Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) is firing back after a prominent progressive minister and political activist claimed the Bible endorses socialist policies.
Over the weekend, the Rev. William Barber said during a Democratic National Committee event that Scripture “promote[s] socialism.”
“If someone calls it socialism, then we must compel them to acknowledge that the Bible must then promote socialism,” Barber asserted, drawing cheers from the DNC event attendees, including party chairman Tom Perez. “Because Jesus offered free healthcare to everyone and he never charged a leper a co-pay.”
Crenshaw then picked apart Barber’s claims in a tweet, rebuking the progressive activist for his “deliberate misreading of biblical principles.”
“The Bible teaches charity with one’s own time and money,” the Republican lawmaker continued. “Socialism teaches charity with other people’s time and money.”
“So,” he added, “not the same thing.”
Crenshaw isn’t alone in his concerns about connecting socialism to Scripture.
In June, Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, addressed the issue of socialism and Christianity.
“The Bible,” he said, “does not mandate a particular economic system and the Bible does not give us an economic blueprint.”
Moore, at one point, argued — much like Crenshaw — that there is a difference between voluntary generosity and compelled charity. The former is biblical while the latter is not.
“When you come to the New Testament,” Moore explained, “some people will say, ‘Look, you have the early church. They are sharing their resources.’ Yes, but this is not state action. This is voluntary — the work of the spirit within people who are forming a counterculture.”
The ERLC leader went on to argue it is good for Christians to have a healthy skepticism of the government because human depravity isn’t limited to the private sector but equally impacts public offices and organizations.
With socialism, he said, “the state tends to become nearly all-encompassing in dealing with the economic aspect of life in a way that just doesn’t work” because it’s propelled “by an ideology that attempts to see the world through a purely economic lens,” which just isn’t the reality.