The Present American Crisis

The Present American Crisis
| PentecostalTheology.com

The Present American Crisis: An Impending Marxists America.

 A Call to Focused and Sustained Spiritual Warfare

 

The Threat from the Universities:

This essay is in the form of a “bad news, good news” story,” but it is not a joke.  The bad news is that if the present trajectory continues, then judging by the history of other countries, the United States will have a Marxist, deeply radical government within a decade or so. The good news is that this does not have to be in view of the tremendous strides that the Church has made in the understanding and practice of intercessory prayer. Indeed, the trajectory of American history can be turned into another great revival.

I will discuss the possibility of effective intercessory prayer for the radicals and the radicalized universities in the last part of this essay. But immediately I must clarify that I do not believe Vice President Biden is a radical, nor is there evidence that he is “captivated” by the radicals in the Democratic Party. The threat come from those coming after him – the generation led by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez of New York and others.

The principal factor for the drift into a radical, “Marxist America” is what has happened in the American universities and colleges. They have been staffed by an ever-increasing percentage of radical and Marxist professors who brook no opposition or even free discussion, and have an ideology that justifies such censorship.[1]  The standard history books in many universities and colleges for American history courses is the Marxist and deeply anti-American textbook, Voices of a People’s History of the United States, in which our nation’s history is presented in the darkest of ways.[2] This is creating a generation of graduates who are deeply anti-American.

This sad course of events was prophesied by an eminent social thinker and economist, Joseph Schumpeter, in his seminal book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, written on the eve of the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union.[3]  His prediction was that Capitalism would succeed as an economic system, but ultimately be overthrown due to the alienation of the intellectuals and students.

The current wave of demonstrations and riots was triggered by outrage from the George Floyd death and other police actions that have shown the need for reforms in American policing. But the course of events: the looting, the burning of shops and vehicles of innocent bystanders, and especially the radicals’ takeover of downtown Portland, shows that the demonstrations have been infiltrated and at times led by elements that are deeply antagonistic to the American values of lawful change and free discussion.

Unlike the Watts riots of 1965, one notices that the demonstrators and rioters are majority white. The demonstrators often voice contempt for traditional American values and ask for the “defunding” of the police, etc. Concurrent with these events has been a string of statue toppling. Some of the actions seem to have justification, but many actions show a profound misunderstanding of history, and especially of how people and countries can at the same time do heroic things, while still harboring negative and sinful ideas. All of us, and most certainly the radicalized statue destroyers fit that category.[4]

A friend asked me how is it that so many of today’s youth are radical anti-Americans? The answer is not complex, but it does take some historical knowledge and is important to understand.

A whirlwind history of radicalism in America and in the universities:

America has had a radical side to its politics from its independence period and before. This became noticeable in the public’s response to the French Revolution (1789) which occurred in the first decade of the American Republic. The French Revolution was widely applauded at first, but as it took a radical turn into terror and anti-Christianity, opinions about it became sharply divided.  Some still were accepting and positive about the Revolution, but most Americans recoiled at its radical turn.

Those who continued to support the Revolution were mostly advocates of Deism. Deism is the belief that God was the creator but then allowed the universe to develop without His intervention by way of miracles, prayers or the supernatural. This unbiblical view had made steady gains among Americans in the period 1750 to 1800. Many Deists were also anti-Christian, as for instance, the French philosopher Voltaire, and the American Thomas Payne.

Conservative Christians today often minimize the role of the Deists of the era and stress the role and influence of orthodox Christians among our Founding Fathers. Actually, a majority were Deists like Benjamin Franklin who still held a positive view towards Christianity and the Bible. Thomas Jefferson was a Deist, and his election in 1799 frightened many orthodox Christians into thinking America would become like radical France, with guillotines and all. Of course, nothing of the sort happened. In fact, during Jefferson’s administration the Second Great Awakening (1797-1820) broke out and in the course of two decades greatly expanded church attendance and made America into a predominantly orthodox Christin county.[5]

An interesting and illuminating incident in this era is the revival that took place in the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson had founded it in 1818 specifically in defiance to other Colonial and early American colleges and universities where Christianity was central. The library was the center of the University, not a church, as in other universities. This reflected the Deist belief that reason alone could guide good morals. Deism reigned supreme among faculty and students. Naturally, morals deteriorated to an awful extent, and culminated in riots and in the murder of one of the professors (1840). But the Holy Spirit was also active, and the murder was followed by a great revival at the university (a part of the Second Great Awakening) and the students became known for their Christian beliefs, piety and courteous conduct.[6]

The decline of Deism through the Second Great Awakening and the ascendency of Evangelical Christianity also meant the decline of secular, radical politics. Past the 1820s, American radicalism took religious forms in the abolitionist movement, which was Christian, and various utopian and egalitarian communities, mostly often Christian, as in the Shakers, Robert Owens’ Newharmony Community in Indiana, and many others.[7]

However, in the late 19th Century two radical and anti-Christian ideologies arose, Anarchism and Marxism. Both ideologies had a small minority of followers in America, held back mostly by the public’s commitment to Christianity and Christian moral values (discussed more fully below). This is especially plain when compared with what occurred in Europe in the same period. Other than England where the Wesleyan-Methodist movement made a huge impact on the laboring classes, the lower classes in Europe became increasingly secularized, and often anti-Christian. They adopted Anarchism or Marxism as their way to a better life. In Spain, for instance, Catholicism mostly collapsed among the laboring classes by the end of the 19th Century.

Anarchists were more numerous as radicals in the 19th Century than they are today. The Haymarket Affair in Chicago (1886), one of the most famous of terrorist acts in 19th Century America, was an Anarchist act. But from the beginnings of the 20th Century Marxism gained in popularity among those tending to radicalism, especially the intellectuals, as its ideology was sophisticated and seemingly scientific (see below).[8] Marxism gained slowly in America, again held back by an overwhelmingly Christian population.

Things changed with the Great Depression of 1929-1939. For a while, the “American dream” was shattered with the threat of unemployment and expanding poverty. Many intellectuals and university teachers gravitated to Marxism and thought that the model of the Soviet Union was a way out of the Depression and into a more just society. That was an illusion fed by wishing it was so, and by the Soviet propaganda machinery.

In fact, the Soviet experiment in Russia had caused tremendous tyranny, poverty and suffering. Among other atrocities, Stalin created an artificial famine to punish recalcitrant independent farmers that killed more of them through starvation than Hitler killed Jews and Gypsies.[9] By chasing out the professional middle class as evil “bourgeois,” and losing their managerial experience, production and efficiency in the Soviet Union practically collapsed and only came back slowly. The apologetic myth of the Left is that the pre-Revolutionary Russia was an extremely backward country, and the Soviets had to start from scratch to build a modern economy, and were thus justified in using horrendous amounts of force to do so. Untrue, Czarist Russia was well on its way to industrialization, so much so that in the critical month before the outbreak of World War I, the German high command favored war rather than negotiations with the France and Serbia in order to crush Russia immediately and avoid a fully industrialized Russia on its Eastern border in the future.

In any case, from the 1920s on it was difficult to get accurate information out of Stalin’s Soviet Union. There was no lack of Western reporters willing to take Soviet propaganda at face value. George Bernard Shaw, the famous playwright, played a role in this disinformation. But perhaps the most influential among the group of Communist apologists was Walter Duranty, the Pulitzer Prize winner and station chief in Moscow for the New York Times. While getting his education as a young man in England he became a Marxist and there also participated in the famous Satanic cult led by Alister Crowley.[10]

For Duranty, everything Stalin did was good for the Russian people. He knowingly lied about and covered up the Ukrainian famine.[11]  His New York Times postings fed the Left intellectuals in America and Britain with the belief that things were really going well in the Soviet Union. This was abetted by highly controlled and choreographed VIP visits of the Soviet Union for tourists and reporters – like the tours of North Korea today,

At the eve of World War II Marxism had greatly increased among the intellectuals and in the universities of America, but then it received a temporary setback when Stalin and Hitler, sworn enemies, entered into a treaty of cooperation. This resulted in both countries attacking Poland and partitioning that unfortunate country between them. This infamous aggression was a shock to the American Left and many left the Communist Party.  The American Communist party stubbornly followed the Stalinist lie about Poland’s aggression and declared that Winston Churchill was a “war monger” for leading the fight against Hitler in the early part of the war. All of that was suddenly reversed again when Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in June of 1941 and England became its ally. Another shock to the pro-Communist Left.

Stalin’s atrocities, every bit as terrible as Hitler’s but more numerous, have never received their due attention. For example, note the number of books every year published on the Nazis and Hitler in comparison to Stalin and his Soviet Union. The gap is caused partly because we had to ally with the Soviet Union during World War II, and the press minimized his atrocities, but also that when the Germany was defeated (1945) newsreels and pictures were taken of the concentration camps. That never happened to Stalin’s equally cruel gulag of forced labor camps. There are no newsreels and very few photos of the Gulag or its torture chambers. Some drawings were done by former inmates, but they are much less dramatic than the newsreels of the Nazis death camps. For a sample of ex-gulag inmate’s pictures type in “drawings and pictures of Soviet Gulag” to your browser.

The Frankfort Group

But before the war another group of Marxists had entered the American universities. These were Marxist intellectuals that came from a Communist think tank in Frankfurt, Germany. They were independent of Stalin’s control, unlike the official Communist parties of the time, and developed different ideas from the official Communist Party about how to bring about the promised Communist utopia. The “Frankfort group,” including Theodore Adorno, Eric Fromm and Herbert Marcuse, fled Germany after the Nazis won power (1933). For a time, they gathered in Columbian University and established the influential Marxist journal, Studies in Philosophy and Social Science. They were careful to be discrete and not overtly call for revolution or cite Karl Marx directly.  What they did was develop the critical theories of the important institutions of the West, with the intension that if they collapsed internally, or lost authority, the Communist revolution would succeed naturally, and utopia could be gained.

Their universal negativity towards the democratic West, and apologetic towards the Soviet Union, and silence about its atrocities and faults, was both a hypocritical constant, and made their followers morally disabled but destroying the virtues of integrity and gratitude.[12] They could not conceive of the good parts of the American free-enterprise system, such as the production of high-quality consumer goods (a sharp contrast with the Soviet system). Just one specific example, this was the era when Sears & Roebuck was developing, and via the post office enabling even rural farmers to receive well-made goods of all sorts, from dresses to kit houses, but nothing was ever mentioned about any of the good that came out of Sears, or any other American corporation.[13]

Several from the Frankfort group, including Eric Fromm, attempted to unite Marxian theory with Freudian psychanalysis. Marcuse did this also, and in his Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud (1955) went off the deep end suggesting that it was the “capitalist bourgeois” restrictions on sexuality that made people unhappy. The liberated person should have no restrictions on sexual expression, including doing what some children do, playing with their own poop. He called this “polymorphous perversity” – a truly demonic idea which would lead to many parasitic and bacterial diseases. In spite of this, Eros and Civilization eventually went on to become one of the foundations of the sexual liberation movement decades later.

Marxism steadily gained in influence in the elite universities.[14]  But the 1950s saw the further retraction of Communist influence in America with the beginning of the Cold War and the obvious Soviet tyrannical domination of Eastern Europe. Walter Ruther, who was a socialist, led the struggle to evict Communists from the United Auto Workers, while Ronald Reagan was doing the same at the Screen Actors Guild. Senator Joe McCarthy pushed anti-Communism into a crusade to oust Communists from US. Government positions, but with much exaggeration and harm. This contrast with the counties of Western Europe where Communist parties were well-established, dominated many labor unions and often participated with socialist parties to form coalition governments. Again, the difference was due to the spiritual factor that America was much more Christian than European nations. There Protestant and Catholic nominalism was a majority form of religious expression.

Antonio Gramsci’s Analysis of Christianity’s block to Marxism advances

Marxist followers tried to make sense of why the industrial workers did not succeed in bringing revolution in Europe and America, and why only a minority were truly “enlightened” by Marxist doctrines. The answer was worked out by an Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) who died young but left an extremely influential set of writings. These were done while he was in one of Mussolini’s prisons – he had actually supported the fascist Mussolini earlier.  Reflecting on his Catholic youth, Gramsci concluded that the reason that prevented workers from becoming Marxist was that the culture was Christian and held on to Judeo-Christian values and ethics.  This would always impede and stop the spread of communism. His solution was not a frontal attack on the church, as was happening in Russia, but rather a slow takeover of church institutions and government agencies.

Gramsci’s work was not edited and published in English until 1970, but it then gained wide circulation among radicals and Marxists. In retrospect, it seems that after Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci is the most influential Communist writer of all time even though he is not well known by the general public.[15] What he advocated has become fact in the American University system, many NGOs, and through “liberation theology” in many parts of the Catholic Church.

The Vietnam War and the Generation of 1968:

Unless you are old enough, it is hard to imagine the solid anti-communist attitude of Americans in the 1950s and 1960s. Catholics were especially fervent in this belief as reports consistently filtered out about the persecution of Catholic clergy in the Communist Eastern European countries.[16]

All of this changed drastically during the course of the Vietnam War, and the rise of “liberation theology” a bit later which largely disarmed Catholic anti-Communism. New evidence shows that, in fact, liberation theology, the mix of Marxism and Christianity, was invented and fostered by Soviet and Romanian intelligence agents precisely to further the advance of Communist states in Latin America.[17] It is not altogether clear if Gramsci’s writings was the trigger to liberation theology, but the effect was what he had desired on many parts of the Catholic Church.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident and subsequent Congressional War Powers Act resolution occurred in 1964. That began American troop escalation. I was a sophomore at Fordham University at the time, and I and my fellow Catholic classmates were resigned that another war had begun, but one necessary to stop the advance of Communism. But opposition to the war rose up quickly, unlike the Korean War. By my senior year (1966) there occurred the first on-campus march and demonstration against the war. I was dismayed and as I watched it and thought, “Don’t these folks know history? What will happen to the people of Vietnam and South Asia if the Communists win?”

For the first years the organized opposition to the war was mostly on humanitarian grounds. The argument was that the war was costly in money and innocent lives, but quickly the Leftist and Marxists of the universities came to the fore. The writers of the Frankfort group had by then gained increasing currency among university students and intellectuals, and together they forged a core radical wing of the anti-war movement. They ridiculed anti-communism as fascist nonsense and that the war was an “imperialistic” war, for the benefit of the capitalist war materials producers, etc.

I went on to graduate school at the University of Florida in 1966 and then joined the Army in 1967. I was in Vietnam by 1968, the year that everything turned around. Student rioted in the United States and Europe, and there was a massive move towards leftist and radical politics among students. Anti-Communism, which was the normal view of most Americans, became a term of derision. The protests and anti-war movement deeply affected the morale of the Amery – I saw this in my tour of Vietnam.

The war effort shifted into making the Vietnamese Army self-sufficient and an effective fighting force, but that only partially succeeded. Our combat troops left Vietnam and the Paris Peace Accords recognized that the North Vietnamese would have the upper hand. Indeed they did. They had a splendidly motivated and Soviet-equipped Army, its troops believing the Communist mythology that a “worker’s paradise” would be built in a united Vietnam after the imperialist Americans were thrown out. Many American demonstrators believed something similar.

Sadly, we “Anti-Communists’” were right. The result of the Communist victories in Cambodian and Vietnam resulted in the establishment of the (demonic) Pol Pot government in Cambodia and the resultant genocide of several millions. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the great chronicler of Stalin’s multiple genocides in the Soviet Union, reflected on this in his famous address to the Harvard Graduates of 1978. He believed that the premature withdrawal of American forces was a great mistake. I also believe that, and that had the American Army stayed a year longer, and our Air Force continued to provide air support to the South Vietnamese Army, South Vietnam would today be much like South Korea, democratic and prosperous. To the contrary the present united Vietnam is a crony-capitalist and authoritarian state with no regard for human rights. The great Cambodian genocide could also have been avoided[18].

Very few of the anti-war protesters ever reflected on the tragic aftermath of our defeat in Vietnam, and most went on thinking that the anti-war effort was a great triumph. I recall back in the early months of the Cambodian genocide, when reports were first coming out, an important anti-war agitator was interviewed about the situation. She blamed it on the Americans for “teaching violence” to the Cambodians – an example of a naive and destructive ignorance of history. Actually, the Cambodian Pol Pot had avidly read the literature of Stalinism in French universities where they were educated decades before, and were now carrying out their plans by “cleansing” the  Cambodian “bourgeois” – and anyone suspicious, including those who wore glasses. I recall reading several accounts of the genocide in which reporters used the word “demonic” to describe the irrational cruelty of the Pol Pot regime. They were using the term allegorically, but it was a true description of the spiritual underpinnings of the regime. The genocide had nothing to do with the American air strikes.

 The Vietnams War’s damage to the American universities:

The Vietnam War also had long-term dreadful consequences on the American university and college systems. The draft law in place permitted postponement of entry into the armed services if the person was in college or in grad school. Thus, many students who opposed the war, or were simply afraid of combat, continued on to grad school to avoid the draft. As a result, the grad schools began graduating predominantly ant-war and often leftist students in large numbers, while patriotic and non-leftists served and many died in Vietnam.

Let me cite myself as a personal example about this. I did one year of graduate studies at the University of Florida in history before I joined the Army (1967). At the time, a person with a master’s degree could land a job as a college instructor while he or she went on to a PhD.  That was my plan. But when I came back in 1969 and finished my master’s in 1970, instructors’ positions were going only to those who were well on their way to a PhD. That is, the anti-war graduate students who populated the schools to avoid the draft were now occupying the entry level college teaching positions.

This “generation of 1968” grad students had motives in justifying their opposition to the war on morally and politically correct positions. Various Left and “anti-imperialist’” rationales were readily at hand. The Cambodian genocide was a momentary blip that was quickly forgotten. When I began my graduate work the University of Florida the faculty was well mixed politically with liberal, middle-of the road and conservative professors. One had been with Castro and his rebels in the mountains of Cuba, several others had served in World War II and gotten their PhDs under the GI Bill and were mostly very patriotic. One of my professors was still a naval reserve officer and did reserve duty every year, with occasional special assignments. Another had served in the 101st Airborne and had been de-mobilized with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

The faculty at the time was “liberal” in the best sense of allowing different viewpoints and allowed and recommended grad students of Left opinions to be accepted into the faculty if their academic record merited it. This happened all across the country, and gradually, by the 1980’s the faculties in the humanities were monotonously Left, with the new faculties of Marxist and various radical gender ideologies not allowing centrist or conservative applicants to enter the faculty.  The broad liberalism of the 1960s which made American universities a wonderful mix of varies opinions faded into what is now the fog of intolerance and political correctness.[19]

The Fall of Soviet Communism and its satellites

By the 1980s it was obvious to any impartial observer that the Soviet style, centrally planned economy with its bureaucratic managers (the only alternative to having the dreaded “bourgeois”) was drastically falling behind the West. The Chinese Communist leaders looked at the “Asian Tigers:” Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore, and were shocked at the disparity between their prosperity and China’s on-going poverty. They decided that some sort of free market economy was necessary for China, including private entrepreneurs (the dreaded bourgeois and capitalists). They maintained political power while creating a state capitalism and free market economy. But in the Eastern block the transition out of central planning and the one-party state did not work. First in Poland, the Communist government was forced to cede power, and then the other Communist regimes collapsed. The breaching of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, although the dissolution of the Soviet Union took two more years.

Marxist teachers and intellectual all over the world had a moment of crisis. Dr. Eugene Genovese, a historian of American slavery who had transitioned from Marxist to Christian, asked the famous question to his fellow Left intellectuals, “What did you know? And when did you know it?”[20] This asked how much data suppression and rationalization did they do on behalf of the Communists tyrannies, and like the pro-Marxists intellectual of the 1930s, how much did they hide from public discussion – as in for instance the horrible Chinese atrocities in Tibet.  I recall that in this period a prominent Marxist “liberation theology” professor in Brazil was interviewed on NPR and said the Marxists needed a period of “grieving” to recover. As a Christian he should have said Marxists theologians needed to repent of their lack of discernment and integrity.[21] For a period many Christians believed that Communism and Marxism had suffered a death blow, never to arise again.[22]

However, soon various rationalizations began to appear in the Marxist literature and political science journals. For instance, it was good that Eastern European Communism fell because now an “authentic” form of Communism could arise. In fact, the whole university Marxist scene was invigorated by new research possibilities into what the future of Marxism held.

This rationalization process confirmed what the distinguished sociologist, Leon Festinger, had found when he and his colleagues studied a UFO-reincarnation cult in the 1950s. The cult leader had proclaimed, via mediumistic revelation, that his followers would be taken off the planet by UFOs by their “space brothers” to a better earth. When the date for the supposed space transportation passed and nobody was absent, the cult did not fall apart. Rather the leadership rationalized the false prophecy and overcame their doubts by expanding their recruitment of new members.[23]

Similarly, the Marxist radicals in the American universities, and all over the world, refocused and re-energized their efforts rather than admit the original Marxist program was in error. (There was also a spiritual element to this discussed below.) In fact, now it has become fashionable in Leftist and Marxist circles to admit that Stalin and his regime were profoundly evil – a form of wishing that the regime was not really communist.[24] However, the historical evidence shows that Stalin carried out what Lenin had laid out and begun. Lenin had been a great fan of the French Revolution and its period of terror and believed that the Russian Revolution needed the same.[25]

The Left with its predominantly Marxist core beliefs transited into what some are calling “cultural Marxism.” This is a varied mix of core anti-American, anti-Capitalist and anti-bourgeois beliefs, melded with a new set of goals, such as a green, anti-racism and LBGTQ agendas. But for the most part this cultural Marxism retained most of the demonic influences from the old Marxism. Let me clarify the a few of the specifically demonic spiritual dynamics of Marxism, so that it may be more properly confronted by spiritual means.

Marxism as Religious Counterfeit:

St. Augustine famously remarked that human beings are made with a hole in their souls that is meant to be filled by God. He also knew, via his experiences with various semi-occult religions of his age, that false religious can fill that hole and make a person largely unaware of his deficit. In Augustine’s life, as in many of us, it was grace that exposed those falsehoods and lead him to the true Gospel.

With this in mind, Marxism, and the current “cultural Marxism” are best understood as counterfeit religions that mimic Christianity but are twisted by demonic forces acting on the minds of its adherents to be especially destructive. The huge numbers of murdered in various Marxist genocides point to that conclusion.  The Marxists tyrant dictators like Stalin and Mao were of course totally oblivious to the demonic forces operating on their minds. The famous Catholic exorcist, Malachi Martin, in his famous work, Hostage to the Devil  speculates that some persons are “perfectly possessed” by the Devil, unaware of their status, and go to corporations, offices and institutions to bring chaos and further the demonic agenda. That makes sense about Communist dictators.[26] We can see this form of “evil to the bitter end” also working out in Adolf Hitler. By 1944 it was obvious to all that the Nazis would lose the war and they needed to sue for peace. But Hitler continued the war and continued his genocide of Jews and Gypsies until he died amidst the rubble of Berlin in April of 1945.

Marxism arose in era of Positivism – a philosophical fashion that believed that humanity was progressing to a utopian future of freedom, happiness and material prosperity. This belief was fueled by the rapid progress in the 19th Century of the newly developing sciences such as physics and chemistry which were making life less disease filled and easier for many.[27] Trust in science and its progress to bring human happiness and freedom was at its height during the late of the 19th Century and the first decade of the 20th.  This was before World War I (1914-1918) showed how science could also invent mustard gas and lead to mass destruction. But before that war new movements arose that naively claimed they were “scientific” and thereby appropriating the prestige of science. Three of these falsely labeled movements: Christian Science, Freudian Psychoanalysis and Marxism made tremendous impacts in the 20 Century and continue to influence to this day.[28]

Marx made claims that his philosophical/economic system was scientific because it was materialistic, systematic and gave definite predictions. This was how science was understood by many in the 19th Century. It was also misleading and untrue. A more valid understanding of science was pioneered by the philosopher Karl R. Popper, in his seminal work, The Logic of Scientific Discovery.[29]

Popper understood that science was a methodology for expanding knowledge by testing and refuting false hypothesis. It does not matter if the original discipline has much misinformation and mythology, as long as testing and hypothesis rejection is allowed a science may develop. For instance, the science of chemistry developed out of alchemy, which was a mythology mixed with some valid chemical procedures. Popper also saw that every true scientific theory had to contain a provision whereby it could be tested and disproven if false. He called this “falsifiability.” Popper’s understanding of science is now universally accepted by the scientific community.

In regard to Marxism, the bundle of humanitarian insights, hatreds, economic information, philosophy and myth that Marx presented in Das Kapital, never developed the essential scientific process of testing hypothesis and rejecting those that failed. For instance, Marx asserted that Communist revolutions would be led by radicalized industrial workers, but actually Marxism has succeeded in taking power mostly when led by intellectuals relying on peasants for support. Lenin carried on a war against Poland in 1919-1920 to create a land bridge to Germany and unite with the radicalized German industrial workers and then conquer the rest of Europe.

Early in the history of Marxism, Eduard Bernstein, a socialist thinker and politician, understood that certain of Marx’s predictions were not coming true, and he sought to correct Marxist theory (i.e. discard disproven hypothesis). The Marxists movement denounced him as “revisionist” and he was expelled from the movement. The term revisionist became within Marxism what heresy was to the Medieval Catholicism. – something worthy of excommunication and death. In the Soviet Union, the first country where Marxists came to power, the slightest deviation form established doctrine, “revisionism,” led to torture and death by a judicial system vastly inferior to the courts of the infamous Spanish Inquisition. There at least some of the accused were found innocent.

Marxism never was, nor is now, a science, as its adherents have claimed. Rather, Marxism may best be understood as a highly motivating, mythical system and religion that gives the individual believer hope, faith, and a sense of purpose. Marxism demonically mimics Christianity in these and other ways and fills the “God hole” in the soul that Augustine identified.

Here we need to point out that much of the energy that Marxists feel about their movement is fueled by hatred of the bourgeois, in a similar way that the energies of Naziism were fueled by hatred of the Jews. Here is a small sample of what Marx said about the bourgeois in his famous Communist Manifesto (1847):

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors” and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers. The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.[30]

The cult of the counterfeit Messiah. The most obvious and obnoxious example of Marxism as religion is what happened to its development in North Korea. In that unfortunate country, the founder of the Communist party and its first dictator Kim Il-sung (1912-1994) followed the pattern of government and party apparatus and security services established in the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin. But Kim developed Lenin and Stalin’s cult of self-glorification to new highs.

When Kim Il-sung died in in 1994 North Koreans all prostrated themselves in front of the thousands of statues found all over North Korea. There was a mandatory three-year mourning period, and persons suspected of not mourning sufficiently were subject to imprisonment at hard labor. Kim was given the title of “eternal leader.” Even now it is common for North Koreans to speak to Kim as if he were still living in conversations that are quasi-prayers. Currently many sociologists consider the North Korean system a religion melded with a political ideology that is closer to 1940s Japanese fascism than to the original Marxist pattern.[31]

Although the most extreme, Communist states have invariably formed some sort of cult around its leaders. More correctly, its leaders, not subject to a free press, public reproof or constitutional constraints, give way to their vanity and create a cult about themselves. No doubt this tendency is helped by demonic forces that wish to do with every communist state what the Kim family did in North Korea, create an idolatry of the deified leader. Stalin was well on his way to this when he died, and this was repeated in Castro’s Fidel Cuba (“maximum leader”) Romania’s Nicolae Ceaușescu, Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, and is developing in today’s China under the dictatorship of Xi Jinping. [32]

The counterfeit Spirit

Why Marxism fell into a pattern of the deification of its leaders is related to Marx’s foundational belief in the “Spirit of history” – a perfect and destructive counterfeit of the Holy Spirit. Marx accepted this counterfeit spirit from his readings of the most famous and influential philosopher of the 19th Century, Georg Friedrich Hagel (1770-1831). Hegel was most famous for popularizing the moves in history as in a social or political movement which creates opposition, and the ensuing conflict results in the creation of something new. This makes sense in the history of ideas, but in human society and history not so accurate.

In any case, Marx uses Hegel’s understanding of history to predict changes in history that would result in a socialist utopia where the class struggles would cease, and governments would “wither away.” All of this is deeply ironic as in fact Marxist governments have been the most vast, intrusive, and totalitarian in history.[33]

But back to Hegel for a moment. Hegel postulated that the spirit of history often operates through key individuals and government that move history forward towards increasing human freedom and utopia – the Positivist dream. In a bit of vanity and nationalism, Hegel believed that the Prussian government of his time was such a government.  For Hegel, the individual reached his fulfillment by being a loyal citizen.[34] At any given point in time the Spirit of history continues to manifest through some individual who will lead humanity to a higher level in the dialectic. Hegel saw Napoleon Bonaparte as such a person, Napoleon controlled much of Europe for a time and, in fact, brought important reforms such as the abolition of serfdom and a universal code of law that abolished aristocratic privilege. Hegel personally witnessed Napoleon at the height of his power and prestige and wrote:

I saw the Emperor – this world-soul – riding out of the city on reconnaissance. It is indeed a wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who, concentrated here at a single point, astride a horse, reaches out over the world and masters it.[35]

Napoleon was defeated in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo, and this short-circuited the further development of a “cult of personality” and deification that had already developed around him. His glorification was a prelude to in other figures in Communist and Fascist regimes that became so common in the 20th Century and reached much further extremes. We should call these persons who are deified through the cult of the personality “counterfeit messiahs,” for they mimic the messianic prophecies of the Bible as a person who brings salvation and righteousness to the world.

The primitive nature of Marx’ view of mankind:

A salient quality of Marx’s and the later the Frankfort Group’s writings was that they also said nothing about the coming Marxist utopia, assuming it would naturally fall into place after the evil bourgeois were eliminated and economic equality was established. This is based of course on Marx’s incomplete and deficient view of humanity which does not understand that evil can come from other places.

In this regard we must briefly illuminate a topic not discussed in contemporary radical and Marxian literature, the titanic advances that have been made in the science of animal behavior since the time of Marx and the Russian Revolution. Before the 1950s the prevailing view of animal behavior was that animals were more of less automatons, acting instinctively and without nuanced feelings. This changed dramatically as biologists began studying animal behavior, rather than concentrating on animal physiology.

Major strides were done two investigators, the German Konrad Lorenz, a trained  zoologist and ornithologist, and Niko Tinbergen, a Dutch biologist and ornithologist also. Together they made tremendous advances in understanding the depth and complexity of animal behavior, and their many similarities and continuity into human behavior. Lorenz began his career by working with geese and learned how to communicate with them, as in “Danger in the bushes.” He discovered the area of “imprinting” – when an animal learns to identify with its mother. More importantly for this essay, Konrad and Tinbergen discovered and documented three constants in animal behavior which are essential in understanding why no Marxist utopia will ever work.

The first is that most animal species have a strong instinctive sense of territory. This extends from small fish to the large mammals, and is particularly strong in primates, our immediate animal ancestors. The instinct for territory is in the genes and has nothing to do with learned behavior. The second is that most mammalian species have an instinct to form a hierarchy within their group. This is universally evident among primates, and again is instinct based. Usually the dominant or “alpha” animal is a male, but not always.[36] Thirdly, Lorenz also noted and documented how animal cruelty is widespread among many species. We sometimes notice that cats taunt and play with their prey before killing it, but this is not uncommon among other species. Killer whales will often do this with a wounded dolphin before it finally kills it.[37]

It does not take a rocket scientist to understand how these genetic tendencies operate in humans, via symbolization, the defining characteristic of humans.[38] In our species, territory remains important, but is symbolized into ownership of goods. Hierarchy is a constant of human groups, elaborated infinitely in ways large and small, within tribal societies and modern governments, and from a small business, local PTA associations to the federal government with the alpha person as president

Marxists can rail against Western patterns of “property as theft,” and boast that the “brotherhood of the proletariat” will replace capitalists and bourgeois hierarchies, etc., but when they achieve power nothing of the sort happens., even after heroic efforts. There was much experimentation in the Soviet Union in the years after the triumph of the Communists, as in symphony orchestras without conductors, but they all came to chaos and disaster. Property remained as did hierarchy. Thus far in communist societies, hierarchies are more primitive and brutal, with fewer intervening levels of power and autonomous authority, than in ‘bourgeois” countries. For instance, no Soviet regional governor could override any of Stalin’s arbitrary commands the way Republican state governors often obstructed and resisted policies and regulations setup by FDR’s administration. No one onMao’s China could tell him that his “Great Leap Forward” was causing chaos and starvation.

The Promised communist utopia of the brotherhood of man without an alpha leader is genetically impossible. What is possible is what the West had developed over centuries based on the biblical view of mankind as sinners, and the classical tradition of reason.’ It is to limit the power of the alpha male via traditions, constitutions and levels of political power, the very things Communists and Anarchist despise. For instance, English history taught in the traditional way affirmed that the Magna Carta (1215) was the first step in the development of representative democracy and an important event. The Marxist critique is that it was a hoax; only the barons gained rights and the peasants were no better off. Well yes, but how many Soviet citizens in the 1930s would have wished for a local “baron” who had the power to say to Stalin, “No, you can’t starve my peasants in this area, they are under my control.” Of course, in England other laws continued to extend the range of power and voting. Nothing similar has happened in Communist countries where the communist party is the only party, and an alpha ruler is in charge.[39]

The Pol Pot regime in Cambodia proved once again that the Marxist utopia is not achievable. It systematically massacred the bourgeois, eliminated all private property and even money. But it turned out to be one of the cruelest communist regimes ever, with whips and cattle prods motivating the work force, and a crude social structure of communist rulers and a slave/surf underclass. The primer of Greece during the Pol Pot era, a communist, had the temerity of saying there was no “exploitation” in Communist Cambodia because there was no money and surplus value could not be generated – a world class hypocrisy and delusion. All of which points to the obvious fact that the reduction of evil in humans is not just a political task, but one in which religion and grace need to play their part.

The results of the Lorenz/ Tinbergen studies are not disputed by anyone now, and every evening you can see it explained on TV in such programs as “Nature.” But it is not incorporated into the learning and teaching at the universities the way Marxist and radical gender studies are now featured – of course, since it would be an embarrassment to the radicals.[40]

Unfortunately, Evangelical Christian are also remiss here. Most Evangelical have an aversion to evolution in any form, which is the key to going from animal behavior to human behavior. The unfortunate part is that there is a perfectly good variety of evolution that is compatible with Christianity and the Bible. It is called “intelligent design,” but it is despised by most secular teachers and rarely given a fair hearing. Intelligent design is the understanding that the evolution of species does take place in a log time period, but God’s hand is in it all the time, as the Spirit hovered over the primeval waters at the beginning of creation (Genesis 2:1).

As a young man in the 1960s I learned of the first edition of intelligent design in the theology and writings of the Catholic Jesuit and paleontologist, Teilhard de Chardin, through his magisterial work, The Phenomenon of Man.[41] As the new studies in animal behavior came out I understood them in a Christian context of God preparing man as a spiritual/animal creature. There is now a substantial body of intelligent design writings, some of it done by first class scientists, such as Michael J. Behe.[42]

Parenthetically, some attempts at creating an animal behavior informed Christian theology have been made, but not to the extent it deserves.[43]  Incorporating the understanding of animal behavior and thinking should be of special interest to Pentecostal/charismatic theologians. The most recent findings show that humans share with animals practically very emotion we formerly believed only belonged to humans, and even certain simple symbolic abilities. For instance, elephants grieve over their dead, and at times place boughs of vegetation over the bodies of their former loved ones. What this may mean is that the truly human distinctive is not the soul, where the emotions are based, but in the spirit of man which understands the concept of God and worships God.

Marxism’s counterfeit personal moral system:

Marx’s passion to uplift the poverty and degradation of the 19th Century working classes led him to make exaggerations and errors in his economic theory. His theory of “surplus value” was especially destructive in several ways. His theory asserted that the value of a product at market, a computer or mousetrap, etc., was the sum of the labor it cost to make it plus raw materials. Anything above that was “exploitation” by the capitalist and bourgeois managers. This moralistic position automatically denigrated the important functions of information gathering, innovation, and quality control done by the management or the significance of risk often taken by the capitalist.

The moral consequence of this is that Marxists continuously sin by rash judgments by calling persons “bourgeois” and “capitalists,” and implying they are evil by their very existence. Now of course, some bourgeois and capitalists are indeed greedy and evil, but certainly not all, and many are good decent persons who try their best to look out for the welfare of their employees. In my Christian life I have met many such good bourgeois business owners. One close friend of mine is a Mexican owner of a landscaping company who when through heroic efforts to ensure his small labor force was not laid off during the great recession. As comparison, let me note that Ayn Rand’s philosophy, ‘Objectivism” (Atlas Shrugged, etc.) was forged by her experiences in the Soviet Union under Lenin and is equally demonic in that it glorifies the capitalists and entrepreneurs and denigrates the workers.[44] Many in the republican Party are heavily influenced by Objectivism.

Another aspect of the Marxist’s moral delusion is that many Marxist believe that they are righteous because they are “non-bourgeois” – i.e., because I do not work in commerce, and have a university job, or as a social worker, etc., or if they have a job in commerce they really despise it. This is a spiritual delusion which limits their true moral growth through its negative attitude towards life with its stream of constant rash judgements.[45]  It is the demonic counterfeit to what Christian experience when they accept the Lordship of Jesus and have His righteousness in front of God in spite of our sins.

A negative consequence is that in glorifying the role of labor, and denigrating the functions of capitalist and bourgeois, Marxist countries consistently have problems of innovation and quality control. The present generation has little memory of this, and many would have to ask their parents or grandparents about the issue. From the 1950s to the 1990s no one in the United States or Europe ever said, “I am saving my money to buy a Russian TV, a Romanian radio and an East German Car.” Rather we bought brands made in free-market (bourgeois staffed) economies that assured good quality control, as in Japanese electronics, and West German cars.[46]

When I worked at GE in Atlanta, I had a conversation with an older visiting engineer who had worked for a Communist plant in East Germany producing electronic goods. He said it was a pleasure working for a company like GE that had such good quality control. This contrasted with his experience and frustration as an engineer in East Germany. There the workers could not be fired for either laziness or incompetence (the myth of the sinless worker) and this degraded the general performance of all workers. More seriously, the factory continuously shipped out deficient produces that were designed and engineered well enough but poorly manufactured. This dysfunction (and the sin of junk production) can ultimately be traced to the Communist sin of hating the bourgeois.

We saw this repeated in Venezuela in recent decades. Before the Chavez and Maduro regimes, which are a strange mix of Marxism and anti-American populism, Venezuela had a mixed economy with much manufacturing as well as its important oil producing industry. Its economy was one of the richest in Latin America. Under Hugo Chavez the capitalist and bourgeois were forced out and replaced by Maduro loyalists who knew little of the industries they were suddenly placed in, and the factories failed one after the other because of mismanagement.[47] In its oil industry 20,00 of its skilled workers and managers were fired because they were politically suspect and replaced with technically ignorant loyalists. This began a slow and steady decline in oil production due to ignorance of faulty maintenance, and a near shut-down.[48] That was hardly noticed by most Venezuelans at first because high crude oil prices meant that consumer goods could be imported to make up for the things no longer produced in Venezuela, and the decline of oil production was not apparent at the local gas pumps. But then, the price of crude went down…

There are several other embedded sins in Marxism that I do not have the space to discuss in this essay. But the bottom line is that Marxism produces a demonically energized false moral structure, giving its adherents the sense that they are the true protectors of the poor and oppressed, and the focal point of historical progress to a utopian future. The great 20th Century irony is that rather than producing a classless society with a state that withers away, it has produced totalitarian states that respected no human rights and created new ruling elites.[49]

Today’s radical students have self-righteousness build on falsehoods and hatreds of Marxism, mixed with perhaps a more reasonable sense of self-worth in regard to their adherence to “green” and anti-racist issues.  Unfortunately, the poor response to such issues by many conservative Christians adds to the problem. For the radicals “right ideology” replaces the Ten Commandments and the awareness of personal sin so that a radical generally considers himself a fine moral person if he thinks progressive and Marxist thoughts regardless of his or her personally immoral behavior.[50] Often the normal codes of behavior, such as not lying, not stealing, etc., are derided as “bourgeois morality.” A historical item on this: in the first years of the Soviet Union divorce was legalized and made easy. Soon many people were divorcing on a weekly or monthly basis to have more sex partners. This of course created chaos for the children and was quickly stopped.

Just recently, a great bru-ha-ha has arisen in American universities when two prominent academics dared suggest that the traditional bourgeois way of life, as in hard work, truthfulness, raising children in two parent homes, etc. was actually better that the freewheeling mores of today’s generation. The politically correct and cultural Marxists were outraged. For them, those assertions were totally unacceptable and unworthy of discussion, period.[51]

In truth, American radicals have been assisted in their new growth by serious failures of the Republican Party to adequately deal with the needs of the working classes, as in effective medical insurance or a living minimum wage, among other issues. I explained elsewhere that many of the problems of the Republican party were caused by the large influence that the philosophy and writings of Ayn Rand had on Republicans, including Christian Republicans who should have known better. Rand’s philosophy, “Objectivism” is selfishness writ large, and deeply anti-Christian.[52] The “no new tax” pledge that Republican congressmen took made fashioning any health care bill practically impossible. All they could do was attempt to dismantle their despised “Obamacare.”  In addition, for decades the increasing gap between the super-rich and the rest of the population has gone unaddressed.

Present Crisis: How to pray

We can now understand the Cultural Marxists and radical elements of the current American scene in spiritual terms.  With the Marxist captivation of American education, the question is how can the church effectively respond in prayer? The object of these prayers should be both the deliverance and conversion of the radicals themselves and the change of the universities from their entrenched radical ways and  back to their chartered intentions as places of development of moral character, free speech, thought and investigations. At the beginning of this essay I gave a historical example of how such change can actually happened with the revival at the University of Virginia in 1840.

So even though there are strong “principalities and powers” that hover over the universities, protecting and broadcasting their demonic agenda, the task is not impossible. Jesus’ words to his disciples early on in his ministry are especially encouraging.

Luke 10: 17-20

The seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!’ 18He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’

 

But let me make clear right now that systematically praying against the demonic spirits’ lordship over the universities is relatively new ground. For sure individuals and churches noticed the problem before and prayed for this intention. When I entered a prestigious Southeastern seminary, back in the 1980s one of the devoted members of my church assured me she and a friend had gone to the campus to specifically pray against the apostacy of its professors. But as always, prayer has to be in proportion to the task, and their single pious prayers made no noticeable difference. A sustained multi-church prayer campaign is what is needed.

The following suggestions are distilled from my experience with personal evangelization at various public prayer stations over the years, personal conversations and encounters with radicals then and in my university and seminary year, and of an understanding of intercessory prayer as it has flourished in the last decades.

First, the church’s’ prayers for the radicals and the universities should meld with the ongoing prayers for a genuine revival in the nation. That is, a revival that would be in the order of the Second Great Awakening (1799-1820+) or of the Welsh revival of 1904-1905 where the glory cloud of the Lord was discerned even by unbelievers, and when it fell upon them they were instantly converted. America needs a revival of this dimension, and not just more routine evangelism that often passes as “revival,” as for instance, when a local church posts on its marquee, “Revival this weekend, Evangelist J. Smith preaching.” That is necessary and good for the local church, but not nation-changing revival.

Second, it is important for American churches to rethink their prayer priorities and focus on praying against the demonic spiritual forces of our universities and colleges. How that will work out depends on individual churches. In many churches there has been much prayer and effort in helping foreign missions, which is good. In the last half century these prayers and efforts have helped in amazing transformations in the Third World and Asian countries. China, in spite of the Communist Party’s persecution, is becoming a major Christian nation and is already sending out missionaries, especially to the Muslim nations. Sub-Sahara Africa is rapidly becoming a majority Christian area with local churches on fire with the Holy Spirit. Much still needs to be done, and certainly prayer support for the “secret” and suffering churches in Muslim countries needs to be continued. But the current crises in our United States warrants a shift of focus to our own emergency.

Third, when praying both for the universities and radicalized students it is important to keep in mind that prayers should be specific and focused. Certainly, all this terrible summer most American churches have been praying for both reconciliation and peace in or cities. And this is good, especially since so many churches are praying the same intention. But such praying, when directed to the universities and students can be weakened by lack of specificity.

Let me explain. Those of us who have experience in the healing ministry have come to understand that general prayers are most often ineffective. In prayer, the more focus and specific intent the better.  For instance, many churches have prayer lists that are read on Sunday services, and go like this: “Please pray for John Smith who has cancer. Pray for Sally Jones who will go to surgery tomorrow…”

OK, but more effective would be “John Smith has stage three colon cancer. He is now receiving chemotherapy. Pray that the cancer shrinks and the chemo be effective with the minimum of side effects.”  Even better is for a prayer team to go to him and lay hands on him and curse the cancer the way Jesus cursed the fig tree (Matt 21:19).

Praying against the principalities and powers of the university and college is critically important, but again needs as much specificity as possible. For instance, if a local congregation prays “Lord, let the students of our nation reject violent ideologies, and turn to Jesus.” Well, that’s OK, but like general prayers for healing, it better for the church to pray more specifically. For instance, “Lord, in Jesus’ name, we come against the Principalities and Powers that have present domination [of our local university]. We also pray that the faculties of history and sociology [in our local university] be bound to futility in their schemes to radicalize the students and bring rebellion and chaos, in Jesus name.”

Forth, pray “spiritual mapping prayers.” In this I am following the suggestion and insights of the famed missiologist and professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, C. Peter Wagner (1930-2016). His work is controversial, but it seems to have put substance to the Paul’s injunction that we battle not with human opposition but with the “principalities and powers” (Eph 6:12 ) in the atmosphere. Dr. Wagner advocated discerning prayer to become aware of and name the specific demonic entities that influence, and sometimes rule over cities and territories. He calls this “spiritual mapping.”[53] This should be done by local congregations on their nearby universities and colleges. Wagner passed away, and his work did not specifically mention the universities, but is easily applicable to them.

Fifth, praying for and ministering to the universities and colleges could take many forms, as in assisting already established Christian ministries in the universities with funding, prayer support, and special events volunteers as needed. Many churches have long participated in temporary summer mission trips to Haiti, and Central America, etc., to assist local churches. Pastor and congregations need to think in similar terms to outreach the local universities and colleges.

Sixth, local churches need to form “concerts of prayer” whereby the united churches of a city gather and target in prayer specific local universities and colleges as well as critical national events. The churches might enlist Christian students attending the local universities to inform the church of impending radical actions and demonstrations. It would be useful to understand who leads the radical students, especially those who go about enforcing speech control, and target the leaders and groups group with a prayer of “command disablement”  into ineffectiveness  based on Acts 13 (explained below).

Praying for the personal salvation of the radicals.

Now let me discuss the issue of the personal conversion of the Marxists and radicals. In the natural is an especially difficult time to do this. Radicals associate Evangelical Christians with President Trump, whom they loateh, and consider by association all Christians as racist, anti-environmentalist, anti-scientific and hypocritical persons.

Traditional evangelism will not work with the present generation of secularized students and radicals. Billy Graham crusades were successful in their time because America was still a predominantly Christian culture and Christianity had a certain amount of respectability. It was not too difficult to pester an unbelieving cousin or friend to attend a Graham crusade, and then allow the graces of the event to take their course.

All that has changed and today’s secularized students and radicals. They are contemptuous of Christianity and simply will not come to your church evangelistic campaign. (Or if they do only to heckle.)   A popular series of books deemed the “New Atheism” has embittered many students towards Christianity and the Gospel, as thy distort and present Christian history in the darkest of terms – the equivalent of the Marxists texts that now inform students on American history.[54]

Evangelizing today’s radicals would be helped by a special prayer campaign from the local church to bind the demonic spirits operating on their minds –  form of spiritual “heavy artillery” to prepare the ground. Tact is also needed – don’t go evangelizing wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. It is important not to argue politics, but to keep the conversation about the Kingdom of God.

You have to go to them where they are, on or near their campuses, or in neighborhoods near universities. There you must present the Gospel in what the Rev. John Wimber classically called “power evangelism.”[55] That is, to demonstrate right on the spot the miraculous healing and deliverance power of the Gospel.  For instance, a Christian may see a person at the local supermarket limping along or grimacing in pain, and offer to pray for his healing right then and there (I have done this many times with much success – and a few failures).

Let me give a practical suggestion on reaching radical students: supposing a supermarket at a university town or student neighborhood is ¾ hour drive away from you and you normally shop at one just five minutes away. Determine to periodically go to the far supermarket for you shopping and keep your eyes open for someone there to pray for. (It would help doing intercessory prayer before hand, or tongue praying as you drove to the destination.) What if a team from your church rotated this duty so that every day someone was on the spot available for God’s divine appointment with a hurting or sick atheist/radical.

Man and operate a public prayer station near where the radicals live or hang out. Back in the late 1980s the church that I was attending had a wonderful healing team to pray with the sick at the end of the Sunday church service.  I and others in that prayer team decided to do “power evangelism” and take our healing prayers to the streets. We repainted an old real estate sign and lettered it “Prayer Station – free prayer” and set up at a location in downtown Atlanta known for its mix of Bohemian, atheists, occult and hippy residents. It was very successful. YWAM and other Christian groups imitated and expanded this ministry.[56] One of the spin-off ministries did public prayer stations in California that recorded how a dedicated atheist passed by their prayer station as a person in a wheelchair was prayed over. He watched carefully as she began walking. The atheist said “I’ve seen that woman healed. I want to become a Christian now!’  The prayer team led his to the Lord right there.[57] That is power evangelization. For this type of evangelization, I suggest the prayer team learn the “Hunter method” of the laying on of hands, with leg extensions, etc., that is especially rapid, effective, especially for back problems. Its rapidity of healing is and utterly astounding to atheists.[58]

Of course, a prayer station ministry has to wait for when an effective vaccine Covid-19 is released. I would like to add that such a ministry in a university district may have few results at the beginning, because of the spiritual darkness of the area. But with strategic intercessory prayer of the host church or churches it can builds up spiritual momentum – the energies of God build and linger when the same spot is used repeatedly. As word spreads of healings and answered prayers, even a dedicated radical will try healing prayer if he or she is ill and in pain. The evidence is that most of today’s “Nones,” those who do not hold to a specific religion, still vaguely believe in God and in prayer, and will accept prayer if offered, especially outside of a church.[59]

Unless you are highly educated in apologetics, don’t argue with Marxists and radicals on politics and economics. They are well indoctrinated and will answer with the eloquence about the mythical system they have learned. As several observers have noted, radicals and Marxists have little capacity to consider and incorporate ideas that are contrary to their beliefs.[60] I believe this is due to the demonic influences operating on their minds. It is entirely possible that at times the prayer intercessors may have to do deliverance ministry right out in public. That happened in our prayer station back in the 1980s and it resulted in both complete deliverance of the person involved and a “wow” witness to several by-standers.[61]

Some readers may be skeptical about the idea that secular, political ideas, even the most radical, as in “Let’s burn down the downtown businesses, and make the bourgeois pay!” are truly demonic. Or if they are, to what extent. Again, let me share from my own experience in this area. I went for several years to a very prestigious seminary in the Southeast. To my disgust I quickly discovered that many of the seminary professors were unbelievers or Deist, and some were radical Marxists who though they were reforming the church via “liberation theology,” i.e. Christian liberal theology plus Marxism. I immediately discerned that this was demonic, and destructive. This was confirmed as I saw several seminarians have their faith drained away under the teachings of various non-Christian professors. One of my professors and chairman of the theology department was especially under demonic oppression. But I could not prove it and merely held that opinion as a hypothesis.[62]

A decade later, and out of the seminary, I was doing research of the 1960s-1970s “Death of God” theology and on of its chief theologians Thomas Altizer. I read his autobiography, Living the Death of God, and there in plain sight is his account about how Satan entered him during a depression crisis. He then boasted that he had more insight into Satan because of this that any other theologian.[63] Why the demonic revealed its hand in this occasion is a mystery to me, and normally the demonic in the Western World keeps low key to accommodate the atheist beliefs of those it is inhabiting. In his case I suspect the demonic entity in Altizer enjoyed mocking the readers and bragging.

But in regard to the radical students, the normal thing will be to pray for their requests, heal their illnesses and declare the Gospel, and let grace do its work. This can be rapid, as I noted just above when a dramatic healing takes place, or it may take a while.

 Command disablement prayer:

Many Christians are despondent and in despair over the endless summer of demonstrations that often resulted in violence and looting. What can the church do about these?  Many things, as in joint ministerial interventions to mediate between the radicals and police, joint prayer campaigns among churches, etc. But let me suggest one way of prayer that is scriptural but has not been sued to date. It is the “command disablement” prayer that Paul used against a sorcerer who was opposing the Gospel when he was in Cyprus

But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.  Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?  Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.  When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord. (Acts 13:8-12)

Now immediately one thinks this is a curse, which was forbidden by Jesus. But Paul, above all men perhaps has the mind of Jesus, and would not disobey the Lord. Here we do not have a curse, but a temporary disablement, that can lead to repentance and reconciliation with God.

The incident recorded in 2 Kings 5 also shows the pattern of a true curse with its irreversible negativity. It is the story of the Assyrian commander Naaman’s healing of his leprosy by the prophet Elisha. After his healing, Elisha’s servant Gehazi ran after Naaman and lies to receive a substantial gift. Gehazi then lied to the prophet Elisha as to what he had just done.

 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow. (vs. 26-28)

What I am suggesting is that churches learn how to pray command disablement prayers against the persons advocating and planning violence and further Marxist activities in the universities. I have used such a prayer in my own life when a person was opposing the healing ministry, and it was immediately effective.  I give full details, as well as a survey of why this form of prayer has not been done before the current moment in my blog posting “The Ministry of Command Disablement”[64] Significantly, other Christian scholars and leaders are beginning to wonder if the negative and cursing psalms have a role in the contemporary Church.[65] I have used these psalms as spiritual warfare prayers against the “principalities and powers” of the demonic realm, but perhaps they have uses in praying against those under demonic oppression in places of authority and leadership.

Let me give a hypothetical situation that might occur in the immediate future, and how a command disablement prayer could serve the cause of peace and further the kingdom of God

In a small city in America there is another white on black police shooting. The policeman has been dismissed and a grand jury is looking into the case, but demonstrations are already forming. The chief of police calls his pastor friend and asks for prayers of wisdom and peace in the city. He shares with the pastor that has received intelligence that a nasty group of anarchists, led by a certain Joe Smith is planning to infiltrate the demonstration and provoke the police.

The pastor quickly convenes his congregation that evening for emergency prayer and invites his ministry friends to bring members of their congregation to the prayer event.

At the prayer meeting the pastor explains what a command disablement prayer is and then prayers:

Father, in Jesus name we come before your throne, and with the authority you have given us as children of God we speak against any violence in the coming demonstration. We ask they be conducted peacefully without harm to the shop-keepers, police or anyone else. We ask special protection for our police and law enforcement officers coming to keep order.

Further, in Jesus’ name we place a spirit of confusion on Joe Smith and his group, so that their plans will not bear fruit, and they will not be able to make their way to our city. We ask further for his repentance and salvation as you give him the grace to see his evil ways. Further, we also place a spirit of confusion on any of the radical students in our local colleges who may want to join this demonstration do violent acts. Thank you also for their conversion.

 

After a week, the demonstrations peter down, and the press comments on how peaceful and violence-free the whole week was.

In summary, America is in grave danger from the decades-old buildup of radical and Marxist teaching in the universities, and which has now filtered into many NGOs and even high schools. The needs to awaken to the problem and begin focused, systematic and effective prayer against this impending evil. We must trust that although the task seems impossible in the natural, the authority and power that Jesus gave to his Church thru prayer are more than adequate for the task.

[1] Carl R. Trueman, “Our Marcusa Moment,” First Things. Posted July 16, 2020. https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/07/our-marcusan-moment.

[2] Howard Zinn (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2004).

[3] Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy ((New York, 1947), several modern editions are available. See also his biography: Richard Swedberg, Joseph A. Schumpeter: His Life and Work (Malden: Polity Press, 1993).

[4] William L. De Arteaga, “On Pulling Down Statues,” Pneuma Review. Posted August 15, 2020. http://pneumareview.com/on-pulling-down-statues/

[5] On the importance of the Second Great Awakening in “Christianizing” America see Catherine  C. Cleveland , The Great Revival in the West, 1797-1805 (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1916), and for the cold statistics, Roger Finke, The Churching of America, 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious

Economy (New Brunswick: Rutgers University, 1992).

[6] https://uvamagazine.org/articles/bad_boys

[7] Chris Jennings, Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism (New York: Random House, 2016).

[8] Anarchism was especially influential as the radical ideology of choice in Spain. At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War (1936) the Anarchists greatly outnumbered the Communists, but that was reversed in the course of the War by the better organization of the Communists and their support in arms and munitions by the Soviet Union.

[9]The exact figures of Ukrainian deaths from starvation and gross birth defects may never be known, but even the low figures place the figure higher than Hitler’s Holocaust.

[10] It is not uncommon for Communists, who supposedly do not believe in the supernatural, to participate in Satanism of some sort. The Castro regime was heavily in volved in Voodoo.

[11] Sally J. Taylor, Stalin’s Apologist, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), or an excellent review of her work in First Things, Francis Maier, “Liars Go to Hell.” Posted July 23, 2020. https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/07/liars-go-to-hell

[12] The critical to West – apologetic to Soviet, hypocrisy even afflicted the mentality of such a saintly, Left leaning person as Dorothy Day. She was an anarchist rather than Marxist, and in her Catholic Worker lambasted American capitalism for its faults but never said a word about Stalin’s atrocities.

[13] I cover the demise of Sears & Roebuck from a Christian based corporation which treated its suppliers and customers well into a cut-throat, competitive company forged by the (demonic) ideology of Ayn Rand’s objectivism in my book, On Discerning Trump’s Character and Presidency: A Theological Reflection on How False Prophecy Influenced American Politics (Amazon: 20202) Chapter 3, “The Spiritual Decline and Fall of the Republican Party.”  Also available as a blog posting from Pentecostal Theology’

[14] For a specific view of how radicals and Marxists thrived in Brandeis University in the 1950s see: Allan Arkursh’s, “Waltham Intellectuals,” Jewish Review of Books. Posted Sept. 15, 2020. https://jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/8803/waltham-intellectuals/

[15] Robert S. Smith, “Cultural Marxism: Imaginary conspiracy or Revolutionary Reality?” Themelios (44 #3).  https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/article/cultural-marxism-imaginary-conspiracy-or-revolutionary-reality/

[16] I recall my older sister reading to me the novels about a certain Italian priest “Dom Camillo” who constantly outwitted the local communist government in his hometown as he looked after his parish. Giovanni Guareschi, Don Camillo and His Flock (New York: David & Charles1952). For the unbelieving among you, still available in large quantities at used book sites.

[17]CNA, “Former Soviet Spy: We created Liberation Theology,” CNA, Posted May 1, 2015.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/former-soviet-spy-we-created-liberation-theology-83634?fbclid=IwAR3W8p1yulojCtETukBdnX6TFy79_OeV49tUCOJ5-fE0XVyPveIPOFuKkDA

 

[18] See my discussion of this in “Which Way the Trolley, Part II” Pneuma Review. Posted: Ja. 27, 2017.  http://pneumareview.com/which-way-the-trolley-americas-hot-wars-during-the-cold-war-part-2/

[19] Dinesh D’Souza, Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus. (New York: Random House, 1991).

[20] Eugene D. Genovese, “The Question,” Dissent, (Summer 1994) 371-377. https://www.dissentmagazine.org/wp-content/files_mf/1353953160genovesethequestion.pdf This outstanding journal was socialist but anti-Communist, a rare gem. It continues to this day.

[21] The moral/psychological issue was well defined in parable form, in one of the episodes of Jonathan Swift’s classic, Gulliver’s Travels (1726). Gulliver lands in kingdom of Laputa (Spanish for the “hoar”) which is governed by absent minded mathematicians who try to carry out impossible schemes. A suit of clothing was made for Gulliver using a mathematical formula based on measuring his thumb. It was ill fitting and unwieldy, but no correction was possible. The rulers were determined that their math was right, and no instances of failure would shake them.

[22] George Otis, Jr., a great missionary and Evangelist in Latin America, wrote a book called, The Last of the Giants (Terrytown: Chosen Books, 1991) in which he assumed that the Church’s struggle against Marxism was over, and the next great spiritual battles would be against Islam. He was only partly right.

[23] Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken, Stanley Schaechtern, When Prophecy Fails (New York Harper, 1956). Modern reprints available – a classic in with many ramifications across religion and politics.

[24] Peter Hitchens, “Bookings to Utopia,” First Things. Oct. 2020. https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/10/bookings-to-utopia

[25] Gary Saul Morison, “Leninthink: On the pernicious legacy of Vladimir Lenin,” The New Criterion (Oct. 2020). https://newcriterion.com/issues/2019/10/leninthink

[26] (Reader’s Digest Press, 1974).

[27] A classic Christian commentary on this age is Henri de Lubec’s, The Drama of Atheist Humanism (London Shed & Ward, 1949). A wonderful read. Modern reprints available.

[28] I show in my work, Agnes Sanford and Her Companions (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2015) how Christian Science was both a heresy and a stimulant to the Christian healing ministry. Of course it was not science.

[29] (London, Huchison, 1959). Published in German a decade earlier. This work can be read and understood only by those with a math or philosophy degrees, as much of the text is written in equations. For a layman’s explanation of his work see his, Conjectures and Refutation: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (New York: Harper & Row, 1968).

[30] Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto. Online in many sites.

[31] Thomas J Belke, Juche: A Christian Study of North Korea’s State Religion (Bartlesville: Living Sacrifice, 1999). See also the brief article on this from Adherents.com at http://www.adherents.com/largecom/Juche.html

[32] Michael R. Pompeo, “China’s Catholics and the Church’s Moral Witness,” First Things, Posted Sept. 18, 2020.      https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/09/chinas-catholics-and-the-churchs-moral-witness

[33] A must read work for Christians in the humanities and social studies in Karl R Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies, 2 Vols. Vol1 The Spell of Plato,  Vol 2, The High Tide of Prophecy: Hegel, Marx and the Aftermath.  (New York: Harper & Roe, 1963). First edition in London in 1945.

[34] For a critique of Hegel’s system, see especially Popper’s work Open Society, volume 2.

[35] Hegel, letter of 13 October 1806 to F. I. Niethammer, no. 74 (p. 119) in Briefe von und an Hegel ed. Hoffmeister, vol. 1 (1970), cited after H. Schnädelbach in Wolfgang Welsch, Klaus Vieweg (eds.), Das Interesse des Denkens: Hegel aus heutiger Sicht, Wilhelm Fink Verlag (2003),p. 223; trans. Pinkard (2000:228). Cited in the Wikipedia article on Hegel.

[36] The modern literature of animal behavior is vast, but I would suggest to the reader several classics that came out in the 1950s and 1960: Konrad Z. Lorenz, King Solomon’s Ring (New York: Thomas CY. Crowell, 1952), and his On Aggression (New York: Hartcort, Brace & World, 1966) and Niko Tinbergen’s, The Social Behavior in Animals: With Special Reference to Vertebrates. (Methuen & Co 1953).

[37] Lorenz, On Aggression.

[38]A brilliant and controversial interpretation of animal behavior and how it relates to humans is found in the work of Robert Ardrey, The Territorial Imperative (New York: Dell, 1966) and his African Genesis (New York: Dell, 1961) I found the biography of Konrad Lorenz by Alec Nisbett, Konrad Lorenz (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1976) delightful and an easy way to understand the advances in animal behavior

[39] Karl Popper calls the incremental reforms and advances in freedom that are characteristic to the West’s political history the “piecemeal engineering” of social and political problems.

[40] As a college student in the 1960s I followed the literature of animal behavior as it came out. I also subscribed to Scientific America and kept on expecting a major article or even a complete edition of the magazine on the issue. It did not happen for decades, as its editor was a dedicated Marxist and assiduously suppressed the topic.

[41] Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man (New York:  Harper & Row, 1965)

[42] See his most recent work (they are all excellent) Darwin Devolves (New York: Harper Collins, 2020).

[43] Gregor Etzelmulrt, “The Evolution of Sin,” Religion and Theology 21 (2014) 107-124.

[44] See my explanation of this in my work, Discerning Trump and his Presidency, (Amazon: 2020) chapter 3, “The spiritual decline and fall of the Republican Party.” And in a blog posting of the same title in Pentecostal Theology, Posted Dec 18, 2018. https://www.pentecostaltheology.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-republican-party/

[45] In my direct experience with Communist true believers, several of which I met in grad school, they had this perpetual dour look and never seemed to have peace or joy – a mark of demonic oppression on their minds.

[46] The East German car, the Trabant was a piece of junk. It was a two stroke, smoke- emitting, environmental disaster.

[47] Uri Friedman, “How Populism Helped Wreck Venezuela,” Atlantic Monthly, Posted June 4, 2017.      https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/venezuela-populism-fail/525321/

[48]Sheyla Urdaneta, Anatoly Kurmanaev and Isayen Herrera, “Venezuela, Once an Oil Giant, Reaches the End of an Era,” New York Times (Oct 7, 2020). It should be noted that there has been a particular wickedness  to the Chavez-Maduro regime in that it has bought off the armed services with large amounts of narco money from  the state sponsored drug trade.

[49] The classic on this is Milovan Djilas, The New Class (New York: Prager, 1959).

[50] Beckie Supiano, “Students Cheat. How Much Does it Matter?” Chronicle of Higher Education.   Posted Oct. 21, 2020.  https://www.chronicle.com/article/students-cheat-how-much-does-it-matter?cid2=gen_login_refresh&cid=gen_sign_in

[51] Jesse Singal “Is U.S. Declining because America Abandoned “Bourgeois Values”? Intellingencer.  Posted Sep, 9, 2017.  https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/09/can-an-embrace-of-bourgeois-values-revive-america.html

[52] I discussed the tragic status of the Republican Party and its inability to write legislation that would benefit the working classes in my blog, “The Spiritual Decline and Fall of the Republican Party,” Pentecostal theology, Posted Dec. 28, 2018. https://www.pentecostaltheology.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-republican-party/   This was identical with an earlier blog posting removed from Blogger as “against community standards.”

[53] Peter Wagner has written many books and articles, but perhaps the two most pertinent in praying for the universities and colleges are: C. Peter Wagner, ed., Territorial Spirits: How to Crush the Enemy Through Spiritual Warfare (Shipensbury: Destiny Image, 2012) Confronting the Powers (Regal, 1996)

[54] Siniscalchi, Glenn B. “Evangelization and the new atheism,” American Theological Inquiry, 2 no 2 Jul 15 2009, p 29-41.

[55] John Wimber, Power Evangelism (data)

[56] William L. De Arteaga, The Public Prayer Station: Taking Healing Prayer to the Streets and Evangelizing the Nones (Lexington: Emeth Press, 2018).

[57] Ibid. 62.

[58] The Hunter method is described in my book, The Public Prayer Station, but also in my blog posting, “The Happy Hunters Revolution in Healing Prayer,” Pentecostal Theology. Posted Oct. 12, 2019.  https://www.pentecostaltheology.com/the-happy-hunters-revolution-in-healing-prayer/

[59] Bradley Wright, “20% of Americans are on the Threshold of Religion,” Christianity Today, Sept. 20, 2017.

[60] Brian C. Anderson, “The Ineducable Left,” First Things. Posted Feb., 2002. https://www.firstthings.com/article/2002/02/004-the-ineducable-left

[61] De Arteaga. The Public Prayer Station. Chapter 5.

[62] I describe the tragic situation in many of our seminaries in my work, Agnes Sanford and Her Companions, chapter 23 “The villains in the story: The seminaries as Sanhedrin.”

[63] Altizer, Thomas J. J., and mark Taylor, Living the Death of God (Albsany: State University of New York) 4-5. Cited in my book Agnes Sanford. 294-95.

[64] William De Arteaga, “The Ministry of Command Disablement,” Pentecostal Theology. Posted Nov. 7, 2019. Retrieved from an earlier blog posting removed from Blogger. https://www.pentecostaltheology.com/the-ministry-of-command-disablement/

[65] Peter J. Leithart, “Teach Us to Pray,” First Things. Posted

 

William DeArteaga

William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include, Quenching the Spirit (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), and Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He and his wife Carolyn continue in their healing, teaching and writing ministries. He is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations.

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