The gospels of Marx, capitalism and Jesus

The gospels of Marx, capitalism and Jesus January 31, 2024

Jesus tombstone carving image intended to imply that Jesus image should be carved not on stone but our hearts

Imagine a world where Christians preached the same gospel as Jesus did instead of the gospel of capitalism or Karl Marx.

I came across a quote recently that was clearly parodying the teachings of communism:

“The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are.

Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community.

Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others.

Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects – his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.”

~ HENRY HAZLITT

 

I can understand some of the implied criticism of that position in this quote. But perhaps we could  invert this and say something like this:

The gospel of capitalism is hate those who are worse off than you. Love all the trappings of success and assume that you will continously rise up the aspirational ladder with no problems at all. Ignore Jesus warnings that in this world you will have troubles and believe that you will never get so sick you can’t work, always be able to find a better job than your current one, and will never make any majorly unwise decisions.

Convince yourself and offers that all is needed to succeed is your own efforts and to make a productive contribution to the whole community.

Never accept that any of the challenges faced by the poor and needy are caused by exploitation, cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. And definitely do not advocate for government to fund healthcare or increase benefits payments to the undeserving poor.

Never under any circumstances admit that anyone’s inability to be successful, healthy, and financially independent is ever due to any other other than people’s own weakness, and thei own defects – laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.

Never be compassionate. Never consider how to help the sick, the unemployed and the prisoner to be lifted out of their poverty and get what they need to reduce their suffering.

Jesus’ own gospel on the other hand tells us to both take responsibility for our own sins and failings and also forgive those who sin against us.

Jesus also tells us to be compassionate towards the poor and needy and work for justice for them.  His gospel does not offer a self help effort. But rather tells the poor and rich alike that everything in the World in fact belongs to the Creator.

Jesus tells the sick and the well that he gives them their every breath. He tells the self righteous that their good deeds are like filthy rags and the hopeless sinner that they can be made as clean as newly fallen snow.

Jesus teaches the gospel of second chances not cancelling. It is the gospel of unity not social and cultural warfare. It promotes a people where there is neither rich nor poor, male nor female, victim or oppressor, black or white, Jew or Gentile. But instead one people of equal value who love and uphold one another.

Imagine a world where Christians preached the same gospel as Jesus did instead of the gospel of capitalism or Karl Marx.

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