“Discernment is not simply telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”
– Charles Spurgeon
Tens of thousands of dedicated Christians recently gathered in Kansas City for the “One Thing” annual conference. Mike Bickle, the pioneer of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) hosting the event, opened the gathering with a challenge from Mathew 24 and exhorted us to be extremely discerning in these turbulent times.
Do you know the primary sign Jesus gave in this chapter concerning the time prior to His Return? He made reference to it four times!
If ever there was a time when we needed to sharpen our skills of discernment it’s now. Accurate information and biblically informed analysis is desperately needed today. God’s end-time revelation is for the “mature, for those who through practice have powers of discernment that are trained to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
With demonic activity intensifying alongside blatant dishonesty in the media, we must learn to discern as well as prepare our children and local churches in this critical task. It is precisely why the Bullseye Challenge initiative was launched and commended by national leaders as a video/book resource.
Propagandizing the people
In his book, “How Do You Kill 11 Million People?” Andy Andrews urged readers to be careful students who seek accurate facts to avoid dangerous deceptions like those perpetrated under Nazism. Even the majority of churches in Germany were horribly misled because of their failure to discern what was happening.
A current example in our culture is the blind acceptance of recreational marijuana. The push for marijuana legalization is accelerating similar to the push for gay marriage only a few years ago.
With our current drug epidemic, one would think more people would be heightened in their awareness of this issue as well as extremely careful not to exacerbate the situation. Yet marijuana advocates are propagandizing millions into the acceptance of cannabis as harmless fun. Corinne Gasper, whose 22-year-old daughter was killed by a driver high on marijuana, is one of scores not seduced by the subterfuge.
The liberal media are complicit in the advocacy of “weed” today. On New Year’s Eve, CNN featured gay hosts Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, yucking it up with reporter Randi Kaye about “toking up.”
The giddy, gloating and possibly “high” Ms. Kaye exchanged a marijuana joint with young people in Denver, Colorado, as if it were merely a Diet Coke. If parents and young people fail to discern what’s being foisted on us, then the naive are deceived. “Hey, that’s cool, looks like fun – we oughta’ try it!”
Manipulated by movies
Americans love movies. Whether going to the cineplex or scrolling through an array of hundreds of available films on cable or Netflix, we must be careful in our selections and discerning with the content. As parents we have a God-given responsibility to know the substance of a film in advance, plus instruct impressionable children if there are errors or values promoted contrary to God’s will.
My wife and I just shared a date viewing “The Darkest Hour,” portraying the courageous exploits of Winston Churchill combating Nazism. Historian John Lukacs stated that Churchill “saved Britain and Europe and Western Civilization.” Be alert, though, because one scene erroneously depicts him as uncertain of the direction to take and needing to poll citizens on a subway before deciding what to do. This is blatantly false because Churchill was a man of steely conviction who never wavered in his resolve to stop Hitler.
The film “I Tonya” portrays an abused, profane, rage-filled aspiring Olympic skater who pursued a gold medal in the early ’90s. What is false in this expletive-laced film is Hollywood’s attempt to sympathetically present her as a somewhat victimized woman who unfortunately got mixed up with the wrong crowd and subsequently fell short in her quest.
The truth is, Tonya Harding was out-of-control and squandered her opportunities because she made deliberate choices to get involved with low-lifers who discussed killing her nemesis. She agreed in sending death threats. They followed her advice as to where the lady trained, then stalked and struck her on the knees to eliminate her as a competitor. Tonya eventually pleaded guilty to the felony of conspiracy to obstruct prosecution.
The film, “The Post” with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep portrays them as champions at the Washington Post publishing top secret Pentagon papers revealing U.S. government lies about the Vietnam War. What is blatantly false is piling on President Nixon as a sinister villain, when in actuality he sought legal recourse to prevent publishing sensitive confidential information that would harm our diplomatic standing as we tried to extricate America from an unpopular war. He tried to protect Democrats LBJ and JFK whom the papers revealed as misleading the masses.
Leftist liberals do this deceitful distortion of history and revisionism all the time, especially in their attempts to undermine and disparage the president. Look at the just-released, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” in which author Michael Wolff admits in the beginning that several sources were lying and sharing things “baldly untrue.”
Remember Al Gore’s award-winning “An Inconvenient Truth” lying to us about apocalyptic global warming and 10 predictions that never occured, or Michael Moore’s propaganda flick on health care, “Sicko,” that presented Cuba as Shangri-La?
Moore’s pseudo-documentary was distributed by Harvey Weinstein’s company, and critics like Kurt Loder said, “He presented cherry-picked facts, manipulated interviews and unsubstantiated assertions” while Richard Wolf stated, “‘Sicko’ uses omission, exaggerations and cinematic sleight-of-hand.”
Why do they do it?
We are living in times foretold in scripture where “truth has fallen in the street” (Isaiah 59:14). Leftist liberals in positions of influence have not unintentionally drifted off course, but have deliberately intended to “fundamentally transform” America into a secular, socialistic society; distort our Judeo-Christian heritage and other “undesirable” facts of history; plus, deceive multitudes with a total disregard for absolute truth and biblical morality.
Opposition and persecution of Christians will intensify because we stand in the way of detractors achieving their agenda. If we are not prepared for this, we will be offended at God and fall away as Jesus taught (Matthew 24:10-12).
In the coming days, I fully expect Hollywood to release a big budget film depicting the life of former President Barack Obama in the most glowing, flattering way imaginable. For those who “have ears to hear,” I offer “10 Reasons Why Barack Obama Was Our Worst President” as a factual rebuttal.
Here’s the Deal: America has been the recipient of an incredible intervention of God’s mercy, and many are “wising up” to today’s dishonest media. We long for a third Great Awakening and must continue praying fervently, proclaiming truth winsomely and participating as “salt” and “light” in the political process. Deception seduces multitudes, but developing discernment, declaring the gospel and demonstrating God’s Word can set them free!