As a pastor who sought to faithfully shepherd congregations through some difficult, even traumatic, times, … I find these day in this nation downright frightening. This should not be altogether surprising to anyone who has read the Biblical documents. In the opening chapters, there appears a sinister figure in the form of a serpent who casts doubt on God’s character and good design: the satan (Satan, or the devil). We see this negative lurking in the background through all the centuries, … it erupts more unmistakably in the birth of Jesus, an attempt to kill him, … but most unmistakably after Jesus’ baptism, when Jesus spends forty days in the wilderness, during which time Satan putting a deceptive spin on the facts seeks to lure Jesus away from his calling to be the Lamb of God who take away the sins of the world. What Jesus knows is his calling is to take upon himself the sins of the world, bear them on the cross, and so usher in God’s new creation, forgiveness of sin, and new life in the Spirit.

But Satan doesn’t disappear. The apostles remind us that the whole world lies in the wicked one. After Paul’s eloquent teaching on the awesome role of the church, in his letter to the Ephesians, … almost as if the closing passage is the whole reason for the letter, he will say: “Finally, brothers and sisters, put on the whole armor of God so that you may stand against the wiles of the devil…” The first piece of that armor is the girdle of truth (i.e., Jesus is the truth and his word is truth).

To my point of these being frightening times. I am old enough to remember, that in the very unique and culturally advanced nation of Germany, there emerged out of the beer halls of Munich a blowhard named Adolph Hitler, who within a very few years had persuaded that whole nation to follow him in creating an “Aryan pure” Germany to dominate the world. His agent for disseminating this effort was his propaganda chief, Josef Goebbels. Goebbels essentially brainwashed Germany with a whole alternative view of who they were, and so legitimized the holocaust and the extermination of millions of Jews. He brainwashed the most of the German church into remaining silent and allowing this to happen.

With this in my mind I find frightening our president’s unbelievable agency of disinformation under the genius one Brad Parscale who within minutes can post millions of text messages, tweets, and Facebook messages supporting the president’s actions, and discrediting those who challenge them. The scriptures teach that Satan is a liar and the father of lies. The vast scope of this disinformation agency of the president’s is truly frightening, and no follower of the life and teachings of Jesus can afford to be neutral in the face of such an assault of the darkness.

(My source is the account of the influence of Brad Parscale in the March issue of Atlantic monthly.)

Stay tuned, … and pray for deliverance from such darkness.

About rthenderson

Sixty years a pastor-teacher within the Presbyterian Church. Author of several books, the latest of which are a trilogy on missional ecclesiology: ENCHANTED COMMUNITY: JOURNEY INTO THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH, then, REFOUNDING THE CHURCH FROM THE UNDERSIDE, then THE CHURCH AND THE RELENTLESS DARKNESS. Previous to this trilogy was A DOOR OF HOPE: SPIRITUAL CONFLICT IN PASTORAL MINISTRY, and SUBVERSIVE JESUS, RADICAL FAITH. I am a native of West Palm Beach, Florida, a graduate of Davidson College, then of Columbia and Westminster Theological Seminaries.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge