This post is adapted from Hank Hanegraaff’s Hank Unplugged Short — Called to Demonstrate Truth.
I’ve been memorizing Karl Marx because he believed that “religion was the sigh of the oppressed creature.”1 I think we must pay attention to that word “oppressed” because for Marx everything was a battle between the oppressed and the oppressor. The oppressor, for Marx, is primarily religion. In the evolution of civilization, religion must be destroyed. Why? Because “the abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is a demand for their real happiness,” said Marx.2 So, religion must be destroyed because it’s an illusion.
What’s the antidote? The antidote is to demonstrate that religion is not an illusion, but faith grounded in irrefutable fact. We look at the heavens and we see that God’s “eternal power and divine nature…[are] clearly seen.” Thus, as St. Paul puts it, “We are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).3 “The heavens declare the glory of God | the skies proclaim the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1).
The Christian faith is not an illusion. And we need to be able to demonstrate and compellingly communicate that reality — not least because Karl Marx was a devotee of Charles Darwin, and Darwin’s evolutionary naturalism has won the day in our culture. The antidote is for Christians to be able to communicate truth.
As I say in my book, Truth Matters, Life Matters More: The Unexpected Beauty of an Authentic Christian Life, we demonstrate that there is an experience that we can have that transcends all philosophical speculation.4 So, the truth of Christianity is not about this life only; it is about this life as a continuum that goes on for all eternity. As Vladimir Lossky so eloquently wrote, “The port of salvation is not the goal; it is the possibility for the shipwrecked to resume his journey whose sole goal is union with God.”5
For further related reading, check out the following articles and books:
History’s Bloody Mess: Why Marxism (and Socialism) Always Fails, by Jay W. Richards
Were Early Christians Communists?, by Jay W. Richards
The Original “Fight Club:” Understanding the Philosophy of Karl Marx, by C. Wayne Mayhall
Resurrection, by Hank Hanegraaff
Has God Spoken? Memorable Proofs of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration, by Hank Hanegraaff
- Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right,” translated by Annette Jolin and Joseph O’Malley (New York: Cambridge University Press), 131.
- Marx, Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right,” 131, emphasis added.
- The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), used throughout.
- “While the divine incomprehensibility of the life that matters more is not a prohibition upon knowledge, it is the transcending of knowledge. The transcending of all philosophical speculations” (Hank Hanegraaff, Truth Matters, Life Matters More: The Unexpected Beauty of an Authentic Christian Life [Nashville, TN: W Publishing, 2019], 86).
- Vladimir Lossky, Orthodox Theology: An Introduction (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1978), 84