Tuesday, September 6, 2016

THE DEVOLUTION

MAGAZINES REVEAL A TREND

LIFE ~ 1883-1972
LOOK ~ 1937-1971
PEOPLE ~ 1974 -
US ~ 1977 -
SELF ~ 1979 -
ME ~ 2004 -
I ~ no publication data for this UK publication



These publications reveal the trend of our modern society—an increasing focus upon the self.

Narcissism.

That fact, in and of itself, should not be too much of a cause for alarm. It is actually to be expected. (2 Tim 3:1-4)

However, when we take this trend and overlay it with trends in the church, a shocking picture is revealed—one in which it is not possible to make a distinction between the two.

The church grew significantly until the late ‘60s. Denominations increased their membership through new births into the Kingdom of God.

With the rise of the Charismatic Renewal, new churches were formed and grew rapidly, while mainline denominations began to decline in membership. The two facts are related.

The Charismatic Renewal reached its height in the late ‘70s and began to fade from the mainstream consciousness as it began to become more and more like what it had originally rejected. It moved from “the wrong side of the tracks” into respectability and acceptance.

It was at this time—after the recession of ’73 and the recovery—that the mentality of the world began to change from an altruistic bent to a more self-interest mindset.

There was much emphasis on economic growth both for the nation and its individuals.

The mantra became—
Get all you can. Can all you get. 
Sit on the can.

That carried us for the next couple of decades until the bubble burst.

It was also at this time the church saw the rise of the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth word-of-faith movement.

The continued focus on self has now brought us to the place where we see many seeking experiences and gifts rather than the Giver.

Each time I mention something along this line I get responses in defense of the practice. The hypothetical situations that are brought up usually sound good and plausible, but still end up defending the promotion of the self.
  • Yes, we’ve got people who have been beat up by life.
  • Yes, we’ve got people who have very low self-esteem.
  • Yes, we’ve got people who do not know who they are.
  • Yes, God desires to heal these people.

But that healing will not come through any form of an existentialist human-potential approach to overcoming the negativity of our life.

And that is where we have arrived.

The good news is that the counterfeit move of God always shows up first for some reason. So, I know there is something major about to happen in the realm of the spirit with the Spirit of God.

If you would like to be used of God for this next demonstration of His power, then I would invite you to read carefully the remainder of this article; for it holds biblical keys to making you a fit vessel for the Master’s use.

It is necessary to remind you that the principles of the Kingdom are NOT the principles of this world.

I know most would agree and say, “Well, that’s a no-brainer.”

But the deception that has been perpetrated on the Body of Christ has so blinded us that we no longer can hear the truths of God’s Word without some sort of explanation as to how it doesn’t mean what it says.

For instance, the Second Great Commandment is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mat. 22:39)

Mention that verse, and the discussion will inevitably gravitate toward the need to love oneself first in order to be able to love others.

Perversion.
Plain and simple, that is perverting the Word of God.


There is no place in scripture where that thought is confirmed in any manner.

Jesus was not using some form of psychological innuendo to indicate any lack of self-esteem. He knew what He was talking about.

Love your neighbor. In the same way that you are almost completely focused on yourself, turn that focus toward your neighbor and love him.

Getting yourself pumped up, built up, and spruced up first so that you can present a good quality of love toward your neighbor is not the answer; but that is the way the world sees it—and now, so does the church.

The following verses from God’s Word should reveal how the things mentioned above are at odds with the ways of God as we walk in the counsel of the ungodly. (Ps. 1:1)
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psa 51:17)
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psa 34:18)
And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Mat 21:44)

We will take a look at this idea of being broken next time, but, for now, look these verses up, write them down and spend some time meditating on them.

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