Jay Rogers
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The Forerunner

Why Has the Appeal of Communism Endured for So Many?

By Editorial Staff
Published April 5, 2008

by Patrick J. Buchanan

The year just ended, 1987, marred the 70th anniversary of the coming to power of Lenin’s party. In the remarkable seven decades since the storming of the Winter Palace, that party has compiled a catalogue of crimes unique in human history.

A partial rendering would include the murder of the czar’s family; destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church; the forgotten holocaust in the Ukraine; the forced famine of the ’30s; Stalin’s purges; the Hitler-Stalin pact; the rape of the Baltic states; the unprovoked attack on Finland; the Katyn massacre of the Polish officers; the deceptions of Yalta; the crushing of the Hungarian Freedom Fighters and the Prague Spring; the Gulag Archipelago; and the war of genocide against the Afghan people now entering its ninth year.

And, after all this terror, what has Marxist economics produced? From China to Cuba, from Ethiopia to Vietnam, one bankrupt state after another. And, for those same decades, Moscow has persecuted Russia’s greatest men of letters, like Solzhenitsyn, and Pastsernak, and driven her greatest artists, like Nureyev and Baryshnikov, into exile.

Despite this abominable history, however, communism retains a certain magnetism in the West. In elite American universities, some professors still proudly call themselves Marxist. From their pulpits, Christian clergymen decry any U.S. effort to remove Communist regimes in Grenada, Nicaragua and Angola. In Europe, writers and intellectuals generally believe Gorbachev’s regime is a greater friend of peace than the United States.

How do we explain this continuing suspension of disbelief, despite the manifest crimes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Col. Mengistu and Pol Pot?

The answer, I think does not lie in a lack of knowledge about the Communist record, but, rather, in the presence of a form of religious belief.

The “Political Pilgrims” of whom Paul Hollander writes, those “useful idiots” who go abroad to Communist lands and come home singing the praises of the Brave New World, from Lincoln Steffens to Jane Fonda, do not see the misery, tyranny and moral squalor – because that is not what they went to see.

Their sudden new “faith in the atrocious systems they have just seen firsthand fills an emptiness in the soul caused by the loss of faith in the animating ideas and ideals of their own civilization. Their enthusiasm is that of the convert, because, in their hearts, they have been converted. They have, in a real sense, changed sides.

Nor should this be unexpected in our age of disbelief. Lost souls do not stay lost; they find a new faith. Ideology often fills the void left by a dying religious belief.

Communism is, in the last analysis, a Christian heresy, and it has the magnetism of a heresy. Where Christianity teaches that we are all children of God, with God-given human rights, destined for a heavenly kingdom, communism teaches there is no God, that life begins and ends here, that the Communist state is man’s teacher and guide, that building paradise is the business of this world.

To those in the West who have lost faith in Judeo-Christian values, traditions and beliefs and, indeed, have come to despise their Western heritage, Communists, no matter how brutal in practice, will always have the appeal of men of action who do more than talk; thus, the party will never lack for secret admirers and self-appointed public defenders in the West.

Indeed, the alienated son who hates his father and finds happiness in his father’s economic ruin is not different in attitude from the Americans who exulted in the final victories of the North Vietnamese Communists over the allies of their own country.

Seven years after his assassination, Somoza remains a reviled figure, though his crimes against the Nicaraguan people do not remotely approach the scale or scope of those committed by the decadent Sandinistas, whose survival seems the constant concern of the American Left. Why ? Because Somoza was on our side; and the Sandinistas, most emphatically, are not.

And it is, I am persuaded, not some deep-seated love of the downtrodden Xhosa or Zulu that has caused America’s press and clergy to insist upon the most severe of sanctions upon South Africa. (After all, Ndebele, Hutu, Tutsi, Ibo and countless tribal peoples have been massacred in far greater numbers in modern Africa, without a peep of protest from these same sources.)

The spirit driving the anti-apartheid coalition worldwide is not love at all; it is hatred, and not just hatred of apartheid, but hatred of the Boer, hatred of Botha, his party and people, hatred of the 19th century idea they embody – the idea that the Christian West, because of the superiority of its values and the civilization those values produced, has an inherent right to rule over other peoples.

Oddly, today, it is the Soviets who have taken up Kipling’s “white man’s burden,” who openly proclaim their inherent right to rule mankind, based upon their correct reading of history, and their party’s predestined role in that history. Meanwhile, we Westerners have taken to preaching such 20th century notions as non-intervention and the equality of all states and “making the world safe for diversity,” in JFK’s phrase, even though that diversity, as often as not, includes a Fidel Castro as well as an Idi Amin.

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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