On October 2nd, 2017 I visited my mother to hear that eight hours prior the worst massacre in US History took place by a white elder in America. My immediate reaction was a blend of concern for the now reported, 527 people who had been rushed to the Hospital for care, second my mind raced to those (who at the time were) still hiding and fearful to come out wondering if the terror they had been put through was indeed over; finally, my concern was for the family members of the 59 reported dead who just hours before had called their loved ones on their way to the Jason Aldean concert potentially letting their loved ones know they loved them and they would call them when they got back to their hotels or returned home. No one that went to that concert was aware that someone old enough to be their grandfather would be so impacted by his ideology that he would book a room in a Hotel, walk his bags or have a bellboy carry up to his room 23 guns, would plan, prepare and execute a shooting massacre from his heightened position with enough ammunition to stop a small army for approximately ten to eleven minutes. Every survivor of this atrocity has been marked for the rest of their natural lives in a way that they will never be able to wash off, they will never be able to escape the memory, or work hard enough to forget it. Now I am not stating that this is The Mark of the Beast as mentioned in Revelation but to say that the people impacted by these shootings, by the Natural Disasters that have rocked America recently, or the constant violence between citizens, aren’t actively being marked for the rest of their lives in a very real way, is simply not genuine.
Something Jesus said that many have misunderstood for thousands of years because we have read it through the eyes of scholarship and not life might assist in helping us move forward. In Matthew 10:34 Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
For thousands of years, violent men with violent tendencies have interpreted this to mean that the teachings of Jesus and “His Ideology” was a weapon against the world, it’s system and the One who sits on the thrones of the world, the enemy of the church, the devil. This is in error. See, the world propagates thousands of ideologies because there are billions of men on the face of the Earth and right now in history, more than ever, there are none seeking after God.
Psalm 14: 1-3 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. The LORD looks down from Heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Psalm 53:1-3 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seeks after God. They have all fallen away, together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
According to the book written to the Hebrews, the writer says in chapter four verse twelve, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
As a seeker of the truth and wisdom (which is different from knowledge) the Bible has been a tool I have used in my own life to compare what the text says about certain things and compare and measure ideologies against. Occasionally, someone will ask me if I have heard about something, or if I have seen a video that talks about a people group, an ideology or a mystery school and ask me to give it my attention and consideration. I usually begin by comparing what it says with the Bible or with those verses that provide instructions about living life, or even the teachings of Jesus. I have preserved myself from participating in or being swept away with seemingly new ideologies that are in actuality old ideologies that have been repackaged for a New Generation because the average person is not reading Sumerian Tablets, Gnostic Gospels, The Book of Enoch, The Age of Reason, Mein Kampf, The Secret Doctrine etc. Since they do not know what those writings proclaim, when someone comes along and takes the ideas found in those teachings and repackages them and markets them for social media, very few people realize they are falling subject to a very old, ancient ideology that is essentially being reduced, reused and recycled. While that works for things we consume day to day to protect the environment, some of these ideologies that are being reduced, reused and recycled are like a mental affliction.
The sword of truth, will, if you use it as a tool, assist you with keeping you from these ideologies. The idea that the only ideologies which are dangerous are religious is also an error. Eugenics is not a religion. Natural selection is not a religion. These are ideologies. White Supremacy while the ideology may infiltrate religions (plural) is not a religion. These ideologies are a cancer-like, mental affliction. The internet itself is being used as the agent to spread these false ideologies into our brains and if we do not have a tool at our disposal to identify these ideologies as they are suggested to us, we can fall victim and be used by these ideologies for their disastrous ends.
Abraham Lincoln is remembered for stating during the Civil War era, “A House divided against itself cannot stand.” What many people do not even realize is that Lincoln was in fact, quoting Jesus Christ. Found in Matthew 12:25 “Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” also in Mark 3:25 “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” I do not know many people that would uphold an argument which stated that the Civil War was fought over a difference in religious ideologies. Yet even during a time such as that, when a difference of ideologies was dividing the Nation, Lincoln was reminded of a passage in the sword of truth which attempted to shine a light on how a difference of ideologies divides.
When Jesus said He didn’t come to bring Peace but a Sword, he was not referring to an ideology that would divide. He was referring to how His Words and the Word of God (what would later be called the sword of truth) could be used to separate yourself from divisive ideologies even if members of your own family held those divisive ideologies. Who better to understand than Jesus when his very family came to the home he was visiting, telling the religious leaders of the day, Jesus was, “Out of His Mind!” agreeing with the religious leaders not necessarily in what power He was doing what He was doing, but that clearly, Jesus had the problem not the religious leaders! Also, who could have imagined a future in which the very Words which He desired people to use for shining a light on divisive ideologies would eventually be interpreted by people who would then effectually use it to create and craft their own harmful ideologies which do nothing more than divide on even more fronts?
It is painfully obvious today, that anyone who cares about the country they live in being a stable environment for their children and a safe place to conduct life are hard pressed to turn in any direction they can trust to unify with an ideology amongst the people to attempt to reconcile the issues our country faces. The power is with the people? It is supposed to be. However, there are so many ideological groups and dividing lines that the people of America cannot even unify as Americans and in that Unity as Americans it be enough. Someone will be offended by the other’s views on something, not just religion, it might be race, it might be gender, it might be sexual identity, it might be finance, it might be literature, it might be entertainment, it might be art, it might be protection, it might be violence, it might be sacrifice, it might be leadership, it might be marriage, it can be so many different dividing lines that in some way to not see that these are in fact manufactured ideologies to keep the people separate and divided in such a way that their forceful impact when unified is made of no effectual power.
The Shooter in Las Vegas was alone when he shot the people from his Hotel room, but somewhere there are thousands of people that agreed with his ideological views. He may not have even had just one, he might have held multiple ideological views and in some way, have agreed with me on certain things, agreed with you on certain things and yet alone, he chose to put his hands to work to conduct a great evil. As my mother used to tell me as a child, but by the grace of God there go I. See, what ideological views do you and I currently hold in such a way, that if we watered and nurtured them, would lead us to pick up a rifle(s) and commit an equal evil? We sit in our homes right now, potentially reading this article, even as I write it and think, well, none of my ideological views could lead to me conducting such an evil act. If we truly believe that, we are deceived and there is no hope for this Nation and no hope for the people of this country ever coming together and initiating any lawful change. We must do this the correct way, we must do this true to our Nation and in a way, that honors those who afforded us the right to even have these conversations.
No patriot shed their blood for the YouTube Ideologies that invade our Facebook Feeds or YouTube Channels. They shed their blood to provide us the Freedom and Liberty to unite as Americans and effect change in our government. We all know change is necessary and desire change. We all disagree (because of these divisive ideologies) what that change will look like when implemented and what would happen next. However, it isn’t our fellow Americans we need to fear will make changes that we cannot live with. As Americans, we are all simply trying to pursue life, liberty and happiness amongst our own families and social circles to ensure that our families future generations are set up for success. We have this in common. We need to realize that this may have been a Lone Wolf: someone who acted alone. Please do not believe the presuppositional lie which “Lone Wolf” lends. That somehow, his ideology was in fact, held by him alone. There are people right now at home holding the exact same ideology that man held. They might have just come into it, maybe they haven’t adequately argued it publicly yet, maybe someone hasn’t bullied them online for holding it yet, just because they haven’t reached a mental breaking point with that ideology doesn’t mean they aren’t nurturing the exact same ideology.
We must examine our ideological views with great rigor. Potentially more than at any other time in history and if the ideology is not suitable for all Americans to hold it, consider throwing it in the garbage or choosing for a time to set it aside until such a time we can consider picking it back up again and show this government and the powers that we we will not be herded into compartmental ideologies that divide us as Americans any longer. We can no longer afford to not use a tool that helps us identify when an ideology is divisive. Whether for you, that is the Bible, or another book, the scientific method, humility, whatever your tool might be, to not look at all that is going on right now and feel like the issue lies in one place but we could never come together to effect the change that is necessary is in fact the problem that we, as Americans, can no longer ignore.