|Ed. Note: The historical term "Christian Communism" is nowadays little known. Historically, it used to be a more common term. For historical background, see, e.g.,
See also Christian Socialist writings, e.g.,
This website in our history series (which includes, e.g., pre-Civil War abolitionism) reprints a Christian Communist essay from the mid-19th century, by New Orleans Prof. Thomas Wharton Collens, Esq. Prof. Collens became a lawyer, later a judge, and then a professor. Prof. Collens was a Roman Catholic, advocated First Century Christian doctrine, and among other writings, also wrote The Eden of Labor: or, The Christian Utopia (Philadelphia: H. C. Baird & Co., 1876).
|Ed. Note: For background on the Bible economic system, click here, and on the Bible Society Management Laws, click here, and here.
"The parable of the rich man and the poor one (Luke 16:19-31, Video) is perfectly consistent with Mark 10:25 and Luke 6:20, 24," says Prof. José P. Miranda, Communism in the Bible, supra, Chapter 2, § 1, "The Illegitimacy of Wealth," p 22. The reason is, "their wickedness consists in their growing rich, since the acquisition of wealth is possible only by oppressing and exploiting the poor," p. 43. In Bible terminology, "the wicked are the rich," Chapter 2, § 2, "The Spurious Origin of All Wealth," p 44. See Isaiah 53:9 and Psalm 37:14 and 16.
In essence, "the problem of evil is simply the social problem in its purest expression. Otherwise it would be too much of a coincidence that none of these documents [Bible verses on the subject] is [ever] able to speak of the "wicked" without mentioning the poor by contrast. Evidently the wicked are the rich," says Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (1981), transl., Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982), Chapter 2, § 3, "The Problem of Evil: A Social Problem," p 44.
"'Happy the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God' Luke 6:20), and adds "Woe to you the rich, because you have received your comfort" (Luke 6:24)," says Miranda, supra, Chapter 1, § 4, p 20. This answers, "the question [of] who can and who cannot form part of the kingdom which Jesus Christ is founding on earth. And what Jesus says is: The rich cannot," says Prof. Miranda, supra, Chapter 2, § 4, "A Classless Society," p 19.
|Ed. Note: Now "if the apostles and those around them did not know the meaning of Christ's teaching, that meaning has been lost to the world for ever," says Rev. Dennis Hird, Jesus the Socialist (London: The Clarion Press, 1908), p 16.
"The opinions of the earliest professors of Christianity upon the [subject] are of importance; because they who lived nearest to the time of its Founder were the most likely to be informed of his intentions and his will, and to practise them without those adulterations which we know have been introduced by the lapse of ages," says Jonathan Dymond, An Inquiry into the Accordancy of War with the Principles of Christianity (1821), § II.79.31.
"The first fifteen bishops of Jerusalem were all circumcised Jews; and the congregation over which they presided united the law of Moses with the doctrine of Christ. It was natural that the primitive tradition of a church which was founded only forty days after the death of Christ, and was governed almost as many years under the immediate inspection [supervision] of his apostles, should be received as the standard of orthodoxy," says Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. I, Chapter XV, § I, p 243. (Background).
|Ed. Note: "Two centuries later, Christianity produced still on the pagans the effect of a communist sect," says Prof. Ernest Renan, Les Apôtres, transl., The Apostles (New York, Carleton; Paris, Michel Levy Frčres, 1866), Chapter V, p 106.
Christians in short were abiding by Bible teachings, for example, that everything belongs to God, Genesis 1:1 and 14:18, 19, 22, Colossians 1:16, Exodus 9:29 and 19:5, Leviticus 25:23, Deuteronomy 10:14, 1 Chronicles 29:11, Job 41:11, Psalm 24:1 and 50:10, 1 Corinthians 10:26, 28, etc. To make this bluntly clear, God says ALL the money (gold and silver) is HIS, Haggai 2:8. God as sole owner of everything, feels that HE ALONE gets to decide how HIS property is distributed. Christians are merely pilgrims and wanderers here, Hebrews 11:13, 1 Peter 2:11. Thus, the Early Christians were complying with the foregoing Bible principles, and thus "pagans [capitalists deemed them] a communist sect," as Prof. Renan cites, Apostles, supra, p 106.
Such compliance continued to be called "communistic" centuries later, in the U.S., see, e.g., Charles Nordhoff (1830-1901), The Communistic Societies of the United States: From Personal Visit and Observation (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1875, reprinted, Shocken Books, 1965).
Methodist Church Founder Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791), Explanatory Notes on the New Testament (London: William Boyer, 1755), shows likewise, in his analyses of Acts 2:45, 4:32, and 5:1-5. See pertinent quotes.
The Bible system is wealth redistribution according to need, i.e., "as every man had need," Acts 2:44-45, Matthew 20:1-15, Exodus 16:16-20 (avoiding the inequality issues generated by even a different coat, Genesis 37:3-4, et seq). This physical aspect parallels the spiritual. Jesus Christ has the ability to save. People have the need. Christ's duty commanded from the Father was to give according to His ability, according to people's need -- to give His life, to enable mankind to have life. This is BASIC Christianity, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." God asks of people no more than He asks of Himself.
The opposite, secular, carnal, apostate, heretical, anti-First-Century-Christian doctrine is "that those who do certain kinds of work ought to receive lower incomes and be content with lower levels of consumption than those who do other kinds of work. A classist society is thereby, in people's minds, canonized as something morally correct, as a situation demanded by justice. . . . both ideas are equally false," says Theology Prof. José P. Miranda, Marx y la Biblia: Critica a la Filosofia de la Opresion, transl. John Eagleson, Marx and the Bible: A Critique of the Philosophy of Oppression (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1974), Chapter 1, Private Ownership Under Challenge, § Distribution of Income, p 9.
The heresy of income based on job function vs income based on need, "is the . . . historical continuation of the notion that some are born to be masters and others to be slaves, that some are born for a higher standard of living and others for a lower. This is why the Bible directly attacks [said heresy]," says Theology Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (1981), transl., Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982), Chap. 2, "Why Communism?," § 1, The Illegitimacy of Wealth, p 29.
|Ed. Note: For more background on agrarianism, see, e.g.,
They shout it forth with deprecating emphasis and tone [of voice], as if they expected it to have the same effect as the cabalistic [mystical] word that scares away evil spirits. They tell us of Gracchus and Catiline, Baboeuf and Robespierre, who wanted to bring about an equal distribution of property by force; but they [such apostate clergy] tell us not that the immediate personal disciples of the apostles willingly “sold their possessions and goods and parted them to all,” the apostles themselves being members of the Community. Acts II, 45 [Matthew 19:27].
|Ed. Note: For more background, see Rev. Dennis Hird, Jesus the Socialist (London: The Clarion Press, 1908), § 9, p 17, and Prof. Ernest Renan, The Apostles (New York, Carleton; Paris, Michel Levy Frčres, 1866), Chapter VII, p. 132.
Bible commands and precedents on economic equality, establish, maintain, and preserve social and political equality, thus prevent the evils of aristocracy, monarchy, etc. Penalties had applied for greed or not sharing, see, e.g., Joshua 7:1-24 (execution of Achan, et al., in this context), 1 Samuel 25:5-13, 36-38 (death of Nabal in this context); and Exodus 16:16-20 (eliminating excess every 24 hours). Ananias and Sapphira were thus pre-warned of consequences of non-compliance with the established requirements. See also 1 Peter 4:17 (judgment on professing adherents), and 2 Samuel 12:14 (professing adherents' behavior must not set a bad example).
Indeed, the new requirements were stricter. The “new commandment” is to “love one another” “as I [Jesus Christ] have loved you,” John 13:34, i.e., more than merely yourself, but so conspicuously, not just talk but deeds, economic deeds, James 2:15-17, so blatantly, so conspicuously, that “all men [people, everyone] may [would] know that ye are My [Christ's] disciples,” John 13:35. The old commandment was "love as yourself," now the requirement is higher, at the Christ-level. Like any commandment, it has "teeth," i.e., enforceability, as per the lesson of Ananias and Sapphira. They felt God was hard, extortionate, too demanding, rewarding laziness in others, letting them reap where they did not sow, by His grace-type approach, providing for equality and wealth distribution by need, not by performance, cf. Matthew 25:24, Luke 19:21.
God's intent is prosperity for all systemically established, 3 John 2 and Micah 4:4. God is owner of everything; He gets to decide how the wealth, His wealth, is redistributed, Matthew 20:15. Equality is His original intent, Genesis 1:16, 28. Christians look forward to restoring this original intent, Acts 3:19-21, and were in the First Century Church, already living it by having "all things in common," Acts 4:32. They were thereby complying with the pertinent part of the "Lord's Prayer," i.e., "thy kingdom [government, system of laws on how to operate society] come, thy will be done [now] on earth as in heaven," Matthew 6:10, Luke 11:2.
God had commanded giving to the poor, Deuteronomy 15:7-10, and leaving one's excess property for the poor, Leviticus 19:9-10, Leviticus 23:22, Deuteronomy 24:19-21, and Ruth 2:2-3. He gave 100% of Himself, Philippians 2:5-8. He commended the widow who gave 100%, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4. He spoke parables against the wicked rich, i.e., people retaining wealth for themselves as opposed to sharing, e.g., Luke 12:16-21, Luke 16:19-31 (Video). See also Paul Buchheit, "The 12 Days of a Capitalist Christmas" (Monday, 24 December 2012).
In this context, it was clear to all that their duty was to abide by Christ's principles, examples, observations, and command to "sell that thou hast and give to the poor," Matthew 19:21. The Church understood this as a command to all members. Matthew 19:25. Everyone else in the Church was complying. They “had all things in common," none claiming "aught was his." Acts 2:44-45 and Acts 4:32, 34-35. This follows Christ's original intent, original grant of Genesis 1:26, and future intent, making His followers equal inheritors, Micah 4:4 and John 14:2, joint heirs, equally, Romans 8:14-17. Christ had mandated: "Every one of you who does not renounce all he has cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).
“According to Luke, what is optional is not communism, but Christianity. Peter does not tell Ananias that he could have come into the Christian community without renouncing the private ownership of his goods. Nor could he say such a thing after it was explicitly emphasized that of the Christians 'not a single one said anything was his' (Acts 4:32). Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit by pretending to become a Christian via a simulated renunciation," says Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (1981), transl., Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982), Chapter 1, § 2, "Original Christianity," p 10. A similar sin would be evident, a "simulated" conversion, in the case of someone who had claimed to agree to participate in the Christian community, but then would not work according to ability, see, e.g., 2 Thess. 3:10.
Prof Miranda covers the sections in the Bible contrasting the wicked and the poor. He notes that "none of these documents [verses] is able to speak of the 'wicked' without mentioning the poor by contrast. Evidently the wicked are the rich," Chapter 1, § 3, "The Problem of Evil: A Social Problem," p 44. See Isaiah 53:9 and Psalm 37:14 and 16,.
See also secular authors likewise, for example, in the writings of Dominick Dunne, author of The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, People Like Us, and An Inconvenient Woman, "the rich and powerful stop at virtually nothing to protect their privileged position. Driven by passion, and greed, harboring secrets that could destroy them, the ruthless people . . . are meticulously drawn by Dunne. Interweaving glamor, romance, scandal, and intrigue, these are stories of the gilded class." In Bible terms, such are "the wicked."
They, "the haves fearfully anticipate that more for the have-nots will only mean less for themselves . . . Rousseau [said in A Discourse on the Origins of Inequality (1752)] that the rich enjoy their fortune 'only in so far as others are destitute of it; and because, without changing their condition, they would cease to be happy the moment the people ceased to be wretched.' But something more than sadistic glee lies behind this feeling of the rich. As Rousseau himself adds [in The Social Contract and Discourses]: 'We find our advantage in the misfortune of our fellow-creatures, and the loss of one man almost always constitutes the prosperity of another.' Let us develop this idea further: the haves sense that their privileges exist at the expense of the have-nots [their situation] denotes a social relation, one in which scarcity is preserved," says Prof. Michael Parenti, Ph.D., Power and the Powerless (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1978), Chapter 7, "The Legitimation of Class Dominance," § 3, "To Have and To Have Not," p 91. Note pertinent definition, "Schadenfreude," "a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people."
|Ed. Note: Re economic abuses, recall Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction; "the cities were destroyed because the inhabitents were nasty, depraved, and uncompromisingly greedy. Classical Jewish writings affirm that the primary crimes of the Sodomites were, among others, terrible and repeated economic crimes, both against each other and to outsiders," says "What was the sin of Sodom?" The Bible forbids a predatory economic system.
Recall the destruction of Ancient Judah for reasons including its economic crime of forcing people to work without pay, aka slavery, see Rev. George B. Cheever, D.D., God Against Slavery (New York: Joseph Ladd, 1857; Cincinnati: American Reform Tract and Book Society, 1857; reprinted, NUP, 1969), pp 72ff.
Taking or retaining more for oneself than giving another, violates commandments, e.g., the one against coveting, "Thou shalt not covet . . . anything that is thy neighbor's," Exodus 20:17, and the one to "love thy neighbor as thyself," Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 19:19, Mark 12:31, or more so, John 13:34, Philippians 2:5-8.
Underpaying employees is therefore sin as well, says James 5:4-5. What the Bible commands is the opposite of exploiting others, making money off others, underpaying others, but instead the Mark 10:17-31 approach, life-style, giving attitude, "sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor" (Mark 10:21), esteeming others better than self, Philippians 2:3.
"Jesus . . . was a cutting man. Has there ever existed, in all of history, a more intransigent person than the one who turned to those who spontaneously wished to follow him and stopped them dead in their tracks with: First go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor and then come and follow me? This is a statement that can have been made only in a harsh, pugnacious tone––the tone of the man who, when he talks about money, calls it the "money of iniquity" (Luke 16:9, 11), the tone of the man who was capable of shouting out, "Scribes and pharisees, hypocrites!" seven times running (Matt. 23:13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29), the tone of the man who, speaking about the temple, comes right out and says, "not a stone will be left upon a stone" (Mark 13:2). Jesus had the character of a hardened revolutionary. It is time we understood that," says Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (1981), transl., Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982), Chapter 2, "Why Communism?," § 1, The Illegitimacy of Wealth, p 22.
"The notion of communism is in the New Testament, right down to the letter––and so well put that in the twenty centuries since it was written no one has come up with a better definition of communism than Luke in Acts 2:44-45 and 4:32-35. In fact, the definition Marx borrowed from Louis Blanc, "From each one according to his capacities, to each one according to his needs," is inspired by, if not directly copied from, Luke's formulation eighteen centuries earlier. There is no clearer demonstration of the brainwashing to which the establishment keeps us subjected than the officially promulgated conception of Christianity as anticommunist," says Prof. Miranda, Communism in the Bible, supra, pp 1-2.
"Of course, the first Christians were also influenced by Jesus' example and personal conduct. For Jesus, whether the conservatives like it or not, was in fact a communist––as can be seen in John 12:6, 13:29, and Luke 8:1-3. Judas "carried the purse," so they had everything in common and each received according to his need," says Prof. Miranda, Communism in the Bible, supra, Chapter 1, "Christianity is Communism," § 4 "A Classless Society," p 18.
Ananias and Sapphira ran afoul of these principles, while pretending to become Christian. For this lie, they received the death penalty, Acts 5:1-11.
|Ed. Note: "In order to be objective in reading the gospel, one has to stop imagining Jesus as the sweet, conciliatory sort. He was a cutting man. Has there ever existed, in all of history, a more intransigent person than the one who turned to those who spontaneously wished to follow him and stopped them dead in their tracks with: First go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor and then come and follow me? This is a statement that can have been made only in a harsh, pugnacious tone-the tone of the man who, when he talks about money, calls it the "money of iniquity" (Luke 16:9, 11), the tone of the man who was capable of shouting out, "Scribes and pharisees, hypocrites!" seven times running (Matt. 23:13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29), the tone of the man who, speaking about the temple, comes right out and says, "not a stone will be left upon a stone" (Mark 13:2). Jesus had the character of a hardened revolutionary. It is time we understood that," says Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (1981), transl., Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982), Chapter 2, "Why Communism?," p 22.|
They [typical clergymen] dare not say: “Blessed are the poor––the willingly and contentedly poor,––and damned are the rich––the seekers of riches, |18 those who are moved by the spirit of acquisitiveness [covetousness].”
Sinclair Lewis, in his book, Elmer Gantry (1927), observed likewise, saying that “the church is in bondage to Big Business and doctrines as laid down by millionaires” (Chapter XXVII, last paragraph, p 364), with the goal “that workmen would turn from agitation to higher things, and work more loyally at the same wages,” says Chapter XIII, Section III, p 195. Wherefore, re
Christ's command, "Every one of you who does not renounce all he has cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33), and His command to the church, "to teach [the members] to observe all things whatsover that I commanded you," Matthew 28:20, clergymen do NOT preach it (Christ's said command)!
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”—Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935). Note also his Profits of Religion (1917), § on Charity, § on Holy Oil, and § on prevention.
For more on money-motivation, see
Christ specified: "Every one of you who does not renounce all he has cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).
And said Sinclair Lewis: “no one in this room, including your pastor, believes in the Christian religion. Not one of us would turn the other cheek. Not one of us would sell all that he has and give to the poor. Not one of us would give his coat to some man who took his overcoat. Every one of us lays up all the treasure he can. We don't practice the Christian religion. We don't intend to practice it. Therefore, we don't believe in it. Therefore I resign, and I advise you to quit lying and disband [the congregation],” says Chapter XXIX, Section VII, paragraph 4, p 385. And see James Benedict Moore, M.A., "The Sources of Elmer Gantry," The New Republic 143 (8 August 1960).
|Ed. Note: Re this clergy refusal to preach First Century Christian Bible principles, "Ultimately the Marxists have been doing us [professing Christian clergy] a favor by propagating the idea of communism in our absence––our culpable absence. But to identify communism with Marxism implies a crass ignorance of history," says Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (1981), transl., Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982), Chapter 1, § 2, "Intentional Misunderstandings," p 2.
Pastor Brian D. McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus (W Pub Group, 2006), says “that Christians should be more concerned about creating a just 'Kingdom of God' on earth than about getting into heaven” (reference “Evangelical Author Puts Progressive Spin On Traditional Faith,” by Caryle Murphy, Washington Post (Sunday, 10 September 2006, p A1)). This rejects “'The modern [alleged] Christian formula of 'I mentally assent to the fact that Jesus died for my sins and therefore I get to live forever in heaven' . . . is entirely cognitive,' said Ken Archer . . . at Catholic University. 'It's a mathematical formula [that] leaves the rest of our being unfulfilled.'”
"Surely there are different interpretations of the gospel, and the purpose of this book is to air them. But then the powerful are attacking an interpretation of the Bible different from their own," says Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (1981), transl., Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982), Chapter 1, § 2, "Intentional Misunderstandings," p 3.
The "powerful" reject Christ's command, "Every one of you who does not renounce all he has cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33), and His command to His church, "to teach [the members] to observe all things whatsover that I commanded you," Matthew 28:20.
"Jesus was the first communist" (Video Title) says Gennady A. Zyuganov (Interview, 22 April 2009) (More, More and More).
With respect to the sin of covetousness, note “Zechariah's ninth vision [Zechariah 5:5-11]. . . . The Jews then in the land [Palestine] had been in captivity in Babylon. Outwardly, they had put away idolatry, but they had learned in Babylon that insatiate greed of gain (Neh. 5:1-9; Mal. 3:8), that intense commercial [business, free enterprise] spirit which had been foreign to [Biblical] Israel as a pastoral [rural, agrarian] people, but which was thenceforward to characterize them through the ages. These things were out of place in God's people and land. Symbolically He [God] judged them as belonging to Babylon and sent them there to build a temple—they could have no part in His. The 'woman' was to be 'set there upon her own base' (v. 11). It was Jehovah's [God's] moral judgment upon [against] Babylon in His own land and people. Prophetically, the application to the Babylon [free enterprise commercialism] of the [Book of] Revelation [14:8, 16:19, 17:5, 18:2, 18:10, 18:21] is obvious. The professing Gentile church at that time condoning every iniquity of the rich, doctrinally a mere 'confusion,' as the name indicates, and corrupted to the core by commercialism, wealth, and luxury, falls under the judgment of God (Rev. 18.),” says the Scofield Reference Bible (New York: Oxford Univ Press, 1909, 1917, 1937, 1945), p 969. By learning the Babylonish system, they disregarded the principle and duty to 'learn not the ways of the heathen,' Jeremiah 10:2, and thereby became contaminated by it, adopting it.
The Bible urges return to "the faith once delivered to the saints," Jude 3, and not be "removed unto another gospel," Galatians 1:6-7, such as the "prosperity gospel" of free enterprise commercialism. Such "other gospel" rejects, e.g., Acts 2:41-45 and Acts 4:32-37, and Christ's own direct words, "Every one of you who does not renounce all he has cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).
|T. Wharton Collens
||New Orleans, La.
Issue 3, pp 17-18 (March 1868)
|Bibliography of Christian Socialist Writings
Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676), The New Law of Righteousness (1649), and The Law of Freedom in a Platform (1651)
Prof. Charles H. George, Revolution: European Radicals from Hus to Lenin (Glenview, IL.: Scott, Foresman and Co., 1962)
Prof. Rev. Leonhard Ragasz (1868-1945), Von Christus zu Marx – von Marx zu Christus (Ein Beitrag, Harder: Wernigerode, 1929, reprinted and translated as From Christ to Marx, From Marx to Christ (1972)
Paula Marie Jackson, Ph.D., Contributions of Jose Porfirio Miranda to a Praxis-Oriented Biblical Theology (Ph.D. dissertation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1985)
Prof. Robert C. Reinders, "T. Wharton Collens: Catholic and Christian Socialist," The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 52, No. 2 (July 1966), pp 212-233
Robert H. Craig, Religion and Radical Politics: An Alternative Christian Tradition (1995), pp 22-23
Mtro. Luis Ramon Brito Crabtree, "José Porfirio Miranda and the Scientific Necessity of Philosophical Investigation" (25 March 1995)
John Rehill, "The London Riots: Put on Your Seatbelt Main Street" (The Bradenton Times (FL) 14 August 2011) ("It's a culture gone sideways, the creed of winner take all. I got mine and we don't care about you, so get out of the way. John F. Kennedy said, "Make a peaceful revolution impossible and you guarantee a violent one." Why has history always proven that true so many times? . . . The young are being asked to drink reconditioned sewer water because clean water supplies are dwindling and wonder in what condition it will be in 20 years? They know the infrastructures are crumbling, that the rivers are polluted and little to nothing is being done about it.")
Rev. S. R. Shearer, “The Background for the "End of the Age": RICH vs. POOR” (26 November 2011) ("The fact is, the backdrop or environment in which the "end of the age" plays itself out—the framework around which all the great events of the "latter years" revolve—is the oppression of the POOR by the RICH. (Rev. 6:6).” “A measure of wheat for a penny [literally—denarius, a Greek coin which represented a WHOLE DAYS wages in the ancient world], and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (Rev. 6:6) NOTE: The meaning of this lyric is that the condition of man during this era (i.e., the 'end of days') will be reduced to such that he will have to labor a whole day simply to buy a loaf of bread or three measures of barley. But the second part of the lyric [i.e., '. . . and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine . . .'] means that the 'hard times' of this period will not extend to the elites. This is the common interpretation—the one subscribed to by such authorities as Ryrie, Pentecost, Ironside, Gaebelein, etc.”
Rev. S. R. Shearer, “Capitalism! - Is It Really 'God Ordained'?” (3 December 2011) (“The Religious Right claims, and their secular allies in the corporate elite similarly believe, that capitalism is God's ordained economic system for this world - almost as if Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Thomas Malthus were Biblical figures on a par with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Nehemiah, and so forth; and that the system they devised— i.e., capitalism—finds its origins in the Bible and should be adhered to with as much ardor and ebullience as one would adhere to the injunctions of Holy Writ. But that's utter nonsense! No where in the Bible can one find even the smallest suggestion that the 'Dismal Science' of Adam Smith, or the dreary and gloomy economic system that Malthus and Ricardo contrived are biblically based.”)
Pope Francis, 20 September 2013, said “Money sickens our minds, poisons our thoughts, even poisons our faith, leading us down the path of jealousy, quarrels, suspicion and conflict. It drives to idle words and pointless discussions. It also corrupts the mind of some people that see religion as a source of profit. ‘I am Catholic, I go to Mass, everyone thinks well of me... But underneath I have my businesses. I worship money’. And here we have the word we usually find in newspapers: ‘Men of corrupted minds’. Money corrupts us! There’s no way out.”
“But, Father, I read the Ten Commandments and they say nothing about the evils of money. Against which Commandment do you sin when you do something for money? Against the first one! [Exodus 20:3.] You worship a false idol. And this is the reason: because money becomes an idol and you worship it. And that's why Jesus tells us that you cannot serve money and the living God: either one or the other. The early Fathers of the Church, in the 3rd Century, around the year 200 or 300, put it in a very blunt way, calling money 'the dung of the devil'. An so it is. Because turns us into idolaters, fills our thoughts with pride and leads us away from our faith.”
"Pope Francis Slams Capitalism As 'New Tyranny'" (Reuters, 26 November 2013). "How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?" He "warns that unequal distribution of wealth inevitably leads to violence." And see
|Ed. Note: The Bible urges us to return to "the faith once delivered to the saints," Jude 3, and not be "removed unto another gospel," Galatians 1:6-7, which rejects, e.g., Acts 2:41-45 and Acts 4:32-37.
For additional background Bible references, see, e.g., Exodus 16:18, 2 Corinthians 8:14-15 (equality-oriented system) pursuant to divine intent (Genesis 1:28), with equal pay for all (Matthew 20:1-16), duty to produce proportionate to one's abilities (Matthew 25:15-28 and Luke 19:1-20), with sharing according to need (Acts 2:44-45 and 4:34-35), all in context of Micah 4:4 (equal property grant for all), aiding the needy (1 John 3:17), providing background on the Bible principle, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need," modern term, "redistrbution of wealth."
Puritanism included effort to comply. "Puritanism has been misconstrued as restrictive moral prohibitions . . . in the mid seventeenth century it was a fiery religious and social dynamic resembling contemporary Marxism more than modern Fundamentalism," says Prof. Roger Sharrock, in John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress (London: Penguin Books, 1965 reprinted 1987, "Introduction," p xii.
Puritans espousing this type First Century Christian ideals were often called "Levelers" or "Diggers." For background, see, e.g.,
Apostates pretending to be Christian, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, switched focus off Christ's priorities for Christian way of life, onto distractive peripheral issues, off Christ's message, onto trivial non-salvation-essential arguments, e.g., onto the person vs. the message of Christ, and went to the extreme of persecuting and massacring each other! See, e.g., Prof. John Philip Jenkins, Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years (HarperOne, 2010) (Interview; Review).
We cannot be reminded too often that the Bible urges return to "the faith once delivered to the saints," Jude 3, and not be "removed unto another gospel," Galatians 1:6-7, which rejects, e.g., Acts 2:41-45 and Acts 4:32-37.
That gospel / faith defines "'to be born of God' and 'to be children of God' [as] interchangeable expressions, as we see in 1 John 3:9-20; 1 John 2:29-3:1; and the pericope of 1 John 5:1-2)," says Theology Prof. José P. Miranda, El ser y el mesias (1973) transl. as Being and the Messiah: The Message of St. John (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1977), Chapter 5, p 94.
During the 1950's purges, "universities . . . ousted . . . thousands of . . . professors [to] decimate the country's intellectual life," says Chris Hedges, M.Th., "The Origin of America’s Intellectual Vacuum" (Truthdig, 15 November 2010). "The purges, most carried out internally and away from public view, announced to everyone inside the universities that dissent was not protected. The confrontation of ideas was killed. 'Political discourse has been impoverished since then.' . . . . The result is an impoverishment of ideas and analysis at a moment when we desperately need radical voices to make sense of the corporate destruction of the global economy and the ecosystem. . . . . 'Ideas which were on the agenda a hundred years ago and sixty years ago have dropped out of memory . . . .'" Likewise occurred with movies, see, e.g., Red Hollywood (Documentary, 1996). (And see general education decline context.) Not only "political discourse has been impoverished" by persecutions, but also the First Century Christian system and education on it.
For examples contrasting Bible orthodoxy vs. modern conservative heresy, see, e.g., James Martin, SJ, "The Not-so-Social Gospel" (Thursday, 23 August 2012) (Examples of the conservative Rewrite of the New Testament).
Nowadays, little is taught about the Bible system. Here are examples of what is little known about it: The Bible