Jesus vs Socialism

It has often been argued that Jesus’ teachings were effectively communism, and that Jesus Himself is a socialist. This theory is completely untrue, and betrays a misunderstanding of both Christianity and socialism.

What is true is that that the apostles in Acts sold everything they had and gave it to the poor, living in community with each other with no personal wealth. However, where this is difference to communism is that the apostles had had their hearts changed by a radical encounter with Jesus, so much so that they sold everything that they had out of love, a love that came from God Himself.

Communism and socialism redistributes wealth by force, by using imprisonment or death as a punishment for those who do not comply. It is not redistribution of wealth out of love, but out of fear, anger and jealousy. You often see the hatred and jealousy that accompanies socialism, because this is what drives it. That is why the fruit of socialism is always mass murder and misery for those who live under it. The end result of this forced redistribution is always massively lacking compared to the needs of the people, despite all the pain that is required to accomplish it.

The other big difference between how Christianity works and how socialism works is that in Christianity, the people choose, out of love, to be the ones who give what they have to others. Those driven by socialism demand that it is others who give up their wealth for their sake, usually driven by jealousy and hatred. Socialism is about what other people should be doing with their wealth, whereas Christianity is about what we should be doing with our own wealth.

No political system can change people’s hearts. The heart of a person sold out to God will give all that they own to meet the needs of others, and all that they do will be done out of love for others. The Kingdom of God is not like any political system that man has ever devised, because only Jesus Himself can change our hearts into ones of real love.