Christians who get warm, fuzzy feelings about Collectivism (includes various flavors of Marxism and Critical Thinking) seem to start with genuine concern for the poor, or seemingly disenfranchised races, but then they filter the New Testament through a very skewed understanding of both the Bible and the philosophy of Karl Marx. There is a notion in some Christian thinking that the New Testament supports Collectivism. This thought is inept for a number of reasons. It shows a fundamentally flawed biblical theology of poverty and care for the poor, conflates the Gospel with socioeconomic concerns, ignores overt anti-collectivist statements by Jesus, and misrepresents communist theory.
Let’s start in the Old Testament. It makes certain elements of any discussion of socialist theory very clear. Several biblical figures of high spiritual character have considerable wealth. The most obvious example is Abraham. How about this – Two of the Ten Commandments presuppose private property and criminalize its theft (Ex 20: 15; Deut 5: 21). We even see that wealth is the fruit of labor (Prov 10: 4; 13: 4).
The Biblical world knew poverty all too well. The Old Testament has a wide range of words and terms for poverty but what do they indicate about the poor? Poverty had various causes in the Bible. The most common were warfare, famine, drought, laziness, and being victimized by the unscrupulous. On the other hand, does the Bible tell us that being wealthy is unjust, automatically leads to injustice, or necessarily causes injustice? Anyone spending some serious time in the Bible discovers the answer is, NO. Wealth is not an inherent evil according to biblical theology. What God hates isn’t wealth – it’s the abuse of the poor by those who extort them, manipulate them, or withhold legal justice from them (Isa 3:14 – 15; 32: 7; Amos 2: 6 – 7; 5: 12; Jer 5: 28).
The laws that protected the poor in Ancient Israel are addressed to the individual, the clan, the local highly organic unit of social organization. These laws are religious commandments, rather than state policy. They are obligations established by God and owed directly to the poor; not to the government as some sort of mediator between rich and poor. The biblical call to care for the poor is not one that calls for that care to come from the authority of a state with coercive power. It is a call to individuals who seek to please God. In Jesus’ words, there will always be poor (John 12: 8) – and unequal economic classes – but God does not disdain the poor. Instead, he is displeased when they are oppressed by the wealthy (e.g. Deut 24: 14; Prov 14: 31; Zech 7: 10; James 2: 6).
Before we permit the pressing of presentism based cultural thought on Christianity, through a collectivist lens, we need to go to the start of collectivism. In our modern day, Vasily Grossman was a Jewish Russian journalist who reported on World War II, Nazi horrors, and Stalinist tyranny. He noted the fascinating common use of math and statistics by Nazis and Stalinists in their tyrannies. Nazis and Stalinists did not build Towers of Babel, but they did build Concentration camps and Gulags. For the Nazis, they identified the most threatening perceived races and put them in Concentration camps. The Stalinists focused on class, letting the proletariat starve as they shoved middle class and higher in the Gulags. Rank and file in both types of collectives became Bricks and Mortar.
In other words, Collectivists quickly begin eating their own as they invade first, their own nations. At the Tower of Babel, God hammered the first bricks and mortar, in Nimrud’s race based collective, with a language problem. He was not hammering evil so much as he was freeing humanity from Nimrud’s collectivist tyranny of making bricks and mortar. This was about liberty that crushes the brick molds and sets aside materialism. It would be this liberty that our WOKE God used to protect and proclaim the Scarlet Thread from Genesis to Revelation.
With a little research, Christians should see that Socialist Marxism is not an accurate filtering of the Bible. It is an interesting paganism that fills high school and college classrooms and is a synchronization of science, philosophy, and economics that is atheistic. Marx wrote, “Chaos will bring the design and change of the Prime Mover.” The first Collective began in Genesis 11… Demonstrating Collectivist thought is as old as the Tower of Babel and Nimrod, the first prime mover.
As tragically interesting as that is, Cultural Marxism, and its dialectic cousin, Critical Thinking, are sort of the ‘evolved’ modern version of paganism that strives to replace God with an atheistic world view in which Science is their God, Scientists are their priests, and they must emotively express their beliefs with far more ‘faith’ in the flawed theories of men than it takes to believe the Bible. In that blender, too many Christians try to mix Marxist paganism with biblical theology.
Economics and history classes today teach that there are several main principles of collectivist societies, including: economic equality, public ownership, cooperation, collective-interest, economic equality, and government regulation. These principles emerged throughout the 19th and 20th centuries in response to the development of capitalism. As such, most historians view the advent of collectivism as an attempt by some societies to correct issues related to ideologies on the right-side of the economic spectrum. Ideologies based on collectivist values include: Communism, Marxism, and Socialism. Economists consider these societies to be examples of a mixed economy, welfare state or modern liberalism. They deliberately leave out National Socialism, to ensure their mantra floats in a ‘nice’ toilet bowl. Anyone who’s read the Communist Manifesto (Marx and Engels in 1848) knows that Christians guilty of filtering the Bible through Marxism have a very skewed understanding of both the Bible and Marxism. Another reality is that Marx and Engels were fiercely anti-semitic. In other words, racists.
That seems astonishing on the surface but let’s look at the effects of collectivism recent history. The first successful Marxist revolution in the 20th century happened in Mexico in the 1910s. The next big one was Russia in 1917. Then we have Germany hurtling into the Collectivist flavor called Fascism when Hitler came to power in the 1930s. After World War II, the West opposed Collectivism until the Iron Curtain came down in 1991. The reality is that Collectivist societies begin with a romantic notion of liberty, equality, brotherhood, and peace, but in the first half of the 20th century, murdered, incinerated, executed, and slaughtered 100 Million people. The concepts of Nazi Concentration Camps (for races) and Soviet Gulags (for classes) are more deeply linked with attempts at collectivism than any other ideology. The key is that these ideas are as old as the pre-flood world and rose to prominence after the flood in the Tower of Babel episode.
From the French Revolution to the fall of the Iron Curtain and even the Maidan Square massacre in 2014, collectivism quickly begins to eat their own. At the Tower of Babel and in Nazi Germany, Collectivists focused their violent ideological execution of their agendas on race. The French Revolution and Russian Revolution focused on class. Another irony in the midst of COVID-19 and Cultural Marxism, or Critical Race thinking, accompanied by rioting in the streets, is that we are seeing ideological agendas in our country targeting both race and class. History informs me that one of them will win by killing the other. The winner will put the losers in Concentration camps or Gulags with the race or class they targeted to achieve collectivist power. History also informs me that to keep that power, there will be no liberty or equality.
The Bible does not endorse Collectivism / Marxism. It does not endorse a lot of what we see in capitalism, today, either. Scripture is clear that wealth is not for hoarding or cultivating an aura of superiority. God wants wealth used to bless people. In biblical theology, care for others is a personal spiritual duty, not something to be handed off to a secular authority. But that is basically what we do. We presume the state will act as the church should – as we should. That theology is just as bad as pretending the Bible teaches Collectivism.
 Heiser, Michael, The Naked Bible, https://drmsh.com/category/biblical-theology-doctrine/social-justice/
 Gen 24: 34-35
 Heiser, The Bible Unfiltered, pg 40.
 Popoff, Alexandra, Vasily Grossman, Yale University Press, 2019, pg 3