"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Was Jesus a Socialist?

As a past candidate for office, I was invited to meetings by the group that calls itself ISAIAH. They preach the need to raise taxes for every imaginable sob story under the sun. When I attended my first ISAIAH meeting I was at first impressed. One after another a person would get up to speak on behalf of their cause. Each and every one of them a noble cause but as the meeting went along I realized that these people were missing the point of charity.

I recall that when I ran for state senate in 2006 many of us candidates were invited to their meeting at St Peter's Church in Mendota. Many candidates were asked to stand up and address the gathering of people. They were to tell us how they would address the issues brought up in the meeting. Everyone of them, from Peter Hutchinson to Obi Sium had little of substance to say. I was thankful that us state senate candidates were not asked to speak. I would not have pleased the crowd.

If given the chance to speak that night, the first thing I would have said was, "Would you please raise your hand if you have taken in a Hurricane Katrina victim. Would you raise your hand if you have given the single mother on your street a ride to work when her car broke down, or watched her child when she could not afford day care."

I would continue by saying, "I believe that it all begins with the man in the mirror. If we have a concern then get up and get to work rather than force others to finance your dreams thru higher taxes. This is not charity."

This last fall I was again invited to a meeting at River Center. After this meeting I now realize that ISAIAH is the religious left at its worst. Their "noble" causes have expanded to include such extreme positions as immigration reform, not real reform, but just let every one stay. Reparations to blacks. I have never owned a slave and I have never known a slave so I would just as soon keep my tax money. One white gentleman even spoke of feeling guilty for being white!

Having to sit through speech's by Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar and Margaret Anderson Kelliher wasn't to bad but what irked me was when Senator Hahn was cut short during his speech on limited government. As the day progressed it became apparent that it was standard operating procedure to cut off the conservatives. I almost got up and walked out.

So I bring all this up because of the following article I read this evening. In my opinion the author gets it right about charity. It is from an article on http://godsipod.com. This, and an interesting side note can be read here,

By Israel Anderson

A popular Christian author wrote recently about Yeshua being a Socialist. At one point in his book, he says he is often a labeled a Communist, and kinda laughs it off, but doesn't reject the label.

If you have read my story on my personal website, IsraelAnderson.com, you would know that I grew up in abject poverty. I lived on the streets for 2 and half years from 14 to 17. I know what it is like to be very needy. So I have a perspective the comfortable Church kids writing best sellers do not. I didn't choose to go sleep in slums with the homeless to open my eyes to another world, that was simply my life.

So it may surprise you, that I see Socialism as wrong and totally contrary to Yeshua's Kingdom. Those who claim Yeshua was a Socialist, fail to understand the voluntary nature of charity. What our Lord wants is free and liberal giving of our prosperity, our time, our love. Charity, not Socialism is what Yeshua advocates. When men are reliant upon a ruling authority, they become slaves to that authority. But Yeshua came to set us free. Freedom, liberty, these are ideas Yeshua espoused to His followers. And Yeshua talks all the time about a monetary system that is nothing other than a free market.

But Socialism frees no one, it destroys a person's spirit. It traps them in a system that is near-impossible to escape from. It destroys the courage and strength of the man who would otherwise be forced to rise out of their poverty, by seeking work and making something of himself. It was the free enterprise system that empowered me to change, not Socialism, in fact it was government hand-outs that kept me on the streets for so long. Change, does not come from politicians. If we have not even learnt much already, then God help us.

Socialism purports to support the poor, say that 3 times really fast, but does so at their expense, and the expense of those being forced through the threat of violence and further loss of their freedoms and property. Socialism takes the property of another person and redistributes it as "they" see fit. When this is done by individuals, we call this larceny, theft. When Government does it, we call it taxation, either through a direct tax or an inflation tax caused by the printing of money that is backed by nothing. But the size or the scale or the word we use does not change what it is, it is still theft. The result of Socialism is an irresponsible society crippled by a sense of entitlement. So it's ironic, that when we steal we're called a thief and sent to jail, but when a man in a suit and big smile steals, he's called a politician and sent to the seat of government.

As believers in Yeshua, let's give deep critical thought to this important issue as we consider the direction we may be heading as a people right now. It is a voluntary virtue to provide charity to another, stealing is never the answer. And when God said, thou shalt not steal, He meant it. If Charity is not voluntary, it is thievery, it is moral hypocrisy and as history well shows, it fails every time. The responsibility for my neighbor, is mine, not the governments. It's time for us, the Body of Yeshua, to take back the reigns of charity, and that means we need to see the world differently. We need to be people of action, care and concern for each other. If we don't, God will give us the government we deserve, and as history has well shown, Socialism will destroy us.

My Scriptures for today.

Matthew 25:34-36 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. for I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. 36 I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
Exodus 20:15 & 17 Thou shalt not steal. and Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors possessions.

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