"I fear the day when technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots." - Albert Einstein
In my study I have a giant poster of one of my heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of his famous quotes is the following: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Today, I believe many people are being silenced having reached a breaking point. Because of distraction with electronic gadgets, a reluctance to stay engaged on unpopular issues, plus experiencing what seems like an avalanche of negative developments in our culture, many people are disconnecting or distancing themselves from news. They're feeling disillusioned, discouraged and depressed. I personally battle these very things.
At times what's happening in our nation seems overwhelming. Imagine if you're ready to enroll at college in California and cultural confusion has brought us to the point where a student now checks a box answering the question, "What are you?"
The meteoric rise of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate is no coincidence. Scores of people are simply fed up with politicians and their promises that don't translate into policy and effective change. Being told to lower our expectations and accept the new normal in a declining America whose "best days are behind us" infuriates multitudes. Bizarre developments in the news that do not meet with principled opposition at the top have created a void and "the Donald" has stepped up to the plate to say what multitudes think even though he does it in ways that make many uncomfortable.
If you only knew the nights when even my wife, who is my greatest supporter in ministry for almost forty years, communicates that she has reached her limit with "breaking news" or asks me to please turn down the volume on a program because of annoying shouting and drama. I know it's time to plug in another episode of The Fugitive (we've got the 120 episode set!) or sit out on the deck and relax with some popcorn.
A few days ago I was in the Washington, DC area and had a lively conversation with a longtime friend. He related to me that his wife playfully accused him of being a "news junkie" and suggested he turn off the news! Sound familiar?
While the biblical principle of balance and moderation is always in order, are there not seasons where desperate times require desperate measures? Just as birth pangs increase in intensity and frequency until delivery, are there not unique times in history when more is required of us because the pace is quickening and it's imperative as "watchmen on the wall" to remain vigilant? Could we be in just such a time?
There are two things in life over which we have no choice. First, the parents we've been given. Second, the generation in which we are born. My appeal is to stay informed in this generation following the counsel: "If you'd do the best with your life, find out what God is doing in your generation and fling yourself into it!"
Suppose you were born in the late 1930s. Reports are drifting your way about rumblings concerning Japan and its saber-rattling towards America. In Germany there is a firebrand on the horizon stirring the people to reclaim Germany's glory. Rumors are circulating about a possible invasion of Poland. Winston Churchill is upbraiding his Prime Minister for declaring "peace in our time" after an ill-advised "deal" with Adolf Hitler. Economic storm warnings are increasing and rumors persist about possible rationing if war was to break out. A fascist dictator is coming to prominence in Italy named Benito Mussolini. Catch the drift of where I'm headed?
I am persuaded that we live in a similar period of history. A perfect storm is developing and this is not some surreal conspiracy theory. It is no exaggeration to say America is at a crossroads...in a meltdown… at a tipping point… experiencing unprecedented changes…observing our President act like a one man wrecking crew to bring about his "fundamental transformation of America."
"Close Gitmo." More illegal immigrants. Trust Iran - deny nuclear threat. Abandon Israel. New LGBTQ initiatives. Export unrighteous ideology even to nations opposing it. "God bless Planned Parenthood." "Penitentiary inmates - just young people who made mistakes" [Let 'em vote?]. Tweet affirmation to transgender Jenner. Islamic terrorist activity - "Isolated extremist"… "workplace violence"… "random violence". ISIS? "J.V. team". "Islam is a religion of peace." No federal money unless abortion referrals. "Try it - I'll veto it!" More executive orders. Stoking fires of discontent and racial tensions. $19 trillion debt - keep spending. Top brass say keep soldiers in Iraq for stability - remove them! Romney and army generals said Russia is our greatest threat - "Nah, it's global warming." Same sex marriage! Light up the White House! "I can't run again but if I could, I'd win!"
Considering the above, it is not a time to check out of the game but reconsecrate ourselves to pray and be ready for whatever will unfold in the months ahead. I sense dramatic change coming, judgments and severe economic upheaval. Did you observe the people in Greece in panic because they could not withdraw their money from the banks or ATMs? Returning from Washington, DC where I lived for 24 years, you can pick up the whiff of something immanent in the air.
Prophetic leader Gary Kah warns us: "Never before have so many signs of the times manifested simultaneously. Watching the evening news is like witnessing the prophesies of Scripture unfold before our eyes,
- An emerging caliphate in the Middle East
- An energized Russia - thought to be dead
- The global economy teetering on the brink because of insurmountable debt …"
"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins" (1Pet.4:7-8).
6 Reasons You Should Be a Sensible News Junkie
Do not hear what I'm not saying. I teach and live a reasonable work/life balance, keeping healthy priorities while staying engaged with the issues facing us today. What I am appealing for is a purposeful refusal to withdraw from the cultural battle in light of the cascading string of defeats we've been experiencing with this present Administration. Stay in faith that "Where evil does abound, so much more does grace abound" (Rom.5:20). God has plans for those who remain steadfast in this urgent hour of history and purpose to look not at that which is seen but rather that which is unseen (see 2Cor.4:18).
My longtime friend, Mike Bickle, recently texted me that I'm a "son of Issachar who understood the times and knew what Israel should do" (I Chron.12:32). I want to be able to help people. I invite you to join me.
Here are 6 realities that should keep us sober and engaged while the Lord outworks His purposes. The situation is too serious to clam up, shut down and simply hope Jesus comes back quickly. Look what's happening! People need the gospel and biblical truth to counter these occurrences. There's just too much at stake for us to unplug. We have got to stay informed and vigilant.
1. $500 million of our tax dollars support Planned Parenthood as both an abortion mill and retail outlet of human baby body parts. This is gruesome, barbaric and reprehensible. Their president openly lies on national television while Hillary Rodham Clinton defends the factual video expose` as an "attack on a woman's right to choose."
2. President Obama celebrates a deal with Iran allowing them to eventually have the nuclear weapons he promised he would never allow. Comparing himself to Ronald Reagan who dealt decisively with the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" that would end up "on the ash heap of history," President Obama accommodates the world's primary state supporter of terrorism that regards us as "satanic" and deserving of being eradicated along with Israel to usher in the Islamic "messiah" and global domination. This "deal" places us on a path to the destructive holocaust prophesied in Revelation 6 where a third of mankind is killed - over 2/3 of a billion people.
3. Our illegal immigration debacle escalates to staggering proportions with sanctuary cities brazenly violating federal law, while states like Virginia (from which I just returned) is being transformed from 1 in 100 Virginians born outside the US in 1970 to now 1 in 9. Stats on illegal aliens' crimes in Texas from 2008–2014: 611,234 crimes, 2,993 homicides, 7,695 sexual assaults! Over 175,588 criminal aliens were booked into Texas jails in this period. Obama Administration executive actions shield more than 80% of the 11.3 million aliens from deportation. Astonishing and alarming! (See PJ media.com).
4. African leaders strongly beseech President Obama not to push gay and lesbian issues in his visit to their nation but respect their biblical values on marriage and family. He defies the Christian Kenyan President Kenyatta with veiled threats, lecturing on the LGBTQ theme and forces the Kenyan president to correct our frowning President in a tense press conference. Globally, Christians lament our President's conduct among the precious African Christians trying to stop the spread of AIDS coming primarily from homosexual activity.
5. A lesbian senator and a gay congressman have introduced what is being called "the next gay rights fight" for America, the "Equality Act." It specifically prohibits claims of religious belief under the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" as a defense for "discrimination" against gays. The Heritage Foundation stated that this measure would "endanger" constitutionally protected religious freedoms and free-speech rights. The real agenda all along was not bringing equality in marriage to homosexuals, but a satanic one of marginalizing Christians by legally exposing them to persecution if they follow their faith. Remember what the pattern was with the Jews in Nazi Germany?
6. After 105 years upholding godly standards and boys reciting an oath to remain "morally straight," the Boy Scouts of America leadership caved to welcome adult homosexual scout leaders. For the present time, church-sponsored units can have an exemption (until the inevitable lawsuit comes to obliterate even this provision). Parents and grandparents, pay close attention as a "news junkie" on this one (see article by this author on this topic at larrytomczak.com).
Over 30 years ago, Francis Schaeffer said, "We can expect the future to be a further disaster if the evangelical world does not take a stand for biblical truth and morality in the full spectrum of life… we represent the last barrier against the breakdown of our culture. And with the final removal of this barrier will come social chaos and the rise of authoritarianism in some form to restore order."
In this urgent hour, we need all hands on deck. We must remain prayerful and informed biblically to winsomely speak the truth to those in our sphere of influence. Consider what was shared recently by a former pastor and one of the Republican presidential candidates, former governor Mike Huckabee.
"There are 80 million evangelicals in America. Those registered to vote – half. Those who voted in the last presidential election – half of that number. Those who voted in the off-year election – half of that number. If just 4 percent had voted differently in the last presidential election, we would have a different Administration in office today."
Here's the deal: Don't retreat. Stay in the game! Remain a responsible and reasonable news junkie so you can pray intelligently and engage people effectively as a "salt" and "light" Christian prior to the Return of Jesus Christ.
"An uninformed populace is in danger of slavery."
- George Washington