It is not uncommon to see those who support the liberalist, or “progressive” philosophy to counter arguments put forth by Christians by stating the unequivocal fact that Jesus preached socialism. Usually the passage used as reference centers around the rich young ruler who was met with compassion by Jesus but went away saddened when told he lacked one thing, to sell his possessions and follow Jesus. Others cite the feeding of the crowds at the Sermon on the Mount, the tax collector who declared he was giving to the poor and others. These are used to “prove” Jesus was either a socialist or perhaps even better, a communist.
What they never do is bring up all of the other passages contradicting that “proof”. A prime example is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus’ best friend, Lazarus. Lazarus was both an observant Jew and very, very wealthy. Only the top 1% of the economic strata of that day could afford the sort of burial afforded Jesus’ friend. In addition to that the parables of Jesus tell of a far different philosophy than that of the liberal mind.
The story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids stands out as a lesson of being prepared and if you are so foolish as to not be do not look to the prepared world for a handout. The parable of the talents teaches a lesson in enterprise and also focuses on the cost of being lazy. The liberal would call that portion of the parable mean-spirited whereas Jesus calls it a warning in a far deeper sense than mere economic philosophy.
If you take the time to consider, or meditate on Jesus’ earthly ministry it will be revealed that no political philosophy can be attached to the man. Jesus had very little time and a whole lot of disdain for politics. In fact, he even went so far as to point out a very clear separation between the power of the government and the kingdom of God. “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s” is talking about far more than taxes and tithes. An in-depth discussion of what is meant there would quite literally take up an entire textbook complete with footnotes. Suffice it to say that beside money Jesus is talking about loyalties, lifestyle, honor, family and in fact the entirety of what it takes to fashion a human existence.
Some would argue, but Jesus was a Jew, what does that have to do with Christianity? The Jews are liberals, so Jesus has to be a liberal. No, actually Jesus pointed out just how badly the Jews of his day had blown it. The closest we have to that particular personality type today is the governmental regulator and bureaucrat who create policy upon policy until there is utterly no chance of ever violating whatever law they are concerned about due to the reaction by the state over a policy violation. A good example is the expulsion of a child from a grade school because of a crayon drawing of a gun. For Jesus it was the Pharisees and Sadducees ordaining religious rules intended to prevent actual commandments from being broken. Remember, there were only ten and Jesus infuriated the religious Jews by reducing them to a short summary, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself.” He said that right there contained all the law and the prophets. Nowhere in there did he endorse a philosophy that forced the industrious to support the lazy. Not a single passage anywhere in the bible, New or Old Testament mentions a thing about God being in favor of censoring the speech of the faithful, even if they are in office. The bible is very clear about life beginning at conception and it goes further into stating that God knew us even before then. That alone should put a pause in the minds of those who champion the murder, legal or otherwise, of the unborn. Jesus wept over Jerusalem for its rejection of God and his plan. He also prophesied a disaster that came to pass in every detail.
As for Jesus embracing other faiths, the idea itself is pure fantasy. Jesus once told the religious Jews who he was in clear, undisguised terms and they attempted to stone him to death over it. He used the term “I Am”, exactly the same word God said to Moses from the burning bush when Moses asked for his name. The closest English alliteration of the word is YHWH, meaning many things but all of them boiling down to The Ultimate Sufficiency. Attempting to equate the god of Islam, Hinduism or any other competing philosophy is no only ridiculous and flies in the face of Jesus’ declaration, but it has the potential of being eternally disastrous.
So, if Jesus stated that he was in fact God in human form, why did he not use that power to make the world the place it should be? The simple reason is that he wants us to decide to follow his template on our own volition. Jesus told people to follow him only when he knew they were unwilling to give up their real god, wealth. Everyone else he offered them the chance to do so. Willing followers who are capable of thinking on their own are infinitely more desirable than mindless slaves, and if you compare the two philosophies, Jesus-centered Christianity and progressive socialism you will see that right there is the core difference. In Christianity the poor are supported as an act of free will, but they are also offered a path out of poverty and into eternal life. In socialism those who have are forced to give to the government who parcels out just enough to the poor to keep them thinking that is the only way they can survive.
It seems to me that it is far better to use a tiny amount of faith and bet on the side of Jesus being right.