Q. I often see people say that Jesus (and the Bible) promote Socialism. While I know most Christians are against Socialism, I can see passages where it does sound like the early Church was practicing what we now call Socialism. Just one passage for example: 2 Corinthians 8: 13-16 and there are others. Any light you can shed on this would be appreciated.
A. In Acts 4:32-36 we’re told how the believers in the early church shared everything they had with one another so there were no needy persons among them. And in 2 Cor. 8:13-16 Paul encouraged the believers in Corinth who had more that they needed, to share their plenty with others who were hard pressed.
But none of this was done because of an enforced economic system. It was done voluntarily out of a conviction that the Lord would see to their needs (2 Cor. 8:8-9). Each one who had more than they needed did not think it was necessary to store up their excess because they trusted the Lord to provide for them. Therefore they felt comfortable giving it to others.
This was not just an issue for their time. The Bible encourages all of us to give of our excess to help those in need, promising that the Lord will respond to our generosity with blessings in kind. Read Luke 6:38 and 2 Cor. 9:6-11 to confirm this.
This is not socialism, which ultimately inhibits enterprise and brings a society to its lowest common denominator. It’s faith based generosity, which rewards enterprise and brings a society to its highest common denominator. In 2 Cor. 9:6 Paul promised that everyone who sows generously will also reap generously. And in 2 Cor. 9:11 He said we’ll be made rich n every way so we can be generous on every occasion. Socialism makes no such promises.