Some people went berserk these last couple of weeks. Normally this is not newsworthy. People are always going berserk, everywhere. These particular incidents made big news though. And in addition to being newsworthy I note a pattern. First, here are the three excerpts:
March 9: American attendant disrupts flight to Chicago
“An American Airlines flight attendant disrupted a flight Friday morning as it was about to take off from Dallas-Fort Worth en route to Chicago, saying over the aircraft intercom system that the plane was going to crash, alluding to 9/11 terrorist attacks and ranting about the airline’s bankruptcy reorganization, passengers said. Passengers ended up restraining the female flight attendant in a forward seat of the cabin until the plane returned to the gate and airport police arrived. Two flight attendants were injured in the incident and were taken to a local hospital. No passengers were injured, and they were never in danger, an airline spokeswoman said. The flight attendant who caused the commotion shrieked as she was handcuffed by police and placed into a police car, passengers on the flight told the Tribune after they exited the plane at Chicago O’Hare. “I will never get that sound of her screaming out of my head,” said Bethany Christakos of Plano, Texas. “It took a good 10 minutes, it felt like, to get her off of the plane.”
March 11: US soldier arrives at Ft. Leavenworth
“The U.S. soldier accused of going on a rampage and killing 16 Afghan civilians in their homes, identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, arrived today at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.Bales, 38, a husband and father of two, was serving on his fourth combat deployment in 10 years, the first three in Iraq. He was on his first tour in Afghanistan, where he’d been since December. The combat veteran is accused of leaving his remote base Camp Belambay in the middle of the night Sunday and walking about a mile to an Afghan village where he broke into homes and killed 16 civilians, mostly women and children.”
March 27: Hero: JetBlue Passenger Put Unruly Pilot in Chokehold
“…Gonzalez, 50, was sitting in the second row of JetBlue Flight 191 when the he saw pilot storm out of the cockpit and rush toward an occupied bathroom. The co-pilot quickly locked him out of the cockpit. After being locked out of the cockpit, the pilot began banging on the door, demanding to be let back in. “We got to get this plane down,” Gonzalez remembered thinking. “This guy is nuts.” Flight attendants struggled to control him and Gonzalez said the pilot began moving in the direction of the plane’s emergency exit. “I just didn’t want him opening up that door,” Gonzalez said. “I knew if he got in there, we wouldn’t be sitting here now.” … The passenger said it was a “crazy scene” that ended when a group of male passengers restrained the disorderly pilot at the front of the plane until it was able to land.”
The pattern I notice in these and in precious incidents (remember another flight attendant who ranted then jumped down the emergency chute?) are that they are people who are are trained to protect civilians, and trained to endure stressful situations. Their job is to care for and protect the people in their charge. But they are cracking, and in very visible and unsettling ways. I mean, the UK Daily Mail put it this way-
“‘We’re all going down. Say your prayers’: Berserk JetBlue captain has to be restrained by PASSENGERS after being ejected from cockpit in mid-flight and and running up and down screaming.”
There is nothing more unsettling than to put your trust and care into someone else’s hands and to think that they subsequently have gone nuts. It is worst on a plane, because you cannot get away. There is no escaping the crazy person, and when that crazy person is the one who is supposed to be flying the plane, it’s a nightmare.
I have mentioned before that society’s fabric is ripping. The last days of the last days, and the Tribulation Days are times when God intervenes and takes down all man-made constructs. This culminates in Revelation 18 and 19. This and the upcoming time is a time to show that people cannot depend on their government, cannot depend on weather models, cannot rely on medical personnel to know the answers (pestilence). They cannot rely on the ground under their feet. (earthquakes). Man cannot rely on other men, they will be increasingly stressed and desperately brutal. The verses in 2 Timothy 3 are made as a warning to the church:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
If the people of God are only imitators of God and are in fact treacherous and brutal, how will people be acting who don’t know God at all? Worse.
In addition, people in positions of authority, especially ones who are supposed to protect civilians such as pilots, flight crews, soldiers, and also EMTs, police, and firemen, are at the front lines of a society that is cracking. We put on them the expectations to protect and serve in any or all circumstances, but the circumstances these days are increasingly unpredictable and brutal. The stress is incredible, and the cracks are showing.
The orderliness of civilization is only a veneer that covers man’s basic condition: sinner. See what happens to people when God gives them over to their base desires:
“being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;” (Romans 1:29-31).
The unbeliever often says that man is basically good and if just given a chance, will be truly good and get better as time goes on. But that is not true. When God gives them over to what they want, what they want turns out to be treachery, insolence and evil.
2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 mentions a “restrainer” that is holding back sin and lawlessness. The Restrainer, who is the Holy Spirit, will be removed from the earth at the rapture, allowing sin to have jurisdiction over mankind. What we are seeing, I believe, is the slow lifting of the Restrainer’s hand. It will suddenly disappear at the rapture, and then people will really go berserk.
Any person who is not saved by repentance and submission to Jesus, can become saved if they accept that their original condition is one that includes all the above: treachery, evil, lawlessness…etc. That is what sin is, lawlessness in breaking God’s commands. Here is an explanation of the true Gospel from GotQuestions:
“The true gospel is the good news that God saves sinners. Man is by nature sinful and separated from God with no hope of remedying that situation. But God, by His power, provided the means of man’s redemption in the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” But to truly comprehend how good this news is, we must first understand the bad news. As a result of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6), every part of man—his mind, will, emotions and flesh—have been corrupted by sin. Because of man’s sinful nature, he does not and cannot seek God. He has no desire to come to God and, in fact, his mind is hostile toward God (Romans 8:7). God has declared that man’s sin dooms him to an eternity in hell, separated from God. It is in hell that man pays the penalty of sin against a holy and righteous God. This would be bad news indeed if there were no remedy.
But in the gospel, God, in His mercy, has provided that remedy, a substitute for us—Jesus Christ—who came to pay the penalty for our sin by His sacrifice on the cross. This is the essence of the gospel which Paul preached to the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 15:2-4, he explains the three elements of the gospel—the death, burial and resurrection of Christ on our behalf. Our old nature died with Christ on the cross and was buried with Him. Then we were resurrected with Him to a new life (Romans 6:4-8). Paul tells us to “hold firmly” to this true gospel, the only one which saves. Believing in any other gospel is to believe in vain. In Romans 1:16-17, Paul also declares that the true gospel is the “power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” by which he means that salvation is not achieved by man’s efforts, but by the grace of God through the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Because of the gospel, through the power of God, those who believe in Christ (Romans 10:9) are not just saved from hell. We are, in fact, given a completely new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17) with a changed heart and a new desire, will, and attitude that are manifested in good works. This is the fruit the Holy Spirit produces in us by His power. Works are never the means of salvation, but they are the proof of it (Ephesians 2:10). Those who are saved by the power of God will always show the evidence of salvation by a changed life.”