Thursday, February 4, 2010

"The Bible Opposes Socialism: Part 10" (Steve C. Halbrook)

Many support socialism because of Acts 2:44, 45:
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”
However, this is voluntary benevolence—not coercion, which socialism requires of the state. Thus contrary to socialism, the apostles did not squeeze money out of well-off Christians with threats of imprisonment or death.

Moreover, Acts 2:44, 45 involves the church—not the state. We cannot determine state policy by examples of what the church did.

To do so would violate the biblical basis for separation of church and state (2 Chronicles 19:11). (Separation between church and state is different than separation between God and state. While the church does not rule over the state, the state must acknowledge God and His law [Ps. 2:10-12; Eph. 1:20-22; Rom. 13:1-4].)

If the socialist insists on basing socialism on a text meant for the church, then logical consistency demands that he also bases socialism on all texts meant for the church. This would undermine socialism, though, since the Apostle Peter affirmed Ananias and Sapphira’s private property rights.

When Peter confronted Ananias for his dishonesty regarding the proceeds of a piece of property that he sold, Peter acknowledged Ananias’ right to that property, saying:
While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal?” (Acts 5:4a)
Not only this, but if fully consistent, the socialist must also insist that it the duty of the state to engage in such things as administering the sacraments, and handling church discipline (e.g., excommunication).

This, of course, is extreme, but nevertheless the logical outworking of using the Bible to justify socialism. Indeed, socialism itself is extreme. It leads to economic instability at best, genocide at worse (consider Stalin, Lenin, and Mao).

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