There was a point in Christ’s ministry when the Jews came to him demanding a sign. He told them that if they would “destroy this temple he would raise it again in three days.” (John 2:18-23) The Jews perceived this statement to be foolish. They mocked his claim that he could single handedly rebuild in three days what took 46 years to complete using a very large workforce of laborers. Of course, they missed the point because they were not spiritually minded. A mind totally focused and consumed with earthly things cannot comprehend spiritual things.
There is a foundational principle in Christianity that non-Christians fail to comprehend. You cannot know who God is except you know his Son. Jesus proclaimed this when he said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) We can’t really know God except we first know Christ in his saving grace. It is the truth that leads men to Christ. The truth is that we are all born in sin and “if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from unrighteousness.” – (1 John 1:9)
When men turn away from scripture in their search for bad things happen. The Bible is the source of the truth that reveals to us Christ who leads us to the Father. No man can know Christ apart from the Bible. So, there is a train of logical steps that lead us into a relationship with the Almighty. First, it is the truth that sets us free and the source of that truth is the Bible. Second, the Bible introduces us to Christ, the very Son of God. Confession of our sin and belief in the power of the shed blood of Christ as a sacrifice and an offering for our own sin brings us into relationship with Jesus. Thirdly, to know Christ is to know the Father. When Jesus was asked, "Where is your father?", He replied, "If you knew me, you would know my Father also." (John 8:19)
The attempt to discover spiritual truth in any other source leads men away from rather than toward Christ. Many claim to know Christ or they attempt to know him through other means. Regardless of what Oprah Winfrey says, there is only one way to God, Jesus. He said, “I am the way, the truth the life” and there is no other way but by me. (John 14:6)
Some seek him through their own intellect. History has shown us that the most destruction despots and dictators of the past have been those who were exposed to the truth but willfully alienated themselves from that truth and dedicated their lives to lies and falsehoods. Karl Marx’s verse in The Pale Rider is chilling:
“Thus heaven I’ve forfeited
I know it full well.
My soul, once true to God,
Is chosen for hell.”
Some have attempted to bring about reform or salvation to the hearts of men by transforming society. In a sense, they lift their fist toward God and declare, ‘We can save ourselves. We don’t believe in your heaven or your hell’ and then they set about trying to prove themselves to be gods sufficient for the needs of mankind. They attempt to redistribute wealth, level the playing field for the social classes and create a utopia on earth. Karl Marx dream for society was to see the State fade away and all people join hands in harmonious bliss, sharing everything with hearts cleansed of greed simply by embracing his idea.
Karl’s father was very concerned about the direction his young son had chosen. He wrote in a letter: “Only if your heart remains pure and beats humanly and if no demon is able to alienate your heart from better feelings, only then will I be happy.” But his son resisted all authority figures including his father. Karl’s youthful rebellion and hatred for God was revealed in a poem he wrote called “The Player”:
“The hellish vapors rise and fill the brain,
Till I go mad and my heart is utterly changed.
See this sword? The prince of darkness sold it to me.
For me he beats the time and gives the signs.
Ever more boldly I play the dance of death.”
Saul Alinsky was a Jewish-American community organizer from Chicago who strongly influenced Barack Obama. Alinsky feared greatly that his parents would insist he become a Jewish Rabbi. Instead, he ran in the other direction. He is famous for his book, Rules for Radicals, an instructional guide to the rebellious generation of the 60’s instructing them how to organize a revolution whose ultimate goal would be to teach the poor working class how to take away from the wealthier upper class. His book contains an outlandish dedication to Lucifer:
“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins –or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.”
Though Alinsky might have some sort of warped admiration for Lucifer, Christ sets the record straight regarding the ‘first radical’ and those who admire him: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
One observer of the life of Karl Marx seemed to hit the nail on the head: “Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto that his aim was the abolition not only of all religions, but also of all morals, which would make everything permissible.” Isn’t this the real foundation of all rebellion against God? We want to be able to do what we want to. We don’t want to have to answer to anyone. We want to call our own shots. A final truth from God’s word: “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.