Truth On Fire

Site Search:

P.O. Box 432    |    Spring Hill, TN  37174    l    (904) 200-1671

Home  |  Gospel  |  Pastor's Pen  |  Doctrinal  |  Calvinism  |  About

Was Jesus Really a Socialist?

In the near future, expect a resurgence of the refrain: “Jesus was a Socialist.” The newly-formed political union of Socialists Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is sure to make much of this theory in their quest to save America from the scourge of Capitalism. The theory rests upon biblical admonitions for Christians to care for the poor. The logic is that since caring for the poor is integral to Socialism, Jesus must have been a Socialist.

There are, however, a few problems with this extrapolation. First, Jesus NEVER instructed governments to confiscate the wealth of the well-to-do and redistribute it to poor. The biblical model for care of the poor has ALWAYS been a matter of compassion out of a benevolent heart. There are numerous examples in scripture of this dynamic, especially with the early church in the book of Acts. But NEVER has the care of the poor rested on the shoulders of government acting as the middle man between wealthy and poor. 

Secondly, the scripture expressly forbids caring for (as in ‘feeding’) the poor who refuse to work. Paul delivered this order to the church at Thessalonica: “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Translation: “You are NOT to feed the lazy poor among you who are unwilling to labor for their bread!” In the next verse (3:11), he says such folk are guilty of “disorderly” conduct. The Greek word was used to describe soldiers who were 'out of ranks' or deviating from the prescribed rule of order. Those “working not at all” but still able to eat become “busybodies” with too much time on their hands. We're not talking about Social Security recipients who labored a lifetime to accrue benefits. We're talking about systematic fraud wherein able-bodied individuals, who CAN work, are collecting transferred wealth from taxpayers who DO work. No American is entitled to eat who is able to work and finds an excuse not to work. 

Thirdly, the scriptures NOWHERE advocate equality in society. Elevating the status of the poor by diminishing the status of the wealthy and leveling the financial playing field is NOT a method scripture endorses. The Lord God actually encourages and supports wealth building, the goal of Capitalism. Moses reminded Israel it was the Lord their God that gave them power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). The widow Naomi had a kinsman named Boaz, a “mighty man of wealth” (Ruth 2:1). “Riches and wealth” are gifts from God designed to fulfill every desire of a man's soul (Ecclesiastes 5:19; 6:2). There's nothing sinful about the wealth God gives. It is only when a man begins to trust in his riches that wealth becomes a sinful liability. In fact, one could make the case “Jesus was a Capitalist” so long as wealth is obtained through reliance upon him and honest toil. 

Fourthly, scripture NEVER mandates that governments try to erase poverty. John 12:1-8 is a context wherein a woman called Mary took some costly ointment, anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. Judas Iscariot complained, and said: “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” (12:5). In the next verse, John informs us: “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (12:6). Judas may have feigned himself to be a Socialist, but was a thief at heart. Moreover, he saw only the financial equivalent of the ointment, not its spiritual value as an expression of worship. Jesus concluded: “For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always” (12:8). In other words: “You’ll have plenty of time to look after the poor after I’m gone. But while you have me here among you, make me your first priority, as Mary has done.” The Socialists among us are kin to Judas. They may feign concern for the poor, but are power-hungry thieves! There is power in being that middle man!

Lastly, let’s consider this bogus theory in light of its political context. Liberals are quick to cite Jesus when it serves their Socialist agenda. The problem is you cannot compartmentalize Jesus of Nazareth, embracing the attributes you like and discarding the ones that bother you. Let’s assume for the sake of argument Jesus was a Socialist. If we embrace him for that reason, we must also embrace him for who he IS—the personification of God’s Law. 

Let’s run quickly down the list. Jesus was PERFECT in his worship and did ALWAYS those things that pleased his Father. Jesus ALWAYS honored his parents. He NEVER harbored ill-will toward another man, NEVER had an impure thought, NEVER pilfered what belonged to another, ALWAYS spoke the truth and was a model of contentment, NEVER coveting another man's wealth. Jesus embodied righteousness, holiness of life, kindness and love. 

Do you believe for one moment the Leftist who embraces 'Jesus the SOCIALIST' would be willing to embrace 'Jesus the HOLIEST' as well? Herein lies the hypocrisy of the “Jesus was a Socialist” crowd...or that of any man who seeks to compartmentalize the Christ of scripture. If Leftists ever decide to embrace the character of Christ in addition to his alleged allegiance to Socialism, it would spell the end of Liberalism and the Democratic Party as we know them!


Copyright and Contact Statement