The Impossibility of a Socialist Jesus

The Impossibility of a Socialist Jesus August 16, 2011

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.

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  • “Jesus, after all, despite many demands from His followers, pointedly refused to establish an earthly government.”
    Offhand, I cannot think of any of these many demands you speak of, or the refusals. Jesus tells his followers how to pray the Lord’s prayer which says: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” So the kingdom og God was going to be in (or on) earth, that we know, then, and it was not just another name for heaven. So, it was not really surprising that Jesus should have been asked whether he would restore the kingdom of Israel, Israel having been God’s kingdom in (or on) earth. In Acts, the risen Jesus did not refuse to do it. How could he when he had promised that the kingdom would be in (or on) earth in the prayer he had taught them? Perhaps you could enlighten me.

    I also do not get what you say about Jesus’s warnings being merely about the pitfalls of wealth and greed. He is pretty unequivocal in saying that rich men will not get into the kingdom of heaven, and, in the parable of Dives (Rich) and Lazarus, he says, even should one return from the dead, rich men will not believe they are damned, a true prophecy, wouldn’t you agree? Meanwhile in the beatitudes of Matthew those who value poverty as being of spiritual benefit are blessed with the kingdom of heaven, and it is the meek who will inherit the earth. not a word of encouragement there for greedy people with far more than they need. Matthew omits the woes that Luke does include and must have been there originally to match Jewish traditional formulae. What do we find in Luke: “Woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. ” The consolation of the kingdom then goes to the poor not the rich, and this kingdom will be in (or on) earth. I am sure you will have the answers. I assume you are a rich man!