Thursday, May 9, 2013

What we need around here is some apocalyptic journalism

A true church is marked by spiritual discernment. The church, the body of Christ, the people of God, are able to look at the world and understand it. They have the capability to sort out the things that are happening all around them both in the realm of the physical world as well as the spiritual."
~John MacArthur, Marks of a True Church part 1
People underestimate the power of the press. The words the press uses, and the issues they choose to present (and not present) shape the way we think about the world. For a Christian, it is the bible that shapes our thinking and provides the worldview. (Romans 12:2). It is either-or. You are either influenced by the world, or the bible. Just as the words of the bible have the ability to transform our mind, the press has the ability to shape how we think about issues. The result of journalism is that it can potentially shape our reality. Journalism does the following-
  • first, it helps people make sense of the world (as described above)
  • second, it figures prominently in the upcoming Tribulation (more in a minute)
  • third, I believe unsaved people have now gone beyond comprehending what is going on in the world and that therefore journalism has exceeded its usefulness in this regard. This is the point of this essay.
Robert Jensen of the University of Texas at Austin, Journalism department, wrote an extraordinary essay this week. In it, the Professor called for "apocalyptic journalism." Don't get excited, he is not referring to Christianity in any way, nor giving credence to our God as existing and sovereignly controlling affairs of men. But he is acknowledging that man's understanding (unsaved man, that is) simply can't comprehend the scope of our world's catastrophes any more. In my opinion, his acknowledgement is a significant advancement on the road toward the rapture.

Jensen seems to understand that the fabric of things is unraveling ... and unraveling so completely that it is not going to be repaired. He, and others he quotes, see an upcoming "massive social dislocation" due to our failure to 'make peace with Gaia.' (honoring the creation rather than the creator as per Romans 1:25.) He writes,
"That means that we’re in trouble, not in some imaginary science-fiction future, but in our present reality. We can’t pretend all that’s needed is tinkering with existing systems to fix a few environmental problems; significant changes in how we live are required. No matter where any one of us sits in the social and economic hierarchies, there is no escape from the dislocations that will come with such changes. Money and power might insulate some from the most wrenching consequences of these shifts, but there is no permanent escape. We do not live in stable societies and no longer live on a stable planet. We may feel safe and secure in specific places at specific times, but it’s hard to believe in any safety and security in a collective sense. ... In short, we live in apocalyptic times."
He is right. We do. And this isn't even the Apocalypse yet.

What Jensen is comprehending is the eternity set within his heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). He feels it, but just doesn't know what it is. He seeks a framework within which one can try to make sense of what is happening. Jensen speaks the same words that millions are already thinking, of this I am sure. His view has become the representational view of most of the secular world. Sadly, he will never find the framework he seeks to make sense of things, unless he has the framework of Jesus.

The world does not make sense unless one sees it through the biblical worldview. Any other worldview will be false. But it is the worldview people have used for millennia and its falsity is showing up clearly now because it is coming apart at the seams. Nothing makes sense anymore and nothing is working.

Jensen continues in his article by saying that we need a new framework in order to connect the dots. He is right, and he is so close to the truth! The framework we need in order to make sense of the world is Jesus. But that is not what Jensen calls for.

In Jensen's mind, and I believe he is speaking for many in the world who can't figure out what's going on, is that the old dots that need connecting are too far apart now. They are so far apart that each one is as distant from one another as the east is from the west. So therefore, he calls for new dots. He calls for "apocalyptic journalism", a kind of return to 'prophetic preaching.' He says in effect that those prophets of Old Testament days didn't cause the crises that came upon people, but they had something important to say that ought to have been listened to. He says we need more of that nowadays. What Jensen forgets is that the old Prophets had messages from God, they weren't monster shouters spouting off on their own agendas. Anyway, the people didn't listen to Noah preaching apocalypse when the world was unraveling the first time. To continue, Jensen writes,
Prophetic preaching does not put people in crisis. Rather it names and makes palpable the crisis already pulsing among us. When the dots are connected, it will require naming the defining sins among us of environmental abuse, neighborly disregard, long-term racism, self-indulgent consumerism, all the staples from those ancient truthtellers translated into our time and place.
The sins that need naming are not environmental abuse, being a bad neighbor, racism, and consumerism. Jensen says that those were the old sins that Amos and Hosea and Jeremiah and Isaiah were calling out against, and we use modern language to name them now. No, not at all. The prophets were calling the people to stop sinning by turning away from sin and turn to Him in repentance. Obeisance and repentance were the clarion calls of the day, as were rejecting idols and worthy worship of the LORD, because God is the only hope, through Jesus. I am so sad that people today see that the world is crumbling, the old frameworks don't make sense any more, that journalism is failing to show us the world through a proper lens- and do not turn to the one Hope there is. Even Jensen says he has no hope. Look what he writes at the end of his article--
[INSERT HOPEFUL ENDING HERE]
That subhead is not an editing oversight. I wish there were an easy solution, an upbeat conclusion. I don’t have one. I’ve never heard anyone else articulate one. To face the world honestly at this moment in human history likely means giving up on easy and upbeat.
In this, Jensen is right. To face the world honestly DOES mean giving up on being upbeat- if you are a secular person who doesn't know Jesus, that is.

The upcoming Tribulation movers and shakers will use journalism as a fully satanic framework to promote satan's false signs and wonders. (2 Thessalonians 2:9). It will be used to promote the peacemaker who will turn out to be the antichrist. It will be used to show the death of the Two Witnesses. (Revelation 11:9). Satan has his clutches in the media even now, and after the rapture you will not be able to believe anything you see or read. The Tribulation will be a time of utter lies, because it is the time given to satan to allow sin to come to the full, and satan is the father of lies. Anyone who reads a newspaper or watches the news now knows we cannot trust it. What will it be like after the rapture? The worst.

Jensen's message, as well as most of humanity's today is, "Nothing's working, we're losing hope, it is all for nothing". These were words that Solomon used after he had tried every which way to find fulfillment. Solomon's conclusion was that all is vanity.

All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing. (Ecclesiastes 1:8)

Hosea wrote that Israel had been feeding on wind. (Hosea 12:1). That is the world today, feasting on vanity and wind, and finding that nothing they do fulfills. But, there IS hope!! Saving the world does not depend upon us, upon man. That should be a relief. The earth is the LORD'S and everything in it. (Psalm 24:1). He will take care of renewing it. The prophets of old called for the people to turn their eyes on God and his coming Messiah. He is the hope. Any spiritually discerning person knows that though these times are dark we have a huge hope in Jesus coming soon. We have the hope of our inheritance, which is Him and His finished work on the cross, forever. Jensen calls for someone to [INSERT HOPEFUL ENDING HERE]? OK I will!

[THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL]

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)




6 comments:

  1. That was good, Elizabeth, really good! I'm going to print it off and pass it around.

    Pam

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    1. Wow, thank you Pam!! Glad you enjoyed it. I hope you have a wonderful day :)

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  2. Those who understand what you have presented here rejoice and cry aloud of the truth in which we have come to believe, and all the more as we see that day approaching. But the world, like Mr. Jensen, are running on empty and know no longer what to conjure up in their own minds to even try and "INSERT A HOPEFUL ENDING" of their own. My prayer has always been that God will draw them to His Son... no matter what that takes. To lose this world and to gain the Kingdom and everlasting life.

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    1. eagillan, thanks for your prayers for the lost. There are so many of them, aren't there...

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