Over a century ago, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church vehemently spoke out against socialism as the movement started to gain some prominence in the church,
“It is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder…The first and most fundamental principle…must be the inviolability of private property.” The Rerum Novarum encyclical of Leo XIII (1891).
‘Social Justice’ has become a popular catchphrase. It’s a movement that fits well in today’s PC culture.
Coincidently, a whole Christian culture has emerged primarily devoted to a zealous pursuit of economic and social equality. The conservative principles of Biblical Christianity are quickly becoming a thing of the past. While social justice, a phenomenon embraced and championed by Modern Christianity, has emerged as the hallmark of contemporary faith. Where does that leave a compassionate conservative like me, and those of my ilk?
Despite its repackaging, socialism has found new life among Christianity.
Many of the liberal Christians I have spoken to often reveal a hidden agenda which has more to do with a type of innate wealth envy. The Christian socialist wholeheartedly embraces taxes as a punitive measure to ‘even the playing field’, a type of retribution against the rich.
According to the socialist, the wealthy are actively contributing to an ever growing social inequality. They perceive the rich as enjoying a type of success worthy of contempt and condemnation.
If this sounds like the liberalism of the secular progressives, well, basically it is!
Can government ever deliver somebody from a life of poverty?
The conservative cries foul in response to such a notion, firmly believing the only way to be delivered from poverty is by securing a steady job.
The Christian conservative understands the needs of the poor will be best served by the Church, in an effort to rehab the whole person, body and soul.
By embracing liberal spending policies and forced monetary redistribution, modern Christendom is seemingly putting faith in man to right wrongs that run much deeper than issues of governmental policy, shared dependency and equal results.
Ultimately, the Christian conservative warns against supporting policies and programs that run contrary to God’s law and His grace. We must refrain from coveting the personal resources and wealth of others. We must reject the promise of unsustainable government-sponsored comprehensive support.
According to Theologian Douglas Wilson, when it comes to political ideology the choice is clear,
“Belief in the lordship of Jesus Christ obligates us to a position that honors the concept of limited government…to take personal responsibility, honor the property of others, respect and follow the sexual ethic of Scripture, refrain from taking the blood of innocents, remember the poor with our own funds (as distinct from funds we stole from others), and respect the need for the civil magistrate to stay within his appointed bounds. Now, take those positions and bundle them all together. What do you call that? I call it a recognizable form of conservatism”’
Let’s be obedient to Judeo-Christian principles and seek spiritual fulfillment above all else.