Christian Communism?


#1

I heard about a Christian form of communism, somewhere out there, Is this true? Are they really Christian or are they “Christian”? Does anyone know any good places to read/hear/see about this? Thanks and Good bless.


#2

One place to start regarding “communism” is a book by James Billington. “Fire in the Minds of Men”.

Might also want to look up Thomas Sowell. My recollection is that he wrote a book on Marxism.

Each culture has its own definitions and understanding of certain words. For example, my understanding is that the word “capitalism” has substantially different meanings in Europe and in the United States.

There are also a variety of academic discussions that can be entered into, for example, on the differences between Marxism, Leninism and Communism, along with Maoism and a variety of other variations.

The Communism that many of us are familiar with is often referred to as Atheistic Communism. And it is MILITANTLY atheistic. Meaning they hunt down Christians of all denominations and stripes and kill them. Church buildings are demolished.

There is an extremely interesting new book, just published. “Cold War Clashes - confronting Communism 1945 -1991” , Richard K. Kolb, editor. Published by VFW Publications, 406 West 34th Street, Suite 523, Kansas City, MO 64111 $18 including postage. It has extensive bibliographies - three pages worth. A few of the references include: “The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror and Repression” by Stephane Courtois et al. It’s available in both French and English (and probably in other languages). Several authors have written extensively on Communism including Robert Conquest and R.J. Rummel.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but the topic of communism is HUGE. It’s much much more than merely “being nice to share”.

It’s worth developing as part of your personal library.


#3

[quote=Montie Claunch]Christian Communism
[/quote]

… is an oxymoron.


#4

Liberation Theology…

yuck that was bitter and tasted bad when I said it


#5

Early Irish Monasticism.


#6

Hi Montie,

True commnism is Marxism, and Marxism believes in “dialectic materialism.” Communism and Christianity are incompatible.

This does not mean that Christians cannot form communities where everything is shared. See Acts,4,32:

All the believers were of one heart and one soul. No one claimed as his own whatever he possessed, but all things were held in common.

Today, we have religious communities, who practice true Christian “communism”. One for all and all for one.

Verbum


#7

[quote=Verbum]Hi Montie,

True commnism is Marxism, and Marxism believes in “dialectic materialism.” Communism and Christianity are incompatible.

This does not mean that Christians cannot form communities where everything is shared. See Acts,4,32:

Today, we have religious communities, who practice true Christian “communism”. One for all and all for one.

Verbum
[/quote]

This is true. Check out www.bruderhof.com - a beautiful Christian community.


#8

There is a kind of authentic Christian “communism”— religious community life such as is found in monasteries and the like.

As for communism as is usually understood, the answer is no. Read Pope Leo Xlll’s encyclical “Rerum Novarum” (sp?) wherein he writes about the dangers of communism (and socialism too, for that matter). The Catholic Church believes that people have a right to property and to free enterprise (CCC 2211) with the understanding, of course, that the common good be sought. Private property and free enterprise are not consistent with communism.


#9

Thomas More’s Utopia anyone? I don’t think its possible in the real world though, because I don’t think communism can be effective in the real nation whether its Christian or not.


#10

[quote=Sherlock]There is a kind of authentic Christian “communism”— religious community life such as is found in monasteries and the like. .
[/quote]

And note that this type of living is Entirely voluntary. Goods and property are given up freely by the members.

This is in contrast to Socialism\Communism where private goods are confiscated under either force or threat of imprisonment.

That is entirely contrary to the Gospel and Catholic teaching.


#11

[quote=Brendan]And note that this type of living is Entirely voluntary. Goods and property are given up freely by the members.

This is in contrast to Socialism\Communism where private goods are confiscated under either force or threat of imprisonment.

That is entirely contrary to the Gospel and Catholic teaching.
[/quote]

You nailed it :thumbsup:
Charity is not Charity when it is forced.


#12

Well I don’t know about Communism, but here in the UK the Church has always been allied with Socialism and Socialist issues and politics. It seems a natural alliance as the Church is so interested in issues of social justice and welfare.


#13

There are some referances in the bible to times when everyone shares what they have. Those who could provide distributed waht they could. This is a basic form of socialism, and you also see this in the early Anababtist churches.

Socialism isn’t a bad thing, it’s when it’s taken out of the context God desired that sin enters into the equation and sharing becomes forced.


#14

[quote=FightingFat]Well I don’t know about Communism, but here in the UK the Church has always been allied with Socialism and Socialist issues and politics. It seems a natural alliance as the Church is so interested in issues of social justice and welfare.
[/quote]

Socialism as is commonly practiced ends up destroying families by making fatherhood optional, as well as engendering a degrading dependency. Social justice and social welfare do NOT necessarily dictate the kind of Socialism that is rampant today. (Again, read Leo Xll’s Rerum Novarum.) To the extent the Church in the UK has been allied with any forms of socialism that destroy families, then she is guilty of leading people astray and betraying authentic Church teaching which regards the family as the basic unit of society. Also, the Church believes strongly in subsidiarity (look at CCC 1883), which socialism tends to destroy in favor of a huge government.


#15

Yeah, quick get a gun and shoot all the heretics!

:rolleyes:

I know what Catholicism is mate, do you??

So many are so happy condemning people and ideas, you think they’d never read the Gospel!


#16

From the Social Justice (III) Section of the CCC
2424 A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable. the disordered desire for money cannot but produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the many conflicts which disturb the social order.203
A system that “subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production” is contrary to human dignity.204 Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. "You cannot serve God and mammon."205
2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with “communism” or “socialism.” She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor.206 Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for "there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market."207 Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.

It is good to note that the Church also rejects laissez faire capitalism. Something a lot of Americans need to be reminded of. I am constantly amazed and dismayed at the number of Catholic (and other Christians) Americans who defend social Darwinism. Labor reform, environmental concerns, product safety, mandatory insurance, sick leave? You must be a liberal! Envi


#17

[quote=FightingFat]Yeah, quick get a gun and shoot all the heretics!

:rolleyes:

I know what Catholicism is mate, do you??

So many are so happy condemning people and ideas, you think they’d never read the Gospel!
[/quote]

I am simply stating the Church’s teaching, as put forth by both the Catechism and Rerum Novarum. You can roll your eyes all you want, but your sarcasm is directed at actual Church teaching—I’m just the messenger. Sure, you can re-form Catholicism to fit your political and economic views, but it then ceases to be Catholicism.


#18

[quote=Sherlock]I am simply stating the Church’s teaching, as put forth by both the Catechism and Rerum Novarum. You can roll your eyes all you want, but your sarcasm is directed at actual Church teaching—I’m just the messenger. Sure, you can re-form Catholicism to fit your political and economic views, but it then ceases to be Catholicism.
[/quote]

Right back at you Sherlock! What do you make of koda’s post there??


#19

[quote=Angainor]… is an oxymoron.
[/quote]

Sorry, but communism is an economic term. You can have both at the same time.

Defn:
A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.

Sounds a little bit like a union.


#20

[quote=mjdonnelly]Sorry, but communism is an economic term. You can have both at the same time.

.
[/quote]

Not when they are both contradictory. The term ‘Christian’ entails encompases both the social and economic spheres.

“Thou shalt not steal” is an economic commandment.

And placing the qualifier ‘Christian’ before an enconomic system that is directly opposed to Christian economics IS an oxymoron.


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