Just a little point for the believer: socialism and mercy are not the same thing.
Mercy mandated is not mercy, but merely rule following and takes all responsibility for a gracious and generous heart away from the individual.
Socialism is NOT inherently Christ-like (no system of man is… because they are… well, systems of man,) or even biblical… and I know all of the verses that are coming to mind… and that’s cherry-picking, free of context.
If socialism were inherently Christ-like why has every socialist nation that was able to implement it fully, run entirely contradictory of not just Christianity but ALL religion?
Christianity is oppressed in socialist countries because:
A: socialism aims to make one man or government the central focus… And it’s not Jesus.
B: Christianity at its heart teaches liberty and equality that supersede what any man can grant or legislate. We are free because of Christ alone, even in chains we are free— and that makes us dangerous.
C: Christianity teaches responsibility (not blind dependence) of the individual…. (Hence that whole free will thingy.) Yes, even the responsibility to give and
care for others.
Technically speaking, you could say socialism does wonders for Christianity… though not because they are compatible or complimentary— but because the persecution socialism heaps on Christians, strengthens and refines the Body.
The generosity and self-sacrifice of the early church was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and evidence of Him transforming hearts… not an outpouring of government and evidence of coercion through your bank account.
In fact, as long as we are still using the early church as an example for community finances… there was a man who sold a field on his own, to share with not just others, but specifically, with the church. It was a blessing. Then, there were 2 who wanted the benefit of looking generous without the heart change that should have come with it… they were struck dead. So…
Socialism would be outstanding in a society free of greed, sloth or sin. In other words a society of plants. But, certainly not sinful man