Jesus, schools and taxes

The following comment was left by one of our friendly neighborhood trolls earlier today. I’m at a loss as to where to even begin.

jesushomeschooled

[context]

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66 Comments

  1. TeacherPatti
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I love your website. It’s like a big ball of cool covered in awesome sauce.

  2. Edward
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to see the look on EOS’s face with Jesus actually comes back and he’s a dark skinned socialist.

  3. EOS
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to burst your bubble Mark, but just because Notre Dame has a touchdown Jesus it doesn’t prove he is an alumni. You could begin at Luke 2:40 – 52.

    Edward, Jesus was a dark skinned Palestinian Jew, but he was no socialist. He wasn’t at all concerned with the politics of this world.

  4. Posted March 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    EOS, can you point me to scripture that proves Jesus was a capitalist?

  5. God
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    – God.

  6. Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    From what I’ve found, most 1st century Palestinian Jews either learned literacy in the synagogue, or by studying under individual teachers. I haven’t yet found any evidence that either of those possible sources of education were funded by taxes, but some evidence that both were funded by private donations. So, not exactly home school; more like privately-funded religious school.

    Jesus himself was supported by charitable gifts from those he helped (Luke 8:3), rather than by any compulsory taxation.

    Furthermore, I find no evidence of Jesus teaching that the workers should own and control the means of production (socialism). He taught one parable in particular (Luke 20:9-16) in which he likened God’s legitimate ownership rights of everything to the legitimate ownership rights of worldly property owners. He seems to rebuff the idea that the workers on the owner’s vineyard had any right to usurp the absentee landlord’s legitimate authority over his own property, even though the landlord had not worked it, and they had. This seems to strongly imply that Jesus respected legitimate property rights, and was not a socialist.

    He reminds us in this parable that God is the ultimate property owner, and, no matter how much we’ve worked his property, our rental rights of his capital do not trump his ownership rights. He is promoting charitable giving of our rented property (which he actually owns) rather than forcible taxation. Charitable giving (as opposed to forcible taxation) falls on the capitalist side of things.

  7. EOS
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Jesus was not a capitalist. He wasn’t at all concerned with the politics of this world. He encouraged his followers to be charitable, but at no time did he suggest that the Romans confiscate money from those who earned it in order to redistribute it to those who hadn’t. Hasn’t BA taught you anything?

  8. Caring Parent
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    EOS,

    The question was not, “What was done to Jesus”; it was “What Would Jesus Do”?

    Jesus was also unjustly crucified by the state. Are you suggesting Jesus would, therefor, unjustly crucify people if he ran the state? (Come to think of it, that does seem to be the precise sort of logic many calling themselves Christians [departing goats] seem to espouse.)

    No doubt, Mary and Joseph raised Jesus according to the standard, working class education of his day which largely entailed apprenticeship in the family business with regular religious instruction at the local church. But that’s beside the point. It’s a culturally bound educational practice unless you seriously advocate following all the cultural practices of the day. (Break out the sandals and robes, that’s what Jesus wore. But, I’m tempted to encourage your reasoning if only for the entertainment value of seeing a bunch of fundamentalists start birthing in stables. That is how our Savior was born!)

    The question was, would Jesus (not Mary and Joseph) want to only spend his tax dollars (rendered unto Cesar) on his own (metaphorical) children or would he want to give also to the lesser of these?

    Not did. Do. Not what did he wear. What would he wear.

    Your reply will demonstrate your reading comprehension.

    Don’t be a goat. Goat’s make grand claims. Then depart.

  9. EOS
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I posted the last comment before I had a chance to read Black Jake’s much better response.

  10. Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Another obvious point is that the law of Moses forbade stealing, and moving boundary stones which delineated the properties that God gave (or rented to) his people. This is a clear indication that God not only respected his own property rights over his own creation, but that he respected the property rights of his renters from transgression (or trespass) from their neighbors.

  11. Caring Parent
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    EOS,

    “He wasn’t at all concerned with the politics of this world.”

    So are you a follower or not?

  12. Posted March 9, 2011 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Paul advocates against unconditional charity for the idle in Thessalonians 3:10, and even for widows who should rather be supported by their families than by the church in Timothy 5:3-16. In 2nd Corinthians 9:7, Paul advocates for private generosity, and against

    So, assuming Paul was a legitimate apostle of Jesus (an assumption which Peter agreed with, and which modern Christianity is pretty dependent on), what Jesus would do is advocate private charity to those who really are legitimately unable to provide for themselves. He would not advocate compulsory or reluctant charity, not would he advocate being charitable to those who are either able to work, or who have family that should be taught to support them.

  13. Posted March 9, 2011 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    should read, “and against compulsory or reluctant charity.”

  14. Caring Parent
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Black Jake,

    You’re referencing both the Old and New Testament. The OT is a theocracy, where major and minscule behaviors where dictated by the state (aka God) including taxation (tithe and offerings), property rights, fashion sensibilities, immigration, and on and on right down to our men’s very foreskins. How does this fit with your vision for America?

    Then there’s the NT, which seemingly advocates a quiet disregard for the state and paying whatever taxes they demand while living, privately, according to Christian principles of love and generosity towards fellow believers, giving freely to widows, orphans and the like. If you think it’s hard to pay taxes, without defiance, to Planned Parenthood or teachers, imagine, for a minute, Jesus call to passively render unto Cesar considering the horrors and oppression that Cesar was committing (imagine telling Libyan protesters to render unto Gaddafi).

    Which is it? Are you advocating for a nation that is based on Christian principles (theocracy) or advocating for a nation that is based on Christian principles (tax paying martyrs, do gooders and pacifists).

    EOS. Black Jake’s “privately funded religious schools” were “privately funded” under the equivalent of Sharia Law. Heavily mandated giving under threat of curse and death. They are only “private” if he can convince you there was a separation of church and state in Numbers and Leviticus. More reading.

  15. Caring Parent
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    On not fully reading posts before commenting… One last response to EOS. You said: “but at no time did [Jesus] suggest that the Romans confiscate money from those who earned it in order to redistribute it to those who hadn’t.” (The Romans were already doing that.)

    Finally! Agreement!

    And, at no time did he say,”Don’t confiscate money from those who earned it in order to redistribute it to those who hadn’t.” All he said on the issue of taxation was “render unto Cesar.” Agreed?

  16. Posted March 9, 2011 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Your premise is entirely wrong, Parent. I do not advocate turning this nation into anything, as you can clearly read. Your version of what type of government Israel had from the time of Moses through the time of the judges through the time of the kings, is irrelevant to my previous posts.

    The question was what kind of education Jesus received. I answered that question. The next question was what would Jesus advocate (also whether Jesus was a socialist or a capitalist). I then answered that question.

    If we ask, “what would Jesus do, ” we quickly find in Christian scripture what he would do: die for the sins of those who are chosen to be faithful, then eventually destroy all the governments and unbelieving people of the earth with plague and fire before making everything new for his chosen. But that’s not what WE should do, because we do not have that power or authority.

    Your actual question seems to be “what, as Christians today, should WE do in regard to domestic spending?”

    So the question becomes one of what legitimate power and authority Christians have in the 21st century USA. This is not 1st century Palestine; Christians have come a long way since then in regard to wielding temporal authority here. We have politically-recognized rights, now. Even back then, certain Christians had political rights in the Roman Empire (Paul, for instance). He did not abdicate those rights, but exercised them for the benefit of the Kingdom of God (Acts 16:37-39, 22:25-29, 25:10-12).

    So, following his example, Christians in the USA today should exercise their politically-recognized rights to further the Kingdom of God. We have the right to vote on how much taxes to pay (1st Century jewish Christians in Palestine did not), what they should be spent on (1st Century jewish Christians in Palestine did not), how to best defend ourselves and our neighbors (1st Century jewish Christians in Palestine did not), etc. What Christians should do, is to exercise their rights, and vote on such things according to what they think is right. Many Christians think it is not right to mandate the charity of others through taxation. They think it IS right, however, to give charitably of their own volition, with their own money.

    As to your final paragraph, I found no evidence that 1st century synagogues were funded by heavily mandated giving under threat of curse and death. You are probably thinking of either the Temple tax, or sacrificial animals (which went to the priests), rather than local synagogues, which were not part of the Temple. I did find evidence that generous patrons funded local synagogues.

    In summary, you have merely presented an irrelevant false premise, a false dilemma, and finally a nonfactual factoid.

  17. kjc
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Is Jesus a socialist or capitalist? Really? And this is supposed to be a history lesson.

  18. kjc
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I think many Christians aren’t charitable at all. Let’s not forget that fact. (Not that it’s hard to discern this fact from the posts by Christians.) I especially like the idea that Jesus would get pissed if you gave money to somebody who could work. This crap is why Christianity gets dissed so much. Not because of the unbelievers, but because of its advocates.

  19. Posted March 9, 2011 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I thought this was going to be a post on why it’s a good idea to finally tax churches.

  20. Posted March 9, 2011 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Has noone even bothered to point out that Jesus was probably illiterate?

  21. Amy Grant
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Rick Snyder has just signed his first two bills as Governor.

    One of them will allow farmers (read: corporate) who have committed environmental crime to now “make their own reports” to the government about their environmental practices.

    For the Christians listening, the Governor then also (cue laugh-track) told his first lie: he claimed this bill will draw “hundreds of thousands” of new farmers to Michigan (while what he really hopes for is that this bill will both attract a handful of new Corporate Ag operations, and/or keep 20 or 30 Michigan CAFOs from relocating).

  22. notoneofthecoolkids
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Really timely post for me because I am so fucking sick of hearing about this Christian God and Jesus!

  23. Edward
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    The Bible doesn’t actually say much about Jesus as a young man. It’s conceivable that he was taught in a class of 60 by a person making minimum wage, reading from a script and handing out scantron sheets.

  24. Jeff
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Dearborn Mayor suggests that’s it’s not Islamic extremists who constitute the most dangerous American constituency:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/08/dearborn-peter-king

  25. Posted March 9, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The King (Missile) of Kings!

  26. Knox
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Good point about JC being illiterate. And who cares how he was educated? It’s not relevant to today’s world. If it were, I’d ask his followers why they don’t dress in robes, squat outside to take a shit, and start losing their teeth at 20. For them to argue that we should educate our kids at home, on an abacus is absurd, but I reckon that’s why Mark pointed it out.

  27. Posted March 9, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I really, really like the idea of taxing churches. I worship Slayer and go see every one of their shows, talk with other people who like Slayer and listen to all of Slayer’s records over and over again.

    Yet, they have to pay taxes. I don’t think this is fair.

  28. Stacey
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, my fifth grader told me about an interaction at school he’d had with a student who said something derogatory about gays. My son spoke up and told him there is nothing wrong with gays. The other student then justified what he’d said with the bible and my son told him that he didn’t care what the bible said. Walking away, son’s friend says that he was really bummed to hear that the bible said that about gays, and my son said he wasn’t bummed because he had no connection to the bible whatsoever. Ideas clashing and commingling, children thinking about the world. I am so proud. I hope the Christian learned something about tolerance from my heathen son that day.

  29. John Galt
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Have you seen Walking Tall? That was Jesus. He was a total bad-ass lawman who, when he had to, wasn’t squeamish about beating a bad guy to death with a baseball bat. We need more men like him.

  30. John Galt
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    And, pardon my saying so, but fuck school. My kids could be out on the street earnin’ their keep.

  31. John Galt
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    According to the Bible, you shouldn’t even be opening your mouth, Stacey.

    They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home. (1 Cor. 14:33b-36 NIV).

  32. Newt Gettingrich
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    He cheated and lied because of his patriotism:

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/gingrich-past-adultery-partially-driven-by-how-passionately-i-felt-about-this-country-video.php?ref=fpb

  33. Megan
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    @Stacey – Nice! Tell your heathen son he did the right thing! And then teach him the best come back ever from the West Wing!:

    The atmosphere was electric. The president of the United States was about to address a gathering of radio talk show hosts in the White House. As the president entered the hall, they all stood and applauded. All, that is, except one — a woman with strikingly blond hair, wearing a bright green suit. At first, her presence rattled the president. He lost his train of thought several times before he finally spoke directly to the sitting talk show host.

    “Excuse me, doctor,” the president said to her. “It’s good to have you here. Are you an M.D.?”

    “A Ph.D.,” she retorted smartly.

    “In psychology?” he pursued.

    “No, sir,” she said.

    “Theology?”

    “No.”

    “Social work?”

    “I have a Ph.D. in English literature,” she replied.

    “I’m asking,” continued the president, “because on your show people call in for advice and you go by the title ‘doctor,’ and I didn’t know if maybe your listeners were confused by that and assumed you had advanced training in psychology, theology, or health care.”

    “I don’t believe they are confused. No, sir,” she responded.

    “Good,” said the president, raising his voice sarcastically. “I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.”

    “I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President,” she replied haughtily. “The Bible does.”

    “Yes, it does!” he shouted. “Leviticus 18:22.” The president was just warming up. “I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be?”

    After a brief moment, he continued: “While thinking about that, can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it OK to call the police?”

    Now on a roll, the president steamed on triumphantly. “Here’s one that’s really important, ‘cause we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point?

    “Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side?

    “Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?

    “Think about those questions, would you? One last thing. While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the ignorant tight-a** club, in this building when the president stands, nobody sits.”

  34. TeacherPatti
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I only ever saw one episode of the West Wing and that was the one. Pure genius. Although, until I read your post I’d plum forgotten about Dr. Laura (douchebag).

    Oops, better go back to asking my husband if I can speak.

  35. EOS
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Quit it Megan. You made Patti so nervous she had to remind us all about her husband.

  36. Megan
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Oops! Sorry Patti! :)

  37. TeacherPatti
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I know. I know every single guy ever wants to get with me and so I just wanted to remind you that I’m taken. Sorry guys (and gals if that’s your thang)

    And FWIW EOS, I don’t write you off as a troll. I think you often have some interesting points but sometimes you lose me like the other day when you said something about the wealthy being smarter. I didn’t like that.

  38. EOS
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Patti. Since I’m not the least bit wealthy I understand your point exactly.

  39. TeacherPatti
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m not wealthy either but I have a high IQ. Does that make me intelligent? Dunno.

  40. Posted March 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    “I really, really like the idea of taxing churches. I worship Slayer and go see every one of their shows, talk with other people who like Slayer and listen to all of Slayer’s records over and over again.

    Yet, they have to pay taxes. I don’t think this is fair.”

    Hahaha! Awesome.

  41. Dirtgrain
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Would anyone be happy having surgery performed by a doctor whose training consisted solely of home schooling?

    A few lines before the eye of the needle line, is this: “Jesus said to him: If you will be perfect, go sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21).

  42. Alexander Nevermind
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    “I’m only Jesus…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9OHL6HbRPA

  43. EOS
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Alex.

  44. Caring Parent
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Black Jake,

    You said: “Your version of what type of government Israel had from the time of Moses through the time of the judges through the time of the kings, is irrelevant to my previous posts.”

    Then why did you quote the Law of Moses in your second comment? Seems relevant, since you posted it.

    You also said: “This is not 1st century Palestine; Christians have come a long way since then.” You seem to be suggesting that Christian principles, Jesus’ teachings, are culturally bound: now that Christians have the power, they don’t have to turn the other cheek. Are central Christian moralities culturally bound? Oh, that’s how we behaved under Rome, but now that we are Rome… And yes, it does beg the question, if Christians had the power in the first century, what would they have done (or what would God have had them do)? God, when he last had the power, implemented strict moral codes that included forced contributions. As you noted with your Moses reference on property rights.

    On synagogues, you’re correct if you limit your reading to the Torah which, as you suggest, solely advocates taxes to the central (federal) government in Jerusalem. Synagogues were born in exile, when Jerusalem, the equivalent of Washington D.C., was non existent. Those in exile then transferred the system of taxation they’d received from their God to their local, scattered synagogues. It’s the exact same system, just decentralized in exile.

  45. Mick R
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Dirtgrain,

    I might if the doctor was home schooled by a couple of surgeons and he/she passed the medical exams. If they were home schooled by English majors, I’d pass.

    But Jesus wasn’t the government forcing people to give. He was just saying he’d send people who wouldn’t give to hell forever. If Jesus was the government, he’d give them more of a choice or he’d just tell them to keep their house and screw the poor.

  46. Caring Parent
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Mr. Jake,

    I have to add that your summation of the gospels (WWJD) is rather stunning in a Mel Gibson sort of way: “die and destroy.” If you don’t skip to the end, we are given four sanctioned accounts of what he did do: heal the sick, give to the poor, feed the hungry, challenge those in power who sought self interest, embrace social outcasts, promoted equality, and advocated a previously unheard of level of love based self sacrifice. Story goes, he also walked on water.

    He did die for the needs of others and challenges his followers to do the same. He does not grant his follower’s the right to destroy. You skipped to his death in neglect of his life.

  47. EOS
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Caring Parent,

    Why are you so hostile against Jesus and the Bible? You seem to know parts of the Bible, but your analysis is unlike any I have ever heard in any denomination. On what basis would you determine what Jesus would do in novel situations? What would he wear today – boxers or briefs? Would he drink Coke or Pepsi? You remind me of Mr. Madison who writes about how our former president has evolved in his views since his death. The God of the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The purpose of many rules in the OT was to show how impossible it is to be perfect on our own and how we desperately need Jesus.

    You seem to have embraced a social gospel. Is that right or have I misinterpreted your beliefs. Are you trying to earn your way to heaven? Do you think that you are better than most and so God will reward you for your efforts and your intellect that discards much of what is written in the scriptures? Do you think that Jesus taught others to ignore the OT and consider it mere stories written by the unenlightened?

    Have you ever considered that taking isolated verses out of context from the Bible might not give you a complete understanding of the full story?

  48. dragon
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    we desperately need Jesus.

    Just because you’re an emotional cripple who needs superstition to make it through the day, don’t assume everybody else does.

    Jesus was a pedophile and a child molester.

  49. Edward
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    While I enjoy all the BS back and forth over whether Jesus was either a bad-ass libertarian or a sissy socialist, I think the subject of schools is the more fertile area for discussion. According to the quote, it sounds as though EOS believes true Christians wouldn’t ask their neighbors to contribute toward the construction and running of neighborhood schools. Is that right, EOS? Do other Christians feel that way?

  50. Posted March 10, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Parent, I’ve already summed up the Christian scriptures’ description of Jesus’ teaching in regard to charitable giving as one promoting personal charity. I then pointed out those scriptures’ description of Jesus’ sacrifice, and his wrathful return to destroy the wicked and save the righteous. Why you have a problem with that, and insist instead on creating false dilemmas and silly strawman arguments, I can’t say.

    Perhaps you think the good news is that it’s okay to steal and redistribute other people’s property by force, and that Christians can’t do anything about it because Jesus said not to. I can imagine how that would seem like pretty good news to a certain type of person. They come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly, they are ravenous wolves.

  51. EOS
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    No Edward, That’s not right. Asking for contributions is entirely different than involuntary confiscation.

  52. EOS
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    dragon,

    You can easily make it through this life without acknowledging God, but you won’t go far in the next. God sometimes allows the unjust to thrive and evil to prevail because this short life is all they have. I prefer to live in the light of eternity and as a result enjoy this world more as well.

  53. Tommy
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Right – Big G was all about allowing Hitler kill half of the world’s Jews because he (or is it He) would get the last laugh afterall! That is some fucked up shit EOS

  54. Caring Parent
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    EOS/Black Jake,

    Let me simplify my question.

    “The God of the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament.”

    “Asking for contributions is entirely different than involuntary confiscation.”

    Did the God of the OT, ask for voluntary contributions involuntary confiscation?

  55. Caring Parent
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    “Or” missing in last sentence. But rather than just respond to questions with questions, I’ll try to articulate my perspective more fully. You asked if I was advocating a social gospel. If you can get beyond the term, yes, I believe there is no other gospel.

    Christianity is intensely social. It’s evident in the fundamentally social nature of the Trinity. It’s evident in the creation story of male and female. As an exercise, read the Bible this year. Get a fresh copy. Every time you see some story or moral code that is instructive of how we are to interact with others, socially, underline it. At the end of the year, flip through. See what color the Bible is. Then, the following year, study the underlines and see how many of these passages are meant to provide equality and protection for the weak. (If you don’t have time or energy for this, just pick a random book, any book.) The Gospel is supremely social.

    No, salvation isn’t earned by being “social.” Salvation is granted so we can be social. Christians aren’t saved through actions, they are saved so they are empowered to act. We interact with God so we can better interact with one another. We are freed from self obsession/destruction so we can give to others. We meet Love so we can learn to love beyond our natural capacity.

    This thread stems from your comment that “Jesus was home schooled at no cost to his neighbors.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but when people say “Jesus was…” they generally imply people should follow his lead. I find that statement in stark opposition to what Jesus’ life, and the entire Biblical canon, advocates. Your statement implies isolation, lack of neighbor, lack of cost. (I believe it is also widely, historically oversimplified and inaccurate.)

    I am rather adamant in my belief that the gospel requires social love (again, not as salvation but as salvation’s response). The question that you and Black Jake raise together is whether that action should be forced. My Old Testament references are to point out that, at that time, when rule of law was under God, it was very heavily forced and enforced. In the New Testament, when rule of law was under Rome, it was not legally prescribed under penalty of Rome, it was morally prescribed under penalty of hell. (I do have a hard time seeing how the threat of tax evasion creates a less voluntary contribution than the threat of eternal damnation; please don’t let that comment sidetrack you, though.)

    Now, here is where it gets complicated. As I’ve said, the OT was a theocracy. The NT was a tyranny under an invader. Under each, people had no voice. Under each, citizens were instructed to peacefully comply. There is no place in scripture that instructs people of faith how to act under democracy, when they have a voice/vote. This is (or should be) messy for people of faith with inclinations to either party (or third parties). Whether we admit it or not, Christian’s impulse is towards theocracy. We want Christian values to be the norm, however we define them. (Everyone wants their values to be the norm, hence voting.) At the same time, we value freedom and individual rights. Some of us (“ahem”) are in perpetual contradiction saying we defend individual liberty because it is a Christian value.

    So what should we do? I don’t always know. Like you, I’m left to act and vote on my beliefs. As I’m sure you recall, this new thread was based on a question I posed to you. In it (perhaps not clearly enough), I meant to challenge whether folks who voted for cuts in spending did so out of concern for students, statewide, or simply because they wanted lower taxes (while paying ample taxes for their own kids’ educations). It seemed (and still does) like people who are willing to fund education for their own kids but not fund education for other folks kids are primarily self interested. The Gospel, as I imperfectly read it, strongly advocates for concern of others over our natural tendency to look out for number one. But this is not a theocracy where we’re forced to endorse God’s principles. In a democracy voting for bald self-interest is an inalienable right.

    What shouldn’t we do? I humbly suggest we (any of us) should not slap Jesus onto our political bias like a bumper sticker or celebrity endorsement. It’s defamation of character.

    Obviously, all of the above are long wrangled issues. I offer this as an explanation and answer. I doubt this will persuade. I promise to read and consider your response, but may not engage in a 2000 year war over it. Likewise, feel free to ignore my question above.

  56. Posted March 11, 2011 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Please stop taxing Slayer.

  57. kjc
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    “Have you ever considered that taking isolated verses out of context from the Bible might not give you a complete understanding of the full story?”

    yes, EOS, did just say that.

  58. Posted March 11, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Wow.

  59. Mr. X
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I can’t speak for EOS, but perhaps this photo of Black Jake might help explain where he’s coming from.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/treverlong/5115542786/in/photostream/

  60. EOS
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Caring Parent,

    Thanks for your detailed post. I think I have a better understanding of your point of view now. FWIW, I read through the entire Bible several times each year. You brought up the WWJD, and I gave a quick, and I thought humorous response. I wasn’t implying that you should follow His lead, just that His lead didn’t compel me to support secular education at a high price. Sometimes nonbelievers try to back Christians into a corner by this tactic. Last year, Glen asked me the same question about funding mass transit and I suggested Jesus would have walked. Basically, Jesus didn’t say anything about funding public education or mass transit.

    You wrote, “Christians aren’t saved through actions, they are saved so they are empowered to act.” I agree. The “Social Gospel” that I questioned you about is a belief by many misguided Christians, that we are to spend all our time and efforts to eradicate the poor, feed the hungry, and basically solve all this world’s problems through our own efforts. But the Bible tells us that as the end times approach, things will continue to get progressively worse. Jesus emphasized sharing the gospel to the ends of the world, not eradicating all social ills. While he fed some for a day, and healed some of the sick, he taught about the kingdom of God and the terrors of hell.

    I’m not interested in bringing about a theocracy. I don’t want to invite any government regulation into my religious worship or church governance. But, when I have the opportunity to vote, I will vote in accordance with my Biblical worldview. I cannot separate any part of my life from the reality that I am a child of God, indwelt by His Spirit, and empowered by His grace.

    I believe from my reading of the Bible, that God designed men and women, for marriage and procreation, and has given the family the primary responsibility for nurturing, caring for, and educating their children. Today, public education is often at odds with Christian beliefs. Children as young as Kindergarten are indoctrinated with the homosexual agenda. Students in biology classes are coerced into discarding their knowledge of the Biblical creation in order to embrace an evolution of man that has no input from a deity. They are taught that truth is relative and encouraged to question the values of their faith. More money spent on education just ends up in increased salaries and benefits for teachers or more administrators. Persons often try to pass millages by claiming it’s for the children, but seldom do the children benefit. Unions take money from teachers paychecks and use it to elect more liberal politicians. I personally feel that homeschooling is the best option, but others are free to chose a different path for whatever reason.

    I want low taxes because I feel I can put my money to better use than any governmental bureaucracy. I donate significant amounts of my money and my time to charitable groups. It is my preference that my money be spent on things that have an eternal purpose. If we become like some of the socialistic European countries, 50 – 70% of what we earn will be spent for us on things that don’t really matter. If government didn’t take so much from the people, we would be able to do much more ourselves.

    And the one consistent fact about tax dollars is that the government is prohibited from spending it on the things I value most. When Jesus said to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, he knew that everything a human has is a gift from God.

  61. kjc
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    “a belief by many misguided Christians, that we are to spend all our time and efforts to eradicate the poor, feed the hungry, and basically solve all this world’s problems through our own efforts.”

    when instead they’re supposed to be obsessed with the political left.

  62. Posted March 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Heheheh @ Mr. X!

    Your question, Parent, fits in pretty well to the parable Jesus told about the tenants. The Temple is/was God’s “house” (symbolic of the future temple of his church and whatnot). Since everything in creation belongs to God, he had/has every right to legislate both voluntary and compulsory giving to his house, and to those who performed the religious ceremony in his house. To link Temple sacrifices and worship and the Mosaic Law to modern (or even Roman) civil government (and the taxes thereof) is to compare apples and oranges. A closer analogy would be to link the judges and the period of the kings to modern civil government — much closer to the separation of church and state that we’re used to. The priests did not fund public secular schools with the fat of rams and bulls, to my knowledge. Most of the Mosaic law enforcement was the people themselves (closer to vigilante justice than law-enforcement), or God himself through divine judgment (again, rather that publicly-funded law enforcement personnel).

    Even though the Mosaic law was good (according to Paul in Romans 7), its purpose was not to make anyone righteous, but to increase sin so it would be utterly sinful, and would be recognized as evil by those who tried (and failed) to keep the law. So Jesus freed us from the law by fulfilling it. Now there is no compulsory giving to the Temple. Jesus himself said that neither he, nor his followers, were obligated to pay taxes to the Temple because they were part of the family of the homeowner (God). He did anyway, so as not to offend people, but he wasn’t obligated to (Matthew 17:24-27).

    Jesus’ driving the money changers out of the Temple was another example of Jesus sticking up for the right of the property owners of that building to defend private property from theft — he and his Father were the property owners, and he drove the trespassers out by force, as was his right.

    Throughout the Old and New Testaments (same God throughout), God sticks up for both his property rights, and the property rights of others. Just because Jesus fulfilled the law does not mean the law was evil — the principles of not moving ancient boundary stones, and not coveting your neighbors’ property, are still both good principles. Just because God stuck up for his own property rights by legislating by himself (not through an elected body) that his people should pay him part of his own property back, does not mean others have the right to demand their neighbors’ property by force.

    The definition of sin is not selfishness, it is trespass. To demand the right to trespass against others’ property is to covetously insist on your own way, and it is in no way loving. God calls us to share as much as we’ve determined to share with a joyful heart. He does not call us to covet, nor trespass against, others’ property.

    “Some of us (”ahem”) are in perpetual contradiction saying we defend individual liberty because it is a Christian value.”

    It was for freedom that Christ has set us free. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. As far as defending nonChristians’ liberty, I quote Paul — “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?” (1Corinthians 5:12).

    There is absolutely no contradiction in defending liberty because it is a Christian value. It is a Christian value, and it absolutely should be defended. It is in no way wrong to defend property owners’ rights through our voting rights. It is good to privately fund charities, and help our neighbors voluntarily.

    I for one am unwilling to be enslaved to unjust guilt in a world of false dilemmas. I will not be burdened again by a yoke of slavery, or else Christ died for nothing.

  63. Caring Parent
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    EOS,

    “Jesus emphasized sharing the gospel to the ends of the world, not eradicating all social ills.”

    This doesn’t need to be an either/or. Conservative theologian, N.T. Wright, strongly affirms both in Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. It’s a good read.

    Thanks for the response.

  64. Bud Wiser
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Anyone know of shareware that can filter out religious whackjob prose from comments streams?

  65. kjc
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Lol Bud Wiser. i think it’s called Theology for Dummies.

  66. TaterSalad
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    The complete Islamization of America and the implementation of Sharia Law:

    1. http://shariah4america.com/NewYork/International-Shari-ah-Court-of-Justice-New-York

    2. http://shariah4america.com/NewYork/The-Islamic-Demolition-of-the-Statue-of-Liberty

    3. http://shariah4america.com/Washington/The-Islamic-Punishment-for-Paedophiles

    4. http://shariah4america.com/Washington/The-White-Masjid

    5. http://shariah4america.com/Shariah/The-Supremacy-of-the-Infrastructure-of-the-Islamic-State

    6. http://shariah4america.com/Shariah/Do-NOT-Obey-the-Law-of-the-Land

    7. http://shariah4america.com/Shariah/The-Islamic-State-24-Hours-after-Implementation

    8. http://shariah4america.com/Shariah/DEMONSTRATION-OUTSIDE-WHITE-HOUSE

    9. http://shariah4america.com/Non-Muslims/Imagine

    10. http://shariah4america.com/Non-Muslims/3rd-March-1924CE

    11. http://shariah4america.com/Shariah/Muslims-without-Shariah-are-like-Fish-out-of-Water

    12. http://shariah4america.com/Shariah/Welfare-in-the-Islamic-State

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