Pastor’s Blog: The Mob

Pastor’s Blog: The Mob

We Christians have a story that suffers no compromise with the mob mentality that swirls around us like the primeval dust of the earth. When you are baptized into God’s Son Jesus’ death and resurrection, you and I are committed to a life of crucifixion and resurrection. Your old self and my old self (the old Adam or old Eve) get crucified with Jesus in Baptism; a new child of God is created through no effort or merit of our own. That’s what St. Paul teaches in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Holy Baptism makes clear that your old self and my old self are clearly doomed to the grave, because the wage of sin is death. Of course, we know the warning of Ash Wednesday: “…for you are dust and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). That’s real!

The old Adam or Eve is a master at self-preservation. He or she pretends to be so reasonable, so original, and so thoughtful, when, in fact, the old selfish self in fully-realized form looks like the preening politicians, media, entertainers, and academics who follow a scripted mob narrative utterly at odds with the Christian story. Watch someone from the mob try to break out, and the reign of terror breaks loose – not yet with guillotines – but with no less murderous intent to punish those who do not follow the mob’s definition of what is just and right. By their fruits we know them, they steal, kill, and destroy while those who need the mob’s affirmation clap, hoot, and holler on cue … just like the old “Applause” signs from the early days of live television. If you go to public institutions of learning, watch popular entertainment, follow the mainstream media, and hang out with the mob, it’s seductive. Buy or die!

Let me reflect on the mob’s non-stop obsession. The mob despises President Trump not because he can be boorish. The slickest among them behave as badly or worse, but they know how to cover it with a veneer of polish and gravitas. No, they despise Trump, because they pushed and pushed him as the obvious candidate they were certain their champion could demolish. But, instead, they realized as the campaign went on that Trump could win, and, then, he did. Primal screaming, utter shock, woe and despair, and mob furor. Every day and night since, the mob screams: “Racist. Monster. Russian puppet. Stupid. Misogynist.” People of modest talent and massive sycophancy masquerading as intelligent persons can hardly utter a complete sentence about Trump without the constant interjection of vile profanity, as if the whole mob has been afflicted by Tourette’s Syndrome. Several of the mob’s favorites should pray he has a second term, because Trump has single-handedly resurrected their careers.

Why have persons of color, working class whites, suburbanites, urbanites, rural folk, and people of many faiths, even Christians, quietly supported a New York billionaire with a history of zipper problems and a salesman’s givenness to hyperbolic speech? They recognize the mob for what it is in all its mendacity and group think, and they know Trump isn’t beholden to the mob. He isn’t beholden to the mob’s special interests, the really big money of globalists on the left and right. He gives away his salary. He has lost money by holding office. And, at the end of the day, he has kept more of his campaign promises than any politician of right or left. In other words, Trump folks aren’t the mob. They are ordinary people who love family and country and mostly want to be left alone by the very mob, who exported their jobs, ruined their communities, mocked their values, and labeled them famously as “a whole basketful of deplorables.” Frank Capra’s George Bailey said: “This rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?” (From “It’s A Wonderful Life.”). In other words, the Trump supporters see the mob as Mr. Potter and not Trump.

To use the coded language of today, I do not identify as a Democrat or a Republican. Republicans held both the House and the Senate for two years and refused to help Trump keep his promises to protect ordinary American folks of all races from globalist interests. Republicans could have defunded Planned Parenthood and approved more border security, but far too many politicians like belonging to the mob. Many have delusions of higher office. Just look at all the faces of Eve (and Adam) already entertaining a run for President. For fifty-five years, Democrats have pretended to be the party of the poor, but families and communities have been destroyed by their mob mentality. Socialism has not worked anywhere in the world, and yet the mob still promises big-hearted youth that it will work this time, because the mob is smarter, kinder, and holier than anyone else. Religion isn’t the opiate of the masses. Socialism is … until it destroys more and more lives while the mob offers bread and circuses, legal pot, consequence-less irresponsibility, free whatever you want, and a quick death to those not seen useful.

Trump will be the President until he isn’t. He will delight in infuriating the mob until he leaves office. Crowds of ordinary folks will continue to show up and support him, and he might just get reelected. The spectacle of exploding heads on Election Night 2020 might be a bigger show than the Capital Fourth.

We Christians live by a different story than the mob, and that is why a lot of Christians will end up voting for Trump without saying a word to their neighbors, relatives, or pollsters. Trump doesn’t have any messianic pretensions like so many in the mob. He does have Jewish blood and Jewish children and grandchildren. He has a history of hiring and promoting powerful women. He has friends of every race and connects with the working poor and the small-town folks in fly-over country. When you shut out the mob’s obscenities and look at the guy’s record, he has done what a lot of folks want him to do – leave them alone to work and live and love family, country, and God. The mob keeps coming at them with: “Shut up and take what we give you. It’s good for you, because we are smarter and better than you.”

At the end of all things, Trump will be one of many former presidents. He is dust and to dust he will return, just like you and me. Trump won’t save us, and God knows the mob won’t save us either. But they may destroy this country sooner rather than later. As Shakespeare’s Antony said: “The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones” (Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 2).

I will continue to do what I am called to do – to preach and teach the Word of God, rightly divided as Law and Gospel. Politics and governance are the stuff of Law – the keeping of order, punishing evil and rewarding good, and protecting life. I am pro-life, not because of politics. I am pro-life, because from the moment of conception there is a unique life. For all you scientism believers, science proves that point.

A friend of mine said of his surgeon: “He has a terrible personality, but I’m not inviting him to dinner. I just want him to be the best at what he does when I’m under the knife.” So, the President isn’t likely to invite me to dinner or vice versa. He is no worse a sinner than I am, although our sins doubtless differ in the particulars. I don’t expect him to do anything more than to do his best to keep his oath to “… faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and … to … preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That’s what he is elected to do and nothing more. He’s not my Savior. He’s not Superman. And, I thank God he doesn’t belong to the mob, who want to destroy him.

My fellow Christians are free to vote for the mob. Many of them will, because their loyalties are more to the mob than to Christ. Discipleship does not consist of socialist programs. Baptismal vows are not kept by voting for or against the mob. Love of God and love of neighbor take place within the context of one’s daily life and work. As Bonhoeffer famously wrote, “When Christ calls a man, He calls him to come and die.” Die to self. Die to the mob mentality. And God help you if you think the mob is on Jesus’ side!

St Matthew's Pastor Sam Zumwalt

szumwalt

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Zumwalt has worked in churches for 42 years and in May 2018 celebrated the 37th anniversary of his ordination to the holy ministry. He is a member of the Society of the Holy Trinity (www.societyholytrinity.org). In 2004, Pr. Zumwalt moved with his family to Wilmington from Texas, where he served for 23 years as pastor of small, midsize, and large congregations.