Socialism Violates the Ten Commandments

A Millennial explains why she could never be a socialist.

By Lisa Smiley Published on December 21, 2018

The Christian left claims that socialism is compatible with the Bible. In fact, leftist Christians often claim the moral high ground by asserting that socialism is more Christian than our American political system and market economy.

“You know, God himself would be a socialist,” they often say. So if we want to be good Christians, we should embrace socialism too. Right?

Actually, no.

What is ‘Socialism’ Exactly?

To start off, let’s define what socialism actually is.

According to Merriam-Webster, socialism is defined as, “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

If a Christian is going to advocate for a political and economic system in the name of Christianity, it should at least align with the Ten Commandments.

So essentially, there is no private property, and the government, not the people, owns or controls the economy.

Does the Bible Have Anything to Say About These Socialist Values?

How does socialism hold up to the Ten Commandments, the basis of our Judeo-Christian faith? That should be our first test.

If a Christian is going to advocate for a political and economic system in the name of Christianity, it should at least align with the Ten Commandments. It is, after all, God’s most basic rules for life on earth for believers.

Let’s see:

Socialism Violates the First Commandment

The very first commandment states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

Right there, socialism violates the very first commandment.

Socialism is essentially atheistic. After all, Karl Marx did say, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

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In a socialist system, the worship of God is replaced with the worship of government. The state basically becomes God. We look to the state to give us our rights, our freedoms, our livelihood, our wages, our jobs, our meals, our education, and our healthcare — that is, if there’s any of it to go around once the government takes over! There is no appealing to a higher authority because the state is the final authority.

But as Christians, we don’t serve the government, we serve God. God is our Heavenly Father and our ultimate authority. Our inalienable rights come from him and the state should conform to His natural law.

Is it any wonder then that socialist and communist countries have tended to be atheistic? In countries like the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cambodia and China, religion has been discouraged and heavily persecuted under socialist rule. Instead of worshiping the one and only God, it is the leaders of these oppressive regimes that are revered as saviors and gods in their respective countries.

Socialism Violates the Eighth Commandment

The eighth commandment says, “Thou shalt not steal.”

But what is the basis of a socialist government? Stealing! Theft! Or as, Frédéric Bastiat, the 19th century French economist, called it, “legal plunder.”

When one thinks about the idea of “plunder,” one may conjure up images of pirates plundering ships, and victors of war plundering the defeated. But socialism is basically plunder that’s been made legal.

Government should protect our right to the fruits of our labor, not take it from us.

Now I’m not saying that those who get things from the government are guilty of it. No, the state itself has taken on the role of the thief. It takes the property of those who earned it and gives it to those who didn’t. It legalizes and legitimizes theft, and anyone who opposes this “legal plunder” through taxation or outright confiscation of private property is an enemy of the socialist state.

However, God tells us to not steal! That presupposes and affirms the right of private property. Government should protect our right to the fruits of our labor, not take it from us.

Socialism Violates the Tenth Commandment

The tenth commandment says, “Thou shalt not covet.”

That means no, we should not feel it is our right to have other people’s stuff.

But socialists even tell us to feel good about our covetousness. Socialism encourages jealousy, envy, and strife between the rich and poor. It paints those that have more than us as the bad guys, that somehow, they owe us something.

It may be easier to think we are the victims if we don’t have what other people have. But socialists are exploiting and elevating our natural, though sinful, desire to covet. But God has expressly told us not to do that.

Is Socialism Compatible With the Bible?

So how can socialism be compatible with the Bible when it violates three of God’s most basic commandments? It can’t.

And we know that God doesn’t contradict himself in his word. After all, Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

Upon even the most rudimentary analysis of socialism, we can safely conclude that the Bible does not support a socialist political or economic system.

So as a Christian millennial, I cannot support or embrace socialism.

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  • Walt Viet

    I think the article is very well put. Socialism brakes three Commandment
    What is the old saying? “Three strikes your out”. No more need to be said.

  • tz1

    No fault divorce causes adultery.
    The Abortion Holocaust is murder, but only 60 million innocents.
    When don’t they bear false witness.

    All here in the USA, within walking distance.

  • Lisa

    What great points from such a lovely young woman.

  • David Hess

    excellent article and concise rebuke of the deception found on the so-called “Christian” Left

  • Ray

    it’s a demonic stronghold, so let’s pray against it. May it not prosper. May it’s followers become discouraged by it’s inability to influence society. May it be replaced with godly hunger for Christ’s kingdom.

  • John Chisum

    Good read. Thanks Lisa.

  • Trilemma

    Socialism is, “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” To claim this means there is essentially no private property is false. My house and stuff are not the means of production or distribution of any goods. Therefore, all my stuff and everyone else’s stuff would still be private property. That’s a lot of private property.

    There is nothing in the definition of socialism that requires it to be atheistic any more than democracy or capitalism. It’s entirely up to the people who choose to live under socialism whether or not it’s atheistic.

    There is nothing in the definition of socialism that requires anything to be stolen. The government could simply buy the means of production and distribution or people could donate it to the government. Also, socialism doesn’t require the government to own anything. The means of production and distribution could also be owned by the employees.

    There is nothing in the definition of socialism that makes people covetous. Yes, people covet. But people covet no matter what form of government they live under.

    Let’s look at the United States. The government is definitely atheistic. It doesn’t promote belief in God and is required by law not to. The government imposes taxes on people which can be viewed as stealing. Politicians try to get votes by promising to give tax dollars or other benefits to people which appeals to their covetousness. The government also has people working on Saturdays and Sundays which is a violation of the Sabbath commandment. So, there’s 4 violations of the 10 commandments by our government verses the 3 alleged violations of socialism.

    Also, American is pretty much a form of socialism already. The government owns the means of producing and distributing a number of services such as mail delivery, education, police protection and others. Many of the corporations that are the means of production and distribution of goods are publicly owned through the stock market which is a form of collective ownership.

    • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

      As true as what you have shared may be the reality is that there are fewer options, if any, in socialism to avoid abuses hence destined to embrace and be embraced by totalitarianism. Granted the USA is far too socialistic already and leaning increasingly to leftist socialism of a bureaucratic utopian statism. As for your references it is the federal control rather than state or local control that leads to the abuses by the state, the larger the state, the greater the abuse, the fewer option to redress. As for your reference to corporations, the stockholder is one of the 3-stakeholders of a corporation the others being the customers and the management teams that includes labor. Socialism is predicated by governance of one elite or another whereas capitalism/democracy with a balance of power is not the best just better than the alternatives.

      • Woobiefuntime

        That is why we need to rein in capitalism. Because by itself it is terrible because it is destined to end in fewer choices.

        • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

          The only mean by which capitalism reduces choices is through bureaucrat regulations that favor one company over another (socialistic bureaucratic regulations) rather than constructive destruction by the more response replacing the less responsive that precludes monopolies in a free and open competition. Build a better Facebook to the constructive destruction of Facebook. Again capitalism has far more checks and balances against abused than any and all other social/economic option. To date socialism or any of it abhorrent derivatives have yet to improve the lot of the general population hence socialism appeals is the promise of freebies paid for by others until the others shrug. If the is no wealth created by others to plunder then socialism is between hapless and helpless to create wealth.

      • Trilemma

        Since totalitarianism is all about control, it’s only natural that it would embrace socialism. But I don’t think socialism automatically leads to totalitarianism. Socialism under a democracy is different from socialism under totalitarianism. Under a democracy, the government is theoretically accountable to the people. I agree that the larger the state the greater the abuses due to less accountability. I agree that capitalism/democracy with a balance of power is better than a purely government run socialist state and better than many of the alternatives.

        • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

          Theoretically you are correct but the natural tendencies of bureaucrats is to promote more bureaucrat regulations, centralization of controls. Unfortunately, that is also true as we are experience as a democratic republic that unelected bureaucrats for the deep state with little institution executive or legislative controls while they do enjoy the full support of the legalistic judicial branch. My thoughts are taken from the “Demon in Democracy” written by a former anti-communist member of the Solidarity Party on to realize that Brussels is in many ways more communistic that Russia as embedded as Brussels has embraced globalization of the EU with disdain for any political parties that attempt to maintain their national sovereignty.

    • Stuart

      The U.S. government isn’t “atheistic.” Our founding documents (Declaration of Independence and Constitution) acknowledge a belief in God. The federal government is supposed to be neutral regarding religion. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

      Regarding your examples of mail delivery, education, police protection, etc., being examples of socialism, some of these I would agree arc towards socialism (e.g.: public education and Federal welfare programs). But mail, police, military, and other like examples fall under general welfare and security. Those were the very limited original intention of the Federal government. The Tenth Amendment specifically limits powers of the U.S. government to only those outlined in the Constitution, and reserves all others to the states; sadly this has been massively abused by the Federal government since the Civil War.

      • Trilemma

        The Declaration of Independence is not a governing document. The Constitution itself doesn’t acknowledge a belief in God though it protects the right to believe in God.

        If the government owns the means of providing general welfare and security then those things are socialist. If the government owns the post office then that’s socialism. If the government pays FedEx to deliver mail then it’s not socialism.

    • GLT

      “Therefore, all my stuff and everyone else’s stuff would still be private property.”

      A socialist provincial government in Canada many years ago worked towards taking control of all farmland and allowing the farmers only to lease the land. This was only the first step in what was intended to a be a complete usurpation of all private property, urban and rural. Fortunately the plan did not work.

      • Steve Parsons

        Where do you draw the line at which community action becomes ‘socialism’?

        Sure, if all privately property is abolished, we can call that socialism – or even communism.

        But what about the government taking our money for a common defense against military enemies?

        Or for universal education?

        Or for public health? Disaster assistance? Health care? Shovellling dead bodies off the street Fire departments? Police?

        It seems to add little to public debate to use incendiary words like “socialism’. We need to consider individual policies each on their own merits. Clmly.

        • GLT

          I can agree with that for the most part. Socialism is certainly not a ‘one size fits all’ term.

          • Steve Parsons

            I am happy we can agree on something! So let’s discuss policies on an individual basis, without worrying about the labels.

            Can we agree that it is good for the Feds to probit insurance companies from jacking up premiums for ‘preexisting conditions’?

          • GLT

            I am from Canada and as such I think it would be futile trying to compare systems in other countries. However, in principle I would be opposed to insurance companies jacking up premiums for pre existing conditions, if for no other reason than it would allow too much wiggle room when defining ‘pre-existing.’


      “Therefore, all my stuff and everyone else’s stuff would still be private property. That’s a lot of private property.”

      Try not paying your property taxes and see what happens.

  • Eric Hunter

    There is a lesson in the actions of Joseph ruling during the seven years of bounty and seven years of famine in Egypt. Acting for the pharaoh, he confiscated 20% of all produce to stockpile under the hand of the government. Then during the seven years of famine, this food was sold back to the producers until they were broke. Under threat of starvation, livestock, land and finally freedom was sold to the government. This is what happens when governments have too much control. Slavery results. Later, Jesus taught us to share as individuals our bounty and receive blessings individually.

    • Woobiefuntime

      The lesson is Joesph listened to God . Without that the Jewish people might of died off and there wouldn’t of been a Moses.

  • Al Lejdly

    So the Christian left says socialism is more in line with Scripture that the free market all the while rejecting Christianity???

  • Calhoun Tubbs

    I admire the author for researching the definition of “socialism”. Too many assume that socialism is little more than income redistribution when in reality it’s much more evil than that.

  • Billy Coleman

    Thank you.

  • Iris D. Lynch


  • azsxdcf1

    Thank you, Lisa! I truly hope that you become a recognized and famous and listened-to leader of your generation! You are ALREADY a blessed and recognized leader of your generation to me! (and.. dare I say: many others!!).

  • According to Merriam-Webster, socialism is defined as, “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

    And yet when liberals point to the metrics of social health in northern Europe that are far better than those in the US, that’s what they mean by socialism.

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