21 March 2006

Jesus Is a Communist

So I was at a meeting last night and I threw down the glove. It was the meeting where we plan our church services. I mentioned that I got in trouble one time for telling a bunch of kids that "Jesus was the original communist." LightGirl happened to be present when I told the story and wanted to know what communism is. So I told her ... to each according to need, from each according to ability. Another friend gave a more complete explanation. But my BrickFriend wasn't having any of it. He fumed, "It doesn't work!" I said, "Well, it's never been tried." He sputtered, "Just go tell that to the Nazis." "Nazis?!" I said. "They were totalitarian. And so were the Russians. You can't say that Communism doesn't work, because real communism hasn't been tried on large government level. No large government has actually put into effect the writings of Karl Marx." and then he did agree with me on that.

But we never did get around to talking about whether or not Jesus was a communist. And I still say He is.


Blogger Schuyler said...

I feel obliged to say that if you think that's what I was saying about the Nazis, you missed the point.

Also, I do agree that, perhaps, the writings have never been put into practice. I do not agree that we should give them a chance.

3/21/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I have to disagree. I don't Jesus was a communist. He never advocated the redistribution of wealth on Earth. He never advocated that the people own the means of production. He was never about making the Earth a utopia. He wanted us to focus on God. Yes, I do believe that we are living in the Kingdom of God now, but Jesus never said that life on earth would be perfect or wonderful or that anyone would have a fair share of the pie just because they happen to exist. While Jesus does say that God will provide what we need, that doesn't always seem to translate into a comfortable or fair life. Frankly, I don't think we devised an economic / political system that describes what Jesus was. If you want to get into a Bible quoting war, I could find things that Jesus said to support that he was a Democrat (not the political party), a Communist, a Libertarian, a Fascist, and maybe even some other things I can't think of right now. But give me a concordance and a few political / economic tracts and I can support almost anything. So I don't think it's fair to pin him down to one system created by humans and therefore faulty even at its best.

3/21/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I do think Jesus was "communal" but I'm not sure that would transliterate into "communist" with every political implication. But I do think there are aspects of communism that you can clearly see demonstrated in the Gospel. I don't know if I would agree that Jesus' primary mission was to get us to focus on God, even though he did make some statements that encouraged it. I do think the gospels don't necessarily jive so well with our 'rugged individualism', but I'm not sure that the other extreme hits it on the head either. I do think he was proposing a way of living that was MORE utopian than what had been available before. I don't really approach the scriptures to 'prove' anything anymore (maybe to disprove a few things though). I do think that when I interpret the gospels (with the filters I have in life) it makes me more oriented toward others, and a bit more communal.

The early church certainly enacted some rather communal/communist? systems of living! That said I don't think I personally have the emotional energy/ fortitude to live communally with others. After the experiences I've had with well over a dozen and a half roommates (at one point I shared a house with 10 girls), families I've lived with, as well as living in communes some as a kid, I just don't have it in me to do. Yet I still seek a form of community. That's actually why I go to Mars Hill. For community. I don't really go for church because I'm not really at a place where I even want church in my life in the regular sense, but I want people and I want to talk about God with others and I want to experience life and have some form of community with others. Rambling here, but I'm trying to say that I definitely see community in Jesus' message and I haven't read Marx so I can't comment there (not standard curriculum in Bible college), but I do see some parallels between some communist ideals and Christianity.

3/21/2006 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger aBhantiarna Solas said...

So ... I was and am being admittedly provocative when I say that Jesus was the original communist. But ... in the early 21st century there is little else you can do with commands like "sell all that you have, and hold all things in common."

I don't believe that Jesus was advocating any form of government or particular political party. Which is one of the things I find so abhorrent about the fundamental institutional church. Jesus is/was NOT a Republican and wouldn't be if He were here today.

The basic tennet of communism is: "From each according to ability; to each according to need." If you view that through the lens of living in Christian community, I think there's a lot there worth thinking about.

And I have to wonder sometimes just where Karl Marx got some of his ideas from .....

3/22/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Usher said...

Hello Sonja,

I see that you run more than one site. I left a similar comment over at http://www.calacirian.org/?p=209.

Well, Jesus is a communist.

As I mentioned on your other site, the naysayers are plentiful. Those who believe, however, don't seem to be networked together even concerning this one point.

It's too bad that the false-Christians (especially the self-styled conservative Republicans) have given communism (real Christianity, not militant, atheistic Marxism) such a bad name that would-be Christians hardly ever get to hear the truth that even some atheists obviously realize in their half-truth manner.

It is important for people to be open, honest, and direct about the real message of Jesus Christ. Those of us who believe in being that way need to network. That's why I've left this comment.

Let me know what you think. Visit my blog. Your visitors are welcome also. Please feel free to leave your comment(s).

May God bless,

Tom Usher

7/11/2008 03:33:00 AM  

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