This might shock you, so brace yourself. Here it is: unlike the Pilgrims, who tried collectivism and failed, Jesus was not a socialist. Far from it, in fact.
As socialism has changed, more and more people feel the need to make the claim that Jesus was a socialist. Sure, they never would have said that when mass-murdering psychopath like Stalin represented socialism, but not that AOC and “democratic socialism” are in vogue, socialists feel ok saying it. Never mind that few, if any, socialists are Christians, they just want you to think that a celebration of Jesus is a celebration of socialism.
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Fortunately, that’s not the case, as Lawrence Reed of the Washington Examiner points out in his No, Jesus was not a socialist post. That’s important for Christians to know.
Enjoy reading this article to find out why Jesus was not a socialist!
Summary of No, Jesus Was Not A Socialist
First, Reed points out that Jesus couldn’t have possibly agreed with socialism because he never spoke in favor of the policies that it represents. Jesus stood for mercy, love, and morality. He was the only perfect one to ever walk the Earth. And never, not a single time, did he speak about the need to empower bureaucrats or why socialist leaders should rule over their fellow humans:
One can scour the New Testament and find nary a word from Jesus that calls for empowering politicians or bureaucrats to allocate resources, pick winners and losers, tell entrepreneurs how to run their businesses, impose minimum wages or maximum prices, compel workers to join unions, or even to raise taxes.From:https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/no-jesus-was-not-a-socialist
After making that crucial point, Reed delves into why “helping the poor” doesn’t mean supporting socialism. Jesus was certainly in support of helping the poor members of society. That was one of the most crucial parts of his message. But He meant for that to be done via charity and kindness, not Soviet-style compulsion:
Hardly. Yes, with Christmas around the corner, it’s especially timely to think about helping the poor. It was, after all, a very important part of Jesus’s message. How helping the poor is to be done, however, is mighty important…[helping the poor] requires no politicians, police, bureaucrats, political parties, or programs.From: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/no-jesus-was-not-a-socialist
Next, Reed points out that Jesus even rebuked someone asking for a redistribution of wealth and correctly (of course) described that request as envy. Given that envy is at the core of socialism, as is redistribution of wealth, I think it is fair to say that Jesus was not a socialist:
In Luke 12:13-15, Jesus is approached with a redistribution request. “Master, speak to my brother that he divideth the inheritance with me,” a man asks. Jesus replied, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” Then he rebuked the petitioner for his envy.From: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/no-jesus-was-not-a-socialist
Then, Reed discusses why voluntary charity is far different than forced redistribution of wealth and government welfare programs. Charity is at the core of Christianity. Jesus helped the poor and demanded that we do the same by donating our time and money to charity. But charity is supposed to a) be completely voluntary, not forced through taxation schemes and b) about helping the poor get back on their feet, not keeping them in a permanent state of dependence:
Caring for them, which means helping them overcome it, not paying them to stay poor or making them dependent upon the state, has been an essential fact in the life of a true Christian for 2,000 years. Christian charity…is utterly distinct from the compulsory, impersonal mandates of the state.From: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/no-jesus-was-not-a-socialist
Finally, Reed includes multiple parables in which Jesus supports the capitalist work ethic that you can read about in Who Are We? and The Wealth of Nations. I’ve included one example below, which is about the Parable of the Talents, because I think it does a great job of showing the fact that Jesus was not a socialist:
In his Parable of the Talents, Jesus talks about a man who entrusts his wealth to three servants for a time. When the man returns, he learns that one of the servants safeguarded his share by burying it, the second put his share to work and multiplied it, the third invested his and generated the greatest return of all. Who’s the hero in the parable? The wealth-creating third man. The first one is admonished, and his share is taken and given to the third.
That doesn’t sound very socialist, does it?From: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/no-jesus-was-not-a-socialist
Analysis of No, Jesus Was Not A Socialist
So, in summary, Jesus was not a socialist. There is nothing at all in the Bible to indicate that he was.
In fact, it was likely quite the opposite. Jesus was not a socialist, he was a compassionate capitalist. Rather than support socialism and redistribution of wealth, Jesus supported capitalism and the work ethic it brings with it. Jesus demands charity from us, but charity is not in any way socialism. It is a voluntary act meant to be out of the kindness of one’s heart and to help lift people out of poverty by helping them.
Socialism, on the other hand, is an evil, horrible system of authoritarianism and cruelty that is meant to forcibly take wealth from one group and redistribute it to another. The socialists might say that it is based in kindness and helping people, but it is not. Far from it, in fact.
Socialism is compulsory and is meant to keep people in a permanent state of dependence, as we’ve seen from LBJ’s failed war on poverty program. Jesus was not a socialist; he supported and demanded charity, not forced redistribution of wealth.
Perhaps, and I’m sure this will stun socialists, having to work for a living is the moral thing to do and demanding that others work to earn your keep is the evil thing to do. That seems to me to be what Jesus is saying. He knew that those that support socialism often don’t work. They don’t want the Christian thing, they want the lazy thing. Or, in other words, they just want to rob Peter to pay Paul and luckily, they’re named Paul.
Finally, I loved how Reed made the distinction between charity and socialism. Charity is voluntary, necessary, and undoubtedly good. Maybe it could solve some of the problems discussed in The Bell Curve. If private charity could handle problems related to mental incompetence, that would be far better than the government handling it.
That distinction is one that conservatives, especially young conservatives, need to start pushing as often as possible. The left claims that we are not compassionate because we do not support socialism. That is nonsense. Conservatives are compassionate, we just believe in charity rather than government mandated tax and wealth redistribution schemes. The socialists, on the other hand, are not at all compassionate. They just want power over us, hence why they are drawn to an ideology of compulsion and force.
Conclusion to Why Jesus was Not a Socialist
Jesus was not a socialist. Remember that. The modern left and the socialists who make it up would like to convince you otherwise.
They say charity and government-sponsored entitlement programs are the same. They’re not. And, capitalism isn’t the ideology of greed; socialism is.
It’s greedy to want to extort others and use tax money to line your own profits under the guise of helping the poor (which is what socialism is). It’s not greedy to want to add value to society and build a business, which is what capitalism is. So the whole greed and charity argument doesn’t really hold water, especially because socialism will just make everyone poor. How could that be charitable or kind?
Or, they say Jesus supported the redistribution of wealth. That’s a lie. Again, quite the opposite is true. He supported giving money away out of the kindness of your heart, not the government forcibly taking it from you in order to give it to someone else. That is theft, not kindness or charity.
If you want to understand Jesus’s true nature, read CS Lewis, not a political blog. I’m not a religious expert. However, I am a Christian, so I think it’s important to write about and discuss the Lord when possible. And that includes speaking the truth about him, which is that Jesus was not a socialist.
By: Gen Z Conservative
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