"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

'5 Reasons Socialism Is Not Christian' by Julie Roys

The Christian Post is a wonderful way to keep up on current events and news from a Christian world-view. I'd highly recommend my readers follow The Christian Post.

Recently, a woman named Julie Roys wrote an op-ed for The Christian Post entitled 5 Reasons Socialism Is Not Christian. In recent years I've come to admire Julie for her leadership in the Christian church at large and her courage in confronting abusive leaders in specific churches. Her writing and speaking is also quite insightful.  

I wish all my young readers, especially millennials, would take the time to read Julie's Christian Post editorial. For convenience, it is replicated in full, with credit and without edits here on Istoria Ministries Blog.  

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5 Reasons Socialism Is Not Christian

by Julie Roys

Jesus confronted the money-changers and challenged believers to give to the needy. But, would he support socialism?

Increasingly, Americans think he would. In fact, a recent Barna poll found that more Americans think Jesus would prefer socialism (24%) than those who believe he would prefer capitalism (14%). The other 62% responded neither or not sure, but the poll still reveals a disturbing trend.

Last Saturday, Micah Conkling, a Christian writer and podcaster, argued on my radio program that socialism is the political and economic system that best fulfills the Golden Rule. Not surprisingly, Conkling is a Millennial, the most pro-socialist generation America has ever known. According to a recent Reason-Rupe survey, 53% of Americans under 30 view socialism favorably, compared to less than a third of Americans over 30. Similarly, Gallup found that 69% of those under 30 said they would be willing to vote for a socialist presidential candidate.

I understand why Millennials are wary of the current system. They've witnessed a consistently declining economy; one of the most partisan eras in American history; the fall of the twin towers; and a war predicated on weapons of mass destruction that were never found. I agree with them that our political system desperately needs reform. But, socialism is not the answer. Though it may sound compassionate and Christian, it's actually antithetical to everything Christianity teaches.

Here's why:

1. Socialism is Based on a Materialistic Worldview


According to socialists like Bernie Sanders, the greatest problem in the world is the unequal distribution of wealth.

His website declares: "The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time."

This betrays a fundamentally materialistic worldview, which is the basis of socialism.

To socialists, all that really exists is the material world. In fact, Karl Marx, the father of socialism/communism, invented the notion of dialectical materialism — the belief that matter contains a creative power within itself. This enabled Marx to eliminate the need for a creator, essentially erasing the existence of anything non-material.
To socialists, suffering is caused by the unequal distribution of stuff — and salvation is achieved by the re-distribution of stuff. There's no acknowledgment of spiritual issues. There's just an assumption that if everyone is given equal stuff, all the problems in society will somehow dissolve.

This worldview contradicts Christianity, which affirms the existence of both a material and a non-material world — and teaches that mankind's greatest problems are spiritual. The Bible says the cause of suffering is sin and salvation is found in the cross of Christ, which liberates us from sin. Because of sin, though, there will always be inequalities in wealth. As the parable of the talents shows, those with good character tend to accumulate more; those with bad character may lose everything they have. Yet, even if we are unable to accumulate wealth, Christianity teaches that we can still have an abundant life. That's because our quality of life is not determined by how much stuff we have, but by our relationship to Christ.


2. Socialism Punishes Virtue


Socialists want to distribute wealth to individuals according to their need, regardless of virtue.

As Karl Marx, famously said, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

However, whenever any institution provides aid, it runs the risk of removing God-designed rewards and consequences. It can punish those who are industrious by making them pay for those who are not. And, it can reward those who aren't industrious by giving them the fruits of another man's labor. This is precisely what socialism does.

Interestingly, Marx mooched off others his whole life, and failed to provide for his wife and children.

As Aristotle once noted, "Men start revolutionary changes for reasons connected with their private lives."

The Bible teaches that aid should be tied to responsibility. First, anyone who refuses to work should be refused aid.

As 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat."

Next, no one should be given aid whose family can provide for him. In fact, the Apostle Paul said that a man who fails to provide for his family is "worse than an unbeliever." (1 Tim. 5:8) The church also required widows receiving aid to have "a reputation of good works." (1 Tim. 5:10) So, even in dispensing aid, the church rewarded virtue and discouraged vice. Unfortunately, socialism does just the opposite.

3. Socialism Endorses Stealing


Barack Obama once defended his socialist policies to a little girl by saying, "We've got to make sure that people who have more money help the people who have less money. If you had a whole pizza, and your friend had no pizza, would you give him a slice?"

That sounds pretty Christian, right? What Christian wouldn't endorse sharing your abundance with someone who has nothing? However, Obama wasn't endorsing people voluntarily sharing their wealth with others; he was endorsing the government forcibly taking a piece of the pie from one person and giving it to someone else. Put another way, that's saying that if you have three cars and your neighbor has none, the government has a right to take your car and give it to your neighbor. That's not Christian; that's stealing!

But, socialists don't believe in private property. And, some Christian socialists actually assert that the Bible doesn't either. That's preposterous.

Both the Old Testament and New Testament unequivocally affirm private property. We can't even obey the eighth commandment to not steal, unless we accept the notion of private ownership. Nor, can we steward our money as the Bible commands if the state owns our money, not us. So, for an economic and political system to be Christian, it must protect private ownership and allow individuals freedom to allocate their resources according to their conscience.

4. Socialism Encourages Envy and Class Warfare


Socialists demonize the rich, blaming all of society's problems on them.

Bernie Sanders once posted to his Facebook Page: "Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America."

Here, Sanders is mimicking Karl Marx, who viewed history as a series of class struggles between the rich and the poor — and advocated overthrowing the ruling class.

Scripture strongly warns the rich and powerful not to oppress the poor.

In fact, Proverbs 14:31 says, "Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for his maker . . ."

But, Sanders — and other Leftists, including Hillary Clinton — go far beyond decrying specific acts of injustice. They basically condemn an entire class of people simply for possessing wealth. And, they encourage those who are poor to overthrow them. In fact, Clinton once said the U.S. economy required a "toppling" of the wealthiest 1%.

The rich are not causing all the problems in American society. People like Bill Gates are not acquiring wealth by stealing from the masses. They're creating great products, which produce wealth, and actually provide jobs for many people. But, even if they were exploiting the poor, nowhere does Scripture support the have-nots demanding money from the haves. Instead, it teaches that we should not covet (Exodus 20:17) and should be content in all circumstances (Phil. 4:11-13).

5. Socialism Seeks to Destroy Marriage & Family


A little known fact about socialism is that, from its beginning, it has sought to destroy marriage and family. Grove City Professor Paul Kengor explains this in detail in his book, Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Marriage and Family. Essentially, what socialism seeks is for the state to replace the family. That way, it can indoctrinate children in its Leftist way of thinking, and remove from them any notions of God and religion.

Friedrich Engels, co-author with Marx of the "The Communist Manifesto," once wrote that the society he envisioned would be one where "the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society. Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry. The care and education of the children becomes a public affair."

Similarly today, Bernie Sanders calls for a "revolution" in childcare and for the government to provide early childhood education beginning with children as young as six-weeks-old. And, he's a proud supporter of gay marriage — what Kengor calls "communism's Trojan Horse" to secure the final takedown of traditional marriage.

To socialists, what Bernie describes is a utopia. But, to Christians, it's a dystopia. That's because there's nothing Christian about socialism — and there's absolutely no way Jesus would ever support it.

______

Julie Roys is a speaker, freelance journalist and blogger at www.julieroys.com. She also is the host of a national radio program on the Moody Radio Network called, Up For Debate. Julie and her husband live in the Chicago suburbs and have three children

17 comments:

Christiane said...

Goodness!

After reading this post, I can only recommend that the good Mrs. Roys might benefit from examining a MUCH wider set of ideas concerning Christianity's Social Doctrines, and particularly at the complex issues of:

1. Solidarity
2. Subsidiarity
3. The Common Good

Here's a link that is the best reference I know of so far, but I'm sure there are other good references
:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html

This is offered in a spirit of potential dialogue among respectful people as these days are so filled with divisiveness and contempt.

It is always good to 'widen the lens' and examine a wider context that takes into consideration a multitude of related issues AND to do this in the context of the faith.

I hope this helps. :)

RB Kuter said...

Wade, thank you for another great post.
I sure hope you have seen Attorney General Barr's speech, link:https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-remarks-law-school-and-de-nicola-center-ethics

It is a "must" read for all who hold dear this nation's religious liberty and the necessity of our being accountable to a source above human-based morality.

RB Kuter said...

Wade, your post is so consistent with that speech I referred to.

As I read your post, it is apparent that it is becoming more and more difficult to adhere to God-based morals and that posture to not affiliate you with one political party as opposed to another.

I know that it is not your desire to be identified with any political party as you present your views, but unfortunately in today's America, it is becoming impossible to segregate one's faith from one's politics. This is a situation being forced upon us by those who are most vocal about "separation of religion and government".

Who would have ever imagined our nation coming to this point of degeneration? As mentioned in the Barr speech, we are in greater danger of our not swinging back to a God-based moral core than ever in our history. The recent Reagan ad during the Dem debates on CNN was terrifying, but a true wake-up call.

Christiane said...

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
(US Constitution, First Amendment)

Christiane said...

" . . . Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right."

(an excerpt from Thomas Jefferson's
"The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted in 1777 (however it was not first introduced into the Virginia General Assembly until 1779)[1] by Thomas Jefferson in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. On January 16, 1786, the Assembly enacted the statute into the state's law. The statute disestablished the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths, including Christians of all denominations, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus.[2][3][4] The statute was a notable precursor of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The Statute for Religious Freedom is one of only three accomplishments Jefferson instructed be put in his epitaph." )
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Statute_for_Religious_Freedom#Text_of_statute

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

Attorney General William Barr made a lot of good points. I was surprised at the increase of births that were born from parents not married. He said in 1965 8%, 1992 25%, 2019 40%, and in many large urban areas 70%.

He said, “As Catholics, we are committed to the Judeo-Christian values that have made this country great.”

He said the Catholic Archbishop in Indianapolis was being sued for not employing teachers in same-sex marriages. (I say good for the Archbishop.)

Christiane said...

Good Morning, REX RAY, we think alike (sometimes) :)

I was just reading Barr's speech, this:
https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-remarks-law-school-and-de-nicola-center-ethics

my situation is that I am profoundly Catholic
and as an American, I am profoundly secularist in that I do not wish to see anyone's religion IMPOSED on another American which to me is a violation of something deeply held by my own Church, this teaching:

" in many circles today it (proselytism) is used to refer to efforts to convert another using coercion, psychological pressure, threats, fraud or enticements. “At the table of dialogue, this kind of negative proselytism must be recognized for what it is: an affront to conscience and a transgression of natural law.”

In fact, the document says, promoting respect for freedom of conscience, human dignity and the right of all people to follow a religion, to change religious affiliation or to not believe is something followers of different religions can and should be doing together.

Catholics and members of other religions, it says, must work together “to ensure that governments honor their obligation to protect the rights of individuals as well as communities to choose, profess and practice their religious beliefs privately and publicly,” as long as public order and the rights of others are respected."
https://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/05/19/in-dialogue-believers-seek-truth-challenge-one-another-vatican-says/

in short, REX RAY, I accept that good people can respectfully propose religious ideas to one another HOWEVER, I will always vigorously reject any attempts to IMPOSE religious ideas on others.

The sadness of our country these days is that people with political agendas will try to use religion as a way to manipulate voters, and the result looks more like some kind of fascist 'imposition' than our traditional American respect for freedom of moral conscience.

How are you feeling? Well, I hope.
My little dog in hospital ate something for the first time in a week and is doing a little better. I am encouraged. And hopeful. Have a great day!

Christiane said...

Warning: this is very ugly stuff, and maybe someone can tell me if there is any truth to it


"A quote attempting to justify largesse that has endured thanks to social media, but not without spreading disinformation about its origins.

The statement has commonly been attributed online to evangelical leader Adrian Rogers, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. One iteration has been shared more than 429,000 times on Facebook since it was posted in January 2019:

'You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.'

Besides being wrongfully attributed to Rogers, the graphic wrongly states that it originated in 1931; Rogers was born that year and died in 2005.

In reality, the quote originated with a far-right Christian isolationist and Holocaust denier, Gerald L.K. Smith (but described in his 1976 obituary as an “anti-communist crusader.”) Smith wrote and published it for The Cross and the Flag, the magazine arm of the Christian Nationalist Crusade, one of the various anti-semitic groups he founded. In October 1964, Smith attempted to downplay his prejudices in an interview published by the New York Times:

'Why, I couldn’t sleep at night if I felt a particle of hate for any man. I question no man’s right to any religious belief he chooses, or to bear whatever color God gave him? But this was established as a white, Christian country. I’m against permitting Jews to dilute our Christian tradition. I don’t think our country should be mongrelized by the weaker elements.'

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Smith also used the magazine to falsely claim in 1959 that six million Jewish people actually emigrated to the U.S. and were not actually killed by Nazi Germany.

Rogers did adopt Smith’s argument against “legislating the wealthy out of prosperity” in a series of sermons in 1984. He later recycled it again for his book “Ten Secrets for a Successful Family.” His ministry organization, Love Worth Finding, also used the statement as the basis for an online offer selling the former work for “a special price of $30.” However, he never revealed the origins of the quotes he used."
https://www.truthorfiction.com/adrian-rogers-gerald-lk-smith-legislate-the-poor-into-freedom/

IS ANY OF THIS STUFF TRUE? It is hard to accept if it is true, and if it is not, who did this to Adrian Rogers' memory? Thanks, if you can help.

I do trust the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a source, yes.

Wade Burleson said...

Christiane, it is true. Perspective. Adrian Rogers believed in caring for the poor. He believed the church should be responsible for the care, not the government.

RB Kuter said...

So many good points made by Ms. Roys that points to "the truth" of The Gospel and how socialism undermines true Biblical principles.

Rex Ray, it should be so apparent that, as Barr points out, we are witnessing the consequences of the breakdown of Christian-based moral values in US society, one such consequence, as you point out, the illegitimacy rate. Others, increased abortions, suicides (70,000/year, more than all killed throughout the Viet Nam War), pandemic of substance abuse, rejection of the most basic concept of gender identity. Barr has come under fervent attack since giving the speech as can be expected given that he directly confronts the Satanic sources of this threat to our American liberties.

He began by saying that the framers of our Constitution said that it was based upon the principles of individual discipline and moral standards, not government control. Those writers said that if the moral disciplines of the individual fails, so will the infrastructure of the United States' form of government. THAT'S what is terrifying to witness today.

Atlanta Journal article this week; "Meanwhile, the portion that describes their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009."

Also, be sure to view the Ronald Reagan Jr. ad promoting atheism on CNN during last week's Democratic Debate saying he's an atheist and "not afraid of burning in hell."
Scroll down to video on this link: https://www.lifesitenews.com/pulse/cnn-democrat-debate-features-atheist-commercial-mocking-burning-in-hell-christianity-god

Satan has taken the gloves off in this spiritual warfare. No more subtility.
See Ron Reagan Jr.'s CNN ad during the Dem debates last week:

Christiane said...

Wade, thanks for the perspective . . . yes, I see, it was the 'quote' original source that I found upsetting

Christiane said...

perspectives on generosity from Walter Brueggemann



"” . . . in the midst of our perceived deficit
You come
You come giving bread in the wilderness
You come giving children at the 11th hour
You come giving homes to exiles
You come giving futures to the shut down
You come giving easter joy to the dead
You come – fleshed in Jesus.

and we watch while
the blind receive their sight
the lame walk
the lepers are cleansed
the deaf hear
the dead are raised
the poor dance and sing

we watch
and we take food we did not grow and
life we did not invent and
future that is gift and gift and gift and
families and neighbours who sustain us
when we did not deserve it.

It dawns on us – late rather than soon-
that You “give food in due season
You open Your Hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”

By Your giving, break our cycles of imagined scarcity
override our presumed deficits
quiet our anxieties of lack
transform our perceptual field to see
the abundance………mercy upon mercy
blessing upon blessing. . . .

the rest of Brueggemann’s meditation is worth reading. His complete ‘On Generosity’ can be found on this link:
https://www.realtracyjohnson.com/blog/resurrecting-generosity

Anonymous said...

No question Christians are to be generous.

But there is nothing generous about me giving away my neighbor's money, house, land, or car. Just thievery.

I am free to give all have if I wish. Just not to give all you have!

linda

Ken F said...

"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

-- Margaret Thatcher

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade: True story: I met a guy while I was traveling somewhere, a very successful businessman. He told me he had recently gone to Russia, to try and fund some businesses over there to help the people, as the wall had just fallen. The problem: No one was ambitious enough to even try. More accurately, no one was ambitious.

We talked for a while. He affirmed what I'd heard long before ... that, when an ambitious person studies hard for an exam, but is forced to accept only the average grade for the whole group, that person loses the motivation to excel. The result is that the combined scores of the group plummet.

Same is true in the workplace. People lose the motivation to excel in their career when the only reward for their work is the average of what everybody's doing. The result is a great loss of productivity, for the entire group.

Nobody seems to want to really think this thing through.

Christiane said...

"To socialists, all that really exists is the material world."

I do have difficulty with this comment, yes. Perhaps my own view of 'the common good' interferes with the kind of understanding that it takes to make such a statement? This may be true.

Some years ago people tried to privatize social security, and then when financial institutions were de-regulated, we saw a disaster unfold which might have threatened the futures of any whose social security benefits were not under-written by our national government . . . people don't 'trust' privatizing when too many shenanigans have occurred thanks to lobbying and de-regulation of protections for consumers and investors. You know, sometimes the government and the private sector CAN work together. I used to be employed at SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) in my youth
when Chairman Woodside was in charge in the early days, when SIPC was begun as a unique experiment in co-operation that seemed to work.
Believe me, it may have saved the securities industry from the 'bad actors' that took criminal advantage of people, and it seemed to solve a lot of worries for both investors and the security industry. I was neither lawyer nor accountant there . . . I worked briefly as the only receptionist in those early days at L'Enfant Plaza office. Long time ago. It was an education. I do not gamble, I do not invest, I save through tax-sheltered annuities and through only safe accounts. I learned. We are not in debt. My husband, however,did not learn. :)

too many tax breaks for corporations and the very wealthy are not in the same spirit of 'the free market' so much as a kind of distribution of wealth 'upwards'

the 'system' many call 'capitalism' has been rigged for a long, long time now and you can look at lobbying and tax breaks as partially at fault but you can also look at the silliness of voters. Here is a fun quote from 'What's the Matter With Kansas':

""“For decades, Americans have experienced a populist uprising that only benefits the people it is supposed to be targeting.... The angry workers, mighty in their numbers, are marching irresistibly against the arrogant. They are shaking their fists at the sons of privilege. They are laughing at the dainty affectations of the Leawoof toffs. They are massing at the gates of Mission Hills, hoisting the black flag, and while the millionaires tremble in their mansions, they are bellowing out their terrifying demands.
'We are here,' they scream, 'to cut your taxes.” "

(Frank Thomas)

Ain't life strange? :)



Byroniac said...

Bob Cleveland, excellent comment. I agree! And I agree with this post, but to be honest, it has forced me to rethink some things (and that's good).