(You can listen by audio and pause the audio to follow page links for important details on these teachings; then resume the audio when you are ready. Please note that I use page links for important details and in lieu of footnotes and references.)
WHERE IS IT GOING?
A study in sociology is not necessary to know that here have been thousands, if not millions, of social constructs since mankind was placed on this earth. The variations are mind boggling. Some have been successful and others have been abject failures when measured by the standard of human benefit.
The various outcomes of the myriad of social systems have been affected by many conditions ranging from the natural phenomenon to self-indulgence. But no condition has had a greater impact on our world than what the Bible calls ‘sin’.
A careful reading and study on the creation of man, ‘the fall of mankind’ and his descent into chaos must lead the reader to recognize that most, if not all of our social ills, ensuing dilemmas and human tragedies emanate from this condition called ‘sin’.
The origins, the etymology, of the word ‘sin’, is as instructive as it is interesting. Old Testament Hebrew, defines the word ‘sin’ as ‘chata’, pronounced, ‘khaw-taw’, and means “to miss or to go wrong, to sin”.
The New Testament Greek word for ‘sin’ is ‘hamartia’, pronounced, ‘ham-ar-tee’-ah’, and means, to sin, a forfeiture because of missing the mark; it is the brand of sin that emphasizes its self-originated, self-empowered nature.
Both definitions and usages of the word, include the phrase, ‘to miss the mark’. In other words, sin is to miss the mark of God’s planned perfection.
The Christian Apostle Saint Paul, as recorded in Romans chapter 7, realized that sin, or evil, is present within all of us and causes all of us to ‘miss the mark’ of God’s Perfection, or to fail. Most, if not all of our social ills and ensuing dilemma emanate from this condition.
Man was made with a ‘dubious character’ with an inclination to sin. This was part of God’s grand design in the creation of mankind. Paul realized that this sin was ‘holding him prisoner’ and that he was in desperate need of help and to be set free. (See Romans 7:21-24)
So, we have seen that, according to the Biblical record, God created mankind with the proclivity to fail, that is, to sin. On the other hand, the Bible tells us that God’s plan is for perfection.
I said at the beginning of this book, I am not a philosopher, I am not superstitious and I know little-to-nothing about existentialism. So, I cannot even imagine why God’s Grand Design reflects any concept of Dualism, a theory that considers reality to consist of two irreducible elements or modes or the quality or state of being dual or of having a dual nature. A view of that human beings, are constituted of two irreducible elements such as matter and spirit, good and evil.
The concept of Dualism is that that there are two separate entities, good and evil, which are equally powerful, “Christian” dualism, God represents the good entity and Satan represents the evil entity.
However, in Christianity, the truth is that even though Satan has some power, he is no equal to God Almighty, for he was created by God as an angel before he rebelled. Good, represented by God Almighty, is the most powerful force in the universe without exception. Evil, represented by Satan, is a lesser force that is no match for good. Evil will be defeated every time in any head-to-head match with good, for God Almighty, the essence of good, is all-powerful, whereas evil, represented by Satan, is not.
Whenever any doctrine portrays good and evil as two equal opposing forces, that doctrine contradicts the Biblical scriptural position that good, represented by God Almighty, is the dominant power in the universe. Since Satan was not, and never will be, equal to God, any doctrine that says he is can be marked as a false doctrine. (The fact that Satan was thrown out of heaven for trying to rise above God does not mean Satan has given up trying to be equal or superior to God, as evidenced by the basic tenets of “dualism” that have come down largely through the philosophical stem of human wisdom.)
There can be no true ‘dualism’ existing in any corner of our universe. There is only one power that is overriding, and that power is God Almighty as revealed to us in the Bible. According to the scriptural evidence, there is only one power that is omnipotent, not two. Thus, any doctrine of dualism which contends that there are two equal powers opposing each other (good and evil) is false.
Absent “true dualism in nature”, there is, however, a self-evident conflict. A tension and a struggle between good and evil, life and death and a conflict between God and Satan.
(Again, I say, I will not debate the philosophers about the meaning of ‘good and evil’ or ‘life and death’. Those things are self-evident and any further discussion about them are nothing but a tangled web of confusion and personal opinions by the high-minded. Lies and deceit.)
This on-going conflict can be seen from the time of creation, in the Garden of Eden, through the casting down of Lucifer and his rebellious angels from heaven, to the conflicts between the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. We read about Angelic and demonic conflicts in the spiritual realms manifesting in earthly terms and we read about the great Crusades, a conflict between Christianity and Islamic forces. These types of conflicts continue and exist today.
Chapter 6 of the book of Ephesians tells us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” These struggles then manifest in our natural bodies.
The two choices are becoming clear: God’s way or man’s ways.
One of man’s ways of organizing a society goes by the name of Socialism. It is a system in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies. It is a system of society or group living in which there is no private property and is a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state. Finally, and in brief, it is a stage of society in Marxist theory, that is, the principles of class division of society and class struggle where society has ‘oppressors’ and ‘the oppressed’. The oppressed are eventually bound to revolt and build a new society and economy.
According to Marx, socialism is a stage on the way to communism, which is the more advanced stage of human organization not yet achieved in China or the Soviet Union, even according to Lenin, Stalin and Mao. Many calling themselves socialist would like to stop with the nationalization of the means of production and not move on to communism. They also often oppose the “dictatorship of the proletariat” in the name of democracy.
SOCIALISM and Communism
The quick ‘n’ easy way to remember the difference between Socialism and Communism is: Socialism is “from each according to their ability, to each according to their DEEDS,” whereas Communism is “from each according to their ability to each according to their NEEDS.”
Socialism is the stage between Capitalism and Communism. It builds upon the previous system (Capitalism) by nationalizing the “means of production” (i.e., corporations, resources, banks, etc.), but not by making everyone equal.
The Social Gospel: The 21st Century
In the United States, the Social Gospel is still influential in mainline Protestant denominations such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church; it seems to be growing in the Episcopal Church as well, especially with that church’s effort to support the ONE Campaign. In Canada, it is widely present in the United Church and in the Anglican Church. Social Gospel elements can also be found in many service and relief agencies associated with Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church in the United States. It also remains influential among Christian socialist circles in Britain in the Church of England, Methodist and Calvinist movements. In Catholicism, liberation theology has similarities to the Social Gospel. In the Anglican Church, the social gospel has found expression in pacifism.
Christian Socialism – (From Wikipedia)
Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist and who see these two philosophies as being interrelated. This category can include Liberation theology and the doctrine of the social gospel. The term “Christian Socialism” is used in this sense by organizations such as the Christian Socialist Movement (CSM), a specifically Christian grouping affiliated with the British Labor Party.
Christian socialists draw parallels between what some have characterized as the egalitarian and anti-establishment message of Jesus, who — according to Christian Gospel — spoke against the religious authorities of his time, and the egalitarian, anti-establishment, and sometimes anti-clerical message of most contemporary socialisms. Some Christian Socialists have gone as far as to become active Communists (see Christian communism).
Let us now examine the question of the relationship of Christianity with Communism more precisely, to that particular form of communism which has now appeared as an attempt to realize the ideas of socialism. This form of communism emerged in history as a sworn and bitter enemy of Christianity. For its part, Christianity recognizes it as completely alien and inimical with itself. (from Orthodoxphotos.com)
The history of the Church in apostolic times reveals that, in those times, it had its own Christian form of ‘communism’, which was actually ‘communalism’. The faithful held everything common, as the Acts of the Apostles says. Even now, this Christian communalism exists in the form of Koenobitic monasticism. Both the concept and reality of communal property is a bright, idealistically elevated type of Christian inter-relationship, examples of which have always existed in the Orthodox Church.
How great is the difference between such Christian communalism and Soviet communism! One is as far from the other as the heavens are from the earth. Christian communalism is not an independent self-motivated goal to which Christianity might strive. Rather, it is an inheritance bred of that spirit of love by which the Church has breathed from the first. Moreover, Christian communalism is totally voluntary. No one says, “Give us what is yours, it belongs to us,” rather, Christians themselves sacrificed so that “none of them considered any of their possessions to be their own.”
The communalism of property in Soviet communism is a self-motivated goal which must be attained no matter what the consequences and regardless of any considerations. The builders of this type of communism are attaining it by purely violent means, not balking at any measure, even the slaughter of all those who do not agree… The bases of this communism are not freedom, as in Christian communism, but force; not sacrificial love, but envy and hatred.
In its struggle against religion, Soviet communism goes to such excesses that it excludes even that most elementary justice which is recognized by everyone. In its class ideology, Soviet communism tramples on all justice. The object of its work is not the common weal of all the citizens of the state, but only the interests of a single class. All the remaining state and social groupings of citizens are “thrown overboard,” outside the care and protection of the communist government. The ruling class has no concern for them.
Socialism and Communism are the anathema of Christianity. The two cannot coexist with the third. They are incompatible. One must survive and the other must cease to exist.
The Christian doctrine of eschatology teaches the complete eradication of Socialism, Communism and their adherents.
Quotes on Communism by influential people:
“Communism has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or corruption, or both.” – John F. Kennedy
“Communism is inequality, but not as property is. Property is exploitation of the weak by the strong. Communism is exploitation of the strong by the weak.” – Pierre Joseph Proudhon
“A common danger tends to concord. Communism is the exploitation of the strong by the weak. In Communism, inequality comes from placing mediocrity on a level with excellence.” – Pierre Joseph Proudhon
For us in Russia communism is a dead dog. For many people in the West, it is still a living lion.” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
“When we hang the capitalists, they will sell us the rope we use.” – Joseph Stalin
“Let’s not talk about Communism. Communism was just an idea, just pie in the sky.” – Boris Yeltsin
“Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.” – Mao Zedong
“I am a communist because I believe that the Communist idea is a state form of Christianity.” – Alexander Zhuravlyov
During his 1945 election campaign Winston Churchill stated that:
…a socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.
…a socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom.
Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and
the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and
what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely.
No socialist system can be established without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance
“Communism emerged in history as a sworn and bitter enemy of Christianity. For its part, Christianity recognizes it as completely alien and inimical with itself.”
A FINAL NOTE: When addressing the outcomes of the two sides of perceived dualism, I prefer to use the standard as outlined in the Bible and reflected in the American Declaration of Independence to describe the ‘Good’. To Wit:
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness. (for the full text and the entire document, click this link: The Declaration of Independence.)
Your Brother and Friend,
Next Chapter (coming soon): A NEW WORLD ORDER
Previous Chapter: PERFECTION – Chapter 13 – Come Reason With Me
(Go here for the complete Online Digital Book: THE JOURNEY TO PERFECTION
IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE, CONSTRUCT AND PROGESSION OF THE SOCIAL ORDER, OF AS DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE AND CONSTRATED WITH HUMANISM, SOCIALISM AND ALL ITS VARIANTS, YOU WILL BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE IN THE FINAL DAYS OF THE FINAL WEEK BEFORE JESUS RETURNS, USHERING IN THE “GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD”.