Under the Cover of Darkness
Ray L. Parker
The Lord Jesus told the people of His day, "Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). The Lord continued, "He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest" (vs. 21). The Apostle Paul spoke of "the hidden things of darkness" (I Corinthians 4:5). Paul admonished the Church at Rome to "Cast off the works of darkness" (Romans 13:12). The Apostle Peter taught that the Lord has called us out of darkness (I Peter 2:9). Jude spoke of "the blackness of darkness, forever" (Jude 1:13). The Prophet Isaiah wrote, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20).
There are truly many historic examples of the above Scriptural truths. However, the sad reality is we do not have to look to the past to see the darkness It is seeking to engulf us today. Certainly there are those who seek to "darken" the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with some form of self-improvement or psychological maneuvering. As believers it is our duty to allow the light of Christ to shine through our lives. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus preached, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). As a child in Sunday School we would sing, "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine." The light of the Gospel is brilliant indeed.
The Apostle John wrote, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, an do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:5-7).
Not only are there those who would seek to "darken" the Gospel message, but there are also those who seek to "darken" the facts of history. Confederate Americans are cast as hate-filled bigots and Southern heroes of the War Against the States are pictured as evil, godless individuals. All things Southern (they say) must be removed -- and notice, they do the "removing" in the dark of night and often in illegal ways.
IT WAS A DARK NIGHT IN NEW ORLEANS
The City of New Orleans, following months of legal efforts to stop their destructive plans, removed three Confederate Monuments -- the Robert E. Lee Monument, the Jefferson Davis Monument, and the General Beauregard Statue. These monuments stood in New Orleans since the late 1800s and early 1900s to honor the South's defensive efforts to retain its liberty, freedom, and self-determination. The current cultural and political climate does not recognize the Southern struggle as a time of duty and honor, but rather as a time of hate and bigotry. Current cultural thought would have us "put away" all reminders of that period in American history, condemn the Southerners who were part of that struggle, marginalize those today with a high opinion of Southern heritage, and have the South sit on the eternal stool of shame expressing an unending apology. This, however, we will not do!
Contemporarily we view the terror system ISIS removing the monuments of Christianity and other items of historic and religious importance. Their "mindset" is, "If I don't agree with it, or if I don't like it, I will remove it. It matters not to me if it is historic or if it is valued by others, I will remove it!" How sad to see that same mentality at work in our own country -- and sadder still, that mentality continues to grow with vile, hateful results. It is truly a tragic day when a Southern city removes tributes to those who fought to defend the South.
In the dark of night the destructors came. They came dressed in black with masks. They came with a strong police presence. They did their evil deeds, removed the Monuments, and then vanished into the darkness from which they came.
IT WAS A DARK NIGHT IN ST. LOUIS
Following the evil example of New Orleans, politicians in St. Louis moved against a Southern monument. The 32-foot monument, dedicated in 1914, depicted the Angel of the Spirit of the Confederacy over a family sending a soldier to war. "We want it down," St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said. In the darkness they came. In the darkness they loaded their trucks with the precious cargo. In the darkness they removed the monument. They drove into the darkness of night, void of all light, to complete their dastardly deed.
IT WAS A DARK NIGHT IN MEMPHIS
For over five years the Sons of Confederate Veterans took legal action to block the City of Memphis from moving Confederate monuments. The City lost in every legal venue. The Monuments stood. Then, on the evening of December 20, 2017, via illegal procedures the City moved ownership of monument property from governmental to private. Their reasoning seemed to be to circumvent the heritage laws of the State of Tennessee and successfully move the Confederate Statues.
In the darkness of night and with massive police presence, the dastardly deed was done. The statue of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and the statue of President Jefferson Davis were hoisted from their honored pedestals and placed on flatbed trucks for movement to an "undisclosed" location. Once the trucks were loaded, they drove into the darkness of the night.
The darkness of the Memphis scheme also involved the misuse of the light of the Christmas holiday. City officials, in the dark planning of their hearts, knew that with the Holidays, the court systems and the State government would be shut down. They knew that those of Southern heritage would have no legal recourse for days and perhaps even weeks. They used this stratagem seeking to seal the evil deed and make it irreversible. Darkness covered their every thought and action.
DARKNESS VS. LIGHT
If the above actions were correct, they would have been done in the light of day. If there were nothing to hide, this would have happen in daylight hours. But because these deeds were evil, the perpetrators sought darkness rather than light.
Beware of those who seek the darkness. Watch out for those who shun the light. Be cautious of those who do their work in secrecy. Remember the admonition of the Scripture, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5). To do a deed in the darkness implies the evil of that deed.
For those of us with a high view of Southern heritage, we will shine the bright light of truth on these dark actions. The light of historic truth will not be dimmed by those who honor the darkness and do their work in the night. President Jefferson Davis and General Nathan Bedford Forrest are great men of Southern history and we will honor them as such in the bright light of day with nothing to hide. The battle is not over. We continue the struggle. "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine!"