Many years ago, my wife and I took a vacation from Connecticut to Boynton Beach, Florida. We were hoping for some sun and relaxation after a tough winter in Connecticut. We stayed with two of my sisters and brothers-in-law in an old farmhouse on Lawrence Road. It was definitely not the Comfort Inn. My sister told us that if we got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, to definitely not turn on the lights because of the roaches and bugs that came out at night. That scared my wife, but she had a small flashlight to use which would show the way without revealing what was hiding. I can picture this exact same scenario going on in our country today. Hidden things, which once furtively scurried from one area of darkness to another, now feeling so emboldened that they do not care if they are seen. Can we truly have no fellowship with this encroaching darkness and expose it for what it is or will we, too, compromise and make excuses for those who seek to promote an evil agenda no matter the harm done.
There was a time when people on both sides of the aisle politically had a common goal of what was good for America. Going all the way back to the Puritans and John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, to the speech by John Kennedy on “A Model of Christian Charity,” to Peggy Noonan’s speech for Ronald Reagan ~ they all addressed Matthew 5 saying we are the light of the world. And that a city set on a hill cannot be hidden, so let your light shine before all men. They said America is freedom and freedom is special, but it’s fragile and needs protection. What happened since then? Little by little things contrary to those beliefs crept in. We’ve had those “roaches” that dared to come out and hunt in the light before. Those that believed America could take whatever it wanted without impunity. From our treatment of indigenous people and Asian people, to the ongoing hatred and distrust of Jewish people, to basically anyone that doesn’t measure up to what you feel is a picture of America. And people of color have never been seen as equal. As children of the same God many say they believe in. They still fight for the same equal rights that were supposed to have been theirs from years ago. But, so much of what we now see spoken publicly and acted on in front of our eyes, was once hidden. This encroaching darkness was always there. It just waits for the right time to make an attempt to invade the light. And we, as keepers of the light, have not held our ground. We’ve retreated. In the Moffatt Translation of 1 Timothy 6, the Apostle Paul speaks of those who mislead. “Anyone who teaches novelties and refuses to fall in with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the doctrine that tallies with godliness, is a conceited, ignorant creature, with a morbid passion for controversy and argument which leads only to envy, dissension, insults, insinuations, and constant friction between people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth. They imagine religion is a paying concern.” And we are inundated with false prophets and teachers who make excuses for these purveyors of darkness, and are selling their wares to everyone they can rope into their lair of deceit.
The German philosopher Nietzsche spoke of those who peer too deeply into things that touch the worst parts of our souls and bring us to a place where what you once thought was battling against your vision of America and the Church, only brings you into deeper recesses of darkness. He said “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster and when you gaze into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” Many thought they were fighting the good fight, only to fall into the depths of depravity through their hate and discord. They lost themselves. They believed the lies of those who told them that foreigners were coming to take their jobs. That Jews owned all the influential cabals in the world. The inferiority of people of color. That Christianity meant controlling all forms of government to be ready to herald the second coming of our Lord. That constantly giving special breaks to the wealthiest would find its way to the poorest. In the midst of things like this, we’ve put the Church on a course that too often leads people away from the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Sermon on the Mount is basically a nice Sunday school story. Taking up one’s cross is basically using that cross to beat someone into submission to your point of view. This “encroaching darkness” is upon us. Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3) They have entered the abyss.
We are at a time I knew was coming, but hoped to never see. What the Lord refers to as an abomination in lying lips, has become accepted in this country and especially the church. Election deniers are in full force as seen in those running for office on the Republican ticket. They care little as to the veracity of their spurious claims. And I say this as a past supporter of Reagan and George H. W. Bush. QAnon is now a part of the Republican party, in that its lies are used to push an agenda. Compassion is never the first thing considered. But infighting and hate rule the day. If you keep repeating a lie, it will be accepted and believed. That’s the mantra of many. This work of the enemy is being allowed. That should truly frighten all of us. But many do not believe the love of the truth of Christ. For this reason, the Lord has sent strong delusion that they would believe the lie, that they may be condemned who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2) The scripture actually says “The Lord will send them strong delusion.” I believe this is already in the process. Those cockroaches are going wherever they want and they speak to evil and an unclean spirit. A present encroaching darkness trying to extinguish light. In Isaiah 1, the Lord says, “Come, let us reason together. Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” I fear we’re past hearing that. We’ve had so many warnings. Come before Him with a humble and contrite spirit. As I’ve said before, there is no being born from above without repentance. Test all things. Hold fast to that which is true. Walk in the light, as He is the light. Cast off all works of darkness. If we are truly called the light of the world, then we must not walk in darkness, but walk as children of light. Stand in all things. Expose the works of darkness and have no fellowship with them. Let Christ in you, the hope of glory, be seen. Blessings.