I’ve been reflecting the past few days on Karl Marx. The Communist Manifesto makes a lot of assumptions (many of them false). One of the worst assumptions is that once the people revolt against the elite, all will take care of itself. The assumption is that the people as a collect are pure.
The thing that stood out to me is that Marxism is defined as counter to the empire system. In fact, without the existence of the empire elite, you really can’t define Marxism. (I’m sure someone will find a way to disagree with that statement.) This got me thinking about Christianity. It too seems like a counter system/counter story. It emerges in the shadow of the Roman empire’s imperialism and at the inspiration of Jewish revolutionary thought. In the midst of a moral majority of Pharisees, Christianity proclaims forgiveness and acceptance (dare I say tolerance as well). In the midst of a movement declaring revolution by a violent messiah to come, Jesus comes preaching peace and reconciliation.
Also, in my own experience I find that Jesus often only makes sense with the sin story as a backdrop. Perhaps this is the reason why radical Christianity seems to really take hold of people who do not grow up in it. It is their counter-story to a different reality.
However, I do want to make another comparison to Communism. Does the Christianity of Scripture only serve as a counter-story with no real plan for society once the counter-story becomes reality. Looking at history, this definately seems to be the case. Looking at the Bible, I would doubt such a thought. Which is more true… the playing out of the teaching in real life or the idealism of the teachings itself?