Ant colonies are the fortresses of the insect world: Marvels of engineering with their own heating and cooling systems, trap doors, and layered defenses. Add to that hundreds to thousands of specialized workers with complex communication systems, and you would think that there was no way in short of overwhelming brute force to infiltrate the colony. You would be wrong. Enter the ant nest beetle of the Atlas Mountains. These beetles live among the ants, mate, and lay their eggs in the colonies. Those eggs and the hatching grubs are tended by nurse ants, and once the grubs have reached maturity, they turn on the ant grubs and suck them dry. The vampires of the insect world, ant nest beetles have tricks to deal with the ants. They speak the same language, with adult beetles able to mimic the clicks of soldiers, workers, and even the queen ants to get inside and do what they want: namely, eat ants.
Modern American Christianity is also plagued with its own version of ant nest beetles. Predators who make our sounds, carry our symbols, and pretend to be part of us. However, when you get close and see what they are doing, there is no way they can be part of us. No, it’s just another case of adaptive mimicry, allowing a predator to get close to the most vulnerable.
The threat I am talking about is the Alt-Right, which carries its cross and holds its Bible and preaches fear and hate. It thrives on conspiracy theories and end-times rhetoric. We saw the Jesus Saves signs that were held by the insurrectionists on January 6, and we have seen the “God Hates…” signs being carried by churches for years. Nor is it a new thing. The Gunpowder Plot (“Remember, remember the 5th of November…”), the Klan, the Christian Identity Movement, and others wore their violence on their sleeves, but not all of them do. Many modern hate groups go by innocuous names like the Alliance Defending Freedom, Center for Immigration Studies, or the National Liberty Alliance. Yet they fund hate, fear, and disinformation about anyone who does not conform to their standards. They have set themselves as judges over the world.
Many of these have found haven and even support in our churches.
We have to call them out. We have to get them out.
Let us be clear: 1 John 4:20 and 21 says:
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister
Hatred and fear are antithetical to the way of Christ. There is no room for them in the Body of Christ, the Church.
“I don’t hate, I just don’t like….” or “I don’t fear, I am just uncomfortable with…”
Hate: An intense or passionate dislike.
Fear: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Search yourself. Search your diet of information and discourse.
Where does fear and hate come in?
Who has been clicking the right song to get close to you?
They are not part of you; they only want to eat your babies.