The challenge of cultural Marxism to the Church: Jerusalem 2018

Gavin Ashenden’s address to GAFCON III

Cultural Marxism – the threat to the church

My Google alert recently warned me I was in the news. This time is was the Toronto star. An Op-Ed journalist had come across some of my writing and excoriated me for worrying about Cultural Marxism. There is no such thing he scornfully insisted.

In a technical sense he has a point. Marx didn’t write much about culture. In any other sense, he is on a different planet. The egalitarian redistribution Marx planned for at the hand of the all-powerful state, has simply morphed into an assault on our culture, instead of being channeled through economics and class warfare. Same aim; just a different route.

It was the experience of reading Solzhenitsyn that first acquainted me with the evils of Marxism, and it’s vitriolic opposition to both Judaism and Christianity.

I encountered the dictatorship of Marxism as I carried bibles and theology books behind the Iron Curtain to help sustain the severely persecuted Christians. The control and repression of the Marxist state was murderous, brutal and total.

(If our analysis is correct, the Christians in the Russia may soon need to return the favour and smuggled soon to be banned Christian books and bibles {see hate crime} to us in the UK.)

But whilst Marxism has collapsed in the Soviet Union (Marx was after all a poor economist and his redistributive state didn’t work) the project has returned in a different form to assault the West, but stealth instead of by force, by a subversion of culture rather than the rise of the proletariat.

In Russia we saw (through the eyes of those who escaped the censor) that same determination to change Judaeo-Christian culture once the revolution had tightened its grip. It consisted of an assault on the family, on free thought, on worship, on language of faith.

The energy was more that just ideological. One might argue that its intensity flowed from a terror as well as a hatred of God. The depth and the fury of the repression was proportional to the fear.

Marxism set out to eradicate the longings of the human heart, and replace them with a set of particular political values and secular ideology.


The longing the State imposed in exchange, was for political equality of outcome, a redistribution of resources. It became the new ‘just parent’.

Except that it failed to deliver equality of outcome.

It failed to deliver a redistribution of resources, -it failed even to provide adequate resources.

It failed to act as anything but a tyrannical parent for its children, – murdering them rather than protecting or nurturing them. For the movement was of course demonic in origin and practice.

The hatred with which it viewed churches, the sacraments, the clergy and the worshipping body of Christ are a give-away.

The intention was to eradicate the universal language of love and spiritual longing that God placed in the human heart to act as a homing device to bringing us home (see St Augustine’s “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find themselves in you” ), and replace it with the language of social justice, overseen by the the new parent. the State.

It is not great surprise that one of the first priorities of the new Soviet State was the destruction of the family as a concept, with the replacement being that of the State. The Fatherhood of God, and the family, consisting of a man and a woman engaging as co-agents of creation, was attacked. The State took responsibility for all its members, coercing them into a secular politicised relationship with the State itself which became the new political ‘family.


Addressed the question – ‘what if political and economic Marxism fails’?

Marx was not after all, a very good economist.

The proposal was to translate the egalitarian anti-Christian ambitions, into a cultural package, which became a project to subvert Western and Christian culture based as it was on a particular understanding of sex, gender and the family.

For me, it was a spiritual alarm that went off as I first noticed something was going wrong

The Frankfurt School, was something of an esoteric group of thinkers based in Germany who moved to the USA. They were something of a special political interest rather than a more widely known intellectual phenomenon.

But working in a highly secular university, as a lecturer in the psychology of religion, I saw a political and cultural trajectory approaching whose effect was to the the closing down of free speech and especially of Christian values, identity and ethics.

It was as if the same ‘spirit’ that had driven the repression in the Soviet Union was now appearing in the West, after the wall came down.

I remember historians claiming provocatively that ‘History was dead’, because capitalistic democracy had finally triumphed. This was the end of history.

They could not have been more wrong.

This time the assault would be more subtle, Cultural Marxism rather than overtly economic Marxism.

It would no longer be dependant on the predication of conflict between the classes, but instead stealing both longing and love in the human heart and re-directing them in a trajectory of disobedience and perversion.


In the same way that the Marxist state 1.0 attacked the family, so the new Marxism 2.0 is attacking the family.

Under the cover of extending human rights to the homosexual community it is attacking and redefining the family which in Christian terms is man and woman imaging God together, acting as agents of Creation.

The family is not no longer about generation, but about sexual and romantic self-expression. It is co-opted into a sexualising of society into a perversion and distortion of God’s intentions as we encounter them in revelation.

It was not enough for this new movement has set out to capture not only the secular society in the West primarily, It has set out also to capture the Church.

And parts of the Church, quisling like, have cooperated with and welcome it.

The quiescent Church has been taken in by the use of language that it thought it at least recognised it not owned, but it has been purloined and given back -redefined, re-worked.


The trick is always to use a set of attractive words and concepts but to redefine them and give them a wholly different and subversive meaning.

So DIVERSITY for Christians might signify the unlimited complexity and creativity of God’s creation.

But perverse diversity turn out to mean any combination of interests that excludes Christians.

TOLERANCE for Christians signifies the elasticity of love that makes a distinction between the sin and the sinner, loving the sinner with a graced tolerance, while hating what poisoned him.

Perverse tolerance means the celebration and promotion of an ethics of rebellion against God, particularly in the area of sexual unholiness and perversity and the exclusion of Christian values.

INCLUSION for Christians is the ambition that there are no places where the mercy of God will not stretch inviting people to turn and be held by the Good Shepherd who will carry them home.

Perverse inclusion is the overturning of Christ’s teaching by celebrating what he warned us to avoid and detest, in particular the perversions that pour out of the corrupt human heart that defile the soul. And the exclusion of Christian values.

EQUALITY is scarcely a term that’s exists within the Christian framework. There is very little equality in the Bible or Christian tradition. After all God favours Israel over all others, and prefers the spiritually poor to the complacent, and the penitent to the self sufficient, and the committed to the lackadaisical. To those who accomplish much more will be given

But if it means anything for Christians, it means that our understanding of universal sin places us equally in need of mercy. We are equally dislocated by the fractured human condition from the holiness of God; no category of humanity qualities for special treatment.

But perverse equality means the overturning of hierarchies of God.

For only the existence of hierarchy can allow for it to be turned upside down in humility.

There can be no humility with equality, no self giving, no kenosis, no incarnation, just a flat so called equal horizon.

Even if it wasn’t the case that equality only ever works with numbers and never for values.

There can be no (spiritual) discrimination with equality, no discernment of the difference between good and evil. Equality strips the faith of its inner workings, which is one reason why it’s so dangerous.

Secularised Christians,

Anglicanism always misused the three fold gifts of Scripture tradition and reason that Hooker articulated in his Ecclesiastical Polity.

Reason for Hooker was not rationality, but was the application of Scripture over against the Puritans who would not allow anything that Scripture did not articulate.

But in our culture, reason has morphed into rationality. Rationality does not apply Scripture, it contradicts it as it edits it.

Rationalism doesn’t ‘get’ the spiritual conflict, or the complexity of the way in which the prince of this world, the source of perversity and evil wages war against humanity.

Secularised Christians have no immunity against the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age.

By swallowing the values and language of cultural Marxism Christians have deprived themselves of the protection they needed in the spirit and cosmic struggle against evil.

What evil aspires to do is to inhabit the structure of faith, by twisting the language of faith so that it represents his values and not those of the Kingdom of Heaven, and in the Church of England this is largely been achieved.

‘Good disagreement’, the relativisation of the absolute values of the Kingdom is a transparent example. Not so much a means of reconciliation; more a sidestepping of the quest for truth by a relativisation of personal experience in the face of objective ethics. The triumph of the comfort of the subjective over the demands of the objective and the absolute.

With no discrimination or discernment, people fail to observe what Islam is, – in essence a repudiation of Jesus and the incarnation. Islam and Christianity cannot both be true.

It cannot observe what neo-Marxist values set out to achieve -a repudiation of the values of revelation and the destruction of the entries culture upon which our civilisation has been built.


What are the graduated stages of this assault?


It begins with Feminism

Feminism acts as the leading edge of the jemmy to break the relationship with the ethics of the Church and its relationship with society.

1 st wave feminism – was the wholly proper pursuit of the vote, an extension of the Franchise. No one could possible be against that on Christian grounds.

2nd wave feminism was about equal pay in the work place. No one could object to that. Although the demands that capitalism made began to present a challenge to the practice and priority of motherhood.

Facing the challenge of abolishing the distinctions between men and women in the Church St Paul’s words in Galatians 3 were invoked.

This was an odd piece of exegesis, since of all places in Scripture, St. Paul is most concerned to express the reality that gender is pregnant with theological meaning.

Gal 3 “in Christ there is no male of female’ as about gender also being subject to the ending of the three great antipathies that divided classical and Jewish society. Whereas the three categories or antipathy had defined human conflict, they are resolved in Christ.

In Christ there is no antipathy, no conflict no struggle between slave and free, Jew and Gentile man and woman. But it clearly does not means that gender is no longer a theologically infused concept.

Gender has always been theologically pregnant with meaning, ever since the earliest struggles with Canaanite fertility religion, and the struggle between sky father and earth mother, transcendence and Imminence.

Gender mattered because Jesus came to show us the Father -not an amorphous creative energy.

The father was mirrored in Jesus in a way he could not be by Mary or a female messiah (who would be born of the holiest woman to a creative energy that according to the feminists should have nothing to do with patriarchy.)

But feminism persuaded the Church that gender was value free and that woman could be an ikon of Jesus as equally as a man could,

It wasn’t true, but once the sacraments were captured by interchangeability, by equality, the idea was set loose like a software virus in a computer system, and led on inexorably to the eradication of the distinction between men and women, not behind the altar, but in marriage.

And 3rd wave feminism extended parity into the area of social and sexual engineering. It involved the re-imagining of gender. Making gender flexible and fluid according to the preferences of the imagination.

And of course led the to validation and promotion of trans-genderism.

The strategy was first feminism and the introduction of the virus of equality , then gay marriage , based on the same artificial notion of equality, then the eradication of gender in the mind with transgenderism. And then paedophilia.

The latest Canadian propaganda videos ( ) show the increasing sexualisation of children as they are educated to become ‘allies’ of the LGBTQI++ , with an agenda of self understanding energised by sexual attraction, and presumably action.

Who is to say when and how children can give consent to sexual identity and then associated sexual expression?

The State is even now adjudicating on how children are to be brought up within the UK.

If parents teach their children that homosexual acts are a sin, they are at risk of having their children removed by the state for re-education. This is a return of the Soviet state practice of hard line Marxism of the 20th Century.


At the heart of the Christian faith is the sanctity and importance of the individual.

Each individual is sacred, and this sanctity of the person is one of the greatest cultural transformations Christianity brought to others cultures in which the individual was a commodity, or dispensable.

Cultural Marxism involves the subjugation of the individual to the group.

Identity politics dissolves the person into the category.

So profound is the individual’s integrity before God, that an adjectival distinction diminishes this.

Both society and the church have bought into this world view which replaces Christian identity and cosmology.

The imprisonment of embodied souls within sociological categories is a profound assault on the integrity and sanctity of the individual, and a preparation for persecution and political and ideological manipulation.


Prayer and argument, –

an articulated rejection of the ideological trick that has been played on us;

a repudiation of the pseudo progress that has captured our culture..

Can we win ? In the west?

Almost certainly not.

This project has captured education, the law, medicine, and even the armed forces.

The situation is too far gone.

We may argue and pray as long as we can, but even that may not be open to us for very long.

Robert Gagnon was thrown off, suspended from Facebook a few weeks ago.

Already as Christians committed to scriptural anthropologies, we fail the terms and conditions of Facebook, twitter and YouTube.

The Benedict Option.

Seems to speak clearly and creatively to our situation.

We will have to withdraw from the public square, and re0-enter the Catacombs, to withdraw from the quisling church where it has fatally compromised and go underground.

The catacombs was where we begun. And like them, we face a dangerously repressive culture determined to persecute the church. What we face, unpalatable as it is, is not a wave of revival to capture our culture, but a season of persecution.

It’s is part of what we signed up to when we became Christians, and it is not without honour to share in the sufferings of Christ as we bear faithful witness to who He is, what He has done for our souls, and what He will do at the end of time, as we are ushered into His presence. May we find the courage and integrity to keep the faith.

“He who endures to the end, shall be saved.”

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