*Although I do attend church each weekend and have studied the Bible, I do not consider myself an authority on theology. So I apologize in advance if I have some of the reference stories and/or context wrong.
That being said, I invite all economic conservatives who call themselves Christian to explain to me how I am wrong.
Matthew 19:21 – Jesus tells a young rich man to sell his possessions and help the poor in order to enter heaven. This was in the context of teaching the correct way to live as a follower of Christ. After the man goes away upset, Jesus remarks that it is harder for a rich man to get into heaven than to get a camel through the eye of a needle; the point being that being rich creates a serious impediment to living the way Christ would live.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 – This verse can be summarized thusly: money is not what we should strive for. The desire for more money can never be fulfilled. So attempting to acquire more and more wealth is a worthless pursuit spiritually. In addition such a pursuit is bound to produce negative personal attributes.
1 Timothy 6:10 – At the center of many problems is the love of money. The implication here is that tempering one’s desire to acquire more and more money will minimize problems. Again the problem is that the tactics that are a byproduct of the love of money often involve questionable ethical decisions and making enemies which lead to problems.
Matthew 6:24 – To serve and pursue money is to neglect God. In this verse money is substituted for Satan as the alternative to God, in this way money is depicted as evil. This verse seems to go beyond the common injunction against the love of money, and warns against money in general. Still to place money on the same level as God is to imply that money is being pursued unnaturally.
All these verses revolve around the theme of going against the ultra-accumulation of wealth. Socialism as an economic philosophy safeguards against people being rewarded for their love of money and thereby disincentives a love of money. As a nation largely founded by Christians socialism should have been one of the guiding principles; and it was in some of the colonies initially.
Now some two hundred odd years later the country has gotten away from this concept and is infused with a culture of more. Supporting and electing more openly socialist leaders would be a way of living as Christ would.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected]