Religion is the opiate of the masses.—Karl Marx
THOSE WORDS ARE ECHOED by the author of the Belhar Confession, Allan Boesak: “White Christians have tried to spiritualize the dynamic power of the gospel, almost totally succeeding in making it the opiate of the people.”
Armed with liberation theology, Boesak bullies Reformed tradition into accepting untenable beliefs, beliefs incorporated into the Belhar Confession. And now the Christian Reformed Church is asking its members to marry this confession.
Masking the language of biblical profundities, the Belhar promulgates socialism by demanding obedience to the Marxist ideology of class struggle. For example, “We believe that God [is] the God of the destitute, the poor, and the wronged,” “[God] wishes to bring justice to the oppressed,” “the church must stand by people in any form of suffering,” “[the church] must witness against the powerful and the privileged.”
Instead of appealing to society to redress injustices, the Belhar simply substitutes the word church for society and lets the church become the arbiter of goodwill. Guardedly, those familiar with Marxist ideology know that the state will ultimately supersede the church’s role as advocate.
Furthermore, Boesak’s reference to “spiritualize” is the rejection of theology in favor of correct action or, in his words, “the dynamic power of the gospel.” Now Christianity is no longer a matter of our personal communion with God but of codes and laws prescribed and enforced by external referees upon its members. For the Belhar, then, faith becomes a matter of jurisprudence.
Subsequently, the Belhar would submit the CRC to a series of socialist litmus tests, as well as subjecting all its members to socialist prescriptions via the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, of which the CRC is a member—prescriptions that would range from mea culpa (an admittance of guilt) to reparations. And who would be the arbiters? I can say with great confidence that it would not be the CRC with its membership hovering around 268,000 versus WARC with a membership of close to 80 million.
In the long run, the adoption of the Belhar Confession will only weaken the foundations on which the CRC has been built, along with alienating its core members. Let us hope and pray that the leaders of the church see fit to divorce the CRC from this document.