that he did as we would not even know of a Paul in the Bible had he not disobeyed government. As when Paul was still only known as Saul he escaped from the city of Damascus as he knew that the governor of that city, acting under the authority of Aretas the king, was coming with a garrison to arrest him in order that he be executed. This was right after Saul’s conversion to Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. The Jews in Damascus, hearing of Sauls conversion, plotted to kill him as a traitor to their cause in persecuting the Christians. Saul was let out of a window in the wall of Damascus under cover of night by some fellow disciples in Christ (see Acts 9:23-25). In none of Paul’s later writings does he divest himself, or disassociate himself, from these actions that he took in knowingly and purposely disobeying government: in fact, this very event is one of the things that he later cites in demonstration of his unwavering commitment to Christ (see 2 Cor. 12:22-33)!

    Indeed, ever since Paul’s conversion to Jesus Christ, he spent the rest of his entire life in rebellion against mortal governments, and would at last–just as with Jesus before him–be executed by government, in this case by having his head chopped off. Paul was continuously in and out of prisons throughout his entire ministry for preaching the gospel of Christ; he was lashed with stripes 39 times by the “authorities” for preaching Christ; he was beaten with rods by the “authorities” for preaching Christ; and none of these rebellions of his did he ever disavow: indeed he cited them all as evidence of his commitment to Jesus (again, see 2 Cor. 12:22-33)!

    But even more importantly, if Paul is saying in Romans 13 what many people have said he meant, i.e., that people should obey mortal, Earthly governments, then it is questionable whether Paul could even be a genuine Christian. For as was pointed out above, Jesus would not even have existed as we know of today had it not been for Joseph and Mary intentionally disobeying king Herod the Great and escaping from his reach when they knew that Herod desired to destroy baby Jesus (see Matt. 2:13,14). Thus, if indeed Paul meant in Romans 13 that we are to obey Earthly governments then this would mean that Paul would rather have Joseph and Mary obey king Herod the Great and turn baby Jesus over to be killed.

  19. paulie

    And:

    Jesus’s Very Life Began in an Act of Defiance to Government (And Would Later End in Defiance to Government)

    If it were not for Joseph and Mary’s intentional act of defying that which they knew to be king Herod the Great’s will and escaping with baby Jesus from out of Herod’s mid as fugitives to the land of Egypt then Jesus would have been mercilessly killed and needless to say His ministry and the fulfillment of Scripture would have never come about. Thus in the most fundamental of regards, there is a great antagonism from the very start between Jesus and government (to say the least): Jesus was born into the world as a criminal and would latter be killed as a criminal–a criminal as so regarded by the government, that is. And what was baby Jesus’s crime? From Matthew 2:1-6 we find the answer:

    Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ” (NKJV, as elsewhere unless noted otherwise.)

    So here we learn that Herod became troubled at the thought that there might be someone else that people would come to regard as their king other than Herod. Herod regarded Jesus as a threat to his power: was his fear unjustified? It is my judgement and this document’s central thesis that Herod was correct in his assessment of Jesus as being a threat to his power–although not just to Herod as an individual but to all that Herod represents, in a word: government; along with the unholy usurpation, deception and subjugation of people that it necessarily entails. For as I will show, Jesus’s Kingdom is to be the functional opposite of any Earth-bound kingdom which has ever existed. And for government, this is the ultimate crime of which Jesus was guilty, and which required His extermination.

    Here we read of this pivotal act of holy defiance to government, without which there would be no Christ as we know of:

    Matthew 2:13-15: Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

    As well, so enraged was Herod upon learning that the wise men had disobeyed his order to report back to him on the location of baby Jesus that he ordered the extermination of all the male children in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas from age two and younger, all in the hopes that baby Jesus would be among the slaughtered (Matt. 2:12,16-18). It was only after king Herod the Great had perished that Joseph brought his family out of the land of Egypt, and then only to Nazareth as Herod’s son Archelaus was then reigning over Judea (Matt. 2:19-23).

    How very considerate indeed Jesus was being when He advised His disciples in Mark 8:15:

    Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

    At the time Jesus offered the above advice He would have been referring to Herod Antipas. Jesus would later be mocked and ridiculed by Herod Antipas before finally being put to death as a common criminal by the Roman government (Luke 23:8-12). In handling the case of Jesus, Herod Antipas asked Jesus many questions, but Jesus refused to answer any of Herod’s questions (Luke 23:9). Thus, not only did Jesus’s very life begin in an act of holy defiance to government but it would also end in holy defiance to government. It was also Herod Antipas who beheaded John the Baptist (Matt. 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9).

    The story of Jesus’s life can in part be summed up as suffering through this unjust Satanic world system for having preached the Truth, with government being chief among the culprits of this Satanic world system. All one has to do is review the life story of Jesus to plainly see that government–far from being instituted by God–is and has been a demonic tool of Satan used to oppress the righteous. And I will demonstrate that Jesus and the early Church leaders–as recorded the Bible–knew this to be the case and preached the same. The instrument which Satan used in an attempt to snuff-out that Truth in an act of deicide was government–from the beginning of Jesus’s life to the very end, it was government which sought to exterminate this most dangerous threat of all to its power.

  20. Steven Wilson

    The main issue between religion and government is the source text used to justify action. You might get people to bridge the bible and the constitution, but they would need to forget why these two items were produced.

    The bible was top down management with implied punishment for misdeeds: self rule versus fate.

    The constitution was bottom up management: the individual versus the group.

    No religious person would allow their source text to be manipulated and rewritten the way the constitution has been treated. Just imagine forming a religion wherein the ten commandments could be voted on by parishioners; total chaos and constant fracturing. A constitution is built for chaos and liberty. A bible is for stability and obedience.

    A christian life must be lived. It is not theory.

    A patriotic life must be lived. It is not theory.

    If you combine socialism and religion you do it because you want to, not because it is natural.

  21. paulie

    No religious person would allow their source text to be manipulated and rewritten the way the constitution has been treated.

    Have you ever read much about the Council of Nicea or the various controversies arising from Biblical tranlation?

  22. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Christianity teaches that we must respect civil authority, except in extreme cases. The cases you cite, Paulie, about Paul and Mary and Joseph running for their lives, are extreme cases, where innocent lives are threatened.

    But this does not change that ordinarily, Christians are expected to respect civil authority.

    Some of the above posts seem to be trying to lump Jesus and Paul in with anarchists, with a complete repudiation of state authority. And Jesus and Paul were no anarchists.

    You can oppose state oppression, yet still see the state as legitimate authority. Most people, including minarchists, hold that view. (Though oddly enough, many minarchists will deny their support for the state, even as they denounce anarchists.)

  23. paulie

    RTAA

    From your comments it appears you still haven’t read the link.

    You really, really should read it.

    It makes an airtight case.

    If you can read it and explain how it doesn’t I’d love to see how.

  24. Dave Terry

    > paulie; July 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm
    “If you can read it and explain how it doesn’t I’d love to see how.”

    You forget that to religious cultist: “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary.
    For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.

  25. Steven Wilson

    To Paulie,

    Yes I am aware of Nicea. I was speaking in modern terms. I believe with the current religious fever spread throughout the country that if anyone tried to alter the bible right now it would be a catastrophe. I just don’t see it.

    I believe voters can “interpret” the bible in modern times and alter the bible through manipulating the constitution for their own specific ends. I have always had issues with interpretations and exercising them in real time. Trying to apply the bible through government control belittles everyone.

    I feel the author is being a bit naive.

  26. langa

    For those of you who believe political leaders receive their authority directly from God, am I correct to assume that includes Hitler? And so the Jews were blasphemous in resisting him?

  27. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    David Terry: >> You forget that to religious cultist: “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.<<

    That's true or ALL cultists — religious, political, UFO, atheist, whatever.

    Certainly, while some libertarians are rational, I've met my share of cultish libertarians. Marxists and Objectivists also have their share of cultists.

    The thing about atheists, they think that just being atheist makes them rational, so many don't bother to intellectually challenge themselves.

    As for myself, I've BEEN an atheist. For about a dozen years. Then Reason led me to Christianity.

    There's too much evidence for Christianity for me to present it all here. But this is a good, reason-based, introduction to Christianity: http://y-jesus.com/

  28. paulie

    For those of you who believe political leaders receive their authority directly from God, am I correct to assume that includes Hitler? And so the Jews were blasphemous in resisting him?

    One might also mention any number of other mass murdering tyrants throughout history. Many people would be “dying” to know the answer to that question. Not knowing the answer can be a real “torture” to all these folks.

    Trying to apply the bible through government control belittles everyone.

    Agreed!

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