You know for the longest time I’ve been trying to understand what drives people to act in such irresponsible and reckless ways with one another.
People vote to bulk up the military and invasive national security. They support drone warfare against people they don’t even know. They keep people locked in prison for decades on suspicion of terrorist ties in Guantanamo Bay. They deport people running from miserable, deadly, and dysfunctional lives in their former nations and in the process end up tearing families apart and lowering the workforce needed for an efficient economy and thriving businesses. They deny women the right to make difficult decisions about pregnancy and contraception often ending in death for either the mother the child or both. They allow for reparative therapy for LGBT people in order to make them straight although all reputable medical institutions strongly condemn such practices realizing that they do irreparable damage to those involved psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spirituality. They deny that the death penalty is ineffective and results in the deaths of innocent people and disproportionately effects minorities.
I asked myself why. Why do people lack empathy, generosity, love, mercy, compassion, and justice for one another, oftentimes those who they don’t even know?
I believe the answer is fear of the unknown. It is a fear of change or negative consequences or what could happen if they imagined themselves in the shoes of others not like them. What oftentimes happens when people start to feel afraid is that they tend to overreact or violently push back. In the process they forget their own humanity as well as the humanity of others.
It happened when Cain killed Abel and Judas betrayed Jesus. They have forgotten that Christ said not to worry and to just trust Him. They forget that perfect love casts out fear and that love does not insist on its own way. They forget that love does no harm to its neighbor, therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. They forget that God’s commandments are not burdensome. If something doesn’t begin and end with love then something has gone wrong.
They are afraid of God’s wrath and judgement. They are afraid of Hell and Judgement Day. They need to know that God doesn’t operate that way. They need to know that God is love and that Christ came to give life and give it more abundantly.
The Father imparted in my spirit a long time ago that He came to establish and sustain life, that Christ came to establish love and to show man how to practice it with one another, and that the Holy Spirit came to show us how to be edified and how to edify one another.
It’s important that we recognize our Jewish roots and that they had no notion of hell. It was a foreign concept to them and primarily known by the Greeks and Romans. They viewed the afterlife initially as a place where both the righteous as well as the wicked go to take their rest. Later on, through the centuries Jewish sages started to believe that the the truly righteous go straight to Heaven and that Hell was meant as a twelve month period of purification of the souls of which not all people had to experience the twelve month cycle. The truly wicked would either cease to exist at the end of those twelve months or be condemned to eternal damnation. They compare it to a washing machine where the soul is cleansed in order to be prepared for entrance into Heaven.
The Jewish people believe that all mankind will worship God in the end and that they will strive for a more spiritual and moral life. It will be utopian and is very similar to Christian understanding of the end times.
We have no way of knowing if God will judge America, but it is doubtful. God had a special covenant with Israel that He initiated through prophets and revealed in scripture. America can make no such claim. There have been no prophets and God has not made an agreement with other nations. God only has a special relationship with His church whom He has commanded to simply love Him and those around them. You need not live in fear because love casts out fear.
Ask yourself if a loving Father sits around waiting for His children to make a mistake so that He can punish them. Does God make you feel guilty or try to gently nudge you in the right direction? Does He threaten you with infinite torment if you only have a finite life? Does He make you feel ashamed and worthless or does He edify you and call you His beloved child?
Fear has no place in the lives of God’s children and is completely antithetical to the character of God. Don’t believe these myths and lies that are meant to control you and place you in submission to human authorities and stifle your reason and cognition.
Let love lead the way in words and in deeds and exemplify the Fruits of the Spirit. Realize that your fear is uncalled for and that the Spirit allows for personal conscience, as it says in Romans, on varying beliefs about different issues that may arise.
Go forth, walk in love, and live peaceably with all.