Anarchy In The Wings
I will be honest with all of you. I don’t even know where to begin with this Robservation. In an era where, as a society, we should be reaching for the stars, we seem to be mired in the most toxic racial environment I have witnessed in my adult life. Just before I sat down to write this, a news report broke that I am sure each and every one of you has seen and heard about dozens of times. It appears that 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Abdula Brinsley of Maryland, took his semi-automatic handgun and murdered two New York City Police Department officers, Rafael Ramos, 40, and 32 year-old Wenjian Liu. In a hate filled twitter diatribe, Brinsley defiantly boasted of “putting wings on pigs” and encouraged others to kill police officers. He wrote, “they take 1 of ours ... let's take 2 of theirs.” Like a lot of America right now, I am both confused and to be quite honest with you, pissed off. I cannot imagine what goes through the mind of somebody who decides to stroll up to a police car and put bullets into the heads of men minding their own business. Although Brinsley alluded that he was seeking just punishment for the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, in fact all he did was callously murder two men in cold blood.
I think all of us watched in horror as the events in Ferguson, Missouri stained our national psyche. Looting, burning, arson, violence, you name it. For over a week, our televisions looked like a replay of the 1960s. Heck, I was just a kid living on the border of Newark, New Jersey in East Orange in 1967 when the riots hit that turbulent July. I remember seeing the National Guard troops walking in front of our apartment and in the end, 26 people died. But in 2014?
I have a Bible reading plan that I follow every year. On 2 December as I was doing my daily quiet time, I read a passage from II Peter 2:9-10. It says, “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.” The words DESPISE AUTHORITY caught my attention.
I have a Bible program on my Ipad called e-Sword HD. It is a really good program. One of the features I often find myself using are the commentaries written by Bible scholars like Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke and Robert Hawker. When I read the passage in II Peter, I opened up the commentaries and turned to the one written by Albert Barnes. For those of you who don’t know who he was, Albert Barnes was an American Theologian and ordained Presbyterian minister born in 1798 and died in 1870. In his commentary on II Peter 2:9-10 concerning those who despise government, Barnes wrote,
“That is, they regard all government in the state, the church, and the family, as an evil. Advocates for unbridled freedom of all sorts; declaimers on liberty and on the evils of oppression; defenders of what they regard as the rights of injured man, and yet secretly themselves lusting for the exercise of the very power which they would deny to others - they make no just distinctions about what constitutes true freedom, and in their zeal array themselves against government in all forms. No topic of declamation would be more popular than this, and from none would they hope to secure more followers; for if they could succeed in removing all respect for the just restraints of law, the way would be open for the accomplishment of their own purposes, in setting up a dominion ever the minds of others. It is a common result of such views, that men of this description become impatient of the government of God himself, and seek to throw off all authority, and to live in the unrestrained indulgence of their vicious propensities.” (italic added by author)
Wow!! Truer words are rarely if ever uttered in these most trying of times. In an era of wanting to be politically correct and avoiding even the perception of offense, people tend to minimize or outright dodge the truth in its entirety. In his commentary, Albert Barnes hit the nail on the head. I would ask those of you who read this article to read his words again and really try to understand what he is saying here. Whether it be the “Occupy Wall Street” gangsters, the Ferguson rioters and looters or the depraved cop killer, Ismaaiyl Abdula Brinsley, so often today we see people who simply want to disregard all forms of restraint. In other words, as our nation becomes more secular and moves at warp speed from those things of God, the reality of what Albert Barnes wrote in explaining the Biblical truths we are facing every day, will come to fruition. It is there for everybody to see.
There is an ugly trend in our society now that says, “You can’t tell me what to do.” The over used, “You’re not the boss of me” has become synonymous with the boorish behavior of large segments of an entire generation. No people, there is no excuse for the murder of two policemen. At the same time, I am not so ignorant as to not realize there are some police out there doing bad things and too often those wrongdoings are overlooked by authorities. But as a nation of laws, we have to let the system work as best it can. As the saying goes, we cannot “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” To willingly allow retribution to be dealt by the hands of angry mobs at the expense of the government is anarchy. Anyone who believes that unbridled lawlessness and mayhem is the way to a better America is a fool.
I for one hope we get past this soon but from my vantage point, as long as we have the very top leadership in this country stoking the flames of racism and the usual race hustlers adding fuel to the proverbial fire, things are not going to get better anytime soon. For this I am sad and for the first time in my adult life truly embarrassed for how America is certainly perceived around the world.