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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Marxism (Communism) and the Bible


If we had lived before WWII, what should Christians have done about Nazism?

Assume we knew or could have known basically what Nazism was like.

Should we have kept quiet and overlooked it because:

* It involved political and economic issues and we are concerned about religion?

* It controlled governments and Christians should not criticize rulers?

* Speaking out might lead to persecution?

* It was mainly a problem in foreign nations, not here (we didn't know any Nazis)?

Or, should we have spoken out to express opposition because:

* It was based on fundamental religious errors (evolution, racism, atheism)?

* It rejected Christianity and denied Jesus?

* It sought world domination by war and military conquest (subjugating millions by war)?

* It used violence and force to eliminate unwanted citizens (millions in the holocaust)?

2 Timothy 4:2-4; Ephesians 5:11; Revelation 3:19 - God's word instructs us to oppose the forces of evil. Surely we all agree that we ought to have reproved and rebuked a belief based on religious error that forcibly subjugated millions of people and murdered millions more.

Today we face a growing menace from Islam. What should we do today?

Should we keep quiet and overlook it because:

* It involves political and economic issues, and we are concerned about religion?

* It controls governments, and Christians should not criticize rulers?

* Speaking out might lead to persecution?

* It is mainly a problem in foreign nations, not here (we don't know any Muslims)?

Or, should we speak out to express opposition because:

* It is based on fundamental religious errors (Muhammed, Quran)?

* It rejects Christianity and denies Jesus as Son of God and Savior?

* It seeks world domination by war and military conquest (controlling millions worldwide)?

* It uses violence and force to make converts?

2 Timothy 4:2-4; Ephesians 5:11; Revelation 3:19 - Surely we all agree that, when God instructs us to oppose the forces of evil, we ought to reprove and rebuke this system based on religious error that has forcibly subjugated millions of people.

Now what we should do about the problem of Marxism and Communism?

Should we keep quiet and overlook it because:

* It involves political and economic issues, and we are concerned about religion?

* It controls governments, and Christians should not criticize rulers?

* Speaking out might lead to persecution?

* It is mainly a problem in foreign nations, not here (we don't know any Communists)?

Or, should we speak out to express opposition because:

* It is based on fundamental religious errors (atheism, evolution, immorality)?

* It rejects Christianity and Jesus?

* It seeks world domination by war and military conquest? (Communism controls over a billion people, nearly all of whom were subjugated by means of violent revolution. Open Communists admit they are enemies of the USA.)

* It uses violence and murder to eliminate unwanted citizens? (In every Communist nation, millions of people like you and me have been murdered by Communist leaders.)

Yet little is said by Christians regarding what our attitude toward Communism should be. In fact, many members know little about it, yet it is at least as great a danger as Nazism and Islam.

2 Timothy 4:2-4; Ephesians 5:11; Revelation 3:19 - Again, God instructs us to oppose the forces of evil. Should we not speak against this system, based on religious error, that has forcibly subjugated millions of people and murdered millions more, like we should Nazism and Islam?

The purpose of this study is to inform people about the real views of Communism, and how it differs from the gospel of Jesus.

Marxism-Leninism is not just about politics and economics. It is a total philosophy that affects every area of life, including many areas fundamental to Bible teaching. When we understand Marxism, we will see that it is a conspiracy that works by secrecy and deceit. It conceals its real goals until a nation is ready for violent revolution, then it is too late. Meanwhile, many people have been influenced by Marxist ideas, even without realizing it.

What should a Christian do about this philosophy that forcibly dominates a billion people and deceitfully influences the thinking of millions more? Why shouldn't we teach against it while we have the opportunity to do so openly? To begin with, we must learn to understand it.

(Note: See the bibliography at the end of this study for the sources we cite. Source notes in the text consist of a two- or three- digit code followed by a page number.)

I. Marxism and Atheism

Quotations Regarding Marxism

The founders of Marxism

Karl Marx was the primary promoter of the basic theories of modern Communism. Marx was an atheist before he ever developed his Communistic theories. As a motto for his doctoral dissertation he chose this quote from Prometheus: "In simple truth, I harbour hate 'gainst all the Gods" (SC-25). His dissertation stated that we should "recognize as the highest divinity, the human self-consciousness itself!" He once planned to publish a Journal of Atheism but failed for lack of finances (NC-12f).

Friedrich Engels was probably Marx's greatest personal supporter, and he worked together with Marx in writing the Communist Manifesto. Engels was also an atheist. He stated that, as a result of the discovery of laws of the Communism, "the last vestige of a Creator external to the world is obliterated" (NC-37).

Nikolai Lenin was the founder of the Communist Party. He led the revolution that established Communism in Russia, then became the first premier of the Communist regime. Lenin, who was also an atheist, said: "Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism" (REL-10). And again: "Every religious idea, every idea of god, even every flirtation with the idea of God, is unutterable vileness" (REL-42).

Other Communist statements

Nikita Khrushchev, premier of Russia from 1958 to 1964, stated:

"We, Communists ... are atheists ... Public education, the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and the study of the laws of nature, leave no place for belief in God ... We consider that belief in God contradicts our Communist outlook" (BC-13).

And again he said: "We remain the atheists that we have always been; we are doing all we can to liberate those people who are still under the spell of this religious opiate" (BC-73).

The Russian Encyclopedia (1950) lists: "God - a mythical invented being ... [Communism] is incompatible with belief in God; it arose and developed in an acute and constant struggle with religion" (BC-12).

The "Ten Commandments of Communism," published for the Young Communist League, says: "If you are not a convinced atheist, you cannot be a good Communist ... Atheism is indissolubly bound to Communism." (CFF-37).

Former Communist spy Whittaker Chambers, when asked about Communism, replied by quoting this statement: "The problem of Communism is not an economic problem. The problem of Communism is the problem of atheism" (CFF-36).

Note clearly: Marxism is not primarily about economics or politics. Its views are of fundamental religious concern. The problem is not just that some Communists are atheists. The problem is that the doctrine of atheism is fundamental to Communist belief.

As you consider our own society, how effective have Marxists and other unbelievers been in undermining faith in God? Do you see evidence of increasing faith or loss of faith?

Obviously, not every unbeliever is a Communist, but who can deny that our society is moving in the direction that Marxists want it to go? And as people become weaker in faith, it becomes more likely that Marxists can succeed with their goals.

The Teaching of the Bible

The Bible not only affirms the existence of God, it gives objective evidence, sufficient to satisfy any honest student, that God does exist and that the God of the Bible is the true God.

God does exist.

Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The Bible claims in its very first verse, and then throughout its contents, that God does exist.

Hebrews 11:6 - Without faith it is impossible to please God. We must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Obviously, a person cannot be an atheist and a believer at the same time. To be a Communist you must be (or must become) an atheist. To be a Christian you must be a believer. It follows that one cannot be both a true Communist and a true Christian.

Psalms 14:1 - The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." So a Christian, who believes the Bible, must conclude that Communism is foolish.

The Bible provides evidence for God's existence.

Acts 14:17 - God did not leave Himself without witness. The Bible does not just claim that God exists. It also gives witness or evidence for the claim. The Bible itself proves God's existence, for it is not possible for mere men to write such a book as the Bible nor for mere men to do the miracles that eyewitnesses record in the Bible. We will consider this evidence later. But notice some evidence offered in nature for the existence of God.

Romans 1:18-22 - God has made known the evidence for His power and Godhead. That evidence may be seen in the things that are made, so there is no excuse for people who do not believe. But people refuse to glorify Him as God or be thankful to Him. By relying on their own human wisdom, they become foolish. This surely includes Communism. The proof that God exists, and therefore Marxism is wrong, may be seen in the universe.

Psalms 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork. There is simply no reasonable explanation for the existence of the things we see in nature except that there is a Supreme Being, far wiser and more powerful than we are, who made them.

Anyone who examines computers, cameras, automobiles, houses, etc., can know that there must be intelligent beings who made them. Because we are intelligent beings, we are able to recognize that these are all the product of intelligence. But the same is true of the human brain, eye, reproductive system, and our whole bodies and all living things and the heavenly bodies.

Every effect must have an adequate cause - an adequate explanation. The only adequate explanation for the universe is God. Do Marxists have adequate proof that God does not exist? Do they have an adequate explanation for the existence of the universe without God? We will see, as our studies progress, that their explanation is evolution, but that is not an adequate explanation for all we see around us.

Surely the fact that Marxism is fundamentally atheistic is one reason for us to oppose it.

To learn more about the evidence for the existence of God and the Bible as His word, please study our free articles on that subject on our Bible study web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct (see the section about God/Deity).

II. Marxism and Evolution

Quotations Regarding Marxism

Quotations from Marxist leaders

In the preface to the Communist Manifesto, Engels said that the basic theory of Communism "is destined to do for history what Darwin's theory has done for biology" (CM-3,4). So, he believed in Darwin's view of evolution just as he believed in Marx's theory of Communism.

A few months after Darwin published his Origin of Species, Engels wrote to Marx saying, "Darwin, whom I am just now reading, is splendid." Later Marx wrote to Engels about Darwin's book: "... this is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our view." Shortly afterward, Marx wrote: "Darwin's book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history." In fact, Marx wanted to dedicate his book Das Kapital to Darwin. (All quotes are from Impact, 10/87.)

Lenin said: "Darwin put an end to the belief that animal and vegetable species ... were created by God..." (Impact, 10/87).

Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism states: "Nature ... is in constant process of development. The laws of that development have not been ordained by God ... They are intrinsic in nature itself..." (FML-16).

Josef Stalin was secretary general of the Communist Party, and premier of Russia until 1953. A Communist named Yaroslavsky wrote a biography of Stalin in which he says: "At a very early age ... Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments. He began to read Darwin and became an atheist." The biography records a boyhood conversation: "'You know, they are fooling us, there is no God ... I'll lend you a book to read; it will show you that ... all this talk about God is sheer nonsense,' Joseph said. "What book is that?" I enquired. 'Darwin. You must read it,' Joseph impressed on me" (via Impact 10/87; cf. HRQ-53).

Again, the point is not just that some Communist leaders believe in evolution. The concern is that they view evolution as the basis for atheism and Communism.

Influence of Marxism on our society

As you consider our own society, how effective have Marxists and other unbelievers been in promoting evolution? What is taught in our schools: evolution or creation? Are we surrounding by teaching of creation or by teaching of evolution?

In November, 2012, "Chicago district of the International Socialist Organization" conducted the "2012 Midwestern Marxism Conference" at Northwestern University. (See Chicagosocialists.org.) An observer at the Marxism Conference noted a significant number of members of the Chicago teachers' union, who had recently conducted a strike against Chicago schools. A number of the teachers spoke at the conference or conducted workshops. http://thunderontheright.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/marxism-in-chicago-schools/#more-1392

Many others have reported the significant number of Marxist teachers in our universities and colleges. (See Phyllis Schlafly, 4/10/2009; David A. Noebel, 10/11/2012).

Obviously, not every believer in evolution is a Communist, but who can deny that our society is moving in the direction that Marxists want it to go? And as evolution becomes more accepted, it becomes more likely that Marxists can succeed with their goals.

The Teachings of the Bible

God created all forms of life.

Genesis 1:1; Acts 17:24-28 - The Bible claims that life was created by God. One cannot accept both the Communist view and the Bible view: it must be one or the other.

Further, the Bible view harmonizes with the scientific truth that life comes from life. But evolution requires that dead, non-living matter had to somehow spontaneously produce life. There is no scientific proof for this. Science has repeatedly disproved spontaneous generation. Yet Communism claims it is scientific and the Bible is not.

Living things reproduce after their own kind.

Genesis 1:11,21,24f; Galatians 6:7 - God made living things to reproduce after their own kind. Living things can adapt to their environment, but they cannot produce totally different kinds, such that all present kinds came from one or a few original kinds.

This also harmonizes with scientific evidence. Current observations show that living things reproduce after their kind. Likewise, in the fossil record, we see no transitional links that are halfway between present kinds, such as would be frequently found were evolution true.

Man is unique from the animals.

Genesis 1:26-28 - Man is in the image of God, unique and superior to the animals. The first human did not develop from animals, but was created directly by God from the earth (2:7).

Simple observation confirms the differences between men and animals. No animals can read and write abstract symbols to communicate messages or perform mathematical calculations. No animals do scientific experiments, invent machines, use fire, or train animals. No animal creates new forms of beauty nor has an inherent sense of morals and conscience as man does. All this is easily explained if man was created in God's image, as the Bible says, but evolution cannot explain why men are so different from the animals from which we supposedly evolved.

Again, Communism cannot be harmonized with the gospel of Christ. But when schools teach evolution, they may lead young people to become atheists and then Communists, as they did with Stalin. What are you doing to prevent this happening to your children?

Surely the fact that Marxism is based on evolution is one reason for us to oppose it.

To learn more about the evidence for creation as opposed to evolution, please study our free articles on that subject on our Bible study web site at www.gospelway.com/creation.

III. Marxism and Materialism

Quotations Regarding Marxism

Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism says: "The indestructible foundation of the whole edifice of Marxism-Leninism is its philosophy - dialectical and historical materialism" (FML -21). The book further says:

"Marxism-Leninism regards the world such as it actually is, without adding an invented hell or paradise. It proceeds from the fact that all nature, including man himself, consists of matter with its different properties ... There are no supernatural phenomena or forces, nor can be ... The great historic service rendered by materialist philosophy is that it helped man ... not to fear gods and other supernatural forces. It teaches us not to hope for happiness beyond the grave..." (FML-16,23,25).

Lenin said: "Our program is based entirely on scientific - to be more precise - upon a materialistic world conception" (REL-9). He added: "We must combat religion - this is the ABC of all materialism, and consequently Marxism" (REL-14).

Mao Tse-tung was chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from 1943 till his death (and is still revered). He said "there is nothing in the world apart from matter in motion" (CFF-79).

Stalin said: "Marx's philosophical materialism holds ... that the world develops in accordance with the laws of movement of matter and stands in no need of a 'universal spirit'" (BC-22).

Khrushchev said: "Scientific and atheistic propaganda is an integral part of the Communist education ..., and has as its aim the dissemination of scientific, materialistic knowledge among the masses and the liberation of believers from the influence of religious prejudices" (BC-23).

So, again, materialism is foundational to Marxism. It teaches that everything is material. There are no spirit beings, no spiritual side of man that exists after death. So, there is no life after death, no heaven, no hell. It follows that no religion that believes in a spirit god can be true.

As you look at our own society, how effective have Marxists and other unbelievers been in promoting materialism? Do you see people generally concerned about spiritual matters or do you see increasing emphasis on possessions, pleasure, and material things?

Obviously, not every materialistic person is a Communist, but who can deny that our society is moving in the direction that Marxists want it to go? And as people become more materialistic, it becomes more likely that Marxists can succeed with their goals.

The Teachings of the Bible

The Bible clearly affirms that there are spirit beings, and that in fact God is spirit.

God and spirit beings do exist.

John 4:24 - God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - Man consists of both an outer man (body) and an inner man (spirit). The things we see (material things) are temporary. There are things we do not see that yet exist, and these are the eternal things.

Man exists after death as a spirit and will be raised from the dead.

Matthew 22:23-32 - In Jesus' day the Sadducees held the materialistic view that there is no such thing as a spiritual part of man (Acts 23:6-10). Like materialists today, they necessarily denied the concept of resurrection. Jesus disagreed with their views, and showed that God spoke of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as living beings even though they had been dead for many years (v32). This could not be if man is wholly "matter in motion."

Luke 16:19-31 - Jesus told of men who were dead, yet were conscious and able to reason, remember, and communicate. This totally conflicts with materialism.

John 6:40,44,45; 5:28,29; Acts 24:15 - Jesus and His apostles often affirmed that all people will be raised from the dead. Resurrection involves the spirit of man leaving his body at death (James 2:26) and then returning in resurrection. Materialists say death ends man's existence, and there is no spirit that could continue to exist or to later return to the body. In affirming the resurrection, Jesus was flatly contradicting fundamental Marxist doctrine.

The resurrection of Jesus proves our resurrection and disproves materialism.

1 Corinthians 15:1-26 - If, as Marxism says, there is no resurrection, then the gospel is false, the Christian's faith is worthless and the Christian's hope of reward after death is a false hope (vv 12-17; cf. 1 Thess. 4:13-18). If Marxism is true, the gospel of Christ cannot be true. But if the gospel is true, then Communism cannot be true.

Vv 20-26 - How do we know we will be raised from the dead? Because Jesus was raised! His resurrection is the proof we will be raised.

Vv 1-8 - How do we know Jesus was raised? Because many eyewitnesses testified that they saw Him alive after His death.

John 20:24-31; 21:24 - The gospel records the testimony of many eyewitnesses who saw Jesus alive after His resurrection. This testimony is as valid as any historical testimony in any courtroom. (Cf. Matt. 27 & 28; Mark 15 & 16; Luke 23 & 24; John 19, 20, & 21; Acts 1 & 9.)

This is why all materialists vehemently deny Jesus' resurrection. Yet the fact remains that no Marxist can prove that materialism is true. Which of them can state for certain that man has no existence after death?

The strongest proof that materialism is false is Jesus' resurrection. Someone has already come back from the dead! This is simple historical proof that Communists cannot invalidate.

Surely the fact that Marxism is fundamentally materialistic is one reason for us to oppose it.

IV. Marxism and Opposition to Religion

Quotations regarding Marxism

Statements from Marxist leaders

We have already cited several quotations that show Communists do not believe in God or the Bible. They profess to oppose religion because they claim that capitalists use religion to keep people from accepting and fighting for the Communist cause. Note the evidence:

Karl Marx was once asked what his objective in life was. He replied: "To dethrone God and destroy capitalism" (NC-37).

According to Lenin: "Marx said 'Religion is the opium of the people' - and this postulate is the cornerstone of the whole philosophy of Marxism with regard to religion. Marxism always regarded all modern religions and churches, and every kind of religious organisation [sic] as instruments of that bourgeois reaction whose aim is to defend exploitation by stupefying the working-class" (REL-12).

Lenin also said: "Marxism is materialism. As such it is ... relentlessly opposed to religion ... This is beyond doubt ... We must combat religion - this is the A.B.C. of all materialism, and consequently of Marxism" (REL-14)

Stalin said: "The Party cannot be neutral towards religion, and it does conduct anti-religious propaganda against all and every religious prejudice because it stands for science, while ... all religion is something opposite to science" (CFF-164; BC- 12).

Khrushchev said: "Communism has not changed its attitude of opposition to religion. We are doing everything we can to eliminate the bewitching power of the opium of religion" (CFF-165f).

The Sixth World Congress of the Communist International stated: "One of the most important tasks of the cultural revolution affecting the wide masses is the task of systematically and unswervingly combating religion - the opium of the people" (REL-6).

Communist influence in our own society

As you view our own society, do you see people who are increasingly concerned about religion, or are people increasingly indifferent toward religion?

In countries where they are not in power, Marxists seek to infiltrate the institutions of society to undermine Biblical and religious ideas. This includes infiltrating churches themselves, government, etc.

Communists especially try to influence what is taught to young people. So they seek to eliminate the Bible and prayer from the schools, while at the same time encouraging schools to advocate evolution, feminism, homosexuality, abortion, and other anti-biblical views. How effective have they (and other liberal-thinking people) have been in the USA?

Note the following from Phyllis Schlafly Report, 11/2010:

The most widely used history textbook in U.S. public schools is A People's History of the United States by the late Howard Zinn. It has sold a million and a half copies since it was published in 1980. It is required reading in many high schools and colleges. This history textbook by Howard Zinn is a very leftwing version of U.S. history, full of multicultural, feminist, and class-war propaganda. ... In 2010, the FBI released 400 pages of files on Howard Zinn, and it turns out that he was an active member of the Communist Party. He ... attended Communist Party meetings in Brooklyn five nights a week. He was so important in the Communist Party that he taught a class to his comrades on "basic Marxism." ... Publicly, Howard Zinn lied and denied his Communist Party membership, which was the common practice of Communist Party members in those years. ...His textbook was specifically written to present a Marxist version of U.S. history based on the Communist strategy of the "class war."

Note: Multicultural teachings train students to believe all cultures are equal, including all religions.

Do our schools and society in general show respect for religion or increasing disrespect?

Obviously, not every irreligious person is a Communist, but who can deny that our society is moving in the direction that Marxists want it to go? And as people become less religious, it becomes more likely that Marxists can succeed with their goals.

Teaching of the Bible

The Bible affirms that it is inspired by God.

2 Timothy 3:16,17; 1 Corinthians 14:37 - The Bible affirms that it is inspired by God, that it instructs men in righteousness, that it provides men to all good works, and that it contains the commandments of the Lord. [Eph. 3:3-5; 2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Thess. 2:13; etc.]

The Bible gives evidence that it is a Divine revelation.

Luke 24:25-27,44; Acts 2:22-36; Deuteronomy 18:20-22 - The Bible also gives evidence that it really is from God. Consider specifically the fact that Jesus and Bible writers were able to predict the future, and these predictions always came true. The Bible writers used this as evidence that God exists, that the Bible writers were from God, and that Jesus is the Son of God.

John 5:36; 20:26-31; Acts 14:3; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 - The Bible includes eyewitness testimony that Jesus, His apostles, and other Bible writers performed great miracles to demonstrate that God approved of their message. These miracles were so powerful that even enemies of the gospel could not deny them (Acts 4:16; 8:5-13; John 11:47,48; etc.).

Much other evidence could be presented to confirm that the Bible is from God, that it is accurate historically, geographically, and scientifically, and that it does not contradict itself. For further discussion of the evidence for God, Jesus, and the Bible, see our article on that subject on our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct (see the section about God/Deity).

Since the gospel of Christ is true, Marxism and the gospel are incompatible.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 - People who follow human wisdom consider the gospel to be foolish. But it is actually the power of God to those who accept it.

Ephesians 5:11 - We must not have fellowship with such works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

One cannot be both a Communist and a Christian for at least two reasons: first because Communism says you cannot, and second because the gospel of Christ says you cannot. The two are mutually exclusive.

Surely the fact that Marxism is fundamentally anti-religious is one reason for us to oppose it.

[2 Corinthians 6:14-18]

Note: The rest of this study discusses Marxism and immorality, abolition of the family, abolition of private property, corruption and revolution, persecution and annihilation of non-communists, etc. To see the rest of this article, go to http://www.gospelway.com/religiousgroups/marxism.php

(C) Copyright 1987, 2013, David E. Pratte You are free to keep copies of this material on computer and/or in printed form for your own further study. If you have any other requests about the use of this material, please read our copyright guidelines at www.gospelway.com/copyrite.htm.

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