God’s Way vs. Socialism

The French Revolution of 1789, the Russian Revolution in 1917, and the subsequent onset of other forms of socialism throughout the world, led to a veritable explosion of ideas of how socialism would be so much better than the supposedly corrupt and criminal forms of capitalism the world had known up till then. Well, at least it sounded good, as do most forms of utopian thought.

But the gross abuses perpetuated by governments in the 20th Century were not attributable to capitalism. They can be mostly traced to the atheistic, foolish foundations of socialist beliefs, which found their way into government.

This was one of their sayings: “You can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs.” So, they were happy to violate the integrity of individuals, families and churches, and even kill them, for what they convinced themselves was the greater cause of the nation. Under Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot, over a hundred million died.

Should we be surprised? Of course not, we should expect it. When individuals depart from God in their thinking it affects everything, including their ideas about what governments ought to do.

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good (Ps.14:1).

The socialist believes in doing things from the top, down.  He really does believe in salvation by politics. So, the critical issue for the socialist is getting and keeping political power, so he gets to make the legislative changes he wants. The socialist says, “Once we get the legislation right, everything will just follow along nicely, right the way down to the individual. And they’ll just have to toe the line.”

So in the Soviet Union, educators in 1918 were told that

We must remove the children from the crude influence of their families. We must take them over and, to speak frankly, nationalize them. (Instructions given at a congress of Soviet educators in 1918, cited in Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s Families, by Sheldon Richman, pg. xv).

But in terms of changing people, this is the exact reversal of God’s process.

God begins with the individual, by calling and converting him or her. The converted individual applies the scripture to his life. He realises that the whole of his life is to be subject to the will and Word of God; what he thinks and believes, his motivations and attitudes, and how he behaves and speaks, uses his money, etc.

The converted individual’s life-style changes as a result, and he takes those changed attitudes and behaviours into all the contacts, social groupings and institutions he’s a part of. The most important of these for him are the family, the church and the work-place.

Consider this Biblical example: the apostle Paul’s total change of life in Acts 9 didn’t come about because of a governmental edict. It came about because of the Holy Spirit’s work in his life, challenging, convicting and transforming him. He took his Christian attitudes and lifestyle everywhere he went, and people were challenged and impacted by him. Some wanted to kill him.

This is the Biblical principle: internal integrity leads to external integration.

What do this mean?

God’s solution to human problems, is to begin at the smallest unit, the individual, and work by changing individuals first. He works from the inside out, as He did with Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10). Then families, work-places, churches and whole communities and nations ultimately reap the benefit. People who have been transformed and made whole through the gospel, take their God-given integrity onwards and upwards throughout the various groupings and institutions of society, until what?

They have affected everything they are part of. Changed individuals ultimately means changed families. Changed individuals and families are able to participate in and contribute to their church, which will benefit from their participation. Furthermore, changed individuals go to their work-place which they bring benefit to, and they also benefit their nation too.

God requires us to honour individuals, for He tells us to “Honour all people…” (I Pet.2:17). He tells us to consider our attitudes and behaviour in the work-place, to “be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ” (Eph.6:5).

He also tells us that “Marriage is to be held in honour among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb.13:4). We are also to honour the church, because God’s purpose is that “…the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph.3:10).

The whole of society is changed by the gospel; leavened by the kingdom of God (see Mat.13:33).

Conclusion:                                                                                                                             

The socialist believes in salvation by politics, but the Bible teaches salvation by God alone. His salvation ultimately impacts nations (see Zech.2:10, 11), but it begins with the Holy Spirit converting individuals. Those changed, healthy individuals can go and successfully integrate into the other God-ordained institutions throughout society, bringing the healthy and productive leaven of the kingdom of God, leading to powerful, long-lasting social change.

So, individuals first, then families, churches, work-places and whole communities. Nations all over the world bowing the knee to Jesus Christ as Lord.

Don’t you want to be a part of that?

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