Communist Eschatology: A Christian Philosophical Analysis of the Post-Capitalistic Views of Marx, Engels and Lenin – Part 3

So the Christian continues to work, even after his conversion to Christ. For in the Great Commission, Christ has enjoined the Christian to do "all things" (including labor) to the glory of God (Matt. 28:19; cf. I Cor. 10:31). So "man goes forth unto his work and to his labor until the evening."'86 The true Christian labors, sleeps, and rises, night and day137 in a decent and orderly fashion,'38 always abounding in his many-sided work for the Lord, knowing that this labor in the Lord is never in vain,139 never growing weary of doing good, working with quietness, eating his own (not the commune's!) bread, chastising busybodies and "won't works," and (contrary to socialism!) refusing to feed all (able-bodied) persons who refuse to work,'40 and persuading each to utilize to the full his own God-given gift(s) to the glory of God and for the true benefit of man,141 until even the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor int&the service of the kingdom of God.142

For the Christian not only works six days and rests on the seventh day from his labors, as God did from His. He also labors to enter into that very rest of the Triune God, the rest that remains for the people of God,'43 knowing that those who die in the Lord will thereby rest from their earthly labors, which, however, having everlasting value, will follow them into glory,144 where they will serve God night and day without ceasing in heaven,145 and for ever thereafter on the new earth,146 where each will be rewarded according to his own works,147 and not irrespective of his own works, as in esehatological "communism" a Ia Karl Marx! 148

So then, the Christian esehatology of labor is diametrically opposed to the communist view. Communist esehatology would socialize labor,149 but Christianity would promote it especially on the basis of individual accountability.'491 Communist esehatology would abolish the division of labor,150 but Christianity (though subject to its progressive amelioratory tendency) would preserve  it.150a Communist esehatology would subject labor to centralistic state control,151 but Christianity would especially entrust it to private control1511 and at the local level.'52 Communist eschatology would achieve unpaid labor,1521 but Christianity teaches that the laborer is worthy of his hire.153 Communist esehatology sees no need for the weekly sabbath as an end to labor,'54 but Christianity regards the weekly sabbath as an indispensable complement thereto and a sign of its godly nature.'55 In communist esehatology, it is society that seeks to determine the extent of the reasonable needs of the workers;156 but in Christianity, this is determined by God'57 operating through advancement opportunities157~ in a free society with a free labor market.158

Such are the Christian views of labor, and the true Christian will invariably seek to promote them and eschatologically expand thcir application.'59

7. Summary

In this critique of the Marxist doctrine of labor, we first admitted that Marx and Engels and Lenin had largely mutually consistent views on this matter, and then we gave them full credit for having discovered certain true states of affairs, such as: the vital importance, premeditated character, socio-economic implications, and especially the essentially human nature of labor; the importance of tools in the labor process; the fact of friction in labor relations; and the universal desire to improve labor relationships by extensive electrificatiop and automation in industry and by trying to make labor joyful and interesting and balanced.

Secondly, however, we had to draw attention to certain theoretical contradictions in the communist doctrine of labor, such as: the tension between the social and the individual character of labor; the essentially "voluntary" nature of subbotnik labor, or not; the justifiability of the use of competitive labor, or not; the value and role of the intelligentsia in communist labor; and the relationship between local and national labor organizations.

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