It has become clear that Americans are deeply divided politically and ideologically. From the riots in Minneapolis, through the summer in cities including Seattle, Portland and Kenosha, to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, people have acted violently. They are expressing their opposition to the police, President Trump, President Biden and politics in general.
Socialism/communism versus capitalism are two of the ideologies in contention. Each side fears what the other may do with the power that they have. Calls for unity are drowned out by power plays to put the opposition in their place or silence them for good. History reveals that this type of conflict often leads to a form of totalitarian government with civil rights reduced and one-party rule established. Lord, have mercy, and let us not repeat the mistakes of others!
The Christian Church does not fare well in communist countries. As an ideology, communism is atheistic. The people as a whole, the collective state, is supreme. The state owns the land and property and controls all aspects of the nation. The government, not God, is source of good for all people.
Communism fails because people are sinners. They are greedy, covetous and jealous. They are also indolent, lazy and unmotivated when lacking incentive. Communism has not shown itself in practice to be a classless society. An elite class enjoys many fine things while the masses have little and find scarcity everywhere. To believe that an American form of communism would succeed when every other form has failed is foolishness. It reveals an arrogance, pride and superiority that it claims to deny. This side of heaven there is no perfect society. Lord, have mercy!
The Christian Church properly has concern for the eternal welfare of all people. It desires that all be saved from their sinful foolishness and come to a knowledge of the truth. It does so through a call to repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ. It calls sin what it is. It confesses that there is salvation in Jesus Christ alone. The Church proclaims Jesus Christ and Him crucified as the message of salvation and the only hope for the world.
The Lord Jesus teaches us how we should live with our neighbor and with those who are opposed to us. Jesus says:
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” — Matt. 5:44
This is the pattern of God the Father Himself. God provides sunshine and rain, seedtime and harvest for both the just and unjust. There are really only two divisions of humanity. Those who recognize Jesus as Lord and respond to Him, and those who do not recognize Jesus as Lord — unbelievers— who are under the control of Satan. The devil is the evil one, the enemy who opposes God’s work in Jesus Christ.
Rev. Timothy Scharr