Monday, August 27, 2012

A Tale of Two Interpretations

I encourage my readers to read and compare two blogs from my lists below.  Just posted on "Winging It" is a look at a passage from Acts that is often used to justify communist/socialist economic policies.  At the same time, the most recent post at "A Payne Hollow Visit", aka "Through the Woods" has another entry in the host's ongoing series of posts looking at the Bible and economics.  I would hope it is easy to see how one is reasoned and logical, taking cues from the actual words of the text...you know...what it is actually saying, and the other...well...doesn't.  One draws conclusions from the text and the other injects meaning into it. 

I can't knock anyone's desire to understand Scripture, to uncover meaning and learn what God wants us to know about Him and His will and intentions for us.  But it seems to me that there is only so much that is there, only so much that is intended to be drawn that at some point we can say, "I get it." and from that point, further study simply cements the message into our skulls. 

But then there are those who seem determined to find some secrets, or perhaps regard themselves as more able to divine deeper meanings.  I think these people get themselves in trouble by supposing they are smarter than the average believer, have a better grasp that is beyond the common man and thus are no more than complete frauds on the order of a Pharisee.  I can think of two in particular who visit here.

And then there are those who want the Bible to mean something that is more appealing to them than a stark reading reveals.  We see this in the commonplace expression "God is love" that is put forth as the bottom line of Biblical teaching and all one needs to know.  In the above example, we have a clear case of one's economic preference being injected into anyplace the blogger feels he can stick the hypodermic needle.  It is clear that he feels any place will do.

There is plenty we can learn from Scripture that Scripture intends us to learn without forcing meaning upon it.  If one wants to say that It warns us against greed and the lust for money, I can deal with that, because it does.  But it says so in clear terms without pretending there are underlying messages of this type in every other verse.  Worse, the message that is so imagined by this particular blogger is used to support economic policy proposals that do not conform with the true message charitable giving and caring for the poor. 

I cannot help but regard this type of interpretation as every bit heretical as any other unBiblical teaching.  It doesn't matter if the heresy is something that is actually taught elsewhere in Scripture (assuming it is).  But injecting meaning that the text itself isn't providing interferes with the message it intends to provide.  One might even ignore the intended message in favor of the "underlying" message not truly intended.  That can't be good.

32 comments:

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Knowing who the author is of "Payne Hollow," I am not surprised by finding heresy.

Feodor said...

I’m sure it does not matter to you that “Winging It” confuses the issue - true to its name.

The author misleadingly equates coercion with organization and concludes that since the early church did not coerce participation it therefore had no organization.

The church did have an organization, contra Winging It, as evidenced by the process for incorporating members who, by faith and not by force, are moved to participate in the communitarian activity. When two abused that process they were punished. Setting up, administrating, and adjudicating behavior are all activities indicating a high level of organization.

Marshall Art said...

He is not arguing over whether or not the early church had some organized structure. The subject never comes up. What he argues is that the story cannot be used as a basis for justifying the notion that Christianity supports communism/socialism as an economic system. Try to pay attention.

Feodor said...

Quoting Winging It:

"Note, then, that private property remained private property. There was no system, no coercion, no "social organization”.

In record time, Marshall, you’ve gotten to your consistent terminus point where you deny the obvious.

Parklife said...

record time? Im not so sure about that.

Marshall Art said...

feo,

If you're trying to assert that the early church, as depicted in the featured passage, was an organization, such as a congregation of today, you're really stretching things. It seems that because people gathered to learn the gospel that you believe they immediately set up a structure for doing so, as opposed to simply gathering together, as people might gather in the streets to hear a preacher or speaker on a soapbox. But hey, if you regard this as scoring points, why you just go ahead and put a mark on your little chalk board. Give a special star to that boil on your ass named "Parklife".

In the meantime, my statement stands. Stan was not arguing over whether or not the early church has some organized structure. Indeed, the subject of whether or not they did was not brought up at all.

Feodor said...

Winging It:

"The key difference, then, between communism and the early church is that communism is a system while the early church's behavior was a purely voluntary, spontaneous response to the Gospel. It was an uncoerced response to the needs of the brethren, an act of love. It could be called communalism, but not communism. There was no "government" in mind here, no "organization”.”

Marshall:

"Stan was not arguing over whether or not the early church has some organized structure.”

You’re a piece of work, Marshall. Conceptually blind, ignorant, stubborn. Rarely do we find all three in anyone who writes openly.

Feodor said...

And, BTW, your boy, Winging It, took down a post after I pointed out how it was riddled with errors.

You could take a lesson from him in reality based awareness.

Marshall Art said...

Yeah, sure he did. Perhaps it was because your response was riddled with errors. Feel free to re-post your supposed corrections here. I so much enjoy your re-writing of Scripture.

As to who is really a piece of...whatever..., the statement is still accurate. Stan was NOT arguing over whether or not the early church has some organized structure, regardless of whether or not he made mention that they weren't. His point, the argument he was making, was that the early church was NOT communist. Again, it seems clear that you are far more interested in pretending you have some greater wisdom, that you have found fault over which you can feel superior, stroking yourself in delight. Just clean up when you're done.

Feodor said...

“… the argument he was making, was that the early church was NOT communist.”

About that. It seems a waste of energy to put so much into denying that the earl church was, indeed, an example of a movement that did not begin for another 17 centuries. I assume he has problems with those who point to passages of Acts that seem proto-socialist but he starts off on the wrong foot by taking as his options full blown communism and capitalism. Which one was the early church organized as? Neither. It’s what those of us who can think in nuance call anachronistic.

That and the fact that he gets the definition of pure communism totally wrong by suggesting that there ought to be a “state” owning things. Full communism is classless and stateless.

FYI

Marshall Art said...

"It seems a waste of energy to put so much into denying that the earl church was, indeed, an example of a movement that did not begin for another 17 centuries."

But it wasn't and communism was never a form of what the early church was doing as described in the passage to which Stan refers. Giving was totally voluntary and from the heart, motivated only by the individual's own desire to help and be of service. As stated, each still owned and controlled their own stuff, but gave of it freely to the extent that their hearts moved them to do so.

Yet he is NOT trying to state that the early church was capitalist, either. You like to posture yourself as one who can think in nuance, but you fail in thinking regarding what is so obvious. Stan is merely rejecting the notion that this Acts passage supports the notion that communism or socialism is more Christian. What you regard as "nuance" is merely a desperate attempt to criticize a clear explanation for why it isn't such a support. Thus, "anachronistic" doesn't apply in the least, except in your fevered imaginings.

"Full communism is classless and stateless."

Tell that to those who live under communist leadership. There is a definite class difference between the way the leaders live and the rest of the country does. Pure communism is a fiction.

Feodor said...

Before you attempt nuance, try simple reading for comprehension, Marshall. You write, "Yet he is NOT trying to state that the early church was capitalist..."

But your boy did reflect on English translation of Acts and concluded, "Even the phrases "do their work" and "earn their own living" require "own" and function as part of private property and capitalism..."

God, but your dense.

And as for pure communicm, we have not seen it tried in any nation. The Soviet Union was state-owned capitalism, as is contemporary China for the most part.

Not thatbyou can understand what i'm talking about.

Marshall Art said...

Yeah. "Nuance"...as in "depends on what your definition of 'is' is." The left uses "nuance" in the same manner they use "gray areas". To deceive and worm their way out of trouble.

As such, small mind, I don't bother with "nuance", but express boldly my point unafraid that the likes of you has the wisdom or smarts to find true fault or error.

YOU, on the other hand, must make your bones attacking something irrelevant to the point, as you do here with your parsing and pretense of "nuance" regarding whether or not Stan was speaking in terms of the early church establishing some type of organization akin to either communism or capitalism. Again, king of fools, his point is simply that the passage is wrongly used to suggest that Christianity is in any way a form of or supportive of communism.

And talk about dense! I won't even begin to let you try to divert this to a discussion about the Soviet Union or China as you demonstrate you don't know shit about such things. "State owned capitalism". Right.

Instead, we'll just look at this...

"But your boy did reflect on English translation of Acts and concluded, "Even the phrases "do their work" and "earn their own living" require "own" and function as part of private property and capitalism...""

This does not in the least support your contention that Stan was in any way arguing over whether or not the early church has some organized structure. This merely implies that the words used in the passage are more suggestive of capitalism than communism. Yet this does NOT indicate that Stan is suggesting they WERE forming a capitalist organizational structure. You strain to erect a point that doesn't exist, just because you lack the ability to find true fault in what he is saying.

But that isn't the best of it. The point of my post is that his analysis of Scripture does not require reading into the passage being discussed to find a lesson (or in this case correct a bad one lefties like to use), whereas Dan does. It did not go unnoticed,in fact, that you made no attempt to opine on Dan's post. This indicates your intent is to malign that which does not align with the false teaching for which you are infamous.

All that education...all those books...what a freakin' shame they were wasted on the likes of you.

Feodor said...

OK, I'll take your attempt to elide your basic missteps and turn to thematic points an admission of being wrong. That and your usual turn to increased nastiness when you know you've been caught.

But, blowhard, you've again missed the simple: I agree with the point that the early church cannot be a society organized as communism. And here's why:

Communism did not exist until the 18th century.

That is all your boy needs to say. Which means we can also say this:

Since capitalism did not exist until the 17th century. So, neither was the early church capitalist in any measure.

Where your boy makes his mistake is to build an argument on the points which I have shown to be wrong and you have conceded by your natural omission of integrity.

He wants to say that the early church cannot be communist because it was not organized by a state or party which would force participation - presumable contradicting the "voluntary" participation in the church's organization which he emphasizes. I've pointed out that his basic understanding of communism is wrong. [Where you are incredibly dense is suggesting that the early church was not organized at all. That and being completely clueless as to why the early church gathered in house churches.]

He wants to say that the early church was much more like capitalism because there was ownership of private property. Here again, he is fundamentally wrong. Capitalism is not about owning. Capitalism is an economic system where there is private ownership of the means of production with capital accumulation in the contexts of labor and markets. [Where you are undeniably dense is to try to replace his verb, "required" capitalism with your verb, "suggestive" of capitalism. Man, how disingenuous.]

So, he is right before he writes. And then wrong as soon as he puts down a few words.

Which is one step better than you.

Marshall Art said...

feo, oh you so greatly lacking in truth and honesty,

You cannot say that I have made any missteps simply to assume a posture of "winning", but must actually point out missteps. Your problem here, which is really difficult to regard as accidental, is to argue points that haven't been made or defended by me or Stan. For example, that Stan is trying to suggest the early church is in any way attempting to position itself as either communist or capitalist. I have stated emphatically that this is not at all the point or purpose of Stan's post, but you feel compelled to pretend it is so that you can shoot it down. Any other windmills at which you care to tilt? If so, do it elsewhere. In the meantime, here's an example of the stupidity you insist is insight:

"He wants to say that the early church cannot be communist because..."

He does NOT want to say this and doesn't. All he is doing, and it is very clear to anyone not typing with such a hateful stick up his ass, is showing why those who use this passage to suggest the early church was acting in a manner that can be used today to support communism have no basis for doing so.

You continue on your straw man hunt with the following:

"[Where you are incredibly dense is suggesting that the early church was not organized at all. That and being completely clueless as to why the early church gathered in house churches.]"

I made no such suggestion or anything like it. MY suggestion was that the early church, as portrayed in the passages in question, do not suggest an organization, not that they weren't at all organized for some purpose. That is to say, it was no more organized than a block party as opposed to some Rotary Club or Feo's Church of Great Falsehood and Self-Promoting Blather.

You, as always, are wrong whether you are writing or not, and you don't have the honesty or courage to actually speak on what is written by others, but would rather pretend you can divine intent that exists only in your self-stroking imagination.

I must, however, thank you for the chuckles I derive from reading your weak attempts to prove to yourself that you are intellectually superior. They are always entertaining. Boy.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I know I shouldn't . . .

Art, honestly, what's the matter with educated people using their education to make sense of the world? I fail to see where Feodor (and myself because I usually get lumped in with him on this point) has ever made a general habit of lording over anyone his abilities.

I can't speak for him, but I will speak for me. I do not, and have never, ever made a claim that being educated equals any kind of superiority. Quite the opposite; I find such phony elitism tiresome. I greatly admire anyone who has a skill, nurturing whatever habit they might have to become a master, whether it is woodworking, plumbing, hanging drywall, or thinking. Each and all require tremendous expenditures of time and effort. Each and all are necessary skills for some, at least, to have in this world for it to be more fully human. None is superior to another.

If you feel that something I have said is condescending, well, I can't help that. I'm not responsible for your sense of personal inadequacy in any way. Neither is Feodor. If you don't like that he is making the perfectly valid, reasonable point that the original post to which you link is anachronistic, that doesn't make his point incorrect. If you don't like that I read passages of Scripture and assign priorities in the same manner you do, well, I can't help you not liking that. All I ever do is all I've ever done; I make my points. I'm not now interested in arguing with anyone about anything. I would no more try to convince others that I am right and they are wrong than I would Riverdance. When it comes to matters of fact, true enough, people can be wrong; when it comes to how they order their lives, far be it from me to decide they are wrong.

The difference has always ever been just that. When you make categorical statements, damning those who disagree with you, obviously I'm going to take exception to them because as a matter of principle I just don't understand the world working that way. In the same way, when Feodor makes his points, he's pointing out the errors of interpretation you have made. You feel condescended to? All I can say is, "Oh, well, get over yourself," because none of what we do here is about how you or Feodor or I or anyone else feels.

I just want to say: Lighten up, man. Take the issues and matters seriously, but stop taking yourself seriously. Make your point and move on, and stop harping about folks who are educated actually using that education for something. Do you badger the contractors who put the roof on your house in the same way?

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

Of course you should. That is, if you feel so compelled. Why you run from debate and discussion is beyond me.

"Art, honestly, what's the matter with educated people using their education to make sense of the world?"

Nothing. But it is dishonest to suggest that this is the extent of what goes on in these discussions. And there is a distinct double-standard at work here. Feo's comments regarding Stan's piece does not in any way suggest he is giving Stan that consideration.

But the larger issue is not an educated person using his intellect to make sense of the world. It is the attitude of that person toward any who questions his attempts to do so. You, in particular, have an incredible fear of engaging with anyone who seeks from you more than your original comments might provide. You get defensive and suggest the other is only interested in arguing.

"I fail to see where Feodor (and myself because I usually get lumped in with him on this point) has ever made a general habit of lording over anyone his abilities."

We often fail to see our own shortcomings. But it would not take too long to find support for the notion that both of you do so. Indeed, you have not so long ago used the analogy of arc welding to indicate I didn't know what I was talking about, and truly, it was for the great sin of contradicting the point being made. You said you don't know arc welding so you wouldn't dare attempt to comment on the subject and thus, I should not have dared to comment on the subject being discussed. (To be honest, you might not have been speaking to or about me, but that's besides the point) If this isn't condescending, suggesting you have greater knowledge and "please, don't bother trying to engage with me on the subject", then we have a different idea of what constitutes condescension and lording one's abilities over another.

Feo has ALWAYS commented in a manner that suggests he feels he is superior. It is his way and always has been.

"I do not, and have never, ever made a claim that being educated equals any kind of superiority. Quite the opposite; I find such phony elitism tiresome."

Not in so many words, but as illustrated above with that single, but not solitary example, do indeed suggest as much. Your constant references to books and authors and such are done, intentionally or not, in a manner that screams "Look at how much I know!" This alone is not such a big deal to me, even though I point it out. It just is and it does find it's way into your supposed horror at "arguing".

"If you feel that something I have said is condescending, well, I can't help that. I'm not responsible for your sense of personal inadequacy in any way."

I'm guessing you don't see the condescension in that remark. And what makes you feel that I suffer from any sense of personal inadequacy simply for recognizing condescension when I see it? I find condescension to be a symptom of YOUR sense of inadequacy as it replaces a serious response to my questions, objections or problems I see with your positions. Your refusal to "argue" is another as the very notion that to debate an issue, to explain in more detail your position in order to provide justification that is understandable and reasonable to the other guy is very conceited and condescending and thus, hides your own sense of inadequacy.

more...if you care to read it, which I doubt due to your sense of inadequacy....

Marshall Art said...

"If you don't like that he is making the perfectly valid, reasonable point that the original post to which you link is anachronistic, that doesn't make his point incorrect."

Two problems here:

First, what is anachronistic about Stan's post in the first place? You do realize he is commenting on a common justification for communism, don't you? One definition of the word regards chronology. So, first came the passage from Acts and then came the notion that it means Christianity supports communism.

Second, and thus from the first, there is nothing valid or reasonable, perfectly or otherwise, regarding feo's comments. He has yet to actually speak on the point Stan was making in his post (regardless of how many times I've explained it), or I am making in mine. (What is it with you guys that "the point" is so hard for you to pick out?) He comments on something Stan wasn't even saying.

"I would no more try to convince others that I am right and they are wrong than I would Riverdance."

The thought of you Riverdancing gave me a chuckle. Thanks for that. But you needn't have convincing in mind to simply respond to a question, comment or objection to something you've put forth. Every one of these is an attack to you, again suggesting some feeling of inadequacy. You seem to posture yourself as convicted in your opinions, but your horror at the notion that anyone might have a few questions suggests you aren't. In fact, it suggests you are more interested in appearing to be deeply thoughtful.

"When you make categorical statements, damning those who disagree with you, obviously I'm going to take exception to them because as a matter of principle I just don't understand the world working that way."

I damn no one, not having the authority to do so. But at times it is clear when the opinions or actions of someone is damning and I only point it out with evidence from Scripture or the reality of the world in which we live.

As for disagreement, I require reason, logic and when possible to provide it, truth and facts to alter my stance and stating the fact that none of that has been yet provided is not "damning" anyone.

"In the same way, when Feodor makes his points, he's pointing out the errors of interpretation you have made. You feel condescended to?"

It's not from his erroneous opinions, but from the manner in which he states them. He's an arrogant asshole and that is obvious to everyone but, apparently, you.

last one coming....

Marshall Art said...

As to lightening up, I could not be lighter, except for perhaps 10-15 lbs. I find blogging and debating enjoyable and, when not dealing with crybabies, stimulating.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Shorter Art: I copied and pasted what you wrote, but I didn't actually read it, just repeated the same whine over and over again in response to nothing that you wrote.

Sheesh.

Marshall Art said...

"Whine"? And you don't regard that as condescending? Please. A little honesty is in order. Try some.

Feodor said...

Marshall to Feodor: "You cannot say that I have made any missteps simply to assume a posture of "winning", but must actually point out missteps."

Feodor: I did. They are mentioned in the brackets. Do you know what brackets are? Can you read what you're responding to before responding?

Marshall to Feodor: "Your problem here, which is really difficult to regard as accidental, is to argue points that haven't been made or defended by me or Stan."

Stan [About communism]: "That is 'a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party."

Feodor: Pure communism is stateless.

________________________

Feodor: "He wants to say that the early church cannot be communist because it was not organized by a state or party which would force participation - presumable contradicting the "voluntary" participation in the church's organization which he emphasizes."

Marshall: "He does NOT want to say this and doesn't."


Stan - contra Marshall: "So if you see... the passage in Acts as an endorsement of Communism, throw out that idea."

And again: "The key difference, then, between communism and the early church is that communism is a system while the early church's behavior was a purely voluntary..."
__________________________

Feodor: "Where you are incredibly dense is suggesting that the early church was not organized at all."

Marshall recently on this point: "I made no such suggestion or anything like it."

But, Marshall earlier on: "If you're trying to assert that the early church, as depicted in the featured passage, was an organization, such as a congregation of today, you're really stretching things. It seems that because people gathered to learn the gospel that you believe they immediately set up a structure for doing so, as opposed to simply gathering together, as people might gather in the streets to hear a preacher or speaker on a soapbox."
_______________________

Marshall, your self-contradictions are so evident and glaringly stubborn that I cannot help wondering if you may have been or surely could be diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. One feature of fairly normal people who carry this hindering personality trait is their general deafness to their own rigid and inflexible thinking. So much so that they begin to sound crazy when they get really dug in - like you do so often.

Note that the Personality Disorder form of Obsessive Compulsive traits is a lot different from the much worse Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

If you have some degree of this personality rigidity, then I don't really feel superior.

If you don't, then I really do.

Where I feel inferior to you, though, is in gear shifting.

Marshall Art said...

feo,

As regards your first portion above, you have indeed "pointed out missteps" in much the same manner as Parkie. That is, you say they are missteps so obviously they must be. But this is not even close to being so. Your "brackets" are merely poor interpretations of my point. The deceptiveness if entirely yours. I've no need for it, especially in dealing with the likes of you.

By the way, look at this:

"Capitalism is not about owning. Capitalism is an economic system where there is private ownership of the means of production..."

You're gonna hurt yourself trying to "be smart".

And you cause yourself more pain by trying to imagine Stan was trying to defend a point simply due to his posting of a definition he did not himself invent. How desperate you must be. Especially playing semantic games with the word "communism". How often, when the word comes up in common conversation, does anyone ask "Are you referring to pure communism?" What a loon!
_______________________________

The only part of this section that is wrong in any way is the quote of your own. The rest is good.

_______________________________

This part is nice because while you think you are pointing out an error on my part, you only reinforce the truth of what I say by pasting it here. Thanks for that.

But then, you're too smart to understand what I said, so I'll break it down for you. There is a huge difference between saying "early church was not organized at all" and that it "was an organization". OK. If you need it, the aforementioned block party might have been "organized" due to the efforts of an "organization" of volunteer neighbors. But like the "pure communism" nonsense, honest people have a distinctly different idea that comes to mind with the use of the word "organization".

_______________________________

If I've contradicted myself, you've failed to show where I did. You really need to believe that every semantic game of yours makes your case and I'm sure there's a term for that in the halls of psychology. "Jackass" works just fine here. You want so desperately to show that you are intellectually superior that it just about breaks my heart. At least when I'm done laughing at your lame attempts to prove it.

Rigidity? You wish. Standing firmly on principle, truth and even only my personal perception of such things is not in the least a disorder. In fact, it's called "character". It's something I work at and you simply lack it. Those so lacking as you often see those of us standing on (or struggling to) principle, truth and the like, commonly (and there are few so common as yourself) view us as "crazy", or worse. We're used to it and shake our heads sadly at your pathetic state.

"Gear shifting". Right.

Feodor said...

Marshall:

"By the way, look at this:

'Capitalism is not about owning. Capitalism is an economic system where there is private ownership of the means of production...'

You're gonna hurt yourself trying to 'be smart'."

Why can't you help a brother out, Marshall? If you know what Stan wrote, what he's arguing, you can supply my missing word.

Why can't you be honest and admit that you know what I'm saying and that, knowing, you secretly have to concede that I'm right.

But, no. You want to play with dishonesty and act like you don't know what word I left out that anyone who read Stan would get and instantly realize that 1) I'm right, 2) Stan is clearly misunderstands what capitalism is, and 3) what a dick you are.

Care to supply the missing word or do you want to be dick twice in a row?

This simple act of deception on your part just goes to show how credible you are on arguing anything.

Marshall Art said...

I already told you what Stan wrote, what he's arguing and it is easy for any honest person to see. As to "missing word", I have almost as little idea of what the hell you're saying as you do.

And where do you see dishonesty, except that you see what you want to see and need to see in order to justify your false perception of your own intelligence? Why would I "secretly concede" that you're right when I don't suffer from that same psychological malady? If you are right, I have no trouble saying so whatsoever. You think Stan is wrong about capitalism? Why? Based on his less than detailed description of it? Talk about dishonesty. Whereas you called him wrong about communism, after he provided two dictionary definitions, you now say he's wrong about capitalism for not even supplying a definition. Ask him what he thinks it is first, and then perhaps you could argue his understanding is wrong. And you dare suggest you have standing to call anyone else a "dick" who isn't the man (I use the term very loosely) in your mirror. I believe I can imagine how badly it hurts you to feel such self-loathing for being such a well read and well educated loser. But try to keep it in check. Calling me deceptive because I won't play your games is par for your course, but you haven't made the case that I have been.

Any chance you might speak on the point of this blog, the point of Stan's or the point of Dan's, or are you going to continue tilting at those windmills? Dick.

Feodor said...

Try this little richard. Your ignorance is revealing your deceit. You cannot grasp Stan's simple argument and misunderstandings much less more nuanced ideas.

Being incapable of digesting the basics of political economy, it is no surprise that you at a loss as to the significance of the groundwork necessary to pure and simple communism. That there has yet to be an attempt at a purely communistic nation state in history just confuses you further. You thought when someone yells, "commie," you've found communism. Just doesn't work that way.

Perhaps you may be more motivated to grasp the differences between pure democracy and democracy of the federal government of the US. Or why pure democracy at the local township level works in only one region of the US.

At any rate, you've decided to be twice a dick. Which leaves it to Stan's simple mistakes and my stooping to write this to try to get you to find some part of your brain.

Stan says, "The key differences, then, between communism and what the early church practiced were two-fold... Second, private property remained private property. Some chose to sell property to help others, but there was never common ownership."

Later, Stan also says, "Even the phrases "do their work" and "earn their own living" require "own" and function as part of private property and capitalism rather than communism." [I know you had a problem with the verb require on Stan's part, but you're just going to have to admit that it's there or be a dick three times over.]

Now, little richard, this means that Stan thinks that a requirement to work to make a living and owning private property "requires" capitalism. Well, this the kind of anachronism that he wants to reject in those who say the early church was communist. He's doing what they do, but with a different political economy in mind.

So, obvious to simple thinking people but not, apparently to you, my point is that..

Capitalism is not about owning [homes]. Capitalism is an economic system where there is private ownership of the means of production..."

Which is simple enough.

But you're a dick and an ignorant one. And wont get even these simple things. See:

Feodor said...

Not that you'll get this, lr, but Stan should know, should he stop by, that owning private property in terms of owning one's home or personal property is not ruled out in communism. Private ownership of the means of production is what is ruled out, i.e., no private business owners. People have owned their own home for as long as society has had records, no matter how they were structure economically.

Marshall Art said...

Oh, Big Chancred Richard, how you struggle to gain the upper hand in a war of your own imaginings.

Stan's simple argument, which a simpleton like yourself refuses to acknowledge, is simply that using the cited passages from Acts cannot justify the notion that Christianity supports communism. Nothing more. Nothing less. Should he care to comment here, I'd wager he would say little else.

I think you expose yourself as the idiot you are to suppose that there has never been an attempt at pure communism, simply because all such attempts have failed so miserably. Your idiocy would demand that any attempt must be exactly the definition of "pure" communism in order to claim the name "communism". Thus, as has been shown to be the case in past posts, you use technicality in definition when it suits you to do so, and generally as it serves your purpose to find fault with your betters where you think it can. Keep strokin' that ego.

"Now... this means that Stan thinks that a requirement to work to make a living and owning private property "requires" capitalism."

How arrogant and presumptuous for you to believe you could ever know what Stan, or anyone else, thinks. No. It means what he stated and nothing more until he decides to visit to say otherwise. You want it to mean whatever serves you to appear more knowledgeable. But you must inject meaning to do so, which is dishonest but natural for a false priest.

"Capitalism is not about owning [homes]. Capitalism is an economic system where there is private ownership of the means of production..."

Which is simple enough."


Simple is changing your words in order to bolster your bad arguments. But even still, can you name a communist state that would respect ownership rights of the individual where it did not profit them to do so? "Simple" is a word that appropriately describes you. It also is an appropriate term for how easy it is to counter your blathering nonsense here.

Feodor said...

We see, lr, you can't engage substantively with any of Stan's mistaken points, much less mine.

Weak sauce from a little dick.

Marshall Art said...

That's pretty funny, false priest, considering you haven't engaged at all with Stan's only point. But I have indeed engaged substantively with YOUR mistaken points as can easily be seen above:

Stan wasn't expounding on the meaning of communism, "pure" or otherwise.

Stan wasn't expounding on the meaning of capitalism.

Stan was speaking ONLY of how some choose wrongly to use the passage from Acts that he highlighted to insist that the early church was a communist society. That was the point of his post. You have not offered one word in support of that premise or in opposition. Instead, you chose to focus on nothing related to that point.

What's even more laughable, that is, more than your delusions of grandeur, is that you think I'm in any way obliged to engage in whatever off topic and irrelevant issues that strike your fancy, and then imagine I'm incapable simply because I don't.

Whatever helps you sleep at night, chuckles. Weak sauce indeed.

Dan Trabue said...

Ooo, I'm being gossiped about again. Let's see, Marshall, you've left these charges and allegations pretty vague. Any chance of clarification...


Worse, the message that is so imagined by this particular blogger is used to support economic policy proposals that do not conform with the true message charitable giving and caring for the poor.

I cannot help but regard this type of interpretation as every bit heretical as any other unBiblical teaching.


1. What "economic policy" is it that I'm supporting that do not conform to the "true message" you imagine?

2. What "interpretation" is it you imagine I have that rises to the level of heresy?

3. Specifically, what did I say in my post that you find heretical? A specific and exact quote, please.

Thanks.

Marshall Art said...

First, Dan, since you're really big on definitions, here's how the Online Dictionary defines "gossip":

"1. Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature. 2. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts."

I don't know how I have spoken of anything personal, sensational intimate or private in pointing to your blog post.

But while Dictionary.com defines "heresy" in this manner:

"opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, especially of a church or religious system."

...I admit to using the term loosely with the point being that you are applying meaning to passages that the text itself does not include. In doing so, as you so often to in your strained attempt to make Scripture speak on economics in a way that matches your politics, you alter the meaning of Scripture.

Now, before you rant on about how your politics is driven by your interpretation of Scripture, know that this can only be taken with a grain of salt considering how far you stretch your "Bible and Economics" passages to make them mean what you like to say you believe they teach you.

Let's look at your questions:

1. You have in the past regarded progressive taxation policies as justified by the corrupted interpretation of "to whom much is given, much will be expected". The true message of this verse, which is not imagined but instead is the fact, speaks to those who have been given the Gospel. But even if it speaks to all we have been given in every sense of it, it does not necessarily demand that giving it all away or even giving a large portion of it to charity is the only expectation of how best to use it. At the same time, if one is given the ability to achieve more, including in the realm of wealth creation, one must then conclude that there is an expectation that this talent be put to use to do so, thereby having more to give and having produced more that can be utilized by others for good.

2. It seems to me that any interpretation that cannot be justified by more than guesses and presumptions like yours rises to the level of false interpretation. Your strained efforts to find anti-wealth creation teachings where none are intended detracts from the true message of the passages in question, diverting the listener (as well as yourself) from truth to your personal fantasy.

3. This question is covered in the above answers, as well as in every objection I've ever posted on any of your Bible and Economics posts. If you have the belief that Scripture teaches us what you think it does regarding wealth creation, I don't see why you can't satisfy yourself with passages that address it directly. These attempts to pull such messages from passages not so related, not to mention your penchant for seeing these "teachings" everywhere you look, suggest that you think the message is stronger the more you can find it taught in the same manner you dismiss the clear teaching against homosexual behavior due to the few instances that issue is addressed.

Your welcome.