One of the blessed privileges God has providentially allowed me in Brazil is to teach about biblical principles for family life. Gospel centered families are important because they make strong churches and societies. I have been seeking more understanding about some of the central enemies of the Christian family in the Brazilian context. I have found some ideas that have been influential in the USA as well and thought I would share some of these dangerous ideas with you.
The theories of Karl Marx, the mind behind communism, are still influential in South America. For Marx, “god” was merely a concept created by man. Theology was merely the study of the ideas of man. The biblical basis for family was not important to him for it was merely an institution created by an evolutionary process. The problem with families was not sin, disobedience, and rebellion against God and His standard, but rather external forces of economic oppression. His solution was not salvation in Christ and sanctification but rather a changed progressive society which would finally end up in a utopia.
Family needed to be minimized in Marx’s view because it was a barrier to his idea of a healthy and happy society. The family idea led to private property. Private property and inheritance made room for opportunity and privilege. This unequal advantage had to be done away with. Marriage was a problem because a woman became dependent upon a man. Children made the situation worse for the woman because it caused more dependence and added burden. Furthermore, if you diminished a child’s dependence on family for life and sustenance then you could weaken the need for the family even more. Marx saw clearly that if you wanted to change society, you needed to transform family and its economic importance.
In place of the family, society would take care of all needs. The collective would take place of the “evil” private property in the forward march to the utopian society. No one would own anything. In this scenario, men would be less central. Women and children would not be dependent upon a single man. State funded institutions could, in large measure, raise children. This state sponsored education would disciple children to be good citizens for the public interest and would also liberate women from the bonds of childcare. Again, society in general would provide for everyone. The weakened family structure would also allow for more “free” sexuality. All the chains of dependence upon family would be broken. If you were not happy in a particular marriage just move on. Be happy! Maybe it would be better just to cohabitate and forego marriage all together? Traditional gender roles became softened through these ideas as well. A strong state would take the place of the family.
Marx was trying to bring change for the better according to his understanding of the world— a world without God, sin, a Savior and any external authoritative Word from above. He was wrong. God does exist. He has spoken. Families built upon the gospel can be full of love (I John 4:7-21). That is what the “Karl Marxes” of our day need to see. The Family of the true God is called to be salt and light. Sadly, however, God’s people are influenced by the subtle schemes of darkness that creep into our families often unawares. The family faces many challenges today. There is hope. “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.” We are thankful that we can do battle together with you against evil. May God strengthen your family!