About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Spiritual Socialism


In 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. 


This 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 why.


Jesus 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.  


I 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.


"Examine 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?"


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