Saturday, February 24, 2018
Beware of false prophets,
who come to you in sheep’s clothing
but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
On Thursday I listened to an interview with several American high school students, including a couple from the Parkland, Florida high school where several of their classmates were killed by another teen using a military grade assault rifle. They are on a mission to change the way their troubled nation thinks about the "right" to own weapons. They have already met with legislators and with the president, Donald Trump.
To me it is an aspect of the sickness of the United States that they have been dismissed as naïve children by some, vilified by others, and even accused of being "crisis actors" rather than real victims. It seems that conspiracy theories sprout up every time hard truths are articulated, and make no mistake, these young people are articulate, honest, and undeterred in their difficult mission. I have become deeply cynical about the US but listening to these courageous kids brought me hope. They are prophetic voices in a land where many of those who claim to be followers of Christ ignore his teaching and call to be peacemakers.
Later that morning the head of the National Rifle Association (whose name I will not use) offered a bizarre defense of the Second Amendment and the right to purchase highly destructive weapons under the guise of freedom: "It's not bestowed by man, but granted by God to all Americans as our American birthright. So I call right now today on every citizen who loves this country and who treasures this freedom to stand and unflinchingly defend the Second Amendment, the one freedom that protects us all." Apparently he has developed his own idolatrous scriptures because nothing in the New Testament would support this notion in any way.
The irony is that while the teens I heard said nothing about God, they are hopeful, truthful prophets. The NRA and religious and political leaders who are in thrall to this demonic organization are the false prophets who invoke God's name for a kingdom of destruction.
We can pray that this movement for change will gain strength and that sanity will prevail in the United States.