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Author Topic: Communism vs. Christianity  (Read 122836 times)

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Logismos

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #280 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 12:19:55 »
Obviously it is because they lied. But its remarkable that this particular instance of lying resulted in the death penalty for two believers. Only three people are mentioned as being killed directly by God in the entire New Testament. These two and Herod. So why the extraordinary measure in this case? Perhaps we can't know for sure but we can at least say that its possible that not only was it a lie (not unique) but it was also an offense against the commune of believers for not giving all of their stuff and thus threatening the fundamental communal basis of the early Christian Church in that location.

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #280 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 12:19:55 »

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #281 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 12:30:51 »
Government based communism puts a small group of overlords in charge of dividing out money. That small group in every situation where it's been tried ended up giving themselves incredible wealth and making the people wait in line for basics AND rationing certain things.

Trying to compare the system used by the early church, which was voluntary (Ananias and Saphira lying was their issue) to a government run communism is off base. The best government system is one where the people are free economically. If you, Logs, want to live in a commune and have your income split amongst the others, you are certainly free to do that in this country. But if the government forces you into communism I don't think you'll be pleased with the outcome. The government is NOT the church and will certainly not have its motives.

If the government forces communism, you can rest assured that the mission of the church will not receive a portion of government rations. A church-based commune is only possible under a government that would allow its people the freedom to actually do that with their income. A communist system doesn't allow economic freedom and therefore a church-based commune like in the New Testament would not even be possible.

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #281 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 12:30:51 »

Offline Jaime

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #282 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 12:34:35 »
Obviously it is because they lied. But its remarkable that this particular instance of lying resulted in the death penalty for two believers. Only three people are mentioned as being killed directly by God in the entire New Testament. These two and Herod. So why the extraordinary measure in this case? Perhaps we can't know for sure but we can at least say that its possible that not only was it a lie (not unique) but it was also an offense against the commune of believers for not giving all of their stuff and thus threatening the fundamental communal basis of the early Christian Church in that location.

Again their offense was not that they didn't give all, their offense was that they lied about it:

Act 5:1  But a man named Ananias--his wife, Sapphira, conniving in this with him--sold a piece of land,
Act 5:2  secretly kept part of the price for himself, and then brought the rest to the apostles and made an offering of it.
Act 5:3  Peter said, "Ananias, how did Satan get you to lie to the Holy Spirit and secretly keep back part of the price of the field?
Act 5:4  Before you sold it, it was all yours, and after you sold it, the money was yours to do with as you wished. So what got into you to pull a trick like this? You didn't lie to men but to God."
Act 5:5  Ananias, when he heard those words, fell down dead. That put the fear of God into everyone who heard of it.
Act 5:6  The younger men went right to work and wrapped him up, then carried him out and buried him.
Act 5:7  Not more than three hours later, his wife, knowing nothing of what had happened, came in.
Act 5:8  Peter said, "Tell me, were you given this price for your field?" "Yes," she said, "that price."
Act 5:9  Peter responded, "What's going on here that you connived to conspire against the Spirit of the Master? The men who buried your husband are at the door, and you're next."
Act 5:10  No sooner were the words out of his mouth than she also fell down, dead. When the young men returned they found her body. They carried her out and buried her beside her husband.


Note in verse 4, the money was THEIR's to do with as they pleased after they sold the land. No forced compulsion.

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #283 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 12:53:48 »
Jaime,

Mmm hmm.  There we have Peter in 5:4 endorsing the self-evident right to liberty which, of all economic systems, is only found in the free market.

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #283 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 12:53:48 »
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Logismos

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #284 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 13:04:03 »
admin:

Government based communism

Communism is a stateless and classless society where everyone is equal. There is no such thing as government-based communism. Its a contradiction in terms. What you seem opposed to is any type of extreme authoritarianism.

Jaime:

All that verse 4 is saying is that legally it was their property before the sale, it was their money after the sale. The point though is that they were presumably banding together and throwing their property into a common pot and these two claimed to do so and lied about it. They were not compelled to give their property by force, but they failed to do so and lied about it they were killed which is an extraordinary measure because there are no other instances of Christians being struck down by God in the Bible for lying or anything else.

Ultimately the early church in Acts portrays an example of people living in communal economic equality as a good thing and one pair of Christians who defied it were killed for various reasons.

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #284 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 13:04:03 »



Offline Jaime

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #285 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 13:10:04 »
They were killed for lying to the spirit of God, not to men.

It was an extreme lesson for the rest of the believers. A lesson in not lying to the spirit, not a lesson in giving all one had to the church.

Offline tennman

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #286 on: Mon Jan 18, 2010 - 17:42:44 »
So Log, what would you call Communist Cuba?

Second, is it wrong of me to think that if I work for 70 hours this week that I have the right to earn more than the person who does the same job for 30 hours?

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #287 on: Tue Jan 19, 2010 - 13:45:46 »
I thought the topic was Communism vs. Christianity, I didn't know it was FORCED Communism vs. Christianity.  I don't want FORCED anything.  Do you?  I say NO to FORCED COMMUNISM as much as I would say NO to FORCED CHRISTIANITY or FORCED CAPITALISM.

Sort of like those discussions about the verse that talks about women not USURPING authority.  Well, as much as I never use the word USURP in my daily rhetoric, and I bet no one else does either,...I did take time to look up the definition, which is "to take by force".  Well I don't want a MAN nor a WOMAN taking authority over me by force.  I can't think of a time that the word "FORCE" can be used to describe a Biblically accurate behavior exhibited by Jesus, the Christ. How much force can servants exhibit.  And Jesus said if you want to lead you must be a servant and then He tied on the towel and show His disciples exactly how to do it.

jq

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #288 on: Tue Jan 19, 2010 - 21:50:49 »
I thought the topic was Communism vs. Christianity, I didn't know it was FORCED Communism vs. Christianity.  I don't want FORCED anything.  Do you?  I say NO to FORCED COMMUNISM as much as I would say NO to FORCED CHRISTIANITY or FORCED CAPITALISM.

Sort of like those discussions about the verse that talks about women not USURPING authority.  Well, as much as I never use the word USURP in my daily rhetoric, and I bet no one else does either,...I did take time to look up the definition, which is "to take by force".  Well I don't want a MAN nor a WOMAN taking authority over me by force.  I can't think of a time that the word "FORCE" can be used to describe a Biblically accurate behavior exhibited by Jesus, the Christ. How much force can servants exhibit.  And Jesus said if you want to lead you must be a servant and then He tied on the towel and show His disciples exactly how to do it.

jq

Capitalism isn't something that is forced.  It is what happens when the government respects fundamental human rights.

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #289 on: Wed Jan 20, 2010 - 17:33:01 »
You are right, Nick, it's complete freedom and it's every man for himself, no one can hold me down but ME. Now, since we are comparing communism and Christianity,...if we compared that definition of capitalism to the teaching of Jesus, the Christ.......I don't think it will end up being so Biblically supported,....especially when Jesus said it won't bode well for us if we do not "take care of the least of these",.....because when we do it unto them, we do it unto HIM.

I am all for capitalism,....but its not God's way as some portray it to be.  Give to Cesar what is Cesar's and to God what is God's.

jq

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #290 on: Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 12:34:25 »
So, you're saying that respect for fundamental human rights is antithetical to the teachings of Christ? 

Offline johnnyQ

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #291 on: Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 12:38:35 »
What I am saying is what capitalism is and what Christianity is isn't always in sync.

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #292 on: Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 13:25:41 »
What teachings of Christianity are you suggesting teach that individual liberty should be opposed?

Offline johnnyQ

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #293 on: Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 13:30:46 »
Didn't say that, Nick.

Christianity is about taking care of the least of these,....Capitalism is not.  That's just one large glowing difference.  Can Christianity work inside a capitalist society sure,...it can work under any government.

jq

Offline Jaime

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #294 on: Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 14:44:11 »
Does taking care of the "least of these" mean only a governmental effort? I contend Christians flourish under capitalism and THEN take care of the Least of these individually. Communism or collectivism reduces incentive thus the least of these will have less. Johnny your assertion assumes that capitalistic Christians would by definition be greeedy. I don't buy that. Americans (yes Christian Americans) are the most generous folks on earth, all the while being capitalists.

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #295 on: Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 15:32:23 »
Didn't say that, Nick.

Christianity is about taking care of the least of these,....Capitalism is not.  That's just one large glowing difference.  Can Christianity work inside a capitalist society sure,...it can work under any government.

jq

I beg to differ.  Capitalism is a competition to see who can serve people the most efficiently.  Why is there a Wal-Mart and not a Montgomery Ward?  Simple.  The people of Wal-Mart did a better job of serving their felllow man.

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #296 on: Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 15:56:35 »
Sorry, Capitalism's all about money,....Christianity is not. Christianity is about LOVE of others, Capitalism is about love of self. Christianity is about faith, captialism is about profit. Truely helping your neighbor is not profitable.  Putting the best interest of others above your own doesn't put dollars on the bottom line.  At least not the kind of care Jesus showed.  It got Him killed. Paul says if we are living as Jesus we will be persecuted and we should rejoice in that.

jq

Offline Jaime

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #297 on: Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 16:09:56 »
Johnny, it is very much possible to be profitable and put the best interest of our fellow man forward. Successful comanies everywhere in this country do exactly that. Are there exceptions, of course. But Nick is right. Build a better mouse trap (something for the good of mankind) and the world will beat a path (commerce for profit) to your door. Individuals and corporations that make profit in turn give generously as has been the case with the Haitian earthquake. If there was not adequate profit, no one would be able to give and help those in need. We would all be in the same "needy boat".

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #298 on: Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 16:52:45 »
I profit well and daily.  You misunderstand. I am not speaking out against profits(or prophets, for that matter).  I am just saying that Capitalism is NOT synonymous with Christianity. That's all. There are many times the two vary incredibly.  Many make a huge mistake and try to run the church like a business in the typical American business model. Wrong!! You can't read the NT or look at the life of Jesus and see a business or capitalism.  Capitalism is good, but it is not, by a long shot, endorsed anywhere as the God ordained way. God never ordained a government. As I stated earlier there is a passage in the NT that speaks about a first century church, maybe in Corinth, that pooled their resources and gave to any as they had need.  NO it wasn't forced, but if you will look, "forced" is not in the title at the top of this thread.  We are not like God, and cannot speak for Him where He has not spoken in sanctioning one government as "Christian" and another as "non Christian". His thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. Even in a nation that doesn't recognize God,...Christianity thrived.

jq

Offline Jaime

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #299 on: Fri Jan 22, 2010 - 17:28:24 »
Forced communism IS what we are against. Sure if folks want to pool their resources and live communally, that is NOT communism, that is communalism. Communism is forced collectivism, nothing like the biblical example as you have pointed out, however the thread's topic is communism, not communalism.

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #300 on: Sat Jan 23, 2010 - 09:03:48 »
The only examples of communism you know are forced, therefore you are projecting your known examples into the definition of communism, which doesn't include the word "forced" nor anything synonymous.  This is the definition I found of communism:

a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

Offline Jaime

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #301 on: Sat Jan 23, 2010 - 12:06:03 »
If you will google communalism your definition fits perfectly.

Offline Bon Voyage

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #302 on: Sat Jan 23, 2010 - 12:07:32 »
The only examples of communism you know are forced, therefore you are projecting your known examples into the definition of communism, which doesn't include the word "forced" nor anything synonymous.  This is the definition I found of communism:

a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

Forced or not, communism suffers the same problem as capitalism or any other economic or governmental system.  People.
« Last Edit: Sat Jan 23, 2010 - 15:34:48 by Bocephus »

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #303 on: Sun Jan 24, 2010 - 20:12:12 »
The only examples of communism you know are forced, therefore you are projecting your known examples into the definition of communism, which doesn't include the word "forced" nor anything synonymous.  This is the definition I found of communism:

a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

Which can only be obtained by force as long as only one person in the state says he'll just continue to be the owner of his stuff.

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #304 on: Sun Jan 24, 2010 - 20:13:24 »
The only examples of communism you know are forced, therefore you are projecting your known examples into the definition of communism, which doesn't include the word "forced" nor anything synonymous.  This is the definition I found of communism:

a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

Forced or not, communism suffers the same problem as capitalism or any other economic or governmental system.  People.

In which system can you more readily tell someone to pound sand?

Offline johnnyQ

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #305 on: Mon Jan 25, 2010 - 15:36:21 »
In our society, you CAN tell them all day, every day to pound sand, but unless you have a good deal of money, our politicians ain't listening to you and they don't care what you say,...so you might consider whether you should say anything at all.

jq

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Re: RE: Communism and Christianity
« Reply #306 on: Wed Feb 24, 2010 - 13:47:08 »

If communism is so evil and such a harsh thing for Christians to allow why is the church growing in a communist country?


Communism IS an evil and harsh thing, and Christianity is flourishing in Communist China not because Communism is so tolerant or wonderful but because the Gospel is so powerful and succeeds in spite of an evil regime. Has nothing to do WITH Communism, but everything to do WITH the GOSPEL AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

 ::amen!::

No question about it...communist countries have historically been atheist as a rule.
China is tolerating Christianity because they can't find a way to stop it without revealing their frustration against Christians through more imprisonment and persecution and thereby destroy their carefully cultivated image of recent years.

Most communist countries and dictatorships worship the leader in place of God.
In the past in China that was Mao, just recently here in America a couple of government officials have went on record praising Mao as well...go figure ::headscratch::


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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #307 on: Thu Mar 11, 2010 - 19:40:14 »
First, China is socialist, not communist.  No country has ever successfully adopted a true communist government.

China allows private ownership of property and business.  It allows for free market enterprise among small businesses where people are free to choose between competing dealers for the best price on goods.  It allows companies to set their own wages for employees.  This is socialism, where the large decisions are made by government and handed down with no voting power by citizens.

Neither socialists nor communists dislike religion.  The dislike of religion comes from Lenninism.  As in USSR.  They believed that religion was a tool created by the upper classes to calm and subdue the working class, and therefore outlawed religion in order to help free the mind of the worker.  China has never outlawed religion.  Christianity, yes, but never religion.

Why did China outlaw Christianity?  For one, they believed it to be a western influence on society which was to be avoided in order to promote Chinese self worth.  Second, it was their belief that theirs was the correct religion.  Much the same as the Roman Catholics once believed that theirs was the only true religion and persecuted those who believed otherwise.

In all reality, communism has some really great ideas.  Fair, flat taxation policies; equal wages among workers; open access to knowledge and industry; the idea that anyone can be anything based only on his or her skills and not social class, race, religion, or upbringing.  These are all great things.  The problem with this form of government is it allows for no checks or balances against abuse by the ruling party other than violent overthrow by the workers.  To ensure violent overthrow isn't possible, the ruling class then denies the working class freedom of communication, access to information, access to weapons, and wages capable of sustaining an overthrow.

The saddest part is that I see these very things happening today in America and we are allowing it to happen.

I'll take socialized medicine any day as long as it is run by people who are subject to true oversight and held accountable, including using their own socialized medicine.  I would gladly live in a communist country so long as it was run by people who were subject to true oversight and held accountable.  I would not choose to live in any socialist regime the world has seen so far, and I am starting to rethink my choices about this one as it moves closer and closer to a democratic socialist regime where the working class is suppressed for the benefit of the ruling class. 

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Re: Communism vs. Christianity
« Reply #308 on: Tue Mar 30, 2010 - 22:39:04 »
I profit well and daily.  You misunderstand. I am not speaking out against profits(or prophets, for that matter).  I am just saying that Capitalism is NOT synonymous with Christianity. That's all. There are many times the two vary incredibly.  Many make a huge mistake and try to run the church like a business in the typical American business model. Wrong!! You can't read the NT or look at the life of Jesus and see a business or capitalism.  Capitalism is good, but it is not, by a long shot, endorsed anywhere as the God ordained way. God never ordained a government. As I stated earlier there is a passage in the NT that speaks about a first century church, maybe in Corinth, that pooled their resources and gave to any as they had need.  NO it wasn't forced, but if you will look, "forced" is not in the title at the top of this thread.  We are not like God, and cannot speak for Him where He has not spoken in sanctioning one government as "Christian" and another as "non Christian". His thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. Even in a nation that doesn't recognize God,...Christianity thrived.

jq

Actually, the Jewish system was a capitalist one. Other than giving 10 percent for God's work and leaving for the poor what they dropped on the ground during harvest, they could keep whatever they produced. They could invest, spend, save, etc. The rule was that if a man wouldn't work, he shouldn't eat. So they knew that if a man was able-bodied but refusing to work, they owed him nothing. If you study the Jewish people in the days of the Old Testament, they were a almost completely pure free market (a.k.a. capitalistic) system.

Johnny, I think you are speaking from a philosophical standpoint because you don't believe we'll really lose our free market system. If you believed it was in danger as many do, I think you'd be speaking strongly against socialism and communism.

 

     
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