Political Movements


#1

I’ve heard it said that initially the Church disapproved of the concepts of Democracy and Capitalism is this true if so why?


#2

because the proper form of governement (the type of church government that was practiced by the early church …see Acts 2) is communism. not the corrupt version we see in the world today but a system where everyone contributes and everyone’s needs are taken care of. that is the way the early church lived, it’s the way we would live if this wasn’t a fallen world. capitalism favors the already wealthy and makes it much more difficult on those who are less fortunate. yes, many have become sucessful from having nothing, but the majority of folks stay in the same position or move down. democracy would be great if we weren’t all sinful. when the majority rule (and everyone is sinful) we will tend to get worse and worse. ok, let the bashing begin…lol.


#3

[quote=bengal_fan]because the proper form of governement (the type of church government that was practiced by the early church …see Acts 2) is communism. not the corrupt version we see in the world today but a system where everyone contributes and everyone’s needs are taken care of. that is the way the early church lived, it’s the way we would live if this wasn’t a fallen world. capitalism favors the already wealthy and makes it much more difficult on those who are less fortunate. yes, many have become sucessful from having nothing, but the majority of folks stay in the same position or move down. democracy would be great if we weren’t all sinful. when the majority rule (and everyone is sinful) we will tend to get worse and worse. ok, let the bashing begin…lol.
[/quote]

Bengal Fan,

Actually, the Founding Fathers (of America, not of the Church) were scared to death of the will of the majority, and with good reason. The experience of Africa in recent decades shows that the will of the majority frequently includes the extermination of the minority.

  • Liberian

#4

Anyone seeking salvation through political movements is going about it the wrong way. I think people make the same error over and over again with respect to political systems, whether it’s Marxism in the form of Liberation Theology, or Democracy Capitalism. Focusing too much on the political system du jour as the foundation of society, without the underlying recognition or focus on God and specifically Jesus Christ as the source of life and peace is very misguided. Pope John Paul II was a major critic of communism in Poland, and then after the fall of communism he was just as harsh a critic of the form of materialistic capitalism that took hold there. Whereas in the dark days of communism, the people clung to the Church and the Faith to sustain them and to guide them, with the rise of capitalism, and greater political and economic freedom, people were living more comfortable lives, and not paying as much attention to the Faith.

Political systems are means for societies to function peacefully, but they are not ends in and of themselves. When political systems become ends (as can happen with capitalism and democracy as well as communism) then the whole thing is corrupt.


#5

Rememeber that the instance in acts is not one of requirement, but one of free will. People weren’t required to live in a communist type of sense. The two who were killed were killed for being selfish and lying and so forth, not simply because they did not sell everything. (I haven’t written this paragraph very well, but I have heard it explained very succinctly).

The commandment “thou shalt not steal,” implies that man is allowed to own property. So does Jesus’ statements such as in Matthew 19:18 where He tells us not to steal.


#6

[quote=Lazerlike42]…
The commandment “thou shalt not steal,” implies that man is allowed to own property. So does Jesus’ statements such as in Matthew 19:18 where He tells us not to steal.
[/quote]

no, it implied that man does and will own property, not that it was “allowed”. and Jesus’ statements seem to say that if you have property and some one else wants it…give it to them.


#7

I see that you are intending RCIA, which means you wish to join the Catholic Church. Being as such, you probably understand that the Catholic Church is given the charge of A)instructing people in the gospel that Jesus passed down orally through his Apostles, and B)interpreting the Bible. It is the teaching of the Church, based upon the Apostolic teachings, and based upon their interpretation of the Bible, that this verse does not mean we should actually give everything away so readily. We should do so if we can, and also be charitable, but this does not require or imply a communist give everything to everyone philosophy. Indeed, Paul tells us that we must support our families:

“1Ti 5:8 Now if anyone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially for his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

This is very strong language! If we don’t support our families, we are worse than unbeleivers! Whether you choose to read this literally or not, it is nevertheless about a strong a way Paul could use to tell us. How are we then to support our families when we are giving away all we have whenever somebody asks? (some people might avoid this problem by taking an elitest approach and making sure to avoid the needy at all costs! :stuck_out_tongue: )

In fact, even Protestants do not teach that we are to literally give away all we have.

This leads to the slightly different element of Matthew 5:42. Read woodenly this would suggest giving away things without discernment, but the two parts of the verse are actually in Hebrew parallelism and are two ways of saying the same thing. [Bivin and Blizzard, Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus, 11] “Ask” and “borrow” in Hebrew are synonyms in a certain sense: A difference is made in Hebrew between borrowing something tangible (a book or a coat) and borrowing something interchangeable (money, flour, etc). Jesus uses the two different senses in this verse: “Give to him that asketh thee (for a thing like a book or a coat), and from him that would borrow (flour or money) of thee turn not thou away.”

But now pair this with the teaching in 5:39 on revenge. The teachings belong together: One way to “get even” with a neighbor would be to refuse to extend them a loan. I.e., when Fred Flintstone is mad at Barney Rubble, one way he shows it is my refusing to let Barney borrow his bowling ball. In a corporate society such as the ancient world, such refusal to exchange or loan violated a common precept of survival and concern for the common good. It is only by ripping the verse from its larger didactic and social context that one can read from it a justification to go up to a Christian and “ask” for their radio, Bibles, etc. just to get them to “follow” this command - J.P. Holding, Protestant Apologist

For a more general answer on the topic of communism, see here


#8

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