The job of the Christian socialist is to prevent secular colleagues from avoiding the critique (usually from those supporting regressive systems) that humans can not reason their way into a utopia. We should concede that there clearly is moral change required, a bending of the human will towards good and towards the “other.” And this should not always be seen as a result of socialist structure. There is a much more complex relationship, a symbiosis between the nature of the society and of the people who construct it.
We should instead embrace the truth that justice will not be achieved through a series of nonconfrontational policy tweaks. No justice without God, and no society can claim God without also evidencing His justice.
In the heat of battles for change, it’s necessary to focus on specific strategies and policy goals. Christians have the added responsibility of remembering that these changes are vital, but more is required.
With that in mind, we should embrace the endless dead ends and obstacles that have characterized the history of socialism, because they clarify our understanding of human inadequacy and reinforce our reliance on the divine.
It is only through an acceptance of these realities and of our Creator’s help that we can collectively mold a society that cares for all of his creation adequately.
We are called to be ministers of reconciliation. Between our Christian brothers and sisters, to whom we must always emphasize the necessity of social justice; and our secular brethren, to whom we are to be a constant, supernatural fragrance of death.
As Christians we can not pretend that it is possible to create structures that will sufficiently sustain themselves and support a society of individuals whose first priority is themselves. This is not a worthwhile aim, to servants of a God who desires unity with his creation.
The order of creation is such that we have not been allowed a resting place short of flourishing. Without that end in mind, this futility seems cruel, but in proper context it is revealed as great grace.