I was thrilled by the Veteran’s March on Washington story that broke in mid October. It was both peaceful and effective. It was populated by veterans and their supporters – people who have earned the right to be heard and to participate in the governing of our land. Confronted by DC Park Police – under orders from the White House to close public monuments – they stood their ground and kept their cool. And when it became clear to police that they would neither disperse nor attack, the police withdrew. The veterans even stacked the barricades they removed from around capitol monuments in neat piles, underscoring their position as icons of the power of sowing in the opposite spirit.
A few days later, hundreds of patriotic Americans demonstrated for freedom by cutting the grass and cleaning up the grounds of the Capitol Mall. Confronted by repression, they too sowed in the opposite spirit. And by “opposite spirit,” we simply declare the displacement of cursing with blessing falsehood with truth, and domination with submission – to God alone. For His strength is always perfected in our weakness if we believe and submit to His Word in 2 Corinthians 12:9.
But let’s be clear about the spirit we oppose. Of course, we speak of the spirit of this world – in biblical parlance – the spirit amply manifested in the behavior and attitude of the Obama Administration. The nation watched in horror as the president shut down public monuments requiring no on-site personnel – a presidential temper tantrum – during the shutdown. We watched in grief as he effectively cursed Americans who gave their lives for their country when he cut off funding for families and funerals. The Fisher Foundation restored this funding from their resources, replacing cursing with blessing.
The Los Angeles Times reports on intelligence community insiders confirming the White House and State Department endorsed NSA spying targeting law abiding American citizens – and even the heads of friendly foreign states – while the president claims he knew nothing about it. CBS News reports that five million-plus Americans have already lost their medical insurance while the president still says that all Americans will be covered by the insurance of their choice – if insurance companies approve. Our government maintains it cannot find the terrorists who murdered the American ambassador to Libya; CNN locates and interviews these people in Libya. We have known for over a year that the administration consistently lied about the circumstances of the attack and stonewalled while Americans were dying. The same must be said for the IRS scandals unfolding during the same period. But courageous people in the media and members of Congress have consistently sought and revealed the truth as it has come to light. They have replaced falsehood with truth.
The IRS scandal is a classic case of suppressing dissent by targeting dissenters for reprisal. It is now well known that hundreds of conservative organizations – and some too liberal for administration tastes – have had their lawful applications for tax exemptions delayed or denied. Private information on these agencies, and on individual persons who oppose the administration, has been given to Obama officials for use against them. The president himself has used his office to fan flames lit by race-baiters such as Al Sharpton. The roll-out of Obamacare has been fraught with intimidation tactics like the firing of a government employee for answering questions posed by radio host Sean Hannity – questions that were procedural in nature and her responsibility to answer if she was to do her job. Federal employees with knowledge of the Benghazi disaster have been forbidden from testifying before Congress. Yet the response of citizens to this bullying has been to do what the vets did in Washington, and businesses like Hobby Lobby are doing, in asserting their rights in a non-violent and courteous manner. They displace domination with submission – to God alone. By asserting their freedom in this way, they move from defense – the path of rage and negativity – to offense – the path of peace and positivity.
Christians during this time are called to fight fire with water – the living water of baptized life – walked out in public as well as in private. This sowing in the opposite spirit brought about the conquest of the Roman Empire in the first three centuries, the liberation of Eastern Europe in the 20th Century, and the first three American Great Awakenings. It achieved the Civil Rights Revolution and a worldwide Gospel outreach of unprecedented proportions. Operating on offense wins the game in the ultimate sense.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships and The Holy Spirit and the End Times – available at local bookstores or by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org