About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
simple terms, socialism as it pertains to the relationship between
government and its citizens is the system whereby the citizens benefit
to one degree or another from government.
Many political conservative Christians oppose a socialistic form
of government for various reasons. That
being said, anyone living in the West, whether they admit it or not, are
at least partial political socialists.
Anyone, for example, who receives unemployment insurance, old age
pension, government funded health care, welfare payments, disability
payments, corporate tax benefits, income tax credits for donations to
churches and charities, among other government benefits, participate in
political socialism, and thus, is at least a mild socialist.
article is not about political or economic socialism.
It's about spiritual socialism, as is seen in our western-world's
Evangelical gospel that promotes the benefits of being a Christian over
the responsibilities of being a Christian.
Such benefits include getting saved, getting forgiven, getting
heaven, getting healed, getting grace, getting peace, and getting a
multitude of heavenly benefits. This
unbalanced "gospel to get" is spiritual socialism, and here is
is both Christ and Lord. As
Christ, we benefit by Jesus offering Himself and all that is His to us.
As Lord, Jesus benefits by us offering ourselves and all that is
ours to Him. The titles
Christ and Lord imply a balanced view of the New Testament gospel.
Jesus gives Himself to us while we give ourselves to Him. These
two relational aspects of the gospel of salvation are inseparable.
maintain that I am not a Christian because of the benefits I receive
from "Christ" Jesus. I
am a Christian because I have come to understand that the
"Lord" Jesus is the absolute universal truth, and thus, I have
no other logical choice but to offer myself to Him.
With this in mind, as seen in Jesus' titles Lord and Christ, the
New Testament gospel is just as much a gospel to give as it is a gospel
to get. We give ourselves to
Jesus as He gives Himself to us, which then, implies a mutual
relationship whereby both Jesus and us perform our respective
responsibilities in the process of salvation.
If you are a politically
leaning conservative Christian who opposes political and economic
socialism, I would suggest you ask yourself if you are a spiritual
socialist. If you have
become a Christian based on the gospel to get as many heavenly benefits
as possible without being reciprocally responsible for these benefits,
then in matters of faith, you are a spiritual socialist.
You believe in an unbiblical socialized salvation.
If that is the case, you should take the advice of the apostle
Paul, as recorded in 2 Corinthians 13:5.
yourselves to see whether you are in the faith;
test yourselves. Do you not
realize that Christ Jesus is in
you—unless, of course, you fail the test?"