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These days, one particular political party, including most of its presidential candidates, are pushing hard to promote Socialist policies that will supposedly create utopia on earth. Just a sampling of the policies include: national rent control, welfare for illegal immigrants, doing away with prisons, abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), the Green New Deal, a “fair” minimum wage (the most popular proposal these days is $15.00/hour), free healthcare, free college tuition, and the list goes on and on.
The supposed purpose of all of these proposals is to create a just society. By their definition, a just society provides a living wage, safe working conditions, healthcare, guaranteed safe, comfortable, and affordable housing, and open borders. They believe that “by strengthening our social and economic foundations, we are preparing ourselves to embark on the journey to save our planet by rebuilding our economy and cultivate a just society.”
It is certainly a good thing to desire the best for all people. And who could possibly have a problem with various groups working to help those in need to have a better life? All that said, it is ultimately not the goal that is the problem. The problem has to do with the proposed methods for achieving the goals.
The massive flaw in the Socialist approach is that it stands in stark contrast to the realities of human nature. Human beings are fallen creatures with a built in tendency to sin, and NO social agenda is going to change that, no matter how well intended.
The fatal flaw in Socialism is not in its desire for equality and to help the down and out, but in the fact that it is built upon a worldview foundation that does not correspond to reality. It is an expression of a naturalistic worldview that doesn’t recognize the existence of any transcendent reality – that is, there is no God who can come alongside individuals to help them in life. To them, human beings are nothing more than animal creatures with a highly evolved brain. People with this view believe that if utopia is going to be achieved at all, it must be achieved by the efforts of human beings.
The institution these Socialists believe must be leveraged to achieve their utopian dream is government. To them, that is the closest to a transcendent power that exists in all of reality, so government programs must be established to create Eden on earth.
Unfortunately for them, it simply is not going to happen. The great problem the utopians run into is that in order to bring their utopian vision to reality, an entire segment of the population has to be disadvantaged – in particular, the most productive segment. The money to pay for the freebies they want to give to the “disadvantaged” still has to be paid by someone – and the “someones” are those who have made their own way in life. This system requires that the government steal from those who earn in order to give the money to those who have not earned – generally through some form of oppressive tax structure.
This utopian experiment has actually been tried in many places. You see the results of it in places like the former Soviet Union, and currently in places like China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. But you also see it in American cities run by people who hold these utopian beliefs – places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. When these kinds of Socialist policies are implemented, what we see is an increase in poverty, wealth inequality, homelessness, substance abuse, and all kinds of crime – not to mention the abridgement of freedom itself.
The only place utopia can possibly exist is in eternity with God. That is the only place where the scourge of sin, that caused the fallenness of man, has been eliminated, and the power to overcome sin dwells. We can work legitimately toward making life on earth better for humanity, but it cannot be done based on naturalistic worldview beliefs. It can only be done by people whose hearts and minds have been transformed by a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
But even then, we will never have total utopia on earth. It is simply contrary to the reality of human existence. Our goal must be to accomplish the purposes of God. Doing what we can to help others is one part of that, but is not the ultimate goal. Utopia won’t happen until we are in eternity with God.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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