Marxism is a Deadly Spiritual Virus Now in Our Churches
Before the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power in 1949, well-to-do families often sent their children to Christian schools established and run by Western missionaries. Back then in China, having a Western-style education was considered trendy. Opening a Christian school, therefore, became one of the principal methods used by Western missionaries to spread the Gospel in China. My dad went to such a school in Chengdu, Sichuan province in the 1940s.
Years later, when I tried to relate to him about my newfound faith in Christ, he revealed to me the situation in the missionary school he had attended as a young boy. The missionary who taught him was also an active member of the Canadian Communist Party. My dad never learned the Gospel. He laughed when I described the saving grace of Jesus. For him, Christianity was just another virtuous earthly philosophy promoting equality and justice, like socialism/communism.
‘The Heaven I’ve Forfeited’
Marxist ideology has long sought to infiltrate the Church. Today in America, some prominent Evangelical leaders have openly embraced popular Marxist ideas and practices, insisting that, though Jesus provides the right answers to get us to heaven, Critical Race Theory (or some other variety of Marxism) shows us how to help the poor and the oppressed here on Earth.
I grew up with Marxist ideology and witnessed its inconceivably destructive power. It puzzled me how so many American Christians could be willing to support its beliefs. Not until I had read the book Marx and Satan was I able to learn the spiritual nature of Marxism, and hence, the real reason behind its continual influence in today’s America.
This book, written by heroic, persecuted pastor Richard Wurmbrand, offers a picture of Karl Marx that my teachers back in China had never brought up to us.
According to Wurmbrand, Karl Marx (1818-1883) was raised in a Christian family of assimilated Jewish converts. But in his late teen years an unknown event happened that drastically changed and embittered him. This is reflected in his poems written a decade before he penned the notorious Communist Manifesto.
“The Heaven I’ve forfeited, I know it full well. My soul, once true to God, is chosen for Hell,” Marx wrote. In the poem called “Invocation of One in Despair,” he declares:
So a god has snatched from me my all,
Nothing but revenge is left to me,
I shall build my throne high overhead …
For its marshal — blackest agony.
Who looks on it with a healthy eye,
Shall turn back, deathly pale and dumb,
Clutched by blind and chill mortality,
May his happiness prepare its tomb.
In another poem, he writes, “Then I will be able to walk triumphantly,/ Like a god … My breast is equal to that of the Creator.” His poems offer a disturbing resemblance to the boastful claims of Lucifer in Isaiah 14:13: “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God.”
Consequently, before he was introduced to socialistic ideas by Moses Hess, Marx had already formed his hatred towards God and dabbled in diabolism. Socialism merely provided him the intellectual foundation on which he built his dark aspirations. In reality, he had no real concerns about the condition of the proletariat. Eradicating poverty and exercising justice were just the bait he used to attract working class and intellectual followers. He needed them to smash the world as it existed, and build a new one in his own image.
Marx divided society into the oppressor and the oppressed and offered practical advice for his adherents. His Communist Manifesto begins with, “The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.” Foreseeing the future, he also asserts that racial struggles can mirror class struggles. Fanning class struggles and racial struggles are just different manifestations of the same tactic: divide and conquer
This technique has shown up again and again wherever Marxist beliefs appear. Critical Race Theory, along with sexual and gender ideologies, is an embodiment of Marxism in today’s Western world.
People who have lived through a regime ruled by Marxist ideology intuitively understand the supernatural nature of Marxism because they have witnessed its unnatural ability to dominate and destroy a society.
In an article written in 1848, Marx maintained that “there is only one method to shorten the murderous pains of death of the old society, the bloody birth pangs of the new society; only one method to simplify and concentrate them, that is revolutionary terrorism.” Haven’t we already seen the face of this terrorism in Antifa, BLM and cancel culture?
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” All the countries that adopted any form of Marxist ideology as their political or economic system have ended up in mass killing, economic devastation, and destruction of the historical foundations of their societies. Over 100 million innocent civilians were killed as the direct result of this ideology in the last century alone.
How Could Marxism Take Root in America?
People who have lived through a regime ruled by Marxist ideology intuitively understand the preternatural (demonic) nature of Marxism. They have witnessed its uncanny ability to dominate people and destroy a society.
A few years ago, I went back to China to visit my parents. My mom asked me about some strange phenomena she had heard about in America, especially about racial struggles between whites and non-whites. She wondered what had caused this hostility between the two groups.
I told her that by the 2020s, it was an intentionally fabricated conflict orchestrated by Marxists in America. But she kept saying, “But it is America!” For her, Marxist theories can sound attractive only to those who experience extreme poverty, misery and hardship. Why would Americans who live in the freest and most prosperous country be interested in Marxism?
The existence of a prosperous American middle class as the majority group has largely prevented the sharp divisions between classes, let alone class struggle. American Marxists know that class struggle as a tactic would generate very little attraction. Consequently, they fabricated a different kind of struggle, racial struggle, based on the injustice done to people of color in the past, pretending that such racial struggle is still the unresolvable problem in today’s America.
But my mom was not ready to accept my explanation yet. She has a high view of the American people and believed that by no means could Americans so easily confuse historical fact with present reality. Seeing her perplexity, I then asked her to look at this racial struggle from the perspective of Mao’s political movements during the Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976). She instantly got it.
The Supernatural Aspect of Marxism
Those who went through the Cultural Revolution know firsthand the compelling and deceptive nature of Marxism. During those movements, normal people suddenly lost their God-given ability to think for themselves. As if an invisible force were bending the society in one direction, individuals felt powerless, crushed under an enormous wave. They could barely keep themselves above water, let alone retain the ability to think and question.
Although Marxism embraces Atheism, behind it, ironically, is a dark spiritual force whose power reaches beyond the scope of human reason and logic.
Under the pretext of seeking equality and justice, Mao initiated a reshuffling of the social balance through political movements. He scapegoated one group and egged on other groups to ruthlessly persecute it as a common enemy. In reality, however, his purpose was to eliminate potential threats and tighten his grip.
For instance, Mao considered intellectuals difficult to control because they tend to have minds of their own. So he openly declared that intellectuals, unlike workers, peasants and soldiers who have pure hearts and diligent hands, are the most despicable group with putrid and corrupted minds. He demanded that the entire intellectual class must be reeducated by people from the other three classes so as to remove the “filth” in their thoughts.
What intrigued me most is how the intellectuals reacted to Mao’s order. I grew up in a college around professors. Based on my observation, many of them expressed a genuine sense of remorse and self-loathing. I was puzzled by that. I didn’t understand it, but in the context of a Marxist society, they were incapable of behaving otherwise.
My mom might not have fully grasped the preternatural aspect of Marxism. She, nonetheless, remembered the unimaginable force during each of Mao’s political purges. As soon as I compared what was happening in America with Mao’s political movements, she intuitively understood the nature of this struggle and the formidable challenge Americans were facing. She no longer had any questions.
A Dark Spiritual Force
Marxism has been taught in American schools to indoctrinate our children and youth, but it’s no ordinary earthly idea. Although Marxism embraces atheism, behind it, ironically, is a dark spiritual force whose power reaches beyond the scope of human reason and logic. Take our present situation for example — why, for some people, do facts and statistics not matter anymore? Why do intelligent people believe lies when they would otherwise judge and think judiciously? Regrettably, several distinguished theologians and church leaders, whom I respected deeply, have bought into Marxist deception. I think the dark spiritual side of Marxism has played a pivotal role in shaping their thoughts.
As my father’s story illustrates, when Christianity mixes with Marxism, it loses its redemptive power and is incapable to save, either society or the soul.
Perhaps American culture has also contributed to the challenge. Americans honor an upfront and no-nonsense approach. To some extent, this straightforward and simplistic attitude has fostered a culture that judges things by their face value. Often, surface is more important than substance. Marxist cunning knows how to play on this weakness.
In December 1945, President Truman sent General George Marshall to China attempting to stop the civil war between Mao’s Marxist Red Army and Chiang’s Nationalist Army. Mao’s deputy, Chou Enlai, lied extravagantly to Marshall, promising that the CCP intended to start an American-style democratic society. Marshall believed the lie uncritically based on his personal impressions of Chou Enlai. He followed his gut. He got fooled.
At the most critical moment, Truman and Marshall persistently backed the CCP and saved it from imminent destruction by Chiang’s Nationalist Army. To a certain extent, the U.S. government played a role in the CCP’s final victory in China and thus, was responsible in part for the inauguration of the bloodiest regime in Chinese history.
No wonder George W. Bush said of Putin, “When I looked into his eyes and saw a soul,” and that “I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy.” Bush’s credulity was no match for the ex-KGB officer.
Marxist Christianity: Incapable to Save
American Christians, as part of the American culture, often take on this characteristic. We’re gentle as doves, but not wise as serpents. (Matthew 10:16) Jesus explained, “The sons of the world are shrewder in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light” (Luke 16:8). Sadly, two thousand years later we see the proof of Jesus’ words in America.
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Can light co-exist with darkness? Mao, commenting on the relationship between CCP and American Imperialism, said, “Either we die but you live, or we live and you die. We cannot both live.” Ironically, Mao understood the nature of the struggle between light and darkness far better than many American Evangelicals.
Any believer who embraces Marxism with the good intention of ministering to the oppressed will end up being devoured by this wolf in sheep’s clothing and left with a weak and compromised faith. As my father’s story illustrates, when Christianity mixes with Marxism, it loses its redemptive power and is incapable to save, either society or the soul.
Chenyuan Snider was raised in Communist China and majored in Chinese language and literature in college. After immigrating to the U.S. and having studied at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and Duke Divinity School, she became a professor and taught at Christian colleges and seminary. After March of this year, she sensed God was leading her to use her unique voice to provide a warning about various kinds of Marxist influences in our society. She lives in northern California with her husband and has two grown children.