Yesterday President Trump stated at the U.N. General Assembly that “One of the most serious challenges our countries face is the specter of socialism. It’s the wrecker of nations and the destroyer of societies”. He also stated that “Socialism and communism are about one thing only: Power for the ruling class”.
In my previous article on his speech, “President Trump Speaks Against the “religious pull” of Globalism”, I stated that “atheism, environmentalism, globalism, socialism, communism, multiculturism and feminism are all “denominations” of the same evil religion of humanism”.
In response to that statement I had a commenter write in making the following statement which ended with a challenge to me:
“Socialism and communism are political ideals, comparable to capitalism, which American Christians seem to collectively elevate. If you are going to say these first two are “denominations” of secular humanism, you must be able to defend capitalism as viewed through the same lens, or your argument is unbalanced. I’m curious to know how you would you back this up?”
Yes, I can defend capitalism, not only from a political and economic perspective, but most importantly from a Biblical perspective and that will be the emphasis of this article.
The heart of capitalism is private property rights. In a purely capitalist society, each person retains 100% control of their private property which includes all the money they earn from their ideas, use of their lands or other properties as well as their labors. America was founded on private property rights and capitalism and the Constitution originally banned the concept of income taxes.
The United States government, including the military, was almost completely funded by something Trump is using today to crack down on China – Tariffs (taxes on goods coming in from Foreign countries).
There were incomes taxes during the Civil War and some attempts at income taxes afterwards until the courts ruled income taxes to be a violation of the Constitution. It was then that President Woodrow Wilson spearheaded the effort to put in a Constitutional amendment for an income tax promising it would only be a 1 percent tax on the very rich. This resulted in the 16th Amendment being passed in 1913.
Fast forward just a couple of decades and then FDR raised that income tax to 95 percent on the rich to fund his Socialist makeover of America. JFK lowered the top rate from 90% to 70% and then Reagan did the largest tax rate drop in history lowering the top rate to 28%.
The Bible supports the concept that what a man earns is his and this God given right is found in the 10th commandment:
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
Exodus 20:17 (KJV)
The Bible speaks of it being God’s gift to man that he is able to work and then enjoy the fruits of his labor:
“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.”
Ecclesiastes 5:19 (KJV)
In Matthew 20:15, Jesus when telling the parable of the land owner and his workers and how he paid them for different amounts of work said “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?“
God authorizes the government only to takes pay for the salaries of government officials and the necessary functions of government.
“For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”
Romans 13:6 (KJV)
And this is also a tenant of capitalism that the government should only take taxes to pay for the services of government officials and things that government should be doing like building roads, bridges, law enforcement and the military.
The Bible also strongly encourages free will giving for the poor and Jesus Christ talked about giving to the poor in the Gospel of Mark:
“For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.”
Mark 14:7 (KJV)
Notice two important concepts though that Christ taught about giving to the poor. First, Christ said “ye have the poor with you always”, meaning we will never eliminate poverty in this sin cursed world. Only God can eliminate poverty when he removes sin and makes the world anew. Secondly, Christ reaffirmed that giving to the poor is to be done based on the free will of the giver when he stated “whensoever ye will”.
The Apostle Paul reaffirmed the concept of free will giving both for the poor as well as giving to support local churches when he made the following statement:
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV)
And God builds on this by admonishing those who are rich in this world to be rich in their giving:
“17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
1 TImothy 6:17-19 (KJV)
Socialism and Communism trample the God given right of private property. Communism does it to a greater extent than Socialism in that Communism allows no private property as all property is owned by and distributed by the state. But Socialism still violates God’s law by having the government come in and seize a man’s private property and then distributing that property to another.
In essence both Communism and Socialism are the legalized theft of private property by government and the policies of these systems effectively nullify God given private property rights.
God only gave the government power to tax to pay for government officials and the normal functions of government, not for re-distributive purposes.
In God’s design, the poor and those on the lower economic side of the scale are to be cared for by close family or even extended family and only if they don’t have family then they are cared for by the church.
“If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.”
1 Timothy 5:16 (KJV)
There are four ways in God’s order, which is the natural order, that an individual may righteously gain property(including money).
1. By exchanging their direct labor or ideas to others to gain property or by lending out their existing property to others for their use. (Deuteronomy 24:15,1 Timothy 5:18)
2. By receiving such property as the spoils of war. (Deuteronomy 20:14)
3. By receiving an inheritance. (Proverbs 13:22)
4. By receiving a freely given gift. (Hebrews 13:16)
Socialism and Communism violate the natural order and God’s design by forcibly taking one person’s property and then giving it to another which did not earn such property.
And this is why President Trump is right that socialism and communism are “the destroyer of societies”. They destroy societies for the same reason that feminism destroys marriages, because they violate God’s design of human nature and the rights he has given to mankind.
10 thoughts on “Why Socialism and Communism Are Unbiblical”
That is probably the most concise defense of capitalism – and condemnation of socialism/communism – from a Biblical perspective I’ve yet read.
Kuddos to you sir.
There’s also Matthew 13:12, “For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” That verse strikes at the heart of the covetous “income inequality” complaint that’s so pervasive today, and so central to both philosophies.
Ever heard distributism?
Well done! Capitalism is difficult to address, but you’ve done a good job.
PregarU did a video about this not too long ago, and it makes sense when you apply it to the scriptures shown. I think Jesus said it best addressing that “Give to caesar what is caesars, and give to God what is God’s” when you apply that to taxes and what God has given you as a financial blessing or any blessing.
It amazes me that you got these Democratic runners (ill just throw one out there like Buttigeig) that wanna “quote” the bible to their own socialist views and to say that God doesn’t condem homosexuality when if they read the darn thing in black and white text it tells you exactly what God thinks of what these runners are trying to support. If you tell them where they can find their proof, its either a way for them to skirt around the bible by saying “well trust me it’s in there,” or taking a verse out of context.
Yes I have heard of distributism but it is still flawed in its concept of community held property.
I understand the concern over the concentration of property, but not wealth. Those are two different things.
Even in the Old Testament laws God made sure that each tribe would retain its lands and one tribe could not buy up all the lands in Israel, and not just at a tribal level but an individual level. God wanted men to have the opportunity to work for and buy land. A man owning his own land is linked to his freedom. But this land was not given to him by the state of Israel, rather he had to work to earn it with his labor or inherit it from his relative.
This is why feudalism and manorialism were wrong. Any system which says only a certain class of its men can buy land is wrong. Rich, middle income and poor men should all be able to buy land with money they have earned and saved. And this was something the founders absolutely believed in. It is not about equal outcome, but rather equal opportunity.
Also even in the area of business – the founders saw that capitalism could be abused with things like monopolies where someone buys out all their competitors and then jacks up all the prices. So we certainly should have those protections in place even for land and resources where one person or company cannot take over an industry or all the land and resources. Others must have the opportunity to buy land and resources and compete as well.
Socialism is a coin with two sides; Communism on one side, Fascism/Nazism on the other.
I put it much more simply.
I support Capitalism, (Free Market), simply because it’s one-and-only real counterpart, Socialism, requires thievery in order to function. And the Bible condemns thievery.
I see.. especially as in my country land rights issues are a perennial problem, as well as in, for example, India.
Thank you for dissecting this issue so thoroughly. I am the person who wrote the comment you’ve based this article on. I do appreciate that you know your Bible. However, this has left me with more questions. I live in England, where the most useful parts of socialism and capitalism work quite nicely together.
We have free markets and the right to do what we want with our own money, and running your own business and working for what you have is encouraged. However, this is supplemented by aspects of socialism, such as the much-loved National Health Service (NHS) and housing owned by the government.
There are two small sections in Leviticus, an Old Testament book full of old Jewish law and cleansing rituals, that state that a landowner must not collect any harvest they missed the first time they went over it (Leviticus 19:9-10), or avoid gathering on the edges of the field (Leviticus 25:22).
Instead they are instructed to leave these for the “poor or alien”. So even in the middle of an extensive list of ritualistic cleansing and legalism, God was thinking of the less fortunate. I also believe this concept played out in the Book of Ruth.
So my question based on this is, what’s wrong with the government supplying a safety net accessible to all people if it is not obstructing the free market? Taxes fund roads and garbage collection for all, so why not provision of basic needs such as healthcare, food and shelter, as long as there is impetus not to rely on it forever? Also, what about our elderly and disabled, who may have worked as long as they were able, but no longer can? What if someone had put away money to fund their own retirement under a capitalistic structure, but an illness or accident then wiped out their savings because the capitalism-based healthcare market wouldn’t cover their needs? I know this article spoke about the church stepping in to meet these needs under God’s design, but if we funnelled all of this through the church, the church would become the dictatorship that America is so careful about avoiding with the government.
I’ll end this with a personal example. Several years ago, my family suffered a financial collapse due to circumstances beyond our control. We went from being homeowners to renting, our credit was marred, and we ended up with piles of debt. We have been working our way out of it, but recently we were evicted from our rental home because our landlord had decided to sell the property.
In finding a new place to live, the capitalist side of the economy failed us because we look terrible on paper – no one wanted to rent to someone with poor credit and a dog. The social housing scheme funded and run by our local authority became our safety net. We’ve found that renting a property directly from the council is also much more secure than renting privately, because we know we won’t be evicted with two months’ notice at the property owner’s whim. We’re also in a better position to buy again eventually.
So basically, I’m asking why the two economic ideals need to be in competition. I’ve seen first hand how they can work together. Why can’t we as Christians support this?
In a purely socialist state, the government exerts direct control or ownership of many of the nations business. The welfare state, which is what Britain
and other European countries are is a hybrid between a Socialist and Capitalist state. The truth is that with FDR’s New Deal, America also became a welfare state with the introduction of Social Security and then in later years medicare and medicaid. The public school system part of the social welfare state as well.
My article was meant to address the moral implications of socialism and capitalism when comparing them to a Biblical worldview and I was not really concentrating on the strengths or weaknesses of socialist systems, verses welfare state hybrids and the purely capitalist states. I will say this though. In Venezuela we saw the demise of that country in just a decade because they went to a pure socialist system with the government literally controlling businesses and every aspect of the economy. But because welfare states are a hybrid that allow some form of capitalism, it takes many decades and sometimes even a century to see how these systems can fail or be exploited.
If the welfare state spending could be capped as a percentage of the GDP of an otherwise capitalist nation could it be sustainable? Sure. But that is the problem – you can never really cap a welfare state no matter how you try. Alasdair Palmer wrote about this in the Telegraph in his article entitled “We can’t rely on magic to sort out the welfare state”:
The Independent reported the following back in 2015:
But now let’s return to the moral aspects of socialism and capitalism from a Biblical worldview.
The giving to the poor that we see required in the Old Testament was not done through taxation and redistribution by government. It was freely given by property owners to help the poor. In other words, while God absolutely required people to help the poor, it was to be done from an individual and family perspective.
There is a big difference between government taking taxes for things like roads and garbage collection and the government taking taxes to provide healthcare, food and shelter to people. Things like Police protection, fire departments, garbage collection and road construction are all services that government provides. We don’t give a police man a pay check for doing nothing. We give him a pay check for protecting us. We don’t give a garbage collector a paycheck for doing nothing, we give him a pay check for collecting our trash.
But when the government gives someone free health care, free housing and free food they are giving them something for nothing. They have done nothing to earn such money, it was not inherited, it was not the spoils of war and it was not a gift freely given. These are the only ways God allows private property to be transferred from one individual to another.
Now can we as individuals give to charities to help with health care for the poor, food or housing for the poor? Absolutely. But that is us giving a gift of our own money to help the poor. It is not the government forcibly taking our money and redistributing it. The first(free giving the poor) is commanded by God, the second (government taking private property and redistributing to poor) is not authorized by God and it technically legalized theft.
If we were following God’s system and we incorporated his laws do you know how your housing situation would be handled? A relative of yours whether close or distant would take you in until you got back on your feet. If there were absolutely no relatives to help, then the church would have poor shelters to accommodate you.
You need to remember that America had freedom of Religion. That means we have many churches and not just one church(as in the Catholic church). I do not see the churches of America having programs to assist the poor somehow turning into a church dictatorship.