Christian Socialism Articles
in the
International Association of Machinists's Magazine,
the Machinists Monthly Journal,
Vol. XVIII, Issue 8, August 1906

Ed. Note: This site reprints union magazine articles explaining Christianity in then familiar-to-readers terms, written with an employee focus and perspective. The union magazine articles cite Christian doctrines, and First Century Christian doctrine and way of life, in this context. This approach and vocabulary in a union magazine is now not so familiar to the modern reader. For example, the then-used term "Christian Socialist," is nowadays little known. Historically, it used to be widely known. Before reading these union magazine articles from this one issue, if you wish more background, here are examples of further explanations, e.g.,

"Christian Socialism" ( "Christian Socialism" (Spartacus)
"Christian Socialism" (Wikipedia) "History of Socialism," 1789-present

and writings, e.g.,
  • Rev. Dennis Hird, Jesus the Socialist (London: Clarion Press, 1908)
  • Rev. Conrad Noel, Socialism in Church History (Milwaukee: The Young Churchman, 1911)
  • "What Socialism Is," The Painter and Decorator, Vol. 27, Issue 1 (January 1913), pp 721-724
  • Upton B. Sinclair, The Profits Of Religion (New York: Vanguard Press, 1918)
  • George Galloway, M.P., I'm Not The Only One (London: Penguin Books, 2004).
    The International Association of Machinists is a union dating from 1888. This site reprints from its "official organ," or magazine, the Machinists Monthly Journal, its August 1906 issue's Christian Socialism articles. The July issue had had a denunciation of Christian Socialism by Michael T. Ahern. The August 1906 issue contains replies to that prior writing, other defenses of socialism, and of course, other, typical, union-related articles as well.
    For origin of the word "socialism," see John C. Cort [1913-2006], Christian Socialism: An Informal History (New York: Orbis Books, 1988). In Chapter 8, "England," § 1, "John Ludlow and Other Early Socialists in England," p 139, he cites "the Evangelical Protestant Alexandre Vinet, the man who first used the word socialisme."   Chapter 7, "France," § 6, "The Saint Simonians," p 101, says it was "November 12, 1831, that Alexandre Vinet, a contributor to the Protestant magazine Le Semeur, wrote an article in which the word 'socialisme' appeared for the first time in France. He used it to designate the opposite of 'individualism.'"
  • Table of Contents
    1. Socialism as Golden Rule by Leroy Sweetland696
    2. Compulsory Labor, But No Jobby Walter Thomas Mills699
    3. What! Can't Be A Christian and A Socialist?by T. V. Favorite700
    4. Sacrificed to the Railsby Gust. J. Lindgren700
    5. Socialism Upheld by Scriptureby Joel F. Cornish702
    6. Defends Against Attack on Christian Groundsby Chambers Wilson703
    7. For a Better Citizenshipby John Bradford704
    8. Socialism Endorsed by the Bibleby F. C. Hayes708
    9. Individualism and Socialismby J. Schuring710

    696Socialism as Golden Rule
    by Leroy Sweetland

    I wish to reply to Michael T. Ahern’s article which declares a man can not be a Christian and a socialist. How can Mr. Ahern make this statement without being prejudiced, and reversing the opinion of the most learned men of the past. I here quote a few authorities:

    “The great ethics of socialism are identical with the ethics of Christianity”––Encyclopedia Britannica, the best known authority in the world and having international reputation as such.

    “Government and cooperation are in all things and eternally the laws of life; anarchy and competition, eternally and in all things the law of death.”––John Ruskin.

    Ed. Note: For background, see, e.g., Valerie Quinney, "Workers' Education: A Confrontation at Ruskin College," American Journal of Education, Vol. 92, No. 1 (Univ of Chicago Press, November 1983), pp. 52-78.

    “Socialism being the product of evolution, the only danger lies in obstructing it.”––Rev. F. M. Sprague.

    Ed. Note: See writings by Rev. Franklin Monroe Sprague (1841-1926), e.g., Socialism from Genesis to Revelation (Boston: Lee and Shephard, 1893), and The Laws of Social Evolution (Boston, 1895).

    My study of socialism has taught me that Jesus Christ was the great leader, and that His life on earth was the life that was ideal. The socialists are trying to bring about conditions that will make it possible for all men to live the life that our Savior led.

    Mr. Ahern says to identify socialism with Christianity we must first Christianize it. I say no.

    To make Christianity more effective we most socialize Christianity. The churches have lead a trial for thousands of years to bring man’s life up to the standing with our Savior's life and have made a miserable failure. Then, too,

    697 there are allowed to exist in this land of Christian civilization such evils as child labor, the whiskey business, the exploitation of producer, special privileges for the rich and oppression for the poor, wage slavery for the working man and luxury and an easy life for the parasite.

    If this is Christian civilization, and [if] Mr. Ahern is a consistent man, he should be ashamed of these conditions. lf he is not, he is governed by a spirit of prejudice.

    lf you don't want socialism, quit professing to believe in the Golden Rule as a rule of life.

    lf you don't want socialism, disagree with Paul, who said, "lf a man will not labor, neither let him eat.” [2 Thess 3:10.]

    If you don't went socialism, quit praying, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

    If you don't want socialism, quit advocating “the universal fatherhood of God, and the universal brotherhood of man.”

    If you don't want socialism, quit preaching justice to all men, and preach special privileges for the rich and oppression for the poor.

    lf you don't want socialism, yon will have to repudiate Christ and the Bible; for the observance of their fundamental teachings will make socialism inevitable. Perhaps that is the reason your church is not succeeding any better; it has repudiated Christ for capitalism.

    699Compulsory Labor, But No Job
    by Walter Thomas Mills

    “Go ahead and arrest every loafer and every youth who has no occupation.”–John Collins, chief of police, in an order to the Chicago policemen.

    This was published under a cartoon on the first page of The Record-Herald recently, and in an adjoining column was the following:

    “‘Don’t cry, Yorke; I will take you to a place where everything is pretty and every one is kind,’ whispered little Rosa Goldberg, a seven-year-old Russian girl, to her baby brother yesterday afternoon. Then she took the feverish, failing child in her arms and walked two miles down hot and dusty streets until she came to the county hospital. Before she reached it her promise had been kept in a mysterious way–the baby was dead.

    “Unconscious of the tragedy which had taken place, Rosa asked the receiving clerk in broken English to make her brother well. One glance showed the attendant that the little sufferer was beyond the aid of doctors, but Rosa only looked at him blankly when he told her. She understood at last, when Yorke’s eyes did not open in answer to her caresses. Then without a word she picked up the limp form and started for the door, bravely intending to walk back to 180 West Taylor street.”

    This order of the chief of police regarding “the youth who has no occupation,” published side by side with this account of the devotion of a seven-year old girl to her helpless baby brother, illustrates the unfaltering goodness which is in the heart of man and the unspeakable cruelty of the institutions he has created. The devotion of this little Russian child might be repeated any day in the family of the chief himself, and no one of us is not made better by the recital of this simple story, which bring to life again in us the memories of the countless instances of personal privation so gladly undertaken by the little ones we have known and loved.

    And yet we submit to the order of the chief.

    If the Russian babe had not died in his little sister's arms he might have grown to be a “youth without an occupation” and then he would have been required, under this order of the thief, to find a job or go to jail.

    The fact is that the finding of jobs by inexperienced youths, unfamiliar with the lines of employment possible and always with the knowledge that there are never jobs enough for all, is an undertaking of the greatest difficulty, and to jail a boy because he can not succeed in such an undertaking is more merciless than is that neglect to the child life of this great city, so serious that these coming boys die on the streets in the helpless arms of their playmates who strive to save them.

    We have provided compulsory education, but we have also provided the schools. What would you think of a compulsory educational law which would use the public authority to jail a boy for not going to school, and at the same time refuse to use the same public authority to provide a school for him?

    What do you think of a great city so careless of human life that helpless children die upon the street unnoticed and uncared for, and while it provides no certain opportunity for employment holds the boys who survive the exposure and neglect of childhood responsible for finding occupation, and when they are not able to do so sends them to jail for their inability?

    lt is complained that socialism would involve compulsory labor. This in not true. The socialist would make compulsory, upon society, provision for the opportunity to labor so sure that it would be as easy to get a job as it now is to mail a letter.

    It is capitalism under the chief's order that has made labor compulsory without providing an opportunity to labor and sends to jail a helpless boy for this social wrong.

    It is because this is too infamous to last that socialism is inevitable.

    700What! Can't Be A Christian and A Socialist?
    by T. V. Favorite

    I con not keep still when that men Ahern says a person can not be a Christian and a socialist at the same time. l will try to name a few people who thought they were Christians and who actually practiced socialism.

    First, Jesus Christ and his apostles were a small socialist community in which each turned over all that he gained to one common treasure, that was to Judas, “who carried the bag” and made all necessary expenditures (see John xiii, 29). For at least 250 years of the Christian era, no one was allowed to become a church member unless he did sell all that he owned and gave it to the general church fund. For refusing to do this, Ananias and Sapphira were killed. (Acts v.) That the entire Christian membership practiced socialism in those days is amply and conclusively proven by this, Acts ii, 44-45. “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted [divided] them to all men, as every man had need.”

    Ed. Note: For background, see, e.g.,
  • Prof. Ernst Renan, The Apostles (1866), p 104
  • Prof. Thomas W. Collens, Preaching (March 1868), p 17
  • Rev. James D. Hird, Jesus the Socialist (1908), p 17.
  • John D. Rockefeller could not have joined that church. And somehow the Heavenly Father seemed to be pleased at these strange doings, for in Acts iv, 32-35, it is said: “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul, neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them down at the apostles’ feet, and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”

    Now, these were not donation parties. The goods actually were produced in common by the brethren. See Justin Martyr, First Apology, chapter 17: “We who loved nothing like our possessions now produce all we have in common and spread our whole stock before our indigent brethren.” Any student of Bible history will tell you that all the Christians practiced socialism during the first two or three centuries of the Christian era.

    They were fed to wild beasts and burned alive as long as they practiced socialism, but when they went over [apostasized] in a body [as a group] to capitalism, they at once became so respectable [acceptable] that Emperor Constantine joined them. The teachings of the lowly Nazarene can not be lived up to under any but a socialist government.

    Show me a man who obeys this command: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” This commandment, if lived up to, would take all the misery out of the world––and it can be under socialism.

    700Sacrificed to the Rails
    by Gust. J. Lindgren

    More railway men are killed on duty yearly than have fallen in battle. When the young men of the country are called forth to war, they march through the streets, with flags flying and bands playing inspiring music. The people crowd the streets and greet them with applause. When the news of a battle is received, the entire nation is saddened by the story of the lives destroyed. Those who thus die are honored for their heroism, and monuments are erected to their memory. Those who return maimed are pensioned.

    Not so, however, with the army that goes forth daily to do duty upon our railroads. One in every eighty of them becomes permanently disabled, and one in every nine of the injured dies. They pass away unknown and unhonored, save by their families and friends.

    A fair idea of the destructiveness of railroads may be had by considering the fact that in the great Crimean conflict, one of the bloodiest wars in history, the British lost less than half as many slain and wounded as were killed and maimed on the iron roads in this country during the last year. In any twelve months, about 60,000 persons are killed or injured in rail service in the United States––a much greater number than fell at the battle of Sedan [1870], which sealed the fate of the second empire of France.

    Wellington won Waterloo and Meade Gettysburg with losses of 23,185 and 23,003, respectively, and the total losses on both sides at Shiloh in the two day's murderous fight did not reach 24,000. More railroad employees were killed in the United States last year than three times the number of Union men slain at the battles of Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Orchard Knob combined. The number of injured among these workers in transportation business was greater than that of the wounded and missing of Shiloh, Antietam and the first and second Bull Run combined. More faithful toilers of the iron roads in this country went down in sudden death during the twelve months than perished in the battle of the Wilderness.

    Each year one in every ten trainmen in the United States (this term including engineers, firemen, conductors and   701 brakemen) is injured and one in every 135 is killed. On an average during twelve months 250 are killed and 2,800 are disabled while coupling or uncoupling cars. In the same length of time, ninety-five persons are slain and 990 injured by being knocked f rom cars by bridges or other obstacles at the side of the track.

    On the other hand, only one passenger is killed for every 1,880,000 carried, and one is hurt for every 97,000. The average passenger travels 2,946,272 miles before he is injured, and he goes 57,000,000 miles before he loses his life.

    702Socialism Upheld by Scripture
    by Joel F. Cornish

    “To Be a Christian and Also a Socialist Is Held Impossible” is the gist of the recent article by Bro. Ahern. My opinion may not be of special weight, but truth must be reckoned with not only by me but by the writer of the article and all others, whether we desire it or not.

    It is not a question of what I say is socialism, or what Marx says is socialism, or what Engels or Bebel, or anyone else says is socialism, but what really in socialism. The writer of the article above mentioned is evidently one of those who is in the habit of looking up to others for his ideas and for them to do his thinking, and believes that all others should do the same.

    The fundamental truth of socialism is that every man “shall eat bread in the sweat of his own face,” or, in the language of the present day, “to the worker belongs his product.” Socialism says that no man has a rights to live upon the sweat and blood of another man. The Bible says, “Thou shalt not eat the flesh with the blond, which is the life thereof ” Gen. ix, 4.

    Socialism says, “If any will not work, neither shall be eat.” The Bible says the same. II Thess. iii, 10.

    Socialism says that it is not right for one to kill another in the field as Cain killed Abe, his brother, in the field. The Bible says the same.

    Socialism says that it is not right to kill men, women and children in the shops, in the factories, in the mills and mines, that a few may dress “in fine linen and purple, and fare sumptuously every day.” The Bible says, “Thou shalt not kill at all.” [Exodus 20:13].

    Socialism says the money system “is the root of all evil.” The Bible says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

    Socialism says that the system of buying and selling, the money system, is the curse of the world. The Bible says, “Touch not the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed when you take of the accursed thing.” [Joshua 6:18].

    Socialism says there should be neither interest, rent nor profit. The Bible says, “Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury (increase), nor lend him thy victuals for increase.”–Lev. xxv, 37;   Ex. xxii, 25.

    Socialism says that the man, nation or world that takes usury and increase will sooner or later come to destruction. The Bible says that he who “doeth the like to any one of these things––hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase, shall he then live? He shall not live.”––Ez. xviii, 10-13.

    Socialism says, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” which if a man do he will not strangle from his neighbor that which his neighbor has made at the expense of his sweat and blood and life. Jesus of Nazareth said the same––“Do unto others as ye would that others should do unto you.”

    Socialism teaches the universal brotherhood of man, all of one blood, as symbolized by the red banner. So does the Bible, “Have we not all one Father? Hath not one Creator created us?” “Which now of these three (the priest, the Levite or the hated Samaritan) thinkest thou was neighbor to him that fell among thieves.”––Luke x, 36.

    The only law of the Christian church as laid down by the apostles was, “That ye abstain from meats offered to idols (the money god), and from things strangled, and from blood, and from fornication.”––Acts xv, 29. This is identical with the tenets of socialism.

    The writer of the article referred to says: “A socialist in good faith can not quote from the Bible to substantiate his statements.” I would ask the gentleman who made him the judge of another? Did the Creator give him any authority or right that was not given to me? Who has the right and authority to speak and interpret God’s word? The Bible says: “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? When thou sawest a thief, thou consented with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother, thou slenderest thine own mother’s son.”––Ps. 1, 16-20.

    In the words of Abraham Lincoln, I exclaim: “It seems strange any man should dare ask a just God's assistance in wringing bread from the sweat of other men's faces.”

    It is true that many socialists in their ignorance condemn the Bible, not discerning that the church “has changed the truth of God into a lie,” and Dr. Averling, when he said “The two curses of our country and our time are Christianity and capitalism,” judged Christianity by the works and teaching of the church. And were I so ignorant as to judge the truth––that is, the Bible––from that viewpoint I should heartily agree with Dr. Averling.

    If the socialist, who is the messenger sent to herald the coming of the Son of Man (see Is. xlii, 19), has not the right to quote from the Bible, “To give knowledge of salvation to his people” (see Luke 1, 77), and is teaching the identical doctrine of the prophets, Jesus and the apostles, has one that supports and upholds the system that crucified Jesus and the prophets and apostles, the system of that “notable robber Barabbas,” a right to quote from the book written by them? The mask that the church has worn for the last 1,000 years will soon be torn off.

    703Defends Against Attack on Christian Grounds
    by Chambers Wilson

    In last month's Journal M. J. Ahern uses up considerable space, good ink and paper in reiterating the old slander that a socialist can not be a Christian.

    The epithets of atheist, infidel, heretic, anarchist, agitator, disturber, pestilent fellow, etc., have been the favorite weapons of the predatory classes and their satellites, a corrupt priesthood, in all ages, when appealing to the ignorance, prejudice and bigotry of the multitude against any reform movement that tended to endanger their craft by lessening their hold on the people.

    Similar epithets were applied to Jesus of Nazareth, that greatest of all socialists and reformers, by the “church authorities,” the “representatives of vested interests,” “the captains of industry,” and the “money changers” of His day.

    And He was crucified by the same priesthood who had already stoned and put to death the prophets and the liberators of the olden time––a similar priesthood to that which a few years later made living torches of the Christians in Rome, threw them to the wild beasts, hunted them down like the worst of criminals, because they dared to preach the gospel of Christ and of socialism, that “all men were born free and equal,” that “the laborer was worthy of his hire,” that no man or set of men had any right to amass great wealth or to live in luxury by “grinding the face of the poor.”

    Later a similar priesthood burned Savonarola at the stake in Florence, Huss and Jerome in Prague; and put to death Wyckliff, Latimer, Ridley and hundreds of others in England, and tens of thousands more throughout all that portion of the world falsely called Christendom, which included practically all the purity, learning and intelligence of France, Italy and Spain. These countries, from being the leaders in wealth, power and civilization, were thus reduced by capitalistic and churchy greed, bigotry and intolerance to poverty, ignorance and barbar-   704 ism, from which France has only recovered by overthrowing the priesthood and priest-supported royalty and nobility a century ago [1789], from which Italy is only recovering now [1870-1908], and to which the present horrible condition of Spain, Portugal and Russia [monarchies] is yet due.

    No man can be a true Christian without being a socialist in reality, whether he knows anything about the name or not.

    If Mr. Ahern will study the teachings of the Scriptures, upon which the Christian doctrine is founded, and compare them with the doctrine of socialism, he will find that they are identical. If he compares them with the practices of a large proportion of the teachers and preachers of that form of Neo-Platonism that is masquerading as Christianity today, he will find a gulf between them as broad and as deep as that which separates the “hell” of old-time theologians from the “heaven” that we all hope to enjoy in the future.

    If it true, as he says, that a great many of our socialist leaders are atheists, just as a great many Republican and Democratic leaders also are unbelievers. But I do not blame the poor fellows, growing up as most of them have done in priest-ridden lands.

    If that Christ who was born in a manger, who grew up in the humble cottage of a lowly mechanic, who earned his bread by working at the carpenter’s bench, who drove the money changers out of the temple, who denounced the scribes and the Pharisees, the priests and the lawyers for their greed and wickedness, who comforted the humble, the meek and the lowly, who chose His apostles not from the exalted ones of the earth, but from among working men like Himself, who taught the all-fatherhood of God, the universal brotherhood of man, were to come to Chicago today, does any intelligent man doubt for a moment where He would be found? Among Christians of Mr. Ahern's stamp or among the socialists?

    704For a Better Citizenship
    by John Bradford

    If the working men and women of America took one-half as much interest in politics as they do in baseball, football and basket-ball we would have a different kind of government. While athletic sports tend to develop the physical powers and promote health when not overdone, they should not be the highest consideration. Good government should be the supreme ideal among all classes of citizens, especially among the young.

    Under our present political organization tremendous evils have developed through the instrumentality of different parties. We have permitted party issues to supersede patriotism, and crafty and vicious individuals have attained great power through party machinery. Our present political organization will have to be reorganized before we can expect to have good and efficient government.

    Class government must supersede party government, and it must be government by the producing class, who are largely in the majority, inasmuch as our government is supposed to be founded on the principle of majority rule.

    The great evils of the past have been from rule by the minority, which is unnatural and illogical. The function of government has been stolen from the people and the people are so ignorant and prejudicial that they are unable to recover it. The present system is one of misrepresentation, rather than representative in character. It makes little difference which party is in power under our present system as long as both parties are dominated by the same element of society.

    708Socialism Endorsed by the Bible
    by F. C. Hayes

    There is no one single passage in the entire Bible which endorses any kind of socialism, or which even refers to [use the word] socialism.

    Ed. Note: But see, e.g.,
  • Rev. Dennis Hird, Jesus the Socialist (London: Clarion Press, 1908)
  • Rev. Conrad Noel, Socialism in Church History (Milwaukee: The Young Churchman, 1911).
  • 1 Samuel 8:10-20, God's warning against “civil government [which], so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all” — Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776), Book V, Chapter I, Part II, page 775, thus is forbidden, Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Joshua 1:7, Proverbs 30:6, Matthew 28:20, Revelation 22:18.
  • But although this is true, yet the stubborn and irrefutable fact remains that Jesus Christ, if the Bible reports Him correctly, teaches a socialism that may not be what this “correspondent” represents, but which is nevertheless, the highest and most pronounced kind of socialism, and the only kind that will ever prove a success, or that ever ought to prove a success.

    Jesus Christ was a great social philosopher. He not only knew what men and women needed to make their social relations perfect, but He instructed them just how to live this earthly life to secure for themselves and for their fellows the greatest amount of good.

    On one occasion Christ set forth the doctrine of the “fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men'' by instructing men when praying to God to call Him “Our Father.” He not only wanted men to recognize God as a common father, but He wanted them to recognize that they are all God’s children and members of one common family, bound together by all the sacred ties of brothers and sisters.

    If this doctrine is true, and we are all children of the same Father and members of the same family, what follows? Simply that all must be treated with like consideration and care, and that each must be an equal sharer with his brothers and sisters in all the good things which a loving father has provided for his children. God, as a father, would prove Himself wholly unworthy of our respect and love, if He was to make any distinction in the treatment of his children, and this fact Christ recognized most clearly.

    Hence, when Christ teaches the great doctrine of the “fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men,” He teaches that God has formed and fitted up this world for the dwelling place of His children, that in this dwelling place, as a family of brothers and sisters, they are to enjoy equal rights, privileges and immunities, all being equal sharers in its air, its water, its lands, its minerals of every kind and its every other good and valuable thing––His one great object being that, by thus sharing and enjoying these things, His children should be made contented and happy while living a life which is most emphatically socialistic, although Christ does not call it such.

    Having spoken of the family relationship which God has established for His children, Christ proceeds to tell these children how they should act. He first lays down the law that should govern them in the treatment of their Father. This law reads: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.” To emphasize the importance of obeying this law He adds: “This is the first and great commandment.” Now, if this commandment means anything, it means we are to love God, not merely because He is our father, ruler, or judge, but because of what He is in and of Himself––for the justice, truth, right, mercy, unselfishness and love which dominate Him in all His thoughts and actions.

    Indeed, it means that we are to rise above God and are to love those things that are higher than God, that make Him perfect in His character and that would not only be in existence, but would be just as binding upon moral and intelligent beings as they now are even if there were no God.

    Christ's ideal is that we should love justice, truth, right, mercy, unselfishness and benevolence, and that we should build our characters upon them and thus become perfect even as our “Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

    Can anyone imagine the people of any city or State, anywhere on the face of the earth, who are controlled in all their thoughts and actions by justice, truth, right, mercy, unselfishness and love and not be forced to the conclusion that such people are living in the midst of the most perfect socialism?

    But Christ taught [more, He taught] the children of God how they should act in the common family as brothers and sisters. He says to each one of them, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor (that is, thy brother or sister), as thyself.” He calls this the second commandment and makes it just as imperatively and positively binding upon every member of the family as the first.

    Christ held to the idea that in the family life the brothers and sisters should live not to rob, maltreat and get the better of the weak and unfortunate members of the household, but to help and to encourage them in all their struggles, hardships and disappointments. Hence He said to one and all: “Love your brother     709 and sister as you love yourself,” knowing that, when all come to do this, heaven will be established upon the earth and all the children of God in the flesh will enter into it to be sharers alike of its joys and blessings. And such a state of admire would be socialism.

    But Christ was anxious that men should know just how they could make this neighbor, or brother, love the most effective in helping others along in the world, and so He told them how they should manifest it in the every-day affairs.

    When He was talking to the multitude on one occasion, after cautioning His hearers against judging their fellows in a harsh and unkind manner, H said to them: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Christ saw that selfishness was the curse of the world, and His object was to root it out of the human heart. Hence, He laid down this law, which is binding upon all men in all ages alike: “Put yourself, whenever you act, in the place which your brother or sister occupies, and then treat that brother or sister as you would like to be treated by them if they were in your place.” And this also is socialistic doctrine.

    From the teachings of Christ, to which I have referred under these four heads, we learn just how Christ would have men live this earthly life. It is true that these teachings are not condensed into a single “passage,” but, nevertheless, they are decidedly socialistic. If, however, I were thus to condense them, I would express them something like this: Christ teaches that we (mankind in general) are all children of one common father, brothers and sisters in one great family, who in all of our dealings with one another are to be governed by justice, right, truth, mercy, unselfishness and love, who are to love one another as we love ourselves, and who are to do unto each other as we would have each other do unto us.

    Now, if this is not socialism, and socialism in its very highest and best sense, then there is no such thing as socialism, nor can there be such a thing. It is utterly impossible for the people of any community or State to live according to these teachings of Jesus Christ without living under the reign and in the midst of the most perfect socialism.

    710Individualism and Socialism
    by J. Schuring

    In the Journal of June [1908], page 509, under “Individualism Versus Socialisms,” it says: “Some of the strength of socialism is due to its condemnation of abuses which, while existing under individualism, are not at all necessary to it; abuses which the individualist is as anxious as the socialist to remove.”

    Now if those abuses are not wanted by either one of the two parties making up the whole of society, why do they exist unless they are a natural result of the prevailing system.

    Then let us consider man as he is or may become under a different system. Lots of men are relentless and mean in business while in their home circle they are model husbands and fathers and all around good fellows to those they meet outside of business. It seems human nature has at least two sides, but business these under the prevailing [capitalist] system does not call for the better side.

    The average man probably would be willing to be fair and just all day long, only he can not afford it, or at least he thanks he can not. It seems Christ had faith in human nature when He prayed for “God’s Kingdom to come on earth.” Carlyle, after the gospel had been preached to and professed by men laboring under a capitalistic system for 1900 years, came to the conclusion that humanity is like a basketful of vipers, each one trying to get on top. Are we golag to keep on progressing that way?

    Related Information
    Bibliography of Christian Socialist Writings