The United States is seeing increasing turmoil in all quarters—turmoil that was prophesied long ago. What is the solution?
What is happening in our world? How is it that individuals are filled with so much hatred that they purposefully run down innocent men, women, and children to somehow advance their perverse agendas? Why are we seeing a rise in anarchistic violence—hooded hoodlums smashing windows, setting fires, and overturning cars? What is becoming of our world?
In recent months, we have seen homicide by motor vehicles in London, France, the United States, and Spain. On the night of August 11, 2017, a group described as a combination of Nazis, Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members, and white supremacists marched down streets in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting anti-Semitic epithets. The next day, they marched again, shouting racial slurs before engaging in a brawl with counter-marchers. Both sides carried sticks, clubs, pepper spray, and other weapons that clearly indicated that they came “ready to rumble.” The whole affair ended when one white supremacist drove his car into a group of peaceful counter-marchers, injuring many and killing one.
Several days later, the world was shocked when a man used a rented van to run down about 100 people who were simply going about their normal lives on La Rambla, the famous boulevard and pedestrian mall in Barcelona, Spain. A separate attack killed one in Cambrils before five terrorists were killed in an exchange with police. It appears that the carnage could have been far worse had the terrorists successfully deployed the explosive devices they were creating, which were detonated prematurely.
We have also seen pictures of black-hooded thugs breaking windows at the University of California at Berkeley in an attempt to prevent an appearance by a speaker they did not like. It should be noted that the administration gave in to the spoiled children and their politically correct worldview. Such protests, not always so violent, are becoming commonplace in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. It is evident that freedom of speech is being dismantled and that the alt-left is attempting to shut down any who do not share their agenda.
What we see happening in recent years are ideologues of varying stripes (left, right, and religious) becoming more radicalized and violent, and the question many want to know is, “Why?” Why is our world becoming so violent? Why have nations such as the United States become so irreconcilably divided? And where is all this heading?
The United States has seemingly passed the tipping point. It is locked in a culture war between two worldviews that cannot be reconciled. Compromise is a common refrain, but how does one compromise on abortion? One side sees it as morally equivalent to murder. The other sees it as a woman’s choice. How does one compromise on the definition of marriage? One side sees it as a moral issue, marriage being a divine institution ordained by God between a man and a woman. The other side does not care, or does not agree with the Bible. The same goes for transgender issues. And how does one compromise with radical Islamic terrorists, Nazis, the KKK, hate-filled white supremacists, or radical anarchists who only desire to destroy?
Let’s be honest. Our world is broken. Western universities have been taken over by very illiberal secularists who preach a message of political correctness, while encouraging reactionary intolerance of anything outside of this agenda. Politics has always been a messy game, but parties have become so divided that there is now no room for compromise, even on issues where they could agree. It is evident that politics comes before the country and its citizens. In the United States, the members of the media have cast off any façade of neutrality and are “going for the jugular” of the side they dislike. It is quite remarkable how dishonest and unfair the media has become on all sides.
Here at Tomorrow’s World we not only give the news, but the story behind the news—and there truly is a story behind what we see happening today. Few today really understand that there is a powerful spirit influence working behind the scenes, stirring up hatred and strife. The Bible refers to him as Satan the Devil, and he has cleverly positioned himself in the minds of most as no more than a mischievous, but harmless, fellow in a red jumpsuit with a pitchfork and a pointed tail. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Few people recognize the fact that Satan is the god of this world! Yet, Jesus does not leave us in doubt regarding this truth. He told His disciples prior to His crucifixion, “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31), and “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30). The Apostle Paul describes this spirit being as the one behind the direction this world is going, calling him “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Paul tells us elsewhere that this spirit power is “the god of this age” and that he has “blinded” people’s minds from the good news found in the Scriptures (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Satan’s fingerprints are all over the atrocities we see around us. He is the one who inspires false religion—including a counterfeit “Christianity”! The Apostle Paul takes on ministers of religion who teach contrary to God’s word: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13–15). While there are many problems with this world’s version of “Christianity,” whenever racial hatred is preached in churches, this is not of God, but of the Adversary!
Now, if Satan inspires false Christianity, can we not see his fingerprints all over any religion that promotes violence and hatred? Who is it that puts into someone’s mind the idea to get into a car and randomly run down women and children (not that it is any less tragedy to kill fathers, brothers or husbands)? Who is it that stirs up individuals to break, burn and destroy what belongs to another as a form of extortion to silence what one does not want someone else to hear?
Let us be clear. From a biblical perspective, any form of hatred toward other human beings is sin! Anarchy is a form of hatred and is therefore sin! Racism is hatred and therefore sin! Notice what the Apostle John says about hatred: “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:9–11).
Ethnic and racial hatred blinds the eyes. People say and do things to others that they would otherwise not say and do, if they were acting while guided by proper moral reasoning. Sometimes the hatred is racial in nature—other times it is ethnic, tribal, or religious. One is reminded of the infamous case of the Hatfield and McCoy families of rural America in the 1800s, involving a bitter and vicious feud between one extended family and another, claiming more than a dozen lives over a period lasting more than 25 years. As is so often the case, prejudice and hatred is passed down from generation to generation.
In what is known as the Olivet Prophecy, Jesus reveals to us that ethnic strife would abound at the end of the age. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation [Greek: ethnos] will rise against nation [ethnos], and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:6–7). We should expect more sectarian violence in our future. The question is this: Will you allow yourself to be involved in the hate-filled spirit of the age, or will you recognize whose fingerprints are on bigotry and hatred and keep yourself from it?
Politically correct, anti-God secularism is also a sin. Hatred and violence often accompany secularism. University professors pump out their illiberal views to young minds and, whether intentionally or unintentionally, stir them up to shut down anyone who does not fall in line. This sometimes takes on the form of peaceful protest, but occasionally those protests breed violence. The riots that took place in Berkeley, California, are a prime example of that, but one could cite many more.
The June 2010 G-20 summit in Toronto, Canada saw a number of peaceful protests, but these were marred by black bloc protesters. Black bloc is a term used to describe violent protesters who wear black and often hide their identities with hoods, scarves, ski masks and sunglasses. Over 40 businesses were vandalized—yet, in the aftermath, it was the police who were criticized for heavy-handed tactics! And what were these individuals protesting about? A veritable basket of liberal causes, including global warming, poverty, capitalism, women’s rights—and the list goes on.
Black bloc tactics were also displayed during the 1999 World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle, Washington. Various stores were also vandalized during those riots. No matter what the cause, destruction of someone else’s property is unacceptable, and we need to call these black bloc hoodlums what they are: anarchists. Their real agenda is to destroy!
It is a mistake to equate secularism with neutrality. The thought is that if we could only rid ourselves of religious bias of any kind, we could then have a peaceful society. John Lennon’s song Imagine (1971) captures the spirit perfectly:
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace…
This thinking is shallow. Secularism is a philosophy diametrically opposed to biblical values, and God Himself. The idea that we can have a moral society without a Supreme Being to determine right and wrong is naive and misguided at best.
As Dennis Prager of the popular Prager University video series explains so plainly in one of his videos about the Ten Commandments, you may think murder is wrong, but without God you cannot know that murder is wrong. Without an authority higher than man, your opinion is just that—your opinion. Because you think it is wrong, does not mean it’s wrong. Who then has the authority to say authoritatively that it is wrong? All we have to do is go back to the last century to see examples of state-sponsored murder of millions of Jews and other classes of people declared not worthy of life by various governments.
To bring it closer to home, babies are aborted every day. Iceland wants to remove Down Syndrome from the island by this means, and many people in numerous countries agree with them—maybe even you! But there are others who don’t agree with this, including many parents with Down Syndrome children.
So who decides? Secularism is an attempt to remove God from the picture. From top to bottom, secularism is the antithesis of biblical values, so whose fingerprints do we see in secularism?
Jesus made the following point in praying to His Heavenly Father regarding His disciples: “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:14). Those who value a relationship with God are not going to get caught up in this world’s politics. Though He has authority over the entire universe, God has allowed Satan to rule on earth for a period of time until mankind learns the lesson that God knows best.
This world has always seen hate and violence. Cain killed his brother Abel. The world prior to the flood was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11). The Bible reveals there was prejudice among the Jews against the Gentiles in the first century ad. God showed early Christians that they were not to consider any man common or unclean (Acts 10:28). The Apostle Paul publically corrected fellow Apostles Peter and Barnabas for shunning the Gentiles when some Jews came from Jerusalem to Antioch (Galatians 2:11–14).
The biblical record is clear that all men are equal in the sight of God. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26–29). This is also confirmed in Romans 2:25–29.
The letter to the Ephesians maintains that both Jews and Gentiles are all sinners (Ephesians 2:1–3). The humanly devised partition in the temple at Jerusalem that figuratively separated the Gentiles from access to the Father was broken down in Christ (vv. 14–18). Speaking of the Gentiles, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (v. 19). Then Paul speaks of one great family: “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14–15).
While violence was taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia, members—made up from all ethnic and racial backgrounds—of the Living Church of God, which sponsors this magazine, were striving to live in peace and harmony, though we hardly claim to be alone in this matter. As King David wrote, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). And as Jesus tells us, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
If you would like to know more about how to join us in this fellowship and service, contact one of the Regional Offices nearest you, listed on page 4 of this magazine.