Something is weighing heavy on my heart…

There is something very sinister and evil, quietly, but gradually spreading…just like a cancer and more deadly than any virus.

It is something so seemingly innocent, yet it was the cause of Mankind’s downfall in the Garden of Eden. It is something so subtle; we become justified in feeling it.

What am I talking about?

The Spirit of Blame.

Blame is defined as “an act or expression of disapproval, rebuke for something deemed wrong, reproach; condemnation”. Blame can also be defined as ‘Judgement’.

We are no strangers to Blame. We saw it in the Garden of Eden when Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake!

When the Black Death struck in the 12th century, the Jews proved to be a convenient scapegoat for a population desperately looking for someone to blame for the horrific event they were experiencing. Later, Jews were also falsely blamed for the loss of WW1.

What is the root and result of blame? I believe it is quite simple: the roots of blame are Fear, (whether its fear of punishment or shame) and Pride! Pride then leads to a belief (and judgement) that one is innocent while the other party is not. This belief generates Bitterness. Bitterness leads to Anger and Anger to Violence and Murder – the murder of one’s character, reputation and life.

It is not the first time this has happened and as South Africans who know all too well the atrocities of Apartheid- the horror of stigmatizing others, I am surprised by how so many individuals are allowing themselves to get caught up in this mindset once again.

An Auschwitz survivor recently warned that stigmatizing people for ‘causing’ the pandemic could happen very soon. Speaking about how the Auschwitz camps arose he said this, “It is done step by step. Slowly people begin to see that this is something normal. The notion that someone may be excluded becomes mediated into our lives. The thought that somebody can be stigmatized.”

This is someone speaking from experience. Are we listening???

Last week, I opened a well-known newspaper to read more than four articles clearly mocking, shaming and dehumanising those who have made the choice not to get vaccinated. When I was at school, we learnt that media should always be honest, fair, factual and unbiased. Yet, not one of these articles was any of those qualities. Each one was one sided and mostly someone’s opinion.

One of the cartoons was trying to paint those who have made this choice as “idiots” (exact words used) thereby making it quite acceptable for members of the public to label their co-workers, friends even family members in this way too.

It’s common sense that name calling is the first step of dehumanising a person. It was the first thing my husband and I learnt in pre-marriage counselling – don’t call each other insulting names!

The other insinuation of course, is that those who have made this choice have done so without their own research or intelligence. At this stage, there is a WEALTH of information at one’s disposal and no one has ANY excuse to not access facts and evidence to make an informed decision. Sadly however, many individuals do not take time do research and just absorb whatever mainstream media feeds them. 

Another article I read in the newspaper, mocked Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and others for their faith. The writer, clearly not a born again, spirit-filled believer, fails to understand the nature of a RELATIONSHIP with a living God who speaks to us and guides us in all wisdom. He fails to recognise that there may just be something deeper going on leading someone to make the choices that they do– whether it is for or against the use of certain treatments or medication for any sickness or disease.

God has been impressing upon me the importance of UNITY among believers in the church. We canNOT allow any (ungodly) force dictate to us how we should feel and behave towards each other. It is ONLY God’s Word that we should be living out and obeying. This includes how we view and treat other people-regardless of who they are!

God’s word is very clear that we are to love one another and not to judge.

PURSUE PEACE with ALL PEOPLE and HOLINESS without which no one will see the Lord…lest ANY ROOT OF BITTERNESS springing up CAUSE TROUBLE, and by this many become DEFILED.’ Hebrews 12: 14-15

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Sadly, division and hatred is inevitable and the Bible warns of this in Matt 10:21, “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death”.

However, YOU CAN make a choice not to participate in this evil.

Let us show mercy and kindness to one another. Let us not slander and spread lies about one another out of pride or fear. SEEK TRUTH with every fibre of your being.

As Believers we should NOT fear a physical death at all, for it is merely a crossing over, but there IS a Death we should fear – the death of our Freedom, our Spirit, our Humanity.

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