The case for Christian Socialism
Should Christians be socialist? Yes.
It goes against every thing in my capitalist mind to say this but in a way every Christian should have a type of socialistic mindset when it comes to our finances.
Truthfully we should have a theistic approach to everything in our life including our finances. God has true ownership of all our assets from our money, homes, and cars right down to the talents he has given us. We should submit those things he has given us and offer them back to him for his purposes. But just like Israel could not submit to a theistic government but had to have a king, we are not able to fully grasp and adhere to a theistic approach to our own economics.
So I propose that Christians should have a more socialistic approach. Not that we should let the government take our money and redistribute it as they wish, but more that we are to take care of those who have less than us.
Matthew 25:37-40 …..I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
Deuteronomy 15:10-11 Give generously to him…because of this the lord will bless you….be openhanded to the poor and needy.
Proverbs 14:31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for the Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that all these things are noble and good, but how many people look at their personal economics as a tool for God to show grace to these less fortunate and in return glorify him by allowing you to take part in it. How often do we work hard so that we will have more money to bless others with it? I would venture to say that most of us work to better our lives and the lives of our families and if there are some leftovers to give to others then we feel good about ourselves for being so kind.
A Pastor is called to use his ability to impart wisdom and inspire us to live for God. Teachers are called to teach. Having a gospel centered world view allows us to see that when we are blessed with ability to create wealth it is to be used to bless others. A capitalist says “that when I have the personal freedom to create wealth for myself I will take risks and innovate for that end purpose. Making my life better is a good goal.” This works in a fallen world because our selfishness and our need for stability create opportunity for advancement, which pushes society to better places. We also know that unregulated it can also lead to great disparity among society because of personal motivation, talent, and circumstances. Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “I will never leave you; nor forsake you.”
A gospel centered approach to economics says” When I have the personal freedom to create wealth I will take risks and work heartily as unto the Lord so that I can use that money to provide for others who are not as talented or fortunate as I.”
What God has given us we should share and for all socialisms faults it is born in the idea that sharing among a community breeds happiness and contentment. So yes I believe that Christians should view their own money similarly, but not the same as a socialist does.
How much should a person give? I will never say how much or what percentage and I will never judge anyone one who has much. What is better a man making 5 million dollars a year and driving a Ferrari who also donates 50% of his income to others or a man making 100k driving an economical car and donating 10%? Neither is better. They each give according to what has been giving to them and what God has called them to give.
The idea behind the gospel centered philosophy is that we should go into our daily jobs with that goal in mind. How much different would our devotion to our profession be if we daily worked for God’s glory and providing a better life for other people