I guess I’ve seen too many Facebook statuses and memes recently to keep quiet any longer. More and more people are claiming that Jesus was a socialist. This, however, couldn’t be farther from the truth.
What did Jesus command us to do in Matthew 25:35-45?
- Feed the hungry
- Clothe the naked
- Visit the sick and imprisoned
So does this support socialism of any kind? Many say yes. Many say this not only supports, but necessitates that the government be involved in redistributing wealth. The problem here? Jesus commands us as individuals to voluntarily feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned. He desires for US to decide to spend our own money to help those in need. Jesus never once said he thought the government should take money from the “rich” by force and give it to the poor. He did, however, command his followers to voluntarily, and generously, help the poor.
Even in the beautiful description of the New Testament church in Acts 2:42-47, which tells of so many in the church who “sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need” (Acts 2:45 NIV), it was very obviously voluntary on the part of those in the church.
2 simple thoughts:
- Jesus was not a socialist.
Plain and simple, there is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus supported socialistic ideas.
- Churches need to step it up.
Honestly, the churches I’ve been part of do try and really support those in the community that need help. But I think we could all be honest and say we could do better. In my mind, a good portion, if not a major portion of the church’s main budget, could go to helping those inside and outside the church who need help.
Those in the New Testament church brought their money to the apostles’ feet and trusted the apostles to use that to minister and especially to help those in need. These budgets should not just go toward hiring world-class staff (to do the work of the body) and building luxury buildings to worship in, but straight to those that need it most.