The churches little Dirty secret. God is a socialist ?

Dale A. Arnold

The churches little Dirty secret. God is a socialist ?
Sunday, September 06, 2015

WTF! Yes this is not something you grew up hearing. Especially in church. But I believe it to be  true. Some of the first clues are to be found in the old testament. Look  at some of the laws Moses handed down to the Israelites. The law of jubilee. A jubilee year is mentioned to occur every fiftieth year, in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.  Leviticus 25:8-13. This law had a profound affect on land ownership and management. Land was wealth! " The year of the Jubilee prevented the accumulation of wealth (land) and made sure that the wealth was periodically redistributed." BORN TO CREATE By Theresa Dedman. There were also laws that forbid the collection of interest. The law of Moses clearly did not have a love of interest "usury". "You must not lend him money at interest or sell him food at a profit "(Lev. 25:37).
."You shall not lend upon interest to your brother, interest on money, interest on victuals, interest on anything that is lent for interest"(Deut. 23:19)."If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest" (Exodus 22:25).
 

 God is not a fan of usury "interest". Yet look at us today. We have these outrageous interest rates. Most placed on people that can least afford it. Anything from the moderate 6.5% to the outrageous 29% or higher! And we allow "businesses" like pay day loans to exist to prey on these people. Don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting that all interest should be done away with. Far from it. Just the outrageously high ones. I realize how banks make their money. But it should  not be on the backs of struggling people.
I was always puzzled by Jesus words to one rich young man. The man asked Jesus what he can do to inherit eternal life. when he got the answer to sell all he had and give to the poor. He walked away sad. This is what Jesus said of him" How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” This only makes sense when you understand that God's kingdom would grind against the greed  of men. His kingdom will be one of equality! This is why Jesus said it will be hard for the rich to enter his kingdom. The accumulation of wealth will not be. Jesus didn't have a good view of wealth "riches". He is quoted as saying this about wealth." the deceitfulness of wealth" He considered it to be deceitful. Wealth can warp our  thinking. Now I am not saying wealth is bad. But what is bad is  how we can let it warp us.

   Adam Smith the man considered to be the "father" of capitalism. What he and many like him promoted was this thinking.

If we all seek our own self-interest, then we would see economic growth that would benefit us all. In other word, capitalism is founded on the greed of the individual. Does this sound like anything Jesus would endorse? Don't get me wrong I am not dumping on capitalism. What I have an issue with is the kind of capitalism that is unrestrained.  The Pope also blasted "trickle-down economics," saying the theory "expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power." Pope Francis.

The early Christian church in it's infancy behaved in a strange way. The men and women who personally knew Jesus and walked with him set up the early church in a way that would give us pause. This verse is very  telling. "All the believers  were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had." Act 4:32. Now stop and think about that. These are the people that talked and walked with Christ and this is how they ran their  community! Sounds a lot like socialism to me. What I have noticed is anytime any minister is "preaching on the book of acts they quickly shuttle past this verse. Afraid to open Pandora's box. Is socialism the answer? Is capitalism the answer? Both have their flaws. Socialism as we practice it now ignores the individual and focus to much on community and Capitalism ignores the community in favor of the individual. Where I think we should be is were I thing God would like us as a society to be. a kind of dual capitalist/socialist society. The symbol of yin and yang holds true. This is the balance of upholding one without letting go of the other!