Chambers said Jesus Christ altered his world-view, his attitudes and his eternal destiny.

Jay Vivian "Whittaker" Chambers



 About Face

By Rev. Andrew JJ Paton




At the heart of true Christianity is a change of heart.

The church's most powerful leaders often started life, like St. Paul, with great hate for Jesus Christ.

Some of its most insightful thinkers like Augustine of Hippo and Lewis of Oxford turned from self-centered views to Christ-focused living before their high IQs could find peace.

Jay Vivian Chambers was an American who experienced a change of heart. Chambers embraced Communism while at Columbia University. Jay was not an "ideal" student. He was gifted with words but hated the American educational system. In 1922 he was expelled after writing a play in which he mocked God and jeered at American values.

Making words his tools Jay became editor and chief writer for Bolshevik periodicals like The Daily Worker and The New Masses. At 26 he gave English children the enchanting gift of translating the story "Bambi" from German.

12 years of feverish commitment to the tenets of the October Revolution followed. It took the man you know as "Whittaker" Chambers into the dark halls of Soviet underground espionage.

Then he changed!

His life turned around. Secular historians fall over each other to explain it. They attribute this about face to disappointment in Stalin's leadership in Russia.

Whittaker said Jesus Christ altered his world-view, his attitudes and his eternal destiny in 1937. He called it "my inner earthquake." Jay's autobiography, "Witness" (1952), became a best seller.

It wasn't Capitalism that changed him. For years after his conversion he still thought Communism would be the conquering ideology. He told his wife they were joining the "losing side" in the great struggle of the twentieth century. His book reflects the gloom he experienced. In those days Communists were seizing countries all over the globe.



In Witness he wrote that America faced an enormous world crisis. This crisis wasn't political or economic but one of faith threatened by secular liberalism. I think he rightly contended that the humanity worshipping ideas behind many school textbooks are "a watered-down version of Communist ideology." The New Deal, Chambers insisted, was not liberal democratic but "revolutionary" in its nature and intentions.

Believing the pen to be mightier than the sword Jay rose to be senior editor of Time magazine. His faith in Jesus seeped into his work. One of his avid readers was Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan. He changed political parties and embraced the Chambers idea: "the cold war wouldn't be decided by bombs and rockets" but rather that America's belief in God would ultimately triumph over those who enslaved their fellow man. In 1984 President Reagan posthumously awarded Chambers the Medal of Freedom.

Whittaker Chambers testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee in1948. He listed communist spies in the U. S. government including Alger Hiss; a State Department official who helped create the United Nations. After 2 trials Hiss was found guilty of the minor offense of Perjury and went to prison for 44 months.

Chambers had made 14 trial appearances. His testimony cost him his position at Time. His life wasn't easy. Liberal writers have vilified him, but he remained true to Jesus till his death in 1961.

In 30 years of preaching I've met many who've abandoned the deceitful desires of ego-driven living to embrace a relationship with the God-man Jesus Christ.

Sadly, there have been others who, like today's socialists, cling onto the failed policies of the kingdoms of this world and hope against hope that self-pleasing living will bring happiness before the great sleep of death takes them to "who knows where." I ask you to turn.











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