Undoubtedly these words are very familiar to all of us. Since Nazism has lost power, communism is our enemy.
When we speak of communism and democracy we no longer mean that these represent two ideas of social life. We refer to the power of each as modified and enforced by the two leading powers, United States and Russia.
We are witnessing, indeed, a gigantic struggle for power in the world today. From the beginning there has always been a struggle for power. At times there were nations that ruled the world. It stands to reason, however, that this world rule was of a different nature than the world rule that is developing today. Our modern life demands much more of government and more power to enforce rule over the world. Above all things we must remember that there has been a development of sin which from different points of view make the scale of operations all along the line so vastly beyond our imaginations that we can only catch the dim outlines of it by turning to the apocalyptic visions of the Word of God.
In his letter to the reader, the publisher of Time quotes a part of a statement of Jan Christian Smuts whom he calls Africa’s and the world’s elder statesman. This is an excerpt: “Something is happening in the world today which is going to shake our civilization to its very foundations. What is called the new democracy is making its appearance today—it has come to Czechoslovakia—but it is a state of things which in ancient days we used to call slavery. If a halt is not called, then the end of civilization as we know it and cherish it is inevitable.”
We do not quote this to defend any way of life that we have today. We merely wish to show that leading men of today realize that there are mighty changes that are going to take place in the life of the world.
That is characteristic of the relationship between the U.S. and Soviet Russia. It will be for some time until something happens to release that tension. Since the failure of the United Nations organization in its inception, there has been such tension. Recently the apparent success of the allies in France relieved the strain. Now after the recent seizures of power by Russia with their inevitable threat to seize more, the tension, in the words of Secretary Marshall, is greater than in 1939. The situation in Europe to a large extent will depend upon the success of the election in Italy, April 21, according to reliable sources.
We must not forget, however, that if the tension in Europe is released that there is still Asia over which there will be a greater crisis now or later. You probably ask, how can we speak so certainly about the future, that there shall be such a titanic war and such catastrophes? Because, in the first place, the problems which gave rise to the last war are unsolved and have become greater problems. In the second place, we know that there is the hand of God which moves these factors in order to work His work of righteousness in the earth.
The problems which demand solution today and the attempts at solution will become factors which will turn the course of history, are the following: 1. Control of weapons; we are trusting in our power of the atom bomb, but realize the problems connected with its use, and the possibility that Russia has also weapons of great destruction, as for example bacteriological bombs. If there is no control of such powerful weapons we may always fear war. Disarmament has failed. To accomplish peace, swords must be turned into ploughshares, spears into pruning hooks. Who shall reject the sword as a means to power? Christ did, but He now sends the “red horse” from the seals of God’s will, to expose the unrighteousness of mankind. To ask, can sinful man reject the sword power, and believe in the cross? Is to answer it and to also patiently abide the coming of Christ through these days when the “red horse” rides for the last time. 2. We can just mention other factors concerning which we write about later. The unrealized yearnings of peoples with the growing bitterness which makes nations as a sea tossed about: the problem of the increase in population; the demands of labor: economic maladjustment.