Marissa Hays, talk show host of "Foundations from The Stream" unpacked the reasons why socialism, much as it has been idealized, isn't God's best for his people.
Hays started by stating people's tendency to lean on two extremes: anti-socialism or hyper individualism.
"We need a better way. To find it, we need not look further than the Bible," Hays maintained.
Summarizing the observation of known economists why poverty persists especially in third world countries, Hays said that the reason is the "lack of firmly protected property rights for the poor."
"Their hard works were squandered and stolen by the powerful. They often turn to desperation and into socialist movements that make matters worse for all by making properties meaningless all together," she explained.
Early renowned thinkers like Karl Marx spent a great deal of time and energy theorizing how to address inequalities in societies. Hays, however, argued that much as their intentions were good, man is a complex being and his needs could not just be forcibly boxed in theories. National systems built on these early theorists' ideologies like what is seen China, North Korea, and Cuba reduce humans into things instead of living beings.
She then went on to provide examples from the Gospel books in the Bible.
"Jesus urged his followers to not be slaves to earthly goods...(He) urged the wealthy to share willingly and to lovingly serve one another," she said.
In the Old Testament, man was first commissioned by God to nurture, enrich and develop the land he's given. Beginning from Adam and down to the Hebrew patriarchs, land ownership - including everything in it- is legitimized through the stewardship wrought by a prospect owner. He could then pass his properties as inheritance to his heirs and their descendants. Thus, ownership means proper stewardship and preservation so that the next generation could also have something to nurture and enjoy.
"Our gracious God has given you the dignity and responsibility to choose how to steward what he has entrusted you," Hays said.
She added that if property ownership is seen this way, then it would not be dismissed as an "empty social convention."
In the New Testament, first century Christians voluntarily shared what they had with everyone. Those who were well off sold their properties in order to aid the poor in less privileged places. While that may sound like promoting "equality," the crux of the matter is that they did not give begrudgingly. There was no coercion from the government and neither was there any manipulation from their spiritual leaders. They just acted out of love. Contrast that today where some governments seize people's private properties claiming that all lands belong to the state.
The fault here is the lack of, according to Hay's words, "respect to their freedom to either give their goods away, or leave them safely for the next generation as they wish."
Post the period of reformation in England, Christians began studying economics. One of which is John Locke who formulated the theory of private property which prevailed and has since been adopted by most English-speaking countries. His theory was also built on the foundation of Biblical principles which when read properly, is the most humane approach in deciding how to address social issues like economic inequality.
For more of Marissa Hays' wonderful talk on private "ownership" vs "equality," watch the following clip in full: