What must we think of Christianity and Communism?
To begin, these worldviews at their core are diametrically opposed. Marx teaches that man is the author of his own faith, but is undergoing oppression by the economic order before him. While, Christ points to a sovereign God who is the author of history. Jesus was a man who came to seek and save the lost. To reconcile people back to the Father and save them from their sins.
However, maybe where the Christian and Communist meet at the crossroads of life is a great concern for the future of mankind. I would argue this is far as we can go together. Marx believes solely in fulfilling the material needs of the person and his ideology rests in a mere rationalistic hypothesis, while Christianity is based on the revelation of a personal God. As Augustine put it “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
Mistaking the Man:
Marx denied the existence of God. As a result, he postulated that man was a social product rooted in nature. As Lyell put it ‘man becomes just a cog in a vast soulless machine’.
This appears to claim that an individual is something expendable; an object for a means to an end. I think this emerges as exploitation at its worst. The Christian conception of the world places value on the human because they are made in the image of God. In contrary to Marxist thinking, one actually has dignity in Christianity. Sure, Marx desired an equal, utopian society. But humans are expendable units on his path of undetermined history.
Mao Tse-Tung clearly demonstrated the essence of Communism and the expendable nature of humans during his reign in the People’s Republic of China: “we believe in dialectics, and so we can’t not be in favour of death”. Mao knowingly starved and worked millions to death. All at the desperate attempt to please the dialectic (the forces that drive history along a predestined path).
Ignoring Man’s Problem:
Instead of seeing a divine sovereign hand throughout history, Marx rejected a Judeo-Christian notion of history and replaced it with the concept of Dialectical Materialism. Marx clinged to a mechanical view of social development rooted in the past which does not appear to include much solid evidence. Further, the evidences which he selected strangely appear to suit his aims perfectly.
Western Europe was his choice of data and the ancient roots of the Middle East were entirely neglected. Marx’s historicity is too general and superficial. His dialectical is not born in all contexts. Moreover, why does this process just stop apparently when Marx’s utopia has been reached? Surely, there should not be a conclusion but a continuation.
Marx concluded that evil is a consequence of the unjust social order that exists. Yet, he misses the real origin of evil that lies within the sinful human heart. Which, Jesus himself spoke of in Mark: ‘For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person’ (Mark 7:21-23).
Marx’s view of the future does appeal to our pleasure ridden and satisfaction seeking hearts. No war. No poverty. No class divisions. But, this will only be enjoyed by those who are alive when the utopia comes. All of this revolutionary struggling, labouring and sacrifices for a favoured majority of the human race.
We can agree with the Marxist on the importance of principles of justice, peace and stable governance. However, Lyell indicates we must ask important questions of the Marxist tradition – “Can you prove that war and violence ever produces true peace? How do you know the dialectical process is absolute? What makes you think man can control his own destiny? Marx promoted a system of thought requesting people to seek atheistic materialism. Marxist thinking is no doubt religious. Additionally, its practical problems relate to morality, while its theoretical problems are ultimately theological. One might not think it, but Christianity is more realistic than the Marxist tradition in answering the fundamental questions in life. Within the person of Jesus, one finds the answers to these questions.
A man who claims that ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.’ (John 14:6) is more worthy of thorough investigation and discussion. Jesus understands man, he addresses his problem of sin and offers hope for the future through the assurance of salvation.