Robin Hood was known as a heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, his legend was “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor,” and his tactic was assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his “Merry Men”. What a brilliant strategy to be branded throughout history with the description “Merry Men.” An even greater feat is to be an outlaw who terrorized the innocent while stealing their possessions, and yet is remembered and endeared through centuries as an advocate for the common man. If the truth be told, a more appropriate name would be Robbing Hood!
The modern day practice for the Merry Men’s pursuit is known as class warfare, but it is no longer confined to Sherwood Forest. Class warfare has found its most dangerous expression in the political arena of our day.
As the United States moves toward November 6, 2012, the Democratic and Republican faithful stand like opposing teams on either side of the field pointing their accusatory fingers at one another. Each side pleads their case of class warfare to the American people.
Unfortunately, many people are exemplifying the confused posture recently seen among what is known as temporary replacement officials in the National Football League. Those whose job it is to control the game are seemingly unaware they have become the game. When the people, and especially the Christian community, loses its ability to discern truth, a dangerous virus known as deception can quickly become a cultural pandemic.
Class warfare is not a new strategy. When Moses and Aaron requested a long weekend break from their rigorous work schedule for the Hebrews to participate in a religious worship festival, Pharaoh activated class warfare (Exodus 3-5).
Class warfare is “conflict between different classes in a community resulting from different social or economic positions and reflecting opposed interests” (Dictionary.com). Exodus 5:20-23 demonstrates how class warfare works and the passage cuts through to the root of this insidious evil scheme to create conflict between a group of people for the political advantage of the “ruling elite.” The people bought into Pharaoh’s strategy and turned against their leaders who were simply working to obey God, and therefore, bless the families they were entrusted to lead. By creating tension between Moses and the people, Pharaoh was marginalizing the leadership which had demonstrated its loyalty for the good of the people. By doing this, he was severing the people from their source of freedom in an attempt to obligate them to his domain. Class warfare creates an atmosphere of suspicion, mistrust and opposition among people.
Class warfare is an ungodly, unbiblical scheme used by political leaders who seek to centralize power unto themselves, and thereby position themselves as decision makers for the population, in order to advance their own agendas. It works from the premise that rulers can make better decisions for the people than they can on their own.
From a scriptural basis, believers must discern those who employ this and not fall prey. Simply stated, class warfare is designed to elevate itself and oppress people. While some may think they and their families are the beneficiaries of political class warfare, a serious and long-lasting mistake is being perpetrated.
Gary North explains, “History manifests a war between organizational principles of international civil government; kingdom and empire. Christ’s international kingdom is decentralized. Satan’s international kingdom is centralized, characterized by a top-down bureaucratic system issuing commands. Empires are parasitic, relying on the conquest of productive nations in order to keep its bureaucracies well fed” (Millennialism And Social Theory.). Empire-building political leaders in America represent a threat to families and businesses, which spans political, economic and ethnic boundaries. Those who resort to this strategy are most certainly opposing the Kingdom of God.
From a practical standpoint, “class warfare may get votes, but it destroys economies” (Dennis Peacocke). A current case in point is the previous reference to the National Football League’s use of replacement officials while in dispute with the officials’ union. Due to the tension, conflict and warfare between the league, team owners and officials, the “product” known as professional football has been tarnished. If not resolved, over an extended period of time the economics of professional football will be diminished. When political leaders employ this strategy, in essence they are placing their arrogant, greedy hands around the neck of our communities and way of life.
As billions of dollars are spent on political campaigns locally, statewide and nationally, we must look at the model of genuine leadership and judge every candidate by a strong standard: “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling and is not concerned about the sheep” (John 10:11-13 NAS).
It is imperative that we recognize the valuable characteristics of a good leader:
Good leaders seek to unite people whenever possible; not divide.
Good leaders are willing to sacrifice for those they lead; not oppress.
Good leaders lead people into better futures; not temporary gratification.
Good leaders tell the truth; not deceive.
Good leaders make decisions and support policies which liberate people; not build an empire.
Pray any deception on the American people will be replaced with discernment and wisdom. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6); that propagators of class warfare will be brought into the public’s eye and their plans for destruction will be turned on them and their campaigns. (Esther 7:1-10); for a demonstration of the miraculous in the presidential, House and Senate races. (Exodus 7:3)
Moreover, we must communicate the truth about class warfare to our friends by using social media. Ask them to help spread the word within their circles. Ask our small group leader or pastor to teach on the evils of class warfare before November 6. Write a letter to the editor of our local newspapers using biblically-based talking points and principles. Remember, our audience is the community, not our church, so use language they will understand.
Image: Louis Rhead.”Bold Robin Hood and His Outlaw Band: Their Famous Exploits in Sherwood Forest”; public domain
Hope Taylor is a writer, speaker and president of International Leadership Embassy (ile-dc.org), a ministry with the mandate to educate and engage the Church to transform culture and civil government within America and the nations. Hope pastored for 20 years and has served in numerous regional and national leadership capacities.