05-08-18 WHY I AM A COMMUNIST
THOUGH CHRISTIAN - PART TWO
By John Aldworth
A friend of mine recently opined: ‘Communism, that’s a relic of the past; only North Korea is still truly communist. Russia and China are now really capitalist. And hasn’t capitalism won the day and proved to be a better system? Hasn’t globalism lifted billions out of poverty around the world?’
Well, no, it hasn’t. Not if the actual facts and statistics are studied. For example, a 2017 Oxfam report says that under globalism worldwide wealth is now controlled by an ever shrinking handful of super rich individuals. What’s more, IT giant Apple has in 2018 become the world’s first company with a market capitalisation of more than US$ one trillion.
Wealth pundits say that in the next decade at least one very rich person will become a trillionaire, owning wealth that is the equivalent of several countries gross national product added together. Current favourite to achieve that status by the time he is 45 is 33-year-old Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos. Now worth the best part of one hundred billion dollars he is picked to make his first trillion in the next six years. Others likely to become trillionaires before they die include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Facebook supremo Mark Zuckenberg and Hathaway Berkshire investor Warren Buffet
The upshot is that now under globalism half of the world’s wealth is already controlled by an ever reducing small number of plutocrats. Indeed the global economy has become a plutocracy, which according to the Oxford Dictionary is by definition the ‘rule of the wealthy’.)
Oxfam reports that the number of people owning the same amount as the bottom half of humanity has reduced from 388 to 62 in five years. It goes on: ‘A "broken" economic model underpinned by deregulation, privatisation and financial secrecy has seen the wealth of the richest 62 people jump by 44 per cent in five years to US$1.76 trillion (NZ$2.74 trillion). In that time, the wealth of the poorest 3.6 billion people has plunged by 41 per cent’.
In my home country, New Zealand, once renowned for having ‘neither rich nor poor’, tycoon Graeme Hart added more than $4 billion to his coffers in 2017, as more and more Kiwis joined queues at food banks and slept homeless on the streets. In 2017 28 per cent of the country's went to the richest 1 per cent of Kiwis. The 1.4 million poorest New Zealanders got just 1 per cent of that wealth. So, don’t tell me capitalism is the answer; more likely it’s the problem.
Be that as it may, it’s little known, but actually communism was inspired in part by the Bible. Back in the 60s leading communists would often quote Acts 2:44-45 as the basis for their beliefs. The verses say:
And all that believed were together and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Acts 4:32-35 gives further detail:
And the multitude that believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common … Neither was there any among them that lacked, for as many as were possessors of land or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things were sold and laid them at down at the apostles’ feet and distribution was made to every man according as he had need.
This was precisely the programme enacted in the Soviet States, China and elsewhere in the early stages of “classic” communism. The rich were forced to sell or share their homes with the poor. Manufacturers and businessmen lost control of their enterprises as, they were persuaded, often brutally, to yield ownership to their workers. Peasants were driven off the land and their farms collectivised.
In the process millions were murdered. However, the Lord Jesus never was, nor ever would be found executing recalcitrant capitalists to bring communism about. His was the way of peace and love as exemplified in the way he gently led the tax collecting capitalist Zaccheus to return his ill-gotten gains and share much of the rest with the poor. Read the story for yourself in Luke 19:1-10 and note that in verses nine and 10 Jesus equates this ‘communist’ redistribution with salvation. So salvation to the Lord is not only believing He died for our sin, so that we could be forgiven and receive eternal life, but also means that by ‘saving' people the economy will be transformed to put caring and meeting the needs of the poor ahead of making money.
As we shall see, there were communists in Russia and elsewhere who genuinely tried to bring such a state of affairs about but led by dictators like Stalin and Mao Tse Tung efforts at persuasion soon descended into all out blood baths. ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it’ (Psalm 127:1). So, when will the Lord build ‘his house’? When will He bring about a world run the way He wants it with peace not war, plenty not poverty and godliness instead of wickedness and sin? Isaiah 2:2 has the answer:
And it shall come to pass in the last days (i.e. in the Day of Christ, the Lord’s pre-millennial kingdom), that the mountain (i.e. government) of the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of the mountains (i.e. over all other governments or kingdoms) and shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow unto it.
What’s more the Lord will do it without the mass slaughter invoked in the Russian, Chinese and other communist revolutions.
Did you know that it was from the Acts verses, that leading cadres coined the famed communist slogan, ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need’ and would readily quote from the Bible to support it. The important difference, of course, is that in the Acts period it was God that caused believers to have all in things in common. In Russia, China, and other countries that succumbed to the ‘red tide’, it was man trying to bring about communism by brute force and slaughtering multiple millions in the process.
So, it’s important to understand that when we are told in the Bible that the Jewish Pentecostal believers in Jesus as Messiah had ‘all things in common’, as recorded in the Book of Acts, and that ‘distribution was made to every man according as he had need’ this was a real foretaste of how things will be in the soon coming kingdom of God when Christ will reign from heaven over all on earth. Because in the kingdom earth will be restored to give an abundant food supply, without sowing, planting or weeding each will indeed receive according to his need, and then some. More on this will be said in later in this paper and also in PART THREE of WHY I AM A COMMUNIST THOUGH CHRISTIAN.
Back when I was a party member in the 1960s there were real and admirable communist leaders who truly ‘walked the talk’. I don’t mean mass murderers such as Joe Stalin, Mao-Tse Tung or the infamous Pol Pot of Cambodia, who massacred millions of his own people. I mean cadres who genuinely believed in the communist ideal and would lead workers at the coal face by example, slaving themselves for weeks at a time with pick and shovel in hand.
Such a man was Nikita Kruschev who deservedly rose through the Russian Communist Party ranks to become President of the USSR. He wrought huge social change more by persuasion and personal example than crude force. For example, though high in the hierarchy he booted up to work physically alongside the construction brigades who hewed out the Moscow Underground.
It was he who took off his shoe and pounded it on the rostrum to protest at the United Nations. And it was he who had the grace and wisdom to back down and withdraw in the Cuban Missile Crisis, after going head to head with US President John. F. Kennedy and nearly sparking all out nuclear war. The danger was so real that Peace Movement supporters, of which I was one, staged a ‘Goodnight World Party’ believing it would be a case of ‘lights out’ in the next 24 hours.
That that didn’t happen, in my view, was down to Kruschev’s growing, and, surprisingly, very real belief in God. I read his speeches to the Soviet Praesidium and was stunned by the numerous and increasing references to God they contained. ‘Comrades’, he would say, ‘we will implement the five-year plan to increase agricultural production by 50 percent. May God be willing to grant kind seasons of good harvest to help us do so’.
Eventually Kruschev’s ‘God’ references became too much for his fellow party leaders. It is believed Mikhail Suslov, the party’s grim, atheistic, Marxist theoretician spearheaded the plot to force him out. But it seems God came through for him, for Kruschev was the first Russian President to retire quietly without a bullet in the back of his head to send him on his way.
Years later under ‘Glasnost’ he freely gave interviews to the world media. Asked what had gone wrong that he now espoused God and no longer advocated the Marxist cause, he replied:
I am still a Communist. I truly believe each should give according to his ability to each according to his need. We laid the foundation in the USSR for that to work but we failed to take into account the inherent evil in the heart of man. It was the laziness, greed, thievery and selfishness of the masses that brought our revolution to its knees. Had all believed and worked as some did we would have brought about paradise on earth. We also ignored the need to believe in God who alone can change the heart of man.
And I can personally say ‘amen’ to all of that. What’s more I am convinced that where man has failed to bring about a truly communist society, Almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ, will succeed. That will occur when the Lord appears to all earth in glory and inaugurates his kingdom (2 Tim. 4:1, Titus 2:13) in what the Apostle Paul seven times in scripture calls ‘the day of Christ’.
Tragically, this truth, amply set out and prophesied in the Old Testament, taught by Jesus in the gospels and reiterated by the Apostles Peter and Paul in Acts and the epistles, has been ignored, set aside and replaced in Christendom by a false and heretical theology asserting that a one and only day of judgement and resurrection will send all people either to heaven or hell.
No such doctrine is found in the pages of the Bible. Yet this untruth, derived from pagan religions of Babylon, Egypt, Greece and Rome, has been core teaching for Christendom for over 1900 years.
It obscures the truth that the main theme of the Bible is the coming the Kingdom of God, also termed the kingdom of heaven. This will occur when God Almighty, the Lord Jesus Christ, will ‘blaze forth’ (Gk. Epiphanea) his glory at his ‘appearing’ so that all mankind will know Him as He really is. Thus, Psalm 97:4 and 6 declares of this event that ‘His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled’. (And in vs. 6): ‘The heavens declare his righteousness and all the people see his glory’.
This takes place at his ‘appearing’ (Titus 2:13) as He begins to rule over earth from heaven. This is his ‘pre-millennial’ kingdom, which precedes his Millennial, 1,000 year, reign, commonly called ‘His Second Coming’, in which Christ will in person reign for his people from a throne in Jerusalem (Rev. 20:2-6)
It cannot be said often enough that before the Millennium reign there will be this glorious Day of Christ, mentioned seven times in the Apostle Paul’s epistles (For proof there really will be a day of Christ see Rom. 2:5, 13:12-13, 1 Cor. 1:8, 1 Cor. 3:13, Phil. 1:10, 2:16, 2 Thess. 2:2, Eph. 4:30, Tim. 1:12, 18, 4:8, Heb. 4:7-8, 10:25. The good news is that this new era of God dispensing Himself into mankind will be far more about putting things right rather than damning those who have got it wrong.)
Isaiah 33:24: And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein (i.e. the earth) shall be forgiven their iniquity.
Ps. 67:4 and 6: Thou shalt judge the peoples righteously and govern the nations upon earth … Then shall the earth yield her increase and God even our God, shall bless us.
Ps. 37: 11: But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Ps. 36:8: They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
And that’s only a glimpse of how good life will be on earth under the rule of Christ from heaven. Imagine, sickness will be banished and, sin apart, there will be need for anyone to die. Sin itself will be knocked on the head because the coming kingdom of heaven will not only govern mankind, restrain evil and restore the earth to its original creation beauty but also implant righteousness in the hearts of all. Thus, as Jesus said would be (Luke 17:21), in the Day of Christ they will not be saying, ‘Behold here, or behold there, for, behold, the kingdom is (i.e. will be) within you’.
And, according to Romans 14:17, ‘… the kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost’. That was experienced in part during the Acts period when the Holy Ghost (the ‘ghost’ of the resurrected, ascended Christ was poured out upon believers. But it was only a ‘foretaste’ of the fullness of the Holy Ghost to be experienced in the Day of Christ, the pre-millennial kingdom of God. Hebrews 6: 4-5 plainly states that those who experienced the Acts period Pentecostal outpouring were:
… enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost. And tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world (i.e. the Day of Christ) to come.
It was only a ‘taste’; the full wonder of it will be experienced by all people deemed by the Lord Jesus Christ as worth to enter his kingdom and the world (age) to come. And with the kingdom of heaven now realised in the heart of man, the fair and equitable ‘communist’ society which Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot and even Nikita Kruschev failed to bring about, will be brought about by God Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, who according to 1 Tim. 6:14-15 will at his appearing (i.e. blazing forth) from heaven, thus show his glory to all people on earth. Furthermore He will show (or manifest) decisively that He is ‘the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords’. How this will hugely change mankind will be explained in PART THREE of WHY I AM A COMMUNIST THOUGH CHRISTIAN.