Wednesday, October 8, 2008

socialism? or what?

A commenter suggested that I may becoming more Christian Socialist in my outlook.  Well... no.  I don't think so.  I am not for socialism at all.  

But I have been thinking about systems of government and I do think that in an ideal and perfect world, Socialism makes the most sense.  Everyone shares equally in the work and equally in the goods.  Those who cannot work are cared for equally by everyone.  The church even incorporated this methodology in the early days.  But it didn't last.  The problem is that we don't live in an ideal and perfect world.  Men are involved and men are sinful, broken and ultimately self-centered.  We have multiple examples of just how completely socialism fails.  I'll admit that a lot of that failure may have to do with the godlessness of the Communist ideology, but that's the world we are stuck in.  A godless, man centered world.
So, in light of our situation -- imperfect, broken, sin-filled -- I am against all forms of socialism.

On the other hand, I'm not real thrilled with Free Enterprise Capitalism, either.  You know those nasty reality shows where they put a bunch of strangers together and the one who can be the most deceptive, conniving, back-stabbing, and selfish gets rewarded with a million bucks?  That's kinda how I see Capitalism.  Oh, I know there are many wealthy people who have gotten there by ingenuity, hard work, perseverance, etc, etc, and they give generously to make the world a better place.  But for each person like that, there are many more who did absolutely nothing to gain their wealth, or they got there by deception, manipulation, theft, and stomping down everyone who got in their way.  Not to mention the fact that Free Enterprise encourages and rewards greed.

 Free Enterprise has a great premise; anyone can make something of himself, those who work hardest get the most rewards, etc.  But again, because of this sin-tainted, broken world, it just doesn't work right.

I think a Kingdom would be the perfect system.  One that is ruled by a generous, loving, just, merciful, patient, and perfect King.  One who would give anything for the well-being of His subjects.  I live in that Kingdom.  And while it may be a bit ethereal for now, one day it will be a real, tactile, honest to goodness Kingdom here on earth.  I can't wait!

But back to the Christian Socialism thing and why I am not impressed with $500,000 club memberships.  One reason I'm not impressed is because I think one of the main purposes is to impress people.  I think a lot of people base their value and worth on the size of their house and the make of their car.  I think that's sad, but then we all have issues with how we determine our value.  But that's another post.  And another one.

Another reason why the big houses bother me is because they are empty most of the time.  I don't see the purpose for them other than showing off.
And, yes, I do look at them and think, wow, several hundred third world people could live there.  Not American's of course, we need our space.  And when I drove by some construction workers building a big gateway thingy for a big new neighborhood, I looked at all the bricks and the hard work and thought, "they could build two Nice houses in Haiti with that stuff."  Does that make me a socialist?  
I do believe that Christians who have money to give should give.  I think if we were really doing our part, then we wouldn't need socialism in the government.  If we were feeding the hungry and helping the sick, the government wouldn't have to.  Does that make me a Christian Socialist?  Rather than calling it Socialism, I prefer to just call it Christianity.  If we were all living out our faith the way the Bible says we should, then I think the world would be a much different place.  I'm not their yet either.  I think a lot about these things, but I haven't quite come to the place of doing them.  But my eyes are open and I'm asking God where He wants me to make a difference.  


  1. Hi Kay
    I agree with you...when I look at big houses all I can say is"How long does it take to clean it!"I can barely keep mine clean!

  2. I understand where you are coming from. I do think "Christian Socialism" pervades the church as a whole and that is why we are heading that way in our nation. We will become a socialist state...maybe not in the next year or so..but I would think in the next ten years..we will. I am for a free market/capitalism. It reminds me of the story Jesus talked about when it comes to the faithful/unfaithful servants...Matthew 25. Anyway..opinions. :)

  3. I'm not against free market/capitalism. I just don't think it works. But in my opinion, it is better in it's failures than socialism is in it's failures. So, given only those two choices, I prefer what we have. I just wish it worked better. I will always vote for the candidate who is least socialistic. But I think as a church WE should be helping others so that the government doesn't see the need.

  4. I totally am for churches helping others...I do not think that is socialistic in definition. I think God even expects us to take what He gives us and use it well. There are people out there..if you were to redistribute the wealth..would squander it. A man that cannot handle 100 dollars shouldn't be given more. all forms..I believe is bad. It takes a truth and distorts it. Kind of like Satan taking the Word of God and distorting it. Socialism in its textbook form has no place in church or our government. I think we are saying the same thing...just from different angles. I am not trying to argue. :)

  5. You wrote: ""they could build two Nice houses in Haiti with that stuff." Does that make me a socialist?"

    Answer: Yes. It does make you a socialist. At least at heart, but you claim not to be one for fear of what others will think of you. Besides, there are so many forms of socialism, that is why I differentiated by saying "Christian Socialism."

    Ponder on the following quote:
    “When I fed the hungry, they called me a saint.
    When I asked why people are hungry,
    they called me a [socialist]communist.”

  6. I've often thought that if the church took care of the poor like they're supposed to we wouldn't need welfare or other government sponsored programs. How sad is it that we sit back and have so much stuff it overflows from our dwellings and we can't help our neighbor? It's sickening.

  7. Amen and truthfully said, Michelle Pendergrass. You has the wisest comment of all and I salute you. Monday, you have every right to your "opinion." However, I have the right to point out the flaw in your logic. Jesus was hardly interested in politics during His earthly ministry, and therefore laid down no political blueprint allowing for people calling themselves Christians to so tightly embrace godless Capitalism that it looks as if it has become the religion of the right wing evangelicals. I agree with Kay, who is at least honest enough to question what she has been told is politically correct and to take a closer look at the more social and spiritual commands of Jesus Christ our Lord. Ponder on Matthew 25: 34-45.
    BTW, the talents portions in the verses above this was less about accumulating wealth (filthy lucre) as it is about human souls.

  8. mondaythroughsunday wrote: "I understand where you are coming from. I do think "Christian Socialism" pervades the church as a whole and that is why we are heading that way in our nation."

    I don't know where you live and how many Christians or non-believers you know, but please try to get out more, because socialism as a worldly form of government is NOT pervading the American church. If it were then there would be more social programs run by the church and less need by the government. Perhaps that is why our nation is the way it is: bailing out Wall Street and ignoring those living ON THE STREET. Sister, please think about what you are putting forth as spiritualism before condemning another's viewpoint. Thanks.

  9. Most people around here think I live in a modest home. I just think it's silly that we have a lvingroom, a family room and a toyroom. I mean, seriously!

  10. According to the American Heritage Dictionary: so·cial·ism (sō'shə-lĭz'əm) Pronunciation Key
    Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

    By that definition I am not a socialist. What you may interpret in my comments as socialism, I define as generosity. Not the same thing. We should give and share out of the love in our hearts, but any kind of collective or centralized government? Nope. Not for me. As I said, we've seen how destructive those systems are. Also, I would like to get rid of some of the government programs that already exist, personally. So, it's not just that I'm worried about what people think. If I were, I wouldn't have written this post.

  11. What exactly is a Christian Socialist?

  12. Kay makes good points and it seems to me that most of you are writing in agreement saying the same thing just differently.

    For those of you who oppose socialism consider the legislation that Congress and our President just passed called a bailout/rescue package. This is nothing more than a very large redistribution of wealth program for the rich. I call it reverse socialism - steal from the taxpayer and reward CEOs and other executives who have managed to run companies into the ground and reward them.

    So we as taxpayers bailout AIG only to have their executives spend almost 1/2 million on a party!

    Time to send these executives to jail for a long long time.

  13. Once again, my much brighter friend, Brent, said it better than I could. Thanks, Bro. BTW, yes having live in two socialist countries (not communist) the government did control the means of production. The unemployment rate was lower than the USA's. Medical care was nearly free (and of fair quality) and heating was about a dollar a month. The other country I lived in was a mix between socialist and free enterprise and it worked well, too. That country had a constitutional monarchy.
    The USA has its own large socialist institutions: Social Security and the Armed Forces. Anyone out there willing to turn down Social Security? I have turned down federal money after my entire town was flooded, because I didn't need the money as much as others did.

    BTW, I am a card carrying member of the National Rifle Association, a Union, and an honorably-discharged veteran (hoo-ha!) and a born-again Christian. So, basically, I think my ultimate point is lets try to leave all the political rhetoric out of the Church and pray for the arrival of our King!

  14. Geen ~ I have known Kay a long time and have never tried in this post or ever to "condemn her viewpoint" in fact..I agree with a lot she says. We disagree with a lot of things..but never have I felt condemned or degraded as a person or a sister in the Lord. She has done nothing but given me love and I in return to her. I do not look down on her at all. I thought this post was a discussion of ideas.

    state what you believe sir..I am not offended or scared of others believes and am trying to learn day by day..but at least treat me like a person..rather than an idiot

  15. Geen. There it is. The political rhetoric. That's what frustrated me. What I'm talking about is trying to live out my faith. Trying to see the world and people the way God does. Trying to love my neighbor and do unto others and care for the poor and offer cups of water like the Bible says and you stuck a political label on me. All of this has nothing to do with politics for me. So I agree with you - let's keep the political rhetoric out of it. I'm talking about the kingdom of God. All of man's "kingdoms", isms, and such will, and do, fail.

  16. Monday, I do not think you are in any way an "idiot." If you felt I called you that, please realize I did not. Others may view my way of presenting an argument (not fight, but a preposition) is "mean." I call it being honest. Perhaps I am not so in tuned with the American way of presenting my view (good comment-- truth -- good comment, or the "American Sandwich as my South African friend calls it.

    Kay, I apologize for "sticking a political label" on you. Especially one as loaded as "socialist" is in the American Evangelical Church. Again, I am sorry. I was just calling what you were saying as i saw it.


I love to hear your thoughts!