One thing we’re big on in theology is literary criticism. The scientific process of taking a statement back to its original source through questions, context, analysis, research, and faith-filled dialogue about our reasoned conclusions.
It’s a sure guard against deception, misrepresentation, and ignorance.
A good reason for our focus on this is highlighted by Eric Voegelin in his 1968 book, ‘Science, Politics & Gnosticism’:
‘The deception of the reader occurs when a text or citation is separated from its context and is used in isolation from its original intended meaning.’ [i] (paraphrased)
Voegelin had just gotten through explaining how Karl Marx in his doctoral dissertation of 1840–41 misrepresented the statement, “In a word, I hate all the gods”, from Prometheus in Aeschylus’ ‘Prometheus Bound.’
For Voegelin, “anyone who doesn’t know Prometheus Bound must conclude that Prometheus’ “confession” sums up the meaning of the tragedy.”
Marxism’s revolt against, and hatred of God, is a product of Marx’s misunderstanding of ‘the Hellenic [Promethean] symbol.’ [ii]
Voegelin states that Prometheus is reinterpreted by Marx, ‘The revolutionary reversal of the symbol—the dethronement of the gods, the victory of Prometheus—lies beyond classical culture; it is the work of gnosticism.’
This is where, said Voegelin, the ‘young Marx presents his own attitude; under the symbol of Prometheus’ Marx wages war against God, and because they’re inseparably linked, also, man.
It could be said that Marxism uses a god, to dispose God, in order to exalt themselves as god; leaving in the wake of Promethean “wokeness,” a sea of mass graves, in exchange for the Divine seat of power.
Marx either got Prometheus horribly wrong, or deliberately manipulated the Greek myth to build a school of thought, and oppressive ideology around it.
Prometheus wasn’t a Marxist, but Marxists have forged Prometheus in their own image.
Bonhoeffer, in his lectures on Genesis, recorded in DBW3: ‘Creation and Fall,’ substantiates good reasons for discernment, and suspicion of this Marxist Promethean self-justification, better penned as Promethean wokeness.
According to Bonhoeffer, in the Garden of Eden, God’s Word was used as a weapon against God. The result was a catastrophic fallout between the creature and its benevolent Creator.
The power to decree that which is right and wrong, good and evil, is now considered to have been taken up into the hands of humanity.
Rather than a new day dawning [enlightenment], darkness descends [truth is hijacked] and humanity descends with it.
The source that determines what good and evil is relocated; reassigned by, and lowered down to a Creatorless humanity.
Humanity in its abstraction from God devours itself.
Instead of being liberated, God’s creature becomes burdened. The Promethean Marxist’s hatred of God, is powered by human lust for dominion and power. This is why I am convinced that Socialists, for all their protests to the contrary, care only about power, not people.
Marx’s Promethean wokeness seeks to overthrow God – demanding God’s kingdom, be ruled by man, without God in it [iii].
Thus, human beings, wrote Bonhoeffer, ‘renounce the word of God that approaches them again and again out of the inviolable center and boundary of life; they renounce the life that comes from this word and grab it for themselves.’
Man positions himself in God’s place; Good is called evil, and evil is called good, for ‘humanity stands in the center; disobedience in the semblance of obedience, the desire to rule in the semblance of service […]’ [iv]
We’re told in the Biblical accounts, such usurpation is the nonsense of Nothingness, it turns humans into the playthings of demons, and is ultimately destined to catastrophic failure.
The Governed become pawns, Government becomes God.
The overbearing weight of being governed by a government which has confused the Creator with the creature, is inevitably unjust, corrupt, and self-destructive.
Who, and what governs those who govern us? No one. There is no limit to Marx’s Promethean Wokeness.
Despite appearances, the Promethean self-justification, its pride filled proclamation about the “death of God,” and subsequent coronation of man as a god, doesn’t happen without a decisive response from God.
God isn’t wounded outside His own choosing [e.g.: as He does for our sakes in Jesus Christ].
Neither is He killed off.
Instead of liberation, in humanity’s exaltation of itself over against God, humans mortally wound themselves.
Despite this, God shows compassion.
In spite of the Promethean self-justification where ‘the ultimate possible rebellion, portrays the truth as a lie. [Where] the Abyss that underlies the lie lives because it poses as the truth and condemns the truth as a lie,’ [v] God doesn’t abandon His self-centred, rebellious creation.
He graciously intervenes, judge’s humanity, and in doing so saves it from itself. He then covers His creatures’ nakedness, and blesses it with posterity.
God remains God for us, even when He disagrees and takes a stand against us.
Even though His creature is so infused with, and consumed by the maddening effects of Marx’s misguided Promethean hate, God chooses to reconcile, liberate, and save the creature He loves.
God chooses not to jettison His creature, as it has jettisoned Him.
Promethean wokeness doesn’t allow any connection with this God.
It in fact, denies it. Reduces humanity to systems, and calls all questions that challenge it, “enemies,” “traitors,” and “bugs.”
Karl Marx’s big mistake was to read into the Promethean myth his own lust for power.
Promethean wokeness is a Marxist monstrosity.
What’s left behind is the butchered, and disfigured creation of an idea that prides itself as man’s true liberator, but conceals behind its mask the deep black void of the Abyss.
[i] Voegelin, E. 1968, Science, Politics & Gnosticism: Two Essays, (paraphrased). Kindle (Loc.492)
[ii] ibid, 1968
[iii] Johnny Cash, U2 ‘The Wanderer’
[iv] Bonhoeffer, D 1937, Creation & Fall, Fortress Press (pp.109-116)
[v] ibid, 1937
First published on Caldron Pool, 8th April 2021.
©Rod Lampard, 2021.