Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Opus 2011-45, Is Socialism Christian?

If you follow the writings of many Christian pundits you would think this is a no-brainer.  Most of your mainline and emergent churches have a belief that socialism is the economic and political system that is most in line with the teachings of Jesus. 

Let’s start with trying to establish some definition of what I mean when I say “socialism.”  You may want to add to or change my definition but it will at least give us a starting point.  I will start with the dictionary I have on my shelf:
“1. any of various theories or systems of the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by society or the community rather than by private individuals, with all members of society or the community sharing in the work and the products.”

“3. the stage of society, in Marxist doctrine, coming between the capitalist stage and he communist which private ownership of the means of production and distribution has been eliminated.”  Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, copyright 1972.
Socialism is a form of government that has society control all forms of production and distribution.  This would mean that you might be able to own your own home and if you have a very small business you could pursue it.  But if you look a little further you see that everyone is to share in the work and products.  Anything that gives the government increased control and takes away from individual control is socialistic. 

Notice that this definition of socialism covers that which is emerging in our country and is already established in Western Europe as well as in fascism and communism.  They are all points on a continuum of socialism.

Is there any evidence or support for this in the Bible?  Not that I can see.  Most Christians who are in favor of this kind of thinking want it because it will make things fair and give the disadvantaged a hand up.  Those are nice sentiments but the idea of helping the poor in the Bible is in individual mandate.  You are supposed to give of your resources to those in need.  It is not a Bible plan to have the government take away from people you designate and give it to your favorite needy person.

When the Israelites were demanding a king, Samuel warned them of the consequences of a strong central government.  In the middle of the warning we have these words:
(1 Samuel 8:14 KJV)  And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
That sounds like a good description of what happens when the government takes charge.  Remember that this was given as a warning, not a recommendation.

If you have some good, solid evidence from the Bible that God thinks socialism is the way to go, I would love to hear them.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.