Sorry, Jesus is NOT a Socialist

It amazes me how so many well-meaning Christians think that Jesus’ teaching is compatible with Socialism (I will address the meme on the right later in this post). As I’ve said many times now, Socialism is a deceptive anti-Christ religion because it seeks to replace Christianity, or Christ, with the State. Its faithful followers pursue a dream of some utopian “theocracy” of sorts, where the State is the “church” that forces total compliance and wealth redistribution in order to fulfill their idea of social equity and justice. Today, I’ll look at a few of the key Scriptures advocates use to say that Jesus was a Socialist and show why these assertions are patently false.

This is a continuation from my last post, “Why Socialism is immoral.” I’m building on what I shared there, assuming you’ve already read that one, so if you haven’t I suggest you do so before continuing here.

I ended the last post with the statement, “…while there are corrupt people who do immoral things under Capitalism, Socialism is immoral by design.” This is important to understand at the outset.  While I understand why those who have rejected God want to now put their faith their Socialist god, I’m very concerned that Christians are fooled by this dangerous religion.

There are two fundamentally faulty assumptions with so-called “Christian Socialism.” First, they use the teachings of Jesus’ other-centered love and compassion to justify forcing compliance with their State religion. In other words, they want to help the poor…with other people’s money! Second, they conflate Christian community with collectivism (to understand the difference, see my post: “Christianity vs. Collectivism.”)

Let’s look at key Scriptures that “Christian Socialists” use to justify their position.  First, I’ll address the meme above.  Here’s the salient part of the passage:

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21 NIV*)

This is not about everyone selling their possessions, nor is it an indictment for being rich (wealthy women like Joanna followed and supported Jesus – Luke 8:3). It’s an indictment against putting one’s wealth before serving God, which has nothing to do with Socialism.

Let me put it this way: if Jesus were a Socialist, He would’ve just confiscated the rich man’s possessions! We saw this very thing with Soviet Socialist Lenin, and later, Stalin, who confiscated property, destroyed livestock, starved out Russian farmers, including killing millions of Ukranians who resisted their collectivism (read about it in Robert Conquest’s book, “Harvest of Sorrow“).

The point is, Jesus didn’t take the rich man’s money to give to the poor! He gave him a choice between serving His wealth or serving God. The man “went away sad” because His wealth was more important to him than following Christ. Again, this is NOT Socialism.

Next, we’ll look at is Acts 4:32.

32 All the believers were one in mind and heart. Selfishness was not a part of their community, for they shared everything they had with one another. (Acts 4:32 TPT*)

Now, on the surface, this looks like Socialism. While it IS an example of Christian communal living, it’s NOT Socialism for the simple reason that their giving of their possessions was totally VOLUNTARY, not by compulsion or law. We clearly see this in the next chapter with Ananias and Sapphira.

…“Ananias, why did you let Satan fill your heart and make you think you could lie to the Holy Spirit? You only pretended to give it all, yet you hid back part of the proceeds from the sale of your property to keep for yourselves. 4 Before you sold it, wasn’t it yours to sell or to keep? And after you sold it, wasn’t the money entirely at your disposal? How could you plot such a thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to people; you’ve lied to God!” (Acts 5:3-4 TPT*)

Their sin was in their deception, pretending to give something that they were under no obligation to give. In other words, they were called out on their hypocritical virtue-signaling.

Like before, this passage has nothing whatsoever to do with Socialism. Peter asks,Before you sold it, wasn’t it yours to sell or to keep? And after you sold it, wasn’t the money entirely at your disposal?” 

The selling of possessions was totally voluntary on their part; it was not mandated by the Church.

And we could say the same thing with other verses Socialists use, like Matt.25:31-46, where Jesus commends (or condemns) people for how they treated “the least of these”—those hungry, without clothing, or in prison. Here, again, Socialists are conflating voluntary acts of compassion, done from a place of self-giving love, with the State forcing people to fund their welfare programs.

Here’s another problem with the Socialist’s faulty interpretation of this passage:

32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (Matt.25:32 NIV*)

The Greek word for “nations” here is ἔθνος (ethnos). It simply means “multitude of people,” specifically, Gentiles (non-Jews). It’s where we get the word “ethnic.” It DOESN’T mean nation state! In other words, it’s not talking about America or any other country. It’s talking about people from all walks of life who will one day stand before Christ (Rev.20:11-15). How do countries stand before Jesus? That’s absurd. It will be individuals who’ll be judged by how they treated others.

We could go through other Socialist prooftexts but the answer would be the same. You cannot compare Jesus or His teachings with giving the State dictatorial power to force other people to comply with your idea of social justice. Jesus calls us to voluntarily take responsibility to help the poor and marginalized, usually in the context of Christian community, motivated to do so by other-centered love, not mandated by the State.

* All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 40 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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25 Responses to Sorry, Jesus is NOT a Socialist

  1. jeffw5382 says:

    The community must share voluntarily, not by coercion.

  2. Tammy says:

    Well said!

  3. Reblogged this on Life On The Lake and commented:
    Read and learn the truth.

  4. Years ago when I was still teaching, a friend of mine and I were having an in-depth discussion
    on religion. This colleague, who much younger than I was and who was black and a baptist, and I were discussing the merits of both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.
    I was a long disappointed Episcopalian (just look at the mess today…I saw the writing on the wall years ago…)had both been reading the writings of Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton.
    Each man had his darkened closets and questions, but I like to keep such in perspective with what Christian hasn’t or doesn’t—as long as that perspective does not verge on heresy or blatant disobedience.
    My friend noted that she thought Catholicism, coupled with that of Merton’s writings, was very close to Buddhism as well as having a very socialistic slant.
    And I suppose cloistered monks who take on vows of poverty, solitude, obedience, and even silence do seem similar to that of a Buddhist monk—but I think we all know that Jesus is very much the defining difference.
    Sacrifice and Salvation vs abstinence and nirvana.
    I’ve even heard some attempt to tie Mother Teresa and her selfless caring for the poorest of the poor akin to a socialistic point of view…

    So thank you Mel… you lay out perfectly the vast difference between Christianity and Socialism—if only those who chant that Christianity is socialism in sheep clothing would take the time to study
    a post such as yours!!!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Julie! I agree with you on the difference between the mystics like Nouwen and Merton and Mother Teresa and Socialism. As I said in the post, they confuse the communal aspects of Christianity with collectivism or Socialism. They are two very different things, the main point being that Christian communal living is totally voluntary and based in Christ’s other-centered love. Of course, this confusion is how Socialists dupe so many people to embrace their ideology.

      And there’s nothing akin to “selfless caring” wherever Socialism is put into practice! Quite the opposite. You have the elite few in power, living in luxury, ruling over the masses. It has produced nothing but misery and tyranny in practice for the people under its control.

      • Maybe it was once when I watched Dr Zhivago or maybe it was some history mini series on Lenin— some movie about some member of those early days of “revolution”— I can remember how I was taken by the excitement and vigor of one of the characters – their youthful drunken exuberance for ‘the cause’ —
        Until they stumbled on some of the finery of clothes and jewelry left behind by those they ousted with violent force- those people who had vs the ne’er-do-well revolutionaries—- the girl put on one of the fancy dresses and the jewelry- smitten by her image in the mirror— the young man was quickly made furious by her immediate adaptation and transformation —that us until he found some of the food— rich and tasty— and suddenly the revolutionaries were smitten by what they first deemed as elitist – they quickly took the niceties for themselves while still telling their band of thugs what to do next—anyone who read a biography of Stalin can see the same— a poor soldier, turned revolutionary turned doctor with a proclivity for vodka, caviar, dacahs and the blood of millions
        The hypocrisy was glaring

        • Mel Wild says:

          That scenario pretty much what has happened whenever Socialism is put into practice. The leaders become the wealthy elite who keep a stranglehold on the masses.

          AOC is basically the poster child for this insane hypocrisy showing up in her designer “Tax the Rich” dress at a $30,000+ gala event. Probably paid for by taxpayer money. Can we say ELITE hyprocrite! The fact that so many people are duped by these grifters is just mind-boggling.

        • That image of her in that dress at a maskless gala has been my tipping point for all this hypocrisy— it’s a ‘how dare you Miss Ocasio-Cortez!!!!!’
          Oh let the little people pay to eat their own cake with their dwindling savings, if they have any at all, while daring not to remove their masks

        • Tricia says:

          I was just going to mention AOC and her scandalous hypocrisy! Do you know she has a website of merchandise for sale loaded with items at a huge markup with the “tax the rich” slogan? Is she that dumb or just brazen knowing full well she will continue to get reelected?

        • I swear she is such a pompous idiot

        • And that should be dictator and not doctor— but hey, that does kind of fit fauchi 🤣

        • Mel Wild says:

          Dr. Fauci is a little dictator, so, yes, it does fit!

  5. Beautiful, Mel!

    Not even related to socialism, but somebody smart taught me that we can’t give anything away without property rights, ownership, and assigned value. So something like our time, we must own it, believe it is valuable, and voluntarily choose to give it away. If instead we just let people help themselves to our time, we’ve surrendered ownership, and also devalued the gift. Without property rights, individual rights, and placing value on a thing, there can be no sharing, no sacrifice, and nothing of worth and value being given away..

    • Mel Wild says:

      Very good point. Probably why Socialism produces such misery with the common people. When we have no value, there is no sharing in any communal way, we have nothing to live for. A good reason why Socialism always ends in disaster.

  6. artaxes says:

    Great Post.
    Funny, how “Christian socialists” always ignore the most obvious, most important scripture:
    Thou shalt not steal.

  7. SLIMJIM says:

    This is so good; the difference between coercion and voluntary help of others is an important one. I love how you mentioned if Jesus was a socialist with the rich young ruler he would have seized his property

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