Jesus Was Not a Socialist


Rumors continue to persist that Jesus was a socialist, despite all the evidence to the contrary. For instance, he did not believe in the involuntary redistribution of wealth. He never once commanded government to dig its hands into the wallets of its citizens to give their money to somebody else.

He did, of course, believe in the voluntary redistribution of wealth, where individuals give freely to those in need out of their own resources and motivated by compassion. His commands about feeding the poor and clothing the naked were given to us, not to government.

Also, Jesus’ parables reveal a decidedly capitalistic, free enterprise view of economic transactions. For instance, in the parable of the workers in the vineyard we find Jesus frowning on the concept of collective bargaining and even the minimum wage.

In this parable, found in Matthew 20:1-16, the main character in the story, the owner of a vineyard, hires a batch of workers at the beginning of the day and agrees with them on their wage for the day, a denarius a piece.

At 9:00 am, he recruits some additional day laborers, promising to pay them “whatever is right.” At noon and again at 3 pm he goes out and does the same, and then one hour before quitting time, he hires on some additional workers
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