As the saying goes, change is inevitable. We all know deep down that the one constant in life is change, in one form or another. Ironically, just because we know that it’s inevitable, it doesn’t mean we ever really get used to it.
Why is Change Scary
I believe that change is scary because people naturally get comfortable. We develop a set routine and life takes on a familiar pattern: we live in the same neighborhood and see the same people, we go to the same job, we hang out with the same friends and do the same things. In our mind, everything is familiar and that gives us a sense that there is a reliable constant in our life.
People tend to resist change because they fear it — we believe that with one change, everything will change and we won’t be able to adapt to our new normal. Basically, some change brings the perception that it will threaten all that we have come to know.
Change, or transformation, is really all around us, even if we don’t immediately notice it. People are moving in and out of our neighborhood, co-workers we’ve come to call friend leave the company, a new building is being constructed around the corner — change is always happening, but we’re often oblivious to it.
When Some People are Threatened by Change
I think today though, some among us are especially threatened by change. They’re seeing a whole new world around them: we’re more diverse racially and ethnically, we’re moving more toward gender and sexual orientation equality, people with different faiths are moving into neighborhoods that were once all the same, globalization is taking place, etc. — in short, the world is changing and there are those who can’t handle it.
You may have read about the attempted kidnapping of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer by a group of men calling themselves a “militia.” The story is alarming because their plot was to not only kidnap her, but to overthrow Michigan’s government by force and make the Governor stand trial for treason. There is little debate about the fact that these men aren’t a “militia,” but are actually right-wing domestic terrorists.
Read and learn more on the plot:
- The alleged kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as told in photos
- New details emerge about plot to kidnap Michigan governor
- The Michigan Kidnapping Plot And What’s Fueling Right-Wing Extremism
What we’ve come to learn is that the catalyst for their attempted terrorist act, stemmed from what they saw as an infringement of their rights due to necessary restrictions brought about by the pandemic. These men, who are part of a much larger network, were unable to deal with the changes the pandemic has necessitated. And disturbingly, the changes aren’t even permanent. But most likely, these men are also afraid of any kind of change and they’re having a violent reaction to a changing world. Perhaps deep down they’re just frightened people and witnessing the changes taking place all across our world, is too much for them to handle? Are they cowards? Are they weak? Some psychologists believe this is the case — that these extremists are actually scared of a world they feel is moving on without them and they’re being left behind.
Hijacking Our Values
According to CNN, this is what they planned:
- A plan to storm Michigan’s Capitol: An informant audio recorded conversations with Adam Fox, one of the six men charged, in which he allegedly said he needed “200 men” to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and take hostages, including Whitmer, according to the criminal complaint.
- A plotted treason trial: Fox explained they would try the governor of Michigan for “treason” and he said they would execute the plan before the November 2020 elections, according to the criminal complaint.
- Possible firearm training: At a June 20 meeting, “attendees discussed plans for assaulting the Michigan State Capitol, countering law enforcement first responders, and using ‘Molotov cocktails’ to destroy police vehicles. The attendees also discussed plans for an additional meeting during the first weekend of July when they also would conduct firearms and tactical training,” according to the criminal complaint.
According to reports, this network of political extremists claim that they’re “defending western values.” From what I’ve gathered, they don’t like people who are different — different faith, race, political ideology, etc. One of the things that disturbs me most is when people like this claim they’re Christian and “defending Christian values.” Defending Christian values? They’re actually violating every single Christian tenet we know and their thoughts and behavior are far from Christian. In fact, they’re actually anti-Christ’s, because they are ignoring every teaching of Christ himself.
Christians and Change
The plot by this group of domestic terrorists really got me thinking about how Christians should deal with change. We have these men reacting to change with hatred and violence, causing trouble for everyone else, all because they fear a changing world. But why do they fear it? If they’re true Christians, don’t they know that they have nothing to fear? We are all God’s children, regardless of race, religious belief’s, political ideology, gender or sexual orientation. Do they not realize that they’re fearful for no reason? So, the world changes? It always has and as far as I can tell, always will.
If Christians are to be true, we must have real faith — and by real, I mean a true, deep faith. With this faith, there is nothing to fear. The Bible tells us:
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:8
“Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” – Isaiah 43:1
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
A violent reaction to change is rarely a good thing. Yes, of course, if the change was a maniacal dictator taking control of your nation, a violent reaction may be warranted. However, these men went to the violent extreme over minor change — wear a mask, social distance. They couldn’t handle that? As for defending western values, why would any person, Christian or not, be afraid of diversity? What harm is there in having a more diverse, loving, tolerant world?
Politics certainly played a significant role in the actions of these extremists, but as Christians, I think we should remember: “Don’t let the Elephant and the Donkey let you forget that you belong to the Lamb.”
As Christians, we can’t just say we have faith, but then react in a manner that proves that to be a lie. To put politics ahead of faith and take up arms, resorting to any violence in this regard, is to be an anti-Christ. God is supreme and He told us to be kind, loving, compassionate, calm and good. This is not open to debate — we are commanded this and we ignore it at our peril.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28
Change isn’t always easy and it’s normal to sometimes fear change. As Christians, we should remember that our faith can sustain us and help us to not only navigate change, but to adapt to it. If change is inevitable, there’s little we can do to stop it, so we have the choice of how we react to it.
I find these Bible passages to also be of utmost value on this topic:
“Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” – Matthew 26:52-54
“Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you.” -Proverbs 3:29
“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:15