August 22, 2023


Xi Jinping: Hater of God (Rebeccah Heinrichs, August 22, 2023, Providence)

By falsifying the Word of God so overtly, Xi has earned a new title in addition to General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and the President of the People's Republic of China; in addition to all these, Xi is also what the book of Romans calls a "hater of God."

This is, of course, not the first time Marxism has taken on Christianity. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels famously wrote in the Communist Manifesto (1848) that "...communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality..." Given the anti-theistic nature of Marxism, Christians have unsurprisingly long grappled with how to rhetorically respond to communist ideas. Two such Protestant evangelists, though not well known for their anticommunism, used their vocations, at different times and places, to contend for the faith and help others see the wickedness of Marxism and its variants.

The first is Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), the "Prince of Preachers" and longtime pastor of London's Metropolitan Tabernacle. Although there is no evidence they ever met, Marx and Spurgeon resided in London concurrently. The atheist Marx sought converts through calls for bloody revolution to establish a classless utopia. In contrast, Spurgeon sought converts to Christianity through evangelism, preaching the gospel of redemption of individuals through faith in death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Unlike Marx's promise of a man-made utopia, Christianity offered gradual and partial individual sanctification over the course of the Christian's earthly life, enduring challenges, and hardship, until that final eschatological outcome when God-- not man-- establishes the New Heavens and the New Earth.

Though Spurgeon did not take on Marx by name, his sermons warned of the wickedness of Democratic Socialism. And, though there is no evidence Marx referenced Spurgeon by name, when asked whom he most detested, Marx's closest comrade Engels reportedly said it was Spurgeon.

The other evangelist is Carl F.H. Henry. As church historian Caleb Morell has written, Henry taught an invite-only class for evangelical elites in Washington, DC dubbed the "Hilltoppers" between 1962 and 1964. In these classes, Henry taught the necessity of a "biblically grounded, publicly articulated evangelical worldview as the only intellectual defense against Communism."

An example from Henry's notes, includes the following rebuke of Marxism's appeal towards immediate man-made Utopianism:

[T]he Marxist vision presupposes an Edenic "primal period of communal life" interrupted by the "original sin" of "private property." Man's plight, therefore, is located not in alienation from God but from "the material means of production." Redemption, for the Communist, is not found in Christ but through "a proletarian rebellion, which will destroy private ownership of the means of production, by a world revolution and usher in a classless society." Paradise, for the Communist, is not the new heavens and new earth where Christ rules, but "the vision of a classless society." Just as the eschatological hope of Christianity fuels present perseverance through trials, the Communist concept of paradise "fuels and fires Marxist social zeal and gives it a religious character." As Henry explained in another place, "Marx (unwittingly to be sure) borrows from the biblical view the emphasis on understanding history as a stimulus to transforming it."

Xi seems to know, as Marx did, that Christianity poses at least two major obstacles to successful Communist rule. First, it rejects notions of man-made utopianism and instead looks hopefully to the God-initiated establishment of a new world free from the corrupting effects of sin. Second, it establishes for the disciple of Christ a devotion to the Kingdom of God. This devotion leads to a willingness to live peaceful lives in accordance with earthly laws and civil authorities as long as those laws do not cause Christians to disobey God. This is the crux of Christianity's fundamental conflict with communism and the CCP: Xi seeking to elevate himself above God's law but will find, as all totalitarian leaders have before him, the gates of hell will not prevail, and neither will he. 

Likewise, the Right/Left hates the End of History so much precisely because it does not arrive at Utopia.  Indeed, it does not arrive anywhere.  It simply recognizes that the optimal social arrangement we have discovered so far is based on the recognition of God-given dignity and the resulting necessity of allowing freedom of choice in economics, politics, and religion: capitalism, democracy, and protestantism.  

Posted by at August 22, 2023 12:00 AM