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Christianity and socialism

(84 Posts)
soontobe Wed 26-Aug-15 22:08:46

Anniebach said she would start this thread if she knew how, so with her permission, I am starting it on her behalf.

Her words were
"I am a socialist because the principles of socialism follow the teachings of Christ, they cannot be separated".
She did write a few words before and after, but I think this is the part that we both wanted to discuss.

It may be a thread that turns out to only be of interest to a few, and it may possibly be a short thread!

Over to you Anniebach. Personally I dont exactly know what you mean by that, and which parts of the Bible you are refering to.

If you are not ready to post yet, there is no hurry.

durhamjen Wed 26-Aug-15 22:48:57

I've always thought that Jesus was a good socialist.

vampirequeen Thu 27-Aug-15 10:43:07 socialist. Nothing about drip down in his teaching. It's help the poor and do it now.

whitewave Thu 27-Aug-15 10:45:43

Yep as are most of the big religions.

soontobe Thu 27-Aug-15 10:48:06

Can I have a general definition of socialist please.

whitewave Thu 27-Aug-15 10:55:36

soon honestly as a committed Christian you don't need a definition, simply live your life as a Christian is taught to live and "bingo" you will be a Christian Socialistsmile

durhamjen Thu 27-Aug-15 11:09:05

Do unto others.......
Love your neighbour........

I am sure you know them, soon.

Teetime Thu 27-Aug-15 11:10:52

Yep I'm with whitewave. Enough said.

Alea Thu 27-Aug-15 11:11:38

I though that was the Ten Commandments/Sermon on the Mount?

Alea Thu 27-Aug-15 11:13:53

This from Wikipedia

Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy,[1][2] as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.[3][4] "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership (achieved by nationalization), citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.[5] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them.[6]

soontobe Thu 27-Aug-15 11:15:55

In that case, perhaps I am getting the wrong end of the stick. I thought socialism was a left wing principle. Off to google.

soontobe Thu 27-Aug-15 11:16:58

x post. Cant say that I understand the Wikipedia link. Off to google some more.

soontobe Thu 27-Aug-15 11:18:40

I dont see what Alea's link has to do with Love your neighbour, and do unto others for example.

whitewave Thu 27-Aug-15 11:23:47

soon "Love thy neighbour as they self" remember that? "Good Samaritan" remember that? and lots more - you don't need to Google it just refer to your bible.

Jane10 Thu 27-Aug-15 11:27:37

What about all the "smiting" in the Old Testament? Not too keen on gays or women as far as I can remember.
The New testament seems to chime more with Socialism.

whitewave Thu 27-Aug-15 11:28:56

Christianity exists because of the New Testament.

Luckygirl Thu 27-Aug-15 11:33:07

The idea of Christianity is to care about each other, and socialism seeks to make that concrete by reducing the amount of competition and inequality in society. It is very hard to achieve and can (and has) gone pear-shaped where it has been taken to extremes - just like Christianity.

Alea Thu 27-Aug-15 11:33:42

Soontobe' You asked for a definition of "Socialist" and it is defined as someone who supports Socialosm (bit of a tautology, so not very helpful) so I have quoted the definition (not a link) of Socialism. If that is not what you wanted, please repeat your question.
What's hard to understand?
"Love thy neighbour, do unto others, " etc, however laudable, are not specifically exclusive tenets of Socialism except in the sense that it is underpinned by equality and justice for all.

Elegran Thu 27-Aug-15 11:48:59

I thought the definition of full-on socialism was much the same as the one that communism started out with "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" and no-one having nore than that. Equality for all, public ownership of utilities and equal distribution of resources.

Basic Christianity, with its emphasis on loving your neighbour as yourself, and doing to others as you would have them do to you, is coming from the same standpoint, except that it also emphasises belief in the supernatural aspects of its founder, and the importance of total obedience.

It is human nature that gets in the way of Christianity, Socialism, or even Communism, being paradise for all.

"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" - Orwell, Animal Farm.

Anniebach Thu 27-Aug-15 11:54:39

The Old Testement is not the teachings of Christ, if discussing Christs teachings one needs to read and follow the four gospels .for me socialism is the closest to his teachings , care of the vulnerable , the needy, the homeless etc. Equality , no rich / poor divide. A Christian cannot support the death penalty, cannot say taking in the homeless would affect our life style, cannot say charity begins at home, cannot support an eye for an eye, cannot put self first . A Christian has to ask when faced with a problem or a decision to be made - what would Jesus say .

I am not saying this is what Christians must do, it is what I believe Jesus wants me to do. I am not saying socialism is Christianity, it is the nearest for my beliefs .

All religions do not share the same beliefs , The Jewish faith does not acknowledge the teachings of Christ, they are still waiting for the first coming , Christians for the second.

Taking all the political parties the Tories and UKIP are the furthest away from the teachings of Christ, the Democratic Socialist Party the nearest .

soontobe Thu 27-Aug-15 11:55:26

Your link is what I wanted.

"Love thy neighbour, do unto others, " etc, however laudable, are not specifically exclusive tenets of Socialism except in the sense that it is underpinned by equality and justice for all.

I think that I agree with this. I dont think durhamjen, vampirequeen and Anniebach do?

[I feel mean by the way discussing this without Anniebach, but I presume she will join in when she can].

Luckygirl Thu 27-Aug-15 12:00:27

Politically "love thy neighbour" etc is not the exclusive province of socialism; but I confess I do find it hard to winkle out the loving sentiment behind political doctrines that encourage competition and "every man for himself." Is there such thing as a truly Christian Tory? - at which point I will duck behind the furniture...........grin

grannyactivist Thu 27-Aug-15 12:10:15

"Our primary identity is in Christ, not a political ideology, but our reading of scripture inevitably leads us to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves”, standing against injustice in all its forms, on the side of poor and needy."
This quote is from the Christian Socialist organisation 'Christians on the left' of which I am a member. Perhaps a visit to their website will help you soon.

The director, Andy Flannagan, is a singer/songwriter who I have heard speak (and sing) on several occasions and who I think is inspirational. He often sings at concerts to thousands, but very kindly once came to our little prayer room and gave a free concert for just a small group of friends.

Anniebach Thu 27-Aug-15 12:12:32

How can a person follow the teachings of Christ and be a Tory? They can be decent human beings but it is impossible to support greed and live as Christ asks. There are humanitarians who live closer to Christian teachings than many Christians . I am not saying socialism is christinity , it is the closest for me

soontobe Thu 27-Aug-15 13:34:11

I think I see the Tory party somewhat differently.

I see them[generally and I agree that they may be going in the opposite direction currently], as being the party most able to provide the fundamentals of a stable society, with peace and a consistently higher revenue stream than other parties. This enables the general population to live without the threat of nuclear war, and more money to distribute.

I can understand how others think, but as far as I think, there are all sorts of people in all parties.

I agree that some people in the Tory party are "every man for himself" but I suspsect that that is very true of politicians in other parties too.

Taking all the political parties the Tories and UKIP are the furthest away from the teachings of Christ, the Democratic Socialist Party the nearest .

I think we will end up agreeing to differ on this thread Anniebach.