Richard Wurmbrand , Marx and Satan, (Bartlesville OK , Living Sacrifice Book Company), 143 pgs.
Was Karl Marx a Satanist? And I don’t mean, was he merely evil or acquainted with the devil? Was he a member of the very secretive Church of Satan? This is the question Wurmbrand seeks to answer in his little known, but very important, book, Marx and Satan. Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned by the communist regime in Romania and tortured for his faith, lays out his case that Marx may have been a practicing Satanist.
Wurmbrand is aware that his case is circumstantial, and that it will not be convincing to very many readers. He even states near the end of his work, “I do not claim to have provided indisputable proof that Marx was a member of a sect of devil-worshipers, but I believe that there are sufficient leads to imply this strongly” (pg. 113). I agree that this is the correct stance to take when trying to tie together biographical and historical information to prove the claim that Marx was a Satanist.
What Wurmbrand does succeed in doing (and which is the direct aim of his book) is uncovering the demonism in both the ideology and the individual. Marx, who was raised in a Christian home, had some kind of radical change in his teenage years, from then on was both fascinated by and driven by the evils of the actual, real devil. Marx himself made no bones about it. Marx was fascinated by Satan, invoked Satan, and wished to emulate Satan. In one early poem he dreamt of ruling the world created by God:
Then I will be able to walk triumphantly,
Like a god, through the ruins of their kingdom.
Every word of mine is fire and action.
My breast is equal to that of the Creator. (pg. 13)
And again, later in life:
Thy breath, O Satan, my verses inspires,
When from my bosom the gods I defy.
Of kings pontifical, of kings inhuman:
Thine is the lightning that sets minds
O soul that wanderest far from the straight way,
Satan is merciful. See Helosia! (pg. 45)
Like the dark angel he loved, Marx was more interested in destroying the order created by God and the Christian church. Though a lot of Christians have tried to combine Marx’s philosophy with Christianity through the years, believing it to be the best path toward justice, Marx and his collaborators were clear: their philosophy was intended to destroy everything the Christian stood for.
Wurmbrand makes an important distinction that very few see. Marx was not technically an atheist. He believed that God existed; he simply hated him. Marx hated God and deified Satan. His desire to tear down Christian civilization was not due to a belief that God does not exist, but rather that Marx believed he was tasked with destroying him.
One of the strengths of the book is the amount of evidence that nearly every other biographer and author ignores which points in the direction of the God-hating demonism of Marx and his ideas. Marx often blasphemed and altered Scripture, placing him and his ideas at the center instead of Christ and the gospel. At the beginning of his book, The Holy Family, Marx writes:
Criticism [Marx’s brand of tearing down civilization, and the idea that gives life to modern Critical Theory] so loved the masses that is sent is only-begotten son [Marx], that whosoever believes in him should not perish by have a life of criticism. Criticism became masses and lived among us… (pg. 81)
And it goes on. All of it is a perversion of portions of John’s Gospel and Paul’s letter to the Philippians. As Wurmbrand concludes, “Marxism is a church. It has all the characteristics of a church. Yet, its god is not named in its popular literature. But, as seen by the proofs given in this book, Satan is obviously its god.” (pg. 81)
Marxism is alive and well today. While the original forms of Marx’s criticisms have been pushed to the side (the economic materialism of his criticism), a cultural form has taken its place. The fundamental structure of his critiques of existing society remain, but the force of the revolution is focused primarily on cultural institutions. And so, the temptation for Christians to try and be both a follower of Christ and Marx remains strong. But, according to both Marx (and Engels, Lenin, Mao, Stalin, et. all) and his writings, this is impossible. In fact, many do not know that the Catholic church, in 1949, declared that Catholics that remained Communists would be excommunicated from the Church.
Instead of lionizing the man, Christian leaders should treat Marx for what he and his ideas are – demonic.Tweet
I read this book (graciously sent to me by a friend) in part because I am deeply concerned with the spread of Marxist ideas in our culture, but especially in the Christian church.[i] Too many Christian leaders have simply swallowed neo-Marxist and cultural-Marxist ideas without any criticism or theological reflection at all. In fact, they end up critiquing their Christian theology through Marxist lenses instead of doing the opposite. It is a path that leads to nothing but destruction – actual, literal, hungry, and bloody destruction. No Christian can have any part with Marx’s ideas.
The Christian has access to a much deeper well of wisdom when it comes to economics, justice, racism, environmentalism, and so forth. Instead of lionizing the man, Christian leaders should treat Marx for what he and his ideas are – demonic.
[i] Many Christians who are cozy with Marx will mock this statement. But the first rule of being a Marxist is not unlike the first rule of Fight Club: “The first rule of being a Marxist is to deny that you or anyone else is a Marxist.”