When Hope and Change Wasn't
Ever since the death of Trayvon Martin and the outcry for social justice that has ensued since the Obama era, there have been countless Black victims of police brutality. Many people think the solutions are reform the police, demand reparations and scream "don't be a racist" at anyone that doesn't look like you, or even act like you -the supposed Uncle Toms. I believe this type of thinking is unfortunate. And I'm starting to believe we've got this all wrong. Well, to be honest I've felt this way for quite a while now.
Years ago when I used to produce the UpNorth Kingdom podcast I would often talk about "something being in the air". This was during the changing of guard -President Obama ending his term and campaign of "Hope and Change". I had always found it quite odd that the United States became even more divided the moment a Black president was elected. Let's be real here, hope and change were realized the moment Barack Obama was elected. A Black man -for the first time in history- being elected as president of the United States of America was the pinnacle of hope and change. I saw this as an opportunity for the country and more specifically Black Americans to pave new roads before them, instead of insisting on repaving cracked, pothole filled roads they've already traveled. Yet, it was if President Obama never stopped campaigning. It was akin to watching the coach of a professional sports team attempt to motivate his exhausted players after they'd just won the championship.
I began to realize there was an undertone to the message of "Hope and Change" which communicated something different. It was one of oppression and despair. And what seemed to be over night, the very fabric of racial tension within America which was malleable became solidified.
While one could argue that "racist white people" became more vocal due to the change, it doesn't account for the doubling down of oppression and despair by those who had a clear representation for change. I remember speaking to many Black Americans who told me point blank that electing a Black man for president would show millions of little Black boys and girls what's possible. Yet post election, the rubber met the road and that talk dissipated. Instead of real conversations and real solutions concerning progress that could start with and end with Blacks, the witch-hunt to uproot anything that looked like systemic racism and discrimination kicked into high gear. The new narrative, was that progress in America could only be made if change was effectuated by another party. It was as if people realized excuses could no longer be made for individual lack of progress and success. A new villain needed to be created. And what has ensued since has been the cultivating of a victim mentality state of mind within our current milieu.
What followed next really unsettled my gut. As Donald Trump began to run for office it was as if the wheels of racism were being blown off in an attempt to drive division as quickly as possible within the American people. As someone who experienced real racism -being jumped by white kids as a child for being a "darky" and being refused service in one establishment while being kicked out of a another solely based on my skin color- it didn't make any real sense to me. I watched a man who people tuned into every week to view The Apprentice; a man that black rap artists would reference and idolize; a man with business relationships with people who don't look like him across the globe, instantaneously be labeled as the most racist person on Earth. I remember the countless Black victims of police brutality recorded and streamed across social and major media outlets. I remember the handful of KKK members reporters captured right here in Georgia, as if millions of hooded men were going to start snatching Black Americans out of their beds at night. It was if evil was being planned for the purpose of televising it to get everyone riled up. And it was working brilliantly. It felt like social programming and I thought to myself, something isn't right. This is all too obvious. All too convenient. All too easy.
Confusion from God or Demons
I've learned over the years to trust my gut regardless of other people's insecurities. There was a time where I wouldn't, only to be proven right later. And my gut tells me something isn't right. It's as if we've all been baited but people are all too angry and confused to see it. It's as if people have the lost the ability to think rationally and critically. Emotion rules the day.
Reflecting on the last decade floods my mind with certain ancient historic events. Events that I've read about in the Bible such as accounts when God used confusion in order to bring about change in a society. This always involved crooked nations and sometimes even Israel. It's easy to forget we don't live in a theocracy. Contrary to popular belief America is a pagan nation, regardless of how it may have been "founded". Regardless of what the Pledge of Alliance communicates. Regardless of how many churches get stood up.
I can't help but take notice of what God was doing during the days of ancient Israel and wonder if He's doing the same thing today.
In Genesis 11:7 God and His divine council come down to earth in order to confuse the languages of the 70 nations. He does this to effectuate change to course correct humanity.
7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” - Genesis 11:7 (ESV)
Then there was the conquest of Canaan where God sent an angel to cause confusion against any who opposed Israel.
27 I will send my terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. - Exodus 23:27 (ESV)
In Deuteronomy 28 God threatens Israel with confusion and blindness as part of a curse lest they enter the promised land and forget Him.
28 The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind, -Deuteronomy 28:28 (ESV)
But there's more. In 1 Samuel, God confuses the Philistines who begin attacking one another.
20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle. And behold, every Philistine’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. - 1 Samuel 14:20 (ESV)
In 2 Chronicles 18:19 we see God meeting with His divine council -much like He did in Job 1- and authorizes a spirit to entice the wicked King Ahab which would lead to his death.
20 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ 21 And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ 22 Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets. The Lord has declared disaster concerning you.” - 2 Chronicles 18:20–22 (ESV)
What all of this has in common is that God often authorized confusion in order to throw a very wicked people into further chaos to usher in a new nation or people. I can't help but wonder if that is what's taking place in America. And because people are ignorant to spiritual things they're completely unaware, fighting in the flesh. Again, this is a pagan nation. One that hasn't been around long compared to many other nations in the world. There's no rule or heavenly decree that states America should and will exist for thousands of years. Plenty of superpowers have fallen over the course of human history. All according to God's sovereignty.
I also can't help but wonder if the division we see in our country is being seeded by demons. I know this idea would actually bring comfort to people versus the alternative because it may mean God is not actively working against our nation. But not necessarily. God has often allowed evil to permeate to bring about change. One only has to remember the crucifixion of Christ. It is also imperative to remember that the goal of the demonic realm is to separate man from God, much like the gods did with the surrounding immoral nations in ancient Israel's day. America -which is pagan land- is becoming an increasingly immoral country. One can't help but believe demonic influence is at play.
We've all been baited. Either by God or demons. I don't pretend to know by whom. But I do know something isn't right.
Author of Confusion
I know what I'm proposing is terrifying for some. And an immediate kick back would be to resort to 1 Corinthians 14:33 as if every verse presented in this article doesn't exist:
33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. - 1 Co 14:33. (ESV)
And to this I would agree; God is not a God of confusion. God is also not a God of war. But that doesn't mean -as scripture shows us- that God doesn't use things such as war, evil and confusion in order to bring about His peace when dealing with immoral nations.
Something to think about.