Does the Bible Promote Socialism – Part 3
by Providence Crowder
The Apostle Paul said, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing” (Rom. 13:1, 6). Taxes do serve their purpose and through paying them, governments may properly function in governing.
Taxation in America was never meant to redistribute the wealth of its citizens. Taxpayer payments to the poor is a recent phenomenon in American history. For over 100 years, the citizens of this nation saved, invested, spent, and donated their own earnings as they deemed necessary to sustain themselves, their families, and their communities. And because of it, America became and is now the wealthiest and most generous nation on earth. Yet, the communist and socialist practices that has plagued most of the world have taken root in America and threaten to undermine the freedoms that were established by those who came before us, and those who fought and died to keep us prosperous and free.
Concerning the plight of the poor, Joel McDurmon has noted that, “God does require that we not let our poor neighbors languish” so the question remains, if not by the mighty forceful hand of government, how do we as a people care for the poor among us?
God’s way is the best way and he left us plenty of examples in Scripture. The poor were among God’s greatest priority. Those who love God should show concern for the things that God shows concern for–the poor, the widow, the sick, the elderly, the orphan–the oppressed. The poor and hungry give Christians plenty of opportunity to worship God with all that he has blessed them with–their wealth, their possessions. Because God is righteous, just, and holy, he requires those who are his to be the same.
In the Old Testament, God commanded those reaping the harvest of their land to leave some crops behind for the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow among them–the downtrodden (Deut. 24:19-22). This he did to provide the poor with both food and a job. Just as God had shown the Israelites mercy when they were slaves in Egypt–he brought them out– and provided “bread” from heaven while they were in the wilderness, so now should they show mercy and compassion to the weak and oppressed among them.
As well, unfair business practices were an abomination to God. Over 300 years ago, before the U.S. government instituted its National Institute of Standards and Technology (part of the Commerce Department) to “fix the standard of weights and measures,” Moses called for Israel to do righteous judgment concerning balances and weight (Lev. 19:35-36). God demanded that Israel lead the nations by administering righteous business practices. A “false balance,” or a balance scale rigged to cheat customers, was forbidden.
In the New Testament Jesus rebuked the religious leaders for unethical practices that placed burdensome taxes(temple taxes) on things that were necessary for worship. These taxes were most devastating to the poor.
God requires that we look to him for the solutions to the moral problems we face as a nation. In God’s Word, we find over and over again examples of the proper role of civil government. God is very interested in the governing affairs of men–civil leaders are “ministers of God’s judgment.” The Church and civil government work hand and hand. The Church perfects mankind and the civil government protects mankind. It is only in the humanist and secularist view that civil government is seen as a tool to perfect mankind –without the gospel of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit.
The people of faith have an awesome moral obligation to teach, proclaim, and lead the world by example. Compassion is showing mercy to your neighbor, not electing a government to take from some and give to others. This has caused class warfare, envy, and strife. The American government is no more justified in stealing than its private citizens are. There is no “new” moral law. “Thou shall not steal” applies to everyone.
Those who assume that government can rid this nation of poverty do not understand God’s purpose for civil government. Civil governments are ordained by God to restrain the effects of sin–to punish evil and promote good, not sustain the poor with money taken from the rich. It is up to men and women of faith to be the conscience of the government and plead the cause of the oppressed. We as Christians should participate in government by demanding that our civil leaders do what they were ordained by God to do–protect life, liberty, and property–protect the citizens from unfair business practices and discrimination. They should not usurp their obligation to protect–they should not make the mistake of taking on the church’s role to perfect. They should not manipulate its poor citizens by purchasing their allegiance–using them as pawns for power and control.
Scripture has given us a way in which we care for the poor. Those in need are to first look to their families, then to their neighbors, then their communities. God has given us a way that is right. It is up to us to follow him.
Stay tuned for Does the Bible Promote Socialism Part 4, “So How then Can Government Help?”
 Ellen Craswell, Americas Christian Heritage. Retrieved from http://whateveristrue.com/heritage/ticipate.htm