Is Christian Socialism just another political utopia?

Is Christian Socialism just another political utopia?
Posted by in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

The Case for Christian Socialism: Both the Capitalists and the Liberation Theologians Are Wrong

“For I was hungry and you did not give me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take me in; naked, and you did not clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer and say, “Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee?” Then He will answer them, saying, “Amen I say to you, as long as you did not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for me.” And these will go into everlasting punishment, but the just into everlasting life.

What has all this got to do with the case for Christian socialism? Just about everything, for Matthew 25 is the surest foundation for such a case. A wise priest once said, “To feed the hungry is a simple imperative, but it is not a simple undertaking.” It is not even simple these days to find a hungry person to feed, just in the course of your ordinary rounds. But there are millions out there just the same, in this country, and hundreds of millions beyond our national borders. Hungry for food, hungry for a decent home, hungry for a decent job that will make food and home possible for themselves and the families they have (or do not have because they can’t afford to have them), hungry for the self-respect that goes with providing these things for themselves without charity or welfare. How do we go about providing these things to satisfy these different kinds of hunger, for we are not so simple as to imagine that Jesus spoke only of providing a piece of bread or cup of water? How, in this complex world, do we arrange things so that Jesus will not one day say to us, “Depart from me, you who are accursed”?

Malthus taught that anything done to help the poor would only encourage overpopulation, since population increases by geometrical progression whereas the means of subsistence increases only by arithmetical progression. Of course Malthus never had the chance to meet Frances Moore Lappe or other modern experts on food production.

Ricardo’s Iron Law of Wages was almost equally damaging. He concluded from it that “like all other contracts, wages should be left to the fair and free competition of the market, and should never be controlled by the interference of the legislature.” Or trade unions. He did not live to see exactly how unfair and unfree “the competition of the market” could become.

Self-interest can be a powerful motivator, and not all of that motivation is bad. There is a legitimate role for self-interest. And the fortunate folks of the northern hemisphere, with their salubrious climate, natural resources, and the peculiar combination of Christianity and laissez-faire, were able to perform marvels of production that made many people better off than they had been before and few people very, very rich, and a good many very, very poor.

14 Comments

  • Reply September 4, 2018

    Phil Brown Jr.

    How do you define Christian Socialism? If you mean the religious socialist economical movement that gained popularity in the 19th century and refers to capitalism as evil and sinful, yes. It is a backdoor religious approach to marxism.

    • Reply September 4, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Good question: You should read the article or ask Scotty Searan BTW I am still waiting on your response under the Greek in Jesus not drinking wine Does your denomination forbid social drinking in its practical commitments? Melvin Harter https://www.facebook.com/groups/pentecostaltheologygroup/permalink/1859793847408955/

    • Reply September 4, 2018

      Phil Brown Jr.

      Troy Day The denomination in which I serve ( CoG, Cleveland TN) also teaches against alcohol consumption in it’s practical commitments to prevent addiction and enslavement.

    • Reply September 4, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      This is great Phil I just wanted to make sure that the case you are making is strictly theoretical because as we have noticed with Terry Wiles the ones who reject pre-Trib rapture quickly go into social drinking for Christians, which then turns into Christian socialism and more…

    • Reply September 4, 2018

      Louise Cummings

      Troy Day The Church Of God , Cleveland’s Tennessee. Does not believe in drinking at all , or if it changed I haven’t heard about it. I do not believe in social drinking , or drinking at all. I haven’t read this about Terry Wiles. I’ll have to say it surprises me.In Communion , we don’t use wine. We use grape juice.

  • Reply September 5, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    Troy Day Did you call me?
    I believe in a Pre-Wrath Rapture.
    I do not drink alcohol beverages, but we used alcohol beverages to cook with.
    I do not believe no one can say scripturally did not drink wine.
    Matthew 11:18-19 does imply that He did, as well as Jesus Christ also being a heavy eater. I can imagine Jesus Christ being a heavy muscular man, considering that Joseph was a carpenter and they can be large people and according to natural looking Jesus was probably trained to be a carpenter.
    I do not believe Apostle Paul taught total abstinence from Alcohol.
    Isn’t it amazing that Timothy couldn’t be a bishop because he was admonished to drink a little wine for the stomachs sake.
    I am obese, and have been most of my life. Recently, aftet all these years of ministering I am being told that obese people will not be in heaven.
    So maybe I shouldn’t comment about any sins they say. But i just thought I would throw that in.

  • Reply September 5, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    Troy Day I hear you calling
    Let me make this clear. What I say about communal living or socialism for lack of a better concerns Christians only, not the sinner or secular person.
    Yet it would affect our outreach to the world.
    What I believe the early church had was the pure unadulterated love of Christ.
    I don’t have it, and judging by what I have observed in my lifetime most do not have it.
    What is the church foremost responsibility?

    • Reply September 5, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      I like the previous version(s) better
      Calling but you aint picking up 🙂

  • Reply September 5, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Scotty Searan I hear under socialism you would have been skinny for the lack of food, property and personal security 🙂

    • Reply September 5, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      Which socialism Christian or Marxism

    • Reply September 5, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      arent they one and the same? David Rollings

  • Reply September 7, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Phil Brown Jr. How do you define Christian Socialism?
    IF any, it stops around Acts 3-6

  • Reply September 8, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    The difference between:
    Marxism Socialism: and is Involuntarily taking of your possessions.
    Christian Socialism: Voluntarily giving of your possessions because of your love for Jesus Christ and the Brethren.
    Troy Day: It had began with Jesus Christ teachings and life.
    What people fail to realize that the Apostles and disciples, I am making a distinction between the two, because people that were being saved were being called disciples in that day.
    These people had set under Jesus’ Teaching and his teachings were well know in Israel. So well known that 3,000 got saved on the Day of Pentecost.
    Jesus Christ had sowed the seed and the people had heard it and when the Holy Ghost came the seed burst forth and there was a harvest in the field.
    But what was seeing, even though it wasn’t called that, was Christianity in its purest form. It was 100% Christianity.
    Try to deny it if you must. But it was the doctrine the Apostles taught. Where did they get the doctrine? Jesus Christ. They were not force to obey they obeyed out of love.
    The Apostles if they had any possessions they had sold them.
    I don’t believe all sold their houses and lands that they lived in, because they had to have somewhere to live.
    Yet there some that did sell some land. Some sold their land and lied about it too and face death because of it.
    But if they did sell all their houses and lands and gave them to Apostles they were still given a place to sleep and eat and no one had any lack.
    Also notice they had all things in common, meanig there wasn’t someone living better than the other.
    Now notice the people give out of love (John 13:35) They were following Jesus Commandment.
    Later on in the New Testament the Apostle John mentioned that if you see your brother in need and close up the bowels of compassion, How are showing God’s love?
    Yes the devil raised his head up , through racism and discrimination. The Greek widows, (Gentiles) were not being taken care of.
    I don’t believe God busted this up.
    I believe Satan busted this up because he saw the love manifested among the disciples. Imagine you have got 3000 coming to the temple praying everyday and they were not following the Mosaic law.
    The Jewish Sanhedrin was wicked and they were losing control, so they Saul out to get the new Disciples. They put Peter in Jail real quick.
    They beat the Apostles and told them not to preach in the name of Jesus Again,
    But they still had all in common till the persecution.
    I do believe their was a form of this social Christianity going on the church of Thessalonica when Paul had to admonish people that if they didn’t work they couldn’t eat..

    Acts 2:32-37
    32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

    33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

    34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

    35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

    36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

    37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
    Acts 4:32-37
    32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

    33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

    34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

    35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

    36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

    37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

    With Marxism socialism the government owns everything, and the government decides your value to community.
    The government leaders live better than everybody else. It is all about force labor.

  • Reply September 9, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Scotty Searan Phil Brown Jr. I read your comment that said

    The difference between:
    Marxism Socialism: and is Involuntarily taking of your possessions.
    Christian Socialism: Voluntarily giving of your possessions because of your love for Jesus Christ and the Brethren.

    and so on. First off, you need to make it in the group if you want all to read it. The difference IMO is that you are comparing apples to oranges

    Socialism denotes Voluntarily giving but via the dictatorship of the proletariat Read on this term very carefully There’s nothing Voluntarily about it. Furthermore, Christian marxists insist via liberation theology that such repression of the rich is OK with Jesus whom they present as a revolutionary Who recovers the social balance – money and riches balance between the people too. I’ve had many discussions about this with David Rollings who actually knows something about that We disagree in our views of course but thats OK. I for one think that both EU and US are moving toward some sort of capital socialism where the State acquires your possessions via a new aggressive tax reform There are many ways how this is done today

    IF what Scotty was saying is true indeed, he would have had every desire to donate all his income to foreign migrants at our Southern border. That may be some sort of Christian socialism as in Acts ch 2-6 But it cant be done in practice today because of tax oppression

    The other option, if Scotty gives to migrants out of his excess of wealth would actually be a case for capitalist philanthropy and not socialism Hence Christian socialism is a non-Christian utopia

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