Last week in the Washington Post, a leftist named Gregory Paul claimed not only that Jesus was “pro-socialist” but also that his apostles implemented “a form of terror-enforced-communism imposed by a God who thinks that Christians who fail to join the collective are worthy of death.” This is pure nonsense, and today my ACLJ colleague Jordan Sekulow and I responded:
Socialism is a relatively modern construct, a governmental system invented roughly 1,800 years after Christ’s death, not a biblical mandate. The question, then, is whether socialism is compatible with Christianity, not whether the Bible mandates socialism.
How can Mr. Paul claim Jesus was “pro-socialist?” Jesus, after all, despite many demands from His followers, pointedly refused to establish an earthly government. Undeterred, Mr. Paul interprets Jesus’s “substantial encouragement for the poor” and warnings against the moral pitfalls of wealth as support for socialism. Yet one has to travel quite the intellectual and theological distance to equate admonitions towards charity and warnings against greed with divine sanction for the destruction of private property rights and the forcible redistribution of wealth.
Read the whole thing, and feel free to comment. If past experience is any guide, the Post’s comment board can be quite hostile.
It’s increasingly vital that the evangelical community’s increasing heart for the poor (a wonderful development) is not derailed by progressivism. It is simply not the case that socialism is at all good for the poor that it purports to help.
The problem, as I’ve noted elsewhere, is that progressives speak the language of compassion, while conservatives often speak the language of prosperity. But perhaps educational tools like this will help: