Is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership adding its name to that list of would-be but ultimately failed emperor-turned-gods that have plagued human history?
CCP Replaces God's LawsOver the past couple of years, the CCP has forced churches to replace displays of the Ten Commandments with Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s own version of the moral commandments. That is, the Chinese leader is replacing God’s law with his own, which amounts to Mr. Xi attempting to replace God with himself.
It could be well-argued that such imitation confirms the CCP’s high regard for at least the religious format of Jehovah, if not the writing of His laws in stone. But the Party goes beyond that and also feels the need to rewrite the New Testament.
Moving From Forgiveness to ExecutionFor example, the CCP is applying its profound moral insights to the Gospel of John, where Jesus says to the priests who are about to stone a woman caught in the act of adultery, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” As the parable goes, none of the woman’s accusers cast a stone, and she is spared and forgiven despite the law requiring her death by stoning.
History and the God ComplexWhy would Beijing feel the need to borrow or mimic Bible accounts that are, according to CCP doctrine, utterly false?
That is hardly the behavior one would expect from devout atheists. Why not simply outlaw Christianity and be done with it?
The obvious answer is that the Party leadership realizes that it can’t; therefore, the next best thing would be to control and reshape Christianity in its own image. Surely, Mr. Xi can at least manage that. Nonetheless, the Party leader is neither original nor wise in his self-deification or his pursuit to extinguish the Word of God.
Throughout history, various kings, emperors, and dictators have deigned to presume themselves to be gods. Not always or often, but the exceptions are memorable and lethal on an industrial scale. Not only have such leaders had immense negative impacts on the world, but ultimately and without exception, they all failed to live up to their own claims of deity.
Obviously, all human pretensions of godhood are false. The question is, “How could anyone convince themselves that they are a god when they can see and feel themselves aging, as all humans do?” All of us die. That’s the lot of all life on Earth.
Psychology or Psychosis?On the other hand, some leaders come to believe that they have a messianic claim on their nation, history, and even on the entire world. The truth is, some leaders actually do. Washington and Churchill come to mind. Both were professionally and psychologically fit and prepared to wield power wiser than most and performed their missions admirably, without the pretensions of godhood. Both left the scene gracefully and better than when they found it.
Others, however, have delusions of grandeur that transcend or warp their sense of reality. That delusion often includes a megalomaniacal outlook that manifests when great political and military power is centered in one individual and is supported by the constant company of sycophants who feed his or her ego. In other instances, such leaders are just psychotic to begin with.
Key personality aspects may include a deep-seated narcissism along with its evil twin, a deep-seated paranoia. That in itself is a strange paradox when one considers that paranoia can be the primary psychological response to anxiety or an overwhelming sense of fear and insecurity, neither of which are befitting any god worth his salt.
God’s Word EnduresAs for extinguishing the Bible, one could see how and why the sole leader of the CCP might imagine that such a thing is possible, at least on paper. The expansive surveillance and control that the Party has over the Chinese people are undoubtedly unrivaled throughout all of history. The technological power at the Party’s disposal may indeed succeed in warping or even eliminating the Bible from most of China, at least for a little while.
But not forever.
History and the Bible itself are great testaments to that fact. Two thousand years ago, the Roman Empire went to great lengths to eradicate Christianity and ultimately ended up being ruled by it. In the 20th century, the Soviet Union tried to do so as well and found itself going extinct, while Christianity continued to flourish in Russia and Eastern Europe, just as it is in China today.
It’s also fair to say that 2,000 years of history proves that Man’s efforts to eradicate the Word of God are exercises in futility. The Bible tells us, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Word shall never pass away.”
This is something for the CCP leadership to think about as it goes about playing God while the real One watches and bides His time.