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The Paradox of Power


There’s an old saying that suggests, ‘Power corrupts—and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ Regardless of who the originator of this phrase may have been, we have seen the unfortunate consequences of such expressions of “pseudo-power” in so many settings and in so many ways over the centuries.  

In the middle of the first century AD, Nero Cesar sought to use this corrupted power against a newly formed group called Christians in Rome.  Adolf Hitler sought to use it to strangle the Jewish people in Germany and in several other countries during his day. The Botha regime of South Africa sought to use this deceptive tactic in their attempts to manipulate the masses of indigenous Africans into enclaves of Apartheid.  And right here, in the 21st century, we are witnessing the rise of such an evil, even as a particular political figure seeks to manipulate the mindsets of  “dumb-downed” Americans into militarized troops who would seemingly follow him “to the ends of the earth,” packed in a socially-modified vehicle of corruption called, “Christian Nationalism,” while touting their distorted mantra, “God, Guns and Country,” rather than, “Father, Son and Holy Ghost!”

This dichotomy of ideology is nothing new.  In fact, it is found in an ancient passage of Hebrew scripture, namely, Exodus 1:9-10, where the most powerful man in the world at that time, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, cries out unto his people, 

“…Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we.  Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.” (KJV)

Now, while the implications of this skewed perspective of power, “Come on, let us deal wisely with them…” are quite obvious, we’ve witnessed some recent manifestations of blatant legal injustices against the survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, several attempts to suppress the vote, and many other disruptions of human rights by way of distorted policies.  We can clearly see that there are indeed “wickedness and powers in high places” that seek not only to mold, maneuver, and manipulate a polarized people into cages of economic exploitation, sexploitation, and fear but also to deal wisely and deceptively with the disenfranchised people.   

There is, however, a Paradox that screams out at us from the opening words of this passage, where a certain powerful political figure, called Pharaoh, arrogantly declares, “Unto his [own] people,”

“…Behold, the children of the people of Israel, are more and mighty than we.”

Does Pharaoh not realize what he has just said?  

Do his people not realize what it is that he is really saying unto them?  

Does Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and all others who would seek such corrupt power in this world not realize the corollary of what Pharaoh has just announced? 

Pharaoh has just articulated, unto his [own] people, The Paradox of Power; and the essence of this Power Paradox is found in these words:

“Behold, [they] are more and mightier than we!”

                      which is also to say, 

“Behold, we are lesser and weaker than [they]!”

Isn’t it interesting how that the very people who have so openly expressed their fears and inadequacies by way of Great Replacement Theories (that suggest that their race is quickly becoming the minority) are also the very ones who act as if they are the more and mightier group, simply based on monies stolen from slave labor?

But God, in this ninth verse, actually unveils The Paradox of Power—which is in no way related to the power that Jesus promised his followers (And you shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and shall become my witnesses…). This false power is, in essence, an articulated inferiority that causes an implosion of identity within the people who hear and believe this propaganda.  And the resulting ideological contradictions reveal a Paradox of Flag-waving, Pro-Israel Americans loudly chanting, “USA, USA…” while yet wearing Nazi swastikas on their arms and denying that the holocaust ever happened. 

Through Exodus 1:9, God reveals unto us the hypocrisy of those who seek “absolute power” but are yet only uttering corrupt words that attempt to morph into a similitude of power—as a Paradox of Power—a version of power that ironically and paradoxically belies its own verbiage.  These words of superficial power and authority only expose the real weakness, inadequacy, insecurity, and inferiority that emanate from fear-driven ignorance and assumed intellectual superiority.  It’s as simple as that. Power that pretends to be something when it is actually nothing is only an appearance of power.  As the LORD would remind us, there are those who have “…a form of godliness but [are] denying the power thereof”—this Paradox of Power is, in short, “All bark, but no bite!” 

In fact, in Exodus 1:9-10, Pharaoh is actually trying to “brainwash” his own people (not anyone else), so to warp their minds and to skew their lens of perspective, causing them to believe everything he has to say unto them. This is why the first word that Pharaoh utters is, “Behold!”

One had better “Beware of what they behold,” for Pharaoh invites his people to look through his own distorted lens of perspective even as he also invites his people to believe a lie about themselves, namely, that they are ‘lesser and weaker than the others.’  Pharaoh does this unto the end that his people will join with him as he seeks to “otherize” and marginalize everyone else who happens not to look like himself or his people. 

Pharaoh’s tactic of deception, however, backfires, paradoxically exposing the fear that Pharaoh has of “the others”—precisely what we saw when Nero Caesar sought to intimidate a people who were not afraid to die with the threat of death.  This was the exact same rhetoric that Adolf Hitler spewed out against the Jewish people of his day simply because he feared their economic status.  Yes, this was indeed the same mantra that forced the Indigenous people of South Africa to have their human worth and value be determined by a literal “scale” that would measure the color of their skin, the thickness of their lips, the texture of their hair and every other mechanism of race to determine who these “others” would actually be.

But most pointedly, is this not the exact same rhetoric that we are hearing in America today?  This vile vomit of inferiority is being spewed out from a people who truly believe that they are actually lesser and weaker than the “others.” They have, therefore, become so fearful of those who happen to be the Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) that they stand up and declare the pretentious narratives of white supremacy simply because they deem themselves to be weak and worthless.  This is, in fact, the deeper and most diabolical issue we must address, even as we also seek to address and eradicate the evils of social injustices that emanate from such tragic mindsets.  

But, as we consider that God chose to reveal the root of this human tragedy of racial identity right here at the opening of Exodus (long before God would raise up that great leader, Moses, to express the True Power of God unto the end of liberating the masses), what might God be whispering unto us, His children?  What might God be calling us to do today?

Might God be calling those of us who are so empowered by His Spirit to actually save the lost and help to deliver and liberate those who are trapped in those cages of self-deception?  For what is the remedy for those who are anti-WOKE and anti-DEI, who adamantly resist to be awakened by the truth of God?  What can be done to help our sisters and brothers who keep on falling into the fallacy of their own fears?  What might God be expecting His Freedom Church to do today? 

Although this misguided and blinded hoard of people actually believe that they are “the more and mightier,” could it be that the LORD has allowed us to be the agents of change “for such a time as this?”  Yes, we must certainly continue to fight the good fight, to help the otherized and the marginalized people to recognize the fullness of their human worth and dignity, as well as their divine privilege and power of being a True Christian, saved, transformed and liberated by the Lord Jesus Himself.  

But what is it that JESUS is expecting us to do to help these people?  What might JESUS be calling the Freedom Church to do?  What would ultimately enable liberation for those who are so caught up in these enclaves of fear and postures of pseudo-power?  What is God expecting from us, His remnant people, that would help deliver our sisters and brothers out of the grip of this Paradox of Power so that they may no longer believe the lie that they are “lesser and weaker but rather see themselves as children of the True and Living God?  

Let those of us who are the children of the Most High God, who do not believe the hype and the lies of this corrupted social narrative, Rise up and Stand up, knowing that the very nature of our power does not originate from this world, but rather we move in the Power of The Holy Ghost.  Even as we continue to celebrate that “There is Power, Power, wonder-working Power in the Blood of the Lamb,” let us, therefore, go forth penetrating the darkness of this world with the Light of the Lord Jesus Christ, “Loving those who hate us, blessing those who curse us, praying for those who despitefully use us,” and let us never forget that we are indeed the More and the Mightier and are the only ones who can rescue our sisters and brothers through intensified moments of prayer, pressing our way unto the polls, where we, as a galvanized group that would also include this newly-liberated group of believers, can saturate our VOTE with the Righteousness of God, so that God’s will may indeed “be done on earth as it is in heaven!”  

This would certainly be a most incredible moment for God’s people, delivered from the Paradox of Power!

Power, Race, People of Color (BIPOC), Vote


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