As Christians we must live in a world dominated…unfortunately…by politics. Every nation and region have a set of rules established by some class of residents. These rules…frequently known as laws or regulations…have been known to overstep bounds and enter into the realm of the church. The political system today that is probably the biggest threat to a free people’s way of life is Communism…sometimes disguised as liberalism or progressivism. Don’t think that these systems do not have Christianity in their sights for future destruction as Christianity represents a threat to the power of such systems. This week we will get back into world situations that have been driven by the greed of these systems and see how failure to respond in force has given some leeway to the efforts of tyrants.
As citizens we need to have a force speaking for us that can receive wide distribution of policy basics. Policies have all sorts of origins, and a free nation must know and stand by its origins. In the United States the Bible…Word of God…was our origin. The principles by which we constructed a constitution was based on Biblical principle. In the beginning we did not get its implementation exactly correct but we did have a strong foundation on which to build. The primary spokespersons for that foundation were to be found in our church leadership. For many years our nation’s political leadership relied on advice provided by pastors of various Christian denominations. Note that I said ‘Christian’. In other parts of the world religious forces of various sources were also impacting politics.
We will take now a look at Communism, a political movement that disregarded God as its form of ‘religion’. This foundation proved to be full of ‘cracks’ and failures. (Today those failures still plague communist leadership.) By 1953 the Kremlin was not only suffering embarrassment abroad but a wide crack in the Iron Curtain revealed that the Communist empire was in desperate straits at home. The myth of Communist strength and unity was uncovered. East German riots broke out as the people faced tanks with bricks and bare hands. Even Russian officers and soldiers had to be executed for refusing to fire into the German crowds. A rash of uprisings also broke out in Czechoslovakia and threatened to break out in Poland, Bulgaria, and the Ukraine. Russians were working 38 hours a week for food that took only 26 hours to earn in 1928. In contrast to the Iron Curtain countries, the Western European nations were enjoying the greatest period of prosperity in 40 years. The exercise of Christian principles in the United States were displayed as it reached its zenith in prosperity and demonstrated its capacity to not only produce more wealth than any other nation, but to distribute it more equitably among its people. That was not the case in some nations that tried socialism.
A leading Socialist in Britain…yes, Britain…Professor W. Arthur Lewis, openly acknowledged that Socialism had been a great disappointment in England: “What has been done is to transfer property not to the workers but to the Government. Workers continued to be employees, subject to all the frustrations of working under orders in large undertakings. Those expecting nationalization to raise wages, were disappointed. It did not solve the problem of labor relations; it reduced private wealth; it raised unsolved problems of control; and raised the issue of how much power we want our government to have.” (U.S. News & World Report, “Socialist Sour on Socialism”, July 8, 1955, p.48). We can see the same concerns today as the liberal/progressive/communists in our government are trying to destroy a blessed nation with their form of ‘blessing’ and desire for power. Eventually, the church will have to be destroyed as an influence in our society. Unfortunately, we can see today that the church is slowly losing its influence as people are being drawn away by outside influence. Recently the First Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, PA, held its last service. It has a 221-year history but decided to close its doors for the final time because of declining membership and attendance. Church membership was down to 25. (Orlando Sentinel, Section 2, 27 Dec 2021, pg.3). We can even see such actions within my own community. Please do not think that politics cannot impact the church.
After the Korean Armistice, the Chinese Communists did not allow domestic problems in Russia dull their appetite for further aggression. Just like Satan’s desire for dominance, the Chinese Communists marched off to complete the Red conquest of Indo-China. Originally the war in Indo-China had been an attempt by the native population to free itself from French colonialism. However, Red infiltration by the Communist Chinese had changed the conflict from a war for freedom to a war between France and the Chinese Reds. The compromising influence of the French Communist Party (the largest single party in France at the time) made the fatal outcome of the war dependent only on the passing of time. Defeat to the French came on 21 July 1954. The Red Chinese agreed to stop fighting in exchange for 12,000,000 people and 61,000 square miles of Indo-China. Even Russia felt it necessary to make concessions to the Chinese Communists in order to insure their continued loyalty to the Communist Motherland. It was apparent that even though Russia was talking ‘peaceful coexistence’, the free world would have little relief from the war-making plans of Red China. As the US Secretary of State addressed the armistice meeting at Geneva, he lashed out at the cowardice and subversion that had sacrificed the 12,000,000 humans to the Reds: “Peace,” he said, “is always easy to achieve …by surrender.” The hard task that confronted the world was to combine peace and unity with freedom.
Next week we will look at the attempts by ‘peaceful’ governments to isolate what was becoming the next world aggressor. I have to ask myself how people were able to let such a tyrannical form of government take control of their lives? Had they totally ignored the Word of God…or had God’s ministers failed to discuss the perils of Communism for fear of offending someone or the fear of mixing politics with the church?
“We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” Aesop, Greek slave and fable author