Some folk, responding to my meming up of #NazBol (an abbreviation for the somewhat ironically assumed name of National Bolshevik) and of a certain masculine and vitalistic aspect some have dubbed #ChadBol, have come to regard that ethos of political thought with some favour. In the interest of time and space – and because others do the job better – I shall not here attempt to detail what this sort of political thought and practice entails. Instead, my interest is to offer some response to those Christians who by instinct recoil from anything that, even with some ironic distance, carries the name Bolshevik.
A natural reaction to the ungodly Bolsheviks, but the trick is to find what is good. After all, looking at Bolshevism – as we looked at sinners – we would find that its practice and even its theory was not purely evil. With any political ideology, we sift and judge according to Scripture, under God. Even in a theory so fundamentally flawed as to deny God, there is often good to be found. Sometimes, out of all recent practices and theories – when those who should be the best have forgotten or twisted the truth – this theory and its practice will even maintain a certain good the best of all.
Now humility is to hear truth from the mouths of babes and sucklings, and even from asses. If even the Bolshevik asses speak, ’tis right to hear. Unlike Balaam’s ass, of course, a Bolshevik is not an extraordinary prophet of the moment; yet he may indeed be used of God to move his people to jealousy, and to find the truth that God has in fact left with them. There are those times when we are moved to clean the house of the Lord, and we find a dusty, long-forgotten scroll whose words gleam like gold and taste sweet like honey – and so what if the cause be that a Bolshevik did something good or said something true? Let that message then be taken for a gift from God.
We remember that even the high priest Caiaphas prophesies, with evil intent, of Jesus dying for the whole nation:
Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
Such anecdotes from holy Scripture keep us humble and ready to hear God. Let us not excuse true injustices, but let us not impute crimes not committed; and, sometimes, we must even acknowledge when the wicked do righteously.
Suppose that the Chinese Communists are wicked. Yet they rightly forbade sodommarriage in Hong Kong. Was it well done? Aye, it was well that they forbade sodommarriage in Hong Kong’s British consulate. Before God at the Last Day, this justice will not acquit the Chinese Communists of their other sins, but in the event they did righteously. If we can acknowledge the righteousness of the Chinese Communists there, then also elsewhere. The point is not kneejerk opposition on every point, but truth.
Thus also, while opposing popery, I approve of some of papists’ distinctive mores. Of the papists’ opposition to contraception, I heartily approve. Opposition to contraception, indeed, ought to be the property of all. I may even go one better: ‘natural family planning’ (NFP) done in a contraceptive attitude is sinful, and some Jesuitical papists’ promotion of NFP as (virtually) Catholic contraception is wrong. So in the practice of Romanism I see something good and needing to be purified. Since popery is wicked but Romanists are Christians as well, can I not discriminate between good and evil, and can I not also do the same with the things that fall under the heading of Bolshevism?
Any truth is sanctified of God, if it be true indeed. There is no longer a place for fear: as St John says,
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
But we beseech the Lord to purify us. Habakkuk says to the Lord, Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil. The Lord answers, Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Therefore there is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. For the earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Such is the generation of them that seek him, that seek the face of the God of Jacob. They will not be confounded.