The Christian Bible Supports Socialism and/or Communism
Debate Rounds (5)
The rules are as follows:
1) Round 1 is for acceptance only.
2) Rounds 2, 3, and 4 are for debating.
3) Round 5 is for closing statements.
This will be my first debate here.
Interesting challenge. I never thought of it before. It sounds like fun.
I'm interested in hearing your opening argument.
1) For my first point, two major Socialist ideals are the ideas of welfare and redistribution. In other words, giving money to the poor, so that they can buy food, medicine, a place to live, clothes, and other essentials, as well as actually giving them these things so they don't need to be bought. The Bible, specifically the New Testament, overwhelmingly supports welfare. The following Bible passages are examples of this:
2 Corinthians 8:13-15 "For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”"
Luke 3:11 "And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”"
Matthew 19:21 "Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”"
Galatians 6:2 "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
These passages show us that the Bible (specifically Jesus) was in support of the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor.
2) Next, lets look at another Socialist view, the seperation of church and state. Ironically, the Bible supports this. (Sorry this is so long, it doesn't make as much sense if you shorten it)
Matthew 22:15-22 "Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar's.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away."
For those that are confused, Caesar is the title given to the emperor of Rome, which controlled the region at that time. This passage shows that Jesus considered government and the church seperate entities, although not phrased in that way.
3) A third Socialist ideal is the idea of equality, and that all people are equal.
Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Yes, it is supposed to be Christ Jesus, not Jesus Christ. Not sure why though...)
John 13:16 "Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him."
Can't wait for my oppenents argument. :)
No need to apologize for the long quote though. The Bible (and every other book) is completely useless without context. I intend to use whatever space I need to get the job done. :)
I would like to begin my own argument by saying that I entered this debate from a neutral position. I have studied these concepts (The Bible, Communism, and Socialism) in the past, and I could easily see that some of the same principles were at work.
But the specific question we need to answer is if The Bible supports these later works. I have to say no.
I agree that they have similar characteristics. But does the former "Support" the latter?
Let us use a simple argument first. At any point within the text of The Bible does it ever explicitly say that it supports either one of these systems?
There are 613 commandments in the law given to Moses in The Old Testament of the Christian Bible; The Torah for Jews.
You can find them all here: www.aish.com/h/sh/se/48945081.html
This is the only detailed system prescribed for human beings, although it was given to the descendents of Abraham. None of them read: Thou shalt practice Communism/Socialism. I know it sounds like a petty argument, but please bear with me. I will use another approach before I finish.
In The New Testament, Jesus says that two of those commandments sum up all the other laws and the teachings of the prophets. He says to love God with your whole heart and your whole soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:34-40
These are clear guidelines to live by. The passages he provided were also. When it comes to commands The Bible is very clear.
So the first problem I found with my opponent's argument is that he only demonstrated how these concepts (The Bible/Socialism/Communism) have similarities. He did not clearly demonstrate that one actually supports the other.
Example: Squares Support Rectangles
Squares are geometric shapes - So are rectangles
Squares are two dimensional - So are rectangles
Squares have four sides - Rectangles have four sides
Squares have four corners - Rectangles do too
This is a simplified version of the logic he used to argue his point. But squares are not rectangles, and squares do not support rectangles. They are similar, and that is a fact, but anything beyond that is conjecture.
If I were to argue that squares support rectangles in that manner, I could build a compelling argument. But if we were able to view them both as a whole, side by side, we would instantly see that they are different. If we begin to quantify their measurements, they would become even more distinguishable from one another.
At this point I would like to point out that in my opponent's 2nd example he clearly demonstrated that religion and government are distinct and separate. He also clearly said that they were both advocating separation. This is the opposite of support.
Next, I would argue that The Bible claims the wisdom of man is foolish:
Corinthians 3:18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness" 20 and again, "The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile."
Also, Corinthians 2:6-13 reads:
6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written:
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
I believe this shows that "The wisdom of this world..." is not supported by The Bible. I believe that it also reinforces my opponent's statement that religion and government are separate, not supporting concepts.
Therefore, the Christian Bible does NOT support Socialism and/or Communism.
ChrisF forfeited this round.
In numerous biblical passages it seems evident that people had private property. It is important to note at this point that I am not suggesting the Bible advocates private property. I am suggesting that people were permitted to have it, and that they were encouraged to give it away by choice.
The first example I would like to make involves a few of what people know as the Ten Commandments. Exodus: Chapter 20.
Verse 15 says that you shall not steal.
I argue that in order to redistribute wealth on a large scale, you would inevitably have to take it from people without their permission. If only a single person refused to give up his/her property willfully an act of theft will have occurred. The only way around this would be to ignore their current legal claim on it. Even if we redefine the legal definition of property in order to assert that it can only be owned by "The People" or "The State," it will not be sufficient. It will not change that, as of this date, it can be owned by an individual by name. One can argue that it has always belonged to the people, but it would only take a single land deed or title to prove otherwise. It was accepted to have legally belonged to someone else at a previous time.
The New Testament affirms that thieves (along with other people) will not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 9-10
Some may still argue that if the laws were changed, and if words were redefined, redistribution of wealth would not be illegal and may not constitute a valid definition of theft.
However, Exodus 20:17 reads:
"You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
So not only does it forbid theft, it forbids people from wanting something that another person has. I would argue that it is not possible for an organized redistribution of wealth to occur without anybody wanting it.
This helps to frame the verses my opponent used to make his argument. The believers owned private property but they sold it of their own free will to provide for others. Allow me to add a few similar verses myself. These promote the same values, but with clearer language.
Acts 2:44-45 reads:
"All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need."
Acts 4:33-37 is an even clearer example:
"With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need."
"Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement"), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet."
Here we can clearly see that it was through consent that these things were done. They owned property, and sold it. They willfully gave the money to the apostles, and only then was it redistributed.
So again, while the verses my opponent provided do promote charity, they never prescribe that people be forced to give it by law. They do not propose taking things from people against their will. Most importantly, they do not endorse a government or any political or social system at all.
This should clearly show that the Bible does not support or endorse Socialism or Communism.
I pulled these verses from the New International Version of the Bible.
I chose it because it was the default selection at biblegateway.com which I used so that I could quickly access and copy the passages that I required.
ChrisF forfeited this round.
Well, I'm not sure how to continue at this point. My opponent has not made any further arguments, and I have already debated his earlier points.
Let's review the original agreement from round one:
"Pro will be arguing that the Bible endorses socialism and communism, and Con will be arguing that it doesn't."
Let's look up the word endorse, and see what it means specifically.
: to publicly or officially say that you support or approve of (someone or something)
: to publicly say that you like or use (a product or service) in exchange for money
: to write your name on the back of (a check)
It is impossible for my opponent to prove that the Bible endorses socialism or communism because they did not exist when it was written. The Bible never publicly or officially said that it supports or approves of either of them. It did endorse some similar views. But he did not agree to argue that they have similarities, he agreed to argue that the Bible endorses socialism and communism. The problem is further compounded by the fact that socialism is not a blanket term. There are many forms of it and not all are the same.
Here is the Encyclopaedia Britannica entry on socialism:
If we are to use the term socialism as a blanket term, or a concept, here is the definition:
: a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies
For this debate to be logical and coherent, we cannot pick and choose between different systems or single verses of the Bible. We can only debate it as a whole. My opponent's burden of proof was to clearly demonstrate this endorsement and he has yet to do so.
Notice that the definition of socialism clearly states that major industries are owned and controlled by government rather than by individual people and companies. In the previous round I showed that the Bible prescribes charity, not government control. I would also like to point out that my opponent's opening argument demonstrates the same thing. None of the verses he provided endorsed that these charitable actions be carried out by government, and none of them endorsed the creation or formation of a government. Also, none of these verses endorse giving control of property to government. They endorse giving to the poor, and a willingness to bear one another's burdens.
Ok, so I've addressed socialism. But what about communism?
: a way of organizing a society in which the government owns the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) and there is no privately owned property
This definition is even more restrictive. It clearly states that there is no privately owned property. If people don't have things which belong to them, they cannot be expected to give them to others.
My opponent used 2 Corinthians 8:13-15
"...as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness."
How can there be abundance at one time for someone, and need at another if the government controls all property and dispenses it equally? Wouldn't it have been easier to say that you should give to the government, and they would take care of you?
Next he used Luke 3:11
"And he answered them, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.""
Again, how can someone have two and the other have none if these things were controlled by a government and distributed evenly?
Next we have Matthew 19:21
"Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.""
It clearly says, "...sell what you possess and give to the poor..."
So you are to sell what you own, and give it to the poor. This would not be possible in a socialist or communist system. I could go on like this, but I think that I've made my point.
Rule 3 for this debate states:
"Round 5 is for closing statements."
My opponent has no room left to argue my position. However, if he can show us that the Bible endorses socialism or communism within his closing statement he will have met his burden of proof and convinced me at the same time.
ChrisF forfeited this round.
My opponent instigated this challenge yet failed to follow through with it. He failed to meet his burden of proof, and he failed to discredit my position. I provided more then enough information to refute his opening statement, and there was more than enough time for him to respond with an argument of his own. We must consider the possibility that there simply was not an effective response to the information which I provided.
I feel that anyone who reads this will undoubtedly vote in my favor.
Thank you for your time.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by yay842 2 years ago
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||1|
Reasons for voting decision: FF
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.