I'm listening to a lot of people these days talking about the future of our country -- including political, economic, and social perspectives. Sometimes it's hard to remember who said what, and there are a lot of differing opinions as to the causes and the solutions to the disorder in which we find ourselves. Sometimes I think people get too caught up in the complexity of our situation, when being able to see the root of the problem would be more advantageous to finding our way out of this mess.
That being said, I heard something this week that really got me to thinking. I'm paraphrasing here, but the idea was that when the masses [within our society] lack conviction, they are easily manipulated, and are the most vulnerable. That statement might seem self-evident and abundantly clear to you, but think of the consequences if this is a true statement. And IF it is true, then shouldn't we first understand what conviction means? And, again ... if it is true ... what does that statement have to do with the title of this blog post? How does that lead to a battle between what Wikipedia calls the socioeconomic and political philosophies of socialist revolutionary Karl Marx and the radical Jewish preacher, Jesus, who is the central figure in the world's largest religion, Christianity, [and incidentally, the Son of the Living God]?
So, let's consider what the word conviction means. From our Western Greek mindset, we understand conviction to mean "to convince, or reprove, by word of mouth or action". And carrying it a step further, from a Biblical mindset, it means "to convince the person of their sin in order to bring repentance; to change the way we think in order to see things from God's perspective". Now, let's examine the Hebrew understanding of what conviction means. That mindset sees conviction as evidence, like in a book, or a complete record of whatever you want to preserve accurately, or truthfully.
With that in mind, let's take another look at the idea that I highlighted in bold face. If the masses of people lack conviction -- or, in other words, they don't desire to seek and know the truth, by having it proven by word of mouth or action -- and they are willing to go along with whatever is presented to them without challenging it, then they will be easily manipulated by any person or thought put before them. And they will be vulnerable to fall victim to any cause, philosophy, or movement conducted by the Father of Lies, Satan.
All we have to do is take a look at the effects of the acceptance of Marxist philosophy in our education system. Let me take one step backwards and explain that classic Marxism holds to the axiom that human societies develop through class conflict. Karl Marx sought to create class struggles [through economic means] between the wealthy and the poor, leading to eventual revolution and the forcible overthrow of the wealthy class and the creation of new, classless, communist societies. We see the dictatorships and repressive regimes that played out in the countries that adopted this Marxist ideology in the 20th century -- Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea.
That plan didn't work in America, because free market capitalism actually helped the working class to elevate themselves to enjoy more prosperity. So the followers of Marx changed it up a bit. Instead of an economic revolution igniting a cultural revolution, they have been seeking to transform our Western culture into believing that a capitalist society needs to be emancipated from outdated policies, making it more equitable and inclusive for all segments of society -- in other words, destroying the classes through the back door by using identity politics to create victims within our society; where the different groups are pitted against each other and can easily become influenced to hate each other and the country.
When this ideology infiltrates our educational system, and is then validated and endorsed by social media and teachers/professors, who are in the position to influence those who lack conviction, you can see how easily the masses can be manipulated and made vulnerable to anti-freedom agendas. And since we worship a God who came to set us free, this ideology is contrary to Christianity. In fact, Karl Marx is quoted as saying, "religion is the opium of the people", and "My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism". In seeing his philosophy infiltrating our culture, we are seeing good and evil being redefined. The state becomes god, and seeks to control every aspect of our lives, even limiting how successful we can become. Private ownership and freedom to pursue your life as you desire becomes acquainted with sin and is translated as unfair and unequal.
Sadly, we are seeing the same methods of transformation happening within the established Church. The seminaries have been infiltrated, just as the universities have been. Besides the teachers and the students adopting Marxist ideologies, we now see the pastors and the church members falling victim to the "consciousness of guilt" that comes from a lack of conviction and knowing the God-given truth. Then they are easily manipulated to supporting causes and agendas that do not align with the teachings of Christ. We are seeing our cultural identity redefined right before our eyes. If we call ourselves Christians, we are accountable to God; our salvation is a personal decision; and Jesus has the answer to knowing our purpose. Life has rewards and meaning under Jesus. Life is a struggle for power under Marx.
Our societal culture has become divisive; your identity is based on what groups you identify with; whether you are "pro" this or that; whether you are among the "oppressors" or the "oppressed". The Marxist philosophy teaches that it takes a revolution to create the kind of society where everyone is equal and no one holds all the power. But, remember, there is no allowance for God in such a society. But when you believe in Christ, you know that He has already done all the work on the Cross to erase society of these ills. Grace is available to all, and Grace is His power in us to accomplish what man cannot do on his own. We are free to be who He created us to be, and if we would each seek our own identity in Christ, we would have no desire or need to compare to another person. We would be content with who we are, and what He has provided us.
So, we as a nation, and as individuals, must decide. Jesus has taught us everything we need to experience Utopia on earth. In fact, His parables of the talents mirror free market principles. He teaches us how to wisely use the resources He has given us to invest and reap more from our hard work. And He shows us the consequences of those who waste such resources. Do we want the peace, prosperity, and contentedness of following Jesus? Or do we want the struggles of class politics and division? Are we willing to be convicted of the Truth -- or be manipulated and influenced because of our idle minds? Our culture is in a very real battle today. Jesus has taught us how to be charitable to those who are different from us, to care for the poor and the needy, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Why would we want any alternative system? The human race's problems will never be solved without God; and definitely not with a lack of conviction in who He is, and who we are in Him.
I visited today with two beautiful women of God, and we all agree that Jesus is close to coming back. We may very well be at the two or three minutes to midnight countdown. I pray that the masses will awaken to pull the dirty veil from before their eyes before it is too late. Lord, let them see all the ways they have been manipulated; and let them perceive just how vulnerable we are to the designs of the Enemy. Let us take our stand, supported by the Heavenly Host, as we await the sound of the trumpet announcing Your return! Come, Lord Jesus, Come!
1 Thessalonians 1:5 ... for our good news [regarding salvation] came to you not only in word, but also in [its inherent] power and in the Holy Spirit and with great conviction [on our part]. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your benefit.