Marxism isn't a political ideology that I had thought much about. It seemed an outdated theory but one which had caused much suffering wherever it was practised in the past. Marxism is associated with is secret large state governments, biased justice, torture and killings of those who disagreed with the practice of a Marxist government, people being sent off to labour camps for long periods for minor offences and inflated food prices which resulted in hunger and suffering. Never for one moment would I associate Jesus with such events.
However, the unlikeliest of things happen in one's own backyard. My neighbour is a Marxist sympathiser and made that comment in my headline about Jesus. I have spent all day pondering on her statement. By remarkable coincidence, Robert who blogs at theradicalmethodist has written about how we bring our own experiences to bear on things we encounter or material we read. I call it the theory of 'Hermeneutics' which loosely means that we bring our own interpretation to what we read or the events we encounter. My neighbour's analysis, as it turns out, was based Matthew 21:12 to 13, when Jesus overturned the benches of those selling doves and the tables of money changers accusing them of turning a temple into a 'den of robbers'.
She read this as Jesus rejecting capitalism and, by process of elimination, advocating Marxism. This is as simple as saying that if someone in Britain hates fish and chips then they are being treasonorous. I dislike fish and chips but I love Britian.
My further research into Marxism has uncovered another practice of 'Christian Communism'. Apparently, the these group of people believe that the Apostles created a communist society after Jesus died to carry on preaching the Communism that Jesus did.
Karl Marx himself said: 'The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion'. As Christians we are told to seek God's will and follow the faith. So how can Marxism then be associated with Christianity? It can't, is the simple answer. Another of Marx's famous quote on religions is: 'It is the opium of the people'. Also, Marx was against private ownership. I am no theologian but I have never heard a sermon about the sins of owning property. The bible, instead, talks about being industrious and hard working.
There is a real danger of the power of individualism making people feel well qualified enough to start importing their own theories and experiences to bear on sacred scripture. The power of individualism is to be applauded for enabling each of us to seek and reach our potential but I don't think it gives us the right to pontificate and become armchair experts.