Reformed Reflections

Revolution is not the Answer  

An editorial in the Toronto Star (Oct. 22, 1975) remarks that the wave of strikes and threatened strikes in Canada is bad news for nearly everywhere - except in Moscow. Pravda, the official Communist newspaper, declared that the walkouts sweeping most of our Western world are "important milestones in the liberation movement and have the effect of stimulating the development of the revolutionary process. "It reminded its readers that strikes paved the way for the communist take-over of Russia in 1917. 

What happened to the Russian labour movement since the year of the revolution? No strikes are allowed. Pravda is right of course. Labour unrest and walkouts, if they create enough damage, can lead to revolution. As we hear so much about violence, resistance to recently introduced government measures to combat inflation, and even militant talk, we should realize the seriousness of it all. We can never take our freedom for granted. 

What do revolutionaries want to accomplish with their actions? The establishment of a new and more just society. Overthrow the old order and you will get a brave new world! Of course they believe in the perfectibility of man. Change the environment - erase the inequalities and success is guaranteed. 

Revolution is anti-Christian. Violence can never be the way to achieve peace and justice. In the mind of the revolutionary, man has become the source and norm for justice instead of God. Man is the master of his own fate, and his will and actions determine the course of history. Revolutionaries accept the evil conditions of creation due to the fall of man into sin, but they deny that man himself is a part of that fall. If man is basically good, he has the ability to construct a new society. Utopia with all its bliss is just around the corner. But Utopia never comes. 

Starry eyed revolutionaries forget the lessons taught by history. Revolution is always doomed to failure. 

Albert Canons sadly remarked that "All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State." Reaction to chaotic conditions has always been oppression. Revolution is always followed not by anarchy and total freedom, but by tyranny. Revolution and dictatorship go hand in hand. 

Engels, one of the founders of modern communism argued: "Anarchists demand that the first act of the social revolution shall be the abolition of authority. Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is: it is the art whereby one part of the population imposes its will on the other part by means of rifles; bayonets and canons – authoritarianism means if such there be at all."

Injustice, grievances and inequality are here. How do we try to bring relief? The Biblical Christian has an alternative to offer. Not revolution but reformation, not confrontation but conciliation. 

We should return to the Bible and discover it anew as the source for justice and freedom. The Lord Jesus Christ said of himself, quoting the prophet Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me; therefore he has annointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." 

As you read the Bible, you'll find that the only real peace a man can have is through the cross of Jesus Christ. A Christian at peace with his God will seek to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. 

Change is not brought about by revolution but by reconciliation and reconstruction. Injustices and grievances cannot be overcome at the expense of the destruction of the fabric of a nation. Any attempt to disrupt society for the search of utopia will fail. Wherever a chaotic situation has been created, freedom has been taken away.


Johan D. Tangelder