Social Issues (Part 9): Socialism

Social Issues

Socialism is the political ideology that a central, national government ought to oversee and control all aspects of the economy rather than leaving private businesses and individuals to conduct their business and affairs as they see fit. It is rooted in the notion that all property and wealth are to be shared and the national government is the entity which determines how they are to be shared. Of necessity, socialism demands a strong centralized government to be able to function in this way.

Those who argue in favor of socialism will often claim that it is the fairest way for a society to function economically and that it protects poorer citizens from oppression by wealthy individuals and big corporations. Many will even attempt to use the Bible in order to defend this idea (hence the reason why we are discussing it here). One alleged example of socialism that is commonly given is that of the early Christians who sold their property to share with those who were in need (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35).Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 8): Nationalism

Social Issues

Before we begin, we need to be careful how we talk about nationalism because different people may have different ideas in mind when they use the term. On a fundamental level, nationalism is the desire for a nation to gain and/or maintain sovereignty (the right to rule itself without being ruled by others). In this sense it is closely associated with patriotism. These are not wrong in themselves. However, a spirit of nationalism can be dangerous when taken to an extreme, especially when it is in support of an oppressive and wicked government.

Those who argue in favor of nationalism will appeal to the people’s common language, culture, history, etc., in order to promote national unity. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. However, there are three potential dangers that could come from this: (1) a willingness to support a godless, tyrannical government/leader who is advancing the cause of the nation; (2) a willingness to rally around an immoral or unjust cause because it has been adopted by the nation as a whole; and (3) a willingness to blindly follow the direction of the leaders because of the belief that they must be doing God’s will (or that the nation as a whole can be called the people of God).Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 7): Atheism/Humanism

Social Issues

Atheism is the belief that there is no God. Humanism, which is related to atheism, is the philosophical ideology that values human reasoning over religion and superstition. Being opposed to religion, humanism embraces secularism.

Those who argue in favor of atheism will claim that there is no evidence for the existence of God. Those who embrace atheism and humanism believe that society is better off without religion. They believe that the universe came about by chance and that we are the product of evolution. Some atheists/humanists are indifferent toward religion while others are openly antagonistic toward “people of faith.”Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 6): Drug Abuse

Social Issues

Drug abuse is a broad topic. It includes illicit drugs (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.), legal drugs (alcohol and tobacco), and even prescription drugs. This lesson is not about the medicinal use of drugs but the recreational use of such substances.

Those who argue in favor of recreational drug use (including “social drinking”) will often argue that as long as they remain in control and do not use these substances in excess or to the point of harming themselves or others, it is perfectly fine. As a way to justify their behavior, it is common for those who want to defend drug and alcohol use to liken it to eating unhealthy foods.Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 5): Racism

Social Issues

Racism can take on different forms and exist in varying degrees. A milder form of racism may simply mean that one views his own race as superior to other races (or possibly over one race that has been singled out in particular). More extreme forms of racism can include hostility and even violence against others based upon their race.

Those who defend their racist views will often cite common prejudices or negative stereotypes as the basis for looking down upon a particular race. Personal anecdotes are often used to support one’s racism (a negative experience with one person can be used to portray everyone of that race in the same light). Some will even use the Bible (more accurately, they will misuse it) to argue in favor of racism – for example, since Ham’s descendants were cursed (Genesis 9:22-27), those who descended from Ham are to be viewed as cursed as well.Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 4): Gender Roles

Social Issues

Gender roles are about the responsibilities that men have as men and women have as women. Most instructions in the Bible are not specific to gender – they apply to all people. But there are some that specifically apply to either men or women.

Many argue that there are no specific gender roles. They claim that there should be no difference between what a man can do and what a woman can do. On the extreme of this issue is the “feminist ideology.” In addition to confusing/changing gender roles, feminist ideology also embraces abortion, lesbianism, and hostility toward males (to include the assumption of guilt every time a man is accused by a woman of sexual assault).Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 3): Transgenderism

Social Issues

Transgenderism has become a “hot topic” lately. It is often grouped together with homosexual causes (LGBT). However, this is not about sexuality, but identity. Homosexuality involves an attraction to those of the same sex/gender that results in sexual relations. Transgenderism is about how one identifies himself/herself. It is sometimes called “gender dysphoria,” which is defined as an unease or dissatisfaction with one’s gender.

Those who argue on behalf of transgenderism claim that these individuals are being true to themselves and that the sex they were “assigned” at birth is different from who they are inside (how they identify themselves). They claim this is not a choice (for example, a man might choose to wear women’s clothing but not be transgender).Continue Reading