My previous post Christian Socialism Part I explained how the efforts of liberal Christians to bring about a utopia via government socialism will ultimately fail. However, more need to be said on this matter. Specifically, something should be said about what a Christian Society does look like, and perhaps how we should move ourselves in that direction.
The analysis of liberal Christians is, at its core, not entirely wrong. A true Christian Society will in fact be utopian. But it won't be the false utopia that government creates. No, it would have to be a true utopia, created by the individuals in society giving of themselves to care for those in need.
As odd as it may seem, using the government as a means of accomplishing this results in having a means that defeats the desired ends. Now, some would argue that this can't be true, because the poor and needy are provided for. The problem with this is that the end is not to provide for the poor.
That bears saying again: providing for the poor is not, in fact, an actual end of a true Christian Society. The end of a true Christian Society is that the people in the society are charitable. The implication of the statement that "A Christian Society must provide for the poor" is that a society requires poor people in order to be a Christian Society! However, a charitable society does not require any poor people. Charity can take many forms, and caring for the poor is only one of these forms. Charity can also be performing a service for someone else, such as helping a disabled neighbor by mowing his grass, or by comforting an elderly woman whom has become infirm. In short, charity involves caring for somebody, and voluntarily putting them ahead of oneself, not for some reward or to avoid some penalty, but because of one's love for fellow man.
As was mentioned in Christian Socialism Part I, the socialist government actually works against this by taking one person's possessions (money) and giving them to another, rather than allowing for people to freely, charitably give those possessions to those in need. And as was previously stated, this can foster resentment and ultimately hatred, which are detrimental and have no place in a Christian Society. Another point should be added to this: when a person gives freely of his possessions to his neighbor, he can actually see the effect that it has on that person. He can see that person's happiness, and this in turn can bring joy to his own heart.
That joy is a critical part of the Christian Society, as it can be combined with love and faith to strengthen a person's relationship with God. This is, of course, the single most important part of a Christian Society, the belief in, and trust of, God. He must be allowed to be the center of the society, otherwise it would not really be a Christian one.
This means allowing people to acknowledge Him whenever and wherever they so choose (recall that the Bible tells Christ's followers to pray always, as in 1Th5:17). It also means that society should encourage Christian morality. This is where government may play a small role: it can stop giving its endorsements to homosexuality (via legalized gay marriages), abortion (via abortions on demand), divorce (via no-fault divorces), and a host of other social problems. Doing this will in turn make people less likely to engage in other immoral activities (for example, making abortions illegal and teaching abstinence only programs in the school rather than how to use a condom and where to get an abortion) would surely lead to less sexual relationships outside of wedlock and to more mare fidelity.
Alternatively, the government can help bring about a Christian Society by staying out of the way. This means allowing school choice for parents (and more notably, allowing for homeschooling) and allowing parents to raise their own Children, rather than forcing them to learn about such things as condom use, drug abuse, and moral relativism in the classroom.
Parents in turn must do their part to raise their children properly, and the Church and community should always be there to lend a helping hand. And with the government no longer supporting every member of the community who feels entitled to government aid, the community would be more tight-knit. This would be the happy result of various members of the community being more charitable towards each other, having spent more time helping each other directly and of their own will, rather than through forced redistribution.
This society would be in general a happier society than the one which can be created through government socialism. People would be truly charitable towards each other, caring about each other's needs. It's moral standards would likely be more in tune with those of Christianity. And most importantly, the rule of God would be freely acknowledged. Would this society ever actually be created? Perhaps not in this lifetime. But this is the ideal towards which Christians should strive, and not via government interventionism, but through genuine societal reform. It is not possible to create Heaven on earth without the assistance of God, but with His assistance, anything becomes possible. The society that remembers this always may some day become a true Christian Society.