- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 8, 2020

President Donald Trump, at his State of the Union, to his special guest, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, said, “Mr. President, please take this message back to your homeland” — “Americans are united with the Venezuelan people” and know full well, “socialism destroys nations.”

Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro didn’t like that, and responded, in part, by boasting, “We have the right to build socialism and we will build — a new democratic, humanist, Christian socialism of the 21st century,” as Breitbart reported.

Christian socialism?

Make way for the lie.

Christianity and socialism cannot coexist and bring freedom to the individual. Moreover, it’s not even based on Bible truths.

Jesus, the central figure of Christianity, never, ever, not once, not even a little bit taught that the way to best serve and show love was to first, empower government to take over the means of private production; second, demand government redistribute the fruits of labor to those deemed in greatest need; and third, to cede all semblance of individualism — talents, desires, efforts, creations — to the greater good, to the collective, for government to take and use as willed.

Jesus placed the burden of living out the faith on the shoulders of the individuals.

He wanted a personal relationship with believers — not a collective, cooperative sharing of ideas and efforts with believers and their Big Government bureaucrats.

He wanted his followers to feed the poor out of love for Him and for the Golden Rule — to do unto others as one would have done to self — and not for his followers to simply stand back and cry for the government to feed the poor.

With that: How can Christianity and socialism truly co-exist without compromise? Either the adherence to the first will lead to irrelevance of the second, or obedience to the principles of the second will lead to watering down and floundering of the first.

The Bible even has a phrase for it: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.”

Through the decades, movements to proclaim the inherent socialism of Christianity have come and gone. Of particular note was the Protestant Social Gospel movement at the turn of the century that saw many of the religion world’s own preachers and teachers — Walter Rauschenbusch, Lyman Abbott, Washington Gladden, to name a few — cited biblical principles to advance social justice causes. Some were outright socialists; some were mischaracterized and miscast as socialists; still others outright hated socialism, while also hating capitalism.

The Catholic Church, meanwhile, has long used the Bible to justify everything from open borders to attacking capitalism — although even Pope Pius XI, in a 1937 encyclical, spoke harshly of socialism’s sister, communism, and warned of its deceptive lure.

“The Communism of today, more emphatically than similar movements in the past, conceals in itself a false messianic idea,” Pius wrote. “A pseudo-ideal of justice, of equality and fraternity in labor impregnates all its doctrine ad activity with a deceptive mysticism, which communicates a zealous and contagious enthusiasm to the multitudes entrapped by delusive promises.”

Just because Pius ultimately did some wheeling and dealing with the evil fascist Benito Mussolini to obtain property and peace on behalf of the Catholic Church doesn’t mean his writings against fascism, tyrannical governments and socialism-slash-communism can’t hold meaning today.

Especially when his point-blank description of the fleshly lure of communism seems to applicable to what today’s leftist, secularist, exploitative and politically motivated Bible-quoters promise.

Socialism is not freedom.

No matter what Bible passage it’s wrapped in, socialism does not, will not, cannot bring freedom to the individual.

“There is nothing new under the sun,” Ecclesiastes teaches.

So goes Christian socialism. It’s an old lie dressed in new clothes, paraded before a new generation. Christian socialism, in the end, is nothing but a catch phrase for tyranny.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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