Socialism & Communism and what the Bible says
By Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.
As one of the Sixth District’s elected representatives to the State Central Committee, I make a point of traveling across the district talking to Republicans so I can know the people I was elected to represent. As a result, I get to meet a lot of wonderful people who have unknown talents.
One such individual is Mary Beth Swemba, a young grandmother from Augusta County. Mary Beth is modest about herself, but she has a degree in Russian history, culture and politics. In fact, while she was in college, she took every course Penn State offered on Russia including Russian language classes. Her father had some of the classic Russian novels in his library. She read Tolstoy, Puskin and Dostoyevsky as she was growing up. These panoramic stories of the Russian people fed her desire to learn as much as she could about the long, turbulent history of our one-time, Cold War enemy.
As we spoke the last time I was in her area, she shared some insights about Socialism and Communism that I thought deserved an audience. I invited her to be a guest on the “Grassroots Heartbeat” podcast that Charlie Nave and I produce. We recently recorded an interview with her that should be posted next week. You will want to listen to the complete interview, but I noted a very interesting point on which I want to expand ahead of time. [Check out all of our podcasts at http://grassrootsheartbeatva.libsyn.com.]
Karl Marx, the founder of Communism, wrote his doctoral dissertation to show that “theology must yield to the superior wisdom of philosophy.” Yet despite — or perhaps because of — his own dissertation, Marx cherry-picked a short passage from the Bible and used that as a basis for his economic system. Unfortunately, he misused it and misapplied it, and the world has been a sorrier place because he did so.
Acts 4:34-35 says: “Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” Marx misappropriated that biblical example and decided that the rich should give what they have to the government so that the government could distribute what the government thinks we need.
But that is not what God said to do. In Acts 4, the people knew each other. This was a local arrangement where everyone knew everyone else, and they knew that everyone was doing their part and that no one was unfairly getting something they didn’t actually need. Marxism calls for national government control of the process, which allows anyone to scam the system who has enough pull or enough guile. It happens all the time in our current welfare system.
Also, the community of people in Acts gave voluntarily. They gave because they wanted to, not because they were forced to do so. Under Socialism/Communism, no one has a choice. The government takes what they want whether you like it or not. That’s stealing. And the Bible is very clear as to what God thinks about that. Exodus 20:15 says, “You shall not steal.” That is the eighth of God’s Ten Commandments.
The community in Acts was united in a common purpose because they all believed the same things. They were of the same mind in their priorities. Marx didn’t care what anyone’s priorities were other than his own. He argued that any means were acceptable in order to force his ideas on everyone else.
Finally, the community in Acts trusted the people to whom they entrusted their gifts to the community. I don’t need to go into detail about how much lack of trust people have in our government. Under Socialism, things would only get worse.
The Bible is full of capitalistic concepts. The Bible instructs us not to move property markers in order to deprive children of their inheritance. God says that a man who does not provide for his family is worse than a heathen. The Bible presumes in its instructions that families will make a profit and will benefit themselves from it. The Bible also says not to keep all of our profits for ourselves, but rather to store up treasures in Heaven by wisely investing our wealth in the things that bring glory to God on earth. Yet God wants us to decide on our own to do good with our profits. And when our giving to others comes because we want to give, then that is not theft — unlike the process of Socialism.
The Bible explains to us the source of our liberty. Karl Marx misquotes the Bible in order to take away our liberty. Be wise. Know the truth so you can counter the lies.
Steve “Doc” Troxel taught at Liberty University for 21 years. He currently serves as vice-chairman of the local board of Central Virginia Community College. Doc has served as Chairman of the Lynchburg Republican City Committee and mentors other Republican leaders.