Given all the burgeoning gun crime of late; bloody assaults on fellowman; road rage, indiscipline and, at times, death; and the commensurate moral failings of the society, we are again being reminded that Barbados is “under Satanic attack”.
For sure, there is too much evil going on in recent times to dismiss outright that there are devilish forces of one kind or another at work.
Even today, we were presented with the grim picture of a woman in Jordans, St George, lying dead in a clump of grass by the roadside, reportedly the victim of a tragic attack. These continuing uncomfortable and frightening circumstances
do drive us to reflect on the counsel of Paul in his mail to the Ephesians.
. . . My brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness
in the heavenly places.
–– Ephesians 6:10 to 12.
This latest example of disregard for the sanctity of humanity would come at a time when we are reflecting on the lives of those six young women who perished by evil hands exactly five years ago in the Campus Trendz fire in Tudor Street, The City. It is paradoxical that on the said day the September 3 Foundation is seeking to “penetrate the psyche and consciousness of our people with a powerful anti-crime and pro-brotherhood message”, as chief coordinator David Comissiong put it, the alleged act of killing can take place.
There is no question Barbados’ moral fibre has been infiltrated by accursed pests, but we need to be wary of hastily blaming the devil for it. The Almighty has always presented us with freedom of choice: to do the right and be blessed; to do the wrong and suffer the consequences –– which regrettably are sometimes less punishing than those experienced by many a victim.
We need to take care that we do not rush to give these savage perpetrators an excuse for solace in Satan’s arms –– cause for shifting blame upon a spiritual personage to whom we can never issue a summons to appear before the courts
of this land.
And even though some church leaders will insist Jehovah God gave us the freedom to pursue His will –– what we ought to, and not just do what we want to –– we aver that all of us are responsible for whatever actions we pursue.
Everyone of us must take responsibility for what this country has become; and if we are disappointed with its current state, then we must do something about it. And it would seem that our first step should be the acknowledgement that Satan can have no corrupting influence on us unless we are in for it, and are ready to risk betraying the moral foundation of our foreparents, and set a path of destruction for our progeny –– as seems to be currently manifest.
We do not seek to dismiss belief in spiritual warfare; actually, the concept is clearly stated in the Scripture we alluded to above. It is just that we dare to advise we must take care how we interpret and instruct our communities on this Satanic warfare, lest its pronouncements are taken out of context or manipulated to such extremes as would exceed the authentic Word.
Our obvious lapse in inculcating in our children and youth moral values, considerateness, respect, decency and self-worth (as in many cases some of us do not exhibit these qualities ourselves) is responsible for the savagery we are witnessing daily among some of our young.
Though we seek the Lord’s protection, we ought not to become subsumed by the notion that Satan and his imps are making us do wrong to others and ourselves. The sure demons are the men who would not father their children, the women who are too sweet on their delinquent sons to show them tough love, the powers that be who would rather pontificate and ramble diplomatically on the rising violence among our youth than take definitive and corrective action against it.
We must not misconstrue Peter’s observation (1 Peter 5:8) that our enemy “the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” to give Satan any omnipotence and omnipresence, though the work of the evil one is never to be underestimated. For, like the good people everywhere, we have authority over Satan and his sycophants.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
–– 1 Peter 5:9.