Country Living Series

Saturday, March 7, 2009

They STILL don't get it...

In response to today's column, What Is a Socialist?, someone left a Digg comment as follows, actually quoting Scripture in support of socialism:

What is a Socialist?
Often a Christian who follows the scriptures:

You cannot serve God and wealth. Matthew 6:24
It is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need. 2 Corinthians 8:13,14
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Acts 2:44,45

Socialism which means love, cooperation and brotherhood in every department of human affairs, is the only outward expression of a Christian's faith. —George Lansbury


Maybe I'm just a dim bulb here, but my understanding is that these passages suggest a voluntary assistance to those in need, not a government thug pointing a gun at your head and demanding that we "sell [our] possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need."

There's a helluva difference between Christian acts of charity - one of the foundations of our faith - and government-mandated theft of your wealth to be distributed to those (and only those) the government deems worthy.

Thoughts?

2 comments:

  1. There’s a wide variety of thought on what ‘libertarian’ means. I have a libertarian Christian Yahoo group where we discuss the aspects of libertarianism as they relate to our walk with Christ. One of the issues we’ve discussed at length has to do with the principle of self ownership or individual sovereignty. From the libertarian Christian perspective, this principle infers individual sovereignty relative to other human beings while maintaining God’s sovereignty over all. The concept only means that no individual has rights greater or less than any other individual or group, that we are owned by God and not by any other human being or group of human beings. Many people employ this concept externally, the ‘Don’t tread on me’ attitude. However, as Christians, we must employ it internally instead and have an attitude of ‘ Won’t tread on you.’ When it comes to defining what a libertarian is, the definition I believes fits the best is that of L. Neil Smith, “A person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.” We cannot expect this corrupted world to live by Christ’s moral standard, (especially when all who claim to be Christian fail to do so.) Not initiating force is not all there is to being a Christian, but it’s a start. Part of our job as Christians is to be, (as best as humanly possible), a picture of Christ for the world to see. Being a Christian involves the personal ability to perform selfless positive actions - love, compassion, mercy, charity… - as well as the personal ability to avoid using selfish negative actions - theft, murder, slavery, deceit… The world will never see the positive side, if we employ or advocate the negative side. All of these are personal responsibilities which equate to personal sacrifice, our picture of God’s and Christ’s personal sacrifice. The picture is distorted when we employ unchristian means toward those ends. We are most guilty when we abdicate our personal responsibility to government. It is not Christian charity to give to one by advocating the theft of another. Giving is supposed to be a personal sacrifice, but one which is voluntarily and joyfully administered. By following God’s perfect plan, the joyful giver is blessed and the recipient is given much more than just a full belly. When we advocate using government force as the means to those ends we sever that connection. The giver, (now reduced to the status of victim), no longer feels compassion. The receiver, rather than seeing God’s compassion and mercy, now sees what he has gained as an entitlement and the giver as nothing but a selfish resource. His god is now the government. The deceiver is smart. He doesn’t mind full bellies and doesn’t even mind if he doesn’t get the credit, as long as it helps to keep the world from seeing the true source of grace.

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  2. Not that you need any help by my comment, Patrice, but would this person also read "if a man will not work, nor will he eat" 2 Thesselonians 3:10. As you said, there's a huge difference between personal charitable giving and being forced by the government to give. Not to mention, this government is forcing millions of Christians to pay (through taxes) for things unChristian like abortion. There are many passages in the Bible about helping the poor, but there is NOWHERE in the Bible which talks about the government doing it. Socialist liberal Christians just don't get it. God bless!

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