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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: The Social Gospel
Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
The Republican Party often operates as if it is a church, and most of their politicians are explicitly 'Christian'. Tying conservatism to Christianity by them has done immense damage to the idea of compassionate conservative Christianity, it's not very difficult to understand that. The SA not changing its doctrines in 150 years does not mean there are not more conservative Christians in existence. Tea Party Christians are undoubtedly more conservative in most ways than the SA. That's not a bad thing for the SA!

Evangelicalism also doesn't automatically mean conservative and it's unfair to conflate the two - many liberal/open evangelicals exist and they are still evangelicals.

I personally don't think the social gospel is a new thing at all, and Nonconformists, Anglo-Catholics and RCs have done incredible work for it. I do, however, feel that political conservatism is incompatible with the social gospel or any other idea in the Gospel, because capitalism is incompatible in the same way. I am inclined to think that theological conservatism is usually incompatible with it too.

Actually I think you and I are using the word 'conservative' in different way. you are talking 'conservative politics', I am talking conservative doctrine and ethics.'

In this country (UK) you can be a conservative evangelical and a socialist.

No, I am talking about both. And since socialism is primarily about equality, I have a hard time accepting that a conservative evangelical would actually truly embrace socialism.
Then I suggest you look a little closer at UK culture and widen your horizons and your definitions a bit - and try to be a little less offensive about evangelicals.

I wouldn't want anyone to accuse you of being one of those Americans who doesn't understand anything that lies outside the good ol' US of A.

[ 14. April 2014, 21:32: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Offer temporary respite from the symptoms of poverty, whilst supporting the systems that keep people in poverty.

Indeed Mudfrog

Vote Labor and post political screeds on the internet. What more does Our Lord require of us than that? And,if Our Lord does, all will be forgiven anyway.

I am not under the impression that any modern political party is capable of totally overhauling our current economic systems, and neither do I believe that simply 'posting political screeds on the internet' is real social gospel action. I am fully aware that Our Lord requires much more than that and I think it is incredibly rude to suggest otherwise, it has absolutely no basis in anything I have said.
In my experience, people who use that sort of rhetoric usually do nothing more radical than vote for a left wing political party and post screeds on the internet. Some will have a little fun with an occasional protest. Mudfrog is actually doing something. You are speaking in the abstract.
You have no idea what social action I do IRL. Suffice to say, I do actually do stuff.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I have never said that feeding and clothing people is not needed - both are definitely needed. Being without food and shelter makes a person temporarily cold and hungry, governmental systems keep them permanently so. Both the temporary and permanent needs are important and both need addressing. I would certainly not suggest setting up a 'humanities group'(not sure what that is sorry) and just discuss things. The well-intentioned evangelical, without questioning why the poor are poor, guarantees that the cycle continues. It's surely worth stopping that from happening.

And what makes you think that TSA is not doing stuff to try and stop the cycle? What part of 'fight for social justice' do you not understand?
Are you campaigning against the bedroom tax, for the reinstatement of the Social Fund, for getting rid of ATOS, for building more social housing, for the Robin Hood Tax, for companies like Vodafone to pay their full tax bill? I am in contact with a lot of Christian social action organisations such as Church Action on Poverty and others who campaign on such issues. Resounding silence from TSA.
The 'silence' as you call it may come from 2 places:

Firstly we are not one of the 'fashionable' charities (probably because we are also a fully-fledged church) and so the media don't tend to come to us for a quote.

Secondly, we don't often join in with big well-publicised campaigns because sometimes there might be a party political bias or affiliation and we cannot, as a church, be seen to align ourselves in such a way.

We do make representations to Parliament and will have talks with ministers and others. Our voice is listened to by the government even if it's not splashed across the Daily Mirror.

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
The Republican Party often operates as if it is a church, and most of their politicians are explicitly 'Christian'. Tying conservatism to Christianity by them has done immense damage to the idea of compassionate conservative Christianity, it's not very difficult to understand that. The SA not changing its doctrines in 150 years does not mean there are not more conservative Christians in existence. Tea Party Christians are undoubtedly more conservative in most ways than the SA. That's not a bad thing for the SA!

Evangelicalism also doesn't automatically mean conservative and it's unfair to conflate the two - many liberal/open evangelicals exist and they are still evangelicals.

I personally don't think the social gospel is a new thing at all, and Nonconformists, Anglo-Catholics and RCs have done incredible work for it. I do, however, feel that political conservatism is incompatible with the social gospel or any other idea in the Gospel, because capitalism is incompatible in the same way. I am inclined to think that theological conservatism is usually incompatible with it too.

Actually I think you and I are using the word 'conservative' in different way. you are talking 'conservative politics', I am talking conservative doctrine and ethics.'

In this country (UK) you can be a conservative evangelical and a socialist.

No, I am talking about both. And since socialism is primarily about equality, I have a hard time accepting that a conservative evangelical would actually truly embrace socialism.
Then I suggest you look a little closer at UK culture and widen your horizons and your definitions a bit - and try to be a little less offensive about evangelicals.

I wouldn't want anyone to accuse you of being one of those Americans who doesn't understand anything that lies outside the good ol' US of A.

Uh, Mudfrog, take a look at the 'location' bit under my posts. I am from the UK and have lived here all my life, and have first-hand experience of UK evangelicalism [Confused] I also know enough to distinguish between liberal and conservative evangelicalism.

Surely I have posted on SoF long enough for you to realise I'm not American? Knowing something about the US doesn't make a person American...

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Beeswax Altar
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Offer temporary respite from the symptoms of poverty, whilst supporting the systems that keep people in poverty.

Indeed Mudfrog

Vote Labor and post political screeds on the internet. What more does Our Lord require of us than that? And,if Our Lord does, all will be forgiven anyway.

I am not under the impression that any modern political party is capable of totally overhauling our current economic systems, and neither do I believe that simply 'posting political screeds on the internet' is real social gospel action. I am fully aware that Our Lord requires much more than that and I think it is incredibly rude to suggest otherwise, it has absolutely no basis in anything I have said.
In my experience, people who use that sort of rhetoric usually do nothing more radical than vote for a left wing political party and post screeds on the internet. Some will have a little fun with an occasional protest. Mudfrog is actually doing something. You are speaking in the abstract.
You have no idea what social action I do IRL. Suffice to say, I do actually do stuff.
Uh huh...you are in contact with all these social action groups working on campaigns, right?

--------------------
Losing sleep is something you want to avoid, if possible.
-Og: King of Bashan

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Uh, Mudfrog, take a look at the 'location' bit under my posts. I am from the UK and have lived here all my life, and have first-hand experience of UK evangelicalism [Confused] I also know enough to distinguish between liberal and conservative evangelicalism.

Surely I have posted on SoF long enough for you to realise I'm not American? Knowing something about the US doesn't make a person American...

My apologies; I wonder therefore why the US is relevant in this?

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I have never said that feeding and clothing people is not needed - both are definitely needed. Being without food and shelter makes a person temporarily cold and hungry, governmental systems keep them permanently so. Both the temporary and permanent needs are important and both need addressing. I would certainly not suggest setting up a 'humanities group'(not sure what that is sorry) and just discuss things. The well-intentioned evangelical, without questioning why the poor are poor, guarantees that the cycle continues. It's surely worth stopping that from happening.

And what makes you think that TSA is not doing stuff to try and stop the cycle? What part of 'fight for social justice' do you not understand?
Are you campaigning against the bedroom tax, for the reinstatement of the Social Fund, for getting rid of ATOS, for building more social housing, for the Robin Hood Tax, for companies like Vodafone to pay their full tax bill? I am in contact with a lot of Christian social action organisations such as Church Action on Poverty and others who campaign on such issues. Resounding silence from TSA.
The 'silence' as you call it may come from 2 places:

Firstly we are not one of the 'fashionable' charities (probably because we are also a fully-fledged church) and so the media don't tend to come to us for a quote.

Secondly, we don't often join in with big well-publicised campaigns because sometimes there might be a party political bias or affiliation and we cannot, as a church, be seen to align ourselves in such a way.

We do make representations to Parliament and will have talks with ministers and others. Our voice is listened to by the government even if it's not splashed across the Daily Mirror.

Why can't you, as a church, align yourselves with a campaign where there may be a political bias or affiliation? Other churches seem to manage with that just fine. Some things are of such moral importance that it's too important to pass up, eg campaigning against the bedroom tax. Most of the big well-publicised campaigns are totally politically neutral anyway. Put it like this - there is a wide variety of churches and Christian organisations involved with such social action campaigns. I think they would really value SA input - it's not just heathen liberals you know.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Mudfrog
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It's because we are not only a church we are also a charity and I think the charity commission might have something to say.

We were quite involved as a church in the make poverty history stuff.

Anyway, why would we want to make big public protests when we can walk right into parliament and talk to ministers?

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Uh, Mudfrog, take a look at the 'location' bit under my posts. I am from the UK and have lived here all my life, and have first-hand experience of UK evangelicalism [Confused] I also know enough to distinguish between liberal and conservative evangelicalism.

Surely I have posted on SoF long enough for you to realise I'm not American? Knowing something about the US doesn't make a person American...

My apologies; I wonder therefore why the US is relevant in this?
I brought it up just to demonstrate why people might consider conservative evangelicalism incompatible with social action - partly because much conservative evangelicalism in the UK now has borrowed from modern US megachurches rather than UK Nonconformist tradition (I know enough about the SA to know that they are still fairly traditional in this way and have not been Americanised), and also because the more extreme end of US Republicanism is now widely known about here. People now associate conservative evangelicals (or even just 'evangelical') with being purely about converting people and preaching fire and brimstone, unfortunately - even I know that's not the case for most evangelicals in the UK.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Anglican't
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The problem with this critique is that it seems to lead to a 'if you don't sign up to this crackpot loony left scheme you're not a real Christian'-type argument. As well as being bonkers, it strikes me as rather ungenerous.
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Pomona
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BA - I do both campaigning social action and stuff that's not dissimilar to what Mudfrog does. One of my churches has various projects serving local homeless people, and works with the SA and other local churches on said projects.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
It's because we are not only a church we are also a charity and I think the charity commission might have something to say.

We were quite involved as a church in the make poverty history stuff.

Anyway, why would we want to make big public protests when we can walk right into parliament and talk to ministers?

I can understand the charity aspect from a legal perspective. My main concern is being too friendly with the government that you can't criticise it - before you accuse me of being unduly mean to those jolly nice chaps in blue, I would have the same concerns no matter the government in power.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
The problem with this critique is that it seems to lead to a 'if you don't sign up to this crackpot loony left scheme you're not a real Christian'-type argument. As well as being bonkers, it strikes me as rather ungenerous.

It depends on the campaign. If it's something as patently in keeping with Christianity as the Robin Hood Tax, then I would doubt the person/group's understanding of Christianity, but there are campaigns which are of less fundamental importance.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
The problem with this critique is that it seems to lead to a 'if you don't sign up to this crackpot loony left scheme you're not a real Christian'-type argument. As well as being bonkers, it strikes me as rather ungenerous.

It depends on the campaign. If it's something as patently in keeping with Christianity as the Robin Hood Tax, then I would doubt the person/group's understanding of Christianity, but there are campaigns which are of less fundamental importance.
How is it 'patently' Christian? Seems to me that the problem with this proposed tax is that it's impossible to introduce unanimously (which is the only way it can be introduced without ill effect). In which case it seems an odd thing to spend time campaigning on.
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Mudfrog
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Try these:

I'll write

and

Politically Correct

From our Territorial Commander

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
It's not really a surprise that the US, descended from a broadly conservative evangelical band of people from burgeoning capitalist Netherlands and England (the Low Countries were the home of early banking and capitalist democracy in the late 1500s) is now so full of conservative evangelicals that hate the poor - though the US is quite a strange country in that respect.

Well yes, though one could then point to social democratic ideas embodied in all those countries from which those people originally came. The US also has rugged individualism as a strong foundational myth - and one could just as well blame that (largely secular) myth, as one could blame the Puritans and the protestant work ethic.

It's about as coherent as an effort to pin corruption and nepotism in South America down to the Catholic veneration of Mary and the Saints.

.. and no, as much as I might or might not support the Robin Hood Tax, I don't think it comes with an implicit 'Thus sayeth the lord' before it.

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Beeswax Altar
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Well, you obviously don't understand Christianity. When Our Lady sang the Magnificat, she was clearly referring to the fact her son would inspire left wingers to work towards a tax on financial transactions 2000 years in the future. It's so clear. [Roll Eyes]

For the record, I'm not opposed to the Robin Hood Tax but Anglican't is likely right about it's efficacy.

--------------------
Losing sleep is something you want to avoid, if possible.
-Og: King of Bashan

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
The problem with this critique is that it seems to lead to a 'if you don't sign up to this crackpot loony left scheme you're not a real Christian'-type argument. As well as being bonkers, it strikes me as rather ungenerous.

It depends on the campaign. If it's something as patently in keeping with Christianity as the Robin Hood Tax, then I would doubt the person/group's understanding of Christianity, but there are campaigns which are of less fundamental importance.
How is it 'patently' Christian? Seems to me that the problem with this proposed tax is that it's impossible to introduce unanimously (which is the only way it can be introduced without ill effect). In which case it seems an odd thing to spend time campaigning on.
Erm, the distribution of wealth amongst the Apostles for a start?

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
Well, you obviously don't understand Christianity. When Our Lady sang the Magnificat, she was clearly referring to the fact her son would inspire left wingers to work towards a tax on financial transactions 2000 years in the future. It's so clear. [Roll Eyes]

For the record, I'm not opposed to the Robin Hood Tax but Anglican't is likely right about it's efficacy.

Still waiting for that apology for assuming I do no practical social action work myself...

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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When the social gospel is connected to an American political party or labelled as left wing, it is merely a way of denigrating it and laughing at a caricature.

In fact, social gospel is a counterpoint to economic gospel. Economic gospel says that personal success and making money are the most important things, and that property rights are more important than human rights or starving children. Economic gospel allows people to justify pretty much anything in defence of profit and property. It's interesting to read economic arguments regarding slavery put into religious terms, and equally interesting to read anti-minimal wage arguments put into religious terms. Or environmental destruction, minority rights, immigration, globalisation.

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Horseman Bree
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Just to get a view of American conservative religion, you may want to read Slacktivist's "If work is a responsibility, then work is also a right".

There was a time, about a century ago, that the churches worked actively in the direction of the social gospel. The people who grew up in that tradition were in charge when the Depression hit. Out of that came the social programs of the New Deal and the recovery of the strength of the US economy.

After the war, the attitude was still towards social joint action, so the Civil Rights movement had traction.

All of the above are now under attack from the so-called "conservative" movement, which is almost entirely based on "My stuff is mine, and some of yours is mine too."

And the more vocal of the evangelical churches bolster that argument as they support the now-unrecognisable Republican Party and The Flag (which is now all too often more visible in their churches than is the Cross)

Basically, a large segment of the population has been brainwashed into voting against their best interests, and far too many churches have supported that. All the racism, anti-sciencism, homophobia and misogyny is cover for the attack on "the poor", and "the poor" have been deliberately made that way by people like the Koch brothers, who certainly do not read any Gospel that I have seen.

The situation in England is somewhat different, but is also being manipulated in the same cynical way. And the churches aren't strong enough to influence public policy adequately.

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It's Not That Simple

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Beeswax Altar
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
Well, you obviously don't understand Christianity. When Our Lady sang the Magnificat, she was clearly referring to the fact her son would inspire left wingers to work towards a tax on financial transactions 2000 years in the future. It's so clear. [Roll Eyes]

For the record, I'm not opposed to the Robin Hood Tax but Anglican't is likely right about it's efficacy.

Still waiting for that apology for assuming I do no practical social action work myself...
Keep waiting

--------------------
Losing sleep is something you want to avoid, if possible.
-Og: King of Bashan

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
[QUOTE]No, I am talking about both. And since socialism is primarily about equality, I have a hard time accepting that a conservative evangelical would actually truly embrace socialism.

Well, I do and know many more like me. I embraced liberation theology and Marxism and the gospel, may many years ago. That's the basis of my life and ministry.
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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
The work of the Salvation Army is peerless. God bless them.

But there is no comparison with the elevation of America at its lowest since the Civil War, blessed were the poor indeed.

And Tony Benn was no secular saint. He was a Christian. A saint period. A true prophet. If his love of the poor made him despise the powerful, he'll be forgiven.

All very naïve of me I'm sure.

Didn't Jesus' brother have something to say about a gospel of words alone?

Yes, very naïve. Benn didn't make any claims to faith - in fact he rather dismissed any belief in Jesus, the miracle worker.

Although Benn gave up his title, he never gave up his cash. He was and remained a rich man. For many working people he was and remains, for that reason, a pseud not a saint.

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ken
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Radical equality is at the heart of Reformed Christianity, which is the historical origin of evangelicalism. It is completely compatible with socialism, of at least the genuine Calvinist sort is. Couldn't speak for these wishy-washy Arminians.

And speaking as a socialist, this idiotic bank transaction tax is liberal nonsense. If you want to do good through tax, tax property, not transactions.

--------------------
Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Martin60
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Aye ken. It's about wealth skimmed from the poor which generates even more distorted income. So let's do BOTH.

And let the redistribution of privilege start in our congregations.

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Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Radical equality is at the heart of Reformed Christianity, which is the historical origin of evangelicalism. It is completely compatible with socialism, of at least the genuine Calvinist sort is. Couldn't speak for these wishy-washy Arminians.

And speaking as a socialist, this idiotic bank transaction tax is liberal nonsense. If you want to do good through tax, tax property, not transactions.

I'd much rather we got rid of usury instead.
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goperryrevs
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
I'd much rather we got rid of usury instead.

With you on that. It is one of the giant evils on which our society is built, yet is largely ignored as a moral issue. Our fore-mothers and fathers would have been aghast.

Jade, I too fail to see the link between conservative evangelicalism and non-social justice-ism that is so apparent to you. I know plenty of conservative evangelicals who care and work passionately about social justice. Perhaps one bad experience is colouring your objectivity here?

And Martin, as is often the case these days, [Overused]

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"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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Hairy Biker
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
I read yesterday a prayer* that started:
quote:

I was hungry
And you formed a humanities group
to discuss my hunger

it ends
quote:

But I am still hungry
and lonely
and cold

It is not aimed at the well intention activist Evangelical who would have met, fed and clothed them while perhaps not questioning why they were so.

Jengie

*From "Wisdom is Calling" which is edited by Geoffrey Duncan and the prayer is written by "Crosspoints, Sri Lanka" pg 58

by John Stott

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there [are] four important things in life: religion, love, art and science. At their best, they’re all just tools to help you find a path through the darkness. None of them really work that well, but they help.
Damien Hirst

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Hairy Biker
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
Economic gospel says that ... property rights are more important than human rights

Commandment number 8
quote:

Thou shalt not steal

Exodus 20:15

Property rights are at the heart of Judeo-Christian beliefs

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there [are] four important things in life: religion, love, art and science. At their best, they’re all just tools to help you find a path through the darkness. None of them really work that well, but they help.
Damien Hirst

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Erm, the distribution of wealth amongst the Apostles for a start?

There was no 'distribution of wealth' among the Apostles, not even in the short period of time referred to in the first few chapters of Acts, there was a priority put on peoples immediate needs, but that's somewhat different.

The Robin Hood Tax itself conflates a number of things, and Christians can easily disagree on the ends, as well as disagreeing on the means to get to those ends. The idea of a Tobin style Tax as a means to fund poverty reduction could easily detract from it's purpose of reducing speculation.

As Ken said, if the idea is to stop the inequalities associated with concentrations of wealth, let's have a Picketty style wealth tax. Disagree? Well it's a good thing we can do whilst still being Christian, right?

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deano
princess
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quote:
Originally posted by goperryrevs:
Jade, I too fail to see the link between conservative evangelicalism and non-social justice-ism that is so apparent to you. I know plenty of conservative evangelicals who care and work passionately about social justice. Perhaps one bad experience is colouring your objectivity here?

Ah, well, our JC (the Ships, not Christianity's - although sometimes I find it hard tell a difference) sees the Bible as a Socialist tract.

So that's why everything is black, white and, dare I say it, red all over.

YMMV depending on your own political lens.

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"The moral high ground is slowly being bombed to oblivion. " - Supermatelot

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Ad Orientem
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Of course, Christianity doesn't endorse one political system over another. It does, however, command us to do certain things which can and should affect how we engage with the civil/political sphere.
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goperryrevs
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quote:
Originally posted by deano:
YMMV depending on your own political lens.

Well, my own political leanings are much, much closer to Jade's than yours, but I don't see the correlation that she does on this issue.

Scripture is full of stuff about social justice though, so I understand and agree with her frustration that the Christian Right (especially in America) can appear to minimise those things at times. However, Socialism != Christian Social Justice, and Evangelicalism != Political Conservatism. Though there can, of course, be crossover of both.

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"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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Marvin the Martian

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[snipped for clarity]
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
If it's something as patently in keeping with Christianity as the Robin Hood Tax

How is it 'patently' Christian?
Erm, the distribution of wealth amongst the Apostles for a start?
The freely-chosen distribution of wealth among the apostles is one thing, taking wealth from those who are neither apostles nor willing to give it up is quite another. "Everything held in common" is great if everyone agrees to it, but less so if many do not.

Jesus often encouraged rich people to give up their wealth to provide for the poor. Not once did he encourage his disciples to forcibly take wealth from the rich without their consent. That is the difference.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
Well, you obviously don't understand Christianity. When Our Lady sang the Magnificat, she was clearly referring to the fact her son would inspire left wingers to work towards a tax on financial transactions 2000 years in the future. It's so clear. [Roll Eyes]

For the record, I'm not opposed to the Robin Hood Tax but Anglican't is likely right about it's efficacy.

Still waiting for that apology for assuming I do no practical social action work myself...
Keep waiting
So are you calling me a liar? [Confused] You assumed I do no practical social action work myself. I do - I do work that's not particularly different to the kind of thing the SA do. So I don't get why you still think I don't do anything...?

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by goperryrevs:
quote:
Originally posted by deano:
YMMV depending on your own political lens.

Well, my own political leanings are much, much closer to Jade's than yours, but I don't see the correlation that she does on this issue.

Scripture is full of stuff about social justice though, so I understand and agree with her frustration that the Christian Right (especially in America) can appear to minimise those things at times. However, Socialism != Christian Social Justice, and Evangelicalism != Political Conservatism. Though there can, of course, be crossover of both.

Conservative evangelical positions on Dead Horses and other issues are anti-equality, and equality is at the heart of socialism. Social equality is necessary too.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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goperryrevs
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I just think that's oversimplifying things, Jade. In practice, opinion on dead horses issues does not directly correlate with activity on social justice issues, because there are plenty of other factors involved.

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"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by goperryrevs:
I just think that's oversimplifying things, Jade. In practice, opinion on dead horses issues does not directly correlate with activity on social justice issues, because there are plenty of other factors involved.

That is so. Most members of my church are doctrinally conservative but many are also involved in social justice work too. Then again, social justice work is itself varied, and some parts of it appeal to conservatives while others may appeal more to the theologically liberal.

--------------------
"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
[snipped for clarity]
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
If it's something as patently in keeping with Christianity as the Robin Hood Tax

How is it 'patently' Christian?
Erm, the distribution of wealth amongst the Apostles for a start?
The freely-chosen distribution of wealth among the apostles is one thing, taking wealth from those who are neither apostles nor willing to give it up is quite another. "Everything held in common" is great if everyone agrees to it, but less so if many do not.

Jesus often encouraged rich people to give up their wealth to provide for the poor. Not once did he encourage his disciples to forcibly take wealth from the rich without their consent. That is the difference.

Indeed. I have heard friends on the Christian Right state with equal conviction to Jade Constable that Jade Constable's version of 'social justice' is in their view manifestly unjust since it advocates forcibly taking money from people who've earned it to give it to people who haven't; their version of 'social justice' says "you keep what you earn and I keep what I earn".

Now, of course that has its flaws too but it seems to me that it has about the same number of legs to run on as JC's above...

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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goperryrevs
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
Now, of course that has its flaws too but it seems to me that it has about the same number of legs to run on as JC's above...

Peter even says to Ananias and Sapphira (regarding their land) "Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?".

The Christian way isn't compulsion, but transformation. The solution isn't to force the rich to give to the poor (as Socialism does), nor is it to allow the rich to stay rich and the poor to stay poor (as Conservatism does), but to transform the hearts of the rich to share with the poor of their own volition.

--------------------
"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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South Coast Kevin
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# 16130

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quote:
Originally posted by goperryrevs:
The Christian way isn't compulsion, but transformation. The solution isn't to force the rich to give to the poor (as Socialism does), nor is it to allow the rich to stay rich and the poor to stay poor (as Conservatism does), but to transform the hearts of the rich to share with the poor of their own volition.

Word.

So, if the above is true, what does 'Godly government' look like? (Huge question, I know.)

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My blog - wondering about Christianity in the 21st century, chess, music, politics and other bits and bobs.

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South Coast Kevin
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Linked to the question of whether high tax, 'left wing' or low tax, 'right wing' government is more Godly, is this article in today's Daily Telegraph.

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My blog - wondering about Christianity in the 21st century, chess, music, politics and other bits and bobs.

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
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That's your mistake right there. Someone told you socialism was about forcing the rich to give to the poor and you believed them.

--------------------
Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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moron
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
And worse we think that there is something wrong with the poor, that they are spiritually, morally worse off than we are.

You really think that? And that 'conservatives' do too?

I think I might be beginning to understand you, a bit.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by South Coast Kevin:

So, if the above is true, what does 'Godly government' look like? (Huge question, I know.)

I think it's largely an oxymoron. I think the least problematic position in the longer run is some kind of two kingdoms view. There are problems with baptising any political view and calling it a distinctly christian one.

Simplistically, the problem for the right is that Jesus paid his taxes and seems to have encouraged his followers to do likewise - a confiscatory tax regime that was punitive, highly arbitrary and fairly corrupt.

The problem for the left is that the NT has little direct comment on the government of the day - apart from the call to respect it's authority - a government that operated in a fairly arbitrary way, without little due process and with fairly horrific methods of punishment.

So there are problems with taking the direct witness of the NT and attempting to run with it as far making it the Christian position on X, Y or Z.

As a Christian I'm called to bear witness in the society I am in. Similarly, as good citizen I'm also called to do my part in encouraging good (not Godly) government.

I don't think there is a call to bring about 'Godly' government. Mainly because such a thing doesn't really exist outside God actually governing - and in practice it tends to be easier to spot 'Ungodly' government.

And yes, religiously I'm conservative and politically I'm 'on the left' though I don't recognise some of the positions which are supposed to be 'on the left'.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by goperryrevs:

The Christian way isn't compulsion, but transformation. The solution isn't to force the rich to give to the poor (as Socialism does), nor is it to allow the rich to stay rich and the poor to stay poor (as Conservatism does), but to transform the hearts of the rich to share with the poor of their own volition.

I think the problem comes in when you try to adopt a metric of 'transformation' to what should happen in the here and now prior to the eschaton.

Simplistically; all taxation is theft, or all property is theft. I don't think the NT has much to say about taxation or property rights though (other than in the negative sense of 'pay your taxes' and 'don't steal').

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Martin60
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I KNOW that.

I've been that.

I've heard that.

I hear that.

The poor, the ignorant, the weak, the oppressed which always includes the oppressor, the human are NOT to blame.

In church let alone 'outside'.

There is no crime. There is no punishment. There is only salvation.

Through talking.

Which is the only way to get the rich to give the poor their privilege, their rights back.

[ 15. April 2014, 12:51: Message edited by: Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard ]

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Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
seekingsister
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# 17707

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
That's your mistake right there. Someone told you socialism was about forcing the rich to give to the poor and you believed them.

At the very least, it means that part of my income is going towards funding what the government of the day thinks is important, rather than what I think is important. There has to be a balance between taxing enough to support public goods and not taxing so much so that the average person has nothing left to give to causes that are meaningful to them.

As an American living in the UK, one simple example is that British people rarely donate money to their universities in the way that Americans do, because they feel that universities are mostly funded through taxation and current student fees so why would they donate on top of that. The wealthiest US universities have the most comprehensive financial aid and scholarship programs, in the Ivy League students from low income families who are accepted pay NO tuition at all. That's the opposite of socialism but having studied at US and UK universities of a similar calibre, there were more low income and ethnic minority students at the American one - by a long shot.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by Hairy Biker:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
Economic gospel says that ... property rights are more important than human rights

Commandment number 8
quote:

Thou shalt not steal

Exodus 20:15

Property rights are at the heart of Judeo-Christian beliefs

You did what I said people have been doing forever.

quote:
NIV, Matt 22: 38-40
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[a] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Not sure you read what I posted:

quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
Economic gospel allows people to justify pretty much anything in defence of profit and property.

People mistake economic systems for the kingdom of God. Okay, so Jesus came to save money not souls. And it is hard for a poor man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

[ 15. April 2014, 12:57: Message edited by: no prophet ]

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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