How should a faithful and obedient believer view the Collectivists in society?
This is definitely a political question, but believers are not excused from participating in politics — especially in a nations that is supposed to be based upon the principles of self-governance. Therefore, any believer who is trying to faithfully understand and obey the Scriptures should give some consideration to this issue. After all, the desire for Socialism is a prevailing theme in modern Western politics, and Socialism is synonymous with collectivism. So, how should believers look at the subject of the collective and the Collectivist?
Well, if we are truly guided by Scripture, then we must look at this issue through the lens of Scripture. If we are going to do this, we might want to start by doing our best to place ourselves in the sandals of an ancient Hebrew. After all, it was from that culture that the Scriptures came, and it was to that culture that the Scriptures were written. Therefore, it only stands to reason that it is through the eyes of that culture that the Scriptures can be best understood. So, what would an ancient Hebrew have to offer us in using Scripture to evaluate the idea of collectivism?
On the surface, this can be a tricky issue. This is because Scripture most definitely does speak of people groups and nations in terms of a collective, and the ancient Hebrew would most definitely have noticed this. The Scriptures often hold Israel — both as a people and a nation — accountable for its actions as though it were one person. Even individual families are often treated as one person, which most certainly appears to be collectivism. But this is a surface appearance, and it crumbles away under closer scrutiny. When we look closely, we will find that the Scriptures inherently include something that the collectivist intentionally omits: Yahweh!
Collectivists often speaks in terms of morality, and some even give a nod to The Creator, in actual operation, the collective is amoral. The collective is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad,’ nor can it ever be. This is because the collective dehumanizes the individual, which, in turn, destroys the entire notion of morality (see link for argument). Furthermore, by dehumanizing the individual and destroying morality, the collective removes the notion of individual responsibility and accountability. If there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ then there can be no concern for the ramifications of our actions. Thus, the collective is, at its core, the creation of chaos, and chaos had a clear implication for the ancient Hebrew.
To the ancient Hebrew, modern collectivist theories would have represented the creation of chaos. This is because modern collectivism goes counter to the laws which govern Creation. Which brings us to what the Collectivist is actually trying to do when he or she describes their own version of the collective utopia. No matter who it is, when one reads the ideas of a Collectivist, what one will find is that the Collectivist is actually describing the creation of a new reality. They are trying to will, or speak new laws into existence. In short, they are trying to re-create Creation. Some have even said that they were seeking to create heaven on earth:
The teacher is engaged not simply in the training of individuals, but in the formation of the proper social life…. In this way, the teacher always is the prophet of the true God and the usherer-in of the true Kingdom of God.
Now, this might seem a little presumptuous to a person in modern Western society, but how would have had a clear and powerful meaning to an ancient Hebrew — a meaning that would likely have the Collectivist you stoned for heresy and/or blaspheme!
Why would an ancient Hebrew want to stone a Collectivist? Simple: an ancient Hebrew would have realized that the Collectivist’s attempt to speak things into existence and to bring about a new order out of the chaos they had created was an assertion of the Collectivist’s qualifications for claiming deity in the Ancient Middle East. The problem for the Collectivist and modern believer alike is, Spiritually, nothing has changed from Job until now. Which means that every Collectivist that has ever been or ever will be is actually trying to claim that they are god, and not Yahweh! My dear Brother or Sister, if you doubt me, please look for their own words. They are not shy about their belief that man is his own god:
“The turning point of history will be that moment man becomes aware that the only God of man is man himself.”
— Ludwig Feuerback
This brings us back to our original question:
How should a faithful believer view collectivism and the Collectivist?
Well, if we are truly sincere in our belief in and obedience to the Scriptures, the answers to this question should be simple:
A faithful believer must reject any and all forms of collectivism.
A faithful believer must maintain an agape love for the Collectivist, but he or she must never allow themselves to be yoked to such a person as they are — in essence — claiming to be their own god, which is ‘the man of lawlessness’ mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2.
It may be a tough lesson to accept, especially in our modern times, but there really is no way around this conclusion — not for a faithful and obedient believer, anyway.