Was Jesus a Socialist?

Posted: December 13, 2014 in thought to ponder

This post is a response to a Facebook post. I do not aim to go on a debate but rather would like to come to a discussion to present what the Bible says about Christ. I would also site references as to make this discussion relevant. As this is not a knee jerk response, this is because I was curious enough to study the issue at hand.

First, let us define “SOCIALISM”. Merriam – Webster defined it as…

a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies

In hindsight, socialism rests on the government, not on individuals as seen in capitalism.

#1 Jesus submitted himself to the government…

…and he paid taxes too. The government at the time of Christ was of Rome. He was subjected to the rules and regulation of the Roman Empire as did his parents (who traveled to take the census by the Roman government – check out Luke 2:1-2). Jesus also paid taxes to Rome (Matthew 17:27). He also said to “give to Caesar what is due to Caesar…

#2 Jesus was not concerned about building an earthly kingdom.

Socialism rests on the government, or a collective group of people deciding for an entire system. Jesus Christ said in John 18:36, “my kingdom is not of this world…” He simply means that an earthly kingdom was not in his mind. He was not concerned about setting up a system.

#3 Jesus was focused on the Kingdom of God.

Mark 1:14-15 states…
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (ESV)

When the kingdom of God comes, all other government will be abolished, including socialism, capitalism, or any other government.

To quote from Forbes…

Christians can be both (capitalist or socialist),
but Christ was neither. He was the Author and Finisher of faith.
(Bill Flax, http://www.forbes.com/sites/billflax/2012/01/31/was-jesus-a-socialist-capitalist-or-something-else/3/)

It makes no sense to take Jesus from the 1st Century AD, living in a different time and culture which is so far from our own, and try to fit him in our box of “left-right thinking”. We can’t put God in a box.

No. Jesus was not a socialist. He wasn’t a capitalist either.


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