After several days of violence and rioting in London, U.K., one searches for an explanation and/or a solution. According to one’s philosophical viewpoint, the interpretation would be skewed, naturally. The paper with the Marxist/Communist glasses freely quotes:
“As Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett point out in The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, phenomena usually described as ‘social problems’ (crime, ill-health, imprisonment rates, mental illness) are far more common in unequal societies than ones with better economic distribution and less gap between the richest and the poorest. Decades of individualism, competition and state-encouraged selfishness – combined with a systematic crushing of unions and the ever-increasing criminalisation of dissent – have made Britain one of the most unequal countries in the developed world.” (Nina Power, “There is a context to London’s riots that can’t be ignored,” guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 August 2011).
According to Marxism, all humanity is divided economically along lines of the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Everything Communists say and do will emphasize this distinction and magnify “class envy.” Jesus identified a man’s “class envy” of his brother’s inheritance as “covetousness,” which He then condemned (Luke 12:13-21; Galatians 5:19-21). The only “solutions” Communists offer and encourage the “have-nots” to use are violence, rioting, and bloodshed, the very sort of things Barabbas had engaged in (Mark 15:6-7; Luke 23:18-19; John 18:40). And, as in the case with Barabbas, governments, as represented in Pilate, seem to want Barabbas’ on their streets rather than those who preach and teach Jesus Christ!
According to the Gospel viewpoint, however, Jesus Christ came to give His life a “ransom for many” (Matthew 26:26-29), and this Gospel should be preached to “every creature” (Mark 16:15-16). Not until one has been “buried with Him through baptism into death” (Romans 6:3-5) can salvation occur and service to Christ begin. In serving the Lord Christ, those Christians who are “rich in this present age” should trust in God, not material wealth, and learn to “do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:17-19). However, those Christians who suffer “in deep poverty” should also “abound in the riches of their liberality” because they, too, should first give themselves to the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:1-5). According to 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, God’s grace will supply our needs when we supply our possessions for His use! “For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:12). Christians do not mourn over what they do not have, nor become prideful in what they do have, because what one has or doesn’t have is not as important as each one’s willingness to serve God! In the churches of Christ, therefore, “class envy” (a.k.a. “covetousness”) should not exist! Certainly rioting, violence, and bloodshed are no part of a solution for a Christian. Those who follow the Marxist/Communist doctrine become criminal to any society seeking to abide by godly principles.
“Preach the word” (2 Timothy 3:16-4:4), even to Marxists/Communists and all those they use for their evil purposes, for “if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14).
—–John T. Polk II