We are in the midst of competing ideas to either keep or remove that which conjures up images and heart-rending feelings of our past that cannot be erased with even the strongest refiner’s soap. We are at odds as to how to accomplish even the most basic ways to heal. Monuments and symbols of our dark history that led to our nation’s civil war have revealed how much bitterness is still alive in the hearts of so many. Every heart is being laid bare in the midst of this tumult. The din of confused and angry voices seems to be on every day’s page. You already know what to expect when the page is turned.

Mary Shelley wrote in her novel Frankenstein, “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” But this history of events in our country is not sudden. It has been going on since 1619. Yet so many have not come to terms with this country’s sin. So many people want to hold on to monuments erected to honor those who fought against our union. For every statue that comes down, there is an opposing reason of why it must remain and how it is part of our heritage and history. This is not a history we can forget. But we must be unified in our efforts to remove this evil and disgraceful stain from hindering our ability to move forward into healing.  Right now, we are like that monster in Shelley’s book that has been resurrected and is alive. It’s hideous and it cannot walk unseen in the light of decency.

Monuments honoring those who rose against our nation in civil war were built by those who still harbored feelings that led us into civil war. Groups like The United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of the Confederate Veterans endeavored to defend the Confederate states. Periods of time when most monuments were erected coincide with a point in history when segregation was in a time of strength and disenfranchisement of Blacks was at its height. Keep civil rights down. Schools and living fully segregated. I witnessed those years in the 1950’s when people of color were not allowed in classrooms with me. When, as a small boy in North Carolina, I could see blacks on one side of the street and whites on the other in downtown areas. No blacks allowed in restaurants that I could go to. Separate water fountains. These years of reconstruction after the civil war brought in new horrors. The KKK. Lynchings for fabricated crimes or slights as innocent as just not knowing your place. One should wonder, and even be confused, as to why such monuments that are derived from a mindset of white supremacy would still be standing during such trying times. But they are. The greatest legacy of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was their Mount Rushmore of the Confederacy completed in the 1960s. This monument depicts Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis. It is still revered.

In Chapter 6 of the book of Judges, the Lord is speaking to Gideon. He is telling Gideon what he must do, but Gideon is afraid and tells the Lord that his clan is the weakest and he is the weakest in his father’s house. Yet, when the Lord first addressed Gideon, He called him a mighty man of valor. The Lord told Gideon that he was chosen to tear down the false images and altars. Gideon obeyed, but he did it at night because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city. The men of the city were in fact enraged at Gideon’s action and wished to kill him. Gideon’s father stood up for him and asked the men of the city if they would plead for those false idols. The Lord was then with Gideon in great power. I feel that we are being called to stand up against that same spirit that seeks to protect these monuments of shame. It is imperative that we address this now because protecting that which is a replica of evil deeds only leads to more hate and division. As Jacob told his household in Genesis 35, “Put away all these foreign gods from among you. Purify yourselves and change your garments.”

Change can be messy. Even destructive. Emotions and pent up feelings of injustice can cause the pendulum to swing in a way that pummels all within its arc. I understand, as best as I can, the depth of emotions that are being felt. What I have trouble coming to terms with are those who defend the monuments as our proud heritage and wish to punish those who want them removed. There are those that say if we remove these statues and monuments then we may as well get rid of the Pyramids, or the Colosseum, or even the Temple on the Mount because they were built with slave labor. One prominent prophetic minister on the west coast facetiously said that maybe we should get rid of books in the Bible by men like Moses, the Apostle Paul, and the Psalms by David because they were murderers. I’m sure these same people wouldn’t disagree with removing statues of people like Herman Goring or Heinrich Himmler. But they were evil Nazis. Even Germany doesn’t venerate their World War II Nazi leaders! It’s funny how we can so easily condemn one thing yet not see our own connection to an evil past. People are defending the indefensible. Carl Sagan said, “If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth.” We need to open our eyes. As Jesus said in John 4, “You worship that which you don’t know.” You might think something is acceptable, but what about when it’s exposed to His light? Can we say that we are walking in the light as He is the light? Ask Him.

Right now, every action we take in response to the factions in our society are vitally important. People all over the world are watching. All Heaven is also witness to what we do and how we react. We have no excuse for trying to fortify a foundation whose cracks and faults have been laid bare. Now is the time for all to be so cognizant that we are in a position to educate a new generation and help heal other generations.  How do we teach our children and those we are spiritually in a place to mentor? Words from the Crosby, Stills, and Nash song, Teach Your Children Well, come to mind. “You who are on a road, Must have a code you can live by. And so, become yourself, Because the past is just a goodbye. Teach your children well. Their father’s hell did slowly go by. And feed them on your dreams. And the one they pick is the one you’ll know by.” Teach them well and it will be seen. Do it now why it is still today. We have no idea how important of an example we can be.

I pray we gain insight into what is necessary for healing to come to this land. We see spurts, but not enough to truly heal, as the wounds are so deep and so infected. We cannot allow this to become a political conversation. This is right and wrong. Good and evil. Life and death. Choose life. Embrace healing. I pray, just as it is stated in Ezekiel 36, “That the Lord sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

I urge you, my brothers and sisters, for the sake of the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree to live in unity with one another and put to rest any division that attempts to tear you apart. Blessings.

Current State of Unrest

So once again, people are speaking and opining on our national state of unrest. Viewpoints and answers to problems are being offered with such rapidity and conviction that one wonders why this current yet centuries old problem wasn’t remedied long ago. It’s as the prophet Jeremiah asked in Jeremiah 8:22  “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?” Yet, so much of what I’ve read by Evangelical leaders pontificate on the whys and reasons for this national continuing problem. Prophecies have been spoken and written that reveal recent insight into a growing racial tension even leading to violence. Where in God’s name have these leaders been? I have spoken and written about this for so long.  Yet it seems that one can get to the place where if you are not running lockstep within a certain crowd, you will not be heard. But “I can’t run no more with that lawless crowd. While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud. But they’ve summoned up a thundercloud. And they’re going to hear from me.” (From Anthem by Leonard Cohen)

In the book of Numbers 12, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman he had married.  The fact that Miriam’s name is listed first indicates she may have instigated this offense. Moses’ wife, Zipporah, was a Cushite. An Ethiopian. And the color of her skin was part of the issue here. In Jeremiah 13:23, Jeremiah asks, “Can the Ethiopian (Cushite) change his skin or can a leopard change its spots.” This was an immutable fact. This aroused the anger of the Lord and Miriam was struck with leprosy. Moses’ prayers for Miriam’s healing caused the Lord to relent. But Miriam was still shut out of the camp for seven days. The disease, leprosy, may be contained today in most of the world, but hatred is not.  If you could see the disfigurement of people who walk in this disease of hatred of others because of the color of their skin, you would see their bodies have been contorted and deformed by the constant dripping of venom from their minds. Hatred is a most vile condition.

Our country was founded on principles of freedom and equality. Yet during that whole time, we were using slaves to build that which we were fighting to establish. We fought a major, divisive war that left wounds which still fester to stop this injustice called slavery. But we found other ways to enslave and keep one down. Parity and acceptance are still not equal for those with less pigmentation in their skin. Years have gone by and some achievements in civil rights have been made, but too many shades of disparity color this canvas in garish and nightmarish colors. In Psalm 13, David asks the Lord, “How long O Lord? How long will you hide your face from me?” Marvin Gaye sang, “There’s too many crying. What’s going on?” Different times, but things are still the same.

What we seem to hear most right now is the result of years of inequality. So, the focus is on the riots. And the reason for the depth of the hate and anguish is set aside as if not pertinent. Throughout history, when people have been mistreated, the end result is some degree of violence. Martin Luther King said that “riot is the language of the unheard.” Yet how many Facebook posts have I seen using Dr. King as the example of how people of color should behave? They have no idea of what that good man went through in order to bring about the degree of change he did. They forget what it cost him and that he knew that it would require even his life. I wish these people would quit using his statements and image. They have no right and are not of the same spirit.

Frantz Fanon, though not revered by some because of his beliefs, said in 1961, “When we revolt it’s not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe.” This cycle of varying degrees of interest will go on for a while. Then we’ll wait for the next injustice to arrive. And it will. The dream the Lord gave me in 2012 clearly showed me how this will become worse and more insidious. And when we have direction from the top saying the word “Dominate” to Governors in regard to protesters, the best we can expect is an audible simmer that will again boil over.

I will not address those who resort to theft and destruction any more than I will to those outside agitators from the left and the right who come for a myriad of evil intentions. People need to realize that it was loved and quoted by so many when Peter Finch in the movie Network, said, “I’m angry as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” That’s how so many feel. That’s how I feel, and I can’t even begin to understand because I am white. But everyone should pay attention and realize that when the Lord said we are all one, and you decide to come up with your own explanation, there will be something you will answer for. People were up in arms over Colin Kaepernick taking a knee to injustice and now some of them see that is better than a knee on a man’s neck that kills him, or the resulting rioting of that action. I am taking a knee in solidarity.

Paul wrote to Timothy to do things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. We all fall short of His glory and seem to make the same mistakes constantly. But this spirit of racism that is growing at an alarming speed must be dealt with. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Be it good or evil. If this is in you, confess it and ask Him to cleanse you. If it is in one you follow, either politically or spiritually, walk away from them. Be separate from that evil and have no part in it. 1 John 9-11 states, “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

We cannot survive with this pervasive hatred. Something will break and not be repairable. Take stock of where you are. The state of your heart. Is your heart is a state of unrest? “Ring the bells that can still ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” (Leonard Cohen) Walk in the light as He is the light. It depends on you to do your part to live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18)   Blessings.