Socialism. Mans Attempt to Deny God!
Socialism. Mans Attempt to Deny God!
Socialism has never succeeded in any society at any time. From the ancient Egyptians to the Greek and Roman Empires, socialism has always failed. In today’s culture socialistic countries have created a strata of dependence that has literally racked up debt to the point where those countries are teetering on the brink of financial disaster. Look at Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. All of those countries are operating at a financial deficit. The United States has also fallen under the spell of socialism and running debt up as though there is no tomorrow. But what is the real motive behind socialism? What is the appeal of socialism? What are the ultimate results of socialism? And, most importantly, what does God’s Word say about socialism? In this article we’ll look at all of those aspects.
But to begin, socialism certainly does not seem to be about financial security as evidenced by the debt in this country and across the globe. This mountain of debt threatens not only the financial stability United States but of the entire world. Let’s look at one example in the US. The United States owes more than a trillion dollars to China, a communist country, who under any other circumstances would be considered an enemy. How can the US be in such debt to a country that outlaws the very things that we hold dear. Religious freedom, the pursuit of our own destiny and all of the things chartered in the Declaration of Independence and provided by our Constitution are literally held in disdain by this communist government. A government whose regard for human rights align only in total compliance of everyone in that country with the will of the government. Those who do not comply completely are enemies of the state and risk death or imprisonment. The sad fact is that the United States, the richest nation in the world, is a debtor country to a communist regime who stands in stark opposition to everything we stand for and believe.
How did we get into such debt?
Here in the US socialism started decades ago. Social Security was an early form of socialism that took money from people, as a tax creating a trust fund, under the guise of providing for those same people later in their life. But in the sixties President Lyndon Johnson wrangled a deal with congress that allowed them to spend the money in the Social Security trust fund for other things which quickly depleted the trust. Today, Social Security is nothing more than the largest Ponzi scheme in history where those who are paying the Social Security tax now are not funding their own “trust” but paying the benefits of those who previously paid into the “trust”. A strange, sad and evil aside is that our government condemns and puts Wall Street moguls in jail for such Ponzi schemes while politicians commit such acts with impunity. To continue Lyndon Johnson, a cold-hearted racist and a democrat, implemented a new program called the “War on Poverty”. This program was the first instance of social welfare where tax money, including funds from the Social Security trust, were used to pay for social benefits. The first overt socialist program was haled as a magnanimous gesture of care and concern for those who lived in stark poverty by a Democratic congress and signed into law by Lyndon Johnson. But was it really a program to lift people out of poverty or was it a ploy to secure votes by creating a culture of dependence. Here are a couple of “semi-off the record comments” by Lyndon Johnson:
“I’ll have those n**gers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” —Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One –
“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”—LBJ
If that did not get your attention let me spell it out in clear terms. Socialism is not about caring and support. It’s not about lifting people out of poverty. It’s about control. In other words, the more people are dependent on the government, the more they are controlled by that government. In short, socialism is not about helping people but controlling them. As societies grow, so must the hard work to build those societies. The reason that socialism seems appealing is because it encourages and facilitates blaming someone else for what one does not have. The noble politicians convince people that the system is rigged and the only way anyone can get ahead is to turn over control to the politicians. These benevolent politicians will fix everything for everyone except the evil people who have “rigged the system” against everyone else. Yet who ultimately gets ahead? The only real benefactors are the politicians and the people who have rigged the system. Ultimately, rules and regulations, laws and taxes are passed in the name of fairness to all but these punitive taxes and regulations only hurt those who work hard to get ahead. Those who have “rigged the system” lumber along, doing what they’ve always done, while greasing the pockets of the politicians at the expense of those who work hard. At the same time those who work hard to get ahead fall farther behind and, because financial resources are scarce due to governmental taxation, intervention and control, countries begin to run up huge debts to feed the unending and ever-growing hunger of a socialistic behemoth.
Margaret Thatcher, when British Prime Minister, summed it up quite succinctly when she said; “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” This statement exemplifies socialism and exposes its inevitable results. Socialism sounds great but is destined for inexorable failure.
Slavery is being Owned
What is the motive behind socialism? The real motive behind socialism is control. It is a form of slavery. Most people do not understand that slavery is actually a state of subjection. With pictures of slave owners beating slaves etched into their memory most peoples vision of slavery is linked to violence and forceful dominance. But this is simply one totalitarian form of slavery. There is another totalitarian form of slavery that is much more mesmeric but, none the less, leads to shackles. Socialism is positioned politically as a means of equalizing the system. Politicians purvey “Income Inequality” as the reason that redistribution of the wealth is necessary. This sounds so reasonable but it is nothing more than a beguiling disguise for socialism and the associated control of that socialism. Truthfully, a system that enslaves the masses at the behest of a benevolent political establishment ensures the longevity of that political establishment. In other words, simply put: “We give you stuff so you have to vote for us and do what we tell you to do.” Remember Lyndon Johnson’s remarks to governors about Air Force One (“I’ll have those n**gers voting Democratic for the next 200 years” and “…we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”). The point of creating the “War on Poverty” was not intended to help people but to enslave them in order to achieve political dominance.
What needs to be clearly understood is that when politicians promote socialism, they are promoting a state of subjection for everyone benefiting from the socialistic policies. At the same time they penalize those who are not part of the political establishment and/or not part of the socialized masses. In other words anyone over which political establishment does not have control must be brought under control because, if they are not part of the system, they are part of the problem. At the same time the subjects of socialism must support the political machine that provides the socialized benefits. Now, suddenly, all of the freedoms afforded by the Constitution become equivocal. Freedom of speech, religion, the press, the right to keep and bear arms, the freedom to assemble and even more ominous things like health care, carbon footprint, diet and pretty much anything you can think of are now on the table. Subjects of the socialistic environment must now unconditionally submit to the will of those who control the social benefits or face losing those benefits. In essence, socialism is nothing more than a totalitarian form of government which uses benefits rather than force to maintain control. But, as we will see next, this is doomed to fail.
Lessons from Rome
What are the results of socialism? The most stark example of the failure of socialism is the Roman Empire. The culture of control and dependence fostered by that Empire was divided along the lines of the “Educated” and the ”Uneducated”. This was generally denoted by the fact that the educated were rich land owners, who dominated the politics and culture of the day. They were the “patricius” or patricians. The rest of the culture was relegated to the non-land owning ranks of the plebeians. The patricians and the plebeians. Hmm! This is starting to sound familiar! Those who were “in-the-know” and believed they deserved control began to band together politically and exert dominance over the rest of society. But to maintain the peace they had to create a pool of resources by which they could keep everyone else contented. This has never been more clearly exemplified than with the Roman cultural practice of providing contentment for the people. This practice was known as “ponem et circenses”. What is “ponem et circenses” you ask? Why it’s “Bread and Circuses”. Food and entertainment for everyone. A magnanimous gift from the patricians to the plebs. Right? No wrong! As the Roman Empire began to expand the resulting prosperity began to cause large increases in the population which resulted in down stream effects. One clear effect was the fact that the government began to run short silver to make coins (denarii). During the reign of Gallienus (253-68) the coins were converted to copper alloy using less than 5 percent silver. In other words, Gallienus debased the currency. To demonstrate the effect of this debasing of the currency we’ll look at wheat. In the second century the cost of a measure of wheat was one half a denarius. However in 301, just 40 years after Gallienus, Emperor Diocletian froze the price of a measure of wheat at 100 denarius. Again, sound familiar? Rampant inflation led to a governmental price freeze (anyone remember Jimmy Carter). The Roman patricians were simply out of money and the plebeians were conditioned to depend on the handouts of the patricians! The Empire’s prosperity had exceeded it’s ability to prosper. Eventually, the patricians of the Roman Empire could no longer afford the “ponem et circenses” to keep the plebeians contented and, more importantly, they could no longer pay the soldiers of the Empire. They began paying soldiers with salt (a salary) but eventually even the salaries began to fail causing the soldiers to abandon the legions. With a depleted army spread thin over a huge empire, the stage was set for the implosion of the Roman Empire. But, it all started with a notion of the patricians and the plebeians, the controllers and the controlled. These hoity-toity, noble, highly educated, political elites who believed they knew better how to manage the affairs of Rome than the lowly, uneducated, unworthy hoi-polloi. In time the patricians could not support the plebeians and, as a result, they lost control. They lost their country. They lost everything. The false notion of socialism in the Roman Empire, which was really about control but purveyed as the lie of “free stuff” for everyone, ultimately failed. The fall of the Roman Empire was a clear example of Margaret Thatcher’s commentary on socialism.
Pondering the commentary of the late Twentieth Century Margaret Thatcher, I’m compelled to recall an earlier Twentieth Century statement. The philosopher George Santayana coined a popular statement: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” When one considers the gravity of the fall of the Roman Empire, coupled with the statement of Margaret Thatcher and reinforced by philosopher George Santayana, the conclusion is clear. There could not be a more appropriate way to describe today’s notion of “noble” politicians fixing all of the ills of society with modern-day “ponem et circenses”. Socialism is always destined to fail and, more importantly, we should never forget that fact.
The Real Problem
At this point one needs to ask a fundamental questions: “Why is socialism so appealing?” In order to do that we cannot tarry in identifying the real problem with socialism. The problem is clearly that socialism stands is stark contract to God’s Word. It is rooted in man’s desire to have what God did not promise. It is rooted in man’s desire to have what he did not earn. It is rooted in man’s sinful, selfish nature. I don’t care who you are or what you believe. God’s Word never changes. The curse of working hard was initiated by God as a result of man’s choice to depart from God’s Word an go his own way leading to sin.
Genesis 3:17-19 “…cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
In Genesis 3 Satan’s temptation led man to want what he did not have and what God did not promise. In verse 1 the serpent asked a key questions “…Did God really say…” The first step toward discontent is questioning. Here the serpent caused the woman and the man who was with her to question God’s Word. God said; “Don’t eat the fruit.” The serpent said; “God’s holding back on you.” Man fell! Not because of the serpent’s temptation but because of his own selfish desire. The serpent merely appealed to the dire that was already there in man’s heart. Sin always, without fail, begins when man questions God’s Word and it is always due to man’s carnal, selfish nature that he questions God’s Word. Because of his selfish desire in the garden man violated God’s Word leading to sin and death. Since that time man has been trying to find the easy-button. But the truth of the matter is there is no easy-button because of man’s sinful, selfish nature. Socialism is nothing more than appeal to that very nature. It is man’s attempt to prove God’s Word wrong! But why? Let’s look at the original temptation.
Genesis 3:4-5 “…You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So the original sin revolved around knowledge and being “like” God. The vast majority of education today is oriented toward exaltation of man’s knowledge rather than acknowledgement of God’s knowledge. In Proverbs 1:6 it tells us; “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;” Solomon, the wisest man in Israel at the time, made a clear statement that apart from the Lord there is no such thing as knowledge. It was a categorical and unequivocal statement. But the world, even in today’s church, has come to the point where it worships the knowledge of man over God’s Word. The apostle Paul admonished the Corinthians about this in 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,…”. This is no different than Solomon’s statement and both are a warning that the knowledge of man can never supplant the knowledge of God which is born out of an awesome reverence for God Himself. But alas, man has always sought to do things his own way.
Is it any wonder then than man would, in his own will, his own way and his his own knowledge try to solve a problem to which God had already ordained a solution. The temptation of the devil is no different today than it was in the garden. The crafty serpent says: “Has God said; ‘You must work hard’? Surely you don’t have to work hard! Surely someone else is holding you back and has rigged the system to take what is rightfully yours!” The deceiver then further promulgates the lie by tempting us to believe that politicians can solve this problem and balance the scales on behalf of those who have been taken advantage. In the garden, Satan convinced man and woman that the things God had given them was not enough and that is Satan’s message to the world today. Now it seems appropriate to ask the final questions: What does God’s Word say about socialism? The problem of people who do not want to work hard (lazy people) is nothing new. The Apostle Paul had some harsh words for the Thessalonians who supported freeloaders. It seems these freeloaders had become a burden and the Apostle commanded a solution. A solutions which, it seems, he had commanded at a previous time.
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.”
What a scathing rebuke for allowing someone to freeload. Can anyone say: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”? But! But! The preacher tells us the Bible says they had all things in common. This is true, but it was all things in common for the believers only not everyone and, more importantly, it was only one instance. Let’s ask a question: “Are you willing to sell your house and cars, cash in your retirement and put all of your resources into a pool then let others decide what you need?” I didn’t think so! Very few are willing to give up their resources to help others. That amorphous notion is almost never embraced when it becomes personal. The truth is that practice of “all things in common” was not wide-spread in Christianity and for good reason as we have seen with the Thessalonians.
Look today at the riots and unrest caused by socialistic groups who promote socialism. Bus loads of individuals show up to protest, in many cases with violence, all because of what they perceive has taken from them (though the vast majority of these folks have never earned anything). In most cases they are simply protesting to get things they did not work hard to earn and many times do not even have a coherent grasp of what they are protesting. These freeloaders, who don’t think they have to work hard for what they want, believe that someone else should earn the resources to give them what they did not work hard to earn. Sounds like Genesis 3:6 to me. The serpent convinced Adam and Eve that God was holding back on them and not giving them everything they deserved. Listen to what the scripture says: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Once they decided that God was holding back on them rationalization for obtaining what God had not promised was the natural tendency. God gave them everything they needed in a perfect environment but it was not enough to satisfy their carnal desire. The allure of socialism relies on that very same carnal desire of man in order to exist. That carnal desire can never be gratified because it is always under temptation to consider what it does not possess. Paul’s rebuke of the Thessalonians is not all God’s Word says about socialism. Let’s look at another place where the apostle Paul gives guidance to his young protégé Timothy.
1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Wait! What? Paul tells Timothy that someone who does not provide for their family has “denied the faith” and is “worse than an unbeliever”. Let’s look at what Paul said here. First, when one transfers their trust to Jesus they receive the Holy Spirit. When one receives the Holy Spirit they are acknowledging the truth of God’s Word. One wholeheartedly buys into what God has said rather than what their own heart has told them. When one admits they are a sinner they embrace the reality of the curse resulting from man’s desire to go his own way. They embrace the truth of God’s Word thus rejecting their selfish, sinful nature. Further, they embrace that fact that only God Himself can provide a way out of the curse of sin and that is through His blessed Son Jesus. God’s Word tells us that because of sin we must work hard but, because of the sacrifice God provided in Christ Jesus, we can be relieved of the eternal burden of sin and death. Let’s use and example here. If you deliberately put your hand in the fire you will get burned and you must live with the consequences of your deliberate action. So while we have been relieved of the burden of eternal death by embracing God’s Word and trusting in Jesus, we must also face the consequences of the original sin into which we were born. The first and foremost consequence is hard work. The Apostle is telling them that when someone does not embrace hard work they are denying all of the afore mentioned elements of salvation truth. Paul himself worked so that he would not be a burden on anyone. He worked hard (Acts 20:34) so that he support himself, those who were with him and the weak. In the book of Acts we have a clear picture of Paul’s concern for the needy (not the lazy) and he gave aid directly to those in need. What the Apostle did not do was commission some politician to develop a general socialist program that enslaved and controlled people with benefits. What the Apostle did was in the name of Jesus with no controlling strings attached.
Acts 20:33-35 “I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
But! But! I thought the Bible was all about socialism. I thought Jesus was a socialist. Giving to the poor and helping the widow, the orphan and the sojourner. Jesus did say “It is more blessed to give than to receive”! Right? This is true but it is a matter of the heart. Giving is a matter of choice but taxation is not. When one gives they experience the joy of helping someone in need and they built a relationship over which they may have the opportunity to share the gospel. Socialism, the vast majority of the time, is not about giving to someone in need but providing something someone thinks they deserve. It is not about relationship nor spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ which promotes personal accountability. It’s about free stuff and control.
But, to some degree, you’re right with regard to the poor, who are doing everything they can but can’t make ends meet. You’re right with regard to the widow who depended on her husband for provision but now is left to fend for herself. You’re right with regard to the orphan who has no one to provide for them. You’re right for the sojourner who is traveling through but fallen on hard times. You’re right, but not in the way you may think!
While God instructed Israel to provide for the needy He also did not violate his decree in the garden. Let’s look at what God’s Word says about that.
Leviticus 23:22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.”
There it is in black and white! Right? Wrong! Think about someone, the poor or the sojourner, having to go through a field that has been harvested and pick up what has fallen to the ground. Does that sound like work! You bet it’s work. The book of Ruth gives us a hint in chapter 2. Ruth, a widow operating under the favor of the land owner (Boaz), gleaned the field all day and at the end of the day beat out an ephah of barley, which is about 3/5ths of a bushel. So the poor and the sojourner were not just given handouts, they had to work hard to get a portion of what was left in the field by the harvesters. They had to compete with other poor people and sojourners for the leftovers. In Ruth’s case, Boaz had his harvesters deliberately drop extra barley on the ground for Ruth to glean but she still had to pick the grain up and beat the grain out herself.
God’s Word is clear on the subject and socialism is nothing more than man’s attempt to prove God wrong! The notion that somehow the noble few can provision the ignoble masses is simply a lie and a ploy for total control of everyone and everything. It is an enigma that can only be understood when you look at the reasoning and rational behind socialism through the lens of God’s Word.
Are there truly Patricians and Plebeians today? Are there those highly educated who believe they know better than everyone else and promote the “ponem et circenses” of ancient Rome to gain control? Are there those who have been deceived into believing they cannot get ahead because someone else has taken what they deserve? I believe that the answer to all three questions is without question; “YES”! With the advent of EBT cards, housing assistance, free mobile phones, Social Security Disability, free health care and who knows what else for those who do nothing at the expense of those who are trying to provide for themselves and their families, we are at a crossroads. A very important one. One can choose to work hard to survive trusting God or trust beguiling politicians who promise to dole out benefits that have not been earned and are ultimately vaporous.
Socialism. Mans Attempt to Deny God! Man’s attempt to exert control by promising “free stuff”. For this very reason socialism has never worked, does not work now and will never work! Repent! Trust in Jesus! Work hard! Follow God’s Word. Rebuff the notion that someone else has taken something that belongs to you and rebuff the political rhetoric of those who promote the lie of socialism.