The Marxist Poisoning of American Christianity
During the past century and a half, the Christian Church in America has been poisoned by the political philosophy of Marxism. Today, nothing can distinguish the Leftchurch from those aligned with the political leaders who espouse Marxist-Socialist policies in America. We will give a brief overview of the history that has enabled this transition, but first a brief examination of why this fact matters in America today.
If you care about freedom, you should care about American Christianity
America was founded and built largely upon the principles of Protestant Christianity during the 17th and 18th centuries. One of the best sources I have found that validates this claim is a book by authors Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Light and The Glory.
The book is a detailed account, complete with hundreds of original source quotes beginning all the way back to Columbus and through the writings of every founding father of the American republic. One of the clear revelations of this book is how the success of America as a nation is tied directly to the Christian belief that “all men are created equal.”
It is difficult for us…to appreciate just how radical were the words of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” Never before in history had the world actually believed in the equality of man. That is why, beginning with the Mayflower Compact, a century and a half earlier, the American system of government under God had been so unique. Under God – that was the key.
What has been demonstrated throughout history from that moment on is that if you remove government from being under God, any attempt to actualize human equality inevitably degenerates into anarchy and tyranny. This was shown in Europe just a few years after the American Revolution with the French Revolution and its concept of “The Brotherhood of Man.”
A decade after the American Revolution, the French…attempted to establish their version of the Brotherhood of Man. But it was without Christ. The resulting carnage horrified the world. Within a single generation, France was back under the yoke of tyranny, bowing to the Emperor, Napoleon.
The Declaration of Independence was really an assertion of the idea that God grants rights to each individual that no one but God can take away. The concept of individual liberty that most Americans are familiar with is indeed a fragile one in that it is absolutely dependant upon a people who are dependant upon God.
As John Adams wrote:
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
This same sentiment was expressed about 200 years later by the late President Ronald Reagan, who said in August of 1984,
If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
Without the flourishing of authentic Christianity in our land, America will forget completely that we are ‘one nation under God.’ Indeed, as the evidence has mounted in our society that we are increasingly forgetful of God’s Word and authority, we have seen an increase in Marxist thought reflected in Leftist ideals and policies coming into prominence in government.
Thus, as the large portion of organized American Christianity has forgotten God’s sovereignty, we have witnessed an increase in dependence upon the government to provide rather than relying upon God. As author Trevor Loudon states in his excellent introduction to the documentary “Enemies Within The Church,”
If you were an enemy of America, would you not want to influence American Christianity?
If you care about freedom, you should care about true American Christianity because if America goes under, there will be no refuge left on earth for true freedom.
How did this happen?
The transformation of American Christianity from the ideals of the founders and the society of the 18th and 19th centuries began in earnest during the early 20th century. However, the infiltration of Marxist thought into the American church scene started around five decades prior, with the clergy and seminary professors of large denominations becoming indoctrinated in Europe.
Yet, even earlier, at the very beginnings of the Protestant Christian movement away from corrupt Catholicism, the Protestants themselves split not only into various denominations but also adopted two main doctrines of social and political engagement. The first was what could be called early evangelicals who believed, correctly, that one’s faith involved all areas of one’s life, including public life.
This was the view of the majority of Protestants at first in the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe. However, another view of Christian living came into popularity known as pietism, which taught that one’s faith was a personal matter not to be brought into political arenas lest it be sullied by the dirty business of politics.
The popularity of the pietist view steadily grew and found its way to American shores even before America officially became a nation in 1776. This set the stage for Marxist ideals to ascend in the churches as, throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the evangelicals and pietists competed for dominance in American Christianity.
In Marxist ideology, there is room for only one authority, the state. It is the state that provides the needs of the masses according to central government planning based loosely on the Communist motto of “from those with the greatest ability to those with the greatest need.”
No societal characteristic is beyond state control, most of all freedom to worship God. The government controls whether or not one can worship God and the manner in which that worship can occur in a Communist regime.
When Marxism asserts itself within organized American Christianity, as it has for more than a century, it paves the way for slavery imposed by the state. This began in America with the Methodist Federation for Social Action in 1907.
The Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) was founded in 1907 by several Methodist Episcopal clergy… to direct church attention to the enormous human suffering among the working class. Immediately the Federation became Methodism’s unofficial rallying point for the Social Gospel and achieved the adoption of the first denominational social creed in 1908.
This organization is still in existence today and champions every Leftist cause in existence in America and around the globe.
The way forward is to go back to the fundamentals
This leftward movement within the Christian Church did not go unopposed even at the beginning of the 20th century. A large group of conservative Christian scholars came together and produced a twelve-volume work in 1917 titled “The Fundamentals” that articulated the traditional Christian beliefs based on the teaching of the Bible and why authentic Christianity must adhere to those fundamental teachings.
These volumes were financed by two Christians who remain anonymous to this day. According to the Preface,
In 1909 God moved two Christian laymen to set aside a large sum of money for issuing twelve volumes that would set forth the fundamentals of the Christian faith, and which were to be sent free to ministers of the gospel, missionaries, Sunday School superintendents, and others engaged in aggressive Christian work throughout the English speaking world.
The first volume of this work begins by telling the reader the story of the scourge of “higher criticism” upon biblical scholarship and within the organized Church.
That scourge opened the door for a Marxist interpretation of the Bible and infiltration of organized American Christianity with the “Social gospel.”
“The Fundamentals” as a work helped bolster authentic American Christianity and fend off the Marxists in the Church throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. However, with the social upheaval of the 1960s, the “Social gospel” crowd once more raised their heads and grew in power.
The influence this Marxist infiltration of American Christianity has had on American governance in the years since cannot be overstated. Moreover, I believe one of the biggest reasons we have not devolved into a fully Marxist nation yet is because of two political events shaped by those who believed in the fundamentals of the faith founded upon the Word of God.
Those events were the election and re-election of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and the election of President Donald Trump in 2016 fueled by the support of “fundamentalist evangelicals,” as they were called in the 80s, and the evangelical vote in 2016. The fundamentalists of the 1970s and 80s became known as the Moral Majority and heavily influenced culture and politics well into the decade of the 1990s.
Then, in the early 2000s, Marxists launched another effort to turn American Christianity away from its fundamental beliefs and toward Leftist ambitions. The mainstream churches were already indoctrinated with Marxist ideology, and so the evangelicals were targeted for infiltration.
For a good portion of my time as an active pastor, I have witnessed this infiltration primarily within the denomination my Church was affiliated with, the American Baptist Churches of the USA. Along with a number of others, I tried to fight within the church system to halt the advance of Leftist ideals in the denomination.
The key issue at the time was the acceptance of gay marriage in the Church. The result was a fracture of the denomination, with hundreds of churches leaving the ABCUSA searching for fellowships that adhered to biblical teachings.
Today, the state of the American Church is far worse than just 20 years ago. Major denominations, including the largest Protestant organization in America, the Southern Baptist Convention, have succumbed to Leftist “wokeism” and are using things like Critical Race Theory as part of their church teaching.
The only way to slow and perhaps halt this destructive advance of Marxism in American Christianity is for American Christians to return to the fundamentals of the faith. The way to begin is to embrace faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of the Bible as God’s Word. I pray we will begin and continue this process for our sakes, the sake of our posterity, and the sake of America and freedom across the world.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8 [ESV]
[Note: Our bloggers are independent writers with their own constitutionally granted opinions, viewpoints, interpretations, and feelings. Their views do not always represent that of American Reveille LLC. Regardless, we support their right to free speech and a medium to express it! Got a problem with that? Go somewhere else!]
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