The Instigator
Risen
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
McIvor
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Jesus had Socialist Views

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
McIvor
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 542 times Debate No: 63941
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

Risen

Pro

First round is acceptance :). Please include sources with your arguments, thank you!
McIvor

Con

I accept this debate according to my personal views, and not just playing the Devil's advocate. I thank Pro for this resolution, as I think this is a very important topic that all (at least all Christians) should be informed on.
I now await Pro's arguments for the first (actual) round of the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Risen

Pro

I thank con for accepting this debate and will now begin my argument:

1) What is Socialism?
Well according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, one definition of Socialism is "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods" (1) Now I believe it is important to note that I will not be arguing that Jesus was a complete Socialist, rather he had views that today would be considered Socialist by many.

2) Socialism in the Bible
My first argument will center around Luke 6:20 and Luke 6:24. In Luke 6:20 Jesus says that, "Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God." Also in Luke 6:24 Jesus states that, "But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort." In these two verses, Jesus is clearly enabling and glorifying the poor. Socialists are known for attempting to enable the poor or as some call it the "proletariat" Jesus is also acknowledging that the poor work hard and deserve a piece of comfort and respect, as well as a place in Heaven. In Mark 19:23-24 Jesus said to his disciples that, "Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." Jesus is saying that because many of the rich are extremely privileged it is hard for them to go to Heaven (I assume this is because many rich people are full of greed and contempt for the poor). But if it is hard for the rich to go to Heaven, how will any of them get there? Matthew 19:21-22 provides an answer. The Bible says, "Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth." Jesus is advocating redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, a very socialist principal. In Mark 19:31 Jesus says, "Love thy neighbor as yourself" Jesus is telling people to treat each other equally at all times. In a Capitalist society, inequality is at the core of the system. Many consider (including myself) Socialism to be the opposite of capitalism. Therefore, equality is at the core of the Socialist system.

3) Conclusion
As shown above, Jesus advocated for Socialist values and therefore had Socialist views. I don't believe there can be any other interpretation of the meaning of the verses mentioned in my second argument. Once again I thank my opponent for accepting my challenge and I eagerly await his reply.

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
All Bible verses taken from the New International Version
McIvor

Con

First off, I think we need to take a more in depth look at the meaning of Socialism. I believe that Oxford Dictionaries gives a better definition: "A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole." [1] With this definition, we can see that the community (or government) does not necessarily have to own every thing, but everything is regulated by the government. So, I'd accept my opponent's definition if it had an "or" between "ownership" and "administration".

Pro brought up Luke 6:20 "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." Pro asserted, then, that Jesus is, in this verse, enabling and glorifying the poor. First, I'd like Pro to explain what he means by "enabling". I believe that Pro does not realize the intention of the word "poor". In this verse, Jesus is not referring to those with little or no money, rather he is referring to those who are poor in spirit. We can see this when we look at Matthew's account of the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This verse is not saying to those who are poor in spirit shall automatically be saved, but rather Jesus was referring to those who were the outcasts of the society, those who were considered less holy or unholy, and saying that they are not excluded from the kingdom of heaven, instead, these were the people that God would call. James 2:5 reads " Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"

Now, the next verse, Luke 6:24, "But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort." This again was interpreted the wrong way. Jesus here is referring to those who let riches become their idle. Later in the book of Luke, chapter 12 Jesus tells the "Parable of the Rich Fool" and ends in verse 21, "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

Pro then brought up Matthew (Pro mistakenly labeled it as Mark) 19:23-24 "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."" This is talking about something totally different. John MacArthur on his commentary of verse 24 explains it well, by first pointing out that Jesus is stating that it is impossible for a rich man to get to heaven, then goes on and explains, "Jesus was underscoring the impossibility of anyone's being saved by merit. Since wealth was deemed proof of God's approval, and those who had it could give more alms, it was commonly thought that rich people were the most likely candidates for heaven. Jesus destroyed that notion, and along with it, the notion that anyone can merit enough divine favor to gain entrance into heaven." This can be seen by how Jesus' disciple responded in verse 25 and Jesus' response in verse 26, "When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."" In other words, salvation is possible only through divine grace.

Next Pro brought up Matthew 19:21-22, "Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth." This is the same issue as earlier. Jesus was testing this man because he knew what his idle was: riches. Jesus didn't ask ask everyone to go and sell everything they had to follow him. Peter still had a house which he never sold, yet in verse 27 he says, "We have left everything to follow you!" The disciples understood what Jesus was getting at, you had to leave everything behind, value Jesus above anything else, not sell everything you own and give to the poor.

So, we can see that nothing that Pro brought up actually supports the idea that Jesus had socialist views. We know that Jesus had very charitable views, and he encouraged charity, but no where did he force it. Socialism is basically forced charity, and thus is not charity. For all these reasons, I believe that I have disproven Pro's assertions.

I wish to do more than that though. I wish to also prove to you all that Jesus' views are not socialist, but are quite the opposite. I would assert that Jesus' views are actually quite capitalistic.

I'd like to make a clarification point. Anything taught in the Bible is Christ's views, as Jesus is God, and the Bible is God's word.

Now, God's views on economic theory can be summed up in one verse. Exodus 20:15 reads, "You shall not steal." If God had socialist views, then it would read, "You shall not steal, except by majority vote". Just because the majority wants to take someone's money and give it to someone else, does not mean it is right. By definition, it is stealing. A quote by George Bernard Shaw reveals the treachery of it, "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul." While the main point of that quote is a bit off subject, it does help you to realize that socialism and a welfare state violate the eighth commandment, hiding behind the mask of kindness to the poor.
Christ said in Luke 10:7, "the laborer is worthy of his wages". If you take some of the laborer's wages and give it to another person who earns less, you are stealing. Redistribution is stealing; it's as simple as that.

For these reasons voting Con is justified.

[1] Oxford Online Dictionaries. "Socialism". http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Risen

Pro

Risen forfeited this round.
McIvor

Con

My opponent, Pro, has forfeited the round. He did, although, leave a comment to this debate in the comment section. It reads as follows: "We could not agree on a definition of socialism, therefore this debate is void." I want to address this really quickly. First off, because no terms were defined before I accepted this debate, the terms were left for the opponents to define. In such a debate, you debate about what definition is best. There's a reason why it's called "debate"... What my opponent asserted in his comment is truly doesn't make sense. It's like saying, "We disagreed, so the debate didn't work." It's absurd.
So, for this reason, and all the reasons I stated in round 2, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Risen 2 years ago
Risen
We could not agree on a definition of socialism, therefore this debate is void.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Mightymessedup......Jesus tells us to give to the poor. What he never said was to steal from our neighbors to do it.And that is all socialism is. You are a moron. I may be hammered for saying that, but I cannot think of saying it any other way that fits.
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
mightbenihilism
Cheyennebodie gets his exegesis from Donald Trump's "Trump's Amplified Bible Commentary: translated from the original pig-Latin." It comes with a complementary gray comb-over toupee and a hand-crafted dragon-staff to beat homeless people when they ask for some spare change.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
stub.... Tell me, O wise one, where am I wrong?Just answering an absurd topic.
Posted by stubs 2 years ago
stubs
@cheyennebodie that is some of the worst exegesis I have ever heard.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Socialism is an unholy system. How could Jesus back that up?

In fact, Jesus said to take the talent off the foolish man and give it to the wealthiest one.God rewards those who work hardest and wisest. Not the freeloader union people.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
RisenMcIvorTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Imperfiect 2 years ago
Imperfiect
RisenMcIvorTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff