Christ Was A Politician
This definition leaves a bit to be desired. History is full of stories of people thrown into political situations, not because they are professionals, but because they oppose the current system or rulers. By this wider definition we can see that protestors and street preachers are participating in the political system. This is said without concern for the degree of efficacy of their participation. What is important is that they be recognized as part of the body politic. Short of this recognition it is not possible to say that the ordinary person has a say or place in politics.
Rome made political pacts with the Jewish religious leaders. To oppose these leaders is to be political. The tacit reason for the crucifixion of the Christ was his claim to be king. Heresy. Political suicide.
There are a growing number of people who seem to reject religion but accept the teachings of the Christ of the Christian bible. That is to say that they reject how man has interpreted the bible in the form of religion. In this they seem to reject all of the ‘objectionable’ parts of the Old Testament while retaining what they consider acceptable in the New Testament. That is to say that laws such as stoning those who work on a Sabbath are bad and to be rejected.
What is this growing group of theists pushing for? Clearly it is not an organized group so any statement of what they want would necessarily be incorrect for as many of them as it is correct. The common theme is that what Jesus taught is good, the rest of religion is bad. Do you know who else said this?
“Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.
So this Christ guy taught a few things:
In Luke 3 we see Jesus telling all to give up what they do not immediately need, help the needy, feed and clothe those who lack, in all transactions be fair and just, and that getting into the ‘heaven’ requires this sacrifice.
This is clearly a form of socialism. Rule of the people remains but it is said to be rule with fairness and glorify the god, not the self. That is to say that you should be fair and just and your brother’s keeper but do not take the credit, give that to the god. When there is no living god, the credit then goes to an ideal and not the individual. This is very socialist and very anti-capitalist.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFrom each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs) is a slogan popularised by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program. In German, “Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!”. In the Marxist view, such an arrangement will be made possible by the abundance of goods and services that a developed communist society will produce; the idea is that, with the full development of scientific socialism and unfettered productive forces, there will be enough to satisfy everyone’s needs.
The complete paragraph containing Marx’s statement of the creed in the ‘Critique of the Gotha Program’ is as follows:
- In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!
Some scholars trace the origin of the phrase to the New Testament. In Acts of the Apostles the lifestyle of the community of believers in Jerusalem is described as communal (without individual possession), and uses the phrase “distribution was made unto every man according as he had need“:
Matthew 25:14-30: And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to each according to his ability. And he went abroad at once.
Acts 4:32: All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.
It is clear that Marx had opinions on many things and his ideas have been used in many ‘philosophies’, often to ill effect. Lenin made kind of a mess of things but the problem can generally be said that the Russian experiment failed because Marxist Communism cannot be sustainable when isolated within a single country. No, it has to be spread everywhere so that the value of things and self are experienced universally. That is to say that it must be spread over all of the globe ideally for the ideals to function as they should. This post is not long enough to explore all of these in any useful way. I do want to draw another parallel here between Marxist ideals and this new Jesus philosophy religion.
What this Christ taught also cannot survive on its own in isolation, it must be spread around the globe. Christians worth their salt know of the Great Commission to evangelize and spread the religion.
The Great Commission (Mathew 28)
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The parallels between the teachings of this Christ and Marxian thought are, to me, a natural fit. Marx had to consider the creation of wealth and division of labor for success of the society. The Christ covered all that by creating a two class system – the class of believers and the class of non-believers. The law of rule to be established by his commandments and the necessary struggle for life between classes is that between belief and non-belief. He directly opposed the ruling class with the notion of the people taking over the ruling class and the world through dedication to the ideas of the Christ’s teachings and not themselves or wealth itself.