Politics and the Church – The Church and the Liberal / Progressive / Communist Threat [Part 2]

One cannot trace the evil of Communism without taking a look into the lives of two key individuals.  Keeping in mind that we are all creations of God, something happens after that creation is permitted that changes the way we each think and respond to outside stimuli.  We are all created equal in the beginning but at some point the definition of ‘equal’ evolves into a variety of ‘equals’.  Even the president of the United States at one time could not speak or walk…just like we all…but events of all kinds take place and equal starts to change and evolve.  Today we will look at two men who were themselves helpless babies but evolved into the influencers of some of the greatest evil to infect the world.  They are Karl Marx, the originator of Communism, and Friedrich Engels, his collaborator.  Some textbooks today try to present them as the soft, visionary social reformers some in the world found a need for.  However, their closest followers found them to be two-fisted, power hungry revolutionist.

     We might wonder how it was that Marx never acquired a profession, a political office, an occupation or a dependable means of livelihood?  He believed that his book Capital would change the world even though at that point he had had little contact with the outside world.  He did feel confident in one of his callings…his first task was to “de-throne God”.  How could a man have such an impact on the world of politics when he failed in his two attempts to create organizations for the promotion of world revolution?

     Karl Marx was quite an unusual individual and probably had more impact on society after his death.  His home was in the heart of London’s slums.  He was a barrel-chested man with disheveled hair and a bushy beard.  His room was usually thick in clouds of tobacco smoke.  No one could ever guess that he was a university graduate with a Ph.D degree.  He was also a political fugitive, having been driven from Germany, France and Belgium.  Yes,  this was the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Karl Marx, in one of the worst, cheapest neighborhoods in London.

     He was one of the most dramatic personalities to cross the pages of history during the nineteenth century.  Biographers would grapple with the enigma of Marx’s life.  At one moment Marx would be called “the greatest genius of this age”, and a moment later his disciples would feel forced to call him “a violent, quarrelsome, contentious man, a dictator and a swashbuckler, and at feud with all the world and continually alarmed lest he should be unable to assert his superiority.” [Ruhl, Otto, Karl Marx, Pages 209-308].  Such was the personality of a man who would prove to be one of the most active enemies of the church the world has known.

     Karl Marx was born in Treves, Germany, on May 5, 1818.  He came from a family of outstanding scholars and distinguished rabbis.  However, his father decided to break the ties of the past both religiously and professionally.  He withdrew his family from the local synagogue to join the congregation of a local protestant faith.  At the age of six his family broke up.  Those who study his life believe that this sudden change in his life can be attributed to his rejection of religion.  In school he was a quick, bright student but also had the inability to keep a friend.  There is very little evidence that he had a happy boyhood.  His letters indicate he had violent quarrels with his parents.  His parents saw him as one of much egoism, lacking consideration for his family, constantly demanding money, and failing to answer most letters from family members.  He was a near perfect candidate to do the work of Satan.

     It was in the fall of 1835 that Marx entered the University of Bonn to study law.  While there he ran himself deep into debt and almost got expelled for “nocturnal drunkenness and riot.”  In the summer of 1836 he fought a duel and received a wound over his eye.  As the result of a ‘family’ decision he left Bonn and went to a university in Berlin.  It was at the University of Berlin that the ‘intellectual’ forces in Marx became sinews and the whole pattern of his life began to take shape.  His focus went from the study of law to the avid exploration of philosophy.  For his doctoral dissertation he chose “The Difference Between the Natural Philosophy of Democritus and of Epicurus.”  In this study he favored the materialism of Epicurus because it allowed for an energizing principle in matter.  He thought that if matter were auto-dynamic it would do away with the need for a Creator, a designer or a governing force in the universe.  His anti-religious sentiments found further expression in his thesis when he chose for its motto the cry of Prometheus: “In one word…I hate all gods!”  During this ‘intellectual’ period one thing that dominated his thinking was his desire to completely repudiate all forms of religion.  While at the university in Berlin he fell in with a left-wing school of Hegelians.  Their whole energy was consumed by a desire to liquidate Christianity.  In 1835 one on its members David Friedrich Strauss published his “Life of Jesus”, shocking all of Germany, with his contention that the Gospels were not true historical documents but were merely myths which he claimed evolved from the communal imagination of early Christians.  Another close associate of Marx, Bruno Bauer, wrote in 1840,”Historical Criticism of the Synoptic Gospels”.  In this book he claimed the Gospels were forgeries.  He said Jesus never existed, that he was a figure of fiction, and therefore Christianity was a fraud. Another of Marx’s associates, Ludwig Feuerbach, came out in 1841 with “Essence of Christianity”.  In it he ridiculed Christianity and presented the thesis that man is the highest form of intelligence in the entire universe.

     Government reaction to the anti-Christian campaign was not favorable and Marx decided it would not be favorable to present his thesis to the University of Berlin.  His associate Bauer, suggested that he go to the University of Jena where Marx consequently received his degree of Doctor of Philosophy in April 1841.

     A leveling blow wiped out his passionate ambition to become a professor of philosophy at any German university.  Marx had collaborated with Bauer in writing a pamphlet which was vigorously investigated because of its revolutionary flavor.  When he was identified as one of the authors his future in Germany was sealed.

     The revolutionary spirit flamed high in Marx;  somehow he must start a movement to remake the world.  To succeed in such a task he felt he must have the companionship of Jenny von Westphalen, the attractive and popular daughter of a German aristocrat who lived in Marx’s hometown.   For seven years he had corresponded with her.  In one of his letters he made it clear if she married him she would become the wife of a revolutionary…”with contempt shall I fling my glove in the world’s face, then shall I stride through the wreckage of a creator!”  [Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station, Page 115].  In June 1843, the wedding took place.  At the time Marx was unemployed and Jenny soon discovered that this was to be a permanent characteristic  of their entire married life.  Marx never acquired the slightest comprehension of the responsibilities which a husband assumes as head of a family.  Years later while his family was starving he could be found at the library devoting himself to the interesting but, for him, completely unremunerative study of higher mathematics.  Voltaire referred to men of his breed as ‘men who cannot run their own families and therefore retreat to their attics so that from there they can run the whole world.’  In monetary matters he was involved in an endless series of struggles and catastrophes.  He was always in debt.  Half his household goods were always at the pawnshop.  His bankruptcy was chronic.  “The thousands upon thousands which his associate Engels handed over to him melted away in his fingers like snow.”

[Otto Ruhle, Karl Marx, Pages 383-384].

     Thus this was the character of a man who would challenge societies and religions for nearly 200 years.  He was the person who would tell people how to conduct their lives and challenge the very value of the church and Christianity.  It is nothing new and some churches hide from the political threat that can very well destroy the nation God so graciously granted us.   But Marx is only one of the minions of Satan that has tried to influence society and I hate to say, with some degree of success.

     Next week we will look at the only close friend Karl Marx ever had…Friedrich Engels.  In many ways he was different from Marx but in ways that served Satan they were much alike.

-Bob Munsey

“To the communist (socialist) the future is already set; it is only the past that is changing.”   Dennis Prager

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