Sunday, August 29, 2010

Christian Socialism and Social Justice

If you hear the word Christian and the word Socialism in the same sentence, it should rub you the wrong way - if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ. These words are diametrically opposed to one another. It is mixing two completely different world views, and we are dealing with it in the Church today in a big way.

Christians who approve of socialists principles agree with the idea of stealing, since that is what the redistribution of wealth essentially does. They also believe there is nothing wrong with depending on the state/government for their livelihood, which makes the state their provider, thus making them their god. The bottom line is that socialist values principles intend to destroy Christianity.

There is something Christianity and Socialism share, and that is caring for the poor and widows. But the Church is not commissioned to fix the problems of the world, as it seems to be eager to do. Those who attempt to do so are doing it under a false premise. The Bible does commission the Church to preach the Gospel to all nations (Mark 16:15). So if part of the Church does participate in work it wasn't called to do, they could be advancing the globalist/socialist agenda. This is especially so if there isn't a proper Gospel presentation, or if the Christian agency is presenting a soft, non-offensive gospel. You may believe my thinking is confused, but hear me out. 

Textbook Definition of Christian Socialism
Christian Socialism generally refers to those on the Christian Left whose politics are both Christian and Socialist, and who see these two philosophies as being interrelated. This category can include liberation theology and the doctrine of the Social Gospel.

The most common religious viewpoint which might be described as "left wing" is social justice, or care for the poor and oppressed. Supporters of this might encourage universal health care, welfare provision, subsidized education, foreign aid, and Affirmative Action for improving the conditions of the disadvantaged. Stemming from egalitarian values, adherents of the Christian Left consider it part of their religious duty to take actions on behalf of the oppressed. As nearly all major religions contain some kind of requirement to help others, social justice has been cited by various religions as in line with their faith.

The Christian Left holds that social justice renunciation of power, humility, forgiveness, and private observation of prayer (as opposed to publically-mandated prayer), are mandated by the Gospel (Matt. 6:5-6). The Bible accounts of Jesus repeatedly advocating for the poor and outcast over the wealthy, powerful, and religious. The Christian Left maintains that such a stance is relevant and important. Adhering to the standard of "turning the other cheek," which they believe supersedes the Old Testament law of "an eye for an eye," the Christian Left often leans towards pacifism in opposition to policies advancing militarism.

While non-religious socialists sometimes find support for socialism in the Gospels (for example: Mikhail Gorbachev citing Jesus as "the first socialist)," the Christian Left does not find that socialism alone as an adequate end or means. Christian faith is the core of their belief which in turn demands social justice. [1

Socialism Infiltrates the Church
Fabian socialists have infiltrated the Church as wolves in sheep's clothing for most of the 19th and 20th century. They wish to advance Marxism and Socialism without being detected as atheistic revolutionary "change agents." They have attempted to subvert Christians by using biblical ideas that actually contradict the Bible.
It was during this period that many Protestant denominations took on liberal theology, which includes the post-millennial view that Jesus cannot return until mankind has brought justice to the earth by ridding itself of all social evils. Hundreds of educational and Christian institutions were flooded with John D. Rockefeller's socialist money to teach this theological position. The Rockefellers and other powerful "change agents" fueled this movement. 

This is when the Rochester Theological Seminary gave birth to one of the leading proponents of the social gospel. Rev. Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) was known as “Father of the Social Gospel,” and  the greatest single influence on the life and thought of the American Church in the last 50 years. He felt religion could change the social structure of a society and defeat social injustice. It didn’t seem to bother most Christians to know that Rev. Rauschenbusch admittedly embraced Socialism.  He saw Socialism as the goal, with religion serving as a vehicle toward that goal.[2]

Rauschenbusch and his Fabian protégé Rev. Harry Ward helped establish the Federal Council of Churches (FCC) in 1908.[3]  Rev. Ward, through his Soviet connections and influential positions, would become the main source of Communist infiltration into the FCC (later renamed National Council of Churches), Christian seminaries, and compassionate unsuspecting pastors and congregations across the country. It was Rev. Ward who also chaired the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and worked with the Y.M.C.A. and the Interchurch World Movement.

The following is an excerpt from Glenn Beck. He talks about the communist ties to many of these Christian Socialist churches.

(YouTube link) (Not an endorsement of Glenn Beck)

Go and do likewise... 

Through the socialist infiltration of America, we have seen the U.S. government take over the responsibility for the poor. Since the government has stepped in, the American Church (in general) has backed away from their charitable support of the poor. Over the past 20 years, this trend has begun to change.
What has begun to occur within the Church now is a deeper transition into good works and taking care of the poor and the world's problems. People like Rick Warren are manipulating the Church to "Go and do likewise" on a grander scale. The UN Millennium Development Goals match the five points in Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan. His plans are to mobilize the American Church internationally to meet the UN goals, and to develop good works. Again, the Church is not commissioned to fix the world's problems. Most of the help they are providing is only a temporary solution.

Community Outreach vs. International Outreach
In the video Socialism: A Clear and Present Danger, leading Evangelical Christians spoke against socialistic principles, and their remarks were legitimate. What makes me suspicious about their promotion of charitable work is that some of these individuals are known Freemasons and big interfaith promoters, such as Kay Arthur and Chuck Colson. They have been strongly influenced by the teachings of the late Rousas Rushdoony, a Council for National Policy member and patriarch of the reactionary Christian Reconstructionist (Dominionist) movement which seeks Christian dominion over all aspects of society and the world. The CNP is the Christian version of the Council on Foreign Relations, whose goal it is for world government. 

Since Kay Arthur and Chuck Colson's natural inclination is towards globalism, it makes me think that they want Christians to do charitable work in foreign lands.  Are they trying to make Christians change the way they view the world? It seems that Chuck Colson and Rick Warren are on the same page, because they wrote a book together, partly on the topic of finding solutions for the world's problems. [4]

If the globalist/socialist Christians are promoting world mission projects, perhaps we should instead be thinking about community projects. When we take our focus off of our community, are we are actually taking something away from it, making it a little weaker? If we were to build bridges into the lives of the people within our own churches, our neighborhoods, and our cities, so that our own community can grow stronger and help people have fuller lives, would this be a better way of expressing God's love to the world? Our chances of winning the lost to Christ and disciplining them in our own community, assures they have a solid walk with the Lord Jesus. This also builds the mutual responsibility and interdependence that Christians are to have for one other. It is unlike the temporary bandaid Rick Warren has to offer.

So as you see, Socialism has two halves of the pie: one half that takes, and the other half that gives. The Christian Socialists are not for the taking aspect, but very big into the giving aspect. They don't always mind that government takes from those who have and gives it to those who don't. The Christian Socialist often tries to get you to look past your own community and think on a global perspective. Most of these same people think little of the ongoing Christian walk of the people they serve.

I would like to conclude by saying that I believe we have taken Christian outreach far beyond what the Bible ever suggested. Plus, we need to be more careful about where we send our donations. We should be concerned about the position they have on Dominion Theology. Ask yourself if you will be giving toward a project that is a hand-out or a hand-up. Is the project going to offer ongoing discipleship to those people who accepted Christ as Savior, or will they only be a number on a souls saved board? And finally, ask yourself if there is a way you can serve those closest to you who may be in need.

Remember, Socialism is a step before Communism. I urge you to consider your ways, so that it doesn't assist those who have an agenda.

Related Post
Are Socialist Concepts in the Bible?