When redeemed by the Lord, each of our personal histories can be used to fulfill our Kingdom assignment and calling. I used to wonder how certain aspects of my work as an agent in an organized crime task force would be part of my future Kingdom assignment. I no longer wonder about the answer to that question. What I learned then can be used now to interpret what is taking place in our nation in a spiritual context. My assignment as an agent was to discover and expose organized crime activities that would eventually bring harm, not only to the innocent victims living under the thumb of organized crime groups but to the perpetrators themselves.
We are living in a moment of history I would call “A Godfather Moment.” What is happening is reminiscent of the famous line uttered by Marlon Brando when he played Don Vito Corleone in the movie, The Godfather. In the film, Brando spoke an iconic line, “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” If you are wondering why we are living in the middle of such social and political gridlock and why some of our elected officials appear to have compromised their previously stated principles, perhaps there is more at play than we realize. Could it be those forced to compromise their ethics have been offered something they can’t refuse?
Organized criminal groups use a variety of methods to gain compliance. As a first attempt, they will bribery to get what they want. The next level of compliance is blackmail where they will produce compromising information or images to get an unwilling source to agree to their demands to prevent the release of unseemly information. When all else fails, as a last resort, a hit is planned. A hit can be visible and bloody to send a message, or it can be more subtle, like an unexpected health emergency ending in what appears to be an untimely death. This is not just something that happens in the script of a Hollywood blockbuster. It has been part of our fallen world since time began. It’s more than just the mob. It applies to the organized crime efforts employed by governments, social programmers, and large corporations whose financial interests are the god of greed they worship.
Why should any of this be of interest to a follower of Jesus Christ? It should at least be a matter of prayer. Some will be motivated to take their concern a step further and offer up a vocal and visible confrontation of these practices. All of us who follow the Lord should be concerned because what is taking place is harming people. Once we are aware of what is happening, our silence or dismissal of the reality of these brutish attempts to control people is a failure on our part to courageously love our neighbor as ourselves.
In 2023, expect a new cadre of heroes to emerge. These heroes will come from within politics, cultural institutions, and the clergy. Under threats from both earthly and spiritual crime bosses, these heroes will be willing to risk life, limb, and reputation to bring forth the truth and expose lies that hold individuals and entire segments of society captive. That kind of courage is needed now more than ever if we no longer want people to live under the influence of thugs operating in any sphere of influence who are only committed to self-interest and the ungodly exercise of their influence.