Communism (1): An Old Religion

The first three verses of Psalm two contains the religion of Communism in a nutshell: “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying; Let us break their bards asunder and cast away their cords from us.” This is also the teaching of the great leaders of Communism. Karl Marx, the great prophet of Communism writes, “We shall have deserved well … if we can stir up hatred and contempt against all existing institutions. The idea of God is the key-stone of a perverted civilization. It must be destroyed. The true root of liberty and equality and culture is Atheism.” Lenin the revolutionary, in his book called Religion, makes the following famous assertion, “Religion is the opiate of the people. Religion is a kind of spiritual intoxicant, in which the slave of capital drowns his humanity and his desire for some sort of decent human existence . . . . We Bolsheviks will dethrone God from the heavens, when we will have completed the elimination of His churches from the face of the earth.” Yaroslavsky, the leader of the Anti-God movement, says in his book, Religion in the U.S.S.R., “Religion acts as a bandage over the eyes to man, preventing him from seeing the world as it is. It is our task to tear off this bandage.” Stalin, the dictator, made the following assertion in 1933: “The (Communist) 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 religious prejudice runs counter to science.”

Whittaker Chambers, an ex-communist, was a member of the Communist Party for thirteen years. He spent six in the Communist underground in America. In his recent autobiography, Witness, a work of some 800 pages describing a shocking account of the Communist Fifth Column which infiltrated the U.S. government and American life, as seen by the author, who was there, took part in it, and who mentions names. He also gives a lengthy inside story of the famous Alger Hiss case. Mr. Chambers also give a rather lengthy, but a very unique and clear definition of the Communist religion. I will quote:

“First, let me try to say what Communism is not. It is not simply a vicious plot hatched by wicked men in a sub-cellar. It is not just the writings of Marx and Lenin, dialectical materialism, the Politburo, the labor theory of value, the theory of the general strike, the Red Army, secret police, labor camps, underground conspiracy, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the technique of the coup-d’etat. It is not even those chanting bannered millions that stream periodically, like disorganized armies thru the heart of the world’s capitals: Moscow, New York, Tokyo, Paris, Rome, etc. These are exposures of Communism, but they are not what Communism is about.

“The revolutionary heart of Communism is not the theatrical appeal: “Workers of the world, unite. You have a world to gain.” It is a simple statement of Karl Marx, further simplified for handy use: “Philosophies have explained the world; it is necessary to change the world.” Communists are bound together by no secret oath. The tie that binds them across the frontiers of nations, across barriers of language, and differences of class and education, in defiance of religion, morality, truth, law, honor, the weaknesses of the body and the irresolutions of the mind, even unto death, is a simple conviction: It is necessary to change the world. Their power, whose nature baffles the rest of the world, because in a large measure the rest of the world has lost that power, is the power to hold convictions and to act on them. It is the same power that moves mountains; it is an unfailing power to move men. Communists are that part of mankind which has recovered to live or die —to bear witness — for its faith. And it is a simple rational faith that inspires men to live or die for it.

“It is not new. It is in fact, man’s second oldest faith. Its promise was whispered in the first days of the Creation under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: “Ye shall be as gods.” It is the great alternative faith of mankind. Like all great faiths, its force derives from a simple vision. Other ages have had great visions. There have always been different versions of the sar vision: the vision of God and man’s relationship to God. The Communists version is the vision of Man. without God.

“It is the vision of man’s mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world. It is the vision of man once more the central figure of the Creation, not because God made man in His image, but because man’s mmd make him the most intelligent of the animals. Communism restores man to his sovereignty by the simple method of denying God.”

The religion of Communism is certainly not new. It had its beginning when Satan was cast out of heaven as a fallen angel. And the truth of Revelation 12:12 to 17 is continually repeated throughout the history of this world. Yes, Communism was manifested at the time of Noah and the Flood; it was again manifested at the building of the Tower of Babel and later on in the successive world empires of Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Think of the various infidel leaders, such as Nimrod, Pharaoh, Balek, Sennacharib, Nebuchadnezzar, Haman, Herod, Caesar, Pilate, Nero, Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, etc., who tried to dethrone the Living God and exalt man in His place. Communism has also manifested itself within the Church throughout the ages. Think of Cain and of Esau, and of the children of Israel in the desert when they worshipped the golden calf; their frequent murmurings and unbelief, which delayed their entrance into Canaan. Think of their idolatry during the period of the Judges and later on during the reign of their wicked kings, especially during Ahab’s reign. Think of how they shed the blood of the prophets and of the saints and even of God Himself when they nailed Him to the Cross. Think of the idolatry of Roman Catholicism with all its image worship and its substitution of the Pope as its god instead of the Living God. Think of the ungodly Christ-rejecting Modernism of our day. John 5:17-47 will settle this matter once and for all. Think of Communism’s doctrine concerning the dictatorship of the proletariat (the common working man) as manifested in modern labor unionism in the light of Romans 13. There are also milder forms of Communism. They do not dethrone the Triune God entirely; but they rob God of some of His honor, due to Him alone, and ascribe the same unto totally depraved mankind. I am thinking of the heresies of Arminianism and of the Common Grace theory. And last but not least, you and I are also Communists by nature. Is not Romans 3:9-23 and Isaiah 53:6 a true picture of all of us apart from the Grace of God! And let us not in our own self-righteousness condemn the Communists lest we fall into the same sin ourselves. And it is only in this light that we, as true children of God, can condemn Communism.

From the above facts we can see that Communism is only another attempt of mankind to turn his back upon the Living God and exalt almighty man in His place tout in a more deliberate, unscrupulous manner. To all appearances it looks as if Communism may actually be that terrible beast of Daniel 7:19-25 and of Revelation 13. Today more than ever before all the people, that are living on the face of this earth, whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, are wandering after Communism in its present form. I hope to explain this more fully in my future installments on Communism.