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Socialism and Christianity

Communist Manifesto vs Ten Commandments
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Someone who tuned into Point of View for the first time left a comment on the Facebook page criticizing what one of my guests said and concluded by instructing us that Christians should embrace socialism. It’s the type of comment I usually ignore, but I thought it might deserve a response since I have heard it so often.

Over the last few months, I have been teaching through the book of Acts. When you get to Acts 4, you find a statement that the believers “had all things in common.” It also says that those who possessed land or houses sold them and brought the proceeds to the apostles’ feet. They distributed these gifts to anyone in need.

It is worth noting that: (1) this practice was apparently only done in Jerusalem and (2) the practice was a voluntary act. This is hardly a mandate for socialism. Many Christian writers have devoted whole chapters in their books on this subject, so there is more than I can possibly say here.

The believers in Jerusalem owned the property before they voluntarily gave the proceeds to the apostles. The next chapter clearly teaches that. When Peter confronted Ananias, he clearly stated this: “While it remained, was it not your own? After it was sold, was it not in your own control?”

Owning property contradicts one of the fundamental principles of socialism. In the Communist Manifesto, “the abolition of property” is a major item in the plan for moving from capitalism to socialism and eventually to communism.

The Ten Commandments assume private property. The eighth commandment forbidding stealing and the tenth commandment about coveting both assume that people have private property rights. In the New Testament, Paul writes, “Let him who stole, steal no longer.”

Socialism is incompatible with Christianity. That’s why Christians should not embrace socialism.
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