Skip to comments.Was Jesus a Fiscal Conservative?
Posted on 03/21/2013 9:54:51 AM PDT by ComtedeMaistre
A few honest left-wing Christians will admit that Jesus was conservative on issues like abortion and gay rights (he would oppose them). But they argue that Jesus would have supported their socialist economic agendas.
But they fail to realize that Jesus was a small businessman for most of his adult life - he ran a carpentry business. Jesus was a businessman for a longer time than he was a preacher.
His parable in Matthew 25:14-30 promoted responsible investment. Two workers were given 5 and 2 talents respectively by their master, and they doubled their master's money, and won their master's praise. The third worker was given 1 talent, and he failed to invest it, and was subsequently condemned by his master. That talent was taken away from him and given to the guy who had 10 talents. This sounds like (horror!) tax cuts for the rich. In the parable, the master recommended that the worker with one talent should have put it in a bank, and allow it to accumulate interest. The Catholic Church opposed the charging of interest on money in Medieval Europe, but this parable reveals that Jesus supported banks that charged interest on money.
The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) is a warning to humanity not to spend money in an irresponsible manner. In the parable, a son wasted his parents' money. In America, it is American parents who are wasting away the inheritance which they ought to leave to their children. The shameful national debt has made America a nation of prodigal parents, not of prodigal sons. American Parents need to apologize to their children for giving them a future of slavery, where they will be working on plantations and sweat-shops owned by the Chinese.
In Luke 19:1-10, Jesus inspired an IRS agent named Zacchaeus, to give a tax refund to people who had paid too much tax. Jesus obviously favored low taxation.
I don’t believe Jesus EVER looked at charity and government taxation as having anything to do with each other either....something our Catholic friends often conflate.
I never saw a Bible verse where Jesus told us to petition Herod to tax people more to feed the poor. Nope, he told us as individuals to. That is Conservatism.
Jesus was about the INDIVIDUAL and our behavior and devotion to God. Jesus would object to the Catholic Church’s style of ministry as he did to those that worked with the Roman’s to influence handouts, laws, taxes and politics.
Having a government or even Church “force” good deeds (take from the rich and give to the poor) is not giving alms or tythes or anything else for the individual spirit. There is nothing moral about it. The government does not act in the spirit of God.
So I agree. Jesus would want individuals to give freely of their own choice.
I dont have a Bible on this computer, but Christ also used an analogy of persons working in the field, the last one hired got paid as much as the first one hired, the first one complained, Jesus asked him whether he agreed to his wages at the start or not...which the man did in the parable...
So, Jesus appears to be against unions that way, too , unfair wages, and if you agreed to be paid something, stick to your word
The Catholic Church opposed the charging of interest on money in Medieval Europe, but this parable reveals that Jesus supported banks that charged interest on moneyThe Biblical injunction is against charging interest on loans specifically, especially on loans made to Israelites.
In the 3779 verses of the four gospels, Christ shows zero interest in civic affairs. He offers no advice, no prescriptions, and no commentary on the civic arrangements of men with men, or the civic affairs of men.
Christ is SOLELY interested in the salvation of your soul.
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s
No advice or proscriptions? Zero interest? Not even when reiterating the commandments or telling people to do what was commanded in Moses’ law? Not even when pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were supposed to be lawgivers and judges?
Conservatives count the cost before they spend.
Luke 14:27-31, For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it], all that behold [it] begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Zero. Zero interest in social issues regarding classes.
It’s easy to check. There are only 3779 verses in the four gospels. You can read them in a few evenings.
That’s more specific. “Class struggle” is something Marx made up.
Forget all the businessman nonsense. Plenty of business people are liberals. That proves nothing. Understanding the kind of charity Christ taught, as opposed to welfare, is key to understanding Christ’s beliefs. Christ spoke of VOLUNTARY alms giving, not forcible redistribution. No where does he speak of government taking from one to give to another. Christ wouldn’t have even had a concept of government welfare since the Roman Empire had no such system. No, Christ spoke of the kind of voluntary charity that ennobles and exalts the giver because it’s given out of the abundance of the heart, not forced out of them. Christ was never about coercion, but about free will. He spoke of a kind of charity that isn’t a nameless, faceless bureaucrat and bureacratic agency sending off an automated check gotten from funds taken involuntarily from another to give to someone known only by a Social Security number by said bureacracy. No he spoke of the kind of charity where a giver experiences and learns compassion, love and Christ-like virtues of generosity and kindness because they WANT to give, and to a person who isn’t just some faceless number but someone the giver can assess the worthiness and need of and then from there give from the heart. This is the kind of charity that has the power to exalt both the giver and the recipient, as opposed to the sense of entitlement and dependency—as well as resentment from those forced to fund government programs they may not believe in— coming from the welfare state.
I agree with most of what you said, except that not that many liberals are business people unless they are involved in a crony venture, or high tech, or serve some government consitutency.
By class, in this case, I mean category.
Christ offered no commentary on how to rearrange society — to rearrange categories or classes or groups — to achieve some improvement in temporal, worldly conditions.
Christ MENTIONS things of worldly interest, but his topic is NEVER temporal, worldly, civic, social, political, economic, etc. affairs.
Everything he says concerns your soul.
Of course you could also view that as supporting equality of outcomes regardless of the amount of effort provided.
So, he was a small businessman and he paid his taxes. He was an all around good and frugal guy.
He took care of his mother and obeyed her like a good Jewish boy, (per the 4th commandment) and he read the first half of the Good Book thoroughly.
Since he was pro-life and a small businessman, I would say that it would be safe to assume that if he were elected to Congress he would not be working to pass cr@p@$$ bills and he certainly would not be spending us into oblivion.
So, yeah, Jesus would be a fiscal AND social conservative.
And, we would probably see him frequent TEA Party rallies.
Not limited to Catholics. Most of the protestant churches I’ve attended lean left on taxation for social service programs.
Jesus is God. He is in total agreement with EVERYTHING the FATHER says. So if God says "I am the Lord your God who teaches you to profit" (Isa 48:17) then we know that Jesus also says that.
So, you can't limit yourself to just the four gospels. What Jesus says there is just a small portion of what He has told us in His word.
And in the Word He speaks a lot about this world. In fact (IIRC) He talks about money more than He talks about sin.
Salvation is easy. Living here wisely is very difficult, and so He talks about that the most.
Jesus is the reason for western philosophical thought and traditional western society. It was Jesus who said that you personally are important to God, and just as important as any other person. The rulers of Jesus’ day would have thought it laughable that a king (or elite) and a peasant would have equal standing in any matter. The rulers of evil political systems today feel the same way.
The entire system of thought regarding individual rights pioneered by Locke, and then Jefferson (I am leaving out a ton of important people for brevity) were distilled from ideas put forth by Thomas Aquinas about God given rights. His ideas were natural derivations of the fact that you are important to God and that you are on equal footing with all other men in God’s eyes.
I am not sure I feel comfortable labling Jesus with the same term I use for myself but his precepts are the first principles from which fiscal conservatism, private property, and natural rights were derived.
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