Jesus, Socialism, and Politics

Managing the public sector is difficult and fraught with corruption, incompetence, and no shortage of varied opinions and approaches. How would Jesus perceive this political storm? Who would Jesus vote for? 

Jesus, Socialism and PoliticsI’m prompted to step in the murky realm of politics here only because we’re now hearing the proverbial “What would Jesus do?” question being inevitably applied to American presidential politics. Specifically: Who would Jesus vote for?”

Oh, boy.

Frankly I’d rather that Jesus be the one running for office, not a mere voter. But given the premise, let’s explore this one.

Christianity and Social Works
There is a very strong theme in the modern era that life is about loving our fellow man and protecting our earth. This is almost Biblical. The secular community, otherwise hell-bent on ridding the culture of God and the Bible, love to reference “Love thy neighbor” teaching and the call to be good stewards of the earth.

Actually, Jesus calls man to first “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” and then, secondly, to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:35-40) In that order. Can’t take it out of context. As for being good stewards of God’s creation, “The earth is the Lord‘s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…” (Psalm 24:1). Yes, we’re to take care of it as stewards, but it’s not our religion.

We should seek and love God first, then our fellow man. All else cascades from that. Life is not about recycling and preserving rain forests. Good things indeed, but if we miss God in the process we are but fools who put more value on the created vs. the Creator. (see Romans 1:25)

Practical Implications
In our growing secular society with its popular, man-centered perspective, many would defer to socialism, whereby a strong central government (the State) and social programs, systems, economic structures, and initiatives as the solutions to societal order and problems. But these plans and programs, in their extreme, have central State control of industries, funding sources and distribution of services. Resources are collected and/or confiscated by edict or taxation. Programs are deployed, even with good intentions, but can and often are classic case studies of bureaucratic inefficiencies and waste. Additionally, depending on the degree of tax burden, there can be a large negative influence on incentives to work, innovate, and contribute.

Taken to its darkest edges, Karl Marx’ clarion call “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” (Karl Marx, 1875, first stated by Frenchman, Louis Blanc, 1851), all sounds well and good but can lead to disaster under evil leadership. Recent history is filled with nations (USSR, China, Cuba, East Germany, Vietnam, North Korea for example) plundered by socialist/communist governments who destroy initiative and quality of production through the elimination of competitive incentives and motivation. Evil and corrupt communist regimes have been responsible for over 94 million worldwide deaths in the 20th century. (Information is Beautiful, 2013)

Why a whole generation has not been taught to connect the dots given clear historic evidence before us reveals the failure (success) of ideological-driven academic institutions.

No, authoritarian communism is not a good thing. Deadly even. But a democratic society based solely on socialism and its philosophy is prone to inefficiencies and stifled innovation.  Even Sweden, typically held up as a socialism haven, is not all it’s made out to be.

The answer: reigned-in capitalism that allows market forces to effectively and naturally balance greed and risk, combined with a noble society following cultural mores and guidance of Judeo-Christian values of love of God, man, and all of creation. No, not a theocracy, but a values-based society built upon well-taught Biblical principles and teachings.

So How Would Jesus Vote?
First of all, I suspect Jesus would not simply vote for a Jewish candidate because he’s Jewish. Here are some issues and how I suspect Jesus would lean. All are based on Biblical principles:

  • Economics – maximize and reward production but allow for giving to the less fortunate (10% taxation)
  • Healthcare – invest and reward innovation and optimization of services with systems and processes that are excellent, noble, and functional. Allow provisions for the less fortunate, but don’t remove incentives or base the whole system on a minority.
  • Guns and War – prepare to fight and stand for what is good and right, protecting one’s home, family, country, and also those who cannot defend themselves against evil doers.
  • Immigration – provide sane and right provisioning for processing of those seeking new opportunities for themselves and families in new lands. Close the door at times as appropriate to successfully assimilate those admitted.
  • Government – elect noble leaders for short terms with gifts to serve their fellow man. Remove from the public arena evil doers and those who have proven themselves to be self-serving, corrupt, and ignoble.
  • Religion – in a non-theocratic society, there is full freedom of religion; that is, the choice to worship as one chooses for themselves and their family. Any control or input from the State should be thwarted. Of course, a Judeo-Christian based culture honoring God, man, and freedom would allow for peaceful and free practice of all religions.
  • Education – remove nationally controlled mandates on secular, anti-Christian curriculum. Provide local or individual state jurisdiction and allow freedom of choice for development and attendance of school/education systems and curriculum.
  • Environment – profess truth not political bias and financial or ideological motivations. Call out State-funded academic and scientific charlatans and re-educate a generation that has been deceived. Preserve the land and waters as always being good stewards given privilege by God.

Is there a candidate really that Jesus would get behind? If not, there should be. Perhaps we’re getting wiser over time. As the nation re-awakens to the implications of its past and present sins and blessings, we will elevate an overflow of good leaders founded on Biblical principles.

Again, if we wisely keep our sights on knowing/loving God first, and then also our fellow man, we should be on a path toward redemption and remain a light or beacon to the world.

Are you focused on the right issues?
_______________________________
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. – Romans 1:25



Categories: Faith, Jesus, Marketplace, Purpose, Theology

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. From my perspective, the best example of a governmental system run by policies that God would approve of is found by examining what the Bible says about the Kingdom of God.
    In this kingdom, God is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Which means this political system is a theocracy that respects the worth of each person. Every life matters, and every person has authority and responsibility to rule and reign in this society. In this society, it is better to give than to receive, so philanthropy is more prized than hoarding.

    My response to the veracity of the points you raised is that God gives us humans broad latitude to make decisions about how to live our lives best. Because of this free will, the details of the deeds we do outwardly seem to be less important than the thoughts and intents of our hearts as we do them. To that extent, all of what you propose is done in the right spirit, with the right Godly mindset, it seems that it would be pleasing to Him.

  2. Well said, Harry. If all human hearts operated under the tenets of Christianity and under the authority of the King of Kings via the Holy Spirit, the world would be a better place.

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