Sunday, May 15, 2016

Atheist Thought Experiments Debunked #9


                                                       "Jesus was a socialist"


No matter how much evidence is presented to the contrary, the idea that Jesus was socialist just will not go away. Sadly, this comes from a poor or little understanding of the Gospels themselves and what they are teaching people.

The crux of this whole stand comes from a particular set of verses in Acts:

And all they that believed, were together, and had all things common. Their possessions and goods they sold, and divided them to all, according as every one had need. (Acts 2:44-45)

Let's point out a few key problems with the verse:

1. There is NO indication this is supposed to be a teaching that would stand for all time.

    While there have been people who did sell all they had and lived as either hermits or in a holy community (more on this later), this verse doesn't say, show or imply every Christian is supposed to do this. 
It's no different than when Paul tells people he would prefer they live as he does, but acknowledges not everyone can do that.

2. Right before they talk about holding things in common, they talk about the "breaking of the bread." 

     To a non-Catholic ear, that phrase makes no sense but it makes perfect sense if you believe in the Real Presence. Combine that with the distribution of goods and one could argue this is talking about an early form of the Catholic Mass, NOT socialism.
And really, when was the last time socialism has ever been paired with religion--besides as an effort to mislead people?

3. The goods went to the Church, NOT the State.

I find it odd that those who are the most gung-ho about separating the State from any Church influence are always the first to say we should take a principle better suited to Church and give it to the State.

There's a word for that; it's called statolatry, a combination of statism and idolatry. In short, socialists worship the state as if it was a god, and therefore want you to pay tribute to their false idol. Maybe they won't phrase it in those words, but that's what their polices boil down to.

(By the way, in case anyone thinks I made that word up, it actually dates to 1931 but gained traction when then Pope Pius XI used the word to denounce the Fascists for their "pagan worship of the state.")

Furthermore, shouldn't we find it odd they use that verse to show Jesus being a socialist--even though it's not a quote from Jesus--but ignore this exchange, even though it DOES have several quotes from Jesus?

Tell us therefore what dost thou think, is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites?Shew me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny. And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? They say to him: Caesar' s. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar' s; and to God, the things that are God' s.

There are two main teachings from these verses to consider, one obvious and the other less obvious. Obviously, Jesus is saying Caesar isn't God; this might not be important until one considers citizens of Rome were expected to pay tribute to Caesar as if he were a god. So, Jesus is objecting to this, and thus committing blasphemy--at least in the Roman's eyes. Today we would call this making a false idol out of the state.
Not so obvious is the implication of separating church and state...but before idiot atheists jump for joy at this, by this I mean there are two separate entities but the state is answerable to the church, not the other way around.

Sometimes one will even hear this line of reasoning (albeit phrased a little differently):

"But monks and nuns live in community, they share things in common and they make it work. Why can't we try that on a larger scale?"

We can't try it for the same reason we can't try particular family dynamics on a national scale:

Once you go past a certain number of people, it starts getting impersonal and stops working.

That's why only a certain number of monks and nuns live in one place, with other monasteries.

Finally, Revelation tells us we are children of Jesus if we follow His commandments...two of them make no sense if we assume we are to hold things in common across the board but they make perfect sense if we assume individual property rights.

This is yet another example of atheists trying to scam people into buying their nonsense. Why take the word of idiots like that?

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