I wrote this blog post right before Easter. I thought with what we see happening around us today, there was some comparison between present events and when Jesus was crucified. Then I thought maybe I shouldn’t post it. Some may take it as a political post, but that is not my intention. I am just amazed at what I am seeing now and how bad things are getting. Hearing, reading and studying God’s Word, I knew bad times would come, I just never imagined witnessing what I am witnessing today.
No longer are torches and pitch forks used by the modern mob, but instead Social Media and the News Media are the tools being used.
Over the last few months especially, we have observed the mob mentality in this country grow. Here are a very few of those moments that have whipped people up into a rage. President Trump talking about Charlottesville, to more recently Beto O’Rourke mentioning Normandy in a speech, to the teenager in the MAGA hat standing nose to nose with an American Indian, to servers who set up a sign at the end of an event where the wording was mistook for something hateful against military members. If we would just look at the truth and what really happened instead of just looking at a photo or headline, maybe we wouldn’t look so foolish with our responses.
I mention Charlottesville because that one hasn’t really gone away. I watched the press conference LIVE that President Trump had on what occurred there, and the more I watched the more astonished I became at how the press would twist his words or throw out questions to try to entrap him to say something they could use against him. So, we know how that one ended, Trump thinks the Klan is good. Well, he never said the Klan was good. He said there were good people protesting a statue on both sides of the issue and then the bad groups from both sides started the ensuing bloody fight. Then someone from the press asked, “So, you are saying the Klan is good?” He answered, “No, that is not what I said.” So the press went with what people are still talking about, “our President thinks the Klan is good.”
Then there was the headline on Beto O’Rourke and how he was comparing people fighting Climate Change to those men who fought at Normandy. How stupid and horrible of him! Well, I watched the video of Beto speaking, and found this to not be exactly true. I heard him speaking about how Americans came together to accomplish a victory at Normandy and we can do the same when it comes to Climate Change. Oh, but people read the headlines that were thrown out there by those ol’ stirrer- uppers, our “distinguished” media or opinions of talk show hosts, and just went with this, “Beto thinks fighters of Climate Change are fighting the same fight as the men who stormed Normandy.”
The MAGA hat teen and the hotel sign. I will admit, the press and social media almost had me with these two stories. I remember reading about both, and then jumping to conclusions until I calmed myself and dug deeper. In the photo posted around the world, the young man in the MAGA hat I presumed, what a lot of people presumed, had the most smart aleck look on his face as the Indian stood in front of him. Then I watched the entire video of what had happened. The look on that boy’s face was one of being uncomfortable about the situation and it was the adult who was provoking. Where the chaperones were in all this, I have to wonder. Maybe they weren’t too sure as to what to do either. Imagine chaperoning and this quite unusual occurrence happened and then the situation got way out of hand. Think back to when you were a teenager and how you would have felt? I think that kid handled it quite well.
That infamous sign posted at a military ball read, “No Longer Serving Military Members and Their Guest(s).” The hotel employees were shutting down the bar to this group. This happened at a Double Tree in Colorado Springs, but the photo of the sign was again posted as also being used at a Double Tree in Texas. It looked as though Double Tree had a blanket policy of not serving the military. A couple of days later, the employees who were guilty of using the wrong words were without jobs, the hotel chain was apologizing, and the person/persons who didn’t like being denied more alcohol and some kind of drinking tradition, went about their way after ruining a couple of lives. The social media mob at work.
The human race and mob mentality hasn’t really ever changed. We would like to think in this day and age that we are more civilized and less primitive in our behavior, but just look at us and discover that we are not. One evening as I watched ‘Passion of the Christ’ I thought about how the mob mentality has always been around and still exists. In Jesus’ day there were those who believed who He was. From the miracles He performed, to the words He spoke, to His death and Resurrection, it was prophecy being fulfilled. (Isaiah 53) People knew because they had studied prophecy, heard with their own ears, saw with their own eyes. The Jewish religious leaders didn’t like what they were hearing and seeing coming from Jesus, knew what was going on here. They didn’t like it because they were afraid of losing their power and privilege, so they became the “pot stirrers” telling untruths, twisting things. People who only heard the “headlines” being thrown out to them by the “pot stirrers,” without even trying to find out for themselves Who this Jesus was, were worked up into a frenzy. The mob mentality took over and the shouts of, “Crucify Him!” rang out to Pontious Pilate. Reluctantly Pilate gave in to the mob because he feared a large riot just as we in this day and age are still giving in to what the angry mob wants us to think, feel, and know.
Last night here in Amarillo, I fell asleep to the wind howling against our fifth story apartment. I tossed and turned for I don’t know how long, it seemed like that wind was beating against my brain, until I finally found sleep. This morning I woke to the same thing, the constant wind beating against my brain. It reminds me of what is happening to us in this day and time, the constant beating of the 24-hour news cycle. I used to be one of those people who had the news on most of the day until my son made a remark about me always having it on, which got me to thinking. I started thinking about how those opinion makers, not journalist just reporting the news like we used to have, but those opinion makers were making me angry inside and sometimes angry outwardly. They were and are, like that wind constantly blowing outside my apartment, aggravating, beating on my brain, making me feel what I don’t want to feel inside…..anger, hate, frustration. In other words, sin. I decided I needed to change what I was feeding my brain. I decided to focus on what God wants me to focus on, The Good News of His love for me, and then sharing that love with others. So now, I wake up in the morning to read and study His Word instead of reading the Headline ticker scrolling across the screen below a “Talking Head.” What a difference it has made in me. Yes, I still watch SOME news and I research it to attempt to find the truth, but when I hear those words coming out of those mouths on the TV screen like the blowing wind, I set my mind on the real Truth. The Truth that God loved me so much He gave His Son for me. No matter what happens on this earth, in the newsrooms, in government, God’s Truth is real and will never change. I dare some of you who I know have FOX, CNN, MSNBC, etc on for 24 hours a day, to turn them off and use your time to search for the real Truth God wants you to know. Dig into what He wants us to know. You will find the search to know more about God will never end. It’s GNN, the Good News Network! I guarantee you will find a change in your heart, your mind, and the love you show for others from every walk of life, even every opinion, will be just amazing. Stop listening so much to the “stirrer- uppers.” Stop being part of the angry mob and instead be what God predestined us all to be……..His.
Early in the morning the chief priests, elders and teachers of religion—the entire Supreme Court—met to discuss their next steps. Their decision was to send Jesus under armed guard to Pilate, the Roman governor.2 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”“Yes,” Jesus replied, “it is as you say.”3-4 Then the chief priests accused him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, “Why don’t you say something? What about all these charges against you?”5 But Jesus said no more, much to Pilate’s amazement.6 Now, it was Pilate’s custom to release one Jewish prisoner each year at Passover time—any prisoner the people requested. 7 One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, convicted along with others for murder during an insurrection.8 Now a mob began to crowd in toward Pilate, asking him to release a prisoner as usual.9 “How about giving you the ‘King of Jews’?” Pilate asked. “Is he the one you want released?” 10 (For he realized by now that this was a frameup, backed by the chief priests because they envied Jesus’ popularity.)11 But at this point the chief priests whipped up the mob to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus.12 “But if I release Barabbas,” Pilate asked them, “what shall I do with this man you call your king?”13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!”14 “But why?” Pilate demanded. “What has he done wrong?” They only roared the louder, “Crucify him!”15 Then Pilate, afraid of a riot and anxious to please the people, released Barabbas to them. And he ordered Jesus flogged with a leaded whip, and handed him over to be crucified. Mark 15:1-15