[Marxism] FW: Discussing Communism and 'religion'

Lil Joe joe_radical at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 14 13:44:50 MST 2005

>  -----Original Message-----
> From: 	Lil Joe [mailto:joe_radical at earthlink.net] 
> Sent:	Monday, March 14, 2005 12:31 PM
> To:	NaijaPolitics; Africa-Politics
> Adaoma, 
> Thanks for your contribution. It must be evident to these lists, by now
> that Kayode is as personally politically motivated by his lies about what
> he calls 'communism' and his subsequent 'defense of Christianity from
> godless communists', as Bush was saying Jesus was his 'favorite
> philosopher'[sic!]and that 'God 'told him' to invade Iraq' (sick!). 
> Kayote has announced that he is 'right wing to the core', claims to be a
> 'businessman' who 'wants to become a 'capitalist billionaire'. He does not
> say what his business is, perhaps a dry cleaners or owner of a shoe shine
> parlor! I doubt that he is an owner of industry, mines, or a financial
> institution at the national, let alone the transnational level where
> 'billionaires' operate. Whatever. What is obvious from this is that if he
> is a 'capitalist businessman' it is of the Kingfish capitalist (of the
> sitcoms 'Amos N' Andy, and 'The Jeffersons' variety) who like those clown
> characters are 'businessmen' who think they are in 'the big league' (as
> far a Negro businesses go!) and thus a supporter of capitalism and as such
> an anti-communist. 
> The capitalist's greatest fear is the working class expropriating the
> productive forces from their class, thus ending their 'freedom' to invest
> and exploit anywhere they choose. They fear the working class and
> communism, thus communists in the working class who argue the workers
> right to expropriate the productive forces from the possession of the
> capitalist class because it is the working class whose socialized labor
> produces these means of production and advanced technologies that enable
> the capitalists to exploit them by private ownership. 
> Capitalism cannot exist without a global proletariat, propertyless men and
> women who owning no means of production of their own are forced by
> circumstances to sell their labor power to the capitalist class in order
> to live. The socialists and communists in the trade unions and in the
> labor parties argue that this condition can end, precisely because these
> gigantic industries and advanced technology has organized labor and
> educated workers giving them the objective basis to end both commodity
> production and wage labor by transferring these productive forces and
> technologies from the private possessions of the capitalist class to the
> public property of the global working classes and toiling masses. 
> Thus, the capitalists hire propagandists and politicians to circulate the
> kinds of lies against communists as posted by Kayote, about 'communists'
> wanting to 'kill' and 'persecute' Christians. He does not say, or explain
> why -- that is, what workers communal ownership of the productive forces,
> abolishing wage labor and capital commodity production has to do with
> whether of not Jehovah is God, and/or Jesus the son of God. Certainly
> religious organizations are, or can be political. Kayote's own Anglican
> Church was political, participating in the English Revolution of 1640, for
> instance:
> "The adherents of the Episcopal or Anglican, semi-Catholic Church were the
> party of the court, the nobility and of course the higher clergy. The
> Presbyterians were the party of the bourgeoisie, the party of wealth and
> enlightenment. The Independents, and the Puritans especially, were the
> party of the petty bourgeoisie, the plebeians. Wrapped up in
> ecclesiastical controversies, in the form of a struggle over the religious
> structure of the church, there took place a social self-determination of
> classes and their re-grouping along new, bourgeois lines. Politically
> the.Presbyterian party stood for a limited monarchy; the Independents, who
> then were called root and branch men or in the language of our day,
> radicals, stood for a republic. The half-way position of the Presbyterians
> fully, corresponded to the contradictory interests of the bourgeoisie --
> between the nobility and the plebeians. The Independents' party which
> dared to carry its ideas and slogans through to their conclusion naturally
> displaced the Presbyterians among the awakening petty-bourgeois masses in
> the towns and the countryside that formed the main force of the
> revolution. Events unfolded empirically."
> http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/britain/ch06.htm
> Going back at least as far as the Hebrew slaves and/or serfs rebellion
> against Egyptian slavery was presented by its leaders as a religious
> revolt; similarly the Macabees war of liberation from Greek colonialism in
> Palestine and the Essens and Zealots resistance to Roman Imperial
> domination of Palestine. Similarly, the Sudanese Resistance to English
> colonialism in the 19th century the Muslim religion of Islam, the Mahdi
> Movement, was actuated along religious principles. In the Indian
> Independence movement the bourgeois factions, peasants and proletariat
> were in a popular from in the forms of alliances between Hindu and Muslim
> against the Anglican imperialists. It is the task of Marxian materialist
> analysis to investigate and explicate the economic issues and interests
> behind these political conflicts taking the forms of seemingly religious
> wars.
> The American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, the broad masses
> in the train of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, attacked racial
> discrimination and segregation in a religiously conscious political
> movement. It was a Popular Front in the form of religious coalitions;
> Churches representing the Black bourgeoisie in coalitions with Churches
> representing the Black proletariat, and Martin Luther King Jr, as
> representative of the Southern Black proletariat, and eventually all the
> poor, while not a "Marxian materialist" was from the beginning a
> communistic critic of capitalist exploitation as the basis of racial
> oppression of Blacks, and the poor. The political representative of the
> militant Northern urban Black proletariat was Malcolm X, who though a
> Muslim articulated the strongest denunciation of capitalist exploitation
> of wage labor by, among other things paraphrasing Marx that capitalists
> were vampire-like 'blood suckers'. 
> Malcolm X:
> It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system
> of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an
> eagle, but now it's more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go
> and suck anybody's blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has
> become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of
> the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism
> has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It's
> only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.
> Malcolm X, "Young Socialist Interview", in By any means, pp. 165-66
> http://www.unix-ag.uni-kl.de/~moritz/xquotes.html
> Karl Marx:
> As capitalist, he is only capital personified. His soul is the soul of
> capital. But capital has one single life impulse, the tendency to create
> value and surplus-value, to make its constant factor, the means of
> production, absorb the greatest possible amount of surplus-labour. Capital
> is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour,
> and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the
> labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the
> labour-power he has purchased of him. Marx: Capital Vol. I p.257
> http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch10.htm#S1
> Neither Martin Luther King Jr, nor Malcolm X were 'Marxists', and they
> both disagreed with the materialist conception of history, while
> understanding, at the same time, that one could be for socialism, as
> against capitalism, and not be a 'Marxist'. Kweme Nkrumah and Kweme Turre
> were Christians, and  Ahmed Sékou Toure was a Muslim - all three were
> committed Pan-African Socialists, without regard to race, creed or color. 
> It is only in the United States, where right-wing reactionaries,
> masquerading as political Christians, that the likes of Jimmy Swaggard
> denounce 'Marxism' qua 'secular humanism', and Pat Robertson, and Jerry
> Falwell denounce communists as 'evil', while Swaggard, Robertson, and
> Falwell also go along with the reactionary politicized Bible prophecy
> school of Hal Lindsey, and writers of Biblical Concordances during the era
> of the Soviet Union,  that described the former  Soviet Union as the 'evil
> empire' whose principle cities, Moscow was really the prophesied kingdoms
> of 'Magog',  as in "Gog and Magog", as prophesied by Ezekiel in Ezekiel
> chapters 38-9.
> Now that the Soviet Union no longer exists, and the Islamic countries are
> the new 'axis of evil', along with 'communist Korea' and 'communist Cuba',
> but mainly Islam presented as 'evil' and Arabs as 'racist anti-Negro
> Africa',  as well as 'anti-Israel', the locations of "Gog, Magog, &C, has
> been relocated to the Islamic world.
> Jennifer Rast of Contender Ministries writes:
> "Ezekiel 38:1-7 gives 10 names as participants in the invasion of Israel
> that will follow the regathering of the Jews to their homeland. First
> mentioned, is the land of Magog. The most common identity for Magog is in
> Central Asia. The Jewish historian Josephus said, "Magog founded the
> Magogians, called Scythians by the Greeks. Scythians were a nomadic tribe
> who inhabited the ancient territory from Central Asia across the southern
> part of ancient Russia." Today this area is inhabited by the former Soviet
> Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan,
> and possibly northern parts of Afghanistan. All of these nations that make
> up the land of Magog have one thing in common - Islam. Militant Islam has
> been on the rise in these countries since the fall of the Soviet Union,
> when Islam no longer had to be practiced secretly. Radical Islamic groups
> such as the Islamic Renaissance Party, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,
> and Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islam are working to reunite central Asian nations
> and ultimately the entire Muslim world. It is from this part of the world
> that a leader will arise to bring together a great coalition of nations to
> invade Israel."  http://www.contenderministries.org/prophecy/gogmagog.php
> Whether anti-Communists or anti-Arab/anti-Islamists, reactionary /
> patriotic political pulpit propagandists masquerading as interpreters of
> Bible prophecy, while presenting 'Israel', i.e. the Zionist State in
> Occupied Palestine, as the 'key' to Biblical eschatology and apocalypse -
> the 'Batter of Armageddon' - they lying connect the chapters of Ezekiel to
> the Book of the apocalypse, the Book of Revelation which can be, and has
> been, interpreted by anybody to 'mean' anything! Yet, the Book of
> Revelation states clearly that this future battle will not occur in our
> era, but after the 1000 year millennium!
> Revelations Chapter 20:
> 1: And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the
> bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 
> 2: And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil,
> and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 
> 3: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal
> upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand
> years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little
> season. 
> 4: And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto
> them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of
> Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast,
> neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or
> in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 
> 5: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were
> finished. This is the first resurrection. 
> 6: Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on
> such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and
> of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 
> 7: And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of
> his prison, 
> 8: And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters
> of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number
> of whom is as the sand of the sea. 
> 9: And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of
> the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of
> heaven, and devoured them. 
> 10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and
> brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be
> tormented day and night for ever and ever.
> http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=KjvReve.sgm&images=ima
> ges/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=20&division=d
> iv1
> Thus it is completely false, the assertion that this 'Battle of
> Armageddon' will take place in our time, by existing nations. It is
> strictly in the interests of supporting the State of Israel against the
> Palestinians, and US wars on Arab and Muslims, that the book or Revelation
> and Ezekiel are merged into the contemporary war on Islam. 
> Jennifer Rast of Contender Ministries writes:
> "In short, if you believe 'rosh' should be translated as a proper noun you
> may find the interpretation that Russia will be a part of this coalition
> more reasonable. If you believe 'rosh' should be an adjective here, you
> need only concern yourself with who Meshech and Tubal are. I tend to have
> a problem with the "it sounds like Russia" theory, and find the
> translation of rosh as an adjective more believable, but to each his own.
> "Meshech and Tubal in verses 2 and 6, were the names of the 6th and 5th
> sons of Japheth, the son of Noah (Gen. 10:2). Ezekiel 27:13 also mentions
> Meshech and Tubal as trading partners with Tyre (Modern Lebanon). It's
> likely that Meshech and Tubal refer to the ancient Moshi/Mushki and
> Tubalu/Tibareni who dwelled in the area around, primarily south of, the
> Black and Caspian Sea in Ezekiel's day. Today these nations would be in
> the modern country of Turkey, parts of Southern Russia and Northern Iran.
> All areas with a Muslim majority.
> "Verse 6 adds Gomer and Beth-Togarmah to the coalition. "Gomer" was the
> first son of Japheth. The Gomerites were the ancient Cimmerians, expelled
> in 700 B.C. from the southern steppes of Russia into what is today Turkey.
> "Togarmah" is the 3rd son of Gomer and beth at the beginning of the name
> is the Hebrew word for 'house' or 'place of'. In Ezekiel's time there was
> a city in Cappodocia (Modern Turkey) known as Tegarma, Tagarma,
> Til-garimmu, and Takarama. 
> "The possibility that four of the names mentioned in Ezekiel are now in
> Turkey makes a pretty strong argument for Turkey being a part of the
> invasion of Israel. Current circumstances in that country also lend this
> view some credibility. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, Turkey has
> been gaining inroads into Central Asia (Magog). It is also linked to
> Central Asia both ethnically and linguistically, and has a growing number
> of political parties that support opposition to Israel, establishment of a
> Turkish Islamic Republic, and the worldwide rule of Islam."
> http://www.contenderministries.org/prophecy/gogmagog.php
> This 'interpretation of the Scriptures' is obviously political rather than
> theological, or rather it is political theology. 
> Kayote,. Alan Keyes, and David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan denounce 'godless
> communism', they do not explain why, or how it will be necessary, from the
> standpoint of the working classes, it would become policy to persecute and
> kill religious individuals. "Communism" is a world without capitalists,
> landlords, and without political states with armies and prisons, because
> the free activities of each is the free activities of all; all are equally
> workers, working for the common good of all humanity. Why would such a
> world 'ban religion'? It is completely ridiculous to assert that a
> 'communist world' will return to the days of the Roman state, governed by
> 'the anti-Christ', tossing Christians into arenas to lions, and other such
> persecutions. The reactionary, political Christians have never shown a
> connection between God, Christ and capitalist class ownership of the
> productive forces; nor, have they ever presented a reason why, according
> to them, workers expropriations of the productive forces, and workers
> self-management of production and distribution, would even want to kill
> and persecute Christians, Muslims or any other religion. On the contrary,
> the workers and peasants in the world for the most part are religious, and
> these workers will manage society on the basis of equality, free speech,
> free literature, and freedom of religion.
> 'Communism' or 'scientific socialism' advocates (fights for!) working
> class ownership of the productive forces, by this power abolishing
> capitalist commodity production by appropriated wage labor, thus the end
> of class exploitation and sociocultural forms of oppression. Kweme Nkrumah
> and Martin Luther King Jr, were Christians, yet understood that socialism
> and communism has nothing to do with whether, or not, Marx believed in
> god; similarly Sékou Toure and Malcolm X were Muslims, and understood this
> as well. 
> Whether or not the universe was created by Brahma, Jehoval/Elohim, the
> Logos or Allah are religious issues that religionists and philosophers
> will freely debate. These issues will be discussed among workers freely,
> religious organizations in a socialist society will place the press and
> other means of communication at the disposal of all humanity, without
> regard to race, creed, religion, ethnicity, philosophy, or ideology.
> Communism advocates (fights for!) complete social equality; a world
> community in which each and everyone, and every organization, including
> religious organizations, will have the human right to equal access to
> means of production and subsistence, including means of
> mental/intellectual productive forces, including institutional structures
> such as Schools, Universities, Churches, Temples, Mosques, Synagogues, and
> atheistic Societies will all have each their own space to practice their
> religions or lack thereof, equally without state interference because
> there will be no state to interfere. 
> What the Capitalist class, and their politicians and ideologists fear, and
> why they use religion to oppose communism, is that the working class
> expropriating the productive forces from the private possessions of the
> productive forces of capitalists and landlords will do away with classes.
> In the very first years of workers power, once the productive forces are
> the public property of the working classes and toiling masses, we will
> legislate the transfer of factories and landed estates and agribusinesses
> to the workers and peasants the world over, outlaw inheritance, and
> because workers ownership and management of society includes financial
> institutions as well, we will have the power to legislate that everyone
> who has been paying for homes and apartments will become the owners
> thereof, all mortgage and rent paying will be concealed immediately. The
> free housing of the homeless will commence by refurbishing existing houses
> and building new ones. The same goes for automobiles, those who are paying
> for them will own them, and those who want one will have one. Health care
> insurance, the common property of the workers power, will include every
> one and managed out of existence as free quality heath care and medicines
> will be available to all. Slums in general will be eliminated.
> These humanitarian principles are not only not in conflict with any
> religion, but are in fact the basic doctrines of every religion. 
> Kayote is able to scare only the ignorant among the Christian communities
> by painting the image of 'communists' takeover persecuting Christians,
> because there is nothing in the writings of any communists or socialists
> in Europe that calls for a 'communist take over', and certainly none
> advocate persecuting and killing Christians, nor any member of any other
> religion.  
> Rather, what socialists and communists in the labor and trade union
> movements in Europe has called for is the working class winning the battle
> of democracy, and taking their lives into their own hands by taking the
> productive forces which are the products of their labor, and transforming
> society from one based on private property competitions in which there is
> as an economic principle in the politics of war of all against all to a
> society of corporation and work in which each person contributes labor and
> intellect to social humanity, whatever the form of society, whatsoever he
> or she chooses in consultation with the local community and work forces,
> and receiving from forms of communal distribution systems each to her or
> his person or family according to their respective personal and  families
> needs.
> In the communal modes of production and distribution economic competition,
> scarcity, wars and wants will be overcome on the basis of advanced
> productive forces and high technology including robotics all over the
> world, there will be no longer any state, as politics and with it
> political power will be swept into the dust bin of history along with
> commodity economics, scarcity, competition, and wars. For the first time
> human beings recognize themselves in each other, without regard to race,
> creed, color. 
> Under such conditions, religious tolerance will be in fact what it claims
> to be under bourgeois democracies, but respect of all to practice whatever
> religion, or lack of it, as they choose without any thought of money.
> Since there will be neither poverty or want people's spiritual social life
> will totally changed from praying for money &C, because there will be no
> money, which is abolished along with the abolition of the market,
> commodity production and wages: No need to pray for rent money, car note
> payments, finding or keeping a job. 
> As such issues are phased out of history by global and shared advances
> technology in the hands of humanity advancing societies what is today the
> 'democratic ideals' of  freedom of speech, the press, assembly and
> therefore of religion will be realized, and freedom of religion based in
> socialization and cultural complete tolerance, independent of the 'state'
> because there will be no state to repress them. 
> This is why such ignorant talk about a 'communist state', even less a
> 'communist dictatorship' or "Marxist regime" is total bullshit propaganda
> fed to the masses of American workers and poor folk. How can there be a
> 'totalitarian state' when there is no 'state', or government? The
> administration of people will be displaced by the administration of things
> e.g. production and distribution from each according to his ability, to
> each according to his need. The early Christians practiced this
> Love-Communism, so how is it so that ignorant Americans are so gullible as
> to be manipulated by capitalist politicians, medias and pulpit
> propagandists to believe that the principles of communism are
> anti-Christian, or anti-any other religion for that matter? 
> By contemporary religious demographics the working classes and toiling
> masses that come to power and expropriate the productive forces, factories
> and land to workers and peasants in Middle Asia and North Africa will be
> for the most part Muslims and Jews, in India Hindu, in Russia, Greece and
> Ethiopia Orthodox Christians, in China Buddhists and Japan Shinto and
> Buddhists, traditional and Christians in Africa, Protestants in Northern
> Europe and North America with others, and in Southern Europe and Latin
> America Latin America they will be for the most part Catholics. Communist,
> and socialist workers in these countries, and Continents, are not in
> workers and peasants movements denouncing Muhammad, Moses, Buddha,
> Lao-tse, Luther or Jesus, but the capitalistic and landed exploitation
> systems.
> It is only the religious collaborators with those present ruling classes
> that are the ones bringing religions into this political equation as red
> herrings/ straw man 'arguments:
> Red Herring
> Alias: 
> *	Ignoratio Elenchi ("ignorance of refutation", Latin) 
> *	Irrelevant Thesis
> Type: Informal Fallacy <inforfal.html> 
> Etymology:
> The name of this fallacy comes from the sport of fox hunting in which a
> dried, smoked herring, which is red in color, is dragged across the trail
> of the fox to throw the hounds off the scent. Thus, a "red herring"
> argument <glossary.html> is one which distracts the audience from the
> issue in question through the introduction of some irrelevancy. This
> frequently occurs during debates when there is an at least implicit topic,
> yet it is easy to lose track of it. By extension, it applies to any
> argument in which the premiss <glossary.html>es are logically irrelevant
> to the conclusion <glossary.html>. 
> Description of Red Herring
> A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in
> order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to
> "win" an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to
> another topic. http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/red-herring.html
> The Straw Man Fallacy
> Type: Red Herring <redherrf.html> 
> Etymology:
> "Straw man" is one of the best-named fallacies, because it is memorable
> and vividly illustrates the nature of the fallacy. Imagine a fight in
> which one of the combatants sets up a man of straw, attacks it, then
> proclaims victory. All the while, the real opponent stands by untouched. 
> Their other fallacy is that they engage in ad hominem attacks on Marx:
> Description of Ad Hominem
> Translated from Latin to English, "Ad Hominem" means "against the man" or
> "against the person." An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in
> which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact
> about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument.
> Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the
> character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is
> made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting
> the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim
> or argument the person in question is making (or presenting).
> http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html
> The ad hominem on Marx is further complicated by a fallacious syllogism: 
> In formal logic, the syllogism is state correctly a formula -
> Major premise: A=B
> Minor Premise: C=A
> Conclusion: C=B
> Correctly stated in syllogistic form:
> Communists fight for Public Ownership of the Productive Forces
> Marx is a Communist
> Marx fought for Public ownership of the Productive Forces.
> Now, understanding as a red herring/straw man the issue of 'atheism', is
> that has nothing to do with whether of mode of social production and
> economic appropriation is slavery, feudal chiefdoms or kingdoms,
> capitalistic or communistic because ideologies are irrelevant in
> determining how things re produced and by what instrument, and
> corresponding to this a specific division of labor, class formations and
> politics. It is not the consciousness of men that determine their
> existence, but their social being that determine their consciousness. 
> With that in mind we go to the red herring/straw man ad hominem attack on
> Marx and his ideas in the most sloppy syllogism fallacy I have ever read,
> stated by Kayote in his 'polemic' against workers owning the productive
> forces expropriated from the capitalist class putting an end to commodity
> production and wage labor. According to Kayote's postings, 'communism'[ is
> not an objective socio-economic process of techno-economic socio-political
> transformation by negating capitalist wealth of individuals once the
> workers take the productive forces placing them at the disposal, common
> property of social humanity, but in Kayote's post communism is determined
> by the lifestyle and personal beliefs of individual communists, in
> particular Karl Marx. 
> Kayote 'reasons' that 
> Marx was an atheist
> Marx was a communist
> Communists are atheists persecutors of religious people
> This is no syllogism, there is no relationship between the major and minor
> premises, and the 'conclusion' - if you can call it that, is, as the young
> folk say, assertive and totally absurd. 
> Lil Joe
> . 
> Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 14:01:59 -0800 (PST)
>    From: nwaakwukwo <nwaakwukwo at yahoo.com>
> Greetings Bro. Kayode: Remember in your posting #30853 you wrote:"AND FOR
> You were the first to draw any connection to Marx and Christianity. People
> chuckled.  I just helped you out a little.  To say that there is some
> likeness between the two economic systems takes nothing away from
> Christianity nor my faith in God. I know what I believe. You have the
> problem.  What you articulated below are the differences between
> communalism, communism and Christianity. We all know that there are many
> difference. I suggest you open your bible and study the first Century
> Church. And you define how they lived. Capitalism and Communism are
> economic systems. Neither have anything to do with God. I'm off this
> thread, please. Adaoma
> kayode familoni <kafamerry at yahoo.com> wrote:YOUR ATTEMPT TO EQUATE
> nwaakwukwo <nwaakwukwo at yahoo.com> wrote:
> My Brothers Kayode and Lil. Joe:
> Joe is making valid points, Kayode. Ofcourse few people live like the
> first century Church, but, the fact that it was communal, void of
> competition and had all things common is much like the economics of
> Communism. Other Christians have noticed it (which I've included a
> discussion below).
> Historically, Communism has been associated with Atheism and rightly, so.
> Many Christians have been persecuted at the hands of Communists at time.
> And as we know Christians have persecuted some folk as well.
> Yet, if you simply look at the scriptures and compare with Marx
> description of communism you will see the similarities. Of course the 1st
> Century Church believed in God and Marx did not.
> This all made me see Communism in a different light. Does Communism
> necessarily have to be God less? Can a person be a Christian and live by
> the economics of Communism?  May be it is possible.  
> Anyway, check out the discussion below.
> Adaoma
> Church VoicesChurch Voices is a collection of Christians writing about
> culture, movies, music, theology, scripture and their everyday lives. 
> « No Big Brain, No Brad | Main | What's the Difference Between the
> Kiwanis and the Church? » 
> May 14, 2004Every Christian is a Communist
> IâEUR(tm)ve recently been moved to consider the tooth and nail status of
> our nationâEUR(tm)s economic system and competition in general, as sort of
> a national enterprise that we unthinkingly accept and endorse. IâEUR(tm)ve
> been witness to the âEURoefootball JesusâEUR figurine in three point
> stance as well as his karate, soccer, and golfing counterparts. I enjoy
> sports and would like to think that the Christ might have enjoined in
> whatever gaming endeavors that the first century had to offer, but I have
> to ask myself whether or not competition is in fact, a principle set down
> in scripture as a spiritual ideal. For your consideration, I would like to
> propose that no one may be a Christian who honors his/her Lord without
> also being a communist.
> Every Christian is a Communist
> IâEUR(tm)ve recently been moved to consider the tooth and nail status of
> our nationâEUR(tm)s economic system and competition in general, as sort of
> a national enterprise that we unthinkingly accept and endorse. IâEUR(tm)ve
> been witness to the âEURoefootball JesusâEUR figurine in three point
> stance as well as his karate, soccer, and golfing counterparts. I enjoy
> sports and would like to think that the Christ might have enjoined in
> whatever gaming endeavors that the first century had to offer, but I have
> to ask myself whether or not competition is in fact, a principle set down
> in scripture as a spiritual ideal. For your consideration, I would like to
> propose that no one may be a Christian who honors his/her Lord without
> also being a communist.
> Before you convene a senate hearing, let me first qualify what I mean by
> communist. I am not advocating that we take up where Stalin left off
> and/or try to adopt as rule, the writings of Marx or Engels (as such would
> first of all negate our Christian practice as the proverbial pacifying
> âEURoeopiate of the massesâEUR). I have no respect for nor trust of any
> system which seeks to compel cooperation from a humanist mandate. We have
> seen repeatedly that all such attempts only have success insofar as they
> can convince their adherents that they are being watched (and usually only
> then with an implicit threat of punishment hanging over the head of said
> adherent). However I do find in scripture a repeated mandate to enact many
> of the same principles that Marx propoundedâEUR¦ only this has sincere
> force, as it is a divine mandate (and thereby rises about the human
> condition).
> Am I advocating that we seek to begin a Christian Communist party?
> Absolutely not! I imagine that such would quickly degenerate to the point
> that anything even remotely resembling âEURoeChrist-like kindnessâEUR
> would become merely requisite government aid (and âEURoeChristâEUR would
> just be a name tied to a new welfare program). It occurs to me that
> scripture staunchly insists that every independent church must seek to be
> communal in the way that they deal with their membership. I am therefore
> recommending that we may seriously want to consider adopting the generous
> posture of the first-century church. Not simply sharing with those in
> need, but actually exhorting one another to diligent work of their own,
> even to rebuking and withholding aid from the lazy (as surely such is
> scriptural Prov. 20:4, Prov. 21:25-26, 2 Tim 3:10-15, 1 Thes. 4:11-12). We
> know that no government can accomplish good sensible judgment of this sort
> because of its bureaucratic girth and all the red tape involved, but
>  the independent congregation is able to do so abundantly and
> successfully. We have the biblical authority to be compassionately kind
> and abrasively hard. What minister or elder is not able to assess the true
> needs of his members? Moreover we may well extend this communal paradigm
> to accomplish another feat common to the first churchâEUR¦ should we not
> be finding deserving churchâEUR(tm)s elsewhere to extend gifts of monitary
> support to? If we are truly seeking to emulate the first church, then we
> must take seriously what scripture has had to say on the matters of greed
> and the alternative examples of the members sharing with the body. I bring
> this forth not as a well practiced authority in these matters, but because
> I feel very personally convicted in this regard and I wonder how much we
> may be contently justifying a sinful form of greed and self-interest by
> relegating these passages to mere practices of first-century churches that
> need not find their equivalent in our present
>  congregations. Are we protecting the gospel of the capitalist ideal, like
> some sacred cow in our congregations? Ought we distinguish ourselves from
> the world in this regard? When the world looks at us do they see more
> competitors hoarding their wealth and building bigger barns or do they see
> a people characterized by generosity toward those within? We must ask
> ourselves honestly whether our money is a means to expand the gospel of
> Christ, or a central pillar of our personal/institutional gospel. 
> Acts 2:42-45
> 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and
> to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
> 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were
> taking place through the apostles.
> 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in
> common;
> 45 and they {began} selling their property and possessions and were
> sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
> (NAU)
> Acts 4:34-35
> 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of
> land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales
> 35 and lay them at the apostles' feet, and they would be distributed to
> each as any had need.
> (NAU)
> Acts 20:34-35
> 34 "You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my {own} needs and
> to the men who were with me.
> 35 "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you
> must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He
> Himself said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."'
> (NAU)
> Rom 12:10-13
> 10 {Be} devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one
> another in honor;
> 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
> 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
> 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
> (NAU)
> 2 Cor 8:7-16
> 7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and
> knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, {see}
> that you abound in this gracious work also.
> 8 I am not speaking {this} as a command, but as proving through the
> earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.
> 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was
> rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty
> might become rich.
> 10 I give {my} opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who
> were the first to begin a year ago not only to do {this} but also to
> desire {to do it.}
> 11 But now finish doing it also, so that just as {there was} the readiness
> to desire it, so {there} {may be} also the completion of it by your
> ability.
> 12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what {a
> person} has, not according to what he does not have.
> 13 For {this} is not for the ease of others {and} for your affliction, but
> by way of equality--
> 14 at this present time your abundance {being a} {supply} for their need,
> so that their abundance also may become {a supply} for your need, that
> there may be equality;
> 15 as it is written, "HE WHO {gathered} MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE
> WHO {gathered} LITTLE HAD NO LACK."
> 16 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness on your behalf in
> the heart of Titus.
> (NAU)
> Eph 4:28
> 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor,
> performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have
> {something} to share with one who has need.
> (NAU)
> James 2:15-17
> 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
> 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,"
> and yet you do not give them what is necessary for {their} body, what use
> is that?
> 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, {being} by itself.
> (NAU)
> I Jn 3:16-18
> 16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought
> to lay down our lives for the brethren.
> 17 But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and
> closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
> 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed
> and truth.
> (NAU)
> Posted by Ben Walker at May 14, 2004 03:03 PM | TrackBack 
> Comments
> I think I generally agree with your message, however I think calling it
> "communism" is not helpful, and perhaps leads astray. The politics and
> economics of nations are not to be compared or confused with those of the
> Church. For instance, I believe that the Capitalism of the United States
> is about the best national economic system in the world right now, and
> that if the Church more faithfully followed your suggestions, US
> Capitalism would work even better.
> Posted by: Kibble at May 17, 2004 03:34 PM 
> While I agree that capitalism is far and away the best means of
> distribution on the current social landscape, you should note that I am
> not objecting to it, nor am I advocating communism as an economic system.
> Rather, IâEUR(tm)m approaching this from a purely social angle. Namely
> comparing the ideals of Marxist communal ideals to the shared means and
> the alleviation of class distinction as exemplified in the first century
> church. This was without question the ideal micro-scheme functioning of
> the earliest church congregations, and if youâEUR(tm)ve read Marx, you
> probably recognize some of those features as being a utopian aim of his
> writings. 
> Posted by: Ben Walker at May 17, 2004 03:57 PM 
> Perhaps the most clearly different (and I believe you mentioned it) thing
> between Benism and Marxism is that Benism is not compulsary. Really Benism
> can exist within a capitalist society while a Marxist system is anathema
> to capitalism and couldn't exist within a capitalistic system (Harmony
> Indiana anyone?). I have no problem with non-compulsary communal systems,
> its only when it comes down to forcing people to share I have both moral
> and practical problems.
> Posted by: Tim at May 17, 2004 06:47 PM 
> Well said. I might open a can of worms with this, but I ask it anyway.
> Should an eldership call out one who does not give/share with the
> congregation, but has an unhealthy mode of hoarding? Should there be a
> sort of shepherding compulsion to give within the body? I'm not sure what
> it would look like, nor advocating it mind you, just seeing what you think
> about it...
> Posted by: Ben Walker at May 18, 2004 02:42 PM 
> Of course the elders should call them out. Wealth hoarding is a serious
> symptom of a bigger problem (not giving is also a symptom). But I would
> say it is not just the responsibility of the elders. It is the
> responsibility of any brother or sister who sees innapropriate behavior or
> attitudes among another Christian to correct or rebuke. I think that this
> approach lends itself better to the communist church.
> Posted by: Christian at May 18, 2004 06:27 PM 
> So what qualifies as an unhealthy mode of hoarding? Suppose somebody makes
> 20 million a year and has a 2 million dollar house, yet gives 10 million a
> year to God, through a variety of ways. He's giving away half of what he
> makes per year...yet the cost of his house would be enough to go
> lightyears elsewhere. Is there some sort of luxury cap that a Christian
> shouldn't exceed, no matter what their income?
> Posted by: steve at May 20, 2004 05:21 PM 
> Normally I would say we'll come to that when it happens. I hate "what
> if's". However, I would say they aren't sharing like the should. It isn't
> about percentages, it's about sharing from what you have with those who
> don't have. There was a gentleman who made enough money to live on ten
> percent and he gave the other 90 percent to God (we are talking millions
> here). The question should be "What is my cost of living?" Beyond that the
> spiritual fruit of generosity should prevail. Is my extended family taken
> care of? Is my church family taken care of? Is the body of Christ at large
> taken care of? At the very least, the last question is always answered
> with a no (in that there are many churches in the world in need and many
> missions to support). I live a much more extravegant lifestyle than many
> Christians throughout the world (and I would venture to guess that you do
> also). But I give above and beyond %10. And my family is not wealthy by
> any means (in American standards). We as rich
>  Americans like to rationalize our way out of the N.T.'s exhortation to
> share generously. 
> Posted by: Christian at May 21, 2004 12:54 PM 
> The answer is "no." Give, and give with a cheerful heart. Some have little
> to give and thus give their time (*cough cough* grad students *cough
> cough*), others have been blessed with much and give much. Job was a
> wealthy man and was never condemned for being so. Same with Abraham,
> David, and Solomon. True faith works out in this life in works of love; it
> is the ministry's business to see to the faith of its flock, not count the
> number of works or measure their quality to see if you're "good enough" to
> be a REAL Christian. Otherwise, we'd have to excommunicate EVERYONE.
> Posted by: Josh S at May 21, 2004 12:55 PM 

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