Socialism is making its way into mainstream America, much like pornography did a few years ago. And, just like pornography, moving into the mainstream doesn’t make it healthy or beneficial.
The shocking win of socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s recent Democratic primary, where she was outspent by the incumbent more than 15 to one, is telling and timely.
Why is socialism rising now, at this particular time in America? Because people are disenfranchised, desperate and ready to be saved – by anything and anyone.
If you claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ, you better brace yourself because socialism and Christianity are completely incompatible.
A recent poll of millennials revealed an alarming level of historical illiteracy among young Americans, with 58 percent of the emerging generation preferring communism, socialism or fascism over capitalism. Only 42 percent were in favor of capitalism. Ironically, the millennials polled were unable to even define capitalism.
“This troubling turn,” said Marion Smith, executive director of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, “highlights widespread historical illiteracy in American society regarding socialism and the systemic failure of our education system to teach students about genocide, destruction, and misery caused by communism since the Bolshevik Revolution 100 years ago.”
A Socialist Is A Christian “Poser”
Marxism, the basis of socialism, is an atheistic world-view where the government functions as God. It is the savior that cares for and protects people from the cradle to the grave – for the price of allegiance.
Whereas the Christian has Christ and his teachings at the epicenter of everything, the socialist has humanity and its institutions. For the Christian, it’s all about the King, Jesus Christ. For the socialist, it’s all about their kingdom. A true socialist wants nothing to do with Christianity because it has Christ, not the government and humanity, as Savior.
“Marxist theory,” writes J.F. Baldwin, “is based on economic determinism — a view of history that assumes that a nation’s government and all its societal institutions, and even each citizen’s consciousness, are determined by the economic system of that nation.”
Marxism is “the only economic system that can create the foundation for paradise. Everyone ‘poisoned’ by the capitalist mentality must submit to (or be destroyed by) the working class, which will establish a socialistic dictatorship that will eventually evolve into communism” (“The Deadliest Monster,” pages 44-45).
The socialist believes that “Man . . . is a perfectible being who only requires the right economic system to get in touch with his basic goodness . . . Once worldwide communism is achieved, there will be no need for laws and governments, because everyone will freely choose to act properly all the time. At that time, each man will work according to his ability, and receive according to his needs” (p. 44).
Lord help us. Literally.
We can blame the misgivings of millennials on the education system, but not all the blame deserves to be pointed there. A large part of the blame rests on the shoulders of us pastors and Christian leaders. For many years, the great majority of us failed (refused?) to bring the Bible to bear on the relevant issues of the day. (Many of us are continuing the trend even now, amid so much change). We mistook teaching doctrine for modeling surrender, lifestyles of true worship. We’re reaping what we sowed.
The socialists have stolen a large part of the Christian narrative – and the younger generation – yet they don’t care a bit about Jesus Christ. They are passionate about feeding the poor, caring for the needy, and effectively demonize greedy, power-hungry people. What’s going on, here? Socialism resonates because socialists are so passionate compared to many Christians who have lost their first love, Christ.
Many people are fed up with the status quo, business as usual approach to American life, and socialists have tapped into this angst. They’ve struck a nerve. By contrast, is the average person who professes to know Christ as Savior passionate for Christ as Lord – of all?
What’s a Christian leader to do? Whether you are a parent/guardian, pastor, elder, deacon or in any form of Christian leadership, it’s time to arise. We need to (re)discover the lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life, and in the overflow teach others how to follow.
For far too long we have confused education about Christ with surrender to him. They are not the same. Bible knowledge is not the same as the application of biblical truth.
The socialists have arrived. It’s time we Christians get our acts together while we still have a chance to capture the hearts and minds of young people thirsty for the peaceful, positive revolution that only Jesus Christ can bring. Game on. Don’t settle for sitting on the sidelines.
Michael Anthony is the Founder and President of Courage Matters™ and author of “A Call For Courage: Living with Power, Truth, and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear.” He is a popular speaker and blogger, and lead pastor of Grace Fellowship in York, Pennsylvania. You can enjoy his content on the free Courage Matters app and CourageMatters.com. The opinions expressed in this piece are his own.