Jesus was a communist

One day in creative writing class I was probably feeling a bit sour and ended up making some comment about the amount of time it will take our socialistic democracy to decay into communism. It may or may not.  Some might even say that our democracy is not socialistic or that our socialism is by no means democratic.  But I’m not sure kids spend enough time thinking forward–evaluating the current state of things and hypothesizing on future outcomes.  I know, we shouldn’t worry about the future because today brings enough trials, but I’m not worrying, I pondering.  It’s fun to think…regardless of what a high school student says.

Anyways, a student smiled and said something to the effect of “Communism is in the Bible so I don’t see what the big deal is.” I smiled. “Oh really? In what way?”  Regardless of whether I’m right, the student’s right, or if time is simply wasting away, at least there’s thought here folks…sort of.

So here’s the argument: Jesus taught to take care of the poor and needy.  The early church lived together, gave all their money to the greater good, thus sharing the wealth. I would describe this as communal, rather than communism, but what they hay, let’s keep thinking.

I don’t think Jesus was a communist, and I don’t think communism is Biblical.  There are people out there who see anything Christian as nazism or dictatorial, but I think that is a skewed opinion, partly because of the way Christians have behaved among other reasons.  But here’s my argument against the whole thing (Jimmy T, chime in here, you’re the expert):

  1. Jesus wasn’t an elitist.  In communism, an elite few rule the masses.  Sure there was Jesus and his disciples, and every once and a while they felt like they were more important, but Jesus was never happy about this.  He spent his time ripping on the religious elite, while talking with prostitutes, dining with tax collectors, and (gasp) taking water from a Samaritan.  As humans we are good at establishing classes and subgroups in which to place others, but Jesus always tried to break these down.  Even when I was strung up on the cross, he spoke with the criminals hanging next to him.  I’m not sure the KGB or the Chinese government have modeled this kind of open acceptance.
  2. We were created to choose.  Starting with Adam and Eve and traveling down through the human family tree, God has allowed people to choose.  Sure, there are consequences for choices, but there’s something to be said that we love something/someone more when we choose, not when we are forced into something. Now, many Chinese think they’re leaders are great because the public has access to Internet and cell phones.  But there is no choice on the Internet…well there is, but the government has chosen what you can’t access.  But God did the same thing in the Garden of Eden–He told Adam and Eve that he would kill them if they disobeyed. Well, technically, he said “You will die.”  The truth of the statement is that sin is death, or separation from God.  But God also had a plan in mind to save people from sin and death. Anyways, God didn’t sit there and monitor the two, send out spies, or wiretap the tree of knowledge.  Instead, he laid out the rules and consequences, and let the two play it out.  God is omniscient and knew what they had done, but he still gave them the opportunity to admit their wrong doing–which they then used to point the finger at someone else.  Anyways, God built us to  choose freely.  I wonder what Marx would have said about that?

To be continued…


6 thoughts on “Jesus was a communist

  1. Yeah, the big difference is choosing to share versus coerced sharing of the wealth.
    I took a great test one time that charted personal and political beliefs. It showed that I was politically conservative but socially extremely liberal. I am a rabid hippy liberal . . . in my personal life. But I don’t ever plan for force someone else to do the same through legislation.

  2. Hmmm, interesting post.

    One time when I read through Acts, I wrote a note in the margin that this was the only time in history that communal living has worked. Ever. Even they had trouble – the hellenized widows weren’t getting taken care of, circumcision arguments, etc. but they CHOSE to all sacrifice for the greater good and had help from God. Therein lies the key – they chose to sacrifice and had a lot of help. Humans are naturally selfish and petty – the beauty of a capitalist system is that it harnesses human weakness (greed) so that it benefits the greater good.

    Communism, at least in the Soviet model, is the ultimate expression of hypocrisy and delusion. Hypocrisy in that they claim to rule “v imye naroda” in the name of the masses…but in reality they rule for the benefit of the very few who happen to be at the top. Orwell’s Animal Farm and Harry Turtledove’s In the Presence of Mine Enemies are fantastic commentaries on the Soviet system in novel form. The delusion came from their promises of utopia based on human strengths – who did they think they were kidding? People are flawed, selfish and petty – rather than create a utopia, all they did was destroy the soul and moral centers of the societies upon which they inflicted their rule.

    I could go on for days (I did in my masters thesis!)…I am convinced that Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao are right up there with Mohammad and Hitler in Satan’s hall of fame for inflicting deception and misery upon the human race. Why I chose those names and in that order is probably a whole paper on its own, but I need to go change a poopy diaper – how’s that for a mental grinding of the gears!

    Can’t wait to get to CO for Christmas!!!

  3. Some would argue that capitalism drives the poor and unmotivated further into poverty. But I like the fact that anybody, with motivation and a good idea, can make a living doing what they want. We talked in my poetry class this last quarter about Russian poetry being void of depth because poets were “disciplined” for writing anything outside of physical descriptions or praises for Mother Russia. I started reading Marx’s Manifesto, and I’m astonished at how similar the language is to that our politicians are using.

  4. We’ll have to discuss over a beer and pipe when I get there, but I do have time tonight for one paraphrased “quote:”

    Winston Churchill is credited with saying something to the effect of “the inherent flaw of capitalism is its’ unequal distribution of prosperity, while the inherent flaw of communism is its’ equal distribution of misery…”

    His actual words are pithier I’m sure, but you get the point.


  5. I remember, after learning about Marx in AP European History, going home to my family and expounding the correctness of this theory. My parents, in their wisdom, decided to make that next week “Communism” week. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it was the worst week of my life.

    Communism, socialism looks good on paper but the problem is the people involved. Just like several other posters said – people are selfish, thus communism, communal living doesn’t work.

  6. I can just imagine what went on at your house. It’s a good lesson to live under certain circumstances. I’m reminded of the Cosby Show where Theo wanted to live a real life so his parents made him pay rent, buy food and furniture. The thought just makes me smile. My parents would have pulled the same trick.

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