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基督教與共產主義

作者 : 海遠   在 國際視野 A Global View

「Communism」(共產主義) 一字來源自另一字「commune」(公社),而「commune」這一字卻又使海遠聯想到一些早期基督徒的生活,於是海遠在互聯網上瀏覽一番有關的資訊。首先,海遠列舉兩篇抱持較「另類觀點」的文章–

(1)《Biblical Communism:What Does the Bible Say About Communism & Socialism?》,By Austin Cline,刋載於《About.com.Guide》,網址是–
http://atheism.about.com/od/thebible/a/communism.htm

全文轉載如下–

「One topic of discussion which comes up every so often is the connection between fervent evangelical Christianity and equally fervent anti-communism. In the minds of many Americans, atheism and communism are indelibly linked and political actions opposed to communism have long taken the form of strengthening America’s public Christianity.

It was thus that the American government made “In God We Trust” the national motto and put it on all money in the 1950s. It was also for this reason that “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance around the same time.

Because of all this, one gets the impression that the Bible is some sort of treatise on capitalism and Jesus an early venture capitalist. The fact that just the opposite appears to be true is thus very surprising. The book of Acts has two explicit passages depicting the very communistic nature of the early Christian community:

All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
(Acts 2:44-45)

There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
(Acts 4:34-37)

Is it possible that Marx’s famous line “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” took its inspiration directly from the New Testament? Immediately following this second passage is a very interesting story about a couple, Ananias and Sapphira, who sold a piece of property but only gave the community a portion of the proceeds, keeping some of it for themselves. When Peter confronts them with this, they both fall down and die – leaving the impression (for many people) that they were struck dead.

Killing bourgeoisie land owners who fail to give all of their money to the community? That’s not merely communism, that’s Stalinism.

Of course, in addition to the above, there are many, many statements attributed to Jesus which emphasize doing all that you can to help the poor — even to the point of him recommending that a rich man sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor if he really wishes to get into heaven. The Old Testament also indicates that something akin to communism is the preferable way to live:

This is what the Lord has commanded: Gather of it, every man of you, as much as he can eat; you shall take an omer apiece, according to the number of persons who each of you has in his tent. And the people of Israel did so; they gathered some more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; each gathered according to what he could eat
(Ex. 16:16-18)

It is no wonder, then, that any number of Christian groups have adopted ways of living which, while explicitly based upon biblical stories, are also expressions of communist ideals. Such groups include the Shakers, Mormons, Hutterites and more.

In summary, this isn’t so much a problem with the Bible as it is a problem with the people who claim to follow the Bible and use it as their primary guide to how they should live their lives. Some certainly take passages like the above to heart — witness the strong social ethic of many Catholics and the very communistic Liberation Theology which has developed out of Catholicism.

Most, however, simply ignore the above passages – just as they ignore so much else which is politically or morally inconvenient. 」

讀者如有興趣深入研究,可從互聯網上搜尋下列相關名詞的資料–

「Ananias and Sapphira」;「explicit passages」;「Pledge of Allegiance」;「evangelical Christianity」;「venture capitalist」;「national motto」。

(2) 《History to consider》,Compiled by Jim Walker,可從有關網頁參閱資料,網址是–
http://www.nobeliefs.com/facts.htm。

全文包括下列各篇:

〈First U.S. money never used the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”〉;

〈The original Pledge of Allegiance did not use the words “under God〉”;

〈How the Christians stole the Winter-Solstice holiday〉;

〈How the Christians stole the Easter holiday〉;

〈How the Christians stole Valentine’s day〉;

〈Early Christians never used the cross〉;

〈Dracula the Christian〉;

〈Myths about communism & atheism〉。

接著,海遠再列舉兩篇抱持較「主流觀點」的文章:

(3)《How Should A Christian View Communism?》,by Martin Luther King, Jr.;

(4)《Communism and Religion – Part 2:Christianity, Early Christian Communalism and Real Communism》,by Bob Avakian,《Revolutionary Worker #912, June 22, 1997》。

讀者可從互聯網上搜尋,參閱全文。

根據主流觀點,「Communalism」是自願參與的公社生活,與「Communism」作為一種強加於人的「主義」有所不同,但又確實與「Capitalism」的「弱肉強食」各有差異。

由於文筆所限,海遠未能把上列文章譯成中文;亦因篇幅所限,海遠祇能提供相關文章的「題目」和「作者」,讓讀者自行在互聯網上搜尋。這些文章的作者大多是美國人,沉悶的辯論當然事出有因,美國是一個「資本主義」國家,但其《獨立宣言》卻明言:

「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。」(見網誌138)

特別是在美國,「Christianity」、「Equality」及「Capitalism」都是一個長久以來困擾美國立國哲學的問題。在一個言論自由的社會,觀點可以百花齊放,讀者如有足夠耐性在互聯網上搜尋參考資料,可以研習許多道理。其實香港社會的許多爭議,亦帶有類似的哲學矛盾,希望讀者不要視海遠為一個「悶蛋」。

備註:本文錄述Austin Cline所寫《Biblical Communism:What Does the Bible Say About Communism & Socialism?》一篇文章,轉載自《About.com.Guide》網頁,謹此鳴謝。

這篇文章發表 於 星期二, 三月 1st, 2011 8:11 上午 在 國際視野 A Global View. 你可以回應這篇文章透過 RSS 2.0 feed. 你可以 留下回覆, 或 引用 從你的個人網站.

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