Acts 5 & Substackers Against Nazis
You gotta know when to walk away and put it in God's hands
Acts 5:38 And now I say to you, withdraw from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this work is from men, it will be overthrown. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow it, lest ever also you would be found fighting against God.” (Berean Literal Bible)
It’s Christmas time, and so I thought I would do one article from a “Christian” perspective. This is related to the Drama Triangle, or else it would have gone on my Christian Substack. I put “Christian” in quotes because some would call me a heretic for my beliefs, but I do follow Christ’s words/example.
Acts 5:38-39 has been one of my favorite scriptures from the bible. There are probably many Christians who have never read the bible and don’t even know the reference. Those verses and Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus says, “God provides for the birds, of course he provides for you” (paraphrasing) are some of the best verses to go to when you have an anxious mind, which I do.
I know that what God wills to happen will happen, but sometimes I struggle with faith enough to relax and trust that because of my past. So these verses give me comfort.
Identifying Threats / Persecutors
In the Acts verses you can see that someone wants to fight. Why would you want to fight another person? You would want to fight to protect yourself or another. If you fear that by not fighting that person someone or yourself will be harmed, then you will label that person a persecutor. Sometimes you would be correct. Sometimes you’re led to get away from other people who would cause you harm. You wouldn’t consider walking right next to a gang wearing guns in the middle of the night, right? But, what if there is no physical threat currently?
Substackers Against Nazis
Some people on Substack have been concerned about Nazis writing on Substack. They catastrophize that if those Nazis are not silenced then they will encourage others to be hateful and eventually (within months or years maybe?) they will attack another person with some real-life physical violence.
The physical violence is not imminent in this case. They perceive violence will occur sometime in the future (though I’m not sure how long they think that will take). And then they go into the fear mode (fight/flight/fear/fawn response) which is why they were spurred on to take some action (but not the correct action). Their writings are a form of “fighting” in a sense and people doomscrolling and complaining on Substack Notes is also a form of “freeze” response. I linked to my old article on the freeze response on social media in the Note below. You can find it here.
If you’re wondering what the correct response would be in this situation, according to me, I would say there are a few options.
People need to work on becoming more tolerant of viewpoints that they disagree with. A lot of this is a projection of their own intolerance onto other people so they don’t have to do the inner work of being the change they want to see in the world. This is probably the best choice, and it means you would walk away and let them be free to speak and simply focus on making yourself comfortable with that.
Commenting on Nazi articles with logical arguments against the illogical premise in the articles would help stop anyone reading the articles to be persuaded. I honestly don’t think people are going to be persuaded by Nazi arguments or if they are, you likely won’t be able to stop them, but censorship definitely won’t. In fact, censorship would make it worse because they’ll say, “See? They always censor the truth.” That’s a fallacious argument, of course. But censorship clearly just makes things worse rather than better as they won’t stop believing what they believe, they’ll just double down on their beliefs.
Writing your own articles debunking everything in the Nazi articles that you disagree with. Then you can comment on the Nazi articles and people can click on your name and read your rebuttals. If you feel this strongly on this subject you can dedicate a whole Substack to “fighting” Nazis in words/articles. (That’s what I did when I was debunking Christian beliefs. I created a whole YouTube channel, website, and blog about it.)
Actually reading to understand their viewpoints and discussing via email (or through comments) with the Nazi writer to see why they believe what they believe and perhaps, through friendship, stop their illogical Nazi beliefs. That’s essentially what Daryl Davis did with the Ku Klux Klan.
“ if this plan or this work is from men, it will be overthrown”
“if it is from God…. you will be found fighting against God”
God works in mysterious ways. That’s because His ways are higher than our ways. He can see from a much higher vantage point being outside time and all. So He sees the long-term repercussions of things that happen today. When we are focused on the short term we will often see things as “bad” when it’s actually working out for the greater good in the long term. So, when we fight against those “bad” things, we could be considered fighting against God’s will.
So many people see others as persecutors whom they feel threatened by when there is no imminent danger to themselves or others. People are highly charged to overreact today. Catastrophization is at an all-time high. They often get into fights against things that are not worth worrying about. I’ve said before sometimes people fight with each other (who agree with them on the basic issues) simply because they don’t have the same definitions of a word. That’s a lot of useless fighting going on.
If the purpose is man-made (instead of God’s will) then it won’t last. If people are making illogical racist rants on the internet, only other emotionally driven people (who were already on the verge of agreeing) would be convinced.
No logical person would be convinced by illogical rants. You can’t be convinced to be racist if you don’t have those beliefs/emotions to begin with. I have to admit I’m surprised at how many people got fooled by CRT because it means they were already racist against white people to begin with. But it stems from a feeling of anger and wanting to get revenge. So really that’s the core thing that went wrong. There’s a lot of projection going on with CRT/racism.
But you can see that anger, resentment, and judging others unequally (rather than impartially - Deut. 10:17) are not of God, so they won’t last. Anything that comes from those human emotions won’t last.
If Nazis were simply talking on Substack (even if their catastrophizations were accurate), no one (of any consequence) would be convinced unless the Nazi writers were being logical, impartial, and merciful.
We already have law and order (sorta) to take care of imminent threats of danger. Though our system of law and order may be imbalanced today, it errs on the side who are against Nazis, so this should be no problem.
Writing illogical, emotional rants on the internet to people who already agree is not going to convert new people and it’s not going to hurt people. True anti-semitic and racist rants are a process that is from mankind at its lowest form and it will eventually amount to nothing in the long run.
It’s a waste of time to worry about them. So many people waste time worrying about persecutors who don’t exist or won’t actually harm anyone. It’s amazing to me. But that’s their life. Unless it turns into an imminent threat I don’t care.
Censorship Is Stupid & Backfires
I also find it funny people want to censor others when that doesn’t stop others from believing those things. Censoring people from saying vaccines cause damage doesn’t stop people from believing it. Do you know what would? Real scientific studies with real placebo groups.
Do you know what would stop people from believing what Nazis say? Allowing them to discuss and debate with people who disagree with them. Allow them to watch videos and read history books, newspapers, and old interviews. Have people on all sides put aside their emotional baggage and just have calm discussions on facts and allow “facts” to be criticized and see if they can stand that critique. If a Nazi were allowed to state everything they think and argue their beliefs in front of someone else calmly, they could feel listened to (and that helps a lot) and perhaps actually be logically convinced to see things differently. Shoving all Nazis into a corner of the internet just fuels the division because it just creates echo chambers.
If you want to stop the division we need to communicate rationally, like adults. I’d like to see more of that. But, for now, intolerant people are going to attract other people who are intolerant to hate. They are mirror images of each other. It’s like they’re looking into a mirror and hating themselves.
Be The Change You Want To See
If you walk away from those people (who look to find “persecutors” and be “saviors”) then you are taking responsibility and getting out of the drama triangle that they’re caught up in. If you instead focus on being the change in the world that you want to see, you’ll be a lot happier.
What Acts 5:38-39 reminds me to do is to walk away and trust that God has a plan and it will work itself out. Fighting God (wanting to censor people) just makes things more difficult and emotionally draining than life is supposed to be.
But, if you still feel a need to fight, fight with words and with love. You can respond with logic, and you can respond by healing the inner wounds that have caused you to attract what you hate.