Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh each do a fine job at exposing the agenda and methodology of Saul Alinsky and his Communist agenda as it is being implemented from our nation’s White House. But there is something in Alinsky (Rules for Radicals) that I find intriguing. Yes, something that can be compelling to the Christian evangelical and fundamentalist.
Alinsky reads like a Marxist dominionist televangelist. He wants a revolution. He does not want massive violence. He wants education and health care for everyone. He wants to coerce change. He wants to marginalize the social evils of big business and profit. He asks his followers to make demeaning and humiliating remarks about the opposition. He treats those who disagree as enemies.
On the negative side, he is angry. He is upset that people do not want change. He does not like complacency. He hates inaction.
His method is one of morality-free pragmatism. He will do whatever it takes to accomplish his ends. He will lie, cheat, and steal, and denounces anyone with moral restraint as being the one who will lose. From the very beginning of the book he takes his cues from Machiavelli.
So what can we learn from Alinsky? To be alert to the needs of the world around us. For us it is to be an expression of the redemptive work of Christ, a proof. And it is a venue for sharing Christ. We are, after all, engaged in a different kind of community organizing. It is the church, the body of Christ, and the persuasion of evangelism.
Marxists often have a greater sense of mission than do most Christians. Becky Pippert recounted from her evangelism training, the lack of embarrassment shown by the Marxists, thinking that they had a real solution to the human condition. She knew it was false, but did not have thesense of importance to her mission.
Alinsky employed the “truth” of moral relativism and pragmatism. We employ the truth of redemption.
His book should be part of any introduction to missions and pastoral ministry. It reflects accurately the state of political and social ideals that the Church faces today.