The Sons of Light

I have two scriptures in mind of late. The first is Jesus’ parable of the crooked manager in Luke Chapter 16. The moral of that story is in verse 8

And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.

Luke 16:8 ESV

As I Christian, I take that as a warning because I would put myself in the “sons of light” category. Christians, who love their enemies, refrain from judging others and strive to put our neighbors’ actions in the best possible light are at a disadvantage at the hands of demagogues and fraudsters. I’ve been around a long time and I pride myself (note the “p” word) on being sophisticated and not easily fooled, but I am fooled, and I sometimes withhold judgment when I shouldn’t, and fail to take the moral stand that I should. You see, I’m a sinner like the rest of you, and I fall short.

The other scripture is:

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Matthew 10:16 ESV

Jesus warns us that there are wolves out there, and we cannot trust blindly in others. We must be innocent, but we musn’t let ourselves be eaten. Christians have an obligation to be discerning. What troubles me is that so very many Christians in the United States seem to be under the thrall of Donald Trump, a populist politician who says the right things to white Evangelical Christians, but speaks hatred, slander and violence. We as Christians are not very good at dealing with someone like that, as Jesus warned us. We must strive to do better.

Psychologist Bob Altemeyer cites psychological research that shows that Evangelical Christians tend to have authoritarian follower personalities. He presents this research in his book, The Authoritarians, written in 2006. I recommend it.

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