It's a mixed up, crazy, shook up world.
- A man shot up a ballfield last Wednesday for the express purpose of murdering conservative Republicans.
- Kathy Griffin recently did an ISIS-inspired photo shoot holding a mock Trump severed head dripping blood.
- Kathy Griffin then cried that she was being bullied by the man (and his family) who's mock bloody head she held. Because they tweeted something.
- The head of the DNC, Tom Perez, has been going on repeated cussing sprees at multiple official DNC events in front of children (as opposed to a one-time slip of the tongue). At the California Democratic Convention, Chairman John Burton led the crowd in a "f*** Trump" chant while waving his middle fingers. The crowd eagerly participated. These two leaders represent one of the two national political parties in the United States.
- "Antifa" (meaning antifascist) groups, wearing all black and covering their faces, have been spreading violence, setting fires and smashing windows across the country. Because nothing says antifascist like rioting against free speech?
- Madonna said she has thought of blowing up the White House.
- A "Shakespeare in the Park" production of Julius Caesar by the Public Theater in NYC features a President Trump lookalike being stabbed to death.
- CNN HOST (official representative of the network) Fareed Zakaria tweeted about the production of Julius Caesar where a Donald Trump lookalike is repeatedly stabbed to death saying it was "brilliantly interpreted," and "a masterpiece."
So how do you respond to this unhinged rage? And make no mistake, all of the above is evidence of violent, hate-filled and unhinged minds.
I suppose you could:
- Cover your face, wear black and have a riot against those you disagree with.
- Blow some things up.
- Make your own mock decapitated head of folks you disagree with.
- Go on your own cussing spree against those you disagree with.
- Try to verbally incite violence yourself.
- Write plays where folks you disagree with are murdered.
- Call people vicious names.
Those are all real alternatives.
And they will only result in amping up the depravity and violence, both verbal AND physical. So not best alternatives for someone trying to make the country better and live a life that honors Jesus.
Here's a different take:
- Call for a Katy Perry-style world group hug (click here for my previous post on this).
- Hire Kendall Jenner to give rioting antifa or gun wielding shooters a Pepsi (dumbest Pepsi ad ever — you can see it here).
- Hold signs that say, "Jesus loves you antifa! He wants to free you from your facemask and black pajamas!"
- Hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
One word: ridiculous.
What can you do?
Here are my thoughts on ways to combat a discourse that has become both verbally and physically violent, dishonest and profane:
1. Pray. Yes even though I ridicule the effectiveness of global group hugs and healing power of Pepsi, I really REALLY REALLY believe the words of the Creator of everything when He says over and over and over to "pray about everything."
Pray for God to change violent and hate filled hearts.
Pray for God's light to shine on all those who have turned to violent activity and violent speech. Pray that God changes their hearts (like He did Paul) or renders them impotent to do harm. Franklin Graham has tirelessly been calling our country to prayer over the last year.
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
2. Be light. "You are the light of the world—let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:14, 16 NLT (I wrote a whole post on this here (click link).
Reject the wickedness and hatefulness of the culture (don't embrace it) and shine the light of Christ in every situation (you won't be perfect, but if you give it a shot you'll be better than most).
3. Don't use violent or crude or profane language. Seems obvious if you love Jesus right? It's not. There was actually a trend of "cussing pastors" for a while. Profanity is a crutch most often used by those opposed to God, not those on His side. It's absurd for someone to argue the King's positions using the enemy's language (not flesh and blood but evil spirits in heaven places).
4. Argue forcefully! Debate with conviction! Argue with power! But argue the King's way. Full of light and intelligence and goodness and kindness and love. Don't be a red-faced Bible screamer, but be a force for good in word and deed AND ALSO forcefully and aggressively arguing for right, as a representative of the King.
History has been changed by people of faith arguing from faith with power.
Faced with as much profanity and crudeness and hatred and violence as can be imagined, Martin Luther King Jr. argued forcefully with conviction and power and argued the King's way ... ultimately at the expense of his own life. And brought great change. As he said, "The time is always right to do what is right."
According to the Church historian Theodoret, in the fifth century, a monk named Telemachus traveled to Rome and to the Colosseum. Upon seeing the gladiators fighting to the death, Telemachus ran into the arena to stop the bloody fight.
"The spectators of the slaughter were indignant, and inspired by the triad fury of the demon who delights in those bloody deeds, stoned the peacemaker to death."
When the Emporer heard of Telemachus' death, he was so moved that he brought an end to the bloody games of the Colosseum.
It's an evil hate filled world. And the King has left His representatives here, not to act like the world or fight like the world, but to make a big impact on the world. Always His way.