Author Topic: Christianity and Marxism  (Read 8995 times)

peter_speckhard

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Christianity and Marxism
« on: June 11, 2020, 03:43:47 PM »
Several of us in this forum are very pro-life and pro- traditional family. All of us, though, would not march with or claim solidarity with, say, Nazis. If we were at a march at which swasticas and Nazi sloganeering were commonplace, it wouldn’t matter how we tried to claim we were just there for the pro-life message. We’d totally dissociate ourselves with that particular group or event.

Yet for some reason Christians will march or protest for something good, racial justice, even though Marxist sloganeering and symbolism is everywhere in those events. Unless you make it clear that you absolutely reject Marxism and all its works and all its ways, it is problematic to be seen lending support to events and movements that have been coopted by Marxist thought.


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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2020, 04:41:00 PM »
How is Marxism (from Karl, not what USSR and other nations did with it) different from what we read about the early Christians in Acts 2 & 4? According to Wiki, "there is currently no single definitive Marxist theory," so you might need to clarify what you mean by Marxism.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

James J Eivan

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 04:49:15 PM »
At times there is the thought by some that something ‘has’ to be done ... and because ‘something’ has to be done care is thrown to the wind and values and/or beliefs are compromised to satisfy the desire to do something.

On the other hand in other occasions participation is driven by a selfish self centered grandiose desire to be seen by men in public because of posturing and self glorification proclivities.

Is is also tragic that some march participants are not fully aware of the scope of who are participating and even that some participate intending to hijack a march’s worthwhile causes for their own selfish desires.

James J Eivan

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2020, 04:59:23 PM »
How is Marxism (from Karl, not what USSR and other nations did with it) different from what we read about the early Christians in Acts 2 & 4? According to Wiki, "there is currently no single definitive Marxist theory," so you might need to clarify what you mean by Marxism.
Rather than sowing doubt and indecision go to a reputable dictionary ... online they are relatively current ...

Marxism is defined as “The political and economic theories of the German political philosopher and economists Karl Marx (1818–83) and Friedrich Engels (1820–95), later developed by their followers to form the basis for the theory and practice of communism.

Central to Marxist theory is an explanation of social change in terms of economic factors, according to which the means of production provide the economic base which influences or determines the political and ideological superstructure. Marx and Engels predicted the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism by the proletariat and the eventual attainment of a classless communist society.”

Matt Staneck

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2020, 05:10:50 PM »
Several of us in this forum are very pro-life and pro- traditional family. All of us, though, would not march with or claim solidarity with, say, Nazis. If we were at a march at which swasticas and Nazi sloganeering were commonplace, it wouldn’t matter how we tried to claim we were just there for the pro-life message. We’d totally dissociate ourselves with that particular group or event.

Yet for some reason Christians will march or protest for something good, racial justice, even though Marxist sloganeering and symbolism is everywhere in those events. Unless you make it clear that you absolutely reject Marxism and all its works and all its ways, it is problematic to be seen lending support to events and movements that have been coopted by Marxist thought.

Would you attend a pro-life march/event where the confederate flag was commonplace? Would you feel the need to make it clear that you absolutely reject the confederacy and all its works and all its ways?

M. Staneck
Matt Staneck, Pastor
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James J Eivan

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2020, 05:23:27 PM »
Several of us in this forum are very pro-life and pro- traditional family. All of us, though, would not march with or claim solidarity with, say, Nazis. If we were at a march at which swasticas and Nazi sloganeering were commonplace, it wouldn’t matter how we tried to claim we were just there for the pro-life message. We’d totally dissociate ourselves with that particular group or event.

Yet for some reason Christians will march or protest for something good, racial justice, even though Marxist sloganeering and symbolism is everywhere in those events. Unless you make it clear that you absolutely reject Marxism and all its works and all its ways, it is problematic to be seen lending support to events and movements that have been coopted by Marxist thought.
Would you attend a pro-life march/event where the confederate flag was commonplace? Would you feel the need to make it clear that you absolutely reject the confederacy and all its works and all its ways?
M. Staneck
Rather than speak of a hypothetical (unless this flag situation has occurred at a pro life event) it may be far more poignant to ask about the reality of Christians supporting and voting for avowed murderous abortion supporting politicians.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2020, 05:40:03 PM »
Several of us in this forum are very pro-life and pro- traditional family. All of us, though, would not march with or claim solidarity with, say, Nazis. If we were at a march at which swasticas and Nazi sloganeering were commonplace, it wouldn’t matter how we tried to claim we were just there for the pro-life message. We’d totally dissociate ourselves with that particular group or event.

Yet for some reason Christians will march or protest for something good, racial justice, even though Marxist sloganeering and symbolism is everywhere in those events. Unless you make it clear that you absolutely reject Marxism and all its works and all its ways, it is problematic to be seen lending support to events and movements that have been coopted by Marxist thought.

Would you attend a pro-life march/event where the confederate flag was commonplace? Would you feel the need to make it clear that you absolutely reject the confederacy and all its works and all its ways?

M. Staneck
I certainly have never attended a rally of any kind where Confederate flags were commonplace, but if I found myself at one, I would leave or, yes, I would make absolutely clear to anyone I told about the rally that I was embarrassed and ashamed to be associated with them.

Yet for some reason that backbone is missing from people who participate in events awash with Marxist sloganeering and ideology.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2020, 05:45:37 PM »
So far there have been two explanations offered. Some people can’t tell the difference between Marxism and Christianity. The other is that doing something, even something with stated goals that are evil, is better than not doing anything or doing something independent of Marxists.

Matt Staneck

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2020, 05:58:13 PM »
What are you objecting to as “Marxist sloganeering and ideology” at civil rights marches?

M. Staneck
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St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Queens, NY

Charles Austin

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2020, 06:01:34 PM »
Does “marxism” really exist?
In what forms?
Or is it a bugbear used to scare people away from certain things like government regulations or national health care or anything vaguely “socialist”?
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Twice-vaccinated.

Rev Geminn

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2020, 06:38:49 PM »
Several of us in this forum are very pro-life and pro- traditional family. All of us, though, would not march with or claim solidarity with, say, Nazis. If we were at a march at which swasticas and Nazi sloganeering were commonplace, it wouldn’t matter how we tried to claim we were just there for the pro-life message. We’d totally dissociate ourselves with that particular group or event.

Yet for some reason Christians will march or protest for something good, racial justice, even though Marxist sloganeering and symbolism is everywhere in those events. Unless you make it clear that you absolutely reject Marxism and all its works and all its ways, it is problematic to be seen lending support to events and movements that have been coopted by Marxist thought.

Peter,

This is the kind of post where you lose me because Nazis and Marxists are different in their own ways, though both are certainly problematic.  For example, Nazis believe in racial superiority.  That, in many respects, is their starting point.  In contrast, Marxists have as their starting point economics and the struggle between the classes.  If we’re talking pure Marxism and not “cultural Marxism” then it is hardly something that should be simply written off.  For example, I’d simply point you to the workers’ rights movements that resulted in many positive things like strong unions, the 40 hour work week, humane working conditions, etc..  How can a Christian not find resonance in such movements that pushed for upholding the dignity of the workers seeking a better life? Moreover, say what you will about Marx but he was onto something when he wrote that capitalism would turn on itself.  There are many signs of this in the US, especially in the last 50 years, the loss of manufacturing being an excellent example.  So I don’t think it is the simple dichotomy which you put forth.  I think it is more nuanced than that, which is why guys like Gustav Gutierrez and others were drawn to the writings of Marx as priests working amongst the poor in Central and South America.  Liberation theology did not come out of a vacuum or out of the ivory towers of academia, it truly came from the bottom.  They saw the exploitative nature of capitalism with their own eyes and amongst the people they served. 

Peace,
Scott+ 

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2020, 07:53:15 PM »
Does “marxism” really exist?
In what forms?
Or is it a bugbear used to scare people away from certain things like government regulations or national health care or anything vaguely “socialist”?

The term for this is obscurantism.
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DCharlton

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2020, 08:00:43 PM »
Several of us in this forum are very pro-life and pro- traditional family. All of us, though, would not march with or claim solidarity with, say, Nazis. If we were at a march at which swasticas and Nazi sloganeering were commonplace, it wouldn’t matter how we tried to claim we were just there for the pro-life message. We’d totally dissociate ourselves with that particular group or event.

Yet for some reason Christians will march or protest for something good, racial justice, even though Marxist sloganeering and symbolism is everywhere in those events. Unless you make it clear that you absolutely reject Marxism and all its works and all its ways, it is problematic to be seen lending support to events and movements that have been coopted by Marxist thought.

Much of the theology that was taught at my seminary from 1988 to 1992 made explicit use of Marxist ideas.  The usual apologies for Marxism were made, including the claim that Lenin and Stalin highjacked true Marxism. 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

James J Eivan

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2020, 08:05:27 PM »
Does “marxism” really exist?
In what forms?
Or is it a bugbear used to scare people away from certain things like government regulations or national health care or anything vaguely “socialist”?

The term for this is obscurantism. <Emphasis Added>
... Along with the following .....
How is Marxism (from Karl, not what USSR and other nations did with it) different from what we read about the early Christians in Acts 2 & 4? According to Wiki, "there is currently no single definitive Marxist theory," so you might need to clarify what you mean by Marxism.

Charles Austin

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2020, 08:41:08 PM »
As concerns for social justice rose in church circles and as we began taking on matters like poverty, economic and racist and classist oppression, government misconduct and related concerns, the first epithet hurled at us was "Communist!" And this was followed by "Unamerican!"
   I have known a very few communists in my life, but one was a now-deceased Lutheran pastor in the Midwest with distinguished terms of service as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps before he went to seminary. He didn't make a big deal of his political views and not everyone know he considered himself a communist. (He assumed he had a pretty fat FBI file.)
  But he was first of all a Lutheran concerned with grace, justice, the poor, the oppressed, government repression and justice.
   As noted just upstream, Marxist concepts played a large role in the development of "liberation theology" and social justice movements.
   But does anyone say "I'm a Marxist"? I don't think so.
   I think some find useful concepts in certain aspects of Marxist thought. And Christians living in what we used to call "Eastern Europe" and "behind the iron curtain" had years of dialogues with political leaders and the tensions and connections between Christianity and Marxism. Some, for both good and bad reasons, went over to "the other side" and became apologists for Marxist/Communist governments. Others sought enough common ground to protect the churches and continue a Christian mission, often in terms of diaconal service to the poor, the sick, and others beaten down by life.
   My communist pastor friend had become virtually a pacifist, marching against the Vietnam war with the Berrigans and others; but he despised Russia and China and said if we had to go to war with them, he would probably try to sign up.
   As I often say, life is complicated.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Twice-vaccinated.