The Christian and Socialism

We must not confound Democracy and Socialism with Communism, for they are both out to fight Communism. We shall refer in this pamphlet to Theocracy, so it will be best at the outset to define our terms.
  (1) THEOCRACY is the government of the people by GOD for His own glory and the blessing of mankind.
  (2) DEMOCRACY stands for the government of the people by the people for the people — Abraham Lincoln’s famous definition.
  (3) SOCIALISM stands in social life, in commerce and trade, for Communism, but not as at present in its extreme form; in public life akin to Republicanism; in the realm of religion for blank atheism.
  (4) COMMUNISM is the result of carrying Socialism to its extreme and logical conclusions. It is the boast of Communists that Socialism is a convenient half-way house to their views and aims. Seeing that things in the English-speaking world are not arrived at this extreme, we confine our remarks in this pamphlet to Socialism.

Democracy is radically and vitally a false conception. It makes two colossal mistakes. First, it practically leaves God out, and so does Socialism. Could anything be more suicidal? As well might the planets depart from God’s ordering, and set up a plan for themselves. We know what this would mean. Chaos and destruction! The second terrible mistake is acting as if fallen sinful man can govern himself.

So does Socialism. And the Millennium it promises will prove to be a regular Pandemonium. Read the history of the world, and judge, if man can govern himself. Having said so much about Democracy, we will now keep to the consideration of Socialism, the proffered cure of this world’s woes. Socialism, as we shall see, is the negation of God’s rule on the earth, and must eventually perish by fires of its own kindling. It will destroy itself.

Says Karl Marx:
  “We make war against all prevailing ideas of religion, of the state, of country, of patriotism. The idea of God is the keystone of a perverted civilization. It must be destroyed. The true root of liberty, of equality, of culture is Atheism” (Secret Societies in Switzerland).

Robert Blatchford writes:
  “I took my course years ago … foreseeing that a conflict between Socialism and Religion (so-called) was inevitable, I attacked the Christian religion.
  “It had to be done, and it will have to be finished. No half-and-half measures will serve” (The Clarion, October 4th, 1907).

H.Quelch writes:
  “We are prepared to use any means—any weapon from the ballot box to the bomb; from organized voting to organized revolt; from parliamentary contests to political assassinations—which opportunity offers, and which will help on the end we have in view. Let this be understood, we have absolutely no scruple as to the means to be employed” (Justice, October 21st, 1893).

These words are plain enough. Can any true Christian subscribe to them?

The ultimate aim of Socialism can only lead to an attempt to set aside God’s basic laws laid down in Genesis 3. These are:
  1. That woman, in consequence of the fall, should be subject to man as her head, and that fidelity to her husband, and child-bearing—in short, family life in the fear of God should be the keystone of the stability of the human race.
  2. That man can only subsist by hard labour, the ground being cursed because of his part in the fall. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” (Gen. 3:19).

We shall now see how Socialism aims at upsetting these basic laws, and once they are upset things cannot go on much longer. We shall see how at last a long-suffering God will interpose and bring in Theocracy, as at the beginning. Theocracy will prove the only cure for the world’s woes.

We quote from Wm. Godwin’s Political Justice. When first printed in 1793 it made a tremendous sensation. It was so far in advance of the times that the book was allowed to go out of print, but recent events have brought conditions within measurable distance of its teaching, and a second edition was called for in 1918.

Godwin says:
  “Half an hour a day seriously employed in manual labour by every member of the community would sufficiently supply all the whole with necessaries” (p. 74).

What a bait to dangle before the lazy! Already hours are considerably reduced and wages increased. And the demand still is for shorter hours and still higher wages. It has been stated that if man had nothing to do, in three generations his vices engendered by idleness would extirpate the race. Once let the agitator persuade the working man that an hour or two’s work in the day will provide all he wants, and he will blindly strike for it. They little dream they will get no golden eggs when once they have killed the goose that lays them.

That this is no wild surmise the following extract will prove. Writing of the general strike syndicalists advocate, an English sympathizer says:
  “Within a week the useful, productive classes, once mere wage earners, would be master of the situation. There would be no fear of starvation, for they could take possession of the food supplies, and of the land as the source of further food supplies” (The Crusade, p. 143).

And when “the useful productive classes” shall have rifled the shops, stolen the food supplies and the land, what inducement will anyone have to produce food? The hungry and improvident would take violent possession of anything produced. The hardworking would work for the lazy; the provident would provide for the improvident. Would the provident be provident under such conditions? The result would be absolute disorganization of every kind; men would be reduced to a mere savagery, or become like the wild beasts, who pick up their food how and where they can.

That the working man is travelling he knows not whither is borne out by the following extract from the pen of one of the most active of the French syndicalists:

  “Directly we think of definite aim endless disputes arise. Some will say that their aims will be realized in a society without government. Others say that they will be realized in a society elaborately governed and directed. Which is right? I wait to decide whither I am going until I have returned from the journey, which will itself have revealed whither I am actually going” (The Crusade, p. 143).

Poor man! Where are his brains to write such arid folly as this? He talks of returning from the journey the direction of which he does not know till his arrival at his destination will have informed him.

A man throws his oars away and allows his frail boat to drift down the stream. He knows not where he is going, says he will decide where he is going when he returns. He forgets he is going downstream and the current is strong. Can he journey back? More and more rapidly his boat travels, the waters become turgid, the roar of the cataract strikes his ear. With a shriek from the doomed man, the boat is hurled over the precipice, and is dashed to pieces below. And yet he spoke of returning and THEN deciding!

Are people fit to govern who write such terrible nonsense?

What can be said for the morality of the following extract? Emile Pouget (Revière, Paris, p. 34), writing on Sabotage, or “Ca’Canny” in an extreme form, says:
  “If you are a mechanic it is very easy for you, with a pennyworth of some sort of powder, or even with sand, to score lines on your rollers to cause loss of time or even costly repairs. If you are a carpenter or cabinet maker, what is easier than to injure a piece of furniture, so that the employer will not notice it, nor at first the customer, but so that customers will presently be lost. A tailor can quite easily ruin a garment or piece of stuff, a shopman with some stains will make it necessary to sell off damaged goods at a low price; a grocer’s assistant can cause breakages by faulty packing. No matter who may be to blame the master loses his customers. The methods of sabotage may thus be varied indefinitely.”

And when the employed has got rid of his master’s customers his employer will have to get rid of him—there will be nothing for him to do—and where will the employed be then?

I have seen a picture of a man sitting at the end of a bough, and gleefully sawing through the bough at a spot between himself and the trunk, but I have never seen such a fool in actual life. But I fear the Socialist is that fool today.

Socialism in its wild aspect, with all its Syndicalism or Bolshevism, or whatever you please, is utterly devoid of morality and common sense. How the Devil must laugh to see men so palpably bent on their own destruction and misery.

On May 27th, 1918, the “Daily Mail” inserted a paragraph.

  “Mr. Tom Mann, at a Trafalgar Square demonstration of the Workers’ Socialist Federation, said:
  ‘We must take our affairs into our own hands. I advocate revolution openly. I am confident revolution is coming. We hold Parliament and the Government in contempt. Parliament is the executive of the master class.
  ‘Get ready, I say, for common action to save ourselves. Workers’ committees are being formed in every workshop, factory and mill. Prepare for action when the signal is given. I hope there will not be physical force. At any rate, I hope there will not be more than is necessary. But the job must be done; there must be no half-larks about it.’”

The Russian Soviet Republic well illustrates the road revolution wants to travel.

  “The Soviets … have repudiated all loans made to the Tsarist régime by foreign capitalist governments. That part of the national debt which represents loans made by Russian investors has likewise been repudiated, but small investors are to be compensated” (La Populaire, November, 1918).

  “All the land and its mineral wealth, waterways, forests, natural forces, become the property of the Federative Republic of the Soviets and are placed at the disposal of the working people without any compensation” (Idem, November, 1918).
  “By law the land is guaranteed to those who have none or not enough” (Idem, November, 1918).

The notorious Trotsky writes:
  “The victorious course of a revolution would inevitably place the power of the State in the hands of the proletariat supported by the wide masses of the poorest peasantry.”

Notice how the revolutionaries inflame the passions of the lowest orders by appealing to their cupidity, gratification and sloth. On the other hand no one can say that the existing order of things has ever been right. Have they ever been right since the fall, and will they ever be right till Christ reigns?

The capitalist and employer class are certainly to blame for much of the trouble that has come upon them. I have heard a gentleman (?) speak to his gardener as if he were a dog. I have seen the hovels in which working men and their families have been herded. I have observed how their frames degenerated and became prematurely aged through the hard work they performed. A Christian lady told me that she used to be carried on her father’s back to a mill when a tiny girl at 5 o’clock in the morning when pitch dark to work hard all day for a mere pittance till dead tired at night.

But all this granted and allowed for, Socialism is fundamentally wrong and can only end in chaos and red ruin. On the road it may take many steps, some of them for the moment beneficial, but in their ultimate destination the very antithesis of beneficial.

A burglar may clean his tools. A right and proper thing to have clean tools, but if used for thieving the cleaning is outwardly beneficial, in reality devilry.

Along with all this blunting of honesty and morality is the weakening of the marriage tie. The endless succession of bigamy and divorce cases reported recently in the papers, the alarm of the judges, tell their own tale.

Wm. Godwin writes:
  “The institution of marriage is a system of fraud” (Political Justice, p. 102).
  “The abolition of marriage will be attended with no evil” (Idem, p. 103).
  “It cannot be definitely affirmed whether it will be known in such a state of society who is the father of each individual child. But it may be affirmed that such knowledge is of no importance” (Idem, p. 105).
  “Unless woman repudiates her womanliness, her duty to her husband, to her children, to society, and the law, and to everyone but herself, she cannot emancipate herself. Therefore woman has to repudiate duty altogether” (G. Bernard Shaw, Quintessence of Ibsenism).

What can be the morality of the writer, the printers, the publishers of such diabolical teachings!

Even Socialistic writers sometimes put the finger on the weak spot.
  “If mankind continued to improve,”
  was the condition laid down by John Stuart Mill.

The late J. Ramsay Macdonald, M.P., commenting on this, said:
  “That is the unknown factor. There are signs of degeneration all around … the family unity is weakened; the motherly housewife almost belongs to the blessings that were; the head of the household is becoming a survival of words that once had a meaning but are now but a reminiscence. The masculine strength of puritanism has gone with its repulsive austerity; education, planted in minds of impoverished soil, is producing sickly and weedy flowers of simpleton credulity and false imagination. If mankind continues to improve? … We cannot go back; we can go on, or, standing, sink down in the morass” (The Socialist Movement, page 244).

Here we have the weak spot pointed out. Man is fallen, sinful, selfish, and till there is a change of heart nothing can be truly right.

What the state of the world will be when the institution of marriage is thoroughly weakened and debased, and along with that the duties of parenthood avoided, when natural affection is derided, and lustful selfishness sits enthroned, is too appalling to contemplate.

Along with all this is the refusal of Theocracy in every shape and form, that is, the refusal of God’s claims, the denial of man’s sinful state, hence no necessity for Christ’s atoning work, and no need for the Bible.

Godwin writes:
  “Religion is in reality in all its parts an accommodation to the prejudices and weaknesses of mankind” (Political Justice, page 46).

Marx says:
  “The labour party aim at freeing the mind from all the hobgoblins of religion.”

Alas! that it is necessary to put on record the folly and blasphemy of man in refusing God.

The late G. Bernard Shaw, a leader among intellectual socialists, gave an address to undergraduates, college dons, and Girton and Newnham lady undergraduates at Cambridge. Speaking on “The Future of Religion,” he said:
  “The mention of God has gone out of fashion. You never hear about God in Parliament, and only occasionally in the Law Courts. The people are governed by a system of idolatry. Clergymen, judges and kings are all idols, who generally have to be given sufficient money to dress better and live better than other people. When Charles Darwin came along with his theory of natural selection, people jumped at it, and kicked God out of the window.”

The following extract was taken from a well-known London daily recently:
  “The man, who says Christ was the highest possible being, is not worth working with. Christ was a failure.”

We have thus completed very briefly and imperfectly, but sufficiently for our purpose, a rough sketch of the trend of Socialism.

We have seen that it rests entirely on two utterly insecure foundations; viz.: that poor, fallen, sinful, dying man can be his own judge and ruler, and second, that man can do without his Maker and Creator.

Even the extremist Godwin, who wrote a century before his time, and whose writings have been recently republished, is obliged to acknowledge that his doctrines are but idle dreams. Writing of the objection that ideas of doctrinaires and acts of Parliament cannot change the nature of man, he says sadly enough:
  “But what is worst of all is that, if the objection be true, it is to be feared, there is no remedy” (Political Justice, page 81).

  “The objection represents man as a foul abortion with just understanding enough to see what is good, but with too little to retain him in the practice of it” (Political Justice, page 82).

Yes, that is just the point. Man is fallen and is the dupe of the devil. God is the only remedy for mankind.

Let us now trace from Scripture what we gather will be the future course of Socialism.

The prophet Daniel prophesied concerning four world-wide empires 2,500 years ago — the fourth empire being the renowned Roman Empire. He describes it as symbolized by the legs of iron in the composite image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his God-given dream. But he also tells us, as the image descended to its extremities, the feet and toes were composed partly of clay and partly of iron, two things that could never mix, one part strong, the other brittle and fragile.

Here we get a forecast of the last days—iron foreshadowing the strength of military power; the clay setting forth Socialism in its inherent weakness. Necessity, dire necessity, will make the military power inevitable, but all the time there will be the uprising of Socialism, never quite to succeed, for it has no elements of true success in it. By its very nature it is ready to split into parties, led by visionaries with different aims. The labour leader applauded today may be howled down tomorrow.

Things are shaping themselves towards the fulfilment of prophecy. The first and second Great World Wars have helped in this direction. The great cry today is for a new World Order. To this end arrangements will be made with the aim to prevent war, to see that little nations have their rights, to get rid of the necessity of armies and navies, to deliver the nations from the incubus of the taxation the present state of things renders necessary, to establish an international force, powerful enough to keep the whole world in order and introduce a peaceful millennium. This all sounds very delightful.

But it can easily be seen how such a League could become despotic, and in the end bring in a far worse tyranny than that which it is destined to end. And we believe this is what Scripture teaches will take place.

Once the Church of God is caught up and the restraining power of the Holy Spirit removed, and Satan allowed more and more a free hand for God’s wise purposes, the world will see great changes.

Illustrations of what will be seen on a greater scale abound. The first Great War brought about the overturning of a great Despotism, and exchanged for it the wildest Communism ever known. We refer to Russia.

People shudder at the word Bolshevism, and all that it means, and well they may. At the time of the Russian Revolution we heard of 800,000 wretched men and women subsisting on grass, and this in Petrograd, the once proud capital of the Czars.

We believe Bolshevism in the end will overspread the civilized parts of the world, and for a moment Socialism will be in the saddle.

But so great will be the breakdown of socialistic government, and with its breakdown the horrors of anarchy, famine and pestilence will come, that with a sigh of relief the world will swing from one extreme to the other.

We have an example of this in the French Revolution. On a small scale France’s Reign of Terror, when Atheism was acclaimed as ushering in the day of liberty, when Paris ran with innocent blood, and men of the vilest kind sat in the seat of government so-called, affords a picture of what will take place on a European and even a world-wide scale in a future day.

Out of France’s nightmare, when religion and decency were flung aside with contempt, a despotism arose in the person of the little Corsican corporal—Napoleon Bonaparte. We have all read how he dethroned kings and made kings, and for a moment what looked like a revival of the Roman Empire took place.

We believe out of the chaos and anarchy of a future day a greater than Napoleon will arise, and emphasise the iron element alongside of the clay. He will be none less than “the Beast,” the head of the revived Roman Empire, as prophesied in Scripture (Rev. 13:1-10).

After the Church is caught up at Christ’s second coming, we know from God’s Word that judgments, allowed directly by God, will sweep over the world.

The result will be, on a larger scale, similar to what happened when something like twenty-two rulers—emperors, kings and princes—abdicated and Europe became in a week largely republican and all the misery of a change began, with sad results, which we are feeling today.

What will happen in the future is described in Rev. 6:12-17, when, as the result of the breaking of the seals, sanguinary and exhausting warfare, pestilence and gaunt famine will contribute an accumulated result of misery and frightfulness. We read of the sun (supreme earthly authority) becoming as blood; the stars of heaven (inferior delegated authorities) falling to the earth, as a fig tree shaken by a mighty wind will cast her untimely figs; every mountain and island (permanent institutions) moved out of their places; kings, great men, rich men, chief captains, mighty men, bondmen and freemen hiding themselves where best they can, and crying out in abject fear to the mountains and rocks to fall upon them, for the great day of the wrath of the Lamb has come. What a picture of what is to come upon this world in righteous government, this reaping of the awful sowing that is going on.

Nor does this end all. The seven trumpets follow the seven seals, and the seven vials follow on till the end comes.

In Revelation 13 we see what will take place somewhere in the midst of all this trouble. A beast arises out of the sea—a picture of the revived Roman Empire taking form as driven to do so by the very necessities of the utter breakdown of Socialism gone mad (Bolshevism). The sea in prophetic Scripture is a figure of the uncontrolled masses of mankind (Rev. 17:15).

Out of this will emerge, we gather from Scripture, a super-man who will be the overlord of the revived Roman Empire, which will take the form of ten kingdoms, with the Beast at its head. He will be a man of commanding ability under the dominating power of Satan and using all the forces of the underworld of Spiritualism with subtlety.

We do not go into details here,* but just state the great facts. We do not take up the question of the deadly wound being healed, that is the reviving of the Roman Empire after centuries of break-up, but pass on.
{*“Things which must shortly come to pass,” by the author of this pamphlet, to be had at the office of our publisher, containing expositions of Revelation, Daniel, Zechariah, etc., will furnish details.}

Revelation shows us that the ten toes of the image, answering to the ten Kingdoms of the revived Roman Empire, will never be all clay, or else the colossus would fall to the ground. Alongside of the clay—Socialism—will be the iron—absolutism, autocracy of the highest order.

Like the two bitterly opposed Jewish sects—Pharisees and Sadducees—blended into common action by their deeper hatred of the Son of God, so the two bitterly opposing forces—Militarism and Socialism—after long feud will at length unite, as energized by Satan in one last concerted uprising against God.

Revelation 16:12-16 tells us of the fearful trinity of evil—the Dragon (Satan), the Beast (the head of the revived Roman Empire), the False Prophet (the Jewish Antichrist)—uniting in gathering the whole world to battle.

Three unclean spirits, like frogs, will come out of their mouths. These we are told are the spirits of demons working miracles, and by their demoniacal power they will influence the whole world, work up a Satanic holy war on a scale never before known in the history of the world. Here is the apotheosis of Spiritualism and Militarism and Socialism—strange bedfellows indeed.

In this we get the plans laid for the battle of Armageddon.

One word suffices to tell the result of the battle. Daniel, interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great image, describes a stone, cut out of the mountain without hands, striking the image with irresistible force a blow on its feet, breaking them—iron and clay—to pieces. The colossus thus broken in its feet, was destroyed in all its parts—iron, clay, brass, silver, gold—becoming like the chaff of the summer threshing floor. The stone that smote the blow, growing till it became a great mountain filling the whole earth, is a strikingly graphic description of the Lord Jesus, destroying man’s power and ending man’s day and setting up His millennial Kingdom.

John in The Revelation presents the same moment in different language. He sees heaven opened, and a white horse appearing. His rider is none less than the Son of God — the Lord Jesus Christ, symbolically presented.

He is called the Faithful and True, the Word of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, on His head are many diadems, and the armies of heaven follow Him.

Out of His mouth proceeds a sword. Short work is made of his foes. The Beast and False Prophet are taken and cast into the lake of fire, whilst the devil is bound in the bottomless pit. Then shall be set up Christ’s Kingdom, which shall never have an end.

Behold in this conflict the end of Democracy, Socialism, Bolshevism. Behold Absolutism such as this world has never seen enthroned, but an Absolutism that enthrones God, ends oppression and inequalities of every kind, and ushers in the reign of peace and righteousness.

Socialism, Communism, or whatever you like to call it, is absolutely and fundamentally wrong. It shuts God out of His own universe, if it could. It ignores the solemn presence of death in this world and all that it means. It can arrange for garden cities, but it cannot abolish the cemetery. It can give old-age pensions, but it cannot do away with death. It can for the moment ignore God, but God is, and will, in the end, demand an account of all men.

Let it be said at once Christ was never in the remotest sense of the word a Socialist. He upheld Theocracy as man had never done it before.

Take the charge of Christ being a Socialist under two heads.

First, His conduct in this world. Did He exhort the Jewish nation to throw off the Roman yoke, and give expression to local determination? No. He said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things which be God’s” (Matt. 22:21). He would not alter the existing state of affairs.

When a man asked Him to use His influence to redress a patent wrong, and get his brother to divide the inheritance with him, did He accept the position of one who strove for the equalization of rights? No; He replied, “Man, who made Me a judge or a divider over you?” (Luke 12:14).

Indeed, He took the position of only saying what His Father gave Him to say, and only doing what His Father authorized Him to do, voluntarily taking the place of subjection. Is this Socialism or Theocracy? It certainly is not Socialism.

And when He takes, as given of His Father, His rightful place as Ruler in this world no one will be as autocratic as He. He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. Is this Socialism or Autocracy? He will be rightly autocratic, for He is both Creator and Redeemer. His will be a truly beneficent autocracy.

How is it then that Socialists wrongfully claim Him as the great Socialist? It is because He was against oppressors, and worldly pomp and glory, because He moved among the humble and sinful and went about doing good. All this and more is blessedly true, but no action of His sprang from Socialism in any shape or form.

When Theocracy is enthroned, as it will be when Christ rules over Israel as their great King and over the nations as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, what will happen? There will be no sweated labour, no unequal laws, no legislation in favour of the upper classes to the detriment of the lower classes, nor in favour of the lower classes to the detriment of the upper classes. Legislation on the whole has committed both these evils, and Socialism put into plain language is class legislation and not national legislation, and is seeking, in its advanced section, to rob the rich for the benefit of the poor.

Not only does Moses say, “Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of the poor in his cause” (Ex. 23:6), meaning that men must not set aside justice because it is in favour of a man who happens to be poor, but also “Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause” (Ex. 23:3), meaning that a man must not escape justice because he is poor.

Yes, if every man, woman and child were absolutely theocratic there would be no more sweated labour, no unsanitary slums, no strikes, no selfish employers ready to grind the faces of their workmen; no “ca’-canny” workmen, who do not earn their wages, but avoid as much honest work as they can, no class set against class. But all these reforms would come about because Theocracy had abolished Socialism.

In short, we should have all the true gains of Socialism without its drawbacks, and the drawbacks, alas! immeasurably outweigh the advantages. The advantages were mainly in its early days, when it redressed real wrongs and cured real social evils. Now it is gravitating to red ruin and anarchy.

The truth is, men are clamouring for liberty, and, in their efforts to secure it according to their ideas, are, unconsciously to themselves, forging chains of bitter bondage, chains of Satanic strength. Satan is using man as his agent—his catspaw.

Would that men recognised God. If they will not do that generally, may individuals do it. And in recognising God and His claims, we discover that we are sinners, and upon us rests death and judgment, and that only Christ by His atoning death can meet our dire need.

Receiving Christ, believing “the gospel of our salvation,” we receive the Holy Spirit as God’s seal, we receive a different Spirit from that which animates this world.

We are not of the world even as Christ is not of the world. We touch not its politics, its schemes for bettering man apart from the acknowledging of God’s claims. We recognize “the powers that be are ordained of God” (Rom. 13:1). We are subject to their ordinances, unless they ‘clash with God’s revealed will in the Scriptures, and would lead to the denial of God. We pay tribute. We are told to “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King.” (2 Peter 2:17).

We thus move through the world, seeking its true good in every way possible, comforting the sorrowing, feeding the hungry, preaching the precious gospel to the sinner, and seeking the true edification of our fellow-Christians.

But, we conclude, Theocracy is the only cure for the world’s woes. Socialism is the negation of God, and must perish by fires of its own kindling.

Christian, if you are true to Christianity you cannot be a Socialist. You are rightly Theocratic, and to meddle with Socialism even in your spirit is to grieve the Holy Spirit, which is not of this world, and which is within you.