IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Every Day, the Day Before – Pete Garcia - https://www.rev310.net/post/every-day-the-day-before
Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3:3-7
The world is quickly entering into a time where the concept of normal no longer exists. Phrases such as Singularity, the Convergence, the Great Reset, and the New Normal are being used more frequently to try and explain the dramatic departure from the old world order of things. In fact, it is becoming such a dynamic paradigm shift that even unbelievers (i.e. the prophetically deaf-tone people) are beginning to take notice and ask questions with regards to the strange goings-on around the world.
In fact, so many strange things are going on these days that it is just too overwhelming to try and take it all in. Even someone like myself who can usually absorb a lot has trouble absorbing beyond a certain threshold. As is often the case, these inexplicable events are shrugged off simply because we can’t know who or what to trust anymore. Some things seem too unbelievable, too overwhelming, and remain unanswered. More on this specific point later.
Despite the deluge of prophetic signs and wonders growing day by day, there still exists the cultural and geopolitical naysayers out there. These are they who pretend (and loudly so) that everything is fine and life will just keep going on the way it always has. Typically, these naysayers are often represented as the “experts.” They are often the establishment types (bureaucrats) and CINO’s (Christians In Name Only) who love pretending to be culturally relevant, socially reasonable, and yet, are almost always spiritually lukewarm. Unfortunately, these are also the same people who seem to hog the media spotlight, usually only to scoff at those “crazy Evangelicals” who actually take the bible seriously.
Fair to say, these skeptics and the act of their skepticism is not a new endeavor. Noah dealt with it in his day. Lot dealt with it in his day. Just think back to Christ’s birth and how the Wise Men showed up in Herod’s court asking, “where is He who is born King of the Jews?” A surprised King Herod turned to his own “wise men” (i.e. the experts of his day) to ask them about this, and they responded by misquoting the prophet Micah. In fact, they downplay the passage to diminish the significance of this event so as to make it more politically palatable for their king (compare Micah 5:2 with Matthew 2:5-6).
Why did they do this? Why didn’t these Pharisees walk the five or so miles with the Parthian Wise Men to Bethlehem to investigate the matter for themselves? Why did they quit believing in the promise of the coming Messiah?
They quit believing and thus their skepticism resulted in pride. This is why they would not stoop themselves to go with these foreign wise men to investigate the matter for themselves. Nevertheless, religious zealotry and human pride aside, the root cause for skepticism is often the passage of time between the giving of a prophecy, and the fulfillment of it. Time often has a funny way of whittling away our beliefs, our joy, and our hope. While time is not, in and of itself, evil, how Satan manipulates our understanding of it, is.
For Satan, every decision is always tomorrow. It is always, “you have plenty of time.” It is here that Satan and his demonic forces play on our intellect. In so doing, he introduces mankind to two very subtle doctrines of devils known as incrementalism (or gradualism) and the normalcy bias with great effectiveness. He effectively plays on the passage of time and the fallen nature of this world, to dash the hopes and beliefs of those who would believe.
Just think back to when you were a kid and all the things you used to believe in. Things like magic, monsters under your bed, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, or even more elemental things like people being generally trustworthy. We call this level of belief, naivetés, and obviously, some of these are silly and unreasonable. However, it shows the capacity we are born with to believe in the unbelievable.
Conversely, as we grow older and experience life firsthand, we realize these things are not so, and we begin to condition ourselves to lower our expectations. Lowered expectations often come from disappointment, failed relationships, deception or manipulation, mistreatment, or abuse, all of which seem to be the norm rather than the exception in our world today. The longer we live on this fallen planet, the quicker the light in our life seems to diminish. It is because the more time passes, the more we bear witness of the ugliness of this world, and we harden our hearts against it.
Perhaps this is why this generation is far more skeptical and cynical than all those generations before us. We have seen history. We have studied humanities’ collective trek through time and we are able to see just how brutal, ugly, and wicked this world can be. Speaking to that generation, Jesus said-
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:12
One of the primary signs the Bible tells us of the last days is the mocking of Christ’s return. Jesus, Paul, and Peter all talked about it in connection with being in the “last” or “latter” days just before His return. Now, mockery in and of itself is not a particularly interesting sign. As mentioned previously, mockery and skepticism have been around for a very long time. However, when we put context into it, it becomes very interesting, especially given some of these overlooked thoughts.
1. Jesus stated that in the last days, deception would be everywhere and people would come pretending to be the Christ (Matt. 24:5). Now, this would be an absolutely pretentious statement, IF Christ really wasn’t who He said He was. We know with 100% certainty that the Gospels were written in the first century. We also know as a fact that in the past two thousand years, many have come claiming to be Christ. The fact that this has happened, as well as the fact Christians are still here talking about His return nearly two thousand years later, is absolute proof that Jesus was who He said He was and that He is returning soon.
~Why have so many come claiming to be the Christ? Why aren’t they coming pretending to be the Buddha? The Mahdi? Gaia? Thor?
2. Peter wrote that in the last days, scoffers would come mocking the return of Christ. Aside from the fact that this is happening on a daily basis (and has with increasing intensity for decades) is also proof positive that Christ's return is near. The only reason people would mock the return of Christ is if Christians were talking about the return of Christ. People would not increasingly mock the return of Christ if people weren’t increasingly talking about it with growing interest.
~Nobody mocks the return of Thor and Odin, or Ragnarok, because apart from a very tiny group of Norse-religion enthusiasts, nobody is talking about it. You only mock what is relevant, and Christ has always been relevant.
3. Paul wrote that in the last days, perilous times would come. This word perilous (Greek- chalepos= exceedingly fierce, perilous), interestingly, is only used one other time in the New Testament. It was used to describe the two demonically possessed men from Gergesenes (or Gadarenes) as found in Matt. 8:28. Perilous times do not denote a time of normalcy or business as usual- it is a demonically infused dangerous situation. In fact, it marks the time of birth pangs that have been ever-present but will, in the last days, increase with growing frequency and intensity. Of interest to this topic, however, was that even the demons in the passage knew about and feared the last days;
~When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him, two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Matt. 8:28-29 (emphasis mine)
The fact that this legion of demons knew there was a time of judgment coming, and even knew where they were in relation to that coming time of judgment, is interesting. They stated, “Have you come to torment us before the time?” This reminds me of the passage in James 2:19 where he states that “even the demons believe and tremble” at the reality of God. Now, while they cannot know of “that day and hour,” they know enough to recognize that Christ will one day return to judge the world. Sad to say, that is a far cry more discerning than what most of our apostate false teachers (CINOs) know and believe; for their fate is far worse.
For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord. 2 Peter 2:5-11 (emphasis mine)
These false teachers are they whom Peter stated as being, wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever (2 Peter 2:17). Unfortunately, these mockers and skeptics often carry this foolishly cavalier attitude toward God. However, as Solomon once noted, there is no new thing under the sun.
Skeptics, skepticism, and the hardening of hearts have existed long before our generation. In fact, it was the Antediluvian generation who mercilessly mocked Noah, and the post-Antediluvian generation, who tormented a righteous Lot. These mockers even existed centuries later in the days of the tower of Babel. In fact, these mockers go back through every generation (to varying degrees) and are at present, filling up Sheol and are presently waiting in torments for the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:10-14) and then, an eternity in the Lake of Fire.
The audacity of mortal men, who are weaker than angels, proclaiming themselves either greater than God (by denying He exists), or greater than God’s servants (of whom, they beat, kill, and imprison for sharing the Good News). Think about the wrath they are storing up for themselves. Think about the demonic forces (who are more powerful than we) and how they tremble at the thought of God’s wrath. This should be cause for great concern for those denying the coming of our Lord and the truth about where we are on God’s prophetic timeline.
Here is that thought I asked you to hold till later.
When the rains started, the flood came.
Apart from lawlessness, we (believers and unbelievers alike) are being deluged with SO much information these days that this (in and of itself) seems to be a tactic from the very pit of hell- to overwhelm the system. Where do you think Cloward and Piven got their strategy? They recognize that we are but frail mortal beings with a finite set of skills and reasoning abilities; it doesn’t take much to overwhelm us or our human governments.
Satan knows his time is coming to an end, and he is attempting to demoralize and confuse the body of Christ in the present, so we cannot effectively bring the Gospel to a lost and dying world. He does this by a dizzying array of strategies and tactics, but the two mentioned in this brief- skepticism (hardening of hearts) and overwhelming the system, has proven to be very successful.
Perhaps this growing lack of normalcy also explains the demonic frenzy we see happening all around us today with the world becoming obsessed with redefining what normal means. This redefining was traditionally done through political correctness, however, this has splintered off into the subsections of wokism, intersectionality, social justice, and critical race theories. By these, the world wants to redefine what the following means:
All of these have been deteriorating our world at an increasingly quickening pace, all the while the skeptical experts are calmly reassuring us that this deterioration is normal (i.e. the new normal). However, the end results are always the same. All of it is designed to divide and conquer, demoralize mankind, and introduce confusion into every segment of society. Ultimately, this is designed to both turn men’s faith away from God, and toward a man (the Antichrist) in whom they will give themselves wholly over to his final world system. This results in a quickening series of earth-shattering judgments which are designed (by God) to stagger men’s faith in their ability to save themselves. But is this all-new?
Jesus stated that the days before His return would be like the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:26-30). Each of those generations mocked God and mocked the coming judgment, and they paid dearly for it. The question we have to ask ourselves is, is our generation any different? If we look around the world today, do we see people openly mocking Christ and Christians? Are we seeing the complete censoring of Christian thought in the marketplace of ideas? Are we seeing the rising persecution of Christians around the world?
However, we are not to lose heart. The fact that we are seeing this major prophetic sign, should be good news to the watching believer. We are seeing this day approaching (Heb. 10:25). We are seeing the season just as we one would see the changes in the weather (1 Thess. 5:1-4). Jesus stated that when all these things (mocking and skepticism included) begin to occur, we are to look up and lift up heads our heads, because our redemption draws near (Luke 21:28).
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking every day is like the day before. None of us know what tomorrow holds, and we should spend whatever time we have remaining, not only occupying until He comes but eagerly longing for His return. Jesus is the only One who can fix this world’s problems. He is the only One who can vanquish evil. He is the only One who can fix us. Let us not be ensnared by the trappings of this world, because that will only serve to dash and thrash our hopes and energies and cause us to become distracted. Let us, however, be fixed on Christ and the world He will bring, thy Kingdom Come.
Even So, Maranatha!
Nearing Midnight: Daniel’s Dream Developing – Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Of all the prophets in God’s Holy Word, to me there are two prophets that stand out as specifically speaking to these times so near the end of the Church Age (Age of Grace).
Paul speaks to the characteristics of end-times mankind through the “perilous times” descriptions in 2 Timothy 3.
We’ve gone over those characteristics many times. People will, Paul foretold, be exactly like they are today—always trending toward ungodliness. Two specific characteristics I’ve probably dissected most are “lovers of self” and “without natural affection.” In the first case, we’ve looked at the Internet, social media, personal devices, and all that points men and women, boys and girls, inward. This takes them away from thinking about God and what life is all about from Heaven’s perspective. The term “selfies” is, to me, the epitome of this inward-turning. It isn’t much of a stretch to understand how destructive this has become to society and culture in America—to the very governing documents the founding fathers gave us—under God’s guidance, I believe.
In the second case, we’ve examined the evil of shedding the blood of the innocents—one of the seven things God says He hates.
Abortion, the murder of babies in their mother’s wombs, is about the most abominable activity we who love the Lord can imagine. Yet society, as a whole, grasps onto this infanticide as a right granted people—most often used to get rid of unwanted baggage that might interfere with the lives of those who want no sexual inhibitions placed upon them by any authority—especially not by any Deity and His Bible.
Also, “without natural affection” means, in my view, the homosexual madness that prevails in this nation. Even psychologists and many within so-called clergy now embrace LGBTQ, etc., as a natural, not “unnatural” comportment.
In my view, the other prophet that is most relevant to our exact time so near Christ’s return is the prophet Daniel.
Whereas Paul spoke for the most part particularly to how things will be in society and culture as the end of the age approaches, Daniel spoke to how things will be in terms of developments in the governments of mankind.
The prophet, we remember, went before King Nebuchadnezzar to interpret his strange dream that none of the soothsayers could even describe, much less interpret, to the worried king. Daniel did this in great detail, laying out the precise order of kingdoms that would develop right up until the time Christ returns to destroy the wickedness of man-made governmental structure. He told how the entire system—the evil, Babylonian system—would meet its end.
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2:31–35)
The gigantic man-image represented the kingdoms that would come and go. Daniel described how a final world kingdom, represented by the feet and toes of the image, would come into being at the very last of human history. He said a massive stone would fall on the image, strike the feet and toes, and topple the whole monstrous structure. The stone would then crush it to powder and the winds of history would blow it all away as dust, completely and forever destroying all vestiges of human government.
Jesus Christ, of course, is that “stone.” He is the rock the Lord described to Peter in commending Peter for recognizing that He, Jesus, is the “rock” upon which His (Jesus’) Church would be built (Matthew 16:18).
So, considering Paul’s prophecies, we have concluded on a number of occasions that they fit our times perfectly. So we now look briefly at how Daniel’s prophecy here fits our time at this late date on God’s prophetic timeline.
The ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream-vision represent ten kings and kingdoms yet to be formed at the very end of the age just before Christ’s return. Many prophecy scholars and others have thought this might be a certain configuration of nation-states strictly out of Europe—thus representing the revived Roman Empire.
We now, with all the things that have been developing, can legitimately conjecture whether there is much more involved than merely positioning only Europe in that long-ago prophecy.
The all-consuming dictatorship of the coming Antichrist seems to congeal each day as we get reports of developments. The so-called Deep-State gyrations of wickedness, combined with other dynamics taking place across the world, makes us believe there is much, much more than surmised in our previously thought approach to this great, end-times prophecy by Daniel.
A most recent development in that regard is seen in the following.
In recent years, calls for more coordinated action in the face of China’s increasingly assertive foreign policy have reached something of a crescendo.
It is now not uncommon to hear diplomats and foreign ministers from Brussels to Tokyo asserting that unilateral responses to Beijing’s ever more muscular approach to international affairs are just not enough, and that what is needed now is a more harmonized international response. As the European Union’s top diplomat put it in 2020, in the face of China’s “more assertive – some even say aggressive” behavior, it is “important to have strong cooperation with like-minded democracies. The EU and U.S. should be at the heart of this effort, but we should also be working closely with Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and others.”
While specific proposals to achieve this enhanced cooperation are few and far between, there is one idea that seems to be gaining some traction. That is British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s idea that the existing G7 might be transformed into a grouping of the world’s “like-minded democracies” for the purpose of checking China’s more assertive behavior.
The existing G7, of course, is an informal bloc of the seven most advanced industrialized countries. It was created in 1975 to allow its leaders to discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including the global economy, security and energy…
The proposed renovation – first floated by the Atlantic Council back in 2008, and likely to be proposed in earnest by Johnson at this year’s G7 summit in June – would involve an expansion of the group’s membership and a refocusing of its efforts. The resulting institution, tentatively dubbed the D-10, would not be an alliance like NATO. Nor would it even be an informal strategic forum like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad, a loose coalition involving Japan, Australia, India and the U.S. Rather, as currently envisioned, the D10 would essentially be an informal mechanism for the world’s 10 most important democracies – the G7 states plus India, Japan and South Korea – to cooperatively manage the rules-based international order and to address some of the challenges to that order posed by today’s China. (“The G7 and NATO won’t cut it: Why a new alliance is needed,” Andrew Latham, www.msn.com,, 4/12/21)
The feet and toes of iron mixed with miry clay could be viewed as forming in order to build Antichrist’s final world empire this side of the Second Advent. That governmental structure—whatever its constituency—will be wicked beyond anything mankind has experienced. Forced vaccines and all other overreaches will seem as nothing when the “man of sin” takes over the reins of the final form of the Babylonian system.
Jesus will be that “stone” that will bring that thoroughly beastly rulership down in thunderous collapse.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
What Is Causing the Global People Shortage? - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/what-is-causing-the-global-people-shortage/
Did you ever imagine that we would be facing an epic shortage of workers all over the globe in the second half of 2021? Right now, thousands upon thousands of large companies all over the world are absolutely desperate for workers. They are raising wages, they are throwing in extra vacation days and they are even doing away with drug tests, but they still can’t find enough able-bodied people to hire. At this moment, this is one of the biggest problems that the global economy is facing. If we simply had enough people to do the jobs that needed to be done, a lot of our glaring supply chain issues would rapidly fade away.
So why can’t we find enough workers?
In my entire lifetime, our planet has never had to deal with a severe lack of workers.
Instead, chronic unemployment was always a huge unsolvable puzzle for global leaders. Politicians loved to give speeches about finding enough jobs for everyone, and of course none of them could ever actually accomplish that goal.
But now here we are in the middle of a pandemic and that puzzle has somehow suddenly been solved?
That seems rather odd.
Here in the United States, some of our biggest corporations can’t seem to hire enough people no matter how hard they may try. For example, things have gotten so bad at FedEx that they are now rerouting 600,000 packages a day…
FedEx Chief Operating Officer Raj Subramaniam said during an earnings call this week that there have been “widespread inefficiencies” in its operation due to “constrained labor markets” which have ultimately forced the company to divert packages.
There are more than 600,000 packages a day being rerouted across the entire FedEx Ground network, according to Subramaniam.
If they could find enough workers, this problem would be eliminated.
But they can’t, and so right now the hub in Portland is operating with only “65% of the staffing needed”…
Subramaniam pointed to the company’s Portland, Oregon, hub as an example, saying it’s running on “65% of the staffing needed to handle its normal volume.”
Of course FedEx is far from alone. According to Fox Business, a desire to hire workers is very widespread right now…
All 12 industry sectors in the U.S. reported having “hiring intentions at ten-year highs” with plans to bring workers back following the pandemic, according to ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey of nearly 45,000 employers around the world.
“This recovery is unlike any we have seen before with hiring intent picking up much faster than after the previous economic downturn,” ManpowerGroup CEO Jonas Prising said.
When I have written about the labor shortage previously, some readers have argued that the blame should be pinned on the Biden administration.
And without a doubt, policy decisions that the Biden administration has made have definitely made the labor shortage in the U.S. even worse.
But this isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon.
What many Americans don’t realize is that there is a shortage of labor all over the globe at this moment…
Some 69% of employers worldwide are having trouble finding the people they need, with countries like India, Romania and Singapore reporting a particularly difficult time hiring. The poll results, which include data from over 45,000 employers from 43 countries and territories, underscores just how desperate companies are getting. While half of them are dangling monetary incentives, 20% are offering non-financial benefits like extra vacation days or, yes, the ability to do (certain) drugs in the employee’s free time without worrying about repercussions.
Did you ever think that we would see the day when India was complaining about a labor shortage?
I just looked it up, and Google says that India has 1.366 billion people.
How in the world can they have a labor shortage?
Even deeply impoverished countries like Vietnam are experiencing a shortage of labor. The government recently had to call out the army to help with the rice harvest, and you can see photos of that right here.
All over the planet, this sort of thing is happening. At this point, things are so bad that it is being reported that “the global food ecosystem is buckling due to a shortage of staff”…
Whether it’s fruit pickers, slaughterhouse workers, truckers, warehouse operators, chefs or waiters, the global food ecosystem is buckling due to a shortage of staff. Supplies are getting hit and some employers are forced to raise wages at a double-digit pace. That’s threatening to push food prices — already heated by soaring commodities and freight costs — even higher. Prices in August were up 33% from the same month last year, according to an index compiled by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
In all of recorded history, we have never seen a simultaneous labor shortage all over the globe.
Just a few years ago, we had way more people than we had jobs.
So where did all the people go?
That is a question that all of us should be asking.
Needless to say, the past few years have turned all of our lives upside down. The way that national governments have responded to the COVID pandemic has definitely had far-reaching repercussions, and that will continue to be true for the foreseeable future.
On Sunday, Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that it looks like COVID shots will become a yearly thing…
“The most likely scenario for me, it is because the virus has spread all over the world, that we will continue seeing new variants that are coming out, and also we will have vaccines that will last at least a year. I think the most likely scenario is annual revaccinations, but we need to wait and see the data.”
We aren’t going to be returning to “normal” any time soon. In fact, it appears that we will be talking about masks, shots and mandates for many years to come.
So many people are already paralyzed by fear, but the truth is that our problems are still only in the very early chapters.
If the globe cannot handle the COVID pandemic, what in the world is going to happen when something far more serious comes along?
You might want to start thinking about that, because things are only going to get crazier from this point forward.
You Are What You Binge – John Stonestreet - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4980
Pediatricians are growing increasingly concerned about an explosion in facial and vocal tics in teenagers, especially teenage girls. According to the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, case numbers in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and Australia have skyrocketed over the last year. They've even called it a "parallel pandemic" alongside COVID-19. A UK journal has reported similar findings.
A significant majority of these young patients report spending a lot of time on social media; in particular, a corner of TikTok where influencers who have medical conditions that cause tics, share their tics on the platform. According to reseaU.K.hers in the UK, the TikTok channel #tourettes had 2.5 billion views as of last February.
Doctors say that neurological scans of teenage girls with what they are calling "functional tic-like behaviors" don't have anything like Tourette's Syndrome. The tics are real and uncontrollable, but not neurological. Rather, they are learned over a screen.
These types of phenomena, known as "social contagions" or "mass socio-genic illnesses," have baffled psychologists for decades. A few years ago, Journalist Lee Daniel Kravetz published a book called Strange Contagion. In it, he described a Palo Alto high school where, over the span of just six months, five students committed suicide, all on separate occasions and all by jumping in front of a train. School shootings can follow a similar pattern: the first is widely reported, and within weeks there's another, and maybe even another.
Wall Street Journal reporter Abigail Shrier described a similar phenomenon in her book, Irreversible Damage, about teenage girls with "sudden-onset gender dysphoria." One identifies as trans, and suddenly, many others have too.
Like the "functional tic-like behaviors" that are now alarming researchers, social media plays a big role in each of these examples, as well. Whether gender dysphoria, violent behaviors, or facial tics, there's something about us - especially our younger selves - that is so vulnerable to suggestion and pressure, even to the point of hurting ourselves. The reality of social contagions reveals something about how God made us.
To put it as simply as possible, we're impressionable people. Proverbs, especially chapter 4, repeatedly alludes to this. We are warned against following "the path of the wicked." We are told, "Above all else, (to) guard your heart" because everything about us "flows from it."
Though we like to think of ourselves as primarily rational creatures, making decisions by carefully and objectively considering all sides, we are far more driven by what we desire than what we think. God gave us hearts that are often shaped in ways and by forces we aren't always aware of.
Marketers know this. We wear what others are wearing, and economic considerations go right out the window. Influencers know this. Popular cultural idioms become part of our vocabulary because they say them. The fact that there even is a category of people in our culture called "influencers" says about all we need to know.
Before the Fall, Scripture describes how God "walked" with Adam and Eve in the Garden. The idea of "walking" emerges again in Proverbs. Out of the Garden, we are warned against "walking" with the wicked. Apparently the problem is not that we are impressionable.
The problem is not that our hearts were made to be formed and shaped by others. We were, in fact, made to become like God, by walking with Him. We were to be formed by Him. In a fallen world, that very good way God made us can instead twist us into the image of something corrupt, foolish, or sinful.
Anxiety-induced behaviors like the tics inflicting teen girls aren't sinful, but they do illustrate the power of suggestion and the way we were made. The most obvious strategy in light of that would be to dramatically limit social media exposure.
This story also underscores the significance of communities. In healthy communities, there is support and sharing about struggles, which social media pretends to offer. Only it comes without safeguards, especially for teens. Digital community is not real. It's more of a performance art in front of strangers. Physical community is real, or at least should be, especially families and churches.
Finally, if we are potentially impressionable to the point of harm, then we're also impressionable to the point of health. Opposite of the wicked man who, "walks in the counsel of the ungodly and stands in the way of sinners, there is, Psalm 1 says, is the one who "meditates on the law of the Lord day and night." This is because the Word of God is living and active. And it's also because our hearts are shaped by what we binge.
Daily Jot: A time to demand media reform - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
In journalism school at The Ohio State University, I was taught very basic premises of reporting the news. The professors were sticklers for fact and the correct application of it. In one class, we were given the example of a race between the Soviet Union and the United States. The American won in this two-man contest. The headline in Pravda read: “Soviets finish second; Americans next to last in international race.” We discussed how the headline was factual, but it did not reflect the truth. A little bit of truth makes a better lie. And the mainstream news media has been lying to you for decades. The lies are becoming so bold and slanted that we, as truth-seeking Christian Americans, must demand media reform.
CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and even FOX need to wake up to the difference between editorializing and news. They all interchange the two seamlessly. News should be unbiased and unreflective of the reporter’s political viewpoint. The journalist’s mission is to report the news without bias. Trouble is, these “journalists” have been “programmed” by communists in our colleges and universities and they bring with them an inner bias that cannot be undone. They see every issue from the lens of their political beliefs, and to them the American did finish next to last. It’s all how you view the event. These “journalists” view their politics as right and just, so everyone who disagrees is a hater. We are witnessing this every day with COVID 19 and vaccination coverage. If you disagree with the group think, you are an evil pariah.
In my time covering politics, I would have been aghast if someone accused me of favoritism and bias. I took great measures to ensure that my stories reflected the unbiased truth. During former president Obama’s last White House Correspondents Dinner, he described a free press as one that has the same goals as the White House, his administration, in particular. He said, “So I want to close my final White House Correspondents’ Dinner by just saying thank you. I’m very proud of what you’ve done. It has been an honor and a privilege to work side by side with you to strengthen our democracy.” He is describing a propaganda machine, not a “fourth estate” news media that held the administration accountable to the truth and the law. What he described is not a free press.
A free nation depends on a free media. But when the media crosses the line and becomes a government mouthpiece or alters the facts to support a political position, this nation is no longer free. Jesus said in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” He said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes unto the Father but by me.” As Christian Americans, we know the truth. We should demand it of our media. How? Quit watching these news channels; don’t buy their papers; don’t believe anything they report. Find news sources that report the truth, and make sure others are verifying their stories. Don’t be dupes by falling for stories that are not true just because you want to believe them. Practice discernment. Let’s demand media reform.
Daily Devotion: For Heaven’s Sake - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created —Revelation 4:11
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/for-heavens-sake-2/ - Listen
Peter Marshall, the former chaplain to the United States Senate, once said, “The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration but its donation.”
We spend so much time thinking about how to live longer. We can do all the things that are supposedly good for us, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the key is not duration but donation.
What are you doing with the life that God has given you?
We don’t know how many years we have ahead of us. So we need to constantly remind ourselves of why we’re here on Earth and what we’re supposed to be doing.
The book of Revelation tells us there’s a song in Heaven that says, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11 NKJV).
We’re here to glorify God and to bring forth spiritual fruit. We’re not here to chase happiness or to bring glory to ourselves. We’re not here to run after nothingness.
So what are you doing for the sake of Heaven? What are you doing with your life?
My concern is that a lot of people are living their lives in trivial pursuit. They’re chasing after trivial things instead of asking, “What can I do with the life that God has given me?”
Some people are willing to take risks for the kingdom of God. They’re willing to step out in faith and see what the Lord will do. Others are more careful and cautious. They’ll serve the Lord, but they don’t want to leave their comfort zones.
Some people are setting the world on fire while others are still looking for a match. You determine which of those two groups you will belong to. God doesn’t determine it; you do.
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