Charles Finney once declared that a decay of conscience in America would come from two primary sources–the Church (pastors and spiritual leaders) failing to fill the nation with light (truth and salvation), and the public press (media) promoting lies in their place.
That’s exactly what happening in the USA and many other nations today.
Let’s look at the deceptive power of today’s media.
Media Deception & Decay of Conscience
Today’s proliferation of media–including the Internet, apps, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, the movie industry, music, and videos–dominates the American landscape. Everywhere you turn, people stare at cell phones, computers pulsate, head-set music distracts the brain, TV’s run non-stop, and glitzy periodicals wink from the newsstands.
Endless information cascades at you like a mental Niagara Falls.
Those media forms–which first started with newspapers and magazines years ago–used to aim at accuracy and balance. Most positions were represented and filtered through a Judeo-Christian worldview that believed in truth and morality (right and wrong).
No more. Many of today’s media forms ignore God, laugh at biblical morality, promote filth, or try to silence or destroy anyone who does not toe the atheist line (cancel culture).
This spewing of darkness is dulling and numbing the heart and minds of our people.
The Internet has become the “highway to hell” for many people. As used by the average person via their cell phone or computer–and overloaded with social media applications–much of its content is either meaningless entertainment/self focus or out-right vile and offensive. There is more bullying online today than there ever was on school playgrounds. The Dark Web criminals try to steal your money through scams, and the X-rated domains rob you of your virginity and sense of human dignity.
The Web can be used for wonderful things–more access to knowledge than any time in history. But much of it is being used for frivolous self-centered entertainment and blatant deception. It’s ever-present sensations can cripple the human conscience.
When the Church retreated a generation ago, a world-wide youth rebellion exploded across the world from the 1960s to the present–led by many musical pied pipers. Song is the medium, and its words speak of defiance to parents, free love and sex, lust of all kinds, anarchy, and unrestrained pleasure.
Someone once said, “Let me write the ballads of a nation and I care not who makes its laws.” Music is powerful. It drives the West’s cultural values. Rock stars are idolized and imitated. Bad music, in many forms, breaks down the inhibitions of human nature and plunges millions into broken relationships, venereal disease (the most recent being Monkeypox), and a lifestyle without hope.
Baby-boomers found out the hard way. Gen Z has it worse. Today ten million Americans have herpes, one-half of all marriages ends in divorce, and depression stalks the land–all because we believed the music’s message.
One generation ago, the evening news anchor replaced the pastor as the weekly source of “truth” for most people. Every evening, seated in the authoritative desk, with videos and cut-outs of all the day’s events, these bigger than life figures gave us the “facts” about our world.
Today, news journalism is dying because they are lying to us. Here’s the new norm according to Jarrett Stepman exposing the Associated Press (AP):
One of the unwritten rules of journalism is to make sure Democrats—and more generally, left-wing causes—don’t look bad. Most media outlets follow this rule religiously. If some stories slip through the cracks and become too damaging, just work with Big Tech allies to make them go away.
The AP was long considered to be the most objective “mainstream” news source. The reality is, it has always had a certain amount of bias, but now it isn’t hiding it anymore. In fact, the news organization is leaning in as far as it can, perhaps riding the hope that past institutional credibility will sustain it through the revolution.
The news isn’t looking good for AP and the rest of the establishment media. According to the latest Gallup poll, just 16% of Americans have a great deal of trust in newspapers, an all-time low. The numbers were even lower for television news media.
At least we’re starting to awaken to the deception.
In America today, whether by phone app or television news, you can’t believe what you’re being told. You must choose your news sources carefully–or your conscience will be dulled and your mind deceived on some of the biggest issues of the day.
TV SHOWS & MOVIES
By the time the average child reaches the age of 18, he or she will have witnessed more than 15,000 murders on screen. Research shows that extensive television watching makes it difficult for children to distinguish between fiction and reality. The increase in divorce, sexual sin, and portions of the exploding crime rate can be laid at the doorstep of television.
Its passive dulling of the mind has assaulted every value that Americans once held dear. And though a recent survey showed that only 2 percent of respondents believed television should have the greatest influence on children’s values, 56 percent believed that it did have the greatest influence–more than parents, teachers, and religious leaders combined.
Movie stars and the pictures they adorn are America’s new heroes. Commanding multi-million dollar salaries, and kept before the public eye near every supermarket counter, today’s starlets are clearly the gods and goddesses the new world. We’re glibly told of Jennifer Anniston’s latest affair, Leonardo DiCaprio’s recent shenanigans, Kim Kardashian’s marriage breakup. Their quotes appear in newspapers and periodicals where spiritual leaders and moral statesmen once spoke.
Are these “role models” and their foolish quotes the best we have to offer in America? Then why do we put their pictures and quotes in prominent sections in our newspapers and magazines?
Most everyone follows the movie stars on their phones, tablets, and in the theaters. The average teenager watches 50 R-rated movies a year. Guess whose values are being instilled in those impressionable lives?
The combined influences of the Internet, music, new sources, television and movies, and what’s left of magazines and newspapers have done untold damage to the American soul. Instead of leading us into the knowledge of God and his world, the media have encouraged us to forget about God and have fun. Only Judgment Day will reveal the true extent of the damage.
The media realm needs our prayers, good choices, and missionaries sent in to bring light and truth. Not all have succumbed to the national moral avalanche, but most have been affected and intimidated by it. The prince of the power of the air has gotten an evil grip on modern media and is spreading falsehood and deception to every corner of our world.
I am praying for a renewal of the American media–and supporting new groups and ventures committed to God’s truth and cultural beauty–not filth. The media realm is a lofty giant, but one that should submit to the dictates of conscience and principles of God’s Word. Its return to sound moral perspectives would be a blessing to the entire world.
We shared last week that pastors and Christian leaders have dimmed the lights in our land. Into that void, satanic forces are using the greatest media tools of history to brainwash and take them away from God and his salvation.
But one more entity is primarily at fault.
You and me.
Next Week: Revive Your Conscience with a Tribute to Joy Dawson