Updated: Oct 16, 2020
Socialism is a hot button topic these days. Many argue for its moral center and true alignment with Christianity. I don't buy it. Since when is depending on the state a good thing? Historically, I don't see evidence to support this. Biblically, I see evidence disproving the idea. God calls us to a life where we depend on Him, not on worldly powers. To begin this topic of discussion, I would like to examine scripture.
Proverbs 1:11-15 tells of a group whose profit is ill-gained. The believer is tempted to join in verse 14. "Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse”. In this case, we are advised to walk away; to not take part in such ventures.
While I don't see this as proof that socialism is wrong, I do see it as proof that where your money comes from, matters. If all the money is pooled together, there is no way of knowing how the profits were earned. So just because someone suggests that "one purse" would be beneficial to all parties, does not mean they are supporting a biblical view.
Next is the story of Ananias and Saphira, found in Acts 5:1-11. Here we see an instance where the believers do pool all their assets together, for the benefit of the group. However when one couple holds part of their share back, they are chastised, not for keeping it for themselves, but rather for lying about it. Peter says, in verse 4, "While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?" This statement acknowledges that each person had their own personal property, to do with as they pleased. They were contributing to the community as a free will offering.
Once again, I don't see this as proving socialism is wrong. But it does suggest, that it matters where your heart is. If relinquishing all personal property is a requirement, it no longer can be considered a free will offering.
My objections to socialism have less to do with the moral implications, and more to do with who it puts in power. It gives the state absolute power over our financial health. I do not see this as beneficial. Over and over in scripture, we see the state (whatever country/culture it may be) described as the enemy.
Babylon, Rome, and even Israel all fall into the pattern of amassing power, letting it go to their head, and then falling into sin. A true believer is not surprised when "the system" goes awry. That's the way of the world. When we begin to depend on something other than God, we lose sight of what is good and true.
Instead, we are called to live in relationship with one another. We are called to govern ourselves. That's what true freedom is. When we can govern ourselves, there is no need for "big brother". Galatians 5:13 "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."
We live by the spirit, not the law. For if the law could save us, why would we need our Messiah? I see more evidence, in the bible, to support a case for life outside the system. Because outside the system, we have to put our faith in God for the every day things. If our faith is put in a man made system, how is that not idolatry?