Christian Ethics - Lesson 10
Christianity and Marxism
In this lesson, you will gain insight into the concept of liberation theology and its decline over the past two decades. The co-author of a book, Beyond Liberation Theology, argues that the old liberation theology has become bankrupt, and some of its proponents are now advocating for capitalism and democracy as being what the poor of the third world need. Chapter nine of the book provides quotations from individuals, including Jose Marquez Bonino, who praises Castro and Mao Tse tung and promotes Marxism. The lesson also mentions Andrew Kirk's book, The Good News of the Kingdom Coming, which propagates liberation theology and a left-wing view of the world. Lastly, the lesson provides material about the three major kinds of Marxism that have existed in the world.
Christianity and Marxism
V. Christianity and Marxism
A. Liberation Theology
1. Jose Miguez-Bonino
2. Andrew Kirk
B. Three Kinds of Marxism
1. Social-Democratic Marxism
a. British Fabians
b. The Socialist Party in the US
d. Argument against
a. Bolshevik movement
a. Advocated by liberation theologians
b. Alienation of the worker
i. From his product
ii. From his job
iii. From others
iv. From himself
c. Criticism of alienation theory
i. Not exclusive to capitalism
ii. Borrowed ideas
iii. Early manuscripts, published posthumously
iv. Contradicted by later arguments of Marx
v. Omits alienation from God
d. Herbert Marcuse
e. Tony Campolo
C. Neo-Marxism and Liberation Theology
1. Cooperation in Latin America
2. Two kinds of liberation theology
a. True liberation
b. False liberation
3. Three tests
a. Political liberation
b. Economic liberation
c. Spiritual liberation
D. True Liberation Theology
1. Pope John Paul II
2. Michael Novak
a. Salvation through Christ
b. Based upon democratic capitalism
c. Pushes toward democracy
- Gain insights into philosophical ethics and Christian responses, and the Christian role in society regarding the state, justice, economics, and education.
- In this lesson, Dr. Nash introduces you to the concept of hedonism, which is an example of a consequentialist ethic. He reviews non-hedonistic consequentialist philosophies, psychological hedonism, and ethical hedonism.
- This lesson introduces you to the theory of deontological ethics and Emmanuel Conte. You will learn that the deontological ethic judges morality by examining the nature of actions and the will of agents rather than goals achieved.
- In this lesson you will learn about the system of ethics that focuses on virtue and introduces the Four Cardinal Virtues, which are temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage, and emphasizes the importance of being the right kind of person who possesses the traits of character, and C.S. Lewis's book "Christianity" provides an informative treatment of the Four Cardinal Virtues and the Three Theological Virtues.
- You will gain insight into C.S. Lewis's views on Christian ethics and the morality analogy he presents, where morality is like a fleet of ships that must fulfill three conditions to succeed: every ship must run properly, the relations between ships must be proper and orderly, and the fleet must head to the right destination.
- You will learn about the importance of distinguishing between society and the state. Society is a voluntary organization of people, while the state is the group of people who claim a monopoly on the use of coercive force within a geographic boundary. By understanding this difference, you can prevent the government from interfering with your voluntary associations.
- You will gain an understanding of how the professor's theory of the state in Social Justice in the Christian Church aligns with the New Testament. He explains that the state is a God-ordained institution to check against sin, and he is a moderate anti-statist who recognizes the need for government but also the inherent evil in any concentration of human power. The New Testament recognizes constraints upon governmental power, and Revelation 13 is an example of how the state can symbolize anti-Christian government. The lesson also discusses the concept of justice and how it is often invoked without a clear understanding, suggesting that Christians should study ancient Greece for a better comprehension of the term.
- In this lesson, you will gain insight into the evangelical civil war that happened 20 years ago, learn about its early stages recorded by Clark Penick, understand the harmful effects of left-wing evangelicalism, and see how many evangelicals on the left became enamored with their own self-virtue in what they thought was a crusade to help the poor.
- By studying this lesson, you will gain insight into the major differences between capitalism, socialism, and interventionism. You will learn that interventionism is often responsible for economic crises that are attributed to capitalism. You will also learn about the overlapping and continuum nature of economic systems and the gray area where an economic system may be viewed as socialism or interventionism.
- This lesson discusses the decline of old liberation theology and how some of its proponents are now advocating for capitalism and democracy as being what the poor of the third world need, and presents shocking quotations from individuals characterized as evangelical, such as Jose Marquez Bonino, who promotes Marxism and praises tyrants like Castro and Mao Tse tung, as well as material about the three major kinds of Marxism that have existed in the world.
- This lesson will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of interventionism and its role in the Great Depression, including the fact that blaming capitalism for the depression is based on four myths, and that interventionism actually deepens recessions by disguising the information produced by a market economy.
- Through this lesson, you will gain an understanding of the crisis facing American education, as highlighted by Alan Blum's book The Closing of the American Heart and the author's complementary book. The focus is on the importance of values, standards, and morality in education, and the need to reopen the American heart to reopen the American mind. The lesson introduces the three kinds of illiteracy currently affecting Americans at every level of the educational process, with a particular emphasis on functional illiteracy, which refers to the inability to read, write, or use numbers well enough to get along in society.
- In this lesson, you will learn about the incompetency of public school teachers in America, caused by academically weak students being attracted to the profession, lack of content courses in their college curriculum, unimpressive and radical left-winged professional educationists, and the National Education Association being an enemy of America's young people, with four essential steps to improve education, including getting a clear focus on the educational role of the family, increasing local control of education, changing the curriculum to prepare students for life after school, and changing teacher education programs.
- Gain knowledge of the difference between the biblical ethic and other philosophical systems. Though it may seem simple, it is an underlying system that can lead to complex issues. The divinely revealed scriptures are the starting point for moral reflection, but not a ready-made answer. Some New Testament commandments are archaic or obsolete, and many modern moral problems are not discussed in the Bible.
- You will gain insight into the pro-life stance and be equipped to inform others. Christians need not be timid about talking about these issues.
- This lesson explores the arguments and counterarguments surrounding abortion, arguing for caution and conservatism in ending any life, emphasizing the need to balance the right of the mother with the rights of the infant, and briefly touching on the issue of rape and how it complicates the matter.
- As you go through the lesson, you will learn about infanticide and euthanasia, and how the disrespect for unborn human life has led to an increase in cases of infanticide, along with some suggestions for what Christians should do in the case of children born with life-threatening handicaps.
- In this lesson, you will explore the five major passages of Scripture related to homosexuality, including different interpretations of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and concludes that the Bible clearly condemns homosexual activity.
- This lesson explores the topic of capital punishment in the context of Christian beliefs, arguing for consistency and emphasizing the need to view Old Testament laws in the context of specific situations that are no longer applicable.
- This lesson discusses the three approaches to war and peace and distinguishes between principled pacifists and hypocritical, unprincipled pacifists, who are members of the political left and denounce American military actions but support violent revolutionary organizations.
- You will gain an understanding of the growing issue of divorce and remarriage within the church, the responsibilities of Christian leaders in addressing it, and the need for Christians to think through what the Scripture teaches on these matters and formulate principles that will guide their thinking and conduct.
- This lesson provides insight into how responsible Christians can make ethical decisions about birth control, considering the importance of intention, distinguishing between ethically acceptable and unacceptable forms of birth control, and emphasizing the importance of wise and careful means in achieving family planning goals.
Theoretical and theological basis for Christians living an ethical life.
Dr. Ronald Nash
Christianity and Marxism
Liberation theology is one of the two major heresies that has threatened the church and compromised the church over the last two decades. One of the hopeful signs about liberation theology, however, is what many of us hope will be its imminent demise. I am the coauthor of a book that's coming out, I guess, in July called Beyond Liberation Theology. My coauthor is Roberto Belli, who is presently minister of Education in Democratic Nicaragua. The thesis of the book is that liberate the early liberation theology, the old liberation theology has proven itself intellectually, theologically, spiritually and economically bankrupt. It's a package of ideas whose time has clearly passed. Now that we know how futile is any effort to look toward statism and socialism, the collapse of communism and the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union has left the old liberation theologians depressed, has left them scrambling for has left them in the middle of an intellectual vacuum. And what we're beginning to find is that some of the early liberation theologians who were anti-democratic, who were anti-capitalism, are now beginning to suggest, after 20 years of nonsense, that maybe capitalism is what the poor of the third World need. After all, maybe democracy and capitalism is what the poor of the Third World need after all. Well, I hope in your book, too, Chapter eight. And I will. Chapter nine, rather. This is the chapter titled Christianity and Marxism. I begin this chapter with what I hope will be some shocking quotations from individuals who are sometimes characterized as evangelical. Jose Marquez Bonino is an Argentinean Methodist, a vice president of the World Council of Churches, who is sometimes described as an evangelical.
[00:03:12] What you find, Miguel's Bonino, saying in these quotations from his book, Christians and Marxists, what you find him giving is a kind of adulation and praise for some of the worst tyrants in the history of the world. He he praises Castro. He praises Mao Tse tung. The only reason he doesn't praise Stalin is is perhaps because I couldn't find a statement in his book where he does that. That's not to say that because Bonino wouldn't have hasn't said nice things about Stalinism or Leninism at various times in his life. Now, what's incredible about this book, what's incredible about Bonino statements, is that they appear in a book published by an evangelical publishing house, and they were originally delivered at a conference in London that was authorized and sponsored by John Scott, who at that time was pastor of All Souls Church in London, perhaps the leading evangelical church in London. John Start is is one of those names that evangelicals honor and respect. But the fact that Scott himself would sponsor a conference in which this third world liberation theologian not only endorses Marxism, not only says kind things about ruthless Marxist tyrants is an indication, is an indication of the shallowness of the political and economic thinking that characterizes so many evangelicals over the last 20 years. And there are some quotations from another book, this one by an individual named Andrew Kirk titled The Good News of the Kingdom Coming and which Andrew Kirk. Makes some incredible statements about people living in Eastern Europe. This book was published, incidentally, by InterVarsity Press, and it is little more than propaganda for liberation theology and a left wing view of the world. Some friends of mine ran into Andrew Cook about a year ago in England, and this was after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, a situation which he praises, which he praised in certain quotations from his book that I give here.
[00:05:54] And Andrew, Andrew Kirk had suddenly become very silent about his admiration of socialist man in Eastern Europe. Again, another indication of how bizarre. You can find some evangelical thinking about these matters. Well, I don't want to go into detail in the in my public presentation here with those things. What I want to focus on from Chapter nine is the material I give you pertaining to the three major kinds of Marxism that have existed in the world. Clarification about this is important because when you when you describe somebody as a marxist, I guess it's important that you qualify that by saying what kind of Marxist they are. Another three kinds of Marxism that you should be familiar with. The first kind of Marxism is called social democratic Marxism. This appears to have been the first version of Marxism that gained a foothold in the Western world after the death of Karl Marx. This kind of this kind of Marxism was represented in England, for example, by a group of people we call the British Fabian. Or, to put it more bluntly, simply, the British style socialism. It was a form of socialism that said, we can bring about a socialist society, a socialist state by peaceful means, by democratic means, through the ballot box. By and large, when socialism was propagated in the United States during the first half of the 20th century, that form of US socialism. I'm not talking here about the US Communist Party. I'm talking about the Socialist Party in the United States. That too was social democratic Marxism. It was the belief that all of Marx's goals could be achieved nonviolently. That's not to say non coercively, nonviolently, without bloodshed and without revolution through democratic means. The major argument against the effectiveness and the plausibility of social democratic Marxism is the argument that I gave you last week from Ludwig von Mises Socialism.
[00:08:36] That is a command economy and which decisions are made at the top and filter down. That kind of economic system is irrational and it can never work. Read chapter eight on that. Now, the second kind of socialism is called Marxism-Leninism. This was Russia's contribution to the misery of the masses in the 20th century. This was the peculiar interpretation of Marx. Actually, it was the twisting of Marx, I suspect, by Vladimir Lenin. Lenin began to teach these ideas in the early 20th century. In fact, there was a big split that occurred within the Russian Socialist Party in 1903. This became the Lenin's ideas became the core of what is called the what was called the Bolshevik movement in Russia. The basic way in which Marxism-Leninism differs from social democratic Marxism is Lenin's belief that Marxism can only be established in a country by means of a violent revolution, which must then be followed by a totalitarian form of totalitarianism, in which a marxist elite takes control of the whole state apparatus the police, the secret police, the military, the economy. So Leninism is revolutionary Marxism. And it is totalitarian. Marxism. The third version of Marxism is called It Goes By to Name. It's called humanistic Marxism, or it is sometimes known as neo Marxism. And in truth, there are a number of subdivisions of this third kind of Marxism. It is this third kind of Marxism that has most often been advocated by liberation theologians. Not always, but it is the one that is most often advocated by liberation theologians. Now, let me indicate a couple of exceptions here. All right. In the Far East, take the Philippines, for example. People who are called liberation theologians in the Philippines tend to be hard core, revolutionary Marxist-Leninist.
[00:11:13] That would be the case with the Far East. All too often that is also the case with so-called liberation theologians in Africa. They tend also to be hard core Marxist, Leninist. All right. But in Latin America, where liberation theology was born in the in the 1960s and prospered during the seventies and eighties, they these people were Marxists, but they were not Marxist-Leninist, with a couple of exceptions. You see, even though as Christian Marxists, they were opposed to theoretically opposed to violence and revolution, there was a hero out there that most of the liberation theologians admired and his name was Castro. So that even though these people, to the extent that they thought about Marxism at all, were neo Marxists, nonetheless, they spoke, they had nothing but admiration and praise for Fidel Castro, who is one of the last surviving Leninist in the history of the world. In fact, the only countries in the world still dominated by Leninism are North Korea, Communist China. Well, you've got a billion people suffering under that system and Castro's Cuba everywhere else. That's the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe now. Leninism has collapsed. The reason this is important is because the older versions of Marxism have all fallen by the wayside. That's one reason this is important. Another reason this is important is because many people who are presently teaching in Christian colleges and seminaries are actually proponents of a third kind of Marxism. And unless you unless you clearly understand the relationship between this new form of Marxism and the older forms of Marxism, you're not going to understand what anybody means when they say that so-and-so who's teaching social ethics at this Christian seminary or that Christian college is a marxist. If you're going to evaluate the work of liberation theologians, you must see them not so much as advocates of Marxism-Leninism, although they are often sympathetic to Marxist-Leninist regimes.
[00:14:00] For example, the Sandinistas, while they were in power in Nicaragua, were themselves Marxist-Leninist, I'm convinced. But many of the liberation theologians in Nicaragua and other regions of Latin America were strongly sympathetic towards Castro. Say nothing about the former the Marxist Leninist who controlled the Soviet Union for so long. Now, what is this? Marxism? Lenin? What is this humanistic version of Marxism that I'm talking about? Well, the major way to understand it is in terms of one key concept. And that key concept is the idea of alienation. Alienation. Marx believed that capitalism produces four basic kinds of alienation. The first kind of alienation is an alienation in which the worker is alienated from the things which he produces. Capitalist point with pride to all of the marvelous things that capitalist industries produce. And that's true to a great extent. But we must also recognize how these products that modern technology produces. And indeed enslave people so that whereas 100 years ago, people live their lives without television sets, without radios, without automobiles, without microwave ovens, and all these other conveniences that we come to take for granted in the United States. And they lived. They lived, for the most part, perhaps happier lives than people do today. Industrial societies produce these commodities, and then people become seduced into thinking that they need the newest and the latest and perhaps the most expensive versions of these technologies. And they tend to become slaves to these things. So that's the first version of alienation that March talked about. We become alienated from the things we produce. Secondly, we become alienated from our jobs. Now, of course, this is where the new version of Marxism begins to look a little a little superficial. It's hard to imagine any society in which every person is absolutely thrilled with every job that might be open to it.
[00:16:26] Marx thinks that it is a feature of capitalism for people to become alienated, unhappy, miserable because of their jobs. It's as though he wants us to think that a garbage collector in Moscow is somehow more self fulfilled than a garbage collector in Cleveland, Ohio. But of course, this is very shallow. People hate their jobs in every kind of economic system. In fact, it doesn't take a great deal of imagination to recognize how an occasional professional golfer can come to hate his job. A philosopher might come to hate his job. All kinds of things enter into the attitudes that we have towards our work. My point is there's nothing unique about capitalism that produces alienation between what we produce and the things we produce. There's nothing exclusive about capitalism that results in people's hating their jobs. These are universal features of humanity. Let's go on to the third part of alienation, Marx said. Or at least this is what the neo Marxist claims. Please understand that Marx said that capitalism also alienates people from other people. Now get this We live in a world in which people do do terrible things, do it to each other, and which people do come to hate other human beings. Marx would have us believe that this is an exclusive consequence of capitalism. Of course, it's absurd to suggest that people hate each other only in capitalist societies. Now, the fourth kind of alienation is alienation from ourselves. And this is a situation in which somehow we we become antagonistic towards ourselves and which we're not happy with ourselves, in which our lives are not whole and complete. Now, this happens all over the world. This happens all the time. But if you to believe Marx and his 20th century neo-Marxist followers, this only happens because of capitalism, which I submit is absurd.
[00:18:47] But there are certain things that need to be said about Marx's the neo Marxist view of alienation. Number one, there's a great deal of truth here. It doesn't take a genius to recognize that many of these observations are true. But these observation, these observations are false to the extent that they claim that it is only capitalism that produces these states. Obviously, that is superficial. That is that is simply that runs contrary to what we know about every human society in the world. The next thing you need to realize is Marx was hardly the first person to recognize this. These ideas were were in circulation before Marx. Pick them up. So there's absolutely no point to claiming that Marx is the great genius that recognized the phenomenon of human alienation. He stole these ideas from other people. But now, here's another interesting thought. All of these reputed theories about alienation appear in manuscripts that Karl Marx himself never published. Now, to get the full story, you've got to read the chapter in Poverty and wealth, in which I lay out all of the information. This would be chapter. Nine. In poverty and wealth you see, in early in his career, Marx wrote some manuscripts on sociology or he around 1843, several years before he and Engel's coauthored The Communist Manifesto. These manuscripts were even written before Marx himself had become a marxist. This is another irony of this whole thing by Marx never hesitated to publish anything. I mean, he, any careful student of Marx, will even admit that he published things that he shouldn't have published. But Marx never published these early manuscripts in which his theory of alienation appears. My. Why? I have never found an adequate explanation for that question from any of the neo-Marxist.
[00:21:16] I have a theory, and that theory is, as Marx matured, he. He lost. He lost respect for these ideas that he had circulated in the in the 1843 manuscripts. In fact, when you compare the themes of the 1843 sociological manuscripts with Marx's published writings, the later Marx contradicts on a number of important points these early ideas. And again, I will refer you to Chapter nine and the Poverty and Wealth book, where I go into several pages of a rather intensive detail on all of this. So we have here a very interesting situation in which a whole new theory of Marxism is grounded on an appeal to certain writings that Marx not only failed to publish, but in his later work consciously contradicted. And again, I refer you to the details of poverty and wealth. Now, there's another criticism of Marx's theory of alienation, and that's this He forgets a fifth and indeed a most important kind of alienation. Now, remember, he said, human beings can be alienated from the things they produce that can be alienated from their jobs, alienated from other people, alienated from themselves. But there's a fifth kind of alienation out there. And what is it? It is alienation from God. Now we know why Marx wouldn't talk about that, because he didn't believe in God. But the Bible talks about that. In So it's interesting that the first original source of any idea of human alienation happens to be the Scriptures. And what the scriptures say is the basic of all kinds of human alienation is alienation from our Creator. Alienation from God. And then Scripture goes on to make it clear that all of these other kinds of alienation are, in fact, consequences of that most basic of all forms of alienation, alienation from God.
[00:23:33] Well, the major guru of neo Marxism was a German philosopher named Herbert Marcuse, who fled the Nazis, came to the United States, and during World War Two. Many people don't realize this actually worked for the SS, the forerunner of today's CIA. That's worth mentioning, because during the 1960s and seventies, Herbert Marcuse became a hero to the radical left in America. He became a hero to the American counterculture, a group of people who despised everything that America stood for, especially the CIA. I don't believe any member of the radical Left ever knew, ever understood that Herbert Marcuse himself had once worked for the CIA or its forerunner, the old SS. Now there's a there's an interesting reason why Marcuse and some other radicals, from what we call the Frankfurt School of German Marxism. There's another reason why they did this by by working in cooperation with the U.S. as Herbert Marcuse. It was enabled. He and his cohorts were enabled to make sure that people whom they trusted were often elevated positions of prominence in the new German government after the end of World War Two. So there was nothing, nothing especially humanitarian a. But this cooperation with the SS. But that's an interesting piece of information that I don't think the American Left is fully understood about. Herbert Marcuse. Anyway, he became a hero. He once he came to the United States, he finally ended up teaching philosophy at the University of San Diego, where he helped radicalize, turn towards the left a number of American radicals whose names would be pretty important, whose names would be fairly familiar to you if I if I mentioned them. Tony Campolo, of course, is a well-known Christian thinker. Many people don't realize that Tony Campolo exemplifies the extent to which this neo Marxism has pervaded the evangelical movement.
[00:26:08] Tony Campolo wrote a book several years ago called We Have Met the Enemy, and they are partly right, and a huge chunk of that book turns out to be an examination of the basic tenets of neo Marxism. And Campolo goes on for page after page, telling his Christian readers how much they can learn from Karl Marx in this regard. As I said, Marx never invented or discovered these ideas. He was not the original source for them, and thus he deserves no credit. Crediting Marx with the theories in the way that Tony Campolo does is silly because Marx also repudiated these ideas later in his life. And I just see that as a sad symbol of the kinds of concessions to surrender to non-Christian culture that we too often find here in America. Well, that's neo Marxism. You can get the rest of the details by studying what you have in here in your textbook. Now, I want to talk a little bit about how this neo Marxism has played an important role in the work of liberation theology. First of all, let's understand what liberation theology is as as a member of Roman Catholic and theologically liberal Protestants have gained new social awareness in the 1950s and the 1960s. They they wanted to do something about poverty and oppression in the world. That's fine. I want to do something about poverty and oppression in the world. I especially want to do something about poverty and oppression in the Marxist nations of the world, which never has been a concern for so-called liberation theologians. Anyway, many of these people became interested, got an introduction to the ideas of neo Marxism and to in fact the whole Marxist corpus. And they became convinced that new kinds of cooperation between Christianity and Marxism would be possible as these ideas continued to percolate.
[00:28:36] A number of people in Latin America, some of them were Roman Catholic, but some of them also theologically liberal Protestants, began to try and move the Christian church, their segments of the Christian church, in the direction of a new kind of openness towards Marxism, in the direction of a new kind of revolutionary ardor. Perhaps the most extreme radical version of liberation theology is what we find in in what we found in Nicaragua during the 1980s. You've got to remember this about Nicaragua. Certainly the revolution that led to the overthrow of the horrible tyranny that afflicted Nicaragua for so many years. The overthrow that occurred in 1979 was certainly justified. It is important to remember as well that it was not an exclusively Sandinista operation. There were many pro-Democratic forces that helped ouster oust the the anti-democratic forces that were in control in Nicaragua. But the Sandinistas always were hard core Marxist-Leninist. And once once the revolution had occurred in 1979, the Sandinistas began to break all their promises. They began to consolidate their control of Nicaragua until finally they gained complete control. Now, there was one problem, and that could. Well, typically Roman Catholic Christians view Marxism as antithetical to the Christian faith as an enemy of the Christian faith. And so the Sandinistas had a problem. How could they continue to expand their Marxist-Leninist revolution in Nicaragua while being opposed by the Roman Catholic cardinal in Nicaragua and conservative segments of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua? It's important to remember that Nicaragua has probably been the second most Catholic country in the world, second only to Poland. And we know what the Catholic Church did to Marxism in Poland. Yet it produced its own revolution and led to led to a breakup of the strong Marxist control in Poland long before the collapse of Marxism in Eastern Europe became solidified.
[00:31:17] Now, here's what happened in Nicaragua. The Sandinistas established links with liberation like minded Catholics and Protestants, and there were some evangelicals in Nicaragua that cooperated. And that's respect shamefully so, in my opinion. Now, what happened is the Sandinistas allowed these liberation theologians to lead large numbers of laypeople in Nicaragua to believe that Christianity and Marxism could cooperate in bringing about a better society. But what happened was, once these Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, had surrendered to the idea that Marxism was not a threat to the Christian faith, they then became easy targets for the more radical kind of Marxism Leninism. As I explain in my chapter on liberation theology and poverty and wealth. Liberation theology became a kind of anesthetic that put these people to sleep. And when they finally awakened, not only had they become the more radical kind of Marxist-Leninist that is total revolutionaries, but they had lost their faith in the process. Imagine, I mean, put yourself in their shoes. Imagine that you've given your entire life to the pursuit of an ideology. Suppose that you have sold your Christian faith for a mess of Marxist pottage, and then you discover after doing this for 20 years that those people who have been forced to live under Marxism, repudiated, rebelled against it. These people not only ought to be in a state of depression, they ought to be in a state of repentance for what they tried to do to the Christian church in Latin America. I sometimes think there's some evidence that the only place you'll continue to find any liberation theologians are on the college and seminary faculties of North American denominations and of course, in the denominational hierarchy of the liberal mainline churches. There, you cannot begin to appreciate how vast an influence Marxist tenets and liberation theology have throughout the Christian world through our evangelical colleges and seminaries.
[00:33:53] The word liberation is a good biblical term. So when I'm invited to preach or speak on the subject of liberation theology, I often I often titled my message the three types of liberation, or sometimes I call it the struggle between true and false liberation theology. Now, when I give this message, I usually begin by turning to Luke Chapter four and reading the passage in which Luke describes how Jesus entered the temple, open the Old Testament to the Prophet Isaiah. And there read that great prophecy about delivering the captives, about freeing the prisoners. That clearly is a message about liberation. Now you must understand that when a liberation theologian uses that text, he wants his reader to think that the kind of liberation that Jesus brings is exclusively only a liberation from political oppression and from economic poverty. Now, what I do is I try to get people to see that there are two kinds of liberation theology. There is a true liberation theology and a false liberation theology. And there are. Retests tests that we can use to determine whether a proposed liberation theology is true or false. The first test is the political test. Political liberation. I always invite people to look at any liberation theology and ask, Will this really liberate people from oppression? Does it really liberate people from? Does it really liberate people politically? But let me tell you this. The old liberation theology, the false liberation theology of these Marxists can never produce liberation theology. I challenge you to read through their writings and mark down the number of times these people have anything good to say about democracy. They are and democratic. They are enemies of democracy. They don't really believe in political freedom. They don't trust the people enough to bring about political and economic change through democratic means.
[00:36:24] These are the people who praise the tyrants of China. These are the people who regard Fidel Castro is a hero. These are the people who never really condemned the Marxism-Leninism of the Soviet Union or its its efforts at imperialism around the world or its efforts at oppression in Eastern Europe. So if the mark of a true liberation theology is a concern to bring about political freedom, the old liberation theology won't work. We need a new liberation theology. Well, there's a second test of the difference between a true liberation theology and a false one, and that's the test of economic liberation. Here's my point. A true liberation theology will not only deliver people from political oppression, it will also deliver people from economic poverty. Now, I ask you, where in the world has Marxism delivered any people from poverty? I've asked. I've made several trips to the to the old Soviet Union now, and I have come to love the people of that area, even as I speak right now, to pick the faces of many dear precious Russian people. And Ukrainian people keep flashing through my mind. But I'll tell you this. You have never seen. You have never seen poverty in a Western nation until you've been to Russia or till you've been to the Ukraine. Marxism-Leninism is the only system in the world that succeeded in impoverishing an entire nation of several hundred million people. It is not the purpose of Marxism to deliver people from poverty. The end result of Marxism, of course, is always to benefit a few elitists, a few people in positions of power, while everybody else suffers in their miserable little hovels that they call apartments over there in which nothing works. There isn't a person listening, listening to my voice who, unless they were called to serve in Russia or Ukraine, are in the service of Christ.
[00:38:48] There is another one of us who would willingly go over there and spend the rest of our lives living over there. We do it, of course, because we're called to do it. The only economic system in the world that can deliver people from poverty is the much maligned and hated system called capitalism. It is that system that produces wealth, that can create jobs, that can deliver people from poverty. The third kind of liberation is spiritual liberation. Remember, now we're trying to decide which of the many liberation theology out there is the true liberation theology. Now, the Bible, the Christian faith is designed to deliver people from slavery, to send Jesus around, come that you might have life or that you might have it more abundantly. Jesus came to deliver the captives. He comes to deliver people from their bondage to sin. And that comes through the preaching of the Gospel that when you study carefully the writings of liberation theologians, you will not find the gospel, the Christian gospel in there for the most part. These are people who question the Bible. These are people who deny the essential doctrines upon which the Christian faith is based. They really do. If you doubt that. Check out my book, Beyond Liberation Theology, in which I tell you what they believe about the Bible. And I quote from their writings about them, about Christian theology. They deny the incarnation. They deny the atonement. Jesus died as a political martyr. They deny the resurrection. Christ lives on in the revolutionary church. So there is a false liberation theology out there. And it's the it's the liberation theology of the radicals, of the liberals or the Marxists. It's the kind of liberation theology that you find on most college church related college campuses and seminaries.
[00:41:04] But there is a true liberation theology. Pope John the second began to argue for this new liberation theology in the mid 1980s. Michael Novak, a well-known Roman Catholic writer, has in fact been arguing for a new liberation theology for 15 years or more. I've been an advocate in my writings of the new liberation theology. I argue for it. For example, in my book Social Justice in the Christian Church, which appeared in 1983. You can go back that far. So I've been preaching a new liberation theology for ten years or more. There's this amazing coalition of Catholic and evangelical thinkers who recognize that the only system that can function as a true liberation theology is one number, one that introduces people to the Christ, to the Gospels and to the salvation that is available through Christ in the New Testament. Secondly, the only liberation theology that can be a true liberation theology is one that is based upon democratic capitalism that really offers people relief from poverty. And thirdly, the only system that can really function as a liberation theology is one that really pushes nations in the direction of democracy. So I do not oppose liberation theology per say. I think we need to become messengers of a new liberation theology, one that will deliver people from tyranny, from poverty, and from sin. And that true liberation theology is a new liberation theology that you can only read about in certain encyclicals that have been issued from the Vatican or the writings of Michael Novak or such writings of my own as beyond liberation theology or social justice in the Christian Church.