I don’t know if the term “Christian Communism” has ever been used before, and if it has, I would recognize that for sure. However, even though I have never heard it before, I’m realizing that I’m seeing it and have been for a while now. As churches are becoming more and more conformed to the world, as they are run like businesses, they at some point have to realize that they need to generate revenue to pay for the salaries, programs, and in a sense, sub-cultures that they create. As communism puts a gun to the head of its people and demands that they work to provide for the system, so does the modern day church that is run like a business. They need people to work for the system. However, there is no gun, there is just shame, guilt, and manipulation…..which a lot of times can be way more effective than a gun.
From what I understand, forcing another to conform is not freedom. Freedom is when you allow another person to be who they are, love them where they are at and be apart of their lives as God is working in them. If we ever have that feeling deep inside us, if we are honest with ourselves, that you want to change another person so we can take the credit, think highly of ourselves, or even because we think we know better….then we are not loving another person at all. Pure love that Christ displayed is other-centered and completely about the well being of that other person.
However, churches need to survive and the only way to survive is to keep the revenue coming in. And revenue only comes from those that commit to the the church building. And the best way to keep people coming in in a consumerist culture is to be successful to the worlds eyes. And as Jesus told us not to conform to the world, this is where the two worlds collide. More and more followers of Christ are waking up to the way the churches, especially in the US, are operating…..Like a worldly business! And as people see this, they are fading back and thinking that these churches are not what is best for their lives. They want Christ but they are getting religion! So the natural thing for these religious leaders to do is to….SQUUEEEEZZZZE the people. And this is where the idea of Christian Communism comes in. It is forced on you in everything from what you have to believe to be a member to who you are coerced into voting for on election day. You sign that member card and the next step is to conform. And if conformity does not make itself apparent, then we have problems. There is no gun pointed to your head, but there is shame, guilt and fear through manipulation. The idea that you may have smaller rewards in heaven if you don’t conform. Or maybe God will stick you in a smaller mansion than the ones who are faithful to the religious organization. FEAR, FEAR, FEAR. “If you don’t work here, then you are rebelling against God”. Sound familiar to anyone? Or, “faith without works is dead, so work here if you want to validate you faith”. Scary stuff!! You know what I’m talking about.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could live in freedom? To be moved by God as to where and what we do. Wouldn’t it be nice if the clutches of Christian Communism disappeared? God loves us each in an individual way that is tailored, by Him, to fit us uniquely and compassionately. So why would we ever think that others need to be just like ourselves? We do not need religious leaders that manipulate people into their vision (read this cartoon). We do not need to be squeezed into conformity to keep a church alive. All we need to do is walk everyday in belief that God loves us through His Son and then translate that love on to those around us. Letting go of religion is tough but I believe it is a necessity. If you see the squeeze through shame and guilt…then you can see the spiritual gun being pointed at the heads of those in your congregations. At that point, the only thing that the religious leaders care about, is the survival of their business. How else can they make a name for themselves? It is time to come out of it….