Interview with Lawrence Reed: Was Jesus a Socialist?

Interview with Lawrence Reed: Was Jesus a Socialist?

A View from the Wall with Lawrence Reed

Many progressives now claim Jesus was a socialist. Is this true? What does the Bible teach about this provocative issue?

As we consider the chaotic events in today’s world, the political view of socialism continues to find popularity. Some even claim Jesus was a socialist, using the claim as proof socialism should be implemented in our society.

Joining us in today’s important discussion is Lawrence Reed, president emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education in Atlanta. He is the author or editor of 15 books, including his latest title Was Jesus a Socialist? In a recent blog, he noted:

The fact is, nothing in the New Testament supports the claims of socialists and progressives who try to enlist Jesus in their causes. That’s what I show in my new book, Was Jesus a Socialist?

Let’s start with the biblical story of Jesus miraculously feeding some 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread. As one Twitter user put it this week, this story is “the biggest reason why people think Jesus was a socialist.”

So let’s look at the story. As the throngs gathered, Jesus asked his disciple Philip a very capitalist question: “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” John 6:6 tells us that Jesus “asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.” And then Jesus did it: Using his unique power, he multiplied the loaves and the fishes until the crowd was fed. In other words, he created new wealth without stealing a crumb from anyone—which is the opposite of what socialists do.

In 2019, a YouGov poll found that 70 percent of American millennials stated they would vote for a socialist. We’ve shared why socialism is a concern and why Jesus is not a socialist, but a growing number of millennials are more favorable toward socialism. We’ll also share concerns regarding this trend, presenting a biblical alternative important for our lives today.

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