“For this reason God will send them a powerful delusion so that they believe the lie” 2 Thes 2:11
I don’t watch the news. I haven’t watched a news cast in well over 20 years, probably 30 years. I hear things here and there in the marketplace and have friends tell me what’s going on in the world if they think it’s pertinent, would interest me, or it comes up in conversation. Then if I want, I can go to the web and try to figure out the story or event from an unbiased source without an agenda or slant — these days a scarce commodity.
That’s good enough for me. Solomon, reported to be the wisest man who ever lived, about 1000 BC said, “I’ve been young and now I am old, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Isaiah in about 700 BC said by the Spirit, “He who keeps his ears from hearing about bloodshed and his eyes from looking upon evil will dwell securely with me.” (Isaiah 33:15-16) And Jesus said in about 30AD, “…your eyes are the window to your heart.” And Solomon again said, “above all else watch over your heart.” (Pro 4:23)
So I read the Bible, and study history, believing like Churchill that we see more clearly what lies ahead by looking back at the past.
And then I try to lead a quiet and peaceful life and work with my hands. And think upon beautiful and positive things as the Apostle Paul instructed the church in Thessalonica and Philippi and the church of all ages to do.
“and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,” I Thes 4:11
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Phil 4:8
“I try not to consider things too difficult for me,” as did David, king of Israel, one of my heroes in the faith. (Psalm 131:1) And leave all the heavy lifting to the Lord of creation and the Lord of human history. (Isa 30:15 & Zech 4:6) He is going to be up all night anyway, so I can peacefully sleep. (Psalm 121:4)
The Evening News — Life Is Bad
My father was a news adict, especially later in life, and I would say typical of the population in that regard, certainly his generation. I was a news attic in college and earlier in life. But it’s like I used to tell my dad about the news, “They don’t tell you that 7.79999 billion people get up, go to work, school or play, every day, and come home, without anything bad happening to them.” Instead, they scour the earth for images and reports of bloodshed and violence and paste that all over the evening news — these days, the 24/7 news. We all know that’s what attracts people’s attention. People will watch it and also watch the advertising during the newscast. And subsequently buy the products, so that more such news casts can be produced, for profit. But is this a correct representation of life on the planet? Is it the truth about what’s going on each day? Is it the big picture? As best as we can envision it? I would say no! I would say it’s a lie. A system perpetuating lie about life and living on the planet.
The Bible — Life Is Good
Life is good on the planet. Especially for those who abide with the Lord (Jn 15:5, Ps 91:1-2). It’s a gift! A gift to be seized and enjoyed each and every day we awaken. Carpe Diem. Enjoy the gift!
The prophets of old attest to this, even as they predicted future judgment and doom on those who rejected the goodness of God and the close relationship he graciously and mercifully proffered, and proffers still. We see the last of them, Malachi, writing, ” “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.” (Malachi 4:2)
At the same time there does seem to be some spiritual “second law of thermodynamics” at play. Things with humans tend to disorder and decay without His sustaining life and activity on our behalf.
We’ll call it a mystery because that’s how the apostles described it, and that’s what it is. It’s observable in people of every race and every generation for which we have record. In every epoch from Job to this very day. (I Tim 3:16)
So we observe it works but know not how it works — like believers and the wind John describes in John 3:7. This seems to be only communicated in the Bible, and from person to person, also involving a direct revelation or encounter with the Holy Spirit of God. That’s the most beautiful and mysterious part. It’s like a secret, but as Tozer tells us, “It’s an open secret.”
The church, disciples of Christ, of all people should know this, and be practicing His presence in public and in secret. But there seems to be a serious delusion at work. Perhaps a delusion that was predicted and revealed to the Apostles that would take place in the latter days. (2 Thess 2:11)
Darwinism — Evolution
Some have suggested Darwinism to be that delusion. What’s commonly called the Theory of Evolution is not supportable by modern science — it’s something that is proven more so each year to be not only improbable but impossible. Yet it is painted as truth in textbooks and museums around the world. In the same time frame as Darwin came Karl Marx in the political world and Sigmund Freud in the psychology world and other men of the age, in the spirit of the French Enlightenment, who wished to experience or create or imagine a world without God. A powerful delusion.
As I ponder this today I see the media as “a powerful delusion” or a major part of it. Day after day, night after night, they pour forth their lies and half truths, that bring them monetary gain and keep people watching, serving their financial ends and political agendas, acting like little gods helping us see the world in their truth and their light.
Do you watch it? Then you know. How does it make you feel? I admit it appeals to the humanistic side of all of us — to know. We want to know. “In the day you eat thereof, you will be like gods knowing good from evil ….” said Satan to Adam and Eve. (Gen 3:5)
And if the subtile work of humanism has crept in on you until you are possibly a Christian-humanist (that should be an oxymoron), then you think you must know these things so you can fix them, like a god. Okay I better stop… hopefully you get it or will.
Unfounded Fear — A Judgment
One very interesting, observable side effect of this negative news and sensationalism, is that people living in one of the most free, most safe, most prosperous countries in the world live in some measure of fear and dread, not enjoying the blessings given them because of fear of situations that aren’t substantiated or real.
I think you can add this to one of the judgments of the Lord on our land, along with hurricanes, wildfires, super winds, pestilence and plague. A judgment of fear. Fear is typically a tool of Satan. Much of the time it is irrational. The propensity for fear in humans serves both good and bad purposes. It seems sort of wired into us at our core. So without spiritual protection, we are susceptible to it’s ravages and angst.
So I will ask you this,”Why do you watch the news?” I see it like taking a little poison pill daily. You can feed your faith or feed your fears? Maybe you like being lied to? Or maybe you feel like you’re so important, you have to know? Or that knowing makes you more important to others?
I don’t want to make too big an issue of this. It could be that you want to be a living part of your culture, an agent for change, and you think this is an integral part of life and living? Or maybe you have the calling of a watchman or prophet on your life? You decide. But give some thought to unplugging! Those around you and your own heart will thank you.
As I once told one of my best friends, who was very spiritual, a believer, and a watchman, “Brian, promise me you’ll read your Bible at least as much as you watch CNN, FOX, Etc.!” He said he would. And I know he did. You can’t tell a watchman not to watch! But you, decide for yourself, what the Spirit would have you do.
Secular Humanism — The Great Delusion
At any at any rate, we are not like God. We are made in his image, but we are not like him. He is “other” than his creation.
Come to think about it, the media may not be the great delusion. It may simply be the voice of the great delusion. Secular humanism is possibly the great delusion. Man thinking he is God, or trying to be like God, and go forward without Him. Delusional! A powerful delusion.
How does that happen? How does it work? Is it a valid model for what has befallen our churches and culture? Is it a piece of the puzzle? And maybe a most important piece? We’ll look at that next, or soon!
“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” Jesus Matthew 6:22-24
“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23
“Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of human hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.
Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.” Psalm 115:4-8
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” I Tim 1:17