Just the other day I was enjoying a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop. As I passed through the shop, I saw a young women probably in her mid-twenties wearing a jacket covered with small pins and buttons. The most prominent of the them was a red button with the yellow hammer and sickle. As I walked by, I thought to myself, “Really! Really, has the hammer and sickle resurrected that quickly from the ash heap of history?” I was a fan of the rock band White Heart in the 80’s and early 90’s. (I'm still a fan) Their song “The Raging of the Moon” from the 1992 album Tales of Wonder opened with a steady yet solemn beat and with the following triumphant lyric sung by Rick Florian:
“Thank God the world’s been saved, Marx is in his grave. The hammer and sickle lie broken on the ground.” - The Raging of the Moon - White Heart
In the early 90’s, we were celebrating the fall of communism and socialist Russia, and we were excited for the people of the now former U.S.S.R. Maybe now they would have the chance to live in freedom. Christians flooded into the collapsed Soviet Union with the freeing gospel of Jesus and the compassionate love of the body of Christ.
Fast forward to 2012! The hammer and sickle is making a comeback right here in America. We are living in an America that is increasingly secular and irreligious. The irreligious nature of the climate has many factors. On one hand the culture is more and more influenced by the values of secular humanism even though there is still a large portion of the population that believes in God or a supreme being. On the other hand, we are experiencing the effects of a growing indifference to godly values and an embrace of the secular values of lifestyle choice being sold as the “moral” value of tolerance. This shift in recent years has lead to a growing segment of the population becoming hardened to the blessing of freedom and democracy and has produced an intellectual entertainment with liberalism, socialism and Marxist concepts of social justice.
How the Marxist philosophy has been sold to the Christian population is through the guise of social injustice. There is a value of compassion that is a part of the Christian ethic, and liberals have marketed their brand of socialism and Marxism to the Christian populace by appealing to that ethic of Christian compassion. So through the last couple of decades we have been told to embrace this institutional compassion as a way of fighting for the social justice that so many deserve.
I want to lay out a case to you as to why the liberal Marxist pursuit of social justice is not only a deception but that it is also completely incompatible with a Christian worldview. I am not saying Christianity couldn’t exist under Marxism/Socialism. I am simple making the point that Marxism/Socialism is not a philosophy compatible with Christianity. A Christian shouldn’t support Marxism/Socialism. If Marxism/Socialism is achieved it will “fundamentally transform America” from a Christian nation filled with compassion for our fellow man to an un-Christian nation unable to minister to the needs of our fellow man.
Marxism and Christianity - Two Opposite Propositions
Karl Marx and Jesus Christ both desired to create a “new man”. The key to seeing the difference between the two is in understanding the two diametrically opposed definitions of what the “new man” is.
Marx’s New Man
Marx looked at man and saw the need for making a new man. He saw the need for man to be reformed but rejected the concept of human nature. Marx said, man is whatever the society makes him to be. The way Marx saw it, under capitalism, man was made to be selfish, greedy, aggressive, envious, hateful and fearful. Under Socialism man would become devoid of all those vices. Socialism would then create a “new man” made not in the image of God but man the world needs to build the great society. This new man would be healthy, smart, industrious, tolerant, generous and talented. And because this new man would possess all of these wonderful traits, the world would become a better place. The “new man” would use his talent, health, intelligence, tolerance and generosity to achieve a society where the individual achieved what they needed and the rest was given to minister to the needs of others. The idea was that you get to a point where you would no longer need governments, armies, police, courts and taxes. The maxim of Marxism would then be achieved:
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
Karl Marx - Critique of the Gotha Program
Now there is one fatal problem with this political science, philosophy and world view. It ignores human nature and does not take into account mankind’s greatest flaw - sin and a sinful nature.
Christ’s New Man
Unlike Marx’s view of man, Jesus sees man as he actually is. The apostle John tells us this in John 2:24-25:
But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
Jesus did not need to commit Himself to man because He knows what is in men’s hearts. Man does not need to be socially rehabilitated. Man needs to be made into a new creation.
In order for this to be possible, God the Father sent the Son into the world. Jesus took on flesh to accomplish the work of redemption on the cross. And through Christ’s victory over death and the grave and in the power of His resurrection, man can be, not rehabilitated, but remade.
One of the rulers of Israel named Nicodemus came to Jesus at night to talk. He told Jesus that he recognized that Jesus was from God. Then Jesus exploded with perhaps His most powerful statement, “Unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” This confused Nicodemus who replied by asking how he could go back into his mother’s womb and be born a second time. Jesus then explains this new birth. “That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” In other words, to see the wonderful Kingdom of God, you have to be born again, born from above, born of the Spirit of God.
There is a popular notion that everyone is God’s child. The reality is that we are God’s creation. He made us by the natural process of human child birth that He created, but there are only two men in the Bible besides angels who are called a son of God - Adam and Jesus. Adam was a son of God. He was a direct creation of God. He wasn’t made because of the will of a man. Adam was made because of the will of God. Jesus was also made by the will of God. It was the Spirit of God who made Mary to be pregnant with Jesus. Everyone else has been born into the world because of the will of a man who slept with a woman and she conceived.
So Jesus is saying the new man that can see the Kingdom of God is not born the natural way, he is born of God in the Spirit. How does this happen?
The Greatest Right in the Universe
Everyone these days is talking about rights - the right to vote, the right to choose, the right to bear arms. But there is one right that is greater than all of the other rights in the world. What is it? It is the right to become a son of God. The apostle John articulates this right in the first chapter of his gospel. John says this:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 (emphasis mine)
So how can you be born again? How can you be born of the Spirit of God and be the new man that God wants to make out of you? By receiving Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior. Paul put it this way: Confess Him as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. Then you are born again. You are a son of God, a direct creation of God. That’s why Paul tells the Corinthian Christians:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. - II Corinthians 5:17 (emphasis mine)
So what about Marxism/Socialism?
A Christian should not adopt a philosophy that is really at complete odds with Christianity. Marxism’s goal is to create a new man devoid of God that would attempt to create a perfect “kingdom” without dealing with the true problem of mankind. The results of Marxism/Socialism are counter-productive to the cause of Christ and to the mandate of the Great Commission. It has literally trapped millions of lives in a cold hell of atheism and a false hope in man. It has been a tool of the enemy to kill and destroy millions of lives. Jesus’ offer is something completely different. Jesus offers the greatest right in the universe, the right to become a son of God, to be born again and to see the Kingdom of God.
If it’s up to you, don’t let the hammer and sickle be resurrected. Let us proclaim the risen Christ and opportunity to share in that resurrection and be new men and women in Him.
By Charles Nestor II
Author of the book Who Is Jesus? - The Central Issue of Time and Space. Available on Kindle, iBookstore and on Amazon.com.