News Review - 24 Jan 2020
Me Myself And I

As we start a new decade, let’s look at the three most important people in the world today…

Me, Myself And I

Back in 1978, Mr Armstrong warned:

“We are now in the LAST DAYS – when ‘perilous times shall come. For men shall be LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES, covetous, boasters, proud… lovers of pleasures more than of God’ [II Timothy 3:1-5].” ( The Good News – June 19, 1978)

A 21st Century Problem – Self love!

It may be a 21st century problem, but it’s not a new problem.

It’s recorded in Greek mythology.

It even pre-dates man!

Lucifer had a similar problem.

“Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.” (Ezekiel 28:17 RSV)

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

“Narcissus is a figure from Greek mythology who was so impossibly handsome that he fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Even the lovely nymph Echo could not manage to tempt him from his self-absorption. Narcissus’ name lives on as the flower into which he was transformed and as a synonym for those obsessed with their own appearance.” ( ancient.eu)

“Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.

But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.( mayoclinic.org)

Reflections In A Pool Of Water Replaced By The Mobile Phone!

“Infatuated with his own reflection in a pool, Narcissus pined away and died of self-love. Freud diagnosed this folly as a perversion, a neurotic choice of sterile solitude, but the warning was futile. The iPhone has mechanised narcissism and a gadget meant to facilitate communication with others has caused its most addicted users to behave like long-lost Kardashian cousins, cheesily grinning as they document their unexceptional doings.” ( theguardian.com)

Vanity Spiralling Out Of Control

“Perhaps the real change is that we now have 24-hour access to anxiety. That’s why it feels as though our vanity is spiralling out of control. Professor Hanna Krasnova, of the University of Bern, recently coined the phrase ‘envy spiral’, referring to the one-upmanship we see across social media. ‘If you see beautiful photos of a friend on Instagram, you’ll feel envy. One coping strategy is to self-present with even better photos. Then your friend sees your photos and posts even better photos, and so on,’ she says. ‘And the world on social media gets further and further from reality.’ Social-media empires were built on the promise of shared experience, greater connectivity and openness. It’s a bitter irony if all we share is lies.” ( telegraph.co.uk)

What’s Caused All This Focus On The Self?

“Well, [psychologist Jean] Twenge points to some cultural shifts including our increasing concern for children’s self-esteem. It’s widely assumed children need to have high self esteem in order to be successful (eg pervasive phrases like, ‘You can do anything you set your mind to’ and ‘You’re special’). But how great you think you are doesn’t correlate with how great you actually are. Take Asian Americans as an example. Research studies, show Asian Americans generally have lower self esteem than other ethnic groups, but they do significantly better than others across a host of metrics including education and income.

But all this self love hasn’t led to greater happiness. Yes adolescents are happier but Twenge has also found millennials (many now in their twenties) report being more depressed and anxious than previous generations. One thing that could play a role is the rude awakening many millennials face in their twenties when their high expectations don’t match reality — they don’t turn out to be as successful and important as their parents promised they would be.” ( npr.org)

Now A Mental Health Issue

“For young women, posting selfies decreases confidence and increases anxiety … a wave of research continues to suggest that social media use can be a significant impediment to mental health. A new study points specifically to selfies as a mood and confidence-lowering activity. Social media use has been linked to depression, anxiety, body dissatisfaction, and increased focus on appearance.” ( psychologytoday.com)


Teens Spend ‘Astounding’ Nine Hours A Day In Front Of Screens:

“American teenagers spend an ‘astounding’ nine hours a day with digital technology, entertaining themselves with streaming video, listening to music, playing games… on Facebook, Instagram and texting…” ( wvea.org)

And Now - Separation Anxiety

“According to a recent report, K-12 schools around the country are having to treat students for separation anxiety after implementing policies that require students to hand over their smartphones. One school’s solution was to buy locking pouches for smartphones, which students were invited to decorate.

The Wall Street Journal reports that schools across the United States are dealing with an unexpected result of forcing students to hand over their phones — separation anxiety. Schools are being forced to develop coping mechanisms for the students who display signs of severe agitation and anxiety when away from their mobile devices .” ( breitbart.com)

Death By Selfie

“However, the researchers claim that the actual number of selfie deaths could be much higher because they are never named as the cause of death. ‘It is believed that selfie deaths are under-reported and the true problem needs to be addressed,’ it says. The quest for extreme selfies killed 259 people between 2011 and 2017, a 2018 global study has revealed. Researchers at the US National Library of Medicine recommend that ‘no selfie zones’ should be introduced at dangerous spots to reduce deaths.” ( bbc.co.uk)

Cause And Effect

“How teens absorb social media: The effects of social-media consumption on teens manifest in two main ways, according to the study’s authors: internally (depression and anxiety, for example) and externally (aggressive behavior or antisocial behavior).

The latter were essentially nonexistent among teens who reported that they didn’t use social media .” ( technologyreview.com)

Kids Today Are Being Socialized To Think They’re Fragile Snowflakes

“Psychologist Jean Twenge attributes the malaise primarily to the widespread use of social media and electronic devices, noting a positive correlation between the use of digital media and mental health problems.

Revealingly, she also reports a negative correlation between lower rates of depression and higher rates of time spent on sports and exercise, in-person social interactions, doing homework, attending religious services, and consuming print media, such as books and magazines.

Two hours a day on electronic devices seems to be the cutoff, after which mental health declines, particularly for girls who spend more time on social media, where FOMO (‘fear of missing out’) and FOBLO (‘fear of being left out’) take their toll. ‘Girls use social media more often, giving them more opportunities to feel left out and lonely when they see their friends or classmates getting together without them,’ Twenge adduces.

In search of a deeper cause of this problem — along with that of the campus focus of the past several years involving safe spaces, microaggressions and trigger warnings — Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt argue in their book The Coddling of the American Mind (Penguin, 2018) that iGeners have been influenced by their overprotective ‘helicoptering’ parents and by a broader culture that prioritizes emotional safety above all else.

The authors identify three ‘great untruths’:

  • The Untruth of Fragility: ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.”’
  • The Untruth of Emotional Reasoning: ‘Always trust your feelings.’
  • The Untruth of Us versus Them: ‘Life is a battle between good people and evil people.’

Believing that conflicts will make you weaker, that emotions are a reliable guide for responding to environmental stressors instead of reason and that when things go wrong, it is the fault of evil people, not you, iGeners are now taking those insalubrious attitudes into the workplace and political sphere. ‘Social media has channeled partisan passions into the creation of a “callout culture”; anyone can be publicly shamed for saying something well-intentioned that someone else interprets uncharitably,’ the authors explain.

‘New-media platforms and outlets allow citizens to retreat into self-confirmatory bubbles, where their worst fears about the evils of the other side can be confirmed and amplified by extremists and cyber trolls intent on sowing discord and division’.( scientificamerican.com)

What Does ‘Snowflake’ Mean?

“Other than frozen rain, a ‘snowflake’ is a term used to describe an overly sensitive person who thinks the world revolves around them. Snowflakes gasp in horror when they hear an opinion they don’t like, and believe they have a right to be protected from anything unpalatable. Today’s generation of sensitive uni students are often labelled snowflakes because they receive ‘trigger warnings’ on books and lectures that might contain upsetting subjects.

The academic Claire Fox, head of the Institute of Ideas thinktank, has written that this generation has an ‘almost belligerent sense of entitlement.’

She said: ‘They assume their emotional suffering takes precedence. Express a view they disagree with and you must immediately recant and apologise’.( thesun.co.uk)

Poor, Poor Snowflake Generation!

“Why are so many millennials so emotionally fragile?

These snowflakes seem to feel that their opinions are the only ones that matter and when faced with opposition of any kind, they cry foul play.

How long will you make groundless accusations?
How long will you continue your lies?
(Psalm 4:2 New Living Translation)

Or, in most cases, they scream that they have been the victims of rampant homophobia, racism, sexism, ageism and any other ism they can think of accusing someone with. In short, they perpetuate the same bullying that they accuse others of committing against them.( mercatornet.com)

‘Crucifixion May Be Too Distressing,’ Theology Students Warned

“Bible students have been warned they may see distressing images while studying the crucifixion of Jesus. Universities are issuing a range of warnings to students in case they feel the need to leave lessons due to graphic content.

Others include veterinary students being warned they will be working with dead mice, archaeology students that they will see a skeleton and forensic science pupils that they will be studying blood. Critics say the move will create a ‘snowflake’ generation of students unable to cope with the world.

[Here is where the problem comes from…] A spokesman for Glasgow University said: ‘We have an absolute duty of care to all of our students and where it is felt course material may cause potential upset or concern warnings may be given’.” ( telegraph.co.uk)

University Bosses: Stop Using Capital Letters When Setting Assignments

“University bosses have banned lecturers from using capital letters when assigning work to their students out of fear it might upset them. Critics have slammed the idea because it suggests that the ‘snowflake’ generation are being overindulged throughout their education. The lecturer at the university told the outlet that despite the intelligence of their students they feel that they are fighting against the education system who want to treat them like children… Adding: ‘We are not doing our students any favours with this kind of nonsense ’.” ( dailymail.co.uk)

The Snowflake Culture Is Killing Our Kids

“Did you know ‘jazz hands’ are slowly replacing clapping? No, really: Clapping has been banned at a leading university in the UK ‘to avoid triggering anxiety’ for students.

Ironically, just after reading the UK article I got a text from a friend who said our local high school is doing away with class rank, valedictorian, and salutatorian. The message? It’s just too stressful for kids to lose. They can’t cope. This attempt to shield young people from anything uncomfortable is pure madness. We are setting kids up for a lifetime of pain.

The ability to cope with the myriad of changes and challenges that will occur throughout their lives, and the ability to form lasting bonds with people despite the inevitable conflict it brings, is crucial. Who’s modelling for kids how to cope with setbacks and adversity? Who’s educating them on strategies for how to make their way in the world? No one. That’s who .” ( zerohedge.com)

Universities Cave To Snowflakes

“Snowflakes feel as though they must be protected against words, events and deeds that do not fully conform to their extremely limited, narrow-minded beliefs built on sheer delusion. How much sympathy would you have for those 18- to 24-year-olds who are in the military if they conducted themselves — on aircraft carriers, in nuclear submarines and in special forces — just as college snowflakes did in the wake of the Trump victory?” ( lewrockwell.com)

An Obituary To The Western World

During the course of my life I have watched the Western World abandon all of the values that made it successful. But objective truth is no longer acceptable in the Western Woke World, because it is contrary to the woke ideologies, such as there is no difference between men and women, that there are many genders and that men and women can be born into the wrong bodies, that hurt feelings are more important than empirical facts, that many subjects are not subject to examination or debate, because they offend emotive beliefs of feminists, people of color, Jews, the new transgendered species, and whoever else can make a claim of victimhood.

Everyone can claim to be a victim except white male heterosexuals.

No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth.
They trust in empty words and speak lies;
They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity [lawlessness].” (Isaiah 59:4 KJV)

We now live in a world in which a self-declared ‘victim’ can block truth, because truth offends them. The offended are able to get the truth-teller fired and removed from employment. His crime is that he exercised free speech. Today free speech is the most sure path to self-destruction for a white heterosexual male.

Today the Western World is based not on TRUTH but on LIES. A world based on lies is a false world, and that is what the Western World is today. It is a LIE.” ( paulcraigroberts.org)

The Crux Of The Problem

Since the middle of the 20th century the world has seen the greatest of all lies - that there is no God. The unprovable but widely accepted theory of evolution has done incredible damage to mankind and the western world in particular… the Israelitish nations. Without a belief in a Creator, there is no solid foundation for any of our concepts, thoughts and actions. We have thrown away the “Living Waters” - and are now drinking from a filthy and polluted source (Jeremiah 2:13) and the result is mental, moral and spiritual sickness, now clearly exhibited in a generation with such a fragile mental state, that they can be legitimately compared to a snowflake.

A Warning To The End Time Church

The “me, myself and I” approach to everyday life comes from a satanic source, and is prophesied to be particularly prevalent at the end time. The apostle Paul warns us in II Timothy not only to know this, but to also turn away from such things:

“But know this, that in the last days grievous [perilous] times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self–control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: FROM THESE ALSO TURN AWAY.” (II Timothy 3:1-5 KJV)

Therefore, as we see end time events speeding up, we need to keep in mind that this is Satan’s world… and people act consistent with his lying character… that promotes a view that focusing on “me, myself and I” will somehow bring satisfaction.

“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 NLT)

The people out in the world are blinded, deceived… most not believing that Satan even exists! But we who do believe should be careful not be taken in by his twisted and warped views.

“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe…” (II Corinthians 4:4 NLT)

Our position is serious – so serious that Christ taught us to pray – EVERY DAY - Rescue us from the evil one!” (Matthew 6: 13 NLT) And this is not just physically, but more importantly from his mentality - the direction in which he is leading the rest of the world.

The Apostle Peter warns us…

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8 NLT)

The True Alternative

The only people that Satan cannot fully control are those whom God has called - even though he earnestly desires our destruction, and influences us however he can. And one way we can be led “off track” is by buying into this self-centred spirit of the age. So a vital part of getting back on track - and being unmovable - is by firmly focusing on the outgoing future God promises to those who become his sons. As Mr Armstrong explains in the closing paragraphs of his booklet "Why Were You Born?":

“Do you really grasp it? The purpose of your being alive is that finally you be born into the Kingdom of God, which is the divine FAMILY of God.

When you fully grasp this tremendous, wonderful truth, your mind will be filled with transcendent joy and glory. It gives a new meaning to life so wonderful you’ll never comprehend the full heights of its splendor.

It means, of course, total renunciation, denial, of those injurious things and ways which have falsely seemed so bright and alluring to this world.

But your eyes will be open at last to the great deception – the scales will fall from your blinded vision – you’ll see the meaning of life, its great purpose, as you never dreamed it could be. Giving up this world’s evils, temptations and pitfalls – its snares and delusions which have glittered and then ended only in sorrow and suffering – is but emerging from gross darkness into the splendor of true light, and of happiness and joy forever!

In the words of 1 Peter 1:8, you will ‘rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of GLORY’!” ( Why Were You Born?)