Was Jesus a Socialist?

The socialism resurgence in America, particularly among the young, is based on historical ignorance and wishful thinking. Most people supporting Bernie Sanders do not realize that his ideas are already tried and discarded as useless and non-functional.

Similarly, Christians supporting Sanders also fail to realize socialism for centuries has been regarded to be incompatible with Christianity. From mid-1800s, every Catholic pontiff has condemned socialism directly. However, Protestants have no leader to make a judgment call, but it is also determined that the scripture of socialism is considered as mismatched with biblical principles.

Despite this disconnect between socialism and Christianity , some people go further and claim Jesus as an advocate of socialism. It was always understood that Jesus never forced decisions and accepted everyone had a voluntary and individual choice. He always focused on spiritual and inner renewal than being critical to material things. Now it is surprising to know that Jesus advocated to take stuff by force from someone and to give it to others. It is unimaginable to think that Jesus supported a jail sentence or a fine for people who are not interested to splurge thier money for programs such as food-stamp.

Jesus favored Caesar by saying ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s’ when the Pharisees tried to trick him into denouncing a Roman-imposed tax’. This also has reference in the Gospel of Matthew 22:15–22 and Mark 12:13–17. Here, all that belonged to Caesar were given to him and it was a powerful endorsement. However, Jesus said nothing like that it belongs to Caesar nor did he discuss on how he gets it or how much he should get and so on.

The fact is that one can polish the scriptures using a neat comb and alter a word from Jesus such that there is a forcible wealth redistibution endorsed by political authorities. You can now get this in more forms such as iBooks, PDFF, audiobook and Kindle.

These days there is a debate in the public domain about a number of issues having significant economic components. Environmental protection, globalization and aiding the poor are a few of the debate topics. Decisions in our personal lives are influenced by economic assumptions. So it is tough to know how mainstream economics stay connected with Christian values and principles?

This article is based on a post on blog.acton.org.

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