“…but for all those people who don’t have a relationship with God that is your relationship, what do they do?” – Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi seems to think that because people that ignore God are afraid that our faith is a problem. It was a momentary look into the mind of a non-believer and a hint at why faithless people so often find themselves at odds with people of faith. The fact that we are happy and they are not makes them feel like victims. Victims of us. While it is far too irrational for them to describe it quite that clearly very often, it doesn’t stop them from “feeling” this way.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
The Bible is full of references to anxiety & worry. Old Testament, New Testament, the message is consistent. Faith is the answer to fear. In fact, fear in the Bible becomes pretty synonymous with doubt. Non-believers doubt God, and hence are stuck with nowhere else to cast all their anxiety but on those of us that know what to do with it. What an opportunity.
The internet has brought with it a cultural explosion of sorts. People interact with others with a degree of perceived anonymity. Almost like drivers on the highway can pass, cut-off, or just plain ignore others on the same journey as they, internet users interact with others as though they are interacting with an inanimate object. Deception is easy and rampant and Daniel’s prophecy has come to pass. Man is no longer “going here and there,” knowledge is coming to them. But what sort of knowledge?
The “selfie-generation” as they are called live in an echo chamber catered to their every whim. They “follow” those that say what they want to hear, they un-follow, ban, and censor out entirely those that do not. Is it any wonder that some young people actually believe that they should be able to “down vote” a presidential election with a few million signatures on an online petition? For those of us that predate smart-phones, it is a wonder, but to the selfies it’s how their entire world operates. Hence the completely narcissistic response.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but having itching ears, they shall heap to themselves teachers in accordance with their own lusts.” – 2 Timothy 4:3
The time has come, but we may be just at the beginning of how completely selfish humans are capable of becoming. Past generations were no strangers to self-focus. The main difference is that they could not maintain the illusion the way this generation can. The more our capacity to indulge ourselves evolves, the more the tools of indulgence are refined. E-mail becomes “so-yesterday.” MySpace, becomes Facebook… What’s next probably resembles something more similar to the Borg of Star Trek than anything we’d believe today. All the while, the producers of these tools of self-destruction are rewarded handsomely.
Or should I say “selfie-destruction”? That is what awaits people that surrender their entire identity to a software vendor. Many well-produced and downright prophetic movies have given us a hint of where we are headed, yet we carry on, marching toward a world where we no longer live, but instead we conform as we’re assimilated into a hive mind. Once plugged in, only a very unique minority will ever unplug again. How long before no-one will?
“It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads…” – Revelation 13:16
Love has waned, as Matthew 24:12 says, “the love of many” has grown cold. Many will never experience love in their entire life, but talk about it every day because they’ve defined it not as “putting someone else’s needs above their own” but instead defined it as “liking how someone else makes them feel.” Hence anyone outside of their echo-chamber being labeled a “hater” and hence the great delusion that interacting with people that repeat our own thoughts back to us is loving. No wonder marriages seldom last. No wonder half the world is appalled by the other half. No wonder a lot of things, unless it is a wonder. For me it is, it’s a wonder that mankind has lasted this long.
What can we do about all of this?
2. Read scripture with the same passion that we read breaking news.
3. Determine to live by God’s definition of love, and not the selfies’ version.
4. Live our faith without fear, especially not of those who disagree about trivial things.
5. Delete Facebook.
6. Delete Twitter.
7. Disconnect Cable.
Go for a walk and ask yourself, even though you may feel you’re missing out on something, are you really? How valuable has all of this been? Is it as valuable as the walk you’re taking at that moment? Has it displaced Jesus in your life?
We’re all exposed to this selfie stuff, but let’s not let it have us and our houses. Even if the time is short.