The disruption in Ferguson, Missouri, threatens a foundational pillar of our great nation.

Mobocracy in the Heartland

Against the backdrop of a controversial killing of a black man in St. Louis and seething rage across the United States, a young lawyer stood before a small group of men and delivered a speech that would make him famous.

If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

The young man was Abraham Lincoln in the year 1838. The black man was Francis McIntosh, a freedman who had been chained to a tree and burned to death by a white mob. The Civil War wouldn’t officially begin for over two decades, but the 28-year-old Lincoln already recognized one of the warning signs of an unraveling society: disregard for the rule of law.

I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny. Accounts of outrages committed by mobs, form the every-day news of the times.

Lincoln was not “over wary.” His concerns would be played out repeatedly until the entire nation exploded into bloody war. Unfortunately, we are again witnessing “something of an ill omen amongst us” as mobs assemble in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in successive nights of violence, theft, and swelling unrest.

We are experiencing the attempted destruction of life and liberty in our own heartland. It is all-out rebellion against the rule of law. For years we have seen blatant disregard of laws, from our borders to our very halls of governance. The root of it all is, as Proverbs tells us, “setting aside God’s Word, His Law and disregarding His counsel.” At this moment there are evil men who intend to set this nation on fire, burning up forever the greatest national expression of freedom’s beauty ever witnessed by mortal man. America with all of its ills, failures and need for correction from time to time is still the greatest example of a nation established on the rule of law as revealed in sacred scriptures.

Right now in Ferguson, some foolishly zealous people, including preachers and so-called reverends, are encouraging a revolt against the rule of law and accusing those who risk their lives seeking to protect our citizens as though they were targets to be attacked, discredited, and destroyed. Many are simply ignorant of the facts, as all of us still are to some degree. But others are intentional provocateurs, manipulating the media and the crowd for their own selfish gain. Still others are agents of evil, stirring up passions to provoke violence, as exemplified by the death chants against Officer Wilson. This is worse than nonsense. It is terrorism at home!

Again, Lincoln recognized this destructive spirit:

When men take it in their heads today, to hang gamblers, or burn murderers, they should recollect, that, in the confusion usually attending such transactions, they will be as likely to hang or burn someone who is neither a gambler nor a murderer as one who is; and that, acting upon the example they set, the mob of tomorrow, may, and probably will, hang or burn some of them by the very same mistake. And not only so; the innocent, those who have ever set their faces against violations of law in every shape, alike with the guilty, fall victims to the ravages of mob law; and thus it goes on, step by step, till all the walls erected for the defense of the persons and property of individuals, are trodden down, and disregarded. But all this even, is not the full extent of the evil. By such examples, by instances of the perpetrators of such acts going unpunished, the lawless in spirit, are encouraged to become lawless in practice; and having been used to no restraint, but dread of punishment, they thus become, absolutely unrestrained. Having ever regarded Government as their deadliest bane, they make a jubilee of the suspension of its operations; and pray for nothing so much, as its total annihilation.

The Governor of Missouri has already called for a “vigorous prosecution” of the officer. Not a “vigorous investigation,” but a “prosecution.” To the man who served 16 years as the state’s attorney general, this is a significant distinction. He may be playing to the mob, but he is undermining the very constitution he is entrusted to protect. Politicians towing this line will win friends in the mob, but alienate an even greater number of honest citizens, as Lincoln noted:

Good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws, and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country; seeing their property destroyed; their families insulted, and their lives endangered; their persons injured; and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better; become tired of, and disgusted with, a Government that offers them no protection; and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose. Thus, then, by the operation of this mobocractic spirit, which all must admit, is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any Government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectually be broken down and destroyed.

Lincoln took on, as we must, the enemy within. By our own disregard of the Word, wisdom and counsel of God, we have allowed the enemy of life and freedom to set in motion a tsunami of moral and economic collapse destroying personal responsibility and true freedom. Good men – godly men – must stand up and speak the truth. Pure passion can be misguided and dangerous. We need, as Lincoln pointed out, “general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws.”

I plead with all Christians, all who love God and their neighbors, to come together in peace, calm and unwavering strength to face the enemy for Christ’s sake and all who long for and love freedom, or we will watch it vanish from this once great nation and the world. Our nation was founded on biblical principles. To these, we must hold. It is our only hope for, as Lincoln concluded, “upon these let the proud fabric of freedom rest, as the rock of its basis; and as truly as has been said of the only greater institution, ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’”

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13 comments

  1. We live in a new age where the American constitution and old ideal are being replaced by activist judges and elected officials who are neither cognizant of what God’s laws or our founding fathers intentions in setting up our form of government. This new age movement in the “new world” as outlined by the Cat’s comments is what we face. Electing officials who are not beholding to party politics and don’t wish to make a career of their political office is becoming harder to do as our leadership in Congress and state legislatures continue their paralysis and gridlock.

    But regardless, our faith should be focused on our Lord, not the ballot box as we continue our journey through this life. It’s time to simply offer up our prayers and seek His face in all that we do. May Ferguson see through their anger and hate to His grace and wisdom.

    Thanks to you James, you were the mentor who led me to the Lord on a football field in Hurst Texas in 1966. My life has not been the same since and I count you as a friend and brother.

  2. Wiser words were never spoken! Thank you!

  3. Pastor Robison God bless you for your faithfulness. In this age of moral relativism and political correctness you are shining the light of Christ in such darkness. I think it was C.S. Lewis that said, God made man in His own image-and man has returned the favor”. AMERICA BLESS GOD!!

  4. You are the one who is encouraging evil in this community. YOU are one of the worst examples of “Christianity” ever. You’re a major loser in this new world going forward, because you’re stuck in the past.

  5. Wow did you hit it. We could use a healthy dose of over-wary. Where is the outrage over Dillon Taylor, a young unarmed white boy shot by a black police officer in Utah a couple of days ago? Why haven’t we heard about the swollen face on Officer Wilson or results of the toxicology report on Michael Brown? I pray often that our nation begins to heed the message you have so faithfully proclaimed. I too appreciate your passion, even more because it’s wrapped in genuine brokenness. I do not understand why we aren’t in the streets protesting our open borders, why there hasn’t been a collective outcry through social media and news programs over what Hamas has subjected Israel. Why aren’t people congregating everywhere over what ISIS has been doing in Iraq and most recently the animalistic barbaric act committed against one of our own citizens right out in the open for the whole world to see? If there weren’t such a blanket of apathy and willing ignorance over this country, we would also converge in droves on our State and US Capitols demanding that our Congressmen get off their backsides and start DOING something instead of constant disingenuous babble. Why aren’t our pastors opening up our churches 24/7 and calling for prayer? Christians who believe that we are to sit on the sidelines because they’ve “read the end of the Book and know how it ends” or encourage other Christians to do the same with the platitude “God is in control, so just hang in there until Jesus comes back” are a big part of the problem.  Dear Lord Jesus have mercy. We need an outpouring of your Holy Spirit that brings true repentance. Dear God we are desperate for you. I am desperate for you Lord.

  6. In Scripture, in the Lord’s Commandments; “thou shalt not kill.” I don’t see any exception in that Commandments.
    If this officer was simply doing his duty, and he ordered this man to cease and desist and then the scuffle ensued and the
    officer had time to think this out, he would not have shot him 6 times. And the fatal blow to the top of this man’s head.
    How can you justify murder. I don’t think his life was in danger, and he had no choice here. But the jury will decide.
    And further, this nation is led by evil and men who are for self profit and gain. A One World Order to enslave all men, and families are being destroyed by lack of Listening to God’s word and nothing more. If you be of the flesh and not in Spirit you are not of God’s people. You side yourselves with the evil one. He is here to collect souls, and bring destruction to the United States of America, the last bastion of a Christian nation on earth. Men who want self rule will fail, the fields of war are witness to this throughout history. Live by the Sword and perish by the sword.

    • If you want to live by the Old Covenant, you should be aware that it says, “You shall not commit murder.” All you need to do is read a little more of to see where God commanded the Israelites to kill their enemies. There was a difference then, and there is a difference now, though I don’t advocate living under the ancient law.

      As for the incident in Ferguson, we don’t yet know what happened. I won’t presume to know if Officer Wilson was justified or not. I don’t know if his life was in danger and it’s difficult to imagine how you could know at this point. What I do know is that stealing from innocent store owners is wrong. I know that death chants in the streets are wrong. I know that rioting in the name of peace is wrong. I know that judging either man involved before hearing all of the facts is wrong. And I know that a mob mentality that elevates emotion over reason is wrong.

      Justice needs to be served, but justice is not doing what an angry mob demands; it is shining the light of truth on the situation and responding according to just principles. That is what we all should seek and desire.

  7. Thank you for words of wisdom. Men of courage who speak the truth in love seem few and far between these days.

  8. “If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.”

    Daniel Webster – statesman, congressman
    Source: Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Glory of America, (Bloomington, MN.: Garborg’s Heart N’ Home, Inc. 1991), 12.7. Continental Congress – 1778

  9. Thanks for the historical perspective. I just read part of Rep. Paul Ryan’s address, given on July 15th in Washington, D.C. at the Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies, entitled “Renewing the American Idea” (see the Aug 2014 Imprimis newsletter from Hillsdale College) in which he defines the “American Idea” as “self-government under the rule of law”. In his address he lays out how that Big Government and Big Business work together to undermine both self-government (freedom) and the rule of law (responsibility and accountability). They often manufacture a “crisis” (with the help of the media) and then use that crisis to take away more of our religious, economic, and civil liberties in the name of “justice” or “equality”. The “broad road” away from God leads straight to tyranny. Where the Spirit of the Lord is – there is Liberty. Our only hope is a spiritual tsunami from God that will cleanse our nation from evil. Our prayer should be “Hosanna!” (save us now)

  10. Well spoken & totally on target. May His people heed your advice.

    Yours because His, DE

  11. If the governor is calling for a “vigorous prosecution” of this cop, that’s a pretty scary thought. The mob mentality in action no doubt. The fact is, nobody really knows what happened yet. Is the cop a murderer? Perhaps, perhaps not. If he is, then give him a trial and let the jury decide the facts. We can only hope that the cop doesn’t become a sacrificial pawn to appease political correctness.

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