On Thursday we heard heated arguments and accusations further aggrandized by sometimes eloquent, sometimes trite counter arguments. After weeks of delays, demands, and disagreements there are few things any of us agrees on in the farce that is the confirmation hearings of one Honorable Brett Kavanaugh. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms, teeth were bared on both sides as liberals and conservatives vie for the attention of America's masses. In typical fashion, Saturday Night Live offered Hollywood's take on the fracas with respected actor and liberal activist Matt Damon characterizing Kavanaugh as an angry man void of substance. Contrast that with conservative news attacks on the character of Professor Ford and you might start to understand Matthew's prophesy in chapter 24.
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down." As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt 24:1-14, NIV)
Embattled right wing extremist Alex Jones re-popularized the phrase, "There is a war on for your mind." But I remind you what the Bible says in Ephesians 6.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph 6:10-12, NIV)
Satan takes many forms, from a Skinhead spewing hatred against a black man while legally protesting mistreatment at the hands of corrupt officials, to a mother teaching her young daughter that white men are evil. He teaches hate from the pulpit of churches whenever the pastor promotes dollars over devotions. He promotes hate from our television screens when popular programs patronize political platforms over substance and call it art or entertainment. He ingrains hate into our everyday lives when we "like" and "share" and "retweet" to our friends our own misguided views of justice.
I am not a fan of Alex Jones. But I believe he scratched the surface of something we Christians have forgotten. The Bible is replete with instruction to guard your mind against Satan, for that is his battleground. As a fallen angel, Satan is more powerful than every human being that ever lived, except one. Outside of God's protection, not even Elijah was immune to Satan's power. Without God's Spirit, neither you nor I can withstand Satan's onslaught.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Rom 12:2, NIV)
"Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7, NIV)
"For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please." (Gal 5:17, NIV)
Christian, to quote Alex Jones, there is a war on for your mind. To quote Paul, our struggle is against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Don't be fooled by pretty faces and flowing speeches. Hate is ungodly, and gloating in the face of such hateful rhetoric as we saw last week is equally as hateful. Regardless of which side of the Kavanaugh coin you fall on, be sure to check your hate at the door. Listen with Godly ears, prepared for battle through the study of God's word, and open to the wise counsel of Godly speech. Everything else is noise intended to distract you from God's purpose.
–Mark Klages is an influential contributor, a former US Marine and a lifelong teacher who focuses on applying a Christian worldview to everyday events. Mark blogs at https://maklagesl3.wixsite.com/website under the title "God Provides where Hate Divides," with a heart to heal social, political, relational, and intellectual wounds through God's divine love and grace. Mark can also be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-klages-04b42511/.