Let all the earth fear the Lord let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him! For He spoke, and it came to be. He commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage!
- Psalm 33:8-12
Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States. On the tenth anniversary, I made my grandson watch documentaries on the event because he was two when it occurred and had no memory of it. I wanted him to know, and I want him never to forget. This nation, for all its flaws (real or imagined), is unique among all nations. The younger a person is, the less likely it is that he or she knows just how unique America is. No other nation in the history of the world has been built upon the beliefs that “all men are created equal” and have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Few of us stop to think, especially those who were young or not yet born twenty years ago, how profoundly original our country is. Some may never know or understand.
This nation is under attack now, but the attack is from within. First, through philosophy and science (so called), human dignity and potential were exchanged for animal appetites. The response was overwhelming. Freedom to become the best and most of human potential turned into freedom to become debased animals, only, animals lack the creativity for self-destruction that human beings have exhibited. Having forfeited our humanity in most forms, we have set about destroying civilizations, heralding the claim of tribal identity. If we stop and think a moment, we recognize this as an animalistic trait, as well. Like with like.
“Tribe” is all the rage these days – quite literally, to be precise. Everybody “belongs” to a tribe, and one’s tribe determines who each person in it is. In other words, to be a member of a tribe is for one’s identity to be predetermined by that membership. It’s an intentional destruction of Western civilization and devolution of the human individual. Our tribe is our identity, and our individual person with all the God-given gifts, graces, talents, and interests is erased by tribal affiliation. The tragic irony of those who decry America for tribal identity is that no other nation would grant such freedom to individuals to express and pursue their loathing of their country. Only in America can one set out to destroy the nation from within the nation and be protected by the right to do so.
Most of these ideas originate among highly educated individuals from prestigious universities – places where ideas do not have to work to be espoused and taught. The tribal superiors who write and report on the myriad shortcomings and sins of others seldom have much experience with plebian life, such as it is in our society today. I would get all sanctimonious and self-righteous about their self-serving delusions, except, to be perfectly frank, I’ve been known to be arrogant and arrogantly wrong one or a thousand times in my life thus far.
The origin of human value in the United States is not human philosophy, but rather, from the conviction that human beings are created and rights come from our Creator. No longer do we talk about God or seek to align our laws and policies according to His order. We’ve taken the privilege of God-given humanity and begun reducing human beings to the lowest human order, that of physicality and material. We express no great aspirations to the noblest and best of our human potential. Instead, we live in a world of noise and distraction, bombarded by base images, and absorbed in the toys of technical creations. While we do so, the nation is crumbling under the contrived machinations of politicians, bureaucracy, and talking heads.
Today, on this solemn day of commemoration, remembering the attack on our nation and the valiant soldiers who have fought and died since that event does not even make the website news headline. Instead, the top headline is the presidential mandate that all people must be vaccinated against a novel virus that has proven to be notably less dangerous than seasonal influenza. In Texas, women demonstrate and protest, “my body, my right” to destroy unborn children, but are silent about mandated vaccination. The confusion and contradiction of that single example boggles the mind, but it also reveals the depravity that rises in the absence of God. How irrational we have become. How fearful we are simply because we have been told to be afraid.
Here’s the thing… The world and all that is in it belong to our God. When we forget that, we become enslaved by politics, greed, and passions. History is full of examples, and the Scriptures record this cycle among the Jews from their inception in the call of Abram. Today, we are no different, even though we think we have come so far. Many of us know this instinctively. We look around and wonder how things got to be this crazy and meaningless. The answer is, this is what human beings do when separated from God. We have rights because of Who God is, not because of who we are. Human beings possess an apparently unlimited capacity for evil. We see it today in our nation and in the international arena. We’ve exchanged the freedom to strive for altruism and excellence for the freedom to self-destruct in licentiousness and vulgarity. That is what human beings do when we cease to look to God for our being and our becoming.
You and I are members of a tribe, a totally different tribe than nation or race or gender. We are of the tribe of God, before Whom all these manmade distinctions fade away. America’s motto was based upon this understanding, “out of the many, one”. But America has become a godless country in our laws, entertainment, and pursuits, so no longer does God protect us from ourselves. We can only reject God for so long before He grants our wish to have our own way.
Whatever happens with our nation – and I certainly think it is sad to see it so crippled by carefully cultivated divisions and hatred – ultimately, we belong to God. In His tribe, individual identity is not subsumed by the tribe, but each of us becomes more than we imagined we could be. Nations will rise and fall, but God remains, giving life to all who turn to Him. This life holds beauty we cannot yet see. Mysteries of wonder and majesty wait to be discovered just over the horizon. Our Lord is so much more than we can imagine, but He is never far away and offers us His abiding presence and care, as if we matter for the whole of eternity. We do. Though we are surely unworthy, we do indeed matter for the whole of eternity because our God loves us – individually and collectively.
I do not understand those who rename and clothe afresh the Marxism of the twentieth century, as if somehow, by naming it tribalism and clothing it in critical race theory, millions of people won’t die. They will, and perhaps we will be among the “they.” Marxism always destroys because it is evil. Only the few are empowered, and to remain empowered, one must sell one’s soul to the devil, as did Marx himself. Yet, for all the visibility and strength of the evil in our world, God will not be thwarted, and (I love this!) the plans of His heart [stand] to all generations. The plans of God’s heart are far more wonderful than we can begin to conceive. What was it Paul wrote? “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor mind conceived, all that God has in store for those who love Him.”
That is our tribe – those who love the Lord. I think we ought to be honest, at least with ourselves. Sometimes, our love for the Lord wanes before the rising cacophony of self-important authorities of knowledge today. When our vision is horizontal only, the hopeless tides of today’s sages of wisdom appear insurmountable, and our fears threaten to overwhelm us. But as we bumble about, stumbling over one another, let us remember that we are of the tribe of our Father and rejoice. We have great cause for gladness and little cause for fear, especially from those who invest in the trivial and study the inconsequential, blind to the One Who was and is and ever shall be. The Lord brings their counsel to nothing, and He frustrates their plans. In this, you can have absolute faith.
If we want to remain true to our tribe, we need to shed both our confidence and our fears stoked by people and ideas that are already proven to be false and deadly and will not last over time. Our historical moment matters. What we say and do, how we live and respond, these things matter. So, let us say and do, live and respond, according to the tribe into which we have been born. We are the children of the Most High God, members of His family - His tribe - along with countless billions of others in the river of Life that flows from the throne of God. Thus, let us choose that life in our daily actions – in concern and care for others, in kindness and humility as we live the truth of Christ, in compassion and patience with those who hold tight to anger and hatred, for this is how our Lord lived while among us.
Therefore, above all else, let us love. You are your Father’s child. Live humbly and victoriously, gratefully and peaceably, that others might be drawn to the life in you and join our Father’s tribe.
In Christ –
Rev. Elizabeth Moreau
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