The Instigator
kasmic
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Wylted
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Economics of Christianity

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Wylted
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/19/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 695 times Debate No: 65474
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

kasmic

Pro

Pro will be arguing that the Bible supports Communism.
Con will be arguing that the Bible supports Capitalism.

The purpose is to attempt to use the Bible to support your side and not the other.

Thank you Wylted for accepting this debate and good luck to you!

72 hours/4 rounds/8,000 characters

Round 1 acceptance

No new arguments in final round.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Pro

Thanks again to Wylted for accepting this debate.

My argument structure will be very simple. I will...

A: Briefly Define Communism
B: Cite Biblical support for the core tenets of Communism.

A: Defining Communism: A brief overview

"Marx believed that a truly utopian society must be classless and stateless. (It should be noted that Marx died well before any of his theories were put to the test.) Marx's main idea was simple: Free the lower class from poverty and give the poor a fighting chance. How he believed it should be accomplished, however, was another story. In order to liberate the lower class, Marx believed that the government would have to control all means of production so that no one could outdo anyone else by making more money. Unfortunately, that proves to this day to be more difficult than he might have realized."(1)

"In the communist society that Marx described, the government has supreme authority through its total control of land and means of production. Because the government distributes land and property among the people, communism sets a standard of equality -- both economically and socially -- among its followers."(1)

Summary of the core tenants of Communism.

1: Classless society
2: Free lower class from poverty
3: Absence of private property
4: Standard of equality economically and socially

B: Biblical Support

All the verses I will site will be from the KJV of the Bible.

1: Classless society

Romans 2:11 Act 10:34 God is no respecter of persons.
Romans 10:12 “No difference”

The God of the Bible views all people as his children and is no respecter of persons. He does not see us in any sort of class distinction.

2: Free lower class from poverty

Mathew 25: 35-40 Instructed to feed the hungry and clothe the naked.
Luke 12:33 Instructed to give to the poor.
1 John 3:17-18 Instructed to give to those in need.

There are numerous examples in the Bible that teach to give freely of our possessions to the poor.

3: absence of private property

Mathew 19: 16-24 These verses depict a rich man whom Christ tells to sell all his possessions and give to the poor. Also, contained in these verses is the famous “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Acts 4:34 Apostles sold all of their possessions.

Luke 12:33 Commanded to sell what we have.

4: Standard of equality

The famous Communist phrase goes “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”

Acts 4:35 Sold possessions, each given according to their need.

Mathew 20: This chapter is a parable of workers in a vineyard. All workers are paid the same regardless of when they started working.

James 2:2-6 Instructed to treat people with a standard of equality.
1 John 3:17-18 Instructed not to have what others need.

C: Concluding opening argument.

I have shown that there is a large amount of biblical support for the core tenets of Communism. I would like to conclude with an often quoted verse 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is the root of all evil:”

Sources:

All verses I used are from the New Testament. Being that there are many verses I used I did not link each one. The second link below is to an online bible.

(1)http://people.howstuffworks.com...
(2) https://www.lds.org...
Wylted

Con

CAPITALISM

"an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth. " [1]

"Capitalism is a social system based on the principle of individual rights."
[2]

What capitalism boils down to is property rights in the hands of individuals. You can't met any of the above definitions without individuals having property rights.

Capitalism respects property rights of individuals while communism is the opposite. Communism is about equality, while capitalism is about inequality. Let's examine this further.

JESUS ON PROPERTY RIGHTS

I think it's pretty clear that God and Jesus both (or the same, whatever your belief is) support private property rights. At one point Jesus gives a parable that illustrates why the owner of a property will treat it better than a non owner who uses it for gain.

"The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away"and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me." John 10:11-13

That same type of reasoning can be applied to any type of property and you'll likely see the same result.

In Matthew 25:14-30 A story is told of a master (representing God) leaves his servants some of his money to hold for him. This is the concept of stewardship we'll dive more into shortly. The ones who accumulated more money were rewarded. The one who didn't.........

Well read for your self.

"You wicked and slothful servant......... Take away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents........ Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth"

Sounds like God wants us to accumulate as much wealth as possible and on top of that this is clearly not a position that advocates for equality.

The saying in communism is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", but Jesus would say "To each according to his ability, from each according to his ability".

WHO'S HOUSE? GOD'S HOUSE!

This should probably go without saying but God owns the world. It's his private property.

"The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters" (Psalm 24:1-2).

Despite the Earth being God's he has decided to give mankind stewardship over the Earth.

"Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:28).

This is God's house and He's given us stewardship over it. God does in fact give us a rulebook for this stewardship which is contained in The Laws of Moses and scattered throughout other parts of the Bible.

LAWS CONCERNING PROPERTY RIGHTS

Pay attention to these laws concerning property rights. Nowhere does God advocate for the abolition of property rights and instead gives laws showing massive respect for property rights. If his laws are to protect property rights then by it's very definition the laws are capitalist.

Real Estate laws

1.The earth and all realty and things on it belong to God. Gen. 14:199 22; Exod. 19:5; Lev. 25:23; Deut. 10:14; Psa. 24:1; Psa. 50:10-12; Psa. 89:11; 1 Cor. 10:26, 28.
2.Land can be sold but not permanently. You shall grant a redemption for all the land in your possession (the original owner has the right to buy back land he sold). Lev. 25:23-24.
3.In the year of the Jubilee (every fiftieth year) land is to be returned to the person, or his rightful heirs or family, that originally possessed the land. Lev. 25:10, 13-17, 28, 31, 33-34.
4.If a house in the city is sold, it can be redeemed (bought back) within a year. After that the house is unredeemable and shall belong permanently to him who bought it. It will not return to the seller in the Jubilee. Lev. 25:29-30.
5.Houses in the rural or country regions may be redeemed at any time, and they shall be released in the Jubilee. Lev. 25:31.
6.If one becomes poor and is unable to redeem his land, a kinsmen of his may redeem for him what he had sold. Lev. 25:25; Ruth 4:3-4; Jer. 32:7.
7.If one has no means by which to pay the purchaser of his property the redemption money, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee. Lev. 25:28.
8.Transfer of land to be by signed deed in the presence of witnesses. Jer. 32:8-12.
9.Deeds to land are to be preserved as a record. Jer. 32:14.
10.Silver used to buy land. Gen. 23:13-16; Josh. 24:32; Jer. 32:9.
11.Do not to remove established landmarks and boundaries. Deut 19:14; Deut 27:17; Job 24:2 Prov. 22:28; Prov. 23:10.
12.You should take appropriate precautions of any dangerous situation on your land which might cause damage or injury to other persons or their property. Exod. 21:33-34; Deut 22:8.
13.The mortgage of land and homes brings one into bondage. Neh. 5:1 -5.
14.Restitution is required for damage done to one's land or crops. Exod. 22:5-6.

Property Rights

1.You shall not steal another's property. Exod. 20:15; Lev. 19:11, 13; Psa. 62:10; Prov. 21:7; Amos 3:10; Deut 5:19; Matt. 19:18; Mark 10: 19; Luke 18:20; Rom. 13:9; 1 Cor. 6:10; 1 Pet 4:15.
2.Theft from the poor is especially forbidden. Prov. 22:22.
3.A thief is cursed by God and to be cut off from the people. Jer. 7:9-15; Zech. 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 6:10.
4.Theft proceeds from the heart and defiles a man. Matt. 15:19-20.
5.One who is judged to have stolen property is to repay double to the owner. Exod. 22:7-9.
6.If one strikes a thief found breaking in a building and he dies, there shall be no guilt upon him for murder. Exod. 22:2.
7.We are exhorted to stop theft in the land by having a thief labor with his hands. Eph. 4:28.
8.We should not despise one who steals due to hunger, though he must restore sevenfold of what he took. Prov. 6:30.

GOD ENCOURAGES INEQUALITY

"For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10

"A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich" Proverbs 10:4

"In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty" proverbs 14:23


These verses and others I've shared show God could care less about economic equality. The bible is clearly saying that people should be rewarded for their hard work, and be rewarded disproportionately to others.

CONCLUSION

The bible teaches us that God has given us dominion over this land and that each of us should have property rights . He's laid out his laws to Moses commanding respect for private property. There are numerous examples in the bible where God rewards his people with wealth and affluence, or where he expects people to be rewarded compensation equal to their ability.

I think at this point it is clear that Christianity advocates for a capitalist system and that God himself is a capitalist. If this isn't clear by now it will be abundantly clear by the time my rebuttals come.

sources
[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.capitalism.org...
Debate Round No. 2
kasmic

Pro

Rebuttals:

Contention One: "JESUS ON PROPERTY RIGHTS"

John 10:11-13 To accept this verse as con has is to believe that we (people) are property. Rather the verse is indicating that “the good shepherd” (Jesus) cares about his sheep (us.) As is obvious when reading this verse, it is about our relationship to Jesus, not about property rights.

Matthew 25:14-30 Con seems to be equating stewardship to capitalism, when it actually fits closer to communism. Let me explain. Capitalism is about individual property, in a communist society the people collectively own the means of production. The Government functions as stewards over those resources as opposed to owners.

Con says “The saying in communism is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", but Jesus would say "To each according to his ability, from each according to his ability".

Acts 4:35 actually shows that “distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.” Certainly this shows more resemblance to communism than capitalism.

Con says “This should probably go without saying but God owns the world. It's his private property.” Along with “Despite the Earth being God's he has decided to give mankind stewardship over the Earth.”

Key word, stewardship… not ownership.

Contention 2: LAWS CONCERNING PROPERTY RIGHTS

Con says “Pay attention to these laws concerning property rights. Nowhere does God advocate for the abolition of property rights and instead gives laws showing massive respect for property rights. If his laws are to protect property rights then by it's very definition the laws are capitalist.”

This is ironic as con has just argued that God owns everything, and we are only Stewards…. As such there is no defense of private property as, according to con's arguemnts man owns nothing.

Real Estate laws

Con says “1.The earth and all realty and things on it belong to God. Gen. 14:199 22; Exod. 19:5; Lev. 25:23; Deut. 10:14; Psa. 24:1; Psa. 50:10-12; Psa. 89:11; 1 Cor. 10:26, 28.”

I will allow his first set of verses negate the rest. All things belong to God, not man. We are stewards.

I regard to “stealing” another’s property… it would seem con needs to decide which he is arguing. Do people own things, or does God?

CONCLUSION

Con says “The bible teaches us that God has given us dominion over this land and that each of us should have property rights.”

Again, Con has solidly argued that God owns all things and we are merely stewards. That is not private property rights.

Most of con’s contention is from the law of Moses, which is in the Bible however, he concludes that “I think at this point it is clear that Christianity advocates for a capitalist system.” the law of Moses is not what Christians follow.

As we know this is “God’s Kingdom.” As such he “owns” everything… we, as people, are only stewards and do not really own anything. Again Stewardship is much closer related to communism than capitalism. Con has argued that God owns everything. As such this creates a concept of equality among people, especially in terms of private property as we own nothing.

As Con has not yet rebutted my argument I will await his rebuttal before I continue.

Wylted

Con

CLASSLESS SOCIETY

The bible in no way supports a classless society. If you read my round 2 argument, you can see that the bible states that we shall reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7).

In Genesis you see that after man's fall in the Garden of Eden that God commanded, man to live and eat from the sweat of his brow (Genesis 3:19). To say that the bible advocates for a classless society is absurd. It clearly says that people who work hard shall have while those who don't shall starve. Maybe if man's downfall in the Garden of Eden hadn't occurred things would be different.

Now my opponent states that God views every man as equal. This is basically the bible's equivalent of saying "all men are created equal".

If you take a look at all the other things the bible says, specifically what I've already pointed out the only reasonable interpretation of these verses is to think God views all men as equal not that he wants all men to have an equal amount of assets despite how capable they are.

God has actually helped to create a class system by appointing kings and prophets to lead the people. (Romans 13:1)

FREE LOWER CLASS FROM POVERTY

The verses my opponent points to are actually just encouraging Tithing. The bible requires a few different tithes. One to the church, another for the poor and the total is about 23%. http://www.gotquestions.org...

Communism would be more like a 100% tithe and would be unbiblical.

ABSENCE OF PRIVATE PROPERTY

My verse completely contradict this, which we'll get more to next round during counter rebuttals.

As far as the rich man is concerned Jesus was teaching people to put their treasures in heaven.

This guy put his money before God which is no different than worshipping a false idol. Jesus isn't commanding everyone to give up all their possessions, he's encouraging everyone to put God first. Just as he encourages people to pluck their eye out if it keeps them from going to heaven (Mark 9:47).

If your wealth keeps you from God, give it all away. It's his anyway but if not keep it.

Remember that Jesus's disciples had to pool their resources together and act as a team. They were on the road in hostile roman territory.

It's okay for people to pool their resources and actually can be an effective strategy in tough times.

I pool my resources with my family whom I live with. In no way do I support communism. This is just an arrangement for me and my love ones common interest and we in no way would force that on anyone.

Jesus and his disciples selling their possessions to eat and pooling their resources isn't the same as advocating for a communist society, and in fact Jesus's teachings focused mostly on spiritual matters and can't crossover to government affairs.

This is unlike the Government which was set up in the Old Testament.

CONCLUSION

Points for the final section have been covered in this round and my previous arguments. Counter rebuttals will be next round.

Good luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
kasmic

Pro

Rebuttals:

CLASSLESS SOCIETY


Con says “The bible in no way supports a classless society. If you read my round 2 argument, you can see that the bible states that we shall reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7).”

Lets read the verse….

“ 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

And the verse after…

“ 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

I do not see a connection from these verses to a society broken into classes.

Again I would present the verses from Romans 10:

“ 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God is no respecter of persons and Christian tenants do not support a concept of classes in society. In fact it supports a classless society, a core tenet of Communism.

Con says “To say that the bible advocates for a classless society is absurd. It clearly says that people who work hard shall have while those who don't shall starve.”

Con seems to be equating a classless society to laziness. What does elimination of class distinction have to do with working hard. A classless society is as capable of hard work as any other. Thus, the bible teaching hard work is not in conflict with a classless society.

Con says “God has actually helped to create a class system by appointing kings and prophets to lead the people. (Romans 13:1)”

This comment is absurd. Classless society is for man… not God. Just like animals do not have all the same rights as humans. God is over humans. But the bible teaches that all men are equal, thus in regard to men there is no class distinction.

FREE LOWER CLASS FROM POVERTY

Con says “The verses my opponent points to are actually just encouraging Tithing. The bible requires a few different tithes.”

These verses I used under this argument clearly teach to free the lower class from poverty. Which is a core tenet of Communism.

ABSENCE OF PRIVATE PROPERTY

In regard to Mathew 19: 16-24 Con says “This guy put his money before God which is no different than worshipping a false idol. Jesus isn't commanding everyone to give up all their possessions”

Actually we do not know if the young ruler does as directed or not, we only know that he “he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” This does not indicate whether or not the young ruler was obedient, just how he felt. Christ words to him were “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”

As God is no respecter of persons surely the command to this man applies to everyone.

CONCLUSION

Con’s arguments largely refer to the set up of the Old Testament. Again I remind those reading that Christians do not follow the law of Moses put forth in the Old Testament. Rather, they follow Christ’s teachings. He taught

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Mathew 19:24

“sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Mathew 19: 21

“Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.” Luke 12: 33

The Apostles great examples of “Christians.”

“Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.” Acts 4:34-35

It is clear when reading the Bible, and especially the New Testament that Christianity strongly supports the core tenets of Communism. Including the following concepts.

1: Classless society
2: Free lower class from poverty
3: Absence of private property
4: Standard of equality economically and socially

It is clear that Christian doctrine supports Communisms more than Capitalism.

Thanks for reading and vote Pro!

Wylted

Con

INTRODUCTION

Thank you Kasmic for debating this with me, it was a pleasure.

Due to this debate only being 4 rounds me and my opponent couldn't place counter rebuttals until the final round. Hopefully, this won't be held against either of us.

I will largely ignore his counter rebuttal in the name of fairness.

THE LAWS OF MOSES

If you remember in round 2, I printed up a long list of laws God handed down to the Jewish people guiding them in their governmental process.

My opponent hasn't denied the Laws of Moses do this but has instead insisted that they don't count with a wave of his hand.

Contrary to my opponent's assertion that Christians don't follow the laws of Moses, many actually do.

Stating that Christians don't follow the laws of Moses is simply an over generalization and many groups, such as those calling themselves Messianic Jews do actually follow the Laws of Moses.

In Matthew 5:17 Jesus reveals that he doesn't intend to abolish the laws of Moses.

So despite my opponent thinking those laws don't count, Jesus disagrees as well as Messianic Jews.

Besides that if you reread round 1 to see the resolution written out, it clearly states me and my opponent aren't debating Christianity but instead debating what the bible says.

That distinction may be important to some voters.

STEWARDSHIP

My opponent misses the point when he drills this stewardship argument in.

God has given man dominion over the Earth and despite him being the owner (technically), he has commanded us (see round 2 laws) to act in a capitalistic fashion, and seeing as how he asks that those who work hard receive more than those who slack, he clearly isn't advocating for distributing stuff based on need.

CONCLUSION

Jesus taught the importance of charity and focusing on the afterlife. He never advocated for governments to act communistic, this is in direct violation of God commanding The nation of Israel to be capitalist.

This is a clear win, vote Wylted
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
I was just looking through my old debates and reading votes haha, found that gem...
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
Lol, that could be a little messed up
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
I still cant believe Envisage gave Wylted points for me using LDS sources.....
Posted by gomergcc 1 year ago
gomergcc
I gave to for citing all your citing all your sources. Con never cited what bible version they were using so to me that was not a reliable source. Had they cited It would have been a tie on that.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
I am amused that anyone has awarded points for sources. Just seems silly. Even more amusing is envisage gives source credit to wilted for sources I used. Seriously the score should be 3,6 wylted.... People awarding sources in this debate is silly.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
lol
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
Well, We'll see right?
Posted by debate_power 2 years ago
debate_power
I don't really know if the Bible supports communism. I think it's neutral.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
kasmicWyltedTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think that what fundamentally does Pro in on this debate is the dearth of arguments covering Con's R1, especially with regards to laws concerning property rights. Pro is dependent on one thing: stewardship =/= ownership. The problem is that, as Con stated in R4, that doesn't change anything. Whatever stewardship may imply, the text was nonetheless explicit in how that stewardship was to be regarded, and it involved actually treating it as ownership. As such, while I buy a lot of Pro's argumentation, this key piece falls to Con, leaving me with the question of what system actually contains many of the pieces presented by Pro, but also property ownership. I think either side could have made a convincing case for what happens if you don't win every piece of your arguments, but what I'm getting from Pro is that communism must entail all those pieces, whereas from Con, I get a looser interpretation of what he must do. Therefore, because this piece is obviously capitalist, I vote Con.
Vote Placed by TN05 1 year ago
TN05
kasmicWyltedTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate ultimately falls on one point: which side does the Bible fall closer to? Pro's arguments generally focus on abstract concepts that may or may not fall alongside capitalism; on the other side, Con cites numerous passages throughout the Bible that lay out laws for private property. These concrete examples are far more convincing than abstract ones, and I think Con does a better job of arguing his case than Pro, as Pro never really lays out how the Bible promotes a government-run, classless, ownerless society. Late in the debate Pro attempts to argue that Christians don't follow the Old Testament, but this is not actually relevant as the debate is on the Bible, not Christianity; moreover, Con is able to refute this point through Biblical passages. Conduct and S&G are even. Arguments clearly go to Con. As Con used more Biblical sources and used them better than Pro, sources go to Con. This was a good debate, but I think Con has a clear win here.
Vote Placed by Envisage 1 year ago
Envisage
kasmicWyltedTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Great debate. Wylted however nipped it in the sources, as he used a greater variety of Christian sources, such as both the KJV and LDS sources. Will revisit arguments when it's no longer 3am.
Vote Placed by gomergcc 1 year ago
gomergcc
kasmicWyltedTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con states, "God commanding The nation of Israel to be capitalist." This is a time when it was mostly a non monetary economy. The argument that God wanted you to use money at a point in history most people didn't have any is not convincing. Con at several points takes there bible quotes out of context. Cons argument, "God commanded, man to live and eat from the sweat of his brow." Goes against there side since in capitalism some can live and eat from the sweat of others brows. Pros argument that many don't follow the laws of Moses was given a good rebuttal by Con when Messianic Jews are a minority.