Was Jesus a Socialist?

Not even close.

To believe such nonsense, one would have to disbelieve the very words of Christ Himself.

By way of example, in the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of Luke, Jesus is confronted by two men, both of whom were wealthy: a certain “rich young ruler” and Zacchaeus, a hated publican.  

The former man was righteous by all indications and had acquired his wealth normally.  (Or so we should assume since Jesus didn’t say otherwise.)  However, he was fond of his riches and thus, he was distraught at what Jesus told him he must “sell all that [he] had, and give to the poor”.  We must also presume that this was for the good of his soul.

The latter however, was a miscreant.  Tax-collectors in ancient times became wealthy by extorting tax monies.  They were more accurately “tax-farmers”, men who paid the taxes for a given region from his own pocket and then, with his goon squad, went from house to house and reimbursed himself, to the tune of four-fold.  These men were quite hated.  The fact that these tax-farmers were Jews, who rang every last shekel from his own race on behalf of the even more hated Roman government, made them even more hated than the Romans.  The contrasts between both men could not have been starker.

At no point was their tangible wealth the issue —or even how they acquired it–believe it or not!). What was at issue was how they responded to it.  

Let us think about what this means.  We know as Christians, that all things, not just wealth, belong to God. (Hebrews 10:18) and when He is done with us, He will roll the world up “as a scroll.” (Isaiah 34:4 and Revelation 6:14).  Ultimately, that means that we own nothing, not even our lives, much less the clothes on our backs.

If the wealth of the world is provisional and temporary, then it follows that the wealth worth seeking is not of this life, but of the next.  That’s why Jesus praised the hated collaborator, Zacchaeus, but lamented the other man who by all indications was an upright person.  The rich man would not divest himself of the wealth of this world.  His wealth itself was never the issue.  It was his attachment to it.   Zacchaeus however repented of his ill-gotten wealth and even vowed to make restitution “four-fold”.  This would have impoverished him.

Be that as it may, material wealth exists.  And like the material world, it is good.  (It has to be, the opening chapters of both Genesis and John reveal that fact to us.)  Therefore, when Jesus told one of his disciples to “sell your cloak and buy a sword (Lk 22: 36)” he was acknowledging the fact that individuals had legal possession of resources and they could sell them or barter them as they pleased.  That’s free-market capitalism at the very least; a basic, man-to-man barter system admittedly, but proof that God acknowledges individual ownership nonetheless. 

It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

The gifts God gives us are like the talents talked about in Matthew 25:14–30, wherein Jesus tells we need to take what God gives us and to increase it for the Kingdom of Heaven.  What we have is given to us but we will be asked to give an account of what we did with those gifts, whether we multiplied them or not.   We are required to be both wise and charitable. And you can’t be charitable if you have no wealth.

Folks, that is not Socialism by any stretch of the imagination.

This is socialism: Not only does it violate all Scriptural injunctions and observations regarding our fallen state (e.g. Gen 3:17-19, Acts 4:32-37, 2 Thessalonian 3:10:), it violates common sense. And reality. And anything so utopian will not only fail, it will fail miserably –and with horrendous violence.  (And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, both Jesus and Paul worked with their hands to support themselves. They even paid their taxes and submitted to authority. These men were anything but dreamy ideologues who were looking for a handout.)

Not very long ago, we wrote a column about St Basil the Great, specifically the compendium of his sermons which is entitled, On Social Justice. While Basil castigated the rich for their greed, he didn’t fault them for their riches. Instead, he exhorted them to do good things with it, to be philanthropists, just as God Himself is the ultimate Philanthropist.

Nobody forced God to create the world or to give His only begotten Son to save it. He did it out of love. For us. Thus, it stands to reason that any forced “charity” is an oxymoron. It is not only anti-Christian, Basil said that it “violated the law of love”.  It is the ultimate contradiction in terms. 

Well, I’ve got a newsflash for you:  the forced charity that is at the heart of Socialism does exactly that. Not only does it violate free will, it results in horrible calamities.  In the last century alone, Socialism resulted in the murder of a hundred million human beings. There is no way to sugar-coat its awful legacy.

Oh sure, the Soviets had a space program and the Nazis built the Autobahn, both of which still function today. But at what cost? Lenin famously said that in order to make an omelet a few eggs had to be cracked. The “eggs” he was speaking about were human skulls. The “omelet” were totalitarian states that reduced their populations to slavery.

Are you OK with that?  I’m not.

I can’t believe that God is either.  Otherwise, we are nothing but puppets with no free will.

But you know who is?  Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambrianides, as evidenced by the fact that he marched shoulder-to-shoulder with BLM, a self-described cultural-Marxist movement, one that is committed to the destruction of the nuclear family (among other things).  All this, during a pandemic where he required us to stay home and watch his priests play “Church” on TV.

You know who else is OK with it?  Judging by the popular meme accompanying this column, I’m guessing Metropolitan Savas Zembillas of the GOA, who caused tongues to wag a few years ago when it was reported that during a trip to London, he took the time to pay a visit to Karl Marx’s tomb. Realizing that he’d get some heat for it, he purportedly gave the standard excuse that “socialism has never really been tried” or some such tripe.  But the secret was out. 

(Savas in case you may have forgotten, literally jumped with glee when Obama was elected:  savaonarolla.blogspot.com/2008/11/this-is-day-that-lord-has-made.html)

I know I’m taking a risk of alienating of angering or confusing or even scandalizing some of our  readers, specifically those who identify with the Democratic Party and its ungodly, anti-family agenda.  Having said that, I don’t imagine the Republicans are the Children of Light.  Far from it.  Honest Christians and conservatives have long been taken for a ride by GOP, Inc.  But despite our world of nuances, we are sometimes not given the choice of grays; sometimes, there are  only blacks and whites and no grays, and thus, regrettably, you have to hold your nose and pick a side.  Even if your side has flaws of its own.

I for one can never pick the side of any party that chooses forced giving and redistribution of wealth.  Especially when I know that the consequences are nothing but destruction, misery, and death.

Been there, done that.


Now that I’ve said my piece, I ask you to read this fine commentary by Mark Tapscott:



  1. Serious question…I mean, is there just something in the water at the Ecumenical Patriarchate that only bishops from there drink? The clergy that this particular patriarchate produces is just rotten fruit, to be sure not all of them, but they are unlike any other clergy in Orthodoxy that I know of. It’s baffling the spiritual decay that flows from that patriarchate. 
    On a separate, much more spiritually uplifting note, as Gail & George may already be aware, there is a new Georgian monastery in Oklahoma near Piedmont. Thanks be to God: https://orthochristian.com/135726.html

  2. There’s no doubt we’re in the midst of a Color Revolution right now in America. This isn’t surprising – what is surprising is how seemingly overnight it appear and, how many of us seem passive – even in denial – of it within the Church.

    • The question is will it be as successfully implemented in America as it has been in other places? As far as I know, color revolutions seem to be very successful in being implemented 

    • My prediction is the Supreme Court will overturn results, Trump will be elected and riots like we haven’t seen will hit the streets. The BLM/ANTIFA proxy warriors and their woke supporters will further destroy what’s left of small businesses, while seditious state governments announce more lockdowns and martial law under the pretence of covid and ‘white nationalists.’

      • Logistically speaking,  if the electoral college weighs in “illegally” and “unfairly”, is DJT still planning to honor their “decision” or defer to Court actions instead (until January 20 at least)?  Love to see the decision tree if anyone can draw it!  

    • George Michalopulos says

      LonelyDn, while the Color Revolutions have been successful in removing anti-globalist regimes, they sequelae have not been as cut and dried as George Sauron expected. The other day, Viktor Orban of Hungary wrote a blistering (and completely accurate) letter to Soros calling him every name in the book.

      I would say that there is a hardening of positions even in those countries (Bulgaria, Serbia, Czeckia, etc.) who have succumbed to the Eurozone blandishments. My intuition is that the new “autocephalous” sects that Pat Bart is creating in the Balkans (at the behest of the EU/NATO) are not playing well with the already-established national churches.

      Then there’s the overall economic quasi-collapse that is taking place in many of the Eurozone countries.

      One thing I noticed during my sojourns to Russia was how the bloom was definitely off the rose as far as the West was concerned. Now, I imagine, the whole idea of electoral democracy as practiced here is widely derided as a sick joke.

  3. Let not forget that the Democrats are also the party of abortion on demand. How can one call themselves a Christian as they support people who continuously lobby for the genocide of God’s most innocent ones. These children have no voice and they have no choice…and yet there are those who consistently vote for those who are eager to have them legally murdered in the wombs of their own mothers. Lord have mercy! Calling all Christians (Orthodox and otherwise), if you vote for democrats, you are only pretending to have a Christian faith.

    • Mikhail,
      There are those Christians– and I find them most often amongst those who call themselves ‘Orthodox’ – who would argue that men’s (and women’s) hearts must first change, that no law can stop the evil of abortion until that occurs, and that therefore it doesn’t really matter that much who we vote for in terms of abortion.
      To this we must reply that such thinking is UTTER NONSENSE!
      Even God, though He knew that our hearts must change, “gave us the law to aid us” (Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great).  That is, to show us what is good and evil, as well as to restrain our evil impulses (by force in the case of His people Israel) and to keep evil from spreading.  The law, as Paul tells us, was our tutor, which is to say that the law is pedagogical: it teaches.  This is true of both ‘religious’ and civil/criminal law.  The law not only teaches what is acceptable societal behavior. it has a limited capacity to change men’s hearts. 
      For those who do not believe this, one only need to point to two rather obvious things that the law accomplished in a matter of one or two generations.  Laws against racial discrimination not only restrained and punished the behavior, they also largely succeeded in changing the vast majority of men’s hearts to the point where they no longer desired to discriminate.  The law didn’t (and couldn’t) stamp it out entirely, but it made it morally unacceptable to ‘decent folk.’  Abortion laws worked in the other direction.  They made abortion first legal (an option that one can consider), then acceptable to ‘decent folk,’ and finally a moral good in the eyes of far too many.  And the dramatic increase in number of murders by abortion reflects this.
      Some will argue that such laws impinge on God-given freedom (as in the good kind of freedom that He gives to irrevocably to every man).  They must be challenged.  Did God withdraw His gift of freedom when He gave us the law?  Or did He give us the law in order to direct our freedom and to keep us from destroying ourselves until it could lead us the Christ?
      And how many have lives been destroyed by abortion?  Even apart from the innocent lives that are lost, there are some 30 million women in this country alone who, for whatever reason (desperation, shame, or pure selfishness), chose abortion precisely because it was a “safe, legal” option open to them.  That is 30 million thoroughly wounded women, as well as an almost equal number of men – in addition to others (parents, siblings, friends ) who enabled them.  By a very conservative measure there are now at least 60 million walking wounded due to the legality and ease of abortion.  And we all know what wounded people almost invariably do. They wound others.  They cannot bring themselves to condemn what they know they have done themselves and more readily recommend it to others.  And this because of the burden of shame and guilt they bear in themselves.  All this carnage to both bodies and souls could have been avoided by…you guessed it…the law.  If abortion were neither legal nor easy, only a tiny percentage would have chosen it.  Those who say that we cannot love our neighbor by means of righteous law need to rethink how God Himself loved mankind.  No law can  make them Christians or righteous in God’s sight, but it can sure restrain them and countless others around them from destroying their souls and searing their consciences.
      Moreover, it is ever so disingenuous – or else inexcusable ignorance – to affirm as some seemingly well-educated Christians do  (somewhat correctly, I might add) that non-Democratic politicians, primarily Republicans, have done little to overturn Roe v Wade and therefore it makes no difference who one votes for on the issue of abortion.  What those who say such things willfully choose neither to see or acknowledge is that 99.9% of Democratic politicians and the Democratic party as a whole have a stated intention (and a lengthy record to prove it) of not only keeping the evil of abortion “safe and legal,” but of actually promoting it with Federal and state tax dollars.  They don’t just want it allowed; they want us all to pay for it.  In classic Satanic fashion, they want the blood to be on all our hands.  This is something the Republican party as a whole does not do (though some of its members do).  One of the few things government has the capacity to do reasonably well – and the one thing God ordained it for – is to keep order by restraining evil by force.  One party wants to restrain the evil of abortion, while the other actively promotes it.
      Finally, one has to admit that there are any number of things some  Republicans stands for that are contrary to Orthodox Christianity.  This I freely admit; and in this admission, I can at least understand those who might turn these arguments around and ask, “How, then, can you vote the way you do?”  Obviously, I believe strongly that there is no greater evil than the iconoclasm that is murder/abortion, and nothing will shake this belief.  Any politician of any stripe (including Republican) immediately reveals his or her callousness toward God and neighbor if they cannot acknowledge abortion as an evil that transcends all others. They cannot be trusted to govern.  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.  I can respect those who would turn these arguments on us and say we should refuse to vote.  I don’t agree with them.  I think they are terribly misguided in sacrificing what is obviously the far lesser of evils for the sake of a perfection that will never be attained in this world, but it is a position I can at least respect.  I cannot, however, respect those Christians – particularly Orthodox Christians – who say such things and then choose to cast their vote in favor of the active promotion what is manifestly evil and the father of all other evils – particularly those who proceed to add, “We’re Orthodox.  We know it’s a sin no matter what the law says.”  The lack of love and concern for one’s neighbor that is reflected in statements like this is palpable.

      • Any society that promotes abortion will reduce its birth rate.
        Any society that promotes same-sex marriage will reduce its birth-rate.
        Any society that promotes LGBTQ(etc) lifestyles will reduce its birth rate.
        Any society that reduces its birth rate below its replication rate will be replaced.
        But then, perhaps this is the ultimate intention of our current culture leaders
        Gen 9:7   “And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring
        forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.”  [KJV]

  4. Quite aside from the political issue, St. John Chrysostom’s words are always apt in any discussion of wealth. “If you don’t see Christ in the face of the beggar at the church door you will not find Him in the Cup” and, “The wealthy exist for the benefit of the poor and the poor exist for the salvation of the wealthy”. 

    • Well and truly said, Yannaro.  Of course these words are addressed to us about our neighbor – who is a real concrete person with a name and a face,  not ‘society’ or ‘humanity’ in the abstract or any sort of ‘ism.’  Socialists, Communists, and most others who claim to love humanity are like Charlie Brown who confessed, “I love humanity.  It’s people I can’t stand.”  Nevertheless, Capitalists would do well to heed these words of life you have so rightly shared.

  5. I refer them to the Parable of the Talents:
    Matthew 25:14–30,  Luke 19:11–27
    Both teach to be faithful but industrious with wealth in order to obtain a good return.  That is the very definition of capitalist morality.  No socialist would have taught any such thing.

  6. Michael Bauman says

    “Oh I’m Sanchetta, yes I’m Sanchetta, I follow my master to the end. I tell all the world proudly, I’m his wife, I’m his friend” Paraphrase of Sancho’s part https://genius.com/Mitch-leigh-man-of-la-mancha-i-don-quixote-lyrics Onward to glory you go! May it be so by Christ’s mercy.

    • George Michalopulos says

      She is most definitely my friend!

      • Michael Bauman says

        Ain’t it grand!  I have never had a better friend than my Merry.   … And that is putting it mildly.  
        I only prayed for a woman who loved God and who could love me.  I was given so much more.  Thank you always Holy Theotokos!

  7. This is the most touching homily on the subject: https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0207.htm

    Who is the Rich Man that Shall be Saved? by Clement of Alexandria.

    Contemporary materialist and Marxist socialism is, of course, an ungodly aberration, but I would argue that laissez faire buccaneer free-market capitalism is just as bad. There needs to be a middle ground. There should be private property, of course, but there needs to be regulations. Third Position and Distributist economic system best reflect, for me, the virtuous medieval Christian practices of the guilds, almsgiving, public healthcare, public education, and opposition to usury, all of which were under the direction of the Church and the monasteries. Everything needs to be predicated on love, not hatred and jealousy (Marxists) or greed (capitalists).

    Russia is a prime example of both extremes. It was absolutely destroyed by communism under the Soviet system, and then got absolutely destroyed – again – by capitalism in the 90s. We might be heading the same way, but in reverse. There are large swathes of our country that are in an absolutely dire state of affairs – places like Appalachia, for example, and former industrial cities – and are in no way helped by the capitalist paradigm here.

    • It is interesting to note that in the parable we are given the poor man’s name, Lazarus, but not that of the rich man.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Yannaro: correct. The Rich Man is reduced to his passions, basically an animal with no soul. Hence, no name.

        Basil: correct as well. The Middle Ages (post-feudalism) not only had a better economic system (the guilds, etc.) but they had no usury. Horrible system.

        Of course, we’re now heading into serfdom.

  8. E. Michael Jones has some good words about Soros, election fraud and color revolutions:

  9. George Michalopulos says

    We may be approaching the Singularity sooner than we thought possible thanks to the Left:

    Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti bans non-essential walking, and no we didn’t think he could do that either. | Not the Bee

    It’s possible that the Kamasutra Harris regime may push us over the edge thanks to the insanity of the Left.

  10. George Michalopulos says

    Wow, this is huge! The number is now up to 48 states’ Attorneys-General filing anti-trust legislation against Facebook. Seems that an awful lot of Democrats as well as Republicans want to break up this behemoth.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Next stop: Twitter, then Google.