Christianity and Socialism

Christianity and Socialism



take your Bibles and turn to Genesis chapter 1 I'm going to be preaching on the subject Christianity and socialism and I don't know in all these years that I preached a message quite like this one but today I'm delivering a message on one of the important conversations and confrontations really in our culture in that regard socialism we must always stand for the principles which made America a great nation we're grateful for the world that God has made and for the many nations of the world and many of you are watching online from all over the globe God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son and God loves you so we love the world and the people in it but we have an extreme affection a love of country because God has blessed our nation and has blessed us to be able to call ourselves Americans so we are always called to build and rebuild America upon the unshakable foundations upon which our freedoms has stood and stands to this very day if the Foundation's be destroyed the Bible says what will the righteous do there is a war going on in around and within America it is a battle for the soul of our nation this battle is raging all around us it is a fight for our faith a fight for our families a fight for our future our battles include the sanctity of life the sacredness of biblical marriage sexual identity religious freedom including also the freedom of speech where there are battles regarding economic freedom and work and the right to work and prosper within our country yes there is a war and what kind of war is that what is at stake here francis schaeffer about thirty years ago made this statement we as Bible believing Christians are locked in a battle this is not a friendly gentlemen's discussion it is a life-and-death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ where is the clear voice speaking to the crucial issues of the day with distinctively biblical answers I want to be a clear voice today I want you as God's people to be a clear and compelling distinctively biblical voice in our generation we must raise the voices of righteousness of reason and may we never sin with our silence in the face of evil they say silence is gold and sometimes silence is just plain yellow courage conviction and compassion so the issue that is a growing concern in America is that of socialism president said in his State of the Union address that America will never be a socialist nation there were cheers that evening when the president made that statement if you sat in silence because there's another element in the country that believes that socialism a brand of democratic socialism or otherwise is what America needs today and so what is at stake this is a conflict a confrontation between a way of life worldviews a philosophy of politics but more than partisan politics Democrats or Republicans we always want to view issues through the lens of Scripture what does the Bible say what does God say so the first thing we should do in taking on the issue of socialism as compared to Christianity what does Christianity say to inform us on socialism we need to define our terms so in defining the term socialism is a political and philosophical economic system in which there is government ownership of the means of production and the primary focus on providing equality socialism favors large government and government control of social services and much more in socialism the government is all-important and is involved in every aspect of its people's lives people that sir it it rules contrast this to capitalism most Americans have historically favored capitalism so what is capitalism it is the economic system in which there is private ownership private ownership of property and goods and the means of production and privately owned private ownership and in capitalism there is a limited role for the presence and the force of government in people's individuals lives so economically and philosophically there is capitalism there is socialism well what does the Christian faith say what does the Bible tell us about this issue you say well it's money it doesn't matter well Jesus had more to say about money and ownership and the use of possessions that anyone else in the Bible the Bible is full of truths regarding how we are to live our lives every day how we are to get money spend money save money and give money it's through and through so money and economics is a spiritual issue and it's certainly a national issue in our times a recent USA Today report said that four in ten Americans embrace some form of socialism 43 percent you say is this a problem okay judge yourself 43 percent of Americans now say socialism would be a good thing for the country 51 percent believe socialism would be a bad thing for the country so there it is the gap is closing between the traditional views of economy capitalism in the United States as compared to socialism and more and more Americans especially left-leaning Americans are adopting Marxist philosophies especially among young people and this is often taught in elitist universities secular universities and sometimes in so-called Christian universities but a recent poll of Millennials here come the Millennials ages 21 to 35 a recent poll of Millennials found that a majority 58% of Millennials would prefer to live in a socialist nation than a capitalist nation now that's interesting of course when you probe a little deeper and ask more questions only 33% of the surveyed of the Millennials could actually define socialism Oh dude man party hard this social but legitimate but but some I mean to be fair some young people see capitalism corporate America as being greedy without compassion without concern and we have to admit that there's a lot of greed in people's lives I would say there's greed whether it is a socialistic system or a capitalistic system greed is in the heart of every human being but here's the thing young people under 30 have not seen in their lifetime particularly the devastating effects of soviet-style repression and oppression through socialism and it's big bad brother communism this is post Cold War and a generation has arisen that either does not study history no history understanding history or care the socialism is fundamentally at odds with the Christian worldview and seeks to suppress all peoples in support of the state no one and here's the big bold statement I'm going to make and that I'm going to attempt to show you why in a few minutes but no one serious about their Christian faith can be serious about supporting socialism and here's why here's why I say and make that state number one secular is socialism is totally secular and is predicated on atheism that is a fact our faith in Jesus Christ is built on the Word of God the revelation of God that God exists that we believe in the resurrection of Christ and with that faith comes freedom to live an abundant life with liberty but Karl Marx the father of scientific socialism considered religion of all kinds and specifically Christianity as the opiate of the masses you're on drugs if you believe in God Marx again the philosopher of socialism founder of Soviet state styles governments believe Charles Darwin's theories of evolution to explain the presence of life on Earth the man is just an advancing animal and of course if we are just animals everyone and anyone can be disposable based on the needs of the state but what does the Bible say Genesis chapter one I ask you to turn to it later verses 27 and 28 you can sow it learn so much about the worldview of the Christian faith by reading your Bible of course and and beginning in Genesis is all foundational to the scripture verse 27 of Genesis 1 so God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him male and female he created them and God blessed them and God said to them be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth he later went on to tell them in Genesis chapter 2 that they were to possess the land the garden that was given and till the soil the first man Adam was a farmer and they were given property to possess and property in which to produce goods and that became foundational to the judeo-christian ethic Old Testament New Testament morality that God is that God exists that he has created us and made us in his own image but the philosophical views of the Socialists like Marx and his disciples say that God is not needed for anything because God does not exist in fact God the idea of God is harmful and must be forcefully if necessary removed from society I'm telling you at the very core of this philosophy and yes this political economic system is atheism you say well that was then that's old-style socialism communism it would be a catastrophic miscalculation to think that socialist hostility towards religion and Christianity specifically has changed in any way since the days of Karl Marx socialist countries today are secular in nature often repressing and oppressing people of faith all faiths and particularly are determined to root out Christianity name me one socialist style country communists or otherwise that is open to faith without oppression and suppression of that faith it is at the very root this thing called socialism agnostic and even atheistic secondly I want to say the danger of socialism is socialism leads to misery poverty disease and death whereas the Bible teaches that Christ brings freedom and value and creativity and innovation and service and Liberty and life abundant again just look what's happening around the world where socialism and social soviet-style and socialist style and communists bred Nations exists death misery despair exists it's an economic failure as well as a spiritual failure Margaret Thatcher the great Prime Minister of Britain number of years ago she said the trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money so it's a failure economically because it undermines not only the value and dignity and worth of the individual but it undermines the value and dignity of work the freedom to prosper to create there's so much complacency in socialism and many do not work in America socialism has produced a welfare state of sorts and that will not work for the future of America it's not working now in 1958 it was recorded in the Congressional Record these words written by a man named Gerald Smith these words have been quoted by a number of speakers and preachers including my dear friend now in heaven dr. Adrian Rogers I first heard Adrian repeat this a number of years ago I want you to hear it today so in the record of Congress 1958 you cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom what one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving the government cannot give to anybody everybody anything that the government government does not first take from somebody else when half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because someone else is going to get what they work for that my friend is the end of a nation [Applause] you say is that the Bible no it's not the Bible but here's what the Bible says in first Thessalonians the Bible says if a man won't work neither shall he eat every healthy person should work and that includes senior adults and so-called retirement the goal of your life is not to get to the beach and better your tan or lower your goth score when you quit working the goal of your life is to honor God glorify God by working hard your entire life and serving with him with what he has given you to use for his glory that's the goal of your work life and it never stops from the origin of life to capital punishment same-sex relationships and much much more cultures views often differ drastically from what the Bible says about truth and it's critical that Christians be able to engage our culture appropriately over such divisive cultural issues like abortion even alcohol and to do it with wisdom love and grace I want to help you do that by sending you my book culture wise tackling seven hotly debated topics culture wise will equip you to think and speak biblically about the issues that we're facing today my prayer is that as you grow confident in God's truth that you'll grow in your compassion towards people who desperately need to know Jesus and to hear God's work so please give a donation today to keep PowerPoint broadcasting the good news of Jesus on this station and around the world and visit us online at Jack Graham no RG our call to order your copy of culture wise and thank you for helping reach more people around the world with the message of Jesus now let me say the Bible does not endorse any one political system I mean Christianity thrived in the midst of imperialism Roman imperialism the Jewish nation survived against monarchies and all the rest the Christian faith will survive but we have a responsibility in the culture to speak to our issues and to have the kind of government that reflects our virtues and our values we do not the Bible does not I must honestly say endorsed capitalism as well as socialism it leans towards clearly capitalistic style government but the point is what the Bible does teaches is freedom the great freedom that we have in Christ in the church and God help us in the nation the bible does endorse freedom and private ownership and the value of and worth of a soul in the work of mankind it values a free enterprise market system that decentralized this economic power that's clear socialism suppresses the poor and steals from the rich and legislates them and elevates envy socialism is stealing it is stealing from people who have earned what they have worked to earn and giving it to people who not who have not earned what they have been given socialism focuses on the government and the state why would you need God if you have government it turns government into your big brother and it violates the commandments of God by contrast the Bible teaches the dignity of the individual the worth of the soul the right of ownership the privilege and the blessing of work and that the Christian faith should have the freedom and the fight to take our message to the world and to give people not a handout but to give them Christ in his love just think of all of the gospel that has been preached in America churches that have been built missions that have started ministries that have become begun because hard-working people like you have earned enough money what however large or small it would be have earned enough money to invest it in the work of Jesus Christ and think of the missionaries that have been sent around the world from America God's churches in this country working in a arie enterprise system and using our money to fulfill the Great Commission may God help us to be the people God has called us to be I close with this Rodney stark is an historian and he quotes a Chinese leader from this is a recent quote because you know China of course is on the move economically and otherwise in the world but listen to what this Chinese senior leader said about America one of the things we were asked to look into was what accounted for the success in fact the preeminence of the West overall the world we studied everything we could from historical political economic and cultural perspective at first we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had then we thought it was because you had the best political system next we focused on your economic system but in the past 20 years we have realized at the heart of your culture is your religion Christianity that is why the West is so powerful the Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics we don't have any doubt about this and neither do I it is the Christian faith that brought about the greatness of this nation and our way of life and what is at stake in the days ahead and all of these battles in this spiritual war and yes you think politics is involved in spiritual battles what do the scriptures say we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers in the dark places that's talking about government that's talking about politics so there's the battle and me we may we like the men and women who have gone before us fighting physical battles for the sake of freedom may we we willing to stand for truth and righteousness and to fight the good fight of faith and trust in a god who will bless us according to his own will and ways may God bless america and may God return us to the values which made our nation great there is a spiritual war going on all around us and within America it's a battle for the soul of our nation our battles include the sanctity of life the sacredness of biblical marriage sexual identity religious freedom and yes economic freedom and the right to prosper within a nation my prayer is that just like the men and women who have fought physical battles for the sake of freedom that we will be willing to stand for truth and righteousness and to fight the good fight of faith and may we return to the values which make America a great nation every generation must be willing to stand for truth and live for righteousness to be a prophetic voice and a pastoral voice to our world and we all love freedom and those of us who do love freedom should respond to this call now to help you respond to the call and navigate some of our culture's most controversial issues with grace and compassion allow me to send you my book culture-wise thinking rightly about seven societal wrongs this empowering resource is our way to say thank you for your generous donation that will help us keep bringing America to faith in Jesus Christ and our spiritual roots so call the number on the screen or visit us right now online at Jack Graham dot org to donate to our ministry and receive your gift thank you as always for joining us today and thank you for your financial support of PowerPoint enabling us to reach the world with a message of Jesus Christ until the whole world hears you you

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