You Can Be A Christian, You Can Be A Marxist, But You Can’t Be Both
It’s unclear how many Christians are going along with the current neo-Marxist collective guilt movement out of fear, a misunderstanding of what they’ve signed onto, or an authentic conversion to the cause. What is clear, however, is that you can’t be a Christian and a Marxist at the same time—not without irresolvable contradictions.
Whereas traditional garden-variety Marxism views history as a struggle between the wealthy and the working class “proletariat,” neo-Marxism cranks up the heat and redefines the fight to incorporate biological sex, race, ethnicity, and a whole gambit of various “identity” badges.
The grand unifying principle for the Marxists behind the Black Lives Matter movement is that everything—and they mean everything—can be reduced to “oppressors” versus the “oppressed.” If you happen to be a member of one of the “oppressor” groups, then expect to see all sorts of punishments heading your way until the neo-Marxists are satisfied. Except they never are.
Too many Christians are falling into a trap of expressing solidarity with an ideology that is completely antithetical to the teachings of Jesus. Right now, they need our prayers. Then, they need to wake up.
Collective Guilt Is Not Biblical
Whether the sins were committed yesterday, last week, or 400 years ago, all Caucasians are now told to bear the guilt for the sins committed by all other Caucasians; if they remain silent, Caucasians are accused of “violence.”
This is the opposite of Christianity as it is revealed in the Bible.
Christianity states you are accountable to God alone for your sins and inequities. You must atone the sins that result from your reality as a flawed human being. As for my brother, it is up to him to reconcile his sin with God or any specific individuals that he directly slights, attacks, or transgresses.
While the Old Testament tells of entire peoples or nations found guilty and castigated, they are punished by God, on His direct orders, or through His power, not by the whims of other individual men or women. Scripture does not instruct believers to thrust their guilt, sins, or suffering on to others.
When we read of “group solidarity” in the Old Testament it is important to remember it is always entirely voluntary and covenantal in nature. When God freed the Israelites from Egypt and then gave him His law, he didn’t force it upon them.
The concept of collective guilt is explicitly rejected in Ezekiel 18:20:
The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.
We receive salvation one at a time, through a solitary and sincere prayer to God. Those who take Christ as Lord and Savior are saved personally, not collectively with others. Only Jesus Christ can provide the ultimate forgiveness for the sins of our fellow brothers and sisters. Thankfully, on the cross at Calvary, he did just that.
Christianity Rejects the Materialism of Neo-Marxism
Historical Marxism peddles the materialistic notion that if everyone could just be “rich enough” so that economic status is meaningless, then the earth could be transformed into a utopian fantasy. Neo-Marxism adds the dimension of “identity” to this formula, but the problem of inequality remains.
Yet Christ teaches us not to concern ourselves with questions of wealth, who has it, and how we can “reclaim” more of it for ourselves. To the contrary, in Matthew 6, Jesus says:
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? … So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
In truth, we can never be satisfied with earthly possessions, or have enough “comfort.” Indeed, too much comfort can breed the circumstances for sin just as easy as hard times. There’s a reason for the maxim “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
All this isn’t to say we shouldn’t try to better our conditions on this side of heaven. But this world is never meant to be anything approaching paradise. Courting that goal brings disaster. The millions killed at the hands of Marxist totalitarian dictatorships are all the evidence one should need.
Marxism Fuels Covetousness, Envy, and Resentment
Instead of spreading peace and forgiveness, the neo-Marxists running the Black Lives Matter movement have exacerbated anger and resentment. Instead of preaching thankfulness, the movement has caused many Americans to covet their neighbor’s status.
The Old Testament, however, implores us in Exodus 20:17 not to covet anything our neighbor possesses that we do not. The New Testament renews that sentiment in Philippians 4:11-13, which encourages us to be content “in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”
Because it is steeped in neo-Marxist ideology, the Black Lives Matter movement sees every disparity as a sign of racism and every inequality as evidence of injustice. But not only is this demonstrably false, even if all inequalities could be eliminated evil and malevolence would still exist in the world. Due to our sinful nature, we would still fight with our family, our friends, and strangers.
Instead of keeping the anger flowing as the neo-Marxists require, the Bible offers a guide on how to combat the fallen nature of the world as well as the evil we’ll inevitably encounter in our lives.
Ultimately, Marxism has no answer for questions of purpose, meaning, and what we’re to do here on earth. For its adherents, everything is a struggle for power; one to be resolved either by redistribution or the sword.
Christianity Seeks to Unify, Neo-Marxism Seeks to Divide
One’s “group identity” is everything in neo-Marxism. The key idea is that “majority” identity groups in any nation have historically oppressed those in the “minority” position. Therefore, a revolution is needed to create the type of society where no majority group holds all the power.
What Christians cajoled into supporting this ideology have temporarily forgotten is that this was accomplished at the cross.
In Christianity, you are seen as an individual. Christ has already done the work of erasing all cultural or ethnic barriers to God. Grace is available to all those who put their faith in Jesus Christ, regardless of status, race, ethnicity, or sex. The only “group” that should matter to Christians is the multi-ethnic world community of believers: the Body of Christ.
As the Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 3:28-29, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.”
Christians supporting neo-Marxist viewpoints should remember what Karl Marx himself had to say about religion. For Marx, the abolition of religion was “the first requisite for the happiness of the people.” Perhaps most famously, Marx slandered religion by comparing it to opium. Worse, like Satan himself, Marx claimed, “My object in life is to dethrone God.” This is not a man Christians should have anything to do with.
In every nation that adopted Marxism as its ideological model, Christians have been oppressed. But Christians conned into neo-Marxist group-think can be comforted in the reminder that they don’t need a divisive ideology to fulfill Christ’s teachings to be charitable, care for the poor, and love thy neighbor as thyself.
Christians can take up their cross and follow Jesus, or they can pick up a hammer in one hand, a sickle in the other, and seek to create the permanent revolution sought by today’s radical leftists. But to spout neo-Marxist talking points while claiming to walk with Jesus Christ does a gross disservice to the Good News of the Gospel.