Does the Bible Promote Socialism or Capitalism? - Part I
“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” —II John 7
In dealing with the subject of socialism, I know some may be confused about my choice of Scripture and its relation to socialism, so let me explain. Anything that is not biblical is deception, and anyone who espouses that which is not biblical is a deceiver. Therefore, let me be clear. Socialism is deception and its promoters are deceivers and anti-Bible.
It is shocking to me to see so many American citizens and a majority of democratic presidential candidates proclaim socialism.
As a political system, socialism, and its first cousin communism, are anti-God, anti-morality, and anti-righteousness. These two evils are demonic in origin and practice.
There are several definitions of socialism that I would like to share with you.
1. Socialism is any economic and political theory advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.
2. Socialism is a system of society or group in which there is no private property.
3. Socialism is a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.
Socialism is really a milder form of communism in that it does not promote the violent overthrow of governments.
The fathers of socialism and communism are Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, authors of the “Communist Manifesto” published in 1848. Both men were atheists, with Marx famously writing, “Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”
Dr. V. Raymond Edman, former president of Wheaton College, preached a sermon on communism and Karl Marx in 1954. About Marx he stated: “It must be remembered that Karl Marx was a theorist, a doctrinaire economist, with no practical experience in the ideas which he propagated. He never earned a day’s wages in his life. Once he applied for employment in an office, but his handwriting was so wretched that he was immediately discharged. He lived by the largess of others. He lived aloof, isolated even from those who supported him out of their poverty. He was insensitive to the interests of others, irritable in the extreme, inconsiderate of everyone. Even his admiring biographers had to admit he was morbidly thin-skinned and jealously suspicious of the least sight of antagonism to his person or his doctrine.”
These two verses are the primary foundation of the biblical promotion of socialism. These verses state: “And all who believed were together and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”
The flaw with their argument is this: These actions were confined to the Jerusalem church and were only in effect for a short time. Second, these early Christians were giving to each other out of their own free will, motivated by their love for those Christians facing persecution. It was a choice and not a decree. Third, you never read of any other New Testament church adopting those actions. As a Christian you must understand that if this is what the Lord wanted the church to follow for all time, we would see a clear pattern of this philosophy throughout the New Testament, but we don’t. Based on this, let me emphatically state that the Bible does not promote socialism, but instead, the Bible promotes capitalism. Actually, there are Bible principles which show socialism to be unchristian, and if it is unchristian, it is immoral. Following is what the Bible promotes.
The Right Of Private Ownership Of Property
There are two of the Ten Commandments that clearly promote the private ownership of property, Exodus 20:15, 17. Verse 15 states: “Thou shalt not steal.” Stealing is taking that which does not belong to you; by necessity it involves private property. Verse 17 states: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” This Scripture makes it very clear that individuals have a right to ownership of property; it is theirs and theirs alone.
The Year Of Jubilee
The right of ownership of property was so important in the mind of God that in the law of Moses, God instituted the Year of Jubilee. Leviticus 25:10 states: “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and you shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
The meaning is: The land as it was originally distributed to the families of each tribe of Israel would remain in these particular families forever. This meant if they sold the land, in effect, they only sold what remained of the fifty years because at the end of that particular time, the land reverted back to the original family. Even if they lost the land through bad investments, the Year of Jubilee guaranteed its return.
The phrase, “And you shall return every man unto his family,” meant that those who were forced into slavery or imprisoned for things, such as failure to pay debts, were free to return to their homes with no strings attached. As well, those bound by labor contracts were released from their obligations.
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