But as your own point of the Apostle’s money box shows, there is the notion of collectivist action and pooling of money to support actions that help the least of these.
Kind of a stretch, that. I know that Judas was raiding the till, but I am fairly certain that when the Apostles collected a dollar, they didn’t give half of it to national defense and a quarter of it to interest on their debt.
Most of your points are actually points I use to rail against institutional Christianity, corrupted officials, charged with helping and serving, turning the system into their own little slush fund. The system is not spoken against, only the corruption, the money changers and corruption introduced to the Temple system.
Sure. Most of Christendom is under the thumb of *somebody*, be that the Pope, a Patriarch, or a “Convention” which owns a institutional checklist of what it means to be “Christian”. I am not at all sure that Jesus would have approved of that level of institutionalism, although the reckless teachings of some of the Superchurch Superpreachers calls into question the wisdom of having no oversight at all.
But I am absolutely opposed to the hyperindividualism we have as a culture continually held up as the epitomy of existence. And that especially includes that which has crept into the evangelical church, such as what the OP is speaking about.
I feel like there’s a false dichotomy sneaking in here. I would agree that “hyper” is bad, be it in individualism and/or collectivism. History seems to agree with that as well.
My views on the matter of charity are rather specific to the notion of what Jesus would have approved of. I think it beyond disputation that he believed that “charity” was people getting their hands dirty and giving money or time directly to the poor; I don’t believe that supporting government redistribution is “charity” in the least. A person may believe in those sorts of policies, and in their efficacy, but that’s not “charity” in the same sense that Jesus preached it.
But much of Modern evangelical Christianity has turn salvation into an abstracted, isolated event.
Yep. Islam leaves it as a very abstract event as well. I kind of like the Catholic/Orthodox model of having to “go to confession”. It introduces a level of accountability in to the process.