NewsWatch — August, 2023 | Tomorrow’s World


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Mark 13:37 | “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!

Laziness: Britain’s Latest Plague

In a sobering May 16 commentary for The Telegraph, journalist Philip Johnston lamented the trend he sees in Britain—adults choosing to live on welfare rather than working. The number of British citizens who choose not to work is at an all-time high. Ninety percent of farm laborers are immigrants, and still there are not enough workers to keep fruit from rotting in British fields. Net migration in 2022 was about 1 million, many of whom were brought in to fill vacant UK jobs—jobs that many unemployed people could have taken but chose not to. Efforts to recruit UK citizens to work on farms or in the service industry, or even in certain trades, have more or less failed. Yet foreigners are pouring in and willing to work.

Bible prophecy warns that at the end of the age, the citizens of many of the Israelite-descended nations will descend “lower and lower,” while foreigners will rise “higher and higher” (Deuteronomy 28:43). God also warned, “You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them” (v. 39). Britain is not alone, and the peoples of many prosperous modern nations will feel the impact of this prophecy as more and more otherwise capable men and women grow content to live on the public dole instead of doing their part.

Many who live in the most blessed nations of the earth find that a society filled with ease and plenty is too often also an environment where laziness abounds. In contrast, the Apostle Paul admonished first-century Christians tempted to laziness and unwilling to work, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). In the future, this biblical principle will be a powerful motivator against laziness—a trait God condemns throughout the Bible.

Violence Against Teachers Is Increasing

In December 2022, students in a Nevada middle school assaulted a teacher who saw them sneaking in through an exit-only door (Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2023). As she told them to turn around, they slammed her face into a locker in the hallway. According to law enforcement, students in the school district have committed over three dozen acts of criminal battery against school staff so far this school year.

In a recent nationwide survey of almost 15,000 teachers, 14 percent reported experiencing violent events perpetrated by students. Nearly half of the teachers surveyed said they wanted to quit their jobs or move to a different school. A major cause cited for the increased violence is the lowering of disciplinary standards, emboldening students to feel they can commit violence against teachers without any fear of consequences. Longtime teachers report that students are far quicker now than in years past to turn to physical force instead of just inflammatory words. Some school districts now equip teachers with panic buttons in case they feel unsafe or need assistance to quell student violence.

The prophet Isaiah warned of a time immediately before Jesus Christ’s return, when “children are their oppressors” (Isaiah 3:12). However, Isaiah also foretold a coming time of world peace after the return of the Messiah as the Prince of Peace, when children and their elders will live in harmony, respect, and safety (Zechariah 8:4–5).

Medicalized “Gender Transition” Called into Question

The prestigious Economist magazine recently ran a story titled “The evidence to support medicalized gender transitions in adolescents is worryingly weak” (April 5, 2023). The article reviewed current research studies and highlighted trends in treatment. One major finding was that these transition treatments are seldom questioned in the United States. However, in many European nations, there are grave questions and many concerns about so-called “gender transition therapy.”

A review of the research reveals major concerns about these procedures and that many studies that propose to assess “gender transition” treatments are significantly flawed. These include a review study that purported to find few side effects with “transition” procedures but failed to examine whether the therapy was even effective. Other studies repeatedly show that this “therapy” has detrimental effects. Although the research is currently limited, three recent studies have shown that of those who start “gender transition therapy,” 7 to 30 percent chose to stop the therapy before it was completed. The thrust of the Economist article speaks to just how aggressively medicalized “gender affirmation” is being pushed by advocates, even within professional institutions, in spite of its clearly questionable effectiveness and unknown long-term outcomes.

Society appears intent on promoting practices without considering their consequences or morality. Doctors, once tasked with “doing no harm,” seem to have cast that philosophy aside. As Isaiah prophesied about society at the end of the age, “the whole head is sick” (Isaiah 1:5). Ultimately, we see in modern medicine, and society as a whole, a parallel to the degraded morality of the pre-monarchic Israelite peoples: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). Without the moral compass of the Bible and a submission to the authority and leadership of God, there is no central source for morality. We should not be surprised by what we are seeing—it is just one more reason we need the return of the Lawgiver Himself, Jesus Christ, to change this corrupted world.

Human Body Designed for Earth

As mankind “boldly goes” to space to study and learn, scientists are studying the effects of microgravity on the body and the brain. They have found that spending long amounts of time in space (six months or more) causes changes in the brain’s anatomy (Reuters, June 8, 2023). Results from NASA-funded research show that prolonged exposure to microgravity causes body fluids to pool in the brain and enlarge the brain’s ventricles. Scientists also discovered it takes three years in Earth’s gravity for the brain to recover. This led researchers to suggest that astronauts should not go on back-to-back extended trips to space.

Researchers have long known that age-related expansion of brain ventricles leads to decreased cognitive abilities. So, it appears that space travel may negatively impact the thinking ability of those spending extended time in space. Some scientists are encouraged that ventricular changes in the brain do not increase further between six months and a year, which may bode well for extended space travel—for example, to Mars. However, there is no data on brain recovery time after these longer trips. Scientists also know that time spent in space causes “bone and muscle atrophy, cardiovascular changes, issues with the balance system in the inner ear and a syndrome involving the eyes. Elevated cancer risk from the greater exposure to solar radiation that astronauts may encounter the further they travel from Earth is another concern.”

Human beings have long desired to travel to the stars. However, as more research is conducted, it is becoming obvious that the human body was specifically designed to operate on Earth. Our true voyages into space will only come when humans are changed from mortal to immortal after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:50–54).

A Coming “Brain Chip”?

Elon Musk’s Neuralink company just received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to study the effects of this new technology in human subjects (BBC, May 26, 2023). The tech firm intends to implant microchips in the brain to address certain health conditions such as paralysis and blindness and to enable access to computers by the disabled. Some instances of this technology are already working. Recently, “a 40-year-old Dutch man who was paralysed in a cycling accident 12 years ago” received implants which helped him regain the ability to walk (The Guardian, June 7, 2023).

However, there are concerns about where this technology is headed. A director of the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK recently noted, “Neurotechnology collects intimate personal information that people are often not aware of, including emotions and complex behavior. The consequences could be dire if these technologies are developed or deployed inappropriately.” Yet, through Neuralink, Elon Musk is hoping that his company’s implants will become a “general population device” with the potential to serve as “a backup drive for your non-physical being, your digital soul.”

Humans have long desired to play God—not unlike Satan, the devil, who tried to usurp God’s throne (Isaiah 14:12–15). While this neurotechnology may allow doctors to cure previously incurable diseases, human beings need to be careful about assuming godlike prerogatives—because there is a real God. The Bible records that God intervened powerfully at the tower of Babel to stop the direction that godless society was going and limit humanity’s capabilities (Genesis 11:1–6). Few in our increasingly secular world sufficiently recognize the dangers of allowing our technological growth to outpace our moral capacity to wield new technologies in an ethical way.


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