Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Occupy the Bible: Why Jesus is not a ‘free-marketer’

It's suggestive that the same faux-conservatives who believe in free-markets (without having ever read any Milton Friedman) are often the same people who believe Jesus believed in free-markets (without, apparently, having ever read the Bible).

For these 'Christianists,' Jesus never threw the money-lenders out of the Temple. He catered lunch for them and asked for their advice on financial deregulation.

Occupy the Bible: Why Jesus is not a ‘free-marketer’ - Guest Voices - The Washington Post
You know #OccupyWallStreet is preoccupying the conservatives when Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council feels he has make the convoluted argument that “Jesus was a free marketer, not an Occupier.”

Except, of course, Jesus was an Occupier. Jesus occupied thebiggest bank in Jerusalem, calling it a “Den of Thieves.” He threw the money-changers out. “Then Jesus entered the Temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the Temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers...” (Matthew 21:12)


Kevin Scheunemann said...

Jesus threw the moneychangers out because it was a place of worship. The economic activity in the church was drawing worship from God. (violating the 3rd comandment)

Christ advocates "good stewardship" of your blessings. (Parable of the master's talents).

Is it good stewardship to waste your resources by giving more of your blessings to the wasteful federal government vs. investing and being productive with those blessings? I'd consider giving money to this Federal government, voluntarily, bad stewardship.

The free market is the best stewardship and allocation of resources there is. Socialism/progressivism, through government, is wasteful, destructive, and plain bad stewardship in countless instances.

Having a produce stand, freely selling to others, is good stewardship, but it is not appropriate to set up that produce stand in church, where Christ is being worshipped and glorified. The problem of drawing worship from the Lord was the main point of Matthew 21:12.

Like anything else, the free market can breed greed. As we with the $1.25 million mansion living welfare recipient in Seattle exposed this week, greed does permeate so-called "progressivism". One system, Capitalism, is voluntary, the other system, Socialism, is not.

Christ preached that preventing sinful greed is about sanctification, prayer, bible study, use of the means of grace, and meditation. This indicates society's need for a bigger distribution of Christianity, even inside many Christian churches. I do not see how a bigger distribution of athiest oriented, anti-family, progressivism does that. A wider distribution of socialism means a bigger distribution of greed, as we see in Greece, Spain, and other economic basket case European countries.

Leftist Lutheran said...

Well KS, your opinions are something you are entitled to, but here is another Bible reference for you: "Jesus turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.'"
Your meanderings are really just your own thoughts. You will be hard pressed to find direct anti-government references by Jesus or anywhere else in the Bible. On the contrary, Scripture teaches that governments are to be honored and respected, because they are established by God. You and Tony Perkins can have whatever opinions you want about governments and economic systems, but when you retroactively attribute them to Christ, you are espousing false teachings. Much of what is in your post could have been written by Ayn Rand, atheist of all atheists, and secular humanist of all secular humanists. It's interesting that when Jesus refers to Satan in the above quote, he is speaking to a believer and not to an atheist. The church has much more to fear from false teachers from within than from nonbelievers without.

Mpeterson said...

You have to remember that Kevin probably had a side deal cut to cater dessert for the money lenders.

Kevin Scheunemann said...

Leftist Lutheran,

Did I show disrespect for government in my comment? I don't disagree with your biblical view on government.

The point I was getting at, beyond paying what you are required to pay in taxes, is it "good stewardship" to send extra gifts, or even a charitable donation, into this federal government? (I don't think you want to answer that question.) I could find thousands of other charities where money woud be better spent, and practice much better biblical "stewardship".

Socialism/progressivism tends to promote an attitude of "its the government's responsibility" to care for and be charitable to the less fortunate. Thereby, breeding a social attitude, "it's not my resposibility, it's the government's job."

The free market tends to keep that "its the government's responsibility" attitude at bay and tends to encourage charity and giving on a personal level.

Which one promotes better stewardship and exercise of Christian faith?

Which attitude do you think Christ would embrace? A required duty with the force of government (progressivism)...or cheerful giving from the heart?

Christ encouraged "cheerful giving" from the heart, not "giving" out of obligation, force, or duty. I still do not see how progressivism encourages the "cheerful giving" that Christ encouraged.

I'd appreciate it if you could explain how big government encourages Christ centered "cheerful giving" .

Its too bad our resident UWWC professor does not want to debate the issues on this one.

Mpeterson said...

Seriously, you want to debate the question of whether our government should or shouldn't encourage Christ centered "cheerful giving"?

I thought you were an atheist Kevin. Or is this just a pose to make you look better with your local political faction?

I'd say that since our government is not a Christian government, there is no reason for it to make you feel good about contributing your fair share. You should feel good about contributing your fair share to the national needs simply because it's your responsibility as a citizen.

Don't want to accept your responsibility? Make enough money so that you can pay taxes at the 15% rate... that's how your heroes are doing it.

Kevin Scheunemann said...

There's that term again, "fair share"? What does that mean?

40% of my time, efforts, and talents? 60%? 75%? 90%? 100%?

You acknowledge we do not have a Christian government. How do I donate and "cheerfully" give to Christ and Christ-like causes if the secular, athiest, political machine takes it all?

Your post haas a real "get back to the coal mine", or a "you are just slave cog in the the progressive political machine plantation" feel to it. That is "cheerful"?

Hardly and advocate for "choice" that you make yourself out to be.

Leftist Lutheran said...

Kevin...It's not my blog so I don't want to get in a long back and forth about this. I could proably make many comments, but I will only make two additional observations.

First, you really have the whole thing about "duty", etc. entirely backwards. Jesus teaches that yes, indeed, you are to pay taxes because it is your duty and obligation to do so. How you "feel" about it is beside the point.

And secondly, there is a word for grumbling about government and taxes: Sin.

Kevin Scheunemann said...

L. Lutheran,

I'm admonishing of the bad stewardship of resources in Washington D.C. and Madison.

I "grumble" at those in the progressive political religion (which is not Christianity)that think more taxes should be levied to encourage even more bad stewardship. That advocacy is not part of our government until it passes.

It's a sin not to be a good steward of the blessings Christ has bestowed upon you.

Its our "duty" to make sure Madison and D.C. are better stewards of those resources.

Madison and DC is not a funding problem, it's a Stewardship problem.

I'm accepting of the law when it passes, but I am not accepting of those that want to continue bad stewardship of public resources.

In the same way, Christ commanded to admonish those living contrary to the requirements of the gospel. Bad stewardship is contrary to the gospel.