Jesus Is Still Not a Socialist byfor America Out Loud
It’s that time of year again where we celebrate the giving of gifts, Santa Claus, Covid tests, and mask-wearing at the Christmas dinner table. (Psst Psst… who? Oh yeah!) And the birth of Jesus Christ! How could I forget?
As it usually happens when Christian holidays come around, ideas of who Jesus is and what he stood for becoming topics of conversation. Members of progressive Christian movements and other leftist groups often say how Jesus was a socialist and use that as a means to demonize those who believe in capitalism and/or traditional Christian orthodoxy.
From what we read in the Bible, Jesus does not directly tell us how he feels about this topic or similar topics like economic and political structures, the way government is ruled, how government should tax, etc., all of which simply seemed not to hold as much importance with him as the forgiveness of sin and to be the bridge that connects man with God. But that will be the topic for another day. For today though, let’s look deeper and see if the Progressives are correct. Was Jesus a socialist?
Given what we read and know about Jesus from the scriptures, I think it’s fair to say that a reasonable hypothesis can be made regarding his thoughts on socialism. As for those who say he was a socialist, they point out several different areas of scripture to back up their claims.
First, in the book of Matthew, a wealthy man comes up to Jesus wanting to know what he must do to get into heaven, and Jesus tells him to sell all of his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. This leaves the rich man to walk away sad and gloomy. Progressives see this as an admission from Jesus that the wealthy must have their wealth redistributed among the people in an effort to bring about equity, making him a socialist. The problem with this theory is how the distribution of money occurs when it comes to socialism. In Jesus’ instance, he tells the man what he should do, but he doesn’t force him to do it–-it’s the man’s choice whether he will sell and give to the poor or hoard it for himself. In giving the rich man a choice, Jesus shows where the man’s heart is.