Some academics still seek to baptize Lenin into the church as a friend of the church’s vision. Mark Tooley reflects on United Methodist theologian William Abraham of Southern Methodist University and his project to give Lenin a place at the church table. See here.
Marxism and Leninism live in the university and in large swaths of the church which believe that socialism is the kingdom of God come to earth. The doorway through which they enter is “God’s preference for the poor.” This is a very slippery phrase but used often within Evangelical circles without serious definition. It has great utility to justify any plan for economic redistributionism, and sometimes by violent means.
Of course, all redistributionism by governments is violence because it comes sanctioned by the law and its penalties. And socialism always requires violence because it is never the preference and natural act of the people. It must always require a gun to insist that what one has earned by the sweat of their brow must be given up to the many who do not so work and strive and succeed.
Charity used to be a voluntary act. In the hands of government it ceases to exist. It is a program that has no virtue because it insists that people by force must do what love will not constrain them to do. There is no moral virtue here.