A missionary said one time that the Devil never laughs so heartily as when he can get Christians fighting on the wrong front, for then he has the main field to himself. You could hardly find a better description of what has been happening to Christianity in its struggle with Communism. We have been fighting too many secondary battles and we have too often lost sight of the main conflict. I believe that Communism is not primarily economics or politics, but religion. I believe that a false religion can be overthrown only by true religion. I believe that in this contemporary struggle—the most serious we have faced in a thousand years—we shall win or lose according to the strength or weakness of our Christian faith.
If the struggle is merely political, then we may expect the State Department to save us. If it is economic, we may trust the National Association of Manufacturers to lead us. If it is military, then the Pentagon will give the orders. But if it is essentially a spiritual and moral conflict, then the Christian church must be held responsible for the outcome.
In Russia, I observed so many signs of a rival religion that it was frightening. The State becomes God, and the secular rites take the place of the holy sacraments. A materialistic, earthly paradise is substituted for the kingdom of God, and individualism is original sin. There is zeal, loyalty bordering on the fanatical, and a sense of purpose and unity. I can still hear a young guide saying earnestly to me, “If my English were better and I had more time, I could convince you that the future is ours.” And that future is to be a materialistic paradise.
I am not too worried about Communism as a political system, although it has won some notable victories. But I believe ...1
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