Can you be a Christian and a Communist?

The Rev reviewed the latest in what’s going on in the “Evangelical” world. He was captivated by an article by Greg Forster entitled “Colin Kaepernick’s Shirt: The Gospel in a World Haunted by Communism”.

The article is prompted by Colin Kaepernick, the famous American Football player who refused to sing the national anthem before a football match. That’s helpfully not the issue that Greg takes up with Colin. It’s because Colin, that hammer and sickle waving unpatriotic Trotskyite, sported a T-shirt with Fidel Castro on it.

That’s Greg, over to the left in the photo. From his mere appearance, he doesn’t look like a communist (Phew). He’s missing a beard and beret, though he stands proudly in front of a red background, which raises doubt.

While the subject is definitely worth a well thought out summary, sadly there are more holes in Greg Forster’s article than a stringed vest. He does raise a valid topic; the idea of Economic Justice. Then he gets sadly lost in all the minutiae and ends up clumping everything together under the banner ‘The Left’.

Indeed, it would take an elephantine tomb to document all the various connotations of ‘The Left’ from millennial leanings to a centre left, Social Democracy, full blown Socialism until you reach Communism (not Stalinism, that requires a few chapters all on its own).

Moving on, Greg focuses on a difference between communism and the only other alternative (good old Capitalism) and that is with regard to “property and contract rights”. The Rev wonders what Greg’s house is worth. And then, through an anachronistic tirade, helps us to understand that Acts 2-5 is no justification for Communism, as someone tried to argue when justifying ‘Liberation Theology‘, i.e. Stalinism with a Christian gloss (the Rev’s words, but with the same meaning as Greg helpful points out). The Rev’s history is hazy on this point, but if he’s not mistaken, Liberation Theology was quickly stamped out by various US Presidents. The “International Community” i.e. the US could not handle an independent uprising from the poor, particularly on its own doorstep in countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, etc.  The Rev is not overly enamoured with Liberation Theology, but then he has a lot of sympathy for the poor and can see why certain Jesuit Priests tried to encourage justice for the poor in some of the World’s poorest countries.

Greg does offer some useful insights however (it’s not all bad, reader). He says, “The church hasn’t simply failed to offer a rightly ordered model of economic life to the world. It has embraced the world’s model of economic life.” Whether the Church’s role is to proffer an economic model is one thing, but he’s right in that the Church increasingly reflects models used by secular society. Mega churches equate to multinational conglomerates, focus on youth (to the extent that anyone over the age of 21 is pretty much ignored) reflects how professional sports builds for the future while music in church is nothing more than a concert with a Christian gloss.

The article sadly smacks of much of modern evangelical comment on matters in the secular world. It misses the point. NEXT.





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The Reverend Disaffected

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