Socialism

The Church and Socialism

(About this series)

CHAPTER VII — THE CHURCH AND SOCIALISM

BY PROFESSOR CHARLES R. ERDMAN, D. D., PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, PRINCETON., NEW JERSEY

The sudden rise of Socialism is the most surprising and significant movement of the age. A few years ago the term suggested a dream of fanatics; today it embodies the creed and the hope of intelligent millions. For example, in America the Socialistic vote increased from 20,000, in 1892, to 900,000 in 1912. In France this vote numbers 1,104,000, and in Germany more than 3,000,000; and in these and other lands multitudes who are not openly allied with political Socialism are imbued with Socialistic principles and are advocates of Socialistic theories.

With this great movement the Christian Church is deeply concerned; first, because of the endeavor which many are making to identify Socialism with Christianity; and, secondly, because, on the other extreme, popular Socialism is suggested as a substitute for religion and is antagonistic to Christianity; and, thirdly, because the strength of Socialism consists largely in its protest against existing social wrongs to which the Church is likewise opposed but which can be finally righted only by the universal rule of Christ.

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