commentary: Mightier Than The Sword (Part Fifteen)


John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 12-Sep-15; Sermon #1285c; 10 minutes

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See whether you might identify who is the philosopher whose life we will briefly look at today. He was born in Trier, Germany in 1818, 13 years following the birth of Ralph Waldo Emerson. However, two men could hardly be different in personality. Whereas Emerson was the picture of what might consider a geek, studious in demeanor, retiring, generally quiet, hardly ever given to any outbursts of either joy or sadness. He seemed to be what we might call an intellectual “dreamer.”

Today’s subject, a German by birth, is in the words of Paul Johnson (who is arguably our times' most prominent historian), and other observers besides, was an angry, raging storm of a man, boisterous in virtually everything he did. His personal life was filled with violent, explosive arguments. He turned his back completely on his mother, produced at least one child from adultery with his house keeper, and separated from his wife a number of times.

I do not know how many children he produced but biographers report he starved three of them to death. Five of his children died prematurely, and two of his daughters who outlived him nonetheless died by suicide.

Historian Johnson said it is difficult to arrive at an exact figure but because Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot and Fidel Castro were his ideological progeny, this man is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of at least 85 and perhaps 200 million people slaughtered as fruit of his madness.

He is Karl Marx.

You might want to think about this comparison. Estimates are that that all the Roman Emperors combined over a 400 year period were responsible for the deaths of between two and eight million people.

Another item that set him off as unique from other philosophers is that despite his bloody productions, he never became an atheist. Apparently, in his deranged thinking, he needed God’s reality to be the antagonist he was constantly fighting against. In his perverted, twisted thinking it appears he perceived himself to be a sort of savior of mankind, sparing others from his perceptions of the cruelties of the Creator God.

Marx’s spiritual life is quite interesting because he appears to have begun life at a level similar to almost all German boys. In 1824, he was baptized into the Lutheran faith. He was, according to his biographers, a furious, prolific writer of poems, plays, philosophy, and political arguments. His first written work was titled, The Union of the Faithful with Christ. That work indicates that he had some understanding concerning the nature of the Christian Church and the believer’s relationship with Christ.

As a 17-year old high school student at the Trier Gymnasium, Marx wrote, “Through love of Christ we turn our hearts at the same time toward our brethren who are inwardly bound to us and for whom He gave Himself in sacrifice.”

A short time later though his writings took on horribly strange cast to them. Gross blasphemy poured onto his papers in his poetry and plays especially. Things that indicated a badly tormented heart. He stated in one of these early tormented themes that he wished, “To avenge himself against the One who rules above.” It is almost as if he was paraphrasing Isaiah 14. Rational sources confirm, though, that those words and many more similar thoughts came directly from Marx.

Marx admired Rousseau, but the things he wrote are far beyond anything Rousseau left as an examples of his mind’s darkness. The young Marx wrote the following lines in his poem titled "One in Despair”:

So a god has snatched from me my all, in the curse and rack of destiny. All his worlds are gone beyond recall. Nothing but revenge is left to me. I shall build my throne high overhead.

In that particular work, Marx fantasized about destroying the world that God had created. In another titled "Human Pride," he states, “Then I will 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.”

From that dark beginning in his early manhood, Marx’s agenda was destruction and annihilation, as if he was paralleling Apollyon and Abaddon of Revelation 9:11. In a play titled "Oulanem," he speaks the following to humanity personified:

Yet I have power within my youthful arms to clench and crush you with tempestuous force, while for us both the abyss yawns in darkness. You will sink down and I shall follow laughing whispering in your ears, ‘Descend, come with me, friend.'

I will go no further with K. Marx. His life was a disaster. A contemporary acquaintance of his left this written poetic description: “Dark fellow from Trier in fury raging, his evil fist is clenched, he roars interminably as though ten thousand devils had him by the hair.” Sounds like a nice fellow, doesn't he?

Paul Johnson states this:

He was never in a position to carry out large scale revolution, violent, or otherwise, and his pent up rage therefore passed into his books, which always have a tone of intransigence and extremism. Many passages give the impression that they have actually been written in a state of fury. In due course, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tse Tung practiced, on an enormous scale, the violence which Marx felt in his heart and which his works exude.

JWR/aws/dcg

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