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In the midst of October's spooky season, my digital presence was unexpectedly invaded. One of my accounts was hijacked, and mysterious songs began infiltrating my posts. In a world where technology increasingly defines our identity and influence, I turned to a digital native, my 12-year-old granddaughter.
I refuse to give authority to the powers of this dark world. Halloween will not play a trick on me. I had my granddaughter cleanse my account by flooding it with gospel hymns, a blend of contemporary and classical.
During this unexpected cyber battle, I stumbled upon a rap song that asked a potent question, "Where You At?" Now, I don’t recommend the lyrics to the song. But I embrace the question, “Where you at?” For the uninitiated, when young people ask, “Where you at?”, they are not necessarily asking for your geographic location. They are asking where do you stand. Do you stand with me, or do you stand against me?
As we reflect on this question, three very unique areas come to mind. Where you at on the sanctity of life? Where you at on Israel? Where you at on Halloween? As followers of Christ, if we are reading God’s word, the response that we give to these three wildly different questions should be unified.
Where you at on life? Our belief in the sanctity of life is deeply rooted in our faith. We hold that every life is precious, from the moment of conception until natural death. This commitment to the sanctity of life means we advocate for the protection of the unborn and support initiatives that promote the well-being of children, the elderly, and all those in need. Our faith teaches us to value life at all stages, and we strive to reflect this in our actions and beliefs.
Where you at on Israel? We recognize the special place that Israel holds in God's plan, as the "Apple of God's eye." We are aware of the historical persecution faced by the Jewish people throughout the ages, and we reject false narratives that seek to undermine their rightful place in their ancestral homeland. We stand firmly in support of Israel's right to exist and prosper, as well as the long history of Jewish Americans supporting other marginalized communities during critical moments in history, such as the Civil Rights Movement. The NAACP, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) were founded and funded with the strong support of Jewish Americans.
Where you at on Halloween? While some may view Halloween as harmless fun for kids, our faith leads us to a different perspective. We believe in the very real existence of spiritual forces of good versus evil in the heavenly realms. While Jesus Christ already permanently defeated Satan at Calvary, we remain in a cause to occupy Christ’s Kingdom on Earth. As such, we are cautious about engaging in practices that might inadvertently open doors to these dark influences. Rather than dismissing Halloween as trivial, we remain vigilant and seek to avoid anything that might give these powers a foothold in our lives. This is not about fear but a commitment to spiritual discernment and protection.
Our responses to these three seemingly unrelated questions are grounded in our faith, which teaches in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “-if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
While these three areas may seem unrelated, they are indeed connected. The Lord calls us to have vigilance against spiritual darkness. Terrorism is a form of spiritual darkness. Terrorism comes in many forms, whether it is the global threats that we see every day flashing across the television or the threats to the unborn who are ripped limb by limb from their mothers wombs.
Spiritual darkness threatens justice. Today, let us consider that we are one blood, one human race; where human dignity should count for everyone. As my beloved “Uncle M.L.” said while living on earth, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Therefore, in every generation, decade, and on every platform, let us remain committed to values that prioritize life, respect for Israel, and vigilance against spiritual darkness.