The resurgence of socialism in America, especially among the young, seems to be based on a widespread form of wishful thinking and historical ignorance. Most people who support Bernie Sanders, for instance, do not realize that most of his ideas have been tried already—and discarded as unworkable.
Similarly, many Christians who support Sanders don’t realize that for centuries socialism has been considered incompatible with Christianity. Since the mid-1800s every Catholic pontiff—from Pius IX to Benedict XVI—has forthrightly condemned socialism. Protestants don’t have a single leader to make that judgment call, of course, but we too have determined that based on Scripture socialism is incompatible with biblical principles.
Yet despite the obvious disconnect between Christianity and socialism some people go even further and claim that Jesus himself was an advocate of socialism.
A solid, thorough rebuttal to this baffling notion can be found in Lawrence W. Reed’s essay, “Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus A Socialist?”