Acts 4:32: Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and sit was distributed to each as any had need.
Romans 15:26: For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem.
1 Timothy 5:8: But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
2 Thessalonians 3:10: For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.
While on this earth Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God and how His Kingdom was not of this world; yet despite His own words telling us that, it seems like, in our culture, most people have bought off on the left wing media driven idea that Jesus was a socialist; or the equally misleading right wing idea that Jesus was a capitalist.
What people don’t know is that Jesus, the Old Testament, and the New Testament never espouse Socialism or Capitalism. Some will argue that certain passages as displayed in the picture infer it, but it simply isn’t true.
The truth is most Christians fail to read the Bible, or to read it in it’s context, or are liberals who use it to further their agenda (like many did with slaves and the abuse of women). In our next two blogs we will be discussing why Jesus wasn’t a socialist or a capitalist.
If I had a dollar every time I went on a liberal website denigrating the Church by saying that Obamacare’s Welfare’s, and other government agencies’ “helping” the poor are just fulfilling the mission of Jesus, I would be extremely rich.
The funniest thing about socialism and the conversation of it being “Biblical” is that over two thousand years ago the 1st Century church tried an experiment. It was called Socialism and it failed miserably. Around 60 AD we have an interesting story from the beginning of the Church. The Apostles where preaching the Gospel and as they did Acts 4 tells us that the people became of one heart and soul and brought all of their belongings together and shared it all with each other.
In theory this sounds wonderful. However, we need to remember two things. First, the Scripture always faithfully records the events of God’s followers even when they are screwing it up; and secondly, just because the Scriptures are faithful to record it, doesn’t mean it has God’s approval.
Inside this passage in the Book of Acts we already see a few things that make it different than the socialism that is talked about in our country. Take, for example, that it was for the people in that group, which means, it didn’t extend out to those people who were not a part of the Church. Then there is the small portion that nearly every liberal leaves out, which is that everyone contributed!
Regardless of the differences in the text, later in the life of the Church we see that indeed this model isn’t working when Paul says, “the poor among the saints in Jerusalem”. At some point socialism always breaks down on this side of heaven for a variety of reasons like, some work but won’t support, there are more needs than workers, famine which eliminates excess funds, or any other situation that would restrict generosity.
We can clearly see from the Scriptures, that not only does socialism not work, but that the socialism of today is actually condemned by the Scriptures.
The Bible tells us that if a man doesn’t work we shouldn’t feed him; and he is worse than an unbeliever. When you look at the idea of socialism espoused today by liberals for welfare, Obamacare, food stamps, and other programs, there are very few requirements for those using such programs to meet requirements such as drug testing, job searches, or a time frame in which the benefits would run out.
This doesn’t even take into consideration illegal immigration and the provision for all their needs as well (interestingly enough, the Bible speaks to immigration and the requirements for that as well, but that is a topic for another post.)
Should we (the Church and the Government) help the poor? Absolutely! Should we assist those who can’t afford health care? Absolutely! The lesson that needs to be taught, though, is that our help and generosity is to empower the poor to be better, not to enable them to live on others.
Image: Christ expulses the money changers out of the temple; Caravaggio;1610; anagoria; public domain; copyright expired.