The latest issue of the CHALCEDON REPORT contains an article by R.J. Rushdoony, THE POLITICAL MYTH.
In a review written in 1954, historian A.J.P. Taylor, not himself a Christian, said of socialism that it assumed the perfectibility of man by man, and "an indefinite expansion of productivity." However, "Once admit that human wickedness and natural hardship are inevitable, and Socialism would have no sense" (A.H.P. Taylor: Politicians, Socialism and Historians, p. 16. New York, N.Y.: Stein & Day, 1982).
Given the Augustininian-Calvinist (Biblical) doctrine of man, it follows that socialism cannot work; man cannot remake man. The supernatural regenerating grace of God is required. (CHALCEDON REPORT, July, 1990. P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, CA 95251)
This brings up an extremely interesting point which, I am sure, will raise a spirit of resistance in the human heart. The Scriptures teach beyond any question, that man is totally depraved, Psalms 14, 53; Romans 3:10-18. (As someone said, "All means all and that is all it means.") Clearly the position that none have any ability to seek after God in any way, is presented.
The opposite view holds that man has within himself a spark of good, which enables him to seek after God and even make a decision for the Lord, apart from the drawing conviction of the Spirit of God.
The contrast is evident. On one hand is the belief that no man has within himself the capability to seek after God, and that God must seek the sinner. On the other is the belief that man does in some way have the ability to seek after God.
This belief that man is capable of choosing God is the same basic faith required in Socialism. Both are centered in the faith that man can chose his own salvation, whether that salvation is through laws (statist programs), or through Christ. In both cases, the choice is man's.
The obvious conclusion is that as the Augustininian-Calvinistic faith has been set aside, for the belief that man can make his own proper choice, Socialism has grown into the monster it is today.
Christianity appears to be under the delusion that what is believed and practiced inside the church and by the individual, has no effect on society. Hosea chapter four is clear. What is in the hearts of God's people will be reflected in the heart of the leaders. God promises to reward His people for their doings, and Hosea says that the reward will come through their leaders.
Thus when the people of God lose sight of the fact that it is all of God, and start believing that they have within their own power to seek after God, the natural result will be just what we see today, the rise of Socialism. God's people cannot point a accusing finger at the Socialists and condemn them for having the same faith that they do. Both have faith in an inborn divine spark of good which allows man to follow that which is right.
As total dependance on the sovereign grace of God is laid aside for a hope in what man is able to do, then the sovereignty of man replaces the sovereignty of God in every area. (By sovereignty of God, we do not mean sitting back and letting whatever will be take place. We mean hard labor, sacrifice and prayer to obey our Lord's commands [Jn.15:15; Ex.20:6], and leaving the results in His hands.)
How can we condemn the world's crowd for believing that they can save themselves through their socialist programs when the vast majority of Christians believe the same thing? The only difference is the means of salvation.
This doctrine of total depravity has been the historical doctrine of the Biblical faith, including the Baptist. (See the introduction page of vol. 38 of the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications. Also C.H.S's comments in his sermon ELECTION, and The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. Both available from Gospel Mission, Box M, Choteau, MT 59422Ibid.)
We must admit that this doctrine of total depravity is hated by the human spirit. The natural man refuses to admit that he cannot and does not control his own destiny. But if this total depravity is not accepted, then we must say that the Socialists are correct in their faith that man can make an intelligent decision apart from the working of the Spirit of God, working according to the word of God.
We cannot have one without the other. We cannot expect sinful man to admit that he cannot guide and control his own future through Socialist programs, when the vast majority of God's people will not admit that they cannot control their future. If history is not an act of a Sovereign God, then the Socialists are right.
Again, the Scriptures are clear, history is the action of a Sovereign God without any help or advise from His creation, Romans 9:11-24; 11:34,35; Isaiah 40:13, 14. The only control of the future that has been given to man is the obedience to His word, then the results come to pass according to His promises. See Deuteronomy chapters 28-32.
Socialism has the faith that man has a spark of good, enabling him to chose good and control his own future for good. As the Biblical doctrine of total depravity is abandoned, we can most assuredly expect Socialism to fill the void.