When did the term social become a bad word? In the beginning of the New Testament church at Jerusalem, they sold all that they had and had all things in common (koinonia).
Introduction: Imagine in America that you are poor, in poor physical health, homeless, lacking in resources, and all of the sudden a group of your fellow-citizens came to your door to help. Imagine if the help that they come to provide is more than the customary hand-out, a few groceries, an offering of some sort or even a stipend of some sort that is woefully inadequate to meet your needs. But imagine if this group of people found out what all of your needs might be, housing, housing repairs, finances, child-care support, medicines, and whatever it took to make you and your family completely whole? Wouldn't you or our family be amazed? But if you think about it, isn't that what a well meaning society should provide for each other?
Questions to Ponder?
-How come, as a practice, we don't do that for all Americans? Can't afford it?
-Why do we have social institutions, and a college degree called Social Work
yet when you mention the word social or socialism, Americans cringe.
-Again, when did the term social become a bad word?
-Where else on the planet earth does the term stir up so much animus?
-Were Jesus Christ and the Apostles socialists?
-What really bothers American about the terms social and social welfare?
Social merely means human beings living together as a group in a situation in which their dealings with one another affect their common welfare.
Socialism means any of various theories or systems of the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by society or the community rather than by private individuals, with all members of society of the community sharing in the work and the products.
Socialism Applauded in scripture: [From Acts. 4:32-37]
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas , The son of consolation, a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles feet.
I: Jesus the Socialist
In Luke chapter 18, vs 22, Jesus stuns a rich young ruler by telling him
to go and sell all that he has and distribute it to the poor.
II. The Newly Spirit-filled Groups of Believers were Socialists?
They had all things in common, except for Ananias and Saphhira.
III. If Americans Became Biblical Socialists?
Imagine if all Americans were to gather together all of their resources, and everyone was to cash in and then follow it by redistributing all of the resources on an equal basis to every single individual or family in this land?
Imagine if all of the corporations in the land were to divide up the wealth and distribute employment opportunities among all of the people of the land. In other words full-employment, and every employee making a similar amount of money, i.e., enough to meet all of his needs (reference Kuwait). There would be enough monies for housing, food, healthcare, education...
IV. The Results and Benefits
*Elimination of poverty
*Crime rate goes down
*More buying power placed in the hands of consumers
*Lower government tax conscriptions to pay for healthcare, Medicare, social security
*A better educated society
*A Happy God
*Reduced costs e.g. in housing, transportation et al.
*A more robust economy, with increased profits
V. How come some won't do it now, even Believers? Are these the Ananias and Saphira type believers, of today. The same kind of spirits that are mentioned in Acts Chapter 5?
Why won't Christians act now en masse and seek out all of the poor in this land and discover the reasons for their poverty and participate in a 5 year plan to lift everyone to a one class system? Why won't Christians come together to eliminate the problem of unemployment, illiteracy, disease once and for all, knowing that everyone except the true slacker, will have housing, food, clothing, education, each night when we all lay down to sleep? Why? It is un-American!
VI. What if we perfected this model and in turn exported it to the world?
We could eliminate world wars & hostilities, world hunger and the current animus towards the USA.
Americans will write a check. Remember under Lyndon Johnson, the war on poverty. America wrote a few checks, the government participated, but the problem did not go away. Why? Did we have a full-investment to resolve this problem once and for all?
VII. The Real Reasons Behind American's Refusal to Act:
Greed, selfishness, pride, lack of compassion (I am not my brother's keeper),
capitalism, flaws in the American philosophy - we do not follow the
plan of God. Many Americans will openly say, "I am trying to get ahead. The
question is ask is, get ahead of who? They never think about what they are
saying, for to get ahead, means that you are leaving someone behind. God's
people in America don't seem to understand this concept either. Americans are
confused by American dogma, they have ignored their sisters and brothers and
left the Plan of God behind. How do Christian Americans sleep at night?
Many Americans earn thousands and some as much as a million dollars per day, while others earn less than $10K in a year. Why is this permitted to go on by our society? If one of our billionaires and even some of our millionaires were given the instruction that the Rich Young Ruler received, they would also go away unhappy, saying under their breths, you socialist. But what the young ruler missed that many miss today, is instead of tearing down your barns to build bigger barns, as many are doing now, that if he had given away all that he had, by the end of the week, given his recurring revenue stream, he would have had untold wealth by the end of the week.
In other words, the person who earns an average of $200.00 per day, for each day of the year, would have a replacement of $73K by the end of the year; @ $500.00 per day $182,500; @ $1,0000 per day, $365K at the end of the year; at $1M per day, $365M by the end of the year.
What was lost? Nothing. What was gained? Safety, security, decreased taxes, benefit programs, contribution for all social welfare programs, few dollars spent to build prisons and to fight crime, possible elimination of drug trafficking and on and on. And more importantly, your money would have more value.
The average American earning lets say $75K per average over a 50 year working span (lets be generous), would earn $3.7M in a lifetime. We have many Americans who earn that much in a month, some in a year, and some almost every day. Compare that to the regional cost of living scales. A family of four in most areas could live at a minimum with $65K per annum.
And what do those who earn far in excess of this average need amount do with the excess? Many simply hoard it, while others starve, cannot get medical help, live in squalor and pain. Many tear down their current barns, houses or corporation and build larger ones. Many simply invest, so that they can earn more and still they will not help their fellow human beings. In America, the more you earn the smaller commensurate amount that you are share.
Why are Americans so selfish? Rush Limbaugh, once boasting as only Rush can, that all of those who are pushing class warfare and who want to punish the rich should realize that even if you tax us more, we will still have our limousines, we will still have our swimming pools..... Yes Rush, my point exactly, you won't loose any of those amenities or luxuries, others will simply be able to afford their medications, housing, health costs, send their kids to college, et al.
I believe that when God planned and created the world, that adequate resources to care for all of the needs of all humans and the animals, fish and fowl was provided as well. The problem we have is that a small minority, hoards, what was intended for all. Five percent or less of Americans control 90% of the stock-market. Are you kidding me?
And you young entrepreneurs will say that you have been gifted to do what I do so I should be compensated more than others, giving that I help to provide jobs for others. Where is that in the Bible. Should you earn 180 times what the employees earn? Says who? Did it ever occur to you that God gifted you to benefit others who come to work at your organization benefit you? Did it ever occur to you that you chosen by God to be an entrepreneur, an executive, a builder? Yes, but he never intended for you to sit back and hoard what he had blessed. Your corporation would not work unless God blessed it. You were gifted in on order to help all of the people.
Are you so selfish that you will extract $100M from the corporation, similar to the CEO at Disneyland, while charging parents who want to bring their children to your amusements parks once a year, thousands of dollars for a few days entertainment; while at the same time many of your employees don't have health care?
And make no mistake about it, the $100M is not a one-time proposition. Refer to my example above, most Americans, hard-working Americans won't earn $4M working at one or two jobs in their lifetimes. In order to do so, many in the majority would have to come back and live 24 lifetimes to earn what you earn in one year. Now don't you believe that there is something wrong with a system, not to mention a person like you who would take that kind of revenue away from the people so that you can jet set around the world, and stay in lavish luxury while at the same time others anguish everyday over how to pay the bills, feed the children, even purchase an automobile to get to your job? Oh yes, you say, we deserve this and they are simply jealous!
Is it any wonder that when George Bush 41, Lee Iacocca and a planeload of executives visited Japan 2 decades ago to ask for concessions in the automobile industries, that the Japanese businessmen referred to American businessmen as, gangsters.
One thing that is true of America then, even of those who claim to be Christian's, you are truly not your brother's keeper, are you? Can anyone envision what we have to gain if we were take all of the wealth and position and redistribute them? And if we would reorganize our society in such a way to ensure that every person had a job, house, car, healthcare, food and the disposal income required to meet the needs of each individual or family, the pie is large enough. And I believe that God prefers socialism over a system that rewards some while leaving others behind. The Rich Young Ruler would not have lost anything, and neither will you!