What has been, it is what will be, And what has been done, it is what will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
As I watch and pray, I see how throughout time man has been deceived by their own selfish desires and throughout history. I continue to study the Old Testament prophets to gain understanding of God’s ways, His Word and dealings with Israel. We have been blessed that Jesus Christ paved a way for humanity to return to God in repentance and rest, Isaiah 30:16 says, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” The prophet goes on to say, “But you were not willing…’ Because of they despised the word of God, their sins undermined their safety. They thought they were wiser than God; but the way by which they thought to save themselves was their ruin.
“Men’s hearts and their corruptions are the same now as in former times; their desires, and pursuits, and complaints, still the same. This should take us from expecting happiness in the creature, and quicken us to seek eternal blessings. How many things and persons in Solomon’s day were thought very great, yet there is no remembrance of them now!”1
“Rather, “no new thing at all”; as in Nu 11:6. This is not meant in a general sense; but there is no new source of happiness (the subject in question) which can be devised; the same round of petty pleasures, cares, business, study, wars, &c., being repeated over and over again” [Holden]2
There is nothing in the world but a continued and tiresome repetition of the same things. The nature and course of human beings and the affairs of the world, and the nature/attitude of men’s minds, are generally the same; and therefore because no human has ever received satisfaction from any worldly things, it is a vain and foolish thing for any person hereafter to expect it.
No new thing, to wit, in the nature of things, which might give us hopes of attaining that satisfaction which things have not hitherto afforded. For otherwise this doth not restrain the God of nature, who hath frequently done, and still can do, new and miraculous works, and who can and doth discover to particular persons new inventions, when it pleaseth him.3
Nothing New Under the Sun
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”3 At the original writing of the United States Constitution’s infamous “Three-Fifths Clause” dictated that for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives African-American slaves were to be counted as less than full persons.
Racism is demonic stronghold in America that must be overcome. The word stronghold appears only once in the New Testament (2 Cor.10:4). The Greek word ochuróma translated “stronghold” means “fortress.” A demonic stronghold is anything compelling enough to hold you in its power to keep you from receiving God’s love and truth. The truth is God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might feel around for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and [a]exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His descendants(Acts 17:26-28).
In 2 Corinthians 10:4, the apostle Paul instructs the church at Corinth on how to fight against and “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor.10:5). They do this, not by using the weapons of the world, but by “divine power.” Lofty arguments and opinions are the result of pride and evil and vain imaginations, the very strongholds in which demons reside. This, then, is the essence of demonic warfare—the power of God to overcome the strongholds of demons. Paul also warned the Colossians to “Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything” (Col. 2:8-10).
On Saturday, May 14 a mass shooting took place in a local grocery store in Buffalo, NY. A young white male entered the store in a predominately Black area killing 10 people. Thirty minutes before the shooter allegedly carried out a racist mass shooting, he revealed his months long plot to some on social media. The killer’s manifesto was based on “The Great Replacement”, a theory once largely relegated to white supremacist rhetoric, and has made its way into mainstream consciousness. It has been linked to mass shootings in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand; right wing politicians and media figures have parroted its ideas.
How can this continue to happen in a nation that prides itself on being a Christian nation and and a Declaration of Independence that states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” Albeit slaves were only counted as three-fifths of a free individual because they were not free in the U.S. Constitution, Article 1. Section 2. The “Three-Fifths Clause” ratified 1788 that changed 1868 with the 14th Amendment. It has always been about politics and the deceptive thinking of men.
The spirit of racism has encompassed America for generations. Apostle Paul’s wisdom and warning to the Colossians, “See to it that there is no one who takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception in accordance with human tradition, in accordance with the elementary principles of the world, rather than in accordance with Christ (Col. 2:8). In other words, don’t be taken captive by misleading philosophy ((idle fancies and plain nonsense) and deception, following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world).
Honestly, I’m amazed at how many people are being held captive by lies, especially professing Christians. Yet, I shouldn’t be. Where do these evil thoughts originate? According to the above scripture, they originate in the heart and mind of man based upon empty, misleading and deceptive philosophies and beliefs. Satan is a deceiver, the father of lies. He disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). Satan was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. He is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).
As believers we are not to be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs(2 Cor. 2:11). Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars … (1 Tim. 4).
Spirit of racism
Deeply embedded in the heart of some white people is the fear they are being replaced by people of color. This distorted thinking has not gone away with time, but has increased. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), “White nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites. Groups listed in a variety of other categories—Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, racist skinhead and Christian Identity—could also be fairly described as white nationalist.”5
White nationalist ideology is based upon false and dangerous assumptions. History.org explains that white nationalism “…is a dangerous ideology that has seen an exponential rise in prevalence across the United States since 2017.” The threat of white nationalism gained new attention after the insurrection on January 6 2021, where many members of the mob attacking the US Capitol displayed white nationalist symbols and slogans. Other recent attacks motivated by white nationalist ideology include the shootings in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas; in mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand; in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. White nationalist violence is not a new phenomenon, even if it is taking on new forms. In the United States, the 1979 Greensboro shootings, various attacks committed in the 1980s by “the Order,” and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, were all motivated by the white nationalist ideology. Increasingly, white nationalists are targeting young people for recruitment online, and white nationalism has been linked to bullying, threats, and violence in schools. For these reasons, it is critical that we all understand what white nationalism is and why it is harmful.
This brings us to the latest attack and killing by a white nationalist under this putrid ideology. On May 14, 2022, a mass shooting occurred at a Tops Friendly Markets supermarket in Kingsley, an eastern neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. Ten people were killed, and three others were injured; eleven of the victims were African American. The shooter livestreamed the attack on Twitch. The people murdered in plain sight were simply going about their day shopping at a local grocery.
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? What is the source of this violence that drives someone to commit such a heinous crime. James 4:1-4 provides an answer, ”Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder”.
President George Washington in his farewell address offered his advice to the citizens of the United States. His key points were to warn Americans against the danger of political parties, to remain neutral in foreign conflicts and to celebrate their achievements. Washington warns the American people against the negative impact that opposing political parties could have on the country. During his presidency he witnessed the rise of the Democratic-Republican party in opposition to the Federalists and worried that future political squabbles would undermine the concept of popular sovereignty in the United States. He specifically stated, ”However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”6
Jesus said in Luke 12:49-56, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you think that I came to provide peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” He goes on to say “Whenever you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. And whenever you feel a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way. You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you do not know how to analyze this present time?
In future posts I will delve further into what I sense the Spirit of the Lord has been revealing to me regarding this present day evil threat and the church. This pernicious evil cannot and will not continue to prevail within a just society. God knows and cares about all humanity regardless of the color of their skin. The kingdoms of this world are becoming the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ who will reign forever (Rev. 11:15). The kingdom of the world is the way the world works. Whatever rules and has power in this world. But God’s justice will prevail!
May the grace, joy and peace be yours through Jesus Christ our loving Lord. To Him be glory, now and forever.
Minister A. Francine Green
Notes: All scripture references are taken from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.
- Ecclesiastes 1:9. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, https://biblehub.com/commentaries/jfb/ecclesiastes/1.htm. Accessed 16 May. 2022.
- Ecclesiastes 1:9 . Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, https://biblehub.com/commentaries/jfb/ecclesiastes/1.htm. Accessed 16 May. 2022.
- Ecclesiastes 1:9. Matthew Poole’s Commentary, https://biblehub.com/commentaries/poole/ecclesiastes/1.htm. Accessed 16 May. 2022.
- Explainer: White Nationalism | Facing History and Ourselves. https://www.facinghistory.org/educator-resources/current-events/explainer/white-nationalism. Accessed 16 May 2022.
- White Nationalist. Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/white-nationalist. 16 May 2022.
- Pruitt, Sarah. George Washington Warned Against Political Infighting in His Farewell Address. History.com. 18 Feb. 2020. https://www.history.com/news/george-washington-farewell-address-warnings. Accessed 16 May 2022.