Yes, we are living in very dark times. Not just here in America, but in many other countries around the world. It’s enough to send the most emotionally healthy person into the pits of despair, but we can’t allow that to happen. Succumbing to despair and hopelessness is exactly what the enemy wants, because when we’re helpless and hopeless we can lose our souls. We become weak and malleable spiritually, and more easily used by the forces of darkness.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of God, a preacher who fought for social justice and what was right and good in the eyes of God — a stark contrast to many American “Christians” of today, who somehow believe wealth, whiteness, material success, and greed are godly, and if you aren’t blessed with these things (and if you don’t vote Republican), you aren’t one of the “chosen.”
This uniquely American belief system is based on Calvinism, which is in my opinion an ugly and hateful philosophy that teaches that Jesus didn’t die to save everyone, but only the “elect.” The belief that only certain individuals can be saved and this was determined before you were born is called “predestination.” Many fundamentalist Christian churches believe in this. To those who hold this doctrine, there is nothing you can do if God hasn’t chosen you. You will not only be cursed with disease, misery, and poverty, but will ultimately wind up being punished for all eternity — just because God didn’t favor you. This horrible and cruel doctrine is in direct opposition to what Jesus taught us. Today, of course, someone who acts the way Jesus did would be called a “socialist.”
If God is really like that, I want nothing to do with him. That God is worse than the devil himself. But I don’t believe God is like that.
We live in dark times, and more and more people are embracing a false Christianity that is anything but. They may read their Bibles and attend church every Sunday, but it means nothing. Even the enemy can spout Bible verses. Those of us who practice kindness and compassion, and care about the less fortunate, the immigrants, the old, the sick, the children, and the oppressed and suffering people of this world (the way Jesus did) have a duty to pray for those who have been deceived. We must not lose sight of the truth, whether it’s refusing to listen to “fake news” or “alternative facts,” or not denying such realities as climate change or the fact that none of us can survive without each other. We are not islands and were never built for individualism above community. We are tribal creatures, intended to support each other and work toward the greater good, not just what is good for us. What benefits you benefits me, and benefits the entire society.
We must pray the ignorant ones see the truth and stop listening to and believing the lies that run rampant across the land these days. America is not the promised land and it never was. People who believe that America is God’s chosen nation and only the white and rich are blessed by God aren’t evil but they are ignorant.
America may fall just like the Roman empire, but those of us who believe God loves us all and who reach out to others rather than kicking them when they’re already down will be able to transcend all the hatred, violence, greed, and selfishness that defines America (and the world) today and find peace and joy in our relationship with God.