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Black Lives Matter Style Socialism is a False Gospel, part 2

A few days ago while driving home from work on my usual route I came across something that should be disturbing to every believer. One of the prominent churches on the North Side of Indianapolis, that sits on a curve so that the church's southern most facade faces every vehicle heading north, had a huge banner that read "Black Lives Matter." While the current climate might lead believers to stand in solidarity with black people against racism and injutice, Black Lives Matter will neither save black lives, nor improve the Social conditions of our predominantly black inner cities. Those three words, when expressed as a proper noun, are principally political in nature. They offer a false failed, godless Gospel. On the side of a church they will be perceived as a declaration equating the church's mission with a Marxist socio-political revolution.

Black Lives Matter is a lead by Marxists and has a Marxist agenda. A church that hangs a BLM banner on it's main facade is defining it's vision of advancing the gospel (Matthew 28: 18 -20), as Marxist revolution. A look at the history of Marxism and at any modern Marxist government or culture should be enough to convince anyone that it is an evil, anti-Christian philosophy. The banner promotes a dangerous false gospel. The gospel is not a socio- economic or political system, and will not be advanced in partnership with Black Lives Matter any more than the gospel is advanced under the theme Make America Great Again. How is the gospel to advance in such a politically charged arena? While the gospel is principally redemptive rather than political, it does have implications for how we live. Since we live in a political and economic society the gospel does have political and economic implications.

 Does the gospel's social implications require a collectivist government and economy? I am concerned that many Christians believe that  God's love expressed socially requires a collectivist economic and legal system. They would propose that a culture transformed in Christ likeness abandons self-interest, competition and personal ownership of Property for the common good."[1] So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, [2] complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. [3] Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:1–3ESV)" In a Christian system, they would describe as "woke" is concerned for equality of outcome where all share equally in the  fruits of economic labor.

The mission of the church is to separate oppressors from their ill-gotten gains and vindicate the disenfranchised. In a "woke" culture no one owns anything individually. We all share the planet. The government's role is to distributes resources equally to all people so that all people have the same standard of living and opportunity. Social justice, which some Christians embrace, says that the church is called to advance equality and justice, to identify oppressed classes, align with the poor, and distribute wealth equitably. There is no need for police forces to protect property, because property can be used by acquired by anyone who needs it just by taking it. Is the gospel the great liberator of the oppressed? Does it aligns more closely with Black Lives Matter than the traditional capitalistic institutions of the West?

Black Lives Matter collectivism particularly and socialism generally is a false gospel.  The Bible says much about justice and requires Christians to be fair, humble, honest and moral in all social transactions, it does honors and elevate individual stewardship and acquisiton of material wealth and property. The New Testament was written and the church was formed under the rule of what may have been the most oppressive system of history. Millions of people were enslaved, yet Jesus called on his disciples and the oppressed Jews of his day to be loyal law abiding citizens and never addressed the social and economic inequities of Pax Romana (Matthew 12:17). Philemon, one of the books of the New Testament, is written to a slave owner about his runaway slave, Onesimus, who had befriended  and assisted the prominent apostle Paul, the book's author. Although he insists on benevolent treatment of the slave, and imply's that as a fellow believer the slave should be free, Paul compels the slave to return to his master (Philemon 8-16) without addressing the morality of slavery. 

Rather than calling the oppressed to cast off their oppressors, Jesus taught non-retaliation and submission to those who intended you harm:
[38] “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ [39] But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. [40] And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. [41] And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. [42] Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. (Matthew 5:38–42ESV)
On an occasion where Jesus was asked about a Roman governor's unjust murder of innocent civilians. Instead of calling for social action Jesus called on the Jews to repent of their own sin:
[1] There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. [2] And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? [3] No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. [4] Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? [5] No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1–5ESV) 
Both the Old and New Testament have much to say about helping the poor and the oppressed. It equates  prejudice and impartiality in our affairs with blasphemy, because when we oppress a person created in the image of God, we dishonor God and his name:
[26] If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. [27] Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. [1] My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. [2] For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, [3] and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” [4] have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? [5] Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? [6] But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? [7] Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? (James 1:26- 2: 7ESV)
The apostles did resist authority when their right to preach the gospel was threatened (Acts 5:29), and Paul demanded his civil rights under Roman law (Acts 16:37-38; 22:25 - 28). Yet the Bible is clear God has established governments to establish justice and punish oppressors. People who live according to scripture will seek the economic and political prosperity, justice in all transactions but will not practice vigilantism and lawlessness.  (Jeremian 29: 1 - 14; Romans 13: 1-7; 1 Peter 2: 13 -25). The scripture draws a connection between God's blessing on his people and responsible citizenship.

Yet we dare not ignore the many commands to act ethically and justly. How does a Christian live both compassionately and responsibly in a fallen world? Most evangelicals divide between two political camps capitalist and socialist, and increasingly Christians are being told that the Bible demands a system of retributive, re-distributive economy, called social justice to advance the gospel. Does it?  Those who advocate that Jesus was either a capitalist or a socialist are reading the Bible through a contemporary lens. Capitalism and socialism were socio-economic systems that developed in the 17th and 18th century, respectively, as a result of political and social situations contemporary to them. To argue either that Jesus was a capitalist or a socialist is applying a modern category to an ancient context. But the economic realities recorded in scripture can give guidance to how we relate to people and transact business and politics in 2020.

What are principles that guide economic and social relationship in the Bible and how do they align with Black Lives Matter style socialism. Black Lives Matter was founded by two black women who, by their own admission, are Marxist and seek to replace our call for individual liberty and opportunity to a society based on "the collective collective good, the end of the traditional family, the replacement of our capitalist economy with Marxists socialist egalitarian system. The leaders of BLM believe our system of individual liberty and prosperity leads to power being centralized in the hands of greedy oppressor who dominate the African American under classes. That property and power controlled by whites results in undeserved privilege for them and the diminishing of opportunity to the black poor person. The problem is the capitalistic system which inherently, in their view, favors privileged whites must be replaced by an equitable just socialist system where black lives matter .These are the fundamental principles of Marxism and the founders of BLM admit to being trained and advocating for Marxism. The question for us as Christians is does the Bible align with the BLM world view and should gospel teaching churches embrace "social justice" or Marxism. 

While some Christians insist several New Testament passages present mandate for a "collectivist" form of "economic justice" (Micah 6: 6-8;Matthew 25: 31- 46; Luke 4: 16- 19; Acts 4:32-37; James 1:26-2:7) we will show that the scripture connects private property ownership to human dignity and to a reflection of God's image in human relationships. This is evident from creation itself. In Genesis 1 when God creates, he repeatedly calls his creation "good," meaning it is representative of his holiness and morality and is under his authority. In Chapter 1 verse 15 of Genesis he begins to establish a system of authority and economy in creation. He says "the great light [the sun] will rule over the lesser [the moon]. There is an order of ranking and function in the structure of the universe it self, which place one entity above another. When he creates man and woman he continues to establish a social ordering:

  • Man's management of property is a reflection of the sanctity of human life. God gives human beings "dominion" over the resources of the planet. They are managers of what God has created. Man has possession and use of the planet as Divine Co-regent. "[26] Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.[27] So God created man in his own imagein the image of God he created him;  male and female he created them. "(Gen 1: 26 and 27ESV). God's image of creation is represented and honored by his assigning man dominion. When man takes care of property he recognizes that God is the owner of all things, and she the is steward over creation  Through managing property he the Divine order is establish and lives in harmony with God and man.
  •  As God's  steward we are assigned dominion over the earth and given work to do. Work is not a curse but a blessing and the result of creation. Human beings are not entitled to property; but they are given it to manage, as an expression of their creative purpose. Work is the privilege that goes with the responsibility of stewarding the planet. Possession of wealth and authority is a privilege bestowed by God."[15] The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. [16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, [17] but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17 ESV) Adam and Eve's relationship with God was one of individual responsibility toward the property where God had placed them. Proper use of the property, tending the garden and refraining from contact with the tree of the "knowledge of good and evil" was a system of individual liberty and law and order. Theologians call this social system  "the covenant of works." So man's relationship with God was contingent on how he freely used wealth and opportunity, and he was required to obey the law.

  • God's relationship with human beings depended on how they lived on the property he had assigned them. After Adam and Eve sinned, they were cast out of their property and lived separately from God. The rest of the Bible is about God's plan to restore the broken relationships, which he does through establishing "covenants" or "agreements" with them. This contractual relationship is inherent in the structure of the Bible itself which Christians believe is organized around "the Old Covenant (Old Testament)" which is superseded by a "New Covenant (New Testament Hebrews 8:6). The Old Covenant among other things defined Israel's relationship to the community and the land God would give them (Gen 12:1-3). Property ownership was essential to the Old Covenant. The foundational principles of the Old Covenant are the 10 Commandments (9 of which are restated in the New Covenant). 

  • The 10 Commandments makes individual property ownership a continuation of human responsibility given at creation. Exodus 20:8, the fourth commandment states that in six days we are to do all our work and do our labor, which is part of this commandment, that we are to work, but on the seventh day we shall rest from our work and keep it holy to the Lord. God connects man responsible use of his property with the privilege of leisure. This fourth commandment is never directly carried over to the New Testament, but the eight is foundational to humanities relationship to each other.

  • “You shall not steal." (Exodus 20:15ESV). The fact that God prohibits stealing implies the dignity of property ownership. All five of the final five commandments decry the taking something that one has no right to possess, has not earned, or have authority over from someone else. [13] “You shall not murder." The human being does not have the right to kill an innocent human being, because they are created by God and are his. Taking an innocent human life is an attack on God's authority.[14] “You shall not commit adultery." You are not to have sex with one who is covenanted to another.[16] “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." One is not to take away or destroy the reputation or character of another. [17] “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” (20: 13 -17ESV) You are not to take the property which someone else own's. Because property ownership is the principal means through which we interact with other people as God's righteous agents.

  • If you are entering into covenant relationships, gaining material wealth and honoring other people you are fulfilling your God created purpose. So the free and independent use of  personal possession is one of the ways God's image is reflected in human society. "[17] Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17ESV). These ten commandments (The Decalogue) given to Moses on Mount Sinai formed not only the basis of relationships with individuals they were passed on to future generations and became the governing principles of social relationships under the Old and New Testaments. A generation after the original Decalogue was given Moses repeated them for a New Generation. Jesus repeats  each commandment,except the fourth. They were governing principles for human society, government and economics. (Deut 5:17-21: Matt 5: 21-27;19:18 Luke 18:20; 1 Cor 6: 9- 11; James 2:11). This is the reason the Ten Commandments hang over the dais in the Supreme Court building, they are universal governing for all people for all time given by God.

  • The principal of individual ownership and free use of property as a human right is a Divinely ordained eternal economic principle. If the government confiscates wealth from those who have earned it freely, to give to those who have not, that is stealing. If you think society owes you a basic income or if you are employed yet do as little as possible expecting to be paid the same as the one who has worked hard and productively, that is stealing from your fellow workers and employer. If  you through greed or cheating deny a customers or an employee take what is rightfully theirs, that is stealing. The 10th commandment clearly states that though you shall not covet anything from your neighbor. Covetousness the desire to have what someone else has whether you have earned it is evil. In Exodus 22 our property rights are protected by God since He wants us to earn our living and not to live from other people's labor. 

  • In Proverbs 6:6 - 11 Solomon is rebukes the lazy person who refuses to work even though he is able to and can do so. In Psalm 90:70 Moses asks God to honor the works of our hands. Wealth is praised in Proverbs 10:4: "Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich." In Proverbs 16:26: God calls the pursuit of pure appetite righteous. Proversbs 21:25 says: A worker’s appetite works for him, his hunger urges him on. Ambition and competition honorable and liberating. Proverbs 22: 29 says,"Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men." Competency and productivity are awarded with power and prestige. In Deuteronomy 16:15 the Lord is said to bless the works of our hands. In Colossians 1:10 we are commanded to work productively and in Colossians 3:23 we are held accountability is to the Lord for our work.

  • Paul the apostle is an example of individual productivity. In 1 Thess 2:9  he and his companions support their ministry through the work with their hands. They  provide for themselves and not e a burden to the people they serve. In 1 Thess 4: Paul instrucst us to mind our own business and to work with our hands and to lead a quiet life. Paul discourages using money to lift people out of poverty without work. In 2 Thess 3:10 - 12 we are instructed "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, If any will not work, neither let him eat. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, If any will not work, neither let him eat. Now them that are such we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread."

  • So if  a church  seeks to build disciples equips people to respect o individual  liberty, possession property rights and the dignity for work. Government redistribution of wealth by some kind of collective religious communal authority is in direct disobedience to God's commands and the examples of Jesus and the apostle. Socialism, especially as advocated by Black Lives Matter is contrary to how the Bible say we are to live.

    Yet we are obligated to help the poor, the sick, the disabled and to give benevolently. Some Christians counter my argument by pointing the record of the way the earliest congregations set up a fair just collectivist  economy. An incident recorded in Acts is a God is often heralded as a model for "economic" justice:[32] Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. (Acts 4:32ESV). The New Testament is accurate in it's record of events, but as we study  the gospel we must be careful not to either endorse or disparage modern behavior based on these isolated incidences. Incidences are not precedents, necessarily. We often have to delve more carefully into a passages context, language and culture to draw principles relevant to our time. Upon further examination we discover that his communal system was abandoned, because it failed. 

    This system failed to meet the needs of the poor and was abandoned by the church for a more democratic one:
    [1] Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. [2] And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. [3] Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. (Acts 6:1–3 ESV)
    The communal system in Acts records the fundamental failure of "collectivist" economic system. "The widows were being neglected in the daily distribution." Marxism fails  to meet need because it fails to produce enough to serve a growing population.  Socialism increases poverty which leads to oppression and it always fails. 

    Marxism is a failed, ungodly system because it fails to honor the sanctity of the human life created in the image of God and denies human dominion over the earth expressed in individual rights, responsibility and property ownership. Marxism maxim "each according to his ability and to each according to his need" is stealing? It assumes that economic value is a constant and business and government merely spread the wealth around. But as population grows a Marxist economy is unable to meet even the basic needs of consumers. There becomes less and less available for more people eventually only a very few possess anything and authority becomes based on who has political might rather than on human rights. It is fundamentally oppressive. Marxists always attempt to hide the oppressive nature of their system.

    The erasure of history by Marxist revolutionaries is done to cover up the record. The word "remember" is one of the most common things God says to his people. I used my ESV software to get a list of how many times God told the people to "remember their past history and leaders." I did not count because the list was 12 pages long. The record of the heroes of our faith is an honest record. The Bible is honest about the failures of God's people, but it also honors their acts of faith and righteous deeds. Speaking of the most corrupt, oppressive government in the history of mankind Paul command us to give...
    "[7] respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:7
    ESV)" Remembering the valiant sacrifices our founding fathers made to establish our liberty in no way ignores or approves their flaws and failures. It does teach us how liberty and opportunity flourishes in a capitalistic system and how socialism victimizes the oppressed. In the reflection of their honorable acts, and recognition of their flaws we are taught the outcome which policies produce peace and prosperity.

    Black Lives Matter and other socialist groups seek to deny history because it enables them to deny failures and ignore flaws, to hide the failures of socialism even the democratic kind that is sometimes referred to as "Kinseyian" economics. The term is a reference George Maynard Kinsey, an adviser to Franklin Roosevelt and the intellectual father of his "New Deal." This Kinseyan economics has been the principle that has guided liberal economics of both political parties until the election of 1980. With election of Ronald Reagan conservative economics began to ascend to the forefront of Republican politics. Reagan often spoke of the destructive consequences of liberal policies. 

    BLM erases history to hide the destructive result of Classical Kinseyan Economics which is absurd and like the experiment with collectivism in the first century church social fails to grow an economy and denies prosperity to anyone. Rather than liberating oppressed Blacks BLM style socialism will victimize them further. Kensyian economics hurts the poor and oppressed. While capitalism always liberates and empowers. In the words of conservative scholar Mark Levin:

    "The fact is production in a free-market produces wealth. Since 1800 the world's population has increased 6 times. Real personal income that people possess has increased 16 times. In America it has even been more dramatic. In 1800 the total population of America was 5.3 million people, average life expectancy was 39 years old. the real gross domestic product per capita was $1343 (figures are in 2010 values) in 2011 our population was 308 million and average life expectancy was 78 and GDP was 48,800 per capita. The population grew 58 times while life expectancy doubled our GDP per capita increased 36 times. This is phenomenal because before 1800 the worldwide per capita increase in GDP for 99.9 percent of the population was $1 per day. What happened 300 years ago that so radically change economics from what it had produced for 100000 years. It is generally a variety of political and social forces known as capitalism. Now of course sadly there are billions that still live in abject poverty. How is it that so many miss out on so much. Well there are several things we can observe. The countries and societies that value, liberty and personal property experience that growth across the population. While I in way wish to diminish poverty in America,  capitalism has created an impoverished person in America lives at the standard of a middle class person in North Korea, or Venezuela. When income grows as a result of individual labor in a free market no on else's income has been taken from them." 

    The Black Lives Matter movement erroneously equate capitalism with slavery. Some recently have begun to argue that capitalism was the basis for American slavery. And that capitalism by it's nature is oppressive. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Adam smith, considered to be the father of capitalism, argued against slavery and saw capitalism as contrary to it. A recent article in the Quillete explained how abolitionism is a continuation of capitalism:
    Adam Smith argued not only that slavery was morally reprehensible, but that it causes economic self-harm. He provided economic and moral ammunition for the abolitionist movement that came to fruition after his death in 1790. Smith was pessimistic about the potential for full abolition, but he was on the side of the angels.
    A free market does not need slaves, because it grows wealth that can employ them.

    Black Lives Matter seeks control and dominate not to liberate. We know that is true because that is the inevitable result of Marxism. Marxism destroys equality of opportunity by simply taking from one supposedly victimized class and victimizing another. The call for reparations for slavery, for example, is completely contrary to Biblical teaching which teaches that present generations are not culpable for the sins of past generations. "[19] “Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. [20] The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself." (Ezekiel 18:19–20ESV) A just social system restores those who have rejected the wrongs of their ancestors. [25] “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? [26] When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. [27] Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. (Ezekiel 18:25–27ESV) Yet a socialist society is not about restoration; it is about retribution. It is not about equality of opportunity. It is about punishing individuals for societies sins.

    Black Lives Matter is calling for a social revolution that is contrary to the way the Bible says both individuals and government works.When church leaders insist that their congregants must embrace Marxism to live out the implications of the gospel, they are teaching a false gospel. It is replacing grace with works. The collectivist form of justice that Black Lives matter promotes destroys, it does not liberate.

    This is the reason President Trump's tax cuts and deregulation have lifted so many white, black, men, women, Hispanics and Asians out of poverty. The greatest eleemosynary force in the world is a capitalist economy. Black Lives Matter style socialism seeks to erase history and control the narrative. They know their promises are incredulous. A church that aligns is self with the BLM agenda is teaching a false gospel. One must only ask why despots always destroy the historical record of those they seek to control. They do it not to disparage past leaders flaws. They do it to hide their successes and what virtues they did have. When we look at a Biblical characters like Samson (after whom this blog is named). We see an entitled, arrogant, sometimes tyrannical individual who in the end followed God, what we learn from remembering him is how to succeed in life and faith. We learn as much from his failures and flaws as do from his acts of faith. That is why we must never deny our history and destroy its effigies if we seek to preserve liberty and prosperity. We must recognize BLM for what it is. A scheme to manipulate poor black people to gain power and control over them. Only a robust capitalist economy can defeat the Lie of socialism,  open a platform for a gospel and liberate the disenfranchised poor descendants of American slaves. Capitalism liberates and along with the gospel it elevates. 

    This post first appeared on Samson's Jawbone, please read the originial post: here

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    Black Lives Matter Style Socialism is a False Gospel, part 2


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