What’s Wrong With Socialism


On its face, socialism may seem to be a compassionate idea—a “no person left behind” idea. Some Christians even think it is Biblical. But is it?

Those favoring socialism may point to the first church—a group of Jews who responded to Peter’s sermon on Pentecost and put their faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us about that group of believers: they spent time together. They shared their stuff with each other, even to the point of selling stuff to help the people in need: “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.” (Acts 2:44-45)

Sounds like socialism, right?

Not really. This was not an economic plan instituted as a mandate. These were people with a common purpose taking care of one another voluntarily. We know this when Peter later addresses a couple who sold a house and brought part of the proceeds as a gift to the church. The problem was, they lied about the amount, claiming they had given the entire sum.

Before pronouncing judgment, Peter said, “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?” (Acts 5:4a)

So nobody, not the government, certainly, and not the church, had mandated this principle of sharing. Rather God seems to lift up generosity, both from individuals and from church bodies. Paul, for example, praises the church in Philippi for sending him gifts from time to time. And Jesus Himself praised the poor widow for giving her last coin for the work in the temple.

In contrast to the instituted “sharing” of socialism, the Bible has much to say about the concepts behind capitalism.

  1. The one who doesn’t work, doesn’t eat.
  2. The worker is worthy of his wages.
  3. Our money should be invested and grow.

I know the parable of the talents that Jesus told had spiritual implications, but first, like all parables, it was grounded in the physical. The story Jesus told was about servants investing their master’s money. Two succeeded, one did not. The guy who earned no money actually hadn’t made an investment, and it was for this reason that his master punished him. He didn’t judge him because he made a bad investment but that he didn’t even do the bare minimum—he didn’t even put the money in the bank.

Beyond these basics, there is a fundamental issue that we shouldn’t ignore: man’s sin nature. Because we have this tie to sin, this dead weight that pulls us away from God’s holiness, we will never have a perfect system of finance or government.

Therefore, the bottom line is that in socialism, people will take advantage. They will try to get something for free, something they don’t deserve, and something they don’t need. In capitalism, some people will be greedy; they try to take advantage of others and get more and more and more, beyond what they need.

Because I live in California, I’ve seen a little of what “socialism” can do. The obvious problems are people lying to get “benefits” from the state. A friend related how her family, when she was a child,  signed the kids up for free lunches at school, even they they were not in financial need. They just wanted the free stuff. There are many, many, many more examples I could cite.

Of course, there is the dis-incentive for dads to be in the home because single moms get money for each child they have when the dad is absent. It’s financially profitable for moms to be single moms. That has serious repercussions for how children are raised, the values they learn, they goals and aspirations they have, the ethics and morality they believe in.

On the other hand, the government locks you into a level of poverty that you can’t climb out of. For example, if you are part of the Medical program or the Cal Fresh (food stamps) you can only have a certain amount of money in the bank.

For instance, a neighbor who is part of the Cal Fresh program, was notified that they would lose their benefits. They had a vehicle stolen. They received money from the insurance company and were looking for a replacement vehicle. Before they found one, the government was at the door telling them they would no longer qualify for the food program unless they spent that insurance money by a certain time. So how does anyone save for, let’s say, a downpayment on a house or the first and last months’ rent or for a new car? They are essentially trapped at their level of poverty, unable to “get ahead.”

All that to say, socialism isn’t always beneficial even for the people receiving benefits.

Clearly the Bible points to people working and getting paid for their work. It points to both people and the Church being generous and helping those in need. But generosity is never mandated.

History only shows us failed socialist societies—the USSR, East Germany, Venezula, etc. Perhaps the failures are due to the authoritarian governments that implemented the socialist policies, but there’s also the possibility that authoritarianism is the natural result of socialism. If the government owns all the banks or oil companies or transportation entities, doesn’t that lend itself to authoritarian control?

But even if socialism “worked,” I don’t believe the utilitarian outcome will supercede the Biblical models and mandates. There’s more we could add to this discussion, obviously, but hopefully this will start us all thinking more about the trends some in our country would like us to go.

Published in: on April 21, 2022 at 1:06 pm  Comments (8)  
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Will Abortion Go Away?


The great news is that abortion, in all likelihood, will no longer be the law of the land in the US. Many Constitutional scholars believe that the US Supreme Court will decide now what the Court in 1973 should have decided: that there is no “right to privacy” granted by the Constitution, and therefore, there is no federal protection for abortion.

What conservatives might not realize—there is also no Constitutional prohibition of abortion laws either. Rather, it’s up to each state to decide what they want for their people.

Some states have already moved to put limitations on abortions, and undoubtedly others will as well if the “landmark” Roe v Wade ruling is overturned. But there are others that may take a stand for abortion that will, in essence, threaten the very lives of new born infants. I learned today that some states are crafting legislation that includes language referring to post-natal infants and the “right” to euthanize them up to a month after birth. This is nothing short of infanticide.

People who see nothing wrong with killing a baby are actually playing out the logical end to their belief that humans are nothing special. We are just animals, which some people kill because they are harmful or inconvenient or good to eat. Babies are the same, though perhaps short of the “good to eat” category. Not short of the, “we need your stem cells category,” however.

Further, in states like California there is already pressure on pregnancy crisis centers that advocate for alternatives to abortion (adoption, support for single moms), so it’s foreseeable that more will be done to disadvantage such a center while promoting a planned parenthood organization that actually is all about selling abortions and transgender procedures. (Yes, I recently learned that Planned Parenthood facilitates gender change as part of their “services.”)

If the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v Wade, as many think will happen, the fight over abortion will not be over. Rather the issue will now be decided, as far as the legality issue is concerned, at the state level. Some states may allow voters to decide. Others will pass laws in their legislatures. The point is, in red or blue or purple states, abortion will become a focal point.

And actually, real human lives hang in the balance.

To be sure, in some states abortions may increase. But in others, the very inconvenience of having to travel to a different state, may deter some young girls from getting abortions.

The key now is to prepare. Believers who understand that God forms every human being, that we are created in His image, that He regards each life as precious, must support those ideas with Scripture. This discussion should not be a he-said/she-said argument. Christians have God’s authoritative word to undergird our ideas.

Then, too, preparation must involve prayer. Every believer can pray. And we must come boldly before the throne of grace to find help for these crucial decisions. Pray that God will be glorified in each decision. Pray that He will work to bring an end to the violence against the unborn, and that He will protect the newly born in those places that might now target them. Pray that He opens the eyes of those who do not believe humans are uniquely made in the image of God. That would change a lot of hearts, I think. Pray that people on the fence will make a decision for life and not for death, since that’s actually what’s at stake.

Published in: on April 11, 2022 at 3:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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