Christian Politics and Utopianism

QUESTION: Christian Politics – Utopianism


Utopianism provides a prime example of our willingness to deny God and place absolute sovereignty in the hands of the government. This mistake results from a deliberate disregard of God’s ultimate authority and a misconception about human nature. Marxists and Secular Humanists espouse the utopian belief in humanity’s collective perfectibility, as well as the perfectibility of our environment through evolutionary processes that will be brought about through the auspices of the state. This belief in our perfectibility, which Colson calls “the most subtle and dangerous delusion of our times,”1 is evident today in the widespread denial of individual responsibility.

Christian Politics – Individual Responsibility
Denying individual responsibility for our actions separates us from God and our only means of salvation—individually knowing and accepting Christ’s atonement for sins. Denying individual responsibility condemns us to an endless search for utopia. Utopianism, however, offers no salvation except through the hope that the state will perfect us and our environment. Colson goes on to say, “While Christian teaching emphasizes that each person has worth and responsibility before God, utopianism argues that salvation can only be achieved collectively.”2 Reliance on the state ultimately results in the individual being trampled underfoot.

Infringements on human rights by governments based on the sovereignty or whim of those in power speak eloquently of the need for a transcendent law that is impartial to all. The lack of legitimate authority caused by the denial of God reinforces our belief that God must be recognized as Ruler in every sphere, including politics.


Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Charles Colson, Who Speaks for God? (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1988), 144.
2 Colson, Kingdoms in Conflict, 77. For an understanding of the ideas presently in the mix of modern-day utopianism consult Stewart Justman, Fool’s Paradise: The Unreal World of Pop Psychology (Chicago, IL: Ivan R. Dee, 2005). Says Justman, “The German expatriate who served as perhaps the foremost intellectual patron of the student revolt of the 1960s, Herbert Marcuse, wrote in 1970 that ‘the new theory of man . . . implies the genesis of a new morality as the heir and the negation of the Judeo-Christian morality which up to now has characterized the history of Western civilization.’” Marcuse, a Marxist and fellow of the Frankfurt School, contended that Christian morality is repressive, self-defeating, and obsolete (p. 133). And the abolition of morality is just one of the ideas of present day utopianism. Before William Morris wrote News from Nowhere “he wrote the Manifesto of the Socialist League” (p. 171). That should give an idea of what ideas are being bandied about the university campus.

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