Over the past few years there has been a growing call to replace capitalism in the US with socialism; mostly from young adults. While many of the concepts related to “sharing” are similar to the teachings of Jesus, would adopting socialism meet the needs of God’s world?
What does the bible say about possessions?
While Jesus does not address socialism directly, (there was no socialism in Jesus’ time), we can look at his teachings to help interpret what could be His view on the subject:
Matthew 13: 34-35 -I give you a new commandment:* love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
What is Socialism?
- Jesus asks everyone to give up their possessions and take based on need. Socialism is aimed at distributing wealth and possessions, but its goal is to create “equal resources and wealth”. Some people have more needs than others. Jesus is asking us to look out for one another based on their needs as opposed to a system that “forces” equality.
- In a socialist society, the distribution is managed by an “elected authority”. The followers of Jesus, living their lives to take care of one another encourage distribution based on need. In other words, God is in charge.
- Historically, corruption in the “elected government” has left food shelves bare, significantly increased poverty, and created a split in the classes between the ruling society and the “producers’. We have seen slow if any economic growth, much less entrepreneurial opportunities, lack of competition, and all of the above drive lower motivation amongst the people due to lesser rewards and no incentives to work harder.
- Jesus came to give us life and to live life “abundantly”. What we have seen in socialist systems is just the opposite. Yes, equality may be achieved, but the people struggle to meet their daily needs and there is little to no incentive to pursue their dreams and goals in life.
- God doesn’t force us to love Him. He gives us free will to choose to love Him and cooperate with His plan for us. Jesus asks us to love another as He has loved us. We are given the opportunity to live our lives to be focused on the needs of all, and to give from a heart of Jesus. God does not force anything on anyone. We need to say “Yes” to God for Him to work with us. This is the opposite of what happens in a socialist society.
What do you think?
The United States has always been looked at as the land of opportunity. we are having some tough times these days, but as you can see from the southern border many people still feel they have greater opportunity here, than in their own countries. Many of those countries are based on some form of socialism. The younger generation of today has been led to believe that a socialist society will address the “evils of capitalism”. While I agree there are some challenges in a capitalistic society, we are free to pursue opportunities to improve our quality of life, and it is our responsibility as followers of Jesus to love and take care of those in need. I maintain that the problems we see today are of the heart, and not from the type of economic structure we live in. I welcome all comments and would love to hear your thoughts.