There are two aspects to the version of economic justice envisioned by progressives:

  • Government should confiscate the resources of the wealthy.
  • People of faith can delegate their responsibilities of charity to the government.

Scripture supports neither of these ideas. Rather, we see the faithful voluntarily giving their resources to the church, and the church handling the matter of caring for the poor and less fortunate.

History does not support them either. Actually, history has shown that confiscating and redistributing wealth does not empower the people but does empower those in power.

Misused Scriptures

  • Luke 18:18-27: Jesus calls a wealthy young man to come and follow him. He commands the man, "Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The wealthy man walks away, saddened at the prospect of sacrificing his wealth. Jesus thus observes, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

The progressive says, "See? Jesus says if you wealthy you aren't going to heaven." The fact is that Jesus did not order this man to sell his possessions. This is much unlike the progressive who would impose a hefty income tax or confiscate wealth from those who had acquired it rightfully. This man can choose to divest his possessions and follow Jesus. But he doesn't want to. He cannot bear to part with his wealth, even to follow Jesus. This passage isn't about wealth but about materialism; it is the love of money and things that keep us from salvation.