• Faith & Fandom

Red Dead Redemption 2: I Have A Plan

Red Dead Redemption 2: I Have A Plan

I, like most of the gaming community, was extremely ready to

head back out west for another cowboy adventure from

Rockstar. I, also like most of the gaming community, missed

out on the first installment of the game franchise, Read Dead

Revolver, but totally fell into the beauty that was John

Marston’s adventure into New Austin as he was forcibly

marched down the road of Redemption by Agent Ross in Red

Dead Redemption. So, when Rockstar started teasing us with

another adventure, I bought my ticket for the hype train and

was not disappointed. I put my 60 plus hours into the game

and was grateful for the experience.

The one recurring theme that hit me the most was Dutch’s

constant reassurance that he had a plan. The entire time we

heard about his plan, it never seemed to get any closer,

clearer, or capable. He had an entire squad of outlaws and

outcasts following him blindly through the proverbial and

literal wilderness. That’s one of the crazy things about

humanity. We always follow. There is something in us that

yearns for leaders. There is something in us that desperately

wants someone to tell us what to do with our lives.

While obviously God is the best choice to follow, we still want

someone face to face. We want someone we can tangibly see

in front of us giving us guidance and helping us feel like we

aren’t alone and lost. That is how we end up with the poor




people blindly following Dutch into oblivion. That’s the crazy

thing, too. Dutch has one group of followers, they get burned

to the ground for following him, and by the time we get to the

original Red Dead, he has even more people following him. The

simple concept is, “Be careful who you follow.”


This problem wasn’t limited to the dying wild west, but pre-

dates the time of the prophets. God’s people were notorious


for having bad leaders, and following bad leaders. Oh look!

That’s still happening today. Look at what God told His people

through the prophet Ezekiel.

“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel;

prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign

Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take

care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of

the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the

wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not

take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the

weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You

have not brought back the strays or searched for the

lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they

were scattered because there was no shepherd, and

when they were scattered they became food for all the

wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the

mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered

over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for

them.“ ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the

Lord: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord,



because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been

plundered and has become food for all the wild animals,

and because my shepherds did not search for my flock

but cared for themselves rather than for my flock,

therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the

shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I

will remove them from tending the flock so that the

shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue

my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food

for them.” - Ezekiel 34:2-10

Even among God’s people, there have been terrible leaders.

Anytime leaders are looking out for themselves rather than the

people they should be leading, things are going to be bad.

Dutch spent his time leading their gang by saying whatever

they needed to hear at the time. He made them believe they

were a family when in reality, Dutch was just using these

people to meet his own needs and thriving off of the high of

having people follow him. There is a natural high that comes

from being a leader. It’s the feeling that people trust you,

listen to you, follow you, and love you. In cases like Dutch,

people say literally whatever they need in order to keep

people following them. Look at the stuff that came out of

Dutch’s mouth:

“They’re chasing us hard because we represent

everything that they fear.”

“You’ve got to keep faith. They will not crush us.”




“Don’t you never leave love aside Arthur, it’s all we got."

“One more big score and we got enough to leave.”

“The promise of this great nation. Men created equal,

liberty and justice for all. That might be nonsense to. But

it's worth trying for. It's worth believing in. Can't you see

that, friend?”

Dutch was spouting old west Hallmark cards at these people

while robbing, murdering, endangering lives, manipulating,

and causing destruction everywhere he went. People show you

who they are by the fruit of their actions. It doesn’t matter

how convincingly a leader speaks. If their actions show you

that they shouldn’t be trusted, don’t trust them.

“Scoundrels use wicked methods, they make up evil

schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the

plea of the needy is just.” - Isaiah 32:7

“Who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war

every day.” - Psalm 140:2

His gang saw what was really happening. They knew things

were wrong, but they would rather have a broken leader than

no leadership. Many of us do the same thing when it comes to

the people we allow to guide us in our lives. Whether it be

teachers, pastors, friends, family, or anyone else we allow to

influence and guide our lives, we can see when we are

following flawed, broken leaders. We know that the people we

let guide us aren’t that great, but it’s better than being lost and




alone. Seriously, look at the people who have direct influence

into your life. Are you following a Dutch right now? Scripture

gives us a guide for what leadership should look like, and even

beyond the church, these are great qualities for a leader to

have.

“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an

overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be


above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-

controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not


given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not

quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his

own family well and see that his children obey him, and

he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If

anyone does not know how to manage his own family,

how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be

a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall

under the same judgment as the devil. He must also

have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will

not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” - 1

Timothy 3:1-7.

Dutch didn’t live up to these standards in the slightest. Many

of the leaders in our lives don’t live up to these standards.

Being super honest, even as I sit here and type this, I fall short

of these standards. I pastor a church, chair the board of a large

children’s ministry, and write words that people read, and I fall

short of this. That’s something that defines a great leader

though — the ability to accept correction and have their




motives, actions, and direction challenged. This paves the way

for progress.

“Listen to advice and accept correction, that you may

gain wisdom in the future.” - Proverbs 19:20

Anytime Dutch’s people questioned him or his leadership, they

were met with overly defensive rebuttals.

“We can't always fight nature, John. We can't fight

change, we can't fight gravity, we can't fight nothin'. My

whole life, all I ever did was fight...”

“This place aint no such thing as civilized. It’s man so

much in love with greed, he has forgotten himself and

found only appetites.”

“I can’t fight my own nature, that’s a paradox.”

“Arthur: What is the plan?

Dutch: This is the plan!

Arthur: What is?

Dutch: This is!

Arthur: This?

Dutch: Don't doubt me Arthur! I have a plan!

Arthur: Your plan is yelling at me?

Dutch: Yes Arthur! You must have faith!

Arthur: Why do you keep yelling at me?

Dutch: You aren't listening to me Arthur! You must have

faith!

Arthur: I have faith Dutch, but do you have a plan?



Dutch: Yes Arthur, this is the plan!

Arthur: What is?

Dutch: This is!”

When you follow bad leadership, you end up wounded,

broken, and blindly doing things you would never choose to do

on your own. You will end up looking back at your life in shock

at the person you became.

As John explains, “Guess about all I got left now is doubts.

Doubts and scars.”

Dutch’s poor leadership left Arthur and their team on a blazing

trail of death and chaos that cost so many people their lives

and futures, and that was all because Dutch had a plan. At the

end of Dutch’s life, when John finally confronts him at the

forceful will of the government, Dutch is still clinging to his

plan. Even with thousands of people’s lives ruined, he was still

clinging to that smoldering torch of his leadership.

Dutch: I got a plan John.

John: You always got a plan, Dutch.

Literally down to the last minutes of his life, Dutch was clinging

to the plan. Please understand this: just because someone has

plan doesn’t mean they are worth following. Not every plan is

a good plan. Not every plan is a God plan.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end

it leads to death.” - Proverbs 14:12.





If you allow the wrong people to lead you, you will find

yourself in the place to Yee your last Haw. Please, examine

your leaders. Challenge your leaders. Correct Your leaders. If

you are a leader, do these things for yourself. Be the leader

you are called to be and don’t take the role lightly. Don’t

follow the Dutch’s that appear in your life, and don’t allow

yourself to become one.


“Our time has passed.” - Dutch Van Der Linde

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