As I scroll facebook tonight I think there’s a message that needs shouting to the world: it is not a spirit of hate that drives the disconnection in this uncivilized civilization. That person insulting you or your “group”, that insult hurled by you at the opposing “group” or person… these things are not hate. They are fear. They are a desperate fear, a consuming fear whose seed was planted long ago. A fear of acceptance or rejection, a fear of conversion or corruption. They are fears fed by an ocean of culture obsessed with meaningless rebellion, lawless wandering from God. A fear that presupposes the Lord has no power or care for us.

That fear is Satan. His only option is to make you fear that he is more powerful than you, but he isn’t. Those fears are not, will not be, and indeed cannot be borne out except in and by your mind. That opposing view you think will destroy your world or your household if you give in is nothing but noise, the idle stomping of demon feet in frustration of their inability to affect the world. He lost the battle; Jesus forcibly revoked Satan’s authority to the one realm he held: death. Make no mistake: Satan has no power to destroy you, be you a child of Light or wandering in the dark. The power that we beat each other to death with, and that he beats us to death with, is our own, freely and willingly given. The lingering fear that he can still harm us drives our barbaric need to do unto others before they can do unto us.

It can stop with you and I. In fact it can only stop with you and I. We can lay down the hatchet, suppress the voice of fear and storm the stage of this world in Love. We can bring back the Light. We can create a culture that concerns itself with righteousness and affirmation. We can pull the world out of the devil’s maw like we take the ball from a dog’s mouth. Jesus gave that authority to us. He healed us and gave us a tangible vision of the Word. Love God, He admonishes us, and Love His people. Not “tear down, ridicule, and harass those who disagree” and not “hold at arm’s length anyone with the capacity to harm you.” No. Love people. Do for them what you would do for yourself. Sometimes it means tenderness and sometimes it means correction — iron sharpening iron whereby both swords are shaped and improved by the interaction — but never does it mean unprovoked violence, derision, or dehumanizing. Never does it mean showing another person less value than your own comfort.

Father, we wander still in the dark. We carry the flashlight You gave us but we refuse to turn it on. Let us not find the Light through stumbling, self-directed hands, but by Your power, Your influence. I beg You to remind the world what it means to be made in Your image. Our Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be Your name (bless Your mighty name!). Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, in earth (in me, in Texas, in America, in our hearts) as it is in Heaven. Give us this day (every day!) our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. (And Father, show us how to forgive them and ourselves.) Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory (Yours and Yours alone) forever and ever. Amen.

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