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Is Socialism Biblical?

In Matthew 19:21, Jesus said: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Some today use this verse to justify socialism, but when the verse is read carefully, it is clear that Jesus endorses this act of distributing what one has as a personal decision, not as a command forcing others to give up their possessions and let them be controlled by government. This is a crucial distinction: Jesus endorses a society controlled by voluntary free choices and personal decisions. Socialism, however, is a society governed by central government planning and coercion.

Socialism is defined as “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”[1] This classic definition involving “governmental ownership and administration” of belongings is being embraced by a growing number of leading Democrat political figures who now openly describe themselves as socialists.

While Democrat Andrew Gillum (former mayor of Tallahassee and candidate for governor) openly condemned socialist societies like Cuba and Venezuela, he approved of Democrats adopting the label “socialist.” He defended the Democrat socialists as “champion[s] for opportunity, democracy, and human freedom."[2] A CNN article also defended them, claiming they are “not advocating for an outright end to capitalism. Rather they're pushing for more robust limits on its practice. The push for universal guarantees—to health care, jobs, labor rights, housing, access to broadband, and more...”[3]

But history consistently proves that socialism is always antithetical to “human freedom”—evidenced by the fact that in the 20th century alone, socialist/communist regimes were responsible for over 100 million deaths.[4] While some may claim that communism should not be grouped with socialism, a USAToday op-ed correctly noted that “It is impossible to separate socialism from communism because the former (an economic system) inevitably leads to the latter (a sociopolitical system). Why? Because centralized economic control only works if citizens have no rights.”[5]

Many of the Democrat’s new socialists point to Sweden and Denmark as support for their own position on socialism, but that doesn’t work. Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen bluntly declared: "I would like to make one thing clear: Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy."[6] And former Prime Minister Carl Bildt affirmed the same about Sweden. So these Democrats are relying on proof that doesn’t exist.

The reality is, the socialist label cannot be separated from its totalitarian roots; and increasing the government’s power always decreases a citizen’s freedom. As affirmed in a 2018 report by the US Council of Economic Advisers, if the Democrats’ “universal guarantees” for “health care, jobs, labor rights, housing, access to broadband, and more” are implemented, it will have disastrous economic consequences on the country.[7]

In the end, socialist policies destroy free countries like the United States. The current romanticization of socialism is worrisome and ought to be condemned by any free society that understands history and the Bible’s economic teachings.

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


[1] “socialism noun,” Merriam-Webster (n.d.),

[2] Andrew Gillum, “‘Socialism’ is a GOP smear. Democrats have to fight back.” Washington Post (December 2, 2019),

[3] Gregory Krieg, “A rose by any other name? Democrats grapple with the socialist question,” CNN (August 13, 2018),

[4] Robert Conquest, ”Reflections on a Ravaged Century,” Harvard (February 15, 2000)

[5] Alex Berezow, “CNN thinks that socialism is cool. My grandparents from the USSR would disagree,” USAToday (February 21, 2018),

[6] “You Can See America's Future Under Socialism, And It Isn't Pretty,” Investor’s Business Daily (October 25, 2018),

[7] “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism,” Council of Economic Advisers (October 2018)

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