Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.
One hundred and three years ago Russia was engulfed in riots and protests. Tsar Nicholas II abdicated from the throne, ending a thousand-year monarchy. The army was war-weary after two unsuccessful wars, the people were hungry, the workers were striking, and the church remained silent. If you have ever wondered how a small group of Bolsheviks (Communists) took over the Russian Empire.
Russian Orthodox Church had tremendous influence over people. Who knows what would have happened if it spoke out publicly against Communism? Was the church fragmented and lacking unified opinion on the unfolding events? Did the church hope to make alliance with the new regime? Or did it buy into the social justice that Communism promised?
Communism promised Russia to eliminate inequality, transfer power from elites to the common people and wealth from the rich to the poor. Instead, it created a new ruling elite that controlled all the wealth and shared it with no one.
The silence of the church resulted in 70 years of godlessness, torn down churches, murdered and imprisoned priests and the burning of Bibles.
The silence of people over the burning of churches and Bibles resulted in the regime that forced them to worship the government instead of God and sent them to labor camps if they refused.
The Soviet pseudo-historians pronounced Jesus Christ a fictional character, and the new Russian hero and martyr was Pavlik Morozov, a 13-year old youth who informed GPU (early version of KGB) on his father which resulted in the father’s imprisonment and Pavlik’s death, supposedly at the hands of his enraged family.
I was among the last generation of high schoolers in the Soviet Union who were forced to copy Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto by hand in history class. Though young, we were old and bold enough to recognize that the doctrine we were being brainwashed with produced very rotten fruit. We rejected Communism as the farce, in silence, of course.
Just a few years later Soviet Union collapsed, and I hoped never again to be forced to read or hear about Karl Marx and his manifesto.
“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce,” said…you guessed it… Karl Marx!
Karl Marx was not a prophet. He believed in the resilient stupidity of man who refuses to remember history and learn from its mistakes. He believed that the ancient sin of envy that caused Cain to murder Able because he had something better than Cain did, will continue to fuel his idea of redistribution of wealth.
Abel was silent in the Scripture, but his blood cries out for him against Cain. The blood of the martyrs who were killed by the regime that tried to replace God is crying out for justice.
I am dumbfounded by the fact that Karl Marx has been resurrected as the hero of today, that people once again fall for the false promises of his doctrines.
My prayer is that those of us who possess the truth will not remain silent. If we fail to speak the truth, the truth will no longer be heard. If we fail to protect freedom, it will cease to exist. If we do not uphold true justice, it will not be found. If the church of today does not speak up there will be no church of tomorrow.