I'm a believer, why do I need to bother with Cultural Marxism? The New Testament often and vigorously dealt with cultural situations and beliefs. This demonstrates a vital component of Christian discipleship and leadership. It shows that God wants His church to engage with the culture and bring relevant understanding and insight to it.
Cultural Marxism can be understood through terms such as Multiculturalism and Political Correctness. These modern terms might well have some incidental benefits. However, in truth, they were invented to conceal the radical Marxist philosophy that they ultimately promote. It began immediately after World War I, in 1919, as a response to Marxist theory which had wrongly predicted that the working class would rise up to overthrow capitalism. When war came in 1914 that did not happen, what had gone wrong?
Marxist theorists, Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukács in Hungary, came to the same answer: Western culture's strong family base and the Christian religion, both had to be destroyed for communism to be embraced. So in 1919 when Lukcás became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the shortlived Bolshevik government in Hungary, he introduced compulsory sex education into Hungary's public schools. This 'education'
involved a radical programme which included graphic literature being given to children, the promotion of promiscuity, the mocking of monogamy and Christian ethics. The aim was to destroy the West's traditional sexual morals, in this way he would be initiating a path towards the destruction of Western culture itself.
In 1923, inspired in part by Lukács, German Marxists established a 'Think Tank' at Frankfurt University called the Institute for Social Research. Important figures included: Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Wilhelm Reich, Eric Fromm and Herbert Marcuse. This Institute became known as the Frankfurt School, these were the creators of Cultural Marxism.
When Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, the Frankfurt School re-established itself in the United States. There, it shifted from destroying the Christian capitalist culture of Germany to destroying it in America. To this end 'Critical Theory' was invented. It's aim was to vehemently criticise traditional institutions such as the family unit, in order to bring them down. They produced a series entitled 'studies in prejudice,' claiming that anyone who believes in traditional Western culture is prejudiced, a racist, sexist, or fascist, and they are also mentally ill. We hear these politicised words used in a similarly unfair manner today, understanding their roots can help towards dissipating their often illegitimate power.
The Frankfurt School crossed Marx with Freud, they took from psychology the technique of psychological conditioning. Today, for example, when Cultural Marxism infiltrates society, often it employs the vehicles of television, news, films, and the media. 'Fake news' is often rooted in this philosophy.
After World War II ended, Marcuse took the works of other Frankfurt School members and repackaged them to corrupt American college students. For example, in the book 'Eros and Civilisation,' he argued for freeing sex from any restraints, to create a society that elevates pleasure over reality. He also argued for 'liberating tolerance,' which he defined as tolerance for all ideas from the political Left and intolerance for all ideas coming from the Right. With the baby boomers and the 1960's communication explosion, Marcuse's ideas gained great momentum to the point where today, Cultural Marxism in explicit and implicit forms, infects many of the current trends within Western society.
Cultural Marxism demands that we refute those beliefs and perspectives that Christian believers hold. It attempts to bully those who question the new trends into submission, it's aim is to utterly crush dissenting voices. The Holy Scripture teaches about such: 'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness' (Romans 1:18).
Cultural Marxism is akin to aspects of George Orwell's book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where Newspeak is the controlled language of the state, designed to limit freedom of thought, personality, self-expression, and free will. The ruling New Order actually criminalise those who do not bow, as being guilty of thoughtcrimes. Likewise today, believers are often attacked for holding as true, orthodox Christian concepts such as:
- Homosexual practice is totally incompatible with Biblical Christianity.
- The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only route to God.
- All sexual activity outside of marriage is fornication.
The irony is that the angry voices that demand tolerance for their views, offer no tolerance towards traditional Christian views. They demand tolerance from others yet contemptuously refuse to be tolerant or respectful themselves. Theirs is a clear step towards totalitarianism. An even deeper irony lies in the fact that the influence of Cultural Marxism has so influenced 'Christianity,' that many mainline denominations have succumbed to it's demands and sacrificed notions of Biblical truth and doctrine. In effect these denominations knowingly or unknowingly, have become 'Christian' Marxists. Many 'Christian' churches today are sadly simply not followers of the Christ of the Holy Bible. The New Testament is clear that Christian doctrine must be kept and warns against those who oppose the truth of the Gospel: 'And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:9,10-12).
When considering the influence of Cultural Marxism on this world, we could learn from the Apostle Paul. He used what was culturally relevant in his day, as a link to the Gospel he preached. In Athens, he used the statue 'To The Unknown God,' employing it in his preaching (Acts 17:23). We can do the same with a clear witness to this age: 'For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).
Be informed and encouraged, God is building His church, 'and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it' (Matthew 16:18b). Without question, neither will anything else, including Cultural Marxism.