Two Fools: Karl Marx and Paul Tillich

Former FBI agent Roy Hazelwood (b. 1938) was among the original profilers in the Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI. His specialty for over two decades was sexual crimes.  During an interview Hazelwood said that as a Christian  he enjoys reading about his faith thus was intensely interested by some of St. Augustine's writings where he spoke of the five steps that men and women take to act in a sinful way.    Augustine wrote that sin (or vice) originates in the mind before moving to the senses for approval,

" The consequences are considered, the will makes a decision to act, and the mind rationalizes the behavior. As I read that, I realized that if I replaced the word 'sin' with the word 'crime,' I could apply it to my work and lectures. The sexual criminal fantasizes about a criminal act, and if the idea is pleasing to his senses..touch, sight, etc. he considers the consequences of what might happen and then decides to act. Finally, he rationalizes his behavior for having committed the crime..."I wouldn't have done it if..."  (Roy Hazelwood: Profiler of Sexual Crimes, Katherine Ramsland, Crime Library, 

Hazelwood describes most successful sexual criminals as quite narcissistic,

"...believing they are superior to society in general and law enforcement in particular. They come to believe that they can't get caught, so they engage in greater and greater risk taking. This serves two purposes; to prove they are superior and to maintain the "high" they get from committing the crimes. They have feelings of invulnerability and consequently they make mistakes, which, in hindsight, seem to be stupid mistakes. Thank God for narcissism." (ibid)  

According to St. Augustine, pride (self-love, narcissism) is not only the beginning of all sin but its' downfall as well.   In the case of successful sexual criminals pride eventually forces them to boast of their crimes.   Blinded by pride the foolish criminal cannot see that he has been made to confess against himself.  Thus his narcissism is his downfall because it has ultimately forced him into submission to the very laws of society that he believed himself superior to.   And this is why Hazelwood thanks God for narcissism.

At the root of the rejection of the living God that emerged out of the Renaissance is the defiant narcissistic assertion that man has not been created by Him, that he is not dependent upon Him for his own life, thus he is not created in His spiritual image.  Rebels such as Karl Marx and Paul Tillich for example, saw themselves as not dependent upon the living God because they were man-gods, the creators of God, the masters of time, being, and the world who through their own powers would save themselves.

Believing they were superior to Him, they said, "you are not my father:"

"I am I, I come out of myself, and in choice and action I make myself."  (Daniel Bell, quoted by Herbert Schlossberg in "Idols for Destruction," p. 43)

Ultimately, their pride, defiance and self-centeredness brought about their downfall.   Refusing to submit to the God of Revelation, both men were eventually forced to submit to the devil.  

In bondage to the devil, Marx is forced to confess that his much bragged about teachings are in fact all mixed up,

"... into a devilish muddle/Thus anyone may think just what he chooses to think."    (Marx & Satan, Richard Wurmbrand, p. 21) 

Tillich's defiance and narcissism led him to Zen Buddhism which opened him to the devil.   Tillich's wife Hannah describes his torment,

"Paulus lived in fear. His nervous body was tense; his desires -- many. His fingers would fiddle with a pebble from the beach, a silver coin, or a paper clip. He breathed unevenly and sighed heavily, an ever guilt-ridden Christian in distress. His was the Temptation of Saint Antony in Grunewald's altar, attacked by demons. His solution was to suffer the demons, take them into his being and describe them in words. He was the martyr of the mind." (The Paganization of Biblical Studies, Dr. Peter Jones) 

 Blinded by self-idolatry and defiance, Marx and Tillich refused to submit to their Creator  and ended in submission to the devil.  Worse, their defiance and self-idolatry led to the conceptual murder of God and the rejection of His work on the cross, which means that by their own choice they willfully shut themselves out of paradise and condemned themselves to eternal outer darkness.

In reality they were two fools (Psalm 14:1; 53:1) whose pride and defiance blinded them to the consequences of their thoughts, choices and actions---that they would ultimately serve as confessions against themselves, as blinking neon signs warning other people: Do not do as these two fools have done:

"....when the fool walketh by the way, his understanding faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool." Ecclesiastes 10:3

@Linda Kimball