Why is the world the way it is? What’s shaped our society and the kind of people we are? We’ve come up with all kinds of great things, like technology, medicine and governing constitutions. But the way we live is only getting worse and worse. Why?
“One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel,” goes the saying. The Bible says effectively the same thing using the imagery of fermenting yeast working its way through bread dough: “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6). This idea is right at the heart of the wrong values people live by today.
In our modern world, five “rotten apples” are rotting away the good morals the Bible teaches us. These bad apples were introduced in different countries, but their corrupting effects have gradually spread around the world.
Society’s rotten apple #1: Marxist communism
The philosophy of atheistic communism was spread mainly by the German writer Karl Marx, who lived in England in the mid-1800s.
His ideas were helped along by the bad conditions for workers during the Industrial Revolution in many countries. Suffering terrible hardship and abuse, the working man was attracted to Marx’s ideas. Eventually, the bloody Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917 led to the takeover by Marxist Vladimir Lenin and the creation of a communist empire, the Russian-headed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.).
After World War II, the U.S.S.R. imposed communism on the countries of Eastern Europe. In 1949, it became the official political system in China. Then it spread to other nations, like North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba.
In 1991, communism was overthrown in the Soviet Union, which then let go of Eastern Europe. It’s also been watered down and reshaped in China to allow for a more open economic society. But morally, the world has never been the same. Communism—or more technically Marxist-Leninist socialism—is always attached to atheism. This belief has affected the mindset of so many political, cultural and educational leaders around the world. Because of that, it still has a lot of influence all over the world.
This rotten apple is based on three false ideas:
1. God does not exist, and man is just an evolved animal.
2. Truth is relative. There is no true moral way to live. Everyone has the right to decide what is right and wrong for themselves.
3. A one-party government should own both the wealth and the ways of creating wealth in a country. It can distribute the wealth however it wants. This means the goal is to have state control over the economy, politics, education and religion.
Furthermore, the institution of communism is in direct rebellion against God’s commandments, consisting essentially of lies, covetousness and theft. And, as history shows, it always leads to terrible atrocities including mass murder.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a dissident who suffered in the Soviet concentration camps and later won the Nobel Prize in literature, once noted, “If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous [Soviet] Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened . . .”
He continued: “If I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire Twentieth Century . . . I would . . . repeat once again: Men have forgotten God . . . Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions” (“Men Have Forgotten God,” address when receiving the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in London, 1983, emphasis added).
Society’s rotten apple #2: Darwinian evolution
In the 1800s the English naturalist Charles Darwin developed a theory that human beings evolved in a genetic lineage. Starting from single-celled amoebas, it supposedly progressed to fish, then to amphibians, to reptiles, to mammals, to apes and finally to man. This led to the conclusion there is no real meaning to life. Karl Marx was so thrilled with this idea that he asked Darwin if he could dedicate his famous book on communism, Das Kapital, to Darwin. Darwin declined, but the connection between the two beliefs is very real.
Author Aldous Huxley, a great supporter of Darwin’s theory, made this remarkable admission: “For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom” ( Ends and Means, 1941, p. 273).
As various critics of evolutionary theory have pointed out, if you teach a student to believe he’s just an animal, don’t be surprised when he begins to act like one.
For more on this, read “The Societal Consequences of Darwinism ” in our free booklet Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe?
Society’s rotten apple #3: Freudian psychology
Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, developed his methods and views on psychology in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His teachings on the subject centered on removing guilt from sinful acts and promoting sexual liberation as a way of avoiding mental and emotional disorders.
He insisted that sexual cravings, fundamental to human thought and behavior, should be freed. This idea wasn’t accepted in society or academic circles before his time. Freud’s drive theory suggested that people are instinctually driven from birth by the desire to experience physical pleasure. And he saw moral repression of this drive as damaging to mental health.
As Freud’s ideas spread and caught on, there was a loosening of society’s sexual morals in the 20th century—paving the way to widespread depravity.
Toppled thinkers still holding on
Author Phillip Johnson, a law professor and science writer, said this about the three rotten apples we’ve talked about so far:
“Every history of the twentieth century lists three thinkers as preeminent in influence: Darwin, Marx and Freud. All three were regarded as ‘scientific’ (and hence far more reliable than anything ‘religious’) in their heyday. Yet Marx and Freud have fallen, and even their dwindling bands of followers no longer claim that their insights were based on any methodology remotely comparable to that of experimental science. I am convinced that Darwin is next on the block. His fall will be by far the mightiest of the three” ( Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, 1997, p. 113).
Yet the influence of these figures, even the first two, has not gone away. Their corruption is still spreading even now, subverting the thinking of old and young alike.
But wait, there’s more you need to know! Two additional “rotten apples” have helped make your world stagger even further from the true God of the Bible and His way of life.