Who knew that Jesus was a supporter of socialism and Obamacare!
Speaking at the Executive Committee of the National Democratic Convention, the Reverend Dr. William J. Barber asked, “Does our policy care for the least of these? Does it lift up those most marginalized and dejected in our society? Does it establish justice? That is the moral question. If someone calls it socialism, then we must compel them to acknowledge that the Bible must then promote socialism. Because Jesus offered free health care to everyone and he never charged a leper a co-pay.” (Go to 23:30 in the recording.)
Barber received a standing ovation for his comments, which must mean the notion that the Bible teaches socialism resonates with leading Democrats who themselves are increasingly embracing socialism.
This is dangerous ground. Not only is Barber’s interpretation theologically suspect, he implies that anyone who disagrees is immoral, which makes finding middle ground extremely difficult.
But we will likely be hearing more as the media ask various presidential candidates who profess a Christian faith what Christianity means to them.
For example, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, a Methodist, responded to questions of faith in a National Public Radio interview by quoting Matthew 25: "'For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was in prison, and you visited me.' It's not just about having a good heart. It's about getting up and doing what needs to be done."
Liberals take these and similar passages as a justification for expanding government.
When Jesus and the New Testament writers call on others to help the poor, it is an admonition placed on individuals—and arguably Christians. It is not a plea for government officials to take other people’s money to help the poor.
Not only does the Bible not teach socialism, some passages seem anti-socialist.
In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard a landowner hires workers at various times of the day, all for the same wage: one denarius.
At the end of the day when the workers were paid, some complained that the landowner treated them unfairly.
“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’”
There goes the Fight for $15 and “equal pay for equal work.”