This is Part 7 of Total Man. If you’ve not been following the series, please check previous posts to read Parts 1 – 6.
Four names are synonymous with communism. The first is Karl Marx, the second is Friedrich Engels, the third is Vladimir Lenin and the fourth is Joseph Stalin.
Karl Marx is the primary theorist of what has come to be known as Marxism. It is doctrinal. The central tenet of the doctrine is class struggle. It was this Karl Marx who said religion is the “opium of the people.” He viewed religion primarily as the “soul of soulless conditions.” Because his Jewish background exposed him to prejudice and discrimination it is speculated this might have contributed to his desire for social change.
Engels came from an affluent background. His father was co-owner of large textile factories in England and Prussia (Germany). But he was disturbed by what he regarded as the injustices of a society divided by class. He published The Condition of the Working Class in England based on his personal observations and research. He would partner with Karl Marx to write The Communist Manifesto in 1848.
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the third of six children was born into a happy close-knit family. His parents were cultured. Five of those kids would later become revolutionaries. His beloved eldest brother was hanged for conspiring with a revolutionary terrorist group. Extremely brilliant, he came first in every subject for his law degree. He made first class. But by sixteen he had turned to atheism. He would serve as head of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1922. His 5yr reign was known as “Red Terror.” It claimed not just his political opponents but also “class enemies.”
Joseph Stalin was the chief architect of Soviet totalitarianism. He ruled the Soviet Union for a quarter of a century. Experts estimate that between 1936 and 1938, 750,000 people within the Communist Party were executed by Stalin. This was known as the “Great Purge” or “Great Terror.” More than one million people would end up in forced labour camps known as gulags.
But the spiritual godfather of communism was Karl Marx. He studied philosophy at the University of Berlin, receiving a doctorate from the University of Jena in 1841. Fearing arrest for his radical views, he fled to Paris where he renewed acquaintance with his friend and countryman Friedrich Engels.
According to Marx, “The history of all hitherto existing human society is the history of class struggles.” It’s a powerful statement and it resonates all the way back to Genesis. But where did the idea of class struggle come from? Historians hold the view Marx inherited his ideas of class and class struggle from the theories of Henri de Saint-Simon, a social theorist. It can actually be traced to the French Revolution of 1789. Yet according to the Bible, it was the creature simply known as “the serpent” who originated the idea.
The Bible narrative of the origin of class struggle is actually quite interesting. God had created man giving him only one restriction – just one law: “You can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don’t eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you’re dead.” Genesis 2:16-17 MSG. We all know the story. The woman (later known as Eve) got into a conversation with the serpent on the restriction. It sounds incredulous but the Bible cites two examples of animals talking. The serpent spoke and Balaam’s donkey spoke, though the latter spoke under special dispensation. Numbers 22:28.
That serpent guy was one dangerous fellow. Judging from the transcript he was a brilliant propagandist. Would make a good communist. There was also the posture and approach. He simulated being on the side of humanity against a well known villain called God. He was obviously channelling someone. Whoever that guy was he sure had a major grudge against God. Judging from the conversation they had a long history. The only person who fits that bill is Satan. The whole saga bore his signature. This is how the serpent started the conversation: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” Genesis 3:1 MSG. That opener can only come from someone who imagines himself something – someone who sees himself as very important. There’s that authoritarian tone. The personage was used to political authority. He positioned himself above the woman.
The answer that should have come from Eve is a sarcastic retort – “And who are you!” But the woman was naive. She didn’t get the fact the serpent wasn’t really asking her a question; that he was opening up a conversation with a view. It’s why she answered the question like a student doing oral exam – “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’” Genesis 3:2-3 MSG. Very naive.
So here was a dangerous revolutionary talking to a naive and inexperienced woman who doubles as a political figure though blithely unaware. She had governmental authority. She was given dominion too. The serpent spoke like someone in the know – like a state actor or political operative. And he spoke with certitude: ‘The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.” Genesis 3:4-5 MSG. That was treasonable stuff and the woman should have shut it down. Instead, she became intrigued.
There are two classes the serpent dude was saying. There are those who know, people like him. They are like God. Then there are those who have no clue whatsoever. They have no idea what’s going on. These are ordinary humans. The difference between those who know and those who don’t is a knowledge spectrum – from good to evil. It is this knowledge spectrum that makes you “God” according to the serpent. This was novel stuff. Elevated stuff. Only it was all lies.
What the serpent said in effect was, “If you want to ascend to ‘God class’ eat the damn fruit!” Since the God Class are the knowledgeable folk, the serpentine theory of class distinction was based on sapience. Sapience is wisdom, sagacity, insight, discernment. The Devil is still using the same trick on humans. When Satan wants to lure someone he tells him about some special knowledge that’s not commonly available. This makes the individual feel special. It’s the strategy of secret cults. There’s always some secret knowledge. Same dummy Satan sold to Gnostics. Gnosticism comes from the Greek word, “gnostikos” which means “having knowledge. Gnostics claim special knowledge. It’s why they confidently tell us Jesus went to Egypt to learn esoteric stuff. You’d think they accompanied him there. When you ask for the source of that information they’ll tell you it’s secret knowledge. It’s all “empty deception” and mythology according to Paul. Colossians 2:8. The people who fall for this kind of ruse are usually intellectuals. Satan appeals to the pride in them. Knowledge puffs up. 1 Corinthians 8:1. If you’re after deep truths study your Bible, commune with the Holy Spirit. Don’t open yourself up to deception. Those guys are good! They’re good at counterintelligence. Outside of scriptures, you’re in no man’s land. You’re at the mercy of Satan’s operatives.
Eve never caught on. She never heard the political undertone. She thought she was having a late afternoon banter with a cerebral fellow. She had no idea the guy had an agenda. It would cost Eve politically. Her generations would pay. The sad part of the whole saga was, Adam was there. He was standing right there amused by all the nonsense. Genesis 3:6. The Bible says he was not deceived by the propaganda. He saw right through the serpent. 1 Timothy 2:14.
The challenge of naivety faces the church today. There’s unbelievable naivety concerning Satan’s strategic intent. It is why the church relates to him on a moral paradigm – good versus evil. Whereas all Satan is interested in is political power. That much is clear from the temptation of Jesus. Matthew 4. He uses strategic misdirection. He keeps pastors engaged with witches and wizards. These are non-state actors. That gives latitude to the principalities and powers – the political guys. It’s a smart strategy. In the grand scheme of things, witches and wizards are nothing more than retail nuisance. They’re local distractions. They’re not on Satan’s organogram. Ephesians 6:12. In fact, Paul lists witchcraft as a mere work of the flesh. Galatians 5:19-20. It proceeds from wickedness. You can’t engage Satan on the basis of morality. The paradigm does not even arise. He is evil matter-of-factly. He kills, he steals, he destroys. John 10:10. You can only engage him on the basis of righteousness. Righteousness is a constitutional implement. By medical standards Satan is a psychopath. There’s no moral bone in him whatsoever.
When Satan takes political control of a nation he pillages the resources of that nation to facilitate his continental agenda. And so he took blood diamonds from Sierra Leone to destabilise Liberia. He destabilises nations to achieve political aims. Wars cost money. The real opposition he has are those pesky Christians. He knows they can hinder him. So he keeps them busy arguing over tithes, turf, trousers and scarf, busying themselves with “ancestral spirits.” He tells them it’s unrighteous to participate in politics and governance, that their kingdom is not of this world. That way he locks them up in church singing kum ba yah. When Christians don’t participate in politics they become victims of the dynamics of power. That’s the lesson of history.
And so ideological contention was the main issue in the Garden of Eden. And it will become full-blown by the time the Antichrist shows up. The Antichrist is the antithesis to the thesis called the Christ. No synthesis can ever emerge. There can never be agreement between light and darkness. 2 Corinthians 6:15. Adam never saw the political dimension of the whole thing. That’s why he didn’t shut down the treasonable conversation. There are things one must shut down in life. And that includes dangerous thoughts and ideas.
If you’ll like to receive Jesus into your life please pray this prayer: “Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Father, please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.”
To read Total Man (Part 7) – Class Warfare go to www.myilluminare.com/total-man-part-7-class-warfare/.
Theology Trivia: Should Christians participate in politics and governance?
The e-version of my new book, The Genesis Project is now available for purchase and download at www.genesisprojectonline.com.
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