Coinciding with the 60 th anniversary with the communist takeover of China, and the 20 th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening up of the Iron Curtain, I was invited to speak at three different university campuses in Minnesota. At the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, at the Minnesota State University in Mankato, and at the University of St. Cloud, I spoke on The Consequences of Socialism, The Cost of Communism and The Failure of The Soviet Union.
The university meetings were well organised and widely advertised by Maranatha Christian Fellowship. This was the sixth series of meetings organised at these state universities. Previously I had been invited to speak on the Persecution of Christians in Sudan, Slavery – The Untold Story, The Crusades vs. Jihad and other persecutions of the Church. On this occasion the advertised subjects of socialism and communism drew out individuals who sought to defend atheism, evolutionism, Marxism and socialism. The discussions after the presentations were often interesting.
An Unbroken Track Record of Failure
On one occasion an avowed atheist, evolutionist and Marxist tried to argue that, although communism had failed, socially and economically, so far, he believed that the principles were sound and, if they were only correctly applied, it could work!
Other People’s Money
When I challenged him to point to any countries which he could hold up as examples of successful socialism, the man admitted that there were none! While not arguing the catastrophic track record of communists so far, he valiantly tried to argue that it could possibly work in the future. I pointed out Margaret Thatcher’s comment that the problem with socialism is that “sooner or later you run out of other people’s money”.
Heaven or Hell
At each presentation I quoted Sir Winston Churchill, who said that “socialism could only work in Heaven where it is not needed, or in Hell, where they already have it!”
60 Years of Communism in China
Some Chinese students expressed surprise at the atrocities committed by Red China. Many claimed to be unaware of the tens of millions of Chinese people murdered by Mao Tse-Tung in the Great Proletarian Revolution in the 1960s. Many were not even aware that the present red flag with yellow stars is not the flag of China, but of the Communist Party of China. I pointed out that the Russian people never regarded the red flag with hammer and sickle as the flag of Russia, but of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Hence, when Boris Yeltsin abolished the Soviet Union, he pulled down the red flag and hoisted up the white, blue and red flag of Russia. 1 October was not the national day of China, but the 60 th anniversary of the communist revolution in China.
Attempts to Hijack Christianity
Some students tried to argue that Christianity really is communism, that the early church practiced socialism, that Jesus taught that “we should give according to our ability and each should receive according to their needs”, and after all didn’t the apostle Peter execute Ananias and Sapphira for not sharing their possessions with the poor?
Generosity is Not the Same as Confiscation
To this I had to point out that there is a world of difference between voluntary Christian generosity and compulsory communist confiscation. The Christian may say ‘what’s mine is yours’ and share, but the communist says ‘what’s yours is mine’ and takes.
No, the Lord Jesus Christ never taught socialism, in fact he taught free market principles. The man who had one talent and hid it was severely rebuked and what he had was taken away from him and given to the man who was more productive. “For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” The Lord was scathing in his denunciation of laziness and taught that productivity and diligence should be rewarded (Luke 19:12-26).
Ananias and Sapphira
As for the passage in Acts 5:1-5 dealing with Ananias and Sapphira, the passage is not teaching anything about Biblical economics, but warning against the consequences of lying to God. As the Apostle Peter said: The land belonged to them, and after they sold it the money was theirs. The issue was not the property, or the funds from the sale. The issue was the deception and dishonesty of Ananias and Sapphira, who were claiming to have done more than they actually had. For the praise of men they publically claimed they were giving to the Lord all the proceeds from their property. This passage reiterates the principle of the private ownership of property. It’s warning is not concerning economics, but integrity and honesty.
Twisting the Truth
Also, one needs to know that none of the Lord’s disciples harmed them. God struck Ananias and Sapphira dead. The disciples did not take the law into their own hands. So, those Marxists in religious disguise who try to abuse Scripture to justify socialism, communism, and even the brutal necklace murders, are breaking the Ninth Commandment. They are guilty of deception and twisting the Word of God to justify their greed and malice.
By Their Fruit You Will Know
Christianity has produced the most free societies, the most productivity and the greatest prosperity in history. However, socialism has bankrupted whole nations and been responsible for the deaths of multiplied millions of innocent people.
“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption …” 2 Peter 2:19
Dr. Peter Hammond
Christian Action Network
P. O. Box 23632
Cape Town South Africa