Christianity is not socialism, it is love from the foundation of what Christ did for us. As a Christian I am called to love my neighbor, be generous, rejoice with those doing well, mourn with those unwell. I am aslo called to be temperate, modest, serving, sacrificing, meek. In short, the aim of Christianity is not to overcome evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good. I’d submit that Christianity is a much better alternative than socialism.
Humility seeks to understand before being understood. It seeks to serve rather than control. Humility rests in God, knowing that one cannot control all things. It is simply out of our grasp. God’s interaction with Job starting in Job 38 illustrates this well. Socialism is arrogant in two critical ways: First, it is arrogant to think a few people can make the choices for millions of people. Second, it is foolhardy to think one can do it right when multiple regimes from multiple cultures have millions dead and destitute because of trying socialism.
In dealing with his disciples’ quest for greatness, Jesus points to servanthood as the better way. He clearly states that rulers of the gentiles lord it over the people, and great ones exercise authority over the people. God’s warning to Israel concerning having a king (1 Samuel 8) went along the similar lines. In essence the king will take. This is antithetical to generosity. The Christian way is through wisdom, love, humility, and service, not compulsion. Because of what Christ did for us, we, in love, freely do things for others. The outward action of care and service is because of the inward change of heart through the Gospel.
Love is the greatest way because it seeks to build up the person, not exploit them. In opposition to urgency, love is patient. In opposition to gun point, love is kind. Love rejects envy and boasting. Love opposes arrogance, already discussed, as well as being uncivil. What’s more, love does not require its own way. Such dramatically stands against socialism. Love does not see people as the problem, nor does love resent. Socialism requires systemic irritability and resentfulness. The mindset of socialism is fundamentally opposed to the mindset of love. Said another way, if we act in love, there is no need for socialism, but love cannot be legislated.
When God is at the center, people matter. When government is at the center, people don’t. Socialism replaces God with government, generosity with slavery, freedom with tyranny. Love is replaced with law, grace replaced at gunpoint. The image of God in every human is replaced with the needs of the state, truth is replaced with propaganda, and love of enemies is replaced with death to the opposition. In Christianity you matter, in socialism you don’t. In the last 100 years millions of dead bodies and millions left destitute testify to this.
In God’s complete justice, Jesus died for the ungodly. In the matter of equality, Jesus didn’t regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but humbled himself. In having full control over the universe, Jesus humbled himself to the point of death. When Jesus owns everything, he had no place to lay his head. When Jesus is king, he came in as a poor baby and the world esteemed him not. When falsely accused, Jesus was silent. When innocent yet sentenced to death, Jesus forgave. In the name of justice and equality, socialism demands control and acts with such control to assert their rights. That is antithetical to what Jesus calls Christians to.
Jesus did what he asks us to do. Jesus demonstrated what it means to turn the other cheek, to be content with your wages, to rejoice when people are doing better than you. Jesus showed us that demanding our rights and fighting for equality ultimately destroys people, not redeem them. This is why a Christian can be a slave like Onesimus though hate slavery. To serve, even though persecuted. To forgive even when wronged. Because at the core of every person is the image of God that can be restored through what Jesus did for us. That humility, service, love, and the mindset of Christ is more effective. For freedom’s sake, Christ set us free. You matter so much that rather than demand, Jesus asks. Rather than destroy, Jesus restores. Rather than repay, Jesus forgives. You matter that much. Jesus loves you that much. As Christians we are to love you the same as Jesus.
I can’t be socialist, because I am called to love, and you matter.