Definition of Illusion:
1. The action of deceiving. The state or fact of being intellectually deceived or misled.
2 A misleading image presented to the vision; something that deceives or misleads intellectually as to cause misinterpretation of its actual nature (Merriam Webster).
When I was a child, the name “Oscar” was associated with a brand of hotdogs and “The Oscars” was an obscure television program and no one much cared about.
How times have changed. Sunday evenings’ “Oscars” broadcast was the longest television program of the year at four hours and eagerly watched by nearly as large a crowd as tuned in on the Super Bowl.
Rapt attention was directed to rented gowns and jewelry worn by stars and starlets whose primary role in life is to entertain people through fakery and fantasy.
This epic American event–which epitomizes the growing secular Western world value system–is based on one very sinister commodity:
The Western World is becoming a Land of Illusions that does not bode well for the future.
First of all, I will admit that I did not sit through the 240 minute ordeal known as the Oscars–but I know many close friends who did. So my knowledge is based on snippets that have been aired since, and they are very enlightening.
To be fair, let’s first of all state some positives about this television extravaganza:
- Actors, producers, directors and the like are all real people who put on their pants the same way that each of us do every day. They’re nothing special–just folks who work in the entertainment industry.
- A few are involved in worthy charities and causes. Fox journalist Bill O’Reilly mentioned attending a Vanity Fair Oscar party on Sunday where he joined up with Conan O’Brien and decided to support a charity that he is starting. Other celebs give to charitable events–and that is a laudable use of their fame and fortune.
- The Oscars program is high class and shows great variety of song, dance, comedy, and cinematic wonder. What they do, they do well in the realm of digital film-making.
Now to the other side of the ledger. The Oscars as a whole, according to the definition above, is greatly an illusion that many of the stars obviously enjoy and embrace. Why is this broadcast and the business it represents an illusion?
- The stars strut across a red carpet and act like they are great heroes that walk the earth today. But there’s little greatness associated with Hollywood. They don’t feed the poor, educate the ignorant, protect our liberties, or do anything worthy of greatness. They just act and produce stories that are mostly fantasy. They distract us from real life and the true heroes that are around us. So why do we worship them and roll out a red carpet for them?
- Seth MacFarlane has a gift of humor, but do you think the angels of heaven were amused when he dropped the joke that “the only one to get inside the head of Abraham Lincoln was John Wilkes Booth?” Really? Making fun of killing America’s most revered president? People should have gasped–not applauded. Or how did God Himself view a homosexual choir (whom he died for to save from their sins) singing about women bearing their breasts (nudity) on the screen? Does a Holy God laugh at such perverse debauchery?
- Many of Hollywood’s elite are some of the most corrupt and promiscuous people on earth. They’ve probably destroyed the image of marriage and family more than any other group in the history of the world. Yet we admire them on the tube with their latest wife or girl-friend on their arm when they are leading the entire world into moral and family-values chaos?
- And finally, let us remember that Hollywood is mostly fake–from beginning to end. Though they occasionally do a good job at re-creating history (such as this year’s Lincoln), they mostly produce fanciful stories that lower our morals, teach us untruths about life and relationships, glorify violence (and then they crusade for gun control!), and rake in billions of dollars that are spent on destroying the greatness of Western civilization.
Do you get the picture? An illusion. They appear to be great and worthy of emulation, but in reality they are more drug-ridden, family-breaking, and moral-lowering in influence than probably any other aspect of Western society.
Hollywood has become the capital city of the Land of Illusions called the Western World. That’s one reason why I rarely watch movies or television (I don’t want to support the fantasies) but have spent the past two years praying for many of the movers and shakers in Tinseltown in my morning quiet times.
I want them to be saved–for their lives to be changed–and for them to use their incredible gifts, not to numb and distract the world, but to bless it through righteous story-telling.
But Hollywood is not the only purveyor of the illusions of Western nations and culture. A number of other great modern deceptions come to mind:
1. The Welfare State Illusion
Western nations have been telling us for years, beginning with Europe and now accelerating in America, that the way to fairness and prosperity is for governments to control our lives from the cradle to the grave via the Nanny State. But this is a deception, an illusion, because governments don’t make wealth, they just take it from some and give it to others. They create poverty, not blessing. And eventually they implode from the weight of the false promises that can never be fulfilled.
They even give their programs illusionary names. Take the “Patient’s Protection and Affordable Care Act” more commonly called Obamacare. It is essentially the first step toward nationalized medicine. It’s name is totally deceptive. It does not protect patients better than the private system and it is certainly not affordable. A General Accounting Office (GAO) study came out today that states that Obamacare will cost 6.2 trillion dollars more than advertised.
It’s an illusion–as are most of the promises of the welfare state.
2. The Re-defining of Marriage Illusion
I’ve written extensively on the current move to change the five thousand year definition of marriage. Two cases have now been brought to the US Supreme Court and will be ruled on in the coming months. The Obama Administration is going against current federal law (the Defense of Marriage Act) and aggressively pushing the re-definition of marriage. But this is a deception, an out-an-out illusion. Only a man and woman can marry. All sex outside of that God-ordained covenant is sinful and hurtful.
The Western World will curse many generations if it continues to destroy the sanctity of marriage.
3. Financial Illusions
In America, the current illusion is the hand-wringing going on over what’s called sequestration–a 2.4 percent cut in the increase of the 2013 budget–which was the president’s idea that he now says will cause havoc and disaster in the nation.
A 2.4 percent cut in budget increase? This is no cut at all, just a minute way of slowing the growth of the monster of government–46 billion measly dollars in a 3.6 trillion dollar budget.
This is just the latest in a series of financial lies that are bringing America and the West to judgment day sometime soon. The biggest illusion of all? That debt and deficits don’t matter. Sixteen trillion dollars in debt? No problem. Just keep printing money, throw in QE 3, 4 and 5, and pretend that everything is kosher.
A time of tragic reckoning is coming to the West for its profligate and unconscionable spending. The current house of economic cards is built on an illusion. The house is coming down.
5. Security Illusions
I believe most people in the Western World believe that they are relatively secure in their personal peace and pursuit of affluence. But we live in a very dangerous world. World War I came without warning and World War II followed in the same vain. Just might there be a World War III in front of us where nine different nations have nuclear weapons, the Islamicists are waging a global jihad, and an economic collapse will create a multi-polar world where liberties can be taken away in an instant?
If you think you are secure in the 21st century, you are most certainly naive. Things are not as they look from behind our safe and secure western borders. It is a desperately important time to watch and pray. Our security must be found in walking with God alone.
Many years ago I was invited to a private mansion in Texas where a famous illusionist was putting on a dinner party. (I don’t remember how I got invited, must have been a mistake.). There were about fifty high society guests in the room for the magic show–which was breath-taking.
The illusionist did trick after trick that absolutely filled you with wonder. How did he do that? How could he read our minds, levitate bodies, and make things appear and disappear?
I must admit I was impressed. But when the show was finished, the illusionist did a very unusual thing. He sat down in front of the crowd and told us how he pulled off all the stunts.
I don’t remember his exact words, but this was the essence of his art: Illusion is all about deliberately getting you to think or look for one thing while the magician does another. It’s all about getting you to look in the wrong direction so that a different impression can be believed.
As I went to my hotel after the presentation, I thought about the greatest of all illusionists–Lucifer. The essence of his craft is to factually deceive or mislead human beings. You think one thing is good and right or likely, but it reality, it is the opposite.
Back to the Oscars. I’m sure that most people who watched or participated in the Sunday marathon were led to believe that these were the most blessed people on earth (red carpet and all). But when they die and face God for the lives and lies they have lived, the truth may be just the opposite.
They were the most needy and confused people among us.
Be careful about what you see and believe. The Western World is becoming a Land of Illusions. What illusions might you have in your life? How can you expose them through walking in obedience to God and his truth?