There is a lot going on in the Eastern part of the world. Uprisings and police action in Turkey, election in Iran, pressure on Israel for peace talks, Russia and US at odds…and a lot going on in the US with wildfires, storms, and our own political problems (Obamacare, PRISM, IRS spying. etc).
There is a lot going on inside the church, too with apostasy and false doctrines popping up everywhere. It is really like a tsunami of falling away right now and keeping up with what is happening in the global church and from what direction is enough to give a watchman whiplash and nausea.
A kind reader let me know that there is stuff going in in South America. Let’s take a look at a different hemisphere for a moment. Brazil is currently having the biggest protests that nation has seen for 20 years.
“As many as 200,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities on Monday in a swelling wave of protest tapping into widespread anger at poor public services, police violence and government corruption. The marches, organized mostly through snowballing social media campaigns, blocked streets and halted traffic in more than a half-dozen cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia, where demonstrators climbed onto the roof of Brazil’s Congress building and then stormed it. Monday’s demonstrations were the latest in a flurry of protests in the past two weeks that have added to growing unease over Brazil’s sluggish economy, high inflation and a spurt in violent crime. While most of the protests unfolded as a festive display of dissent, some demonstrators in Rio threw rocks at police, set fire to a parked car and vandalized the state assembly building. Vandals also destroyed property in the southern city of Porto Alegre.”
On reddit we read, Brazil is under Siege: Protest in all Major Cities. Rio 100 thousands, Sao Paulo, 65 thousands. Brasilia, Capital: Congress was invaded.
The citizens on reddit who post there, insist that the protests are for the most part, peaceful. One reader answered, “Since a lot of people are asking why the people are upset: It began with a raise on Bus Fares, and now it’s growing to corruption and the world cup bill. We have really bad public services, and we pay a lot of taxes.”
On the video above, the citizen journalist says that the protests in Brazil are not being reported in the West, and that admittedly “you may not have heard of this with Turkey and Syria’s uprising, it is difficult to keep track with everything that goes on in the world. Eventually, international news outlets might report what is happening down here, but they might portray the protesters as criminals and vandals and delinquents. It is of extreme importance that the truth reaches you before they do.”
His channel is called #ChangeBrazil. He goes on to say specifically of the current protests (he recorded it on June 14, 2013), and note his perception of the wealth and social gap, which I’ll go back to in a moment-
“This is what happens when a society is forced to put up with ludicrous and nonsensical laws that are created only to only benefit the lawmakers themselves, and which results in wealth and social gaps so outrageous it would be cause for hilarity if they were not not so true.”
The rise in bus fares for the poor in the face of a wealth gap; plus excessive government spending to prepare for the World Cup, is inflaming the beleaguered hearts of the Brazilian populace. In another video a woman named Carla said of the World Cup, that the spending to prepare for this year’s World Cup of 30 Billion dollars by building a new stadium is more spending than the last three World Cups put together, which was about 25 Billion.”
Her concern is that in a country where illiteracy can reach 21%, and averages 10%, and which ranks 85 in the human development index, where 13 million people are underfed every day, “does that country need more stadiums?”
The BBC reports, “Brazil protests spread in Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio“
“As many as 200,000 people have marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities, as protests over rising public transport costs and the expense of staging the 2014 World Cup have spread. The biggest demonstration was in Rio de Janeiro, where 100,000 people joined a mainly peaceful march. In the capital, Brasilia, people breached security at the National Congress building and scaled its roof. The protests are the largest seen in Brazil for more than 20 years. … The way these initial marches were policed – with officers accused of firing rubber bullets and tear gas at peaceful protesters – further incensed Sao Paulo residents and shifted the focus from rising transport costs to wider issues. “For many years, the government has been feeding corruption, people are demonstrating against the system,” Graciela Cacador told Reuters news agency.”
“The underlying frustration people feel about their lives runs deep. A specific frustration (bus fares, World Cup stadium) once expressed in a civic demonstration of whatever kind, often touches off the general dissatisfaction a person feels about the injustice of life in general. It’s the same thing as when we argue with our spouse over who drank the last of the milk and put the empty carton back in the fridge. He or she asks, “what’s the matter? and you get a churlish “Nothing” in response, and after further pressing, the argument explodes. As the argument goes on, you hear “Yeah? And another thing…remember that time you…!!” Once you give voice to the frustration past frustrations pile on and angrily come out.
I am posting the following excerpt because I want to go back to the concept of a tired society in a moment.
Julia Carneiro of BBC Brazil reports,
The mass of people gathered at Sao Paulo’s Largo da Batata was impressive – but more impressive was that after the demonstration began, thousands more kept arriving, streaming peacefully towards the city’s main avenues in a constant flow. Their bright banners bore diverse demands – but all reflected a fatigue with what people here get from the state. I repeatedly heard the word “tired”: protesters told me they were tired of corruption, of nepotism, of high taxes paid for poor public services. … This protest was mirrored on the streets of Rio, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and other cities. Brazilians are asking for change – in a scale the country hasn’t seen for decades.”
The world is in a stage of collapse.
I’ve written before about former Soviet Union citizen Dmitry Orlov, who emigrated to the UN after the collapse of the USSR. An acutely perceptive writer, he took his first hand observations of his home society’s collapse and wrote a blog and then a book, called “The Five Stages of Collapse.” He began his public writing on this topic in 2008, when the world collapse was just gathering steam. Note Mr Orlov’s concept of the ‘mental flip’ another thing I’ll get to in a moment. He wrote,
“In this article, I proposed a taxonomy of collapse, splitting it out into five stages—financial, commercial, political, social and cultural—and tied each of the five collapse stages to the breaching of a specific level of trust, or faith, in the status quo. Although each stage causes physical, observable changes in the environment, these can be gradual, while the mental flip is generally quite swift, because it is something of a cultural universal that nobody (but a real fool) wants to be the last fool to believe in a lie.”
As social relations disintegrate their effects are felt most profoundly at the psychological level. (source)
Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in “business as usual” is lost.
Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost.
Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost.
Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost.
Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in “the goodness of humanity” is lost.
To hone in on the last two stages, Orlov wrote,
“Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost, as local social institutions, be they charities or other groups that rush in to fill the power vacuum run out of resources or fail through internal conflict.
Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in the goodness of humanity is lost. People lose their capacity for “kindness, generosity, consideration, affection, honesty, hospitality, compassion, charity” (Turnbull, The Mountain People). Families disband and compete as individuals for scarce resources. The new motto becomes “May you die today so that I die tomorrow” (Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago). There may even be some cannibalism.”
Interestingly, there has been come cannibalism. The face chewing incident in Miami, the heart eating incident in Syria, these and other examples are being reported more frequently now than in my entire lifetime.
OK, let’s go back to the three things I noted in the articles:
1. wealth and social gap
2. a tired society
3. the mental flip
The one without Christ has the spirit of antichrist. (1 John 2:22-23). John wrote in that verse that the spirit of antichrist is already in the world. And so it is.
It is constantly being revealed that the world is a disbelieving world, and is against the true God. This means that the world has the spirit of antichrist. Indeed, satan is the god of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:4). The world has always had the spirit of antichrist, but we didn’t notice as much because for the most part societies seemed to behave. They seemed to be satisfied with their lives. Unless you really think about it and then you see this is not so. The world has always been in turmoil, and it shows.
The scars from war after war and uprising after uprising is the constant in history, not peace. French Revolution, American Revolution, WWI, WWII, killing fields, pogroms, concentration camps, atomic wars, protests, Occupy Wall Street, collapse of Soviet Union, Arab Spring, all these are the constant. And I haven’t even gone back very far in time, nor touched all the uprisings on other continents. As Mr Orlov wrote of the five stages of collapse, “A casual perusal of history books will show that these various stages of collapse occur with great regularity.”
It is a wheel that is spinning faster and faster. Let’s look at this diagram of the cycle put up by Health as a Bridge for Peace (HBP) project illustrating their view of the stages of conflict:
It’s an endless cycle of peace, frustration, war, reconciliation. This, of course, mirrors the life of Israel as described in the Old Testament, which in itself is a picture of man’s war with God due to sin.
The difference today is not that these protests are happening, because they always have, but that the pace of the protests in one country after another is quickening.In other words, that wheel is spinning faster and faster.
As the spirit of antichrist reveals itself more and more, and as more and more people fall away from the faith, things will get worse in every aspect of our lives, especially government. Can we expect godless leaders to be moral, just, and compassionate? In the short term, maybe for a little while. In the long run? No.
The bible says that government is supposed to serve. (Matthew 20:25-28). Government is supposed to treat us fairly and justly but sometimes it doesn’t. When that happens, we Christians are still supposed to obey because God set up all authorities on earth. (Romans 13:1-2).
An unbelieving beleaguered world population tired of the same old corruption (which is really corruption of the heart) and is calling for change, will get it. The world will be ready to submit to the antichrist’s government because as Orlov outlines, the changes that lead to external societal change happen slowly, but the mental flip happens fast.
Can you see that happening now, biblically? The antichrist will be revealed when the falling away is complete. (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Pulpit Commentary says of the falling away, that it is a religious falling away and not a political one. The verse “is to be taken generally to denote that remarkable “falling away” from Christianity concerning which Paul had instructed the Thessalonians (comp. 1 Timothy 4:1-3).”
But the religious falling away feeds into the political one. If men do not have God, they do not know how to behave. This lack of a moral structure and an unhitching from a higher power of accountability will only lead to rampant sin. And we see that it has, all over the world. As the falling away increases, sin rises, and bad behavior deepens. In other words, the feeling is, “I’m in power, I can do what I want, so why not?”
Brazilian powers-that-be have been acting this way for a long time and the people are “tired” of it. Tired of the same old lies, oppression, greed, and self-absorption. It’s the same everywhere. Is there anything more egregious than an IRS that steals from the working man with “ludicrous and nonsensical [tax] laws” as the Brazilian man said, and spends our money to stay in $3,500 a night hotel rooms? Is this a government that serves? That is fair and just?
As society is collapsing all around the world, what can’t be seen is the mental collapse. Weariness, anger, frustration, despair characterize those who are being governed. There is no relief any more from the periods of corruption in government to release the citizen to secular hope. After WWII in America, the fifties and early sixties was a period of great hope, but then there came the gender and sexual revolution, and culture radically shifted. Now we don’t catch a break for 20 years or even 10, but every five minutes it seems, some place is going bananas.
It is clear to all secular people now, that there is no hope. Yet they still look for it. They’ve tried communism, dictatorships, kings, capitalism, fascism, feudalism, papacy, socialism, every -ism possible.
Philosophers have tried their hand, too. Aristotle thought that the highest form of community is the political community because public life was more virtuous than the private. The Pharisees would eventually come to emody Aristotles’s false notion, to the disaster of Israel. Kant wrote his essay called “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch” in 1795, describing three basic requirements for organizing human affairs to permanently abolish the threat of present and future war, and, thereby, help establish a new era of lasting peace throughout the world. It didn’t work. Joseph Smith, the Mormon, tried to usher in a theo-democracy. It didn’t work. Karl Krause suggested in his essay titled “The Archetype of Humanity”, that all the world needed was to form five regional federations: Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Australia, aggregated under a world republic. Hasn’t happened.
They are running out of ideas as to what will make the world work. The world is getting tired of trying and failing to govern itself. This pace will quicken eve faster as each day falls below the horizon and the next day arises. It is all happening so fast now.
The antichrist will have a solution for the world’s despair and frustration, and the world will buy it, to the disaster of the globe.
In the end, Jesus will show via His wrath that only He is the solution. After that, He will usher in the final government!
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).