Michael A. Michail
Copyright © 2019
All Rights Reserved
A lot of people want to equate Christianity with Socialism. Even the current head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, seems to believe Christianity is some sort of socialist based religion. This is absurd. A basic look at Christian doctrine completely contradicts the socialist position.
If you want to equate socialism with being good to people or helping the oppressed, then fine, Christianity embodies these concepts. King Jesus is certainly caring and compassionate and wants what’s best for the people of Earth. Propagandists might claim that these attitudes and desires are socialist traits – but let’s be realistic, socialist leaders – REAL Socialist leaders that actually hold power- are not known for their compassion. Consider Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Chavez, Guevara, Kim – these men and their comrades were responsible for the painful deaths of over 100,000,000 people in the 20th and 21st centuries, and the torture and enslavement of millions more. Socialists are not kind or considerate once in power.
King Jesus might be better described as an Enlightened Monarch or even a benevolent dictator – he is certainly not a Socialist. Was Moses a Socialist? How about King David, King Solomon or Emperor Constantine – were they Socialists?
Here are some specific differences between Socialism and Christianity:
1/ Socialism is an economic ideology that is both materialistic and godless. Socialists advocate for the control of all means of production by the State. The State then decides who benefits from the product. The mantra is “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.” Who decides one’s ability or one’s need? The STATE. Socialists view all problems as economic and based on the unequal distribution of wealth. There is no need for God in this world, only material assets controlled by people with the “correct,” State approved mind set. Christianity, on the other hand, sees the world in a spiritual light with physical interactions being a mere prelude to a more glorious life to come. Although economic issues are unimportant in the grander scheme of God’s universe, Christianity holds that those who work are entitled to their pay. (Luke 10:7, Timothy 5:18, Matthew 10:10, etc.)
2/ Following on this, Socialism seeks to re-distribute wealth regardless of any objective moral virtues. The rich, those who are not part of the State leadership and have the ability to produce, are always bad and the poor, those who support the State and are deemed worthy, are always good. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit” but he didn’t mean economically poor – he meant those who realize their need for God and salvation. You may recall that Jesus had many rich friends and followers such as Lazarus, Joseph of Arimathaea, Nicodemus and Zacchaeus – these people weren’t condemned. In Socialism, the rich who do not voluntarily support the State are to be punished while the poor who surrender to the State are rewarded despite their values or shortcomings. In Christianity those with spiritual attitudes in line with God – whether rich or poor – are raised up. Again, the difference is between materialism and spirituality.
3/ Continuing, Socialism has no problem robbing the rich to give to the poor. Some claim that this is something Robin Hood did – this is false! Robin Hood took improper and excessive taxes away from the corrupt officials and returned it to the people from whom it was stolen – this is completely different. The Robin Hood I know is more in line with Christian attitudes. Christianity supports private property and keeping what one earns. That’s why injunctions against theft and coveting your neighbor’s goods are included in the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17). In Christianity, the worker is entitled to the fruits of the labor. Giving to others out of your increase is encouraged, but it is voluntary. In Socialism, the State would steal private property from its lawful owners and give it to whomever the controllers deem worthy. Giving is mandatory – From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.
4/ Socialism, in fact, encourages class warfare and envy. The rich, particularly those who are not in league with the State, are demonized and all society’s ills are placed on their door step. While it is true that Christianity advocates for the poor when they are genuinely oppressed by the rich, even fearlessly calling out kings when they abuse their power, nowhere in Christian doctrine does it say that the poor are entitled to the fruits of another’s labor or that they have the right to demand coveted riches. Those who CAN work are expected to work. Those who are unable to work due to physical or even societal restraints should be helped but not at the expense of one’s own ruin. And help should be given VOLUNTARILY – giving to the poor is a spiritual action. Socialism makes giving mandatory through excessive taxation or confiscation of property – the justification being that those with assets do not deserve them, even if they earned them through honest effort.
5/ One final point: It has long been known that married couples and close-knit families, have more economic strength and opportunities as well as stronger spiritual values. They also have more ability to resist authoritarian governments. Socialism, from the beginning, has sought to destroy the family structure and replace it with dependence on the State. By vilifying the family unit, the State gains power. Notice the Socialist efforts to control education, health care, reproduction, relationships, housing, career choice, spirituality, values in general and identity – all areas of life once considered family responsibilities. In a Socialist economy, the State becomes Father and Mother, provider, teacher, comrade, lover – even god. Without family, without a free choice of community, the individual is lost to the collective and the State becomes everything.
A State-centric society is definitely NOT a Christian society. Christianity is based on building a relationship with God: Socialism is based on dependence on the State.
There is really nothing Christian about Socialism, despite what left wing interests would assert.