Is being a socialist really so terrible?
Accusations have been flying around over the last few weeks about Obama being a socialist. John McCain repeatedly points out that Obama wants to “spread the wealth around” and take from the rich to give to the poor – more hysterics from a party desperate to win against nearly impossible odds. While I find it hard to believe that Barack Obama will be some modern day reincarnation of Robin Hood, I also don’t see why the American public is so repulsed by the very mention of socialism.
Our way of life is virtually teeming with socialistic programs that we all benefit from. Our much-lampooned tax system provides everything from schools for our children to attend to roads for our vehicles to drive on. Our tax dollars feed hungry children and adults, provide incomes for the elderly and handicapped, and health care for the poor and aged.
A closer look at the New Testament reveals a Christ who might well have been labeled a socialist if he were still on earth today. After all, he admonished the rich to sell their belongings and give the money to the poor. He stated that the poor were blessed and would receive the kingdom of God. He advocated forgiving our debtors and giving to beggars. Try to imagine the political fallout if Mr. Obama were running on such a radical platform!
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
- Matthew 25:34-36
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
- Acts 4:32-35
However wrong or right the socialism accusations against Obama may be, at least he seems to care more about the “least of these” than any other politician in recent memory. It’s hard to find any fault in that.