Who do You Follow: Karl Marx or Jesus Christ?
Ben Franklin taught us that “the early bird gets the worm” to motivate us to rise early in the day to be productive. Some people have misunderstood Franklin’s maxim as threatening scarcity. They misinterpret “the worm” to mean there is only one worm, and that only the first bird will eat. But let me ask you: when have you found only one worm in the ground?
Our nation is suffering economically. We are hurting financially, and this hurt feeds the belief that there is not enough to go around. We are buying into a scarcity mindset with beliefs such as when one person prospers it is at the expense of another. Or, that the less fortunate are poor because the wealthy took their money. Or, that the thin man is thin because the fat man ate his lunch. In short, our nation is being taught the mindset of scarcity by believing in “one worm consciousness.”
Scarcity promotes competition. Karl Marx founded Marxism in the late 1800s based on his belief in scarcity and competition. He did not see people as individuals but as collectives or classes. He believed that one class would inevitably rule the other. Marx believed that the bourgeoisie, or owners, were wealthy at the expense of the proletariat, or workers. He mistakenly believed that all wealth was produced from the surplus created by labor only. This would be like saying that all the profits generated by Apple came from the surplus created by their workers who made Apple’s products and none from the creative ideas of the owners like Steve Jobs and his partners who invented the Mac computer, the iPod, or the iPad.
Marx did not foresee a nation where unions could represent labor in negotiating salaries and wages. He did not foresee companies in which the employees could own shares in their own company including complete ownership of the company.
Marx’s idea, which he called dialectic materialism, promoted conflict as the means to change the social order. Ideas were not enough for Marx who called for physical action to cause revolutions in which the class order would be reversed. He championed “the dictatorship of the proletariat” over the bourgeoisie. In this dictatorship the government would impose material equality on its citizens by redistribution. His guiding credo advocated “from each according to his abilities to each according to his need.”
Marx dismissed religion as “the opiate (opium) of the people.” He blamed religion for serving to preserve political and economic inequality. He and Lenin sought to abolish religion.
In contrast to Marxism, God’s world is not one of scarcity and limitation. In fact, it is just the opposite. His world is one of abundance. Christ taught us of God’s intentions in Matthew’s Parable of the Talents (Matt: 25:14-30). In this parable a master who was leaving on a long journey gave his three servants money, called talents, in accord with their abilities. A talent was a measure of weight, equivalent to eighty pounds or approximately twenty years of ordinary labor. The first servant was given five talents, the second servant two talents, and the third servant one talent.
After a long time the master returned and the servants came to settle accounts with him. The first servant with five talents had earned five more. The second servant with two talents had earned two more. The master praised both servants for being trustworthy with a few things and put them in charge of many things. He invited them to share his joy.
The third servant told his master that he knew his master was a harsh man who reaped where he did not sow, and gathered where he did not scatter seed. Being afraid, he hid in the ground his one talent which he now returned to his master. The master responded by calling him a lazy and wicked servant and said he ought to have invested his one talent with the bankers so at least he would have earned interest with it. The master had his one talent taken from the third servant and given to the servant with ten talents. He ordered the third servant thrown into outer darkness where “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
When I first read this parable I was puzzled by Christ’s lesson, probably because I have at times held fast to money when I was afraid, like the third servant. Then it dawned on me what Christ was teaching us. By not trusting his master the third servant promoted scarcity even though his master had given him wealth. By hoarding his money he was taking it out of circulation like people did during the Great Depression.
Money is meant to be circulated and that is the only way it creates more wealth and more abundance. The third servant was disobeying God’s laws. He had buried his money in the ground rather than use it to create more wealth. He was destroying abundance rather than contributing to it. Rather than being responsible for not working and for not being productive while his master was away he blamed his master. As a consequence he lost what he had been given and was banished.
Contrast what Karl Marx would have done with the master and his servants. To enforce his doctrine “from each according to his abilities to each according to his need” he would have had his government tax the people he called “the rich class,” which would have included the master, the first servant and probably the second servant. Defining people by class and who belongs in which class is the privilege of his powerful government. He would have championed the cause of those he called “the poor class,” like the third servant who had not contributed to prosperity and consequently had the greatest need. Taxes from “the rich” Marx would redistribute to “the poor.” Marx knew that if you followed Christ you would not follow him. Christ warned us: “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8) To attempt to follow Christ and Marx is to be double-minded.
I leave it to you to conclude what will be the consequences from Marxism on our nation knowing this simple truth: we get more of what we reward and less of what we penalize. It comes as no surprise, consequently, that those nations whose governments have subscribed to Marxism show diminished prosperity and an increase in dependency on an ever increasing government. Dictators rule Russia, China, Cuba, and Venezuela while bankruptcy confronts Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
So what can we do to contribute to the abundance and prosperity God would have for us in the form of longer lives, greater health, prosperity, wealth, and abundance?
Here is what you can do:
First: you must want for everyone what you want for yourself and act accordingly. If you want prosperity you must act so as to promote prosperity for everyone. When you truly lift up everyone as well as yourself you will love God with all your mind, heart, and soul and you will love your neighbor as yourself.
Second: give more in the value of the service you provide than what you receive in cash value. When you act in this way you increase the prosperity of America and of the world. As an ambassador of God you will do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Third: you must spread the word. We are not a “one worm” nation of scarcity. We are a nation under God of prosperity and abundance for all.