Labor Unions, Karl Marx, Jesus, and You
by Pastor Cary Gordon
A few years ago, a woman in my congregation (who was facing pressure to join a local labor union, even though she did not want to join), wrote me and asked me to confirm whether or not she was correct to feel uncomfortable with union membership. I responded as follows:
Thank you for your question. I will do my best to answer so you can make a Biblically sound decision.
Do unions do good things in communities? Sure they do. Have unions accomplished good things throughout American history? Sure they have. Do these facts make unions Biblical, or in any way harmonious with the doctrines of Jesus Christ recorded in the Bible? Not so fast.
Large charitable foundations raise millions of dollars to help needy children annually. Is that a good end? Yes it is! Does an end justify the means? No it does not. Do those organizations honor Jesus Christ and His teachings by showing obedience to the principles He clearly taught on the proper, God-honoring way to do charitable donations? Absolutely NOT! Here’s why:
Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT): 1“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
Nearly every secular organization I’m aware of, routinely violates this principle of charitable contributions in American culture. Local TV stations and businesses publicly brag on themselves for donating turkeys to the food pantries almost every November. But, as representatives of Jesus Christ, and ambassadors of His Kingdom, and His lordship, the church has a duty to preach against disobedient public vanity, regardless of its popularity in our culture today. Everyone knows churches and pastors who preach Jesus’ doctrine aren’t against helping needy children, (and it would be silly to accuse the Christian church of being so), simply because we uphold Jesus’ teachings on the proper way to give to the poor! It would be evasive for one to make long lists of the “good works” such organizations accomplish as proof that their organizations are in agreement with Jesus Christ.
Along similar lines, I once saw a documentary on a fellow who gave to the poor with shockingly lavish generosity to residents in his own hometown. During the television interviews citizens told tearful tales of how he righted so many wrongs, helped orphaned and sick children, and many other wonderful, heartwarming things. Sadly, when the FBI finally caught him, the beneficiaries of his “generosity” discovered he had made his millions through violent work in a Columbian drug cartel. I digress… It would be evasive for one to make long lists of the “good works” he did in an argument attempting to prove his “business” was in agreement with the commands of Jesus Christ.
Similarly, labor unions have done many nice things over the years, and continue to do good and kind acts of service, settling arguments, raising money for charities, reminding business owners of safe work environment issues, and the list goes on and on, but those good acts do not in any way prove they are in agreement with the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
When we go to His teachings, we find just the opposite. This doesn’t mean we’re against the good things unions have accomplished in the world, any more than we’re against giving “coats for kids,” but we have an obligation, as Christians, to correct their violation of God’s law. Let’s begin with the teaching of Jesus Christ that lies at the root of the question of whether or not obedient Christians can join and participate in labor unions:
Matthew 20:1-15: (MSG) 1 "God's kingdom is like an estate manager who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 They agreed on a wage of a dollar a day, and went to work. 3 Later, about nine o'clock, the manager saw some other men hanging around the town square unemployed. 4 He told them to go to work in his vineyard and he would pay them a fair wage. 5 They went. He did the same thing at noon, and again at three o'clock. 6 At five o'clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, 'Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’ 7 They said, 'Because no one hired us.' He told them to go to work in his vineyard. 8 When the day's work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, 'Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.' 9 Those hired at five o'clock came up and were each given a dollar. 10 When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. 11 Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, 12 'These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.' 13 He replied to the one speaking for the rest, 'Friend, I haven't been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn't we? 14 So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. 15 Can't I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?'”
Now that we’ve addressed Jesus’ teaching that so plainly and clearly forbids the entire rationale of the existence of modern labor unions, (arguing with one’s employer about the alleged “fairness” of one’s pay, because one is envious of others who are paid more, or treated better than oneself, instead of being thankful for one’s own job and happy for others who are treated more generously), let’s look at the ideological history of the concept. Where did unions come from?
Historically, the concept of the union came from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Both men considered “Fathers of the Communist movement” and authors of the Communist Manifesto published in 1848. Vladimir Lenin, the evil dictator of communist Russia who murdered untold thousands of people, (simply because they were Christians), referred to communism as “socialism in a hurry.” Yes, Lenin revered much of what he learned from both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
Karl Marx created and introduced his rallying cry of “workers unite” into America, specifically, because he knew that unions would eventually destroy free-market capitalism. That was his published goal. He hated free-markets and sought to eliminate the concept of private property, upon which the entire American Revolution, and free-market capitalism was based. Marx described his hatred of the basis of our free-markets thusly:
“The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.”
He desired to transition the western world from free-market capitalism to communism, and knew that 10 things would have to happen in order to get that done. Unionism was critical to his plan. I recently published a three-part column that explains the “10-planks of the Communist Manifesto” and you can read them as follows:
For even deeper study, you can also read my treatise on capitalism v. socialism by clicking here: http://www.peacemakersinstitute.com/institute/issues/capitalism.php
Marx knew that he could manipulate the naiveté of what he and Lenin had implied to be a simple-minded working class who could be tricked into destroying their own national prosperity produced by capitalism, if taught to focus their envy against the very persons responsible for giving them a job in the first place. For example, Marx wrote,
“Private property has made us so stupid and one-sided that an object is only ours when we have it.”
History gives Marx the title “Father of the Labor Unions,” because his rallying cry that gave birth to their existence was published as follows:
“Let the ruling classes [business owners] tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians [working-class employees] have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!”
From the Biblical perspective, nearly every single parable that Christ taught about money shows that “greed-free capitalism” is the economic model through which God has chosen to prosper His people. Heaven itself will have those who are called “the greatest” and “the least” based upon moral performance and righteous rewards. Socialism seeks to create a world where everyone is “equal.” America’s founders believed every citizen was “equal before the rule of law,” but never espoused that every human behaved equally, and deserved equal rewards. That is a violation of natural law. Such thinking is unjust, because everyone doesn’t “behave equally,” and to take from one and give to another who hasn’t earned such a reward foments a system that will inevitably be destroyed by laziness. What incentive is there for one man to work harder than another, when both will get the same reward?
Socialism is opposed to EVERY FABRIC of Biblical law, and only ignorant men (or just rebels against Biblical authority) can read Christ’s teachings and stubbornly support unionism. In short, it (unionism) is fundamentally ungodly and unchristian because it is built upon the wicked foundation of envy, lust, and the philosophical path of least resistance. Let’s face it, it was the brain-child of an avowed atheist who saw Christianity as a disease of humanity. Marx wrote,
“The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.”
In another place, Marx wrote,
“Die Religion...ist das Opium des Volkes!”
Marx was a child of Satan, who had inspiration from deep within his spirit. It wasn’t the Holy Spirit, either. The irony, of course, is that Marx clearly understood that Jesus’ teaching and His own atheistic views of economics were entirely incompatible. So much so, that in order to finally achieve his loftiest goals of converting the world into a socialist utopia, Christian religion had to be destroyed. Why can’t modern union advocates who attend church, claim to love Jesus, and claim to submit to and obey His teachings, understand that on this particular point…Marx was absolutely correct? Christianity and the tools of Marxist economic transition, like unionism, are philosophically incompatible and contradictory.
I don’t know what you can do in order to help your friends understand the destructive and failed ideas of unionism. It was created by a brilliant man with an evil agenda, and frankly, I’m not convinced the common “worker-bee” is smart enough to comprehend that they have been manipulated by Marx’s global plan to ruin the very economic system that made America strong and powerful. I would pray for them, perhaps recommend that they get educated on the issue by reading a book published back in 1987 called Marx and Engels on the Trade Unions by Kenneth Lapides. (You can read the digital preview version for free by clicking the hyperlink.) Mr. Lapides proves that Marx and Engels deliberately and thoroughly created labor unionism.
Perhaps you could ask some very simple questions like: Do you think communism is evil? When they say “Yes, because it takes away freedom and puts people in bondage!” you could point out that Karl Marx is considered the “father of communism,” and he created the concept of unionism for the SOLE PURPOSE of ruining the free-market capitalist system… the very one that made America blessed and powerful.
When they say they don’t believe you, tell them to look it up in any encyclopedia, on any shelf, in any library, and see if you’re wrong. It’s a matter of public record. Or refer them to the book linked for you above. If that isn’t good enough and they understand the German language, they can read what Karl Marx published (nineteen years after he gave birth to communism) in his later work of 1867 entitled: “Das Kapital: Kritik der politischen Ökonomie.” (English: “The Capital: Criticism of the Political Economy”)
Yes, for two Biblically sound reasons, I dislike and reject unions ideologically. 1) They exist today, based upon a premise Jesus Christ clearly and plainly rebuked as sinful. 2) Their origins, according to history, are anti-Christian and atheistic in nature.
I understand that most people who belong to unions are otherwise very kind and warm-hearted folks but they are often innocently ignorant of the things I’ve covered in this letter. They are often also carefully trained by their union masters to regurgitate pro-union propaganda which always takes the form of many of the legitimately good things they have accomplished throughout history (like frustrating the evil practice of child labor). They almost never understand their virtue is being used against them. How much plainer could I be than to say it this way: The solution to ending “capitalist greed” is not a union-brewed, worker-based “socialist envy!”
Fire, too, does wonderful and beneficial things. It warms our parlors on cold winter days, eliminates our trash, provides light in the darkness of a remote campsite, and cooks our very best tasting BBQ ribs. But beware of any strange fire passed to you on a torch that originated in the lake of fire.
I pray this information helps you. God Bless!