Ask the Pastor 39

Is it possible to have a Christian form of socialism?

There are those who believe that socialism is nothing more than everyone working and then contributing from their earnings toward the common welfare. In the biblical book of Acts, we have that very principle being carried out. We see in Acts 2:44-45 that all the believers had everything in common and they distributed out from that fund to those who had need. Again, in Acts 6:1-8 we have the matter of those complaining that they were not getting their fair share and Deacons needed to be appointed to see to the fair distribution of the funds. We must keep in mind that the distribution of wealth will occur in a society whether voluntarily or by taxation. The argument between capitalists and socialists is which is the better way to distribute wealth. The problem is the matter of wealth, where does the money come from? If you can live off of welfare why work? If enough people develop that attitude, soon there will not be enough money to support the welfare system. One of the causes for the fall of the Roman Empire is there were more people on welfare than there were working and that is the reason for the failure of socialism and communism. It is also the reason why it did not work in the early Church in the book of Acts. The Bible then went on to teach that we are to work and then give voluntarily, “but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” (Ephesians 4:28) and “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (II Thessalonians 3:10). The only motivation for working and then giving to those in need is that of loving ones neighbor as themselves and the only way for that to happen is if the love of God has been poured out in our hearts after being justified by faith in Christ (Romans 5:5).

Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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