by Al Benson Jr.
Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America
Too many Christians have swallowed the fantasy that communism is nothing more than one more political philosophy. As such they have been led to believe that it is “of this world” and therefore they need have nothing whatever to do with anything concerning it which includes being in opposition to it. They have been taught that we should be “so heavenly minded that we should be no earthly good.” Unfortunately, most have willingly complied–therefore they are waiting to be taken out of this life so they don’t have to do anything about the mess we currently live in. It’s lots easier that way–no responsibility to try to make things any better or to change the culture around them–just coast along and let the Lord do it all. To their chagrin they will find out it doesn’t work that way, even though that is what the notes in their Scofield Bibles advocate.
In this instance they could take a lesson from Whittaker Chambers, a former Communist who broke with the Communist Party and embraced the Catholic faith. Chambers wrote the monumental book Witness in which he told about his years as a Communist as well as exposing many he knew in the Communist Party, including Alger Hiss, first Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Chambers explained communism in a way many Christians in our day would probably not be able to grasp. He stated: “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, banered millions that stream periodically, like disorganized armies, through the heart of the world’s capitals…These are the expressions of Communism, but they are not what Communism is about.”
He continued: “Communists are that part of mankind which has recoverd the power to live or die–to beat witness–for its faith…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…Other ages have had great visions. They have always been different versions of the same vision: the vision of God and man’s relationship to God. The Communist vision is the vision of Man without God. It is the vision of man’s mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world.”
In other words, communism is the religion of man, without God there to get in his way and to prevent him from doing all he wants to do to gain power over the lives of others–all others! Chambers understood the true theological nature of communism, an anti-God, anti-Christ religion that manifests itself in the political realm but is every bit as theological as it is political. Would to God more Christians had the ability to figure this out.
Witness was originally printed in 1952 but it was reprinted in 1985. You might want to check out amazon.com and see if the 1985 version is still available. It was reprinted by Regnery Gateway Inc. It is a big book. Over 700 pages, so it will take you awhile to read it. In going over my notes in the book I noted that I had read most of it twice before, back a few years, but you can always learn more from a good book by the rereading of it.
Chambers names names and gives you a good running history of Communist activity in this country in the 1930s-40s, especially around Washington.
It finally dawned on Chambers that communism was both wrong and evil. He broke with it because he became convinced it was the right thing to do. Interestingly, when he broke with communism he felt he was leaving the winning side and going over to the losing side–but he still felt it was right, no matter the personal results to him.
I can remember, years ago, I talked to a man in the church we attended at that time, in Indiana. I explained to him my reasons for opposing communism. To which he replied “You are going to lose. You know that don’t you?” I thought that was a surprising comment for a Christian to make, but, in light of where much of the Church is at in our day, I don’t suppose it was atypical. I can remember replying to him that “In the final analysis it isn’t important who wins and who loses. Doing the right thing is what counts.” With a little more wisdom now, I can certify that, in the long run, the communist will not win. He may prevail in the short term, but the Lord will have the final say. He may use His people to have that say–and to do that He may even use some of them in the political realm. Maybe that is an idea more Christians should start getting used to, even though, at this point they shrink from that thought.
If the Lord’s people refuse to confront that which is evil, He may end up finding others who will be more willing to tackle what is evil and to expose it.