Issues analysis
Where the Marxist "Social Gospel" and the Bible part company
October 22, 2009
Marie Jon, RA analyst

It is said that history always repeats itself one way or another. Nothing could be truer.

For instance, look at what is taking place in our country today. Most Americans know that President Barack Obama and his czars are greatly influenced by the long-discredited teachings of Karl Marx. — View YouTube

The United States is being undermined and frighteningly transformed before our eyes. We're not going to like what's in store for us if we fail to stop the madness. As of now, only a few brave legislators are speaking up. House Minority Leader John Boehner has accused the president of subverting and circumventing the Constitution by appointing so-called czars who are not subject to Senate confirmation or scrutiny.

The mainstream media has gone rogue and is no longer doing its job. It is merely a reflection of President Obama. Both are continuously working to destroy America in every way imaginable. Our liberties and freedoms are disappearing — View YouTube

The world of Karl Marx

When Marx was born in the early 1800's, the world's way of life was rapidly changing. The human race was exploring the new frontiers of scientific discoveries. Inventions such as the steam-powered locomotive, the battery, and the electric light were becoming a reality. The sewing machine brought convenience to women's lives. Prior to this invention, clothes and other materials were sewn by hand. Elias Howe made it possible to produce clothing for the masses.

John Stevens, with help from his sons, erected a circular railway in Hoboken, New Jersey, as early as 1826. Within the same span of time, the art of photography began to flourish. The doctor's stethoscope was developed, along with the typewriter. In 1828, the first telegraph in the USA was invented by Harrison Dyar.

On May 24, 1844, from the Supreme Court chamber in Washington, D.C., Samuel Morse sent out the telegraph message "What hath God wrought?" to the B & O Railroad Depot in Baltimore. Maryland.

The world was still in transition from the old feudal societies. One of the things that were slow to disappear within Western Civilization was the dramatic financial inequities that existed between the haves and have-nots. The working conditions for the average laborer were often pretty dismal. As the economy shifted from agriculture to factory- based industry, children labored alongside adults. The factory owners found children useful not only because they could be paid minimal wages, but also because their small stature made them more suitable to operate machines that fit in tight spaces.

It was during this time that Marx began to shape the philosophies of the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the thoughts that continuously flowed from his pen have incited revolutions around the world. As many as one third of the earth's people have been subject to communistic thinking in one form or another, as a result. Although the Soviet Union has given up its power, communist regimes continue in power to this day.

The mind of Marx

It's impossible to look into the mind and thoughts of Marx in one opinion piece, but I'll take a shot at it.

Marx looked at the social inequity and human suffering that existed in his day and tried to make some sense of it all. He believed that the world was an unfair and unpleasant place to live.

While the world reorganized itself around the industrial revolution, Marx saw its inequities become more obvious than ever. It was then that he created the modern theory of socialism. Marx put out a pamphlet entitled "The Communist Manifesto," which states:

"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guildmaster and journeyman, in a word oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes."

What it says basically is that the society was divided into two groups: those who owned everything (the oppressors) and those who possessed very little. In his mind-set, the people were forced to work for the owners. When things got bad, Marx stated that conflict always breaks out between the classes, and the conflict either fixes the problem or wipes everybody out. Either way, according to Marx, good or bad, the problem has a way of resolving itself.

As a writer, I know the diehard socialists will probably shriek when I summarize Marx in such a simplistic way. But in essence, that is it. In the mind of Marx, those inequities would eventually be eliminated through a revolution that would pave the way for the abolition of private property and create a so-called "equal" society.

In fact, in "The Communist Manifesto," Marx says: "In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single phrase: abolition of private property."

Imagined communalism

Marx believed that if everybody, as a group, owned the means of production, they would all benefit. His writings include the phrase: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." He believed that if everybody selflessly contributed to the welfare of everybody else, controlled their own personal greed, and only took from society what they actually needed, things would be ideal.

Imagine a world where no one took more than they needed, and spent most of their time working for the good of everybody else. Unfortunately, the problem with such an imagined utopia, as well as every failed communist experiment, is that it denies the real cause of human suffering.

Marx believed people basically are shaped by the environment they grow up in. To an extent, of course, he was correct. Where people live and the circumstances they grow up in indeed influence the way they participate in everyday life.

But they don't cause it.

As a child, Marx was baptized into the Lutheran faith. However, it should not shock anyone that his unscriptural beliefs parted company with the Bible. Marx despised the idea that we are born with certain innate tendencies. If the Word of God underscores one thing, it's that we all have in common a sinful heart.

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" — Jeremiah 17:9

The Almighty said there really is an underlying problem with the human race. Since the fall of mankind, our hearts are willfully wicked. The problem is so pervasive that we can scarcely understand it. Our rebellion against God has corrupted our hearts and minds so profoundly that mankind has "become sin." The Bible teaches that we are the reason there is suffering in this world.

There are those who refuse to understand. Nevertheless, it doesn't take much observation to put two and two together. We all suffer from deeply flawed human tendencies.

Marx argued that things such as crime and violence are the result of the environment we live in, and to some extent, that is true. However, it is not complete. You can take a group of infants and raise them on a beautiful island where they would have none of the hardships of everyday life, or any of the negative influences of the world. They can be pampered with every advantage in life. A number of them are still going to do wrong things.

According to the Bible, we were all conceived in iniquity. Sin is a part of who we are and how we function as human beings. No matter where we run and no matter how hard we try to eliminate the problem — the rebelliousness lies in our hearts, and keeps coming to the surface.

Human nature

The truth is that not all terrorists come from poor families. Osama bin Laden believes that it was a moral triumph to kill innocent people on that infamous day of September 11, 2001. He instructed his men to fly planes into skyscrapers, leaving a nation devastated and shocked. Was this an act of an uneducated man without huge personal fortune?

The facts are these. No matter what your advantages are in life, you're still a sinner. Eliminate every environmental factor that causes people misery today, and by tomorrow they will still do something wrong because they are sinners. The problem is universal. God describes it this way:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8).

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

"For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do...for the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice...for I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:14, 15, 19, 22-24).

Take time to reread these verses. They may seem confusing. There is much to digest within them. They basically say that too often we do wrong things that we'd prefer not to do, and the things we'd really like to do, we don't follow through with. That's something we all can understand.

Self-centeredness the root of the problem

We have an inborn sense of right and wrong, and, although at times it becomes distorted, we're aware of what our basic faults are. We can promise ourselves that we will change, but more often than not, we will do the wrong thing again and feel bad for it.

The root problem was planted in our hearts when we first broke away from God. In the beginning, we existed in a faith-based relationship with God. Adam and Eve trusted their Heavenly Father and believed that His Word was always best.

Then mankind shifted their focus from the throne of God to what was perceived to be in their own best interests. It was a radical change that took place in the human heart. As a result, we severed our relationship with God and broke the faith that we once had.

Today, people find themselves operating on their own. The driving force that powers the human mind is sinful pride, arrogance, and selfishness. By our remaining apart from God, the problem will never be changed.

Consider, if you please, the passage from the Book of Jeremiah where God describes for us the impossibility of fixing our own hearts:

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil" (Jeremiah 13:23).

This is the reason why the communist experiment continuously fails. It simply refuses to take into account the fact that people are basically sinful. Without God's saving grace, people will continue to be selfish, even if economic inequities are temporarily done away with. There is nothing that points this out more clearly than the way that communist governments play out in real life.

Those unfortunate souls who have lived under communism have discovered the absence of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." No matter how much you close the gap of wealth between the higher and lower classes in communist-run countries, some will always cheat and become wealthy, while the masses live lives of deprivation and servitude.

The so-called "Social Gospel"

To address the plight of the needy, God makes it very clear that he wants us to help:

"He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses" (Proverbs 28:27).

Our collective sins have created the mess we live in. We all are responsible for those who are suffering. Search through the pages of the Bible carefully. You will find no mention of government's responsibility to care for your neighbor. By a very stark contrast, the responsibility falls upon us, individually.

Jesus commends those who feed the hungry and visit those in prison. What the Lord does not say is "Good for you, you voted for the Democrat Party that is pushing "social equality" and forcing an ill-conceived social justice program upon every citizen. Instead, Christ has a word to say about those who refuse to help people in their time of need:

"Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me'" (Matthew 25:44, 45).

It is disturbing when Christians replace sound biblical teachings with what is known as the "Social Gospel." During the latter part of the last century, a number of theologians willfully reinvented Jesus as something of a Marxist radical. They have changed the Gospel message to be primarily about feeding the hungry and clothing the poor.

There is no question God expects us to take care of the needy, but the Social Gospel denies, or at least ignores, the root of the problem. The truth of the Bible is that we have a massive sin defect in our hearts and we need a Savior.

Jesus actually said on at least one occasion that the poor would always be with us. God's heart aches for those who are suffering. However, Christ wasn't expecting a social revolution that would fix the problem of human inequity. As long as we are sinful human beings, and as long as we live in a sinful world, inequity will always be a part of life.

"Scientific" socialism

Marxist ideology has proven to be nothing more than a diversion from the real problem of sin. Here is another interesting fact about Marx. He was motivated by the theory of evolution, which was taking hold at about the same time he began to publish his social, economic, and political theory. There are similarities with Marx and his concept of class struggle and Darwin's thinking related to the survival of the fittest.

These two theories have much in common. They both deny the essential problem we live with on planet earth. The Lord created a perfect world, and we blew it. The only true solution for the corrupted human heart is found at the cross of Christ.

Corruption always seems to rise to the surface. Our best intentions are marred by our inability to take our eyes off ourselves when the ultimate solution is found in the promises of God's Word. He knows exactly what we're living with. The Word says that The Almighty notices our suffering, and although we are undeserving, in due time He will eliminate the problems we've caused:

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy" (Isaiah 65:17, 18).

God has given us a promise. This world will be replaced because it has been corrupted. The Bible is clear. We know that God has a better plan.

It's unfortunate that Marx didn't pick up the Holy Bible and read the words that could have warmed his heart:

"They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of my people, and my elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them" (Isaiah 65:22, 23).

"And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:9, 10).

Marxism the "opiate"

Karl Marx once said that religion was the opiate of the masses, because he believed that Christianity was a tool of the rich oppressor to keep the poor man under his thumb.

It's unfortunate that Marx did not read more of the Good Book. As it turns out, it just might be that Marxism is the real opiate of the masses. Marxist theory has people focused on the wrong things. Marx actually diverted our attention, and that's something important to think about.

"You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention." — George Washington.

Never rely on government or others to have the answers to life's problems. We have been given the blessing of a country that began with high ideals based on the Word of God. There is no other country like America. It is time we remove the scourge of Marxism from our politics. Where lies your hope and with whom? The answer is obvious. is dedicated to point to the Word of God. We seek a renewal of the mind through Christ Jesus. America might not be spared tyranny unless its people understand what is necessary in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. The answer just might be a prayer.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." — 2 Chronicles 7:14

Song: The New Jerusalem

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© Marie Jon

RenewAmerica analyst Marie Jon also writes a column for RenewAmerica.


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