On Monday, September 13th,, 2021, the Iredell-Statesville Schools Board meeting held in Troutman was not dull or peaceful. According to the Mooresville Tribune, a plate glass door was broken, and a woman was seen using a Bible to pound on the door. The man who broke the plate glass door later surrendered to the Troutman Police Department and said, “I highly regret my actions. Things got heated and there was misplaced anger.”
Take a moment and ponder that: At a school board meeting in which the question of whether or not to mandate the wearing of masks these acts occurred. It takes quite a bit of anger to break a plate glass door, and to cause a person to use her Bible as a cudgel. Sadly, this type of behavior at school board meetings and social media is now a regular occurrence across America. However, I refuse to accept that the issue of mask wearing is the reason for such vitriolic acts. Mask wearing may be the excuse, but not the reason.
Our culture has gotten whipped into a frenzy over an array of problems that have been made into social issues, the so labelled “culture wars”. Some elected and non-elected leaders use real, complex problems such as immigration or homosexuality to stir their bases, instead of finding and offering solutions. 15,000 Haitians is a real problem on many levels, but to suggest that they are the reason for the surge in COVID or that they will vote for one particular political party is absurd and only stirs the pot in the arena of social ills. This type of drivel is like the grade school gossip who spreads ill-will in hopes to see a dispute develop between classmates. These problems, such as requiring a COVID vaccine, are made more than they need to be. There is no need to make an issue of something similar to no smoking in indoor public areas or the wearing of a seatbelt or the multiple number of other vaccines already required for the welfare of the general public.
But we have folks who speak with authority because they are chosen leaders, such as school board members, mayors, religious leaders, and more. I don’t know the woman who used her Bible to bang on the door in Troutman. While I don’t know why she brought her Bible to the meeting, I surmise that she either always carries it with her or she was going to use it in support of her position on the wearing of masks. Perhaps she was planning on reading from Leviticus Chapter 13 (requirements concerning leprosy) to show that even God had many laws for the welfare of the wayward Israelites. But, like the man admitted about his own act: What drove her anger to such a pitch that it became misplaced, causing her to use her Bible in such a manner?
I think it safe to assume that the unknown woman probably reads her Bible. Therefore, she is aware that one of God’s gifts to us is discernment which is needed more than ever in this time of artificial intelligence. While the Bible does not mention computers, Facebook, or any of the other numerous social media sites too easily available, it does warn us about evil voices, and the world of AI (artificial intelligence) is full of evil voices. The otherwise wonderful capabilities of the Internet are made sinister by evil voices because they make any lie or half-truth appear real. And the evil voices can hide behind the veil of social media without being scrutinized by a critic. They are anonymous voices spewing evil.
I suggest to the door breaking man and Bible hammering woman that they not believe anything written or said by an anonymous source and question anything written in print with a name attached. To believe any words because we agree with them may lead to just being a stooge for the writer.
Loud and mean voices solve no problem. My favorite story in the woman’s book is the woman at the well. She, a self-professed wayward female is never shouted at or demeaned but gently told how she is wrong. So the next time you get “riled up” over a report or decision by officials of any kind, think of the way that Samaritan woman was treated in John 4. A soft demeanor and voice will persuade. The shrill voice will only repel.
Our world is full of information and misinformation, and it is our duty as citizens to discern between the truth and the lie. As we know, the truth will be freeing while the lie will control by tapping into the emotions we all carry deep inside. Using our emotions and not our discernment, they are formed to cause an emotionally charged reaction, and as the door breaking man said, be “misplaced,” to be put in the wrong location, to be wasted in other words. However, when used, God’s discernment will repel this evil seduction.