Every pastor needs a few brilliant friends and advisers. Max Anders is one of mine. He is the author of over 25 books, including the bestselling 30 Days to Understanding the Bible, and his most recent work, Brave New Discipleship. He is also the creator and general editor of the 32 volume Holman Bible Commentary. His September 8 blog, AN HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY FOR CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA, caught my attention because I’ve never seen Max write on politics.
“To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17
AN HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY FOR CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA
By Max Anders
This blog post is a little long, but it’s very important, and I hope you will read through to the end.
The cultural and political upheaval we are currently experiencing in our nation is not an accident. It is not a spontaneous uprising by sincere Americans who only want to bring about more “just” treatment for blacks by police. That may have been the motivation of some when it all started, but it has gone way beyond that now.
This is a full-throated uprising against American democracy and rule by law. It is a premeditated campaign that is satanic and demonic in origin, infecting willing human servants (socialists and Marxists).
Spiritual/political attack on America
The uprising is now being carried out by those intent on destroying our American way of government and life. They want to replace it with socialism/Marxism, which is violently anti-Christian and which has failed spectacularly everywhere it has ever been tried (Russia, China, Cambodia, Cuba, Venezuela).
Why in the world are people championing something that so clearly doesn’t work? Well, Scripture tells us that Satan has the ability to deceive and blind the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4), causing them to be unable to come to a knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:24-26), generating wisdom that is earthly, natural and demonic, producing disorder and every evil thing (James 3:14-16). Their blindness is spiritual blindness, a consequence of spiritual warfare.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s non-violent civil rights movement was governed by biblical/Christian principles and was historically effective. Two organizations, Black Lives Matter and Antifa, that are highly visible in recent riots, use violence to further their agendas and are deeply anti-Christian and anti-American.
It is helpful to understand that most riots have three types of people involved:
- Peaceful protestors who gathered legally with no intent to riot.
- Thugs and criminals who simply want to loot and destroy.
- Committed Marxists and Antifa members who organize and energize riots.
Mainstream Democrats do not necessarily agree with far-left socialists, but they have joined forces with them because they cannot get elected without them, and they are willing to pay nearly any price to defeat President Trump. As a result, the Democrats have been pushed so far to the left during campaigning that they have made promises they will have to keep. They are feeding the beast that will destroy them.
Where did this upheaval come from?
One might be excused for thinking that this has all come about suddenly. But such is not the case. Things have been deteriorating below the radar for decades, and just now have gotten to the point that they have broken out into the open.
In the 19th century, Karl Marx tried to conquer England with Marxism in his lifetime, but it didn’t work. Author and freelance columnist Larry Taunton explained that the church was too strong, had too much cultural influence.
Later, Italian Antonio Gramsci concluded that for Marxism to succeed, a culture must first be softened up from within.
“Socialism will triumph,” he wrote, “by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.”
Socialism/Cultural Marxism is a Trojan Horse designed to:
- Subvert families, traditional morality, and the symbols of national identity.
- Infiltrate educational institutions, the church and the legal system.
- Watch the country fall like a ripe fruit.
To accomplish this, Saul Alinsky wrote the Marxist playbook, Rules for Radicals, which Larry Taunton summarized here:
- Divide and conquer: drive wedges between as many different groups as you can (rich/poor, black/white, conservative/liberal, laborers/professionals, etc.)
- Create scapegoats: Your problems are never your fault. They are someone else’s fault.
- Create chaos: Riots, strikes, controversies (kneeling during anthem, etc.).
- Trash talk: Use outrageous language, verbally bully others.
- Spread disinformation: Tell strategic lies, repeat incessantly, accuse the other side of what you are doing.
- Exploit morality: Use others’ moral principles against them. Attack them when they try to be reasonable and gracious. Use their morals as a weapon against them. Do to them things they would never do to you because of their moral standards.
- Ridicule/attack common values: religion, patriotism, traditional values.
The playbook is working spectacularly well in the United States. Our schools have been infiltrated (with Marxism openly taught in our universities for decades), our churches have been infiltrated, and our legal system has been infiltrated with Marxist values and sympathizers, and we are well on the way to Gramsci’s goal of softening us up so that we fall, like a ripe fruit, into the hands of Marxists.
Among other things, this is how we are seeing this worked out:
- Identity politics in which individual minority groups promote self-interest rather than the interest of the whole (Divide and conquer).
- The assertion that the problems of all minorities are the fault of white privilege and racism (Create scapegoats).
- Riots and destruction in cities (Create chaos).
- False charges and accusing others of the same thing you are doing (Trash talk).
- The rise of opinion journalism and fake news (Spread disinformation).
- Rioting in streets, destroying family businesses, patrolling suburbs (exploit morality).
- Destruction of statues, memorials, Marxist Black Lives Matter rallies (Ridicule/attack common values).
If this movement is successful, it will change America as we have known it.
What should the Christian response be?
Christians must rise up to stop this godless assault on our country and the church. There are so many of us that we can do it. We have the votes. All we have to do is act… and vote our values. Not to do so is to bring on our nation, and on the church, calamities I have listed here.
There are some Christians who are too unaware to get involved. They are not naturally interested in political things, and they spend their lives occupied with “spiritual” things, assuming that everything is going to work out fine. I’m not criticizing these Christians. I used to be one of them. I just didn’t fully realize what was going on. Plus, more is going on now than ever before.
There are other Christians who think they shouldn’t get involved. In one article I read, a pastor said one reason he did not get involved is that “God is in control.” He said he is working for the heavenly kingdom and doesn’t want to get distracted by the earthly kingdom.
But how would that perspective play itself out in other areas of life if lived consistently?
- If someone broke into your house to harm you and your family, would you stand by idly and say, “God is in control?”
- Would you turn the other cheek for the malicious intruder?
- Would you let the invader have his way and say, “God causes all things to work together for good?”
Of course not! You’d try to protect those God has given you!
I see this as the same situation. Evil people are breaking into our national home. How can we, who have the ability to stop them, not stop them? Even Jesus said, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed” (Luke 11:21). There are so many evangelical Christians that if we would simply “guard our house,” we could avert disaster.
More than America is at stake
This is not just about our comfort and safety. It is about having the knowledge, technology, and money to…
- finish Bible translations around the world,
- help start churches in emerging nations,
- help advance the gospel around the world,
- help reduce the pain of poverty,
- help bring medical supplies and advances to those who need them,
- help reduce the profound discrimination and suffering of Christians around the world.
Never before in the history of the Church has there been so much potential to take the Great Commission to the entire planet. There is a world of good to be done, but if the U.S. falls to socialism, it will deal a grave blow to all that potential.
James 4:17 says, “To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” My goal in writing this blog post is to help convince you that to vote Christian values for the sake of stopping anti-Christian socialism is the right thing to do.
As I see it, the choice is very clear: Christians must vote, and we must vote Republican if we do not want the United States to be overtaken by socialism/Marxism. The traditional understanding of Republicans and Democrats is out the window in this election because Democrats have sold out to socialism. Today’s Democrat Party is not the same party of yester-years. If you vote Democrat because you or your family has “always voted” Democrat, please understand that today’s Democrat Party is not your parents’ party and please take the time to investigate their platform and policies before casting your vote. If you don’t want socialism, you don’t want a Democrat party platform.
It is a stewardship responsibility. How can we neglect this gift the Lord has given us? We have the power – God has given us the power through prayer and the privilege of informed voting – to prevent this calamity. We should be praying! But if we pray without also exercising our responsibility of voting, we have only done half the job.
This is an historic moment for Christians in America. Help keep the Church in America strong so that we can use our knowledge, technology, and money to energize the Great Commission on a level we have never seen before.
Let’s rise to the challenge! Let’s pray and vote!
Max Anders is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, and has taught on the college and seminary level. He was an original team member with Walk Thru the Bible Ministries and the author of over twenty-five books. He has pastored small, medium and large churches spanning over 25 years, including currently serving as Senior Pastor at Geist Chapel in Indianapolis, IN.