Apr 16th, 2003, 03:10 PM
". . .Jesus had to biff against the market itself yet cried out for social reform, it's fair to say that he was a socialist. . ."
Alright, I see alot of assumption, and no proof behind them. I'm willing to cite scripture on my end, you need to be just as ready if this conversation is going to have any relevence. Now, if Jesus wished any true social reform, how do you consider the foremost authority on scripture, Paul, saying the below in his letter to the Romans. Chapter and verse, its Romans 13:1-7 but I'm only going to post an excerpt.
'Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.'
"There is no ground to call him a communist, because that would over-extend his words."
My intent was not to set up a strawman, I think my above post shows I attacked the context of the scriptures used, not the impossibility of communism.
"So what Jesus did was say that taxes are due to Caesar because the Jewish people were in debt to him in regards to the works."
Alright, I see what you're saying, and admittedly it was not a perspective I'd considered previously - but I don't see any confliction between your view and mine. They kind of seem to coincide. Yeah Paul talks about paying taxes, and the OT speaks of the importance in repaying debts, but I don't think that was the exclusive point being made.
Consider Matthew 6:25-34. This is where Christ is speaking on the issue of getting caught up in work and aquiring possessions, He cites the birds and flowers which want for neither food nor clothes and He ends it saying, put first the Kingdom of God and your needs shall be met. Seek the spiritual, not the physical. Its the same theme as rendering to Ceaser. He's saying the money doesn't matter, pay your taxes, and worry only about your relationship with God. He's fairly consistant.
"And your reaction to the Widow's Mite is only partially correct because the NT speaks elsewhere of "not letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing" enough, so it would be overkill to make a whole story demonstrating it."
Right, well, even though I'm sure your judgement on the topic of repetition rivals God, forgive my dissention. Matthew 6:1-4 is the scripture line you're thinking of, and uh yeah, it pretty much backs up what I'm saying as far as I can see. Christ repeats the same themes in many of His sayings. In how many ways does He say put God first, and how many times? How many ways does He illustrate forgiveness is the virtue to embrace, and how many times?
"Obviously the widow gave just as publicly, though not so haughtily, as everyone else lest the observation would have passed unactualized."
The rich who offer are never described as haughty. Actually, if you read the text, Christ and his Disciples were observing those whom made donatives. Sure, the offering was public in as much as it was out in the open, but the rich were not donating for the profit of the Temple, they were donating so they could be seen donating, and therefore seen as pillars of the community and religious men. The widow gave out of her love for God. Now, hold tight, time for a little more repetition:
Romans 14:23 "Whatever is not of faith, is sin."
"How this equates to progressive taxing should be obvious."
An unstated case can not be discounted or contended. Afraid you'll still have to elaborate if you want comments from the peanut gallery.