The Destruction of a People

Over the past several weeks I have been watching the people of the United States being destroyed piece by piece. Some may not see this as destruction. However, a careful examination of Scripture shows that God’s people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). That lack of knowledge is significant in spiritual matters as well as natural matters. Let’s do a brief examination of the lockdown this country has been subjected to over the past weeks.

A first thing to note is that this taking away of the freedoms of the people began of misinformation and hyperbole. This misinformation was the projections that COVID 19 was set to kill many people over a short period of time.[1] This was not only false information but that it seems to have played a major role in pulling from facts and introducing fear to a people that have failed to seek information for themselves. This lack of knowledge has caused people to bend to the whims of dictatorial despot wannabes whose sole desire is to impose a false authority on an unlearned people.

Another thing needing a little examination is the matter of fear. Among other mediums, the media at large became a useful tool in introducing fear to millions of people. That was done in part with the regular use of the term “social distancing.” There is hardly a news segment from the mainstream media wherein the idea is not introduced. One might argue that this is a form of indoctrination as it is the repeated mantra of an idea that has yet to have a clear scientific basis. In fact, social distancing is very harmful to individuals as humans are communal by nature. Yet, the fear-induced propaganda has sought to lead the uninformed to believe that this virus is so dangerous that we cannot even touch our faces even in the absence of anyone that may have the slightest chance of being infected. Fear is most effective in the absence of knowledge and so the fear of being close to someone has made many angry and rude. This goes to the oxymoronic idea of social distancing.

The list of destructive ideas is long. There is the closing of parks by some jurisdictions when it is proven this virus lives a very short time in the sun. People have been giving citations for attending church services while sitting in their cars. Pastors have been arrested for holding church services. Beaches have been closed. Businesses have been lost. Millions are sitting home waiting for the government to send them money not realizing the government does not care and cannot care about the individual. The list of atrocities goes on as the governmental agencies seem to mandate the people kowtow to authoritarian rule. However, to be subjugated to the government is indicative of the fact the government controls you. This ignorance of people causes them not to realize that when the government controls you there is no freedom.

With this contemporary look at the destruction of a people, it is reasonable that a biblical examination be employed. John 10:10 highlights the motivations of the thief. The text, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” Said differently, the thief (the devil) has but one purpose: the destruction of a people.

The thief is no friend to the people of God. He comes to destroy you by any means that will cause that destruction. This is much like what is going on in the United States today. The enemy has stolen the peace of many. There is little trust in our fellow men. Brother has been turned against brother. The truth has been stolen by reason of an abundance of lies and hyperbole. One lie the enemy will tell you is that you are worthy and that you deserve to die. Well, let me tell you, you are worthy, and you deserve to live. Christ came so that you could have life and that life is one free from the destruction of peace

This thief, this enemy, has also come to steal. While that may seem obvious, these dictatorial restrictions of heavy-handed despot types have stolen lives by reason of suicides directly linked to the restrictions.[2] Moreover, some have died because they were not able to get necessary medical care because of the restrictions placed on hospitals. Peace of mind has also been stolen. Joy has been stolen. Careers have been stolen. Yet, Jesus came that our life would be more abundant. For those of us that trust God we know that what the cankerworm has eaten God will restore (Joel 2:25). And, while that text is specific to certain people the principle of God remains strong. God is a restorative God.

There has also been a lot of destruction of the past weeks. Families have been destroyed. Some lives will never be the same. All of this has happened because of the lack of knowledge and understanding of what is going on in the natural and spiritual worlds. It is high time we stopped the destruction of a people and stood on our founding principles. Those principles are outlined in the Word of God and that is where we find life. The destruction will be abated once we come to the knowledge of truth and begin to rest in that. And, while the Word of God is our founding principle we need also to rest in the knowledge of the law of this land, the Constitution. Once both are properly employed the destruction of a people will be abated.

Finally, think not that this essay is to make light of those seriously impacted by COVID-19. It is not. The intention of this is to remove the blinders of fear as we stand steadfast in truth.

[1] https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/25/inaccurate-virus-models-are-panicking-officials-into-ill-advised-lockdowns/

[2] https://www.ccn.com/chillingly-scariest-coronavirus-death-toll-may-not-come-from-covid-19/

The Simplicity of Unity

Today is a day used to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There is no argument against his fight for civil liberties and that those liberties included the right of Blacks to be provided equal rights in every aspect of society. Among those rights was the right for Blacks to attend schools of their choice. This is to say that Dr. King fought against the ideology of Jim Crow. It was a tough fight, yet it was a fight worth fighting.

Dr. King was also laden with dreams. In one of his speeches, he expressed his dream of his children playing freely with White children. Said differently, King had a dream of unity. He had a dream that all men would walk side-by-side with the matter of ethnicity being non-existent. King’s dream led him to work for a nation more concerned with the content of one’s character rather than the complexion of one’s skin. And, in many cases the dream of King came to pass and, in some instances, there remains fighting for unity.

I, too, have a dream. My dream is much like that of Dr. King. My dream is a simple unification of people. Like King, I am sick and tired of racist activity and rhetoric that seeks only to cause unnecessary divides. I am weary of constant bickering of idiosyncratic stereotypical ideologies that seek only to further divide a people. Well, I have had enough. I have a dream and that dream starts with the Church taking its proper stand in this conversation. My dream is simple. My dream requires only that the people of God love each other, and that love can only unify. It cannot divide.

Psalm 133 paints a beautiful portrait of unity. Verse one states, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” It is good and it is pleasant for those of us that call in the Name of Jesus to have the lifestyle of godliness. That brotherhood is not concerned with ethnicity. It is not concerned with nationality. It is only concerned with the individual. Love seeks only to build. It does not seek to tear apart. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for the Church to rid itself of racist rancor and collect the words of life. Those words of life serve only to heal and reconcile. This is the work of the Christian – reconciliation.

Unity is a very simple matter. It means treating others the way you want to be treated. It means standing side-by-side with your brother in the good times and the bad times. The simplicity of unity is expressed in one simple word; love. So, let us love one another. Not because of ethnicity or other superficial means. Let us love one another, starting from the pulpit, as Christ loved us. Only then can the simplicity of unity be had. Please, Church, let us love. That is my dream.

 

 

 

Times of Sadness

Today my mind goes back to a difficult time in my life. It is a day I will never forget. Some days just do not go away and there is good reason the for lingering of those days. This particular day I went to see my mother in a hospital in Baltimore. My sister, just a few days prior, moved my mother into her home. You see, my mother suffered with Alzheimer’s and was not in control of herself. My youngest brother, my sister and I were my mother’s primary caretakers. And, for good reason my sister thought it best to move my mother into her home where there were no steps inside. My only question to my sister was “Will she ever come back home?”

Somehow I knew that she would not return to my childhood home. I studied that two-story brick house in Baltimore for a moment reminiscing on the many things that took place in that house. I knew that things would not be the same. I knew that my mother did not have many days left and I had no idea how to handle the eventuality of her death. After all, she was my mother and she had been a strong woman. She was a feisty woman so, to see her weak in many ways was far from the norm. Yes, I saw my mother even while it was hard to see Mama. Sometimes sadness is masked by duty and responsibility. That would not matter though; as my sister drove off with my mother sadness would slowly seep out.

And there was the final hospital visit. I knew my mother was having some issues. That did not matter. I wanted to sit with her. I wanted to hear her talk. I wanted to make her laugh. The problem was that she did not talk – not to me nor my sister nor the personal attendant. She grunted a little and then choked. The nurses assumed the choking because of what she had recently drank and sat my mother more upright in the bed. I stayed with her a while longer and had to leave as I was scheduled to tutor a young lady in Baltimore County. I was going to come back; that is where my heart was. My sister would stay in touch with me as to my mother’s condition. The blood clot in her lung would see to her soon demise.

The two hour session was more than half over. My phone rang and my sister was on the other side. She advised me that there was no need to go to the hospital. It was all I could do to contain myself as I sat in front of that young lady. There was nothing more I could do for my mother and this student was in need of my services. I continued with the lesson. I needed to finish this course for the young student. I could not sit there and express my sadness. My work and duties had to prevail so that the hurt was covered by responsibility. Still, just below the surface the hurt was boiling.

There was no one else that I would allow to preach her funeral. No one else could be a personal as her son. Perhaps this was a bit selfish of me? It truly matters not because as I presented her eulogy the message was “A Sure Foundation.” The reflection only brought about more tears yet there was certain joy because my mother was certainly Mama. The hurt sometimes presents today. That is alright though, it has only been a few years and sadness is not a thing that can be easily erased. Yes, I miss my Mama which is why there are sometimes moments of sadness.

Yes, there were times of sadness prior to that. In 1976 my maternal grandfather succumbed to the results of a stroke. Other family members preceded my mother in death to include all grandparents, a niece and my father. Yet there remains another time of sadness that arose not long after my mother crossed into eternity. My great-nephew was born with dire sicknesses. I did not know him very well yet I lived with him, his parents and his brother for a short period of time. He crossing into eternity soon followed my mother. Sadness set in on top of sadness. I was asked to preach his funeral. So, I did.

Yes, I remember that five year old. He never quite got “Uncle” down so it sounded like he was calling me “Oink Oink.” Yes, even in sadness there are things that can make you smile. In hurt there are moments of healing. I was asked to preach this young child’s funeral and I preached as though it was Sunday morning. The goal was to present healing in pain. There is absolutely little we can do when we are sad except to wade through the sadness. So, in wading I preached “Time is Winding Up.” The message was not for the audience alone but also for me. It would be nice to hear my nephew once again say, “Oink Oink.”

Today I have been made sad again. You see, Hawaii was a wonderful experience for me on a number of levels. It is true that the military took me there. Nonetheless, I am convinced I was there by reason of Divine intervention. This is because I was invited to the City of Refuge soon after I arrived on the island. I quickly joined the church and became involved in the ministry in a number of ways. In doing so I had opportunity to work with the Anderson family. Pastor Anderson was an excellent pastour with four children. The oldest was David. David was a few years younger than me yet we bonded.

I choose not to forget the time there was a church picnic. David thought that he could beat me wrestling. He was a tall, lanky teenager and I a trained Marine; not so tall and far from lanky. Well, let’s just say David never pinned me. These are the types of things that come to mind when I think of a young man that became a husband and father. I had not seen him for several years before I visited him in the hospital a very short time ago. We were able to talk and reminisce. We laughed a little and eventually prayed. It was a blessing to be in David’s presence. I am not so sure they make them better than that.

David has now crossed into eternity. As these words are being penned I am cloaked in a sort of heaviness. Sadness has once again found itself around me. Yet, I am not the only one walking under the cloud of despair. I am certain Pastour Anderson, Sister Victoria and David’s siblings are having a hard time keeping tears from their eyes. Sadness is no easy thing. It pulls at your very fiber. Even so, I am convinced that in this time of sadness God is able to show himself mighty and powerful. I am certain that through this hurt and pain there will be healing. This is a time of sadness and it is my prayer that comfort and peace envelope all that mourn for David.