C. S. Lewis stated that he did not
spend time reading the
were too depressing and did not give God's perspective. I do know
intercessors who read the news regularly to be informed for intercession,
but they do this with discernment if they are mature.
World News is Depressing
In recent months I have reflected much on the situation in Western
nations. The situation is painfully sad.
There is a breakdown of the family. This has been detrimental for
the whole of society, and the prospects for the next generation are
terrible. The devastation in the African American community is especially
grievous. The murder rate in the black community is shocking. 73% of
African American babies are born out of wedlock and raised without a
father, likely headed for a life of poverty. Yet, the leaders of the
United States hardly address it, and the culture of immorality that is
fostered by the entertainment industry grinds on as usual.
Immorality is considered a human right in the West. Shame has been
A culture of death through abortion. dominates the landscape. The
Kenyan government has told US officials to back off and stop pressuring
their country on gay rights and abortion rights. Amazing! An interesting
example of Western colonialism!
Foreign policy in the West is blind. Western leaders are unwilling
to call radical jihadist Islam an enemy. So when Egypt replaces such a
government, the US government kowtows to the Islamists and criticizes the
Egyptian Army for restoring some semblance of real freedom for those who
are not Islamists. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood government of the
recently deposed leader Morsi, although chosen at the ballot, quickly
became tyrannical and established a terrible track record on human rights
(especially toward the Christian minority).
Human trafficking circles the globe and is especially painful with
regard to young women and children. It is an epidemic.
Nowhere is Western blindness more pronounced than in the way
Palestinian violence and anti-Semitism is excused, and even blamed on
supposed obstinacy on the part of Israel. In fact Palestinian leaders
have walked away from two peace proposals in which Israel was willing to
"give away everything but the kitchen sink". If you don't believe
me, note what Dennis Ross - who was in those negotiations with President
Clinton - stated. Yet Israel is blamed. It is blamed for the Gaza
blockade of a terrorist state, and the world forgets that Gaza also
shares a border with Egypt. Gaza is not surrounded by Israel!
Then the West talks endlessly while Iran continues to move toward a
nuclear bomb. The Iranian government makes no secret of its desire to
Should I mention the levels of poverty in some places in the
world? Grinding poverty is still pervasive in some societies, and the
governments of most of those societies are thoroughly corrupt.
When we look at the condition of the churches, the lack of
community, the lack of evangelistic power and discipleship in the West,
we grieve even more. We mourn as preachers and young people proclaim they
are "post modern". They have little understanding of what they are
asserting since the heart of post-modernism is that everything is
relative and there is no ultimate truth.
Just this last week, China repudiated the standards of the UN
Declaration on Human Rights (not in name but in content) as
"dangerous ideas". Yet in joining the UN, nations are supposed to affirm
this. The Islamic world has also largely repudiated these standards. In
fact, the majority are allowed to be members without affirming it. A key
characteristic of the West, is not to enforce standards, unless they call
for a boycott of Israeli goods from the West Bank!
Despite Christian gains in Africa and South America, there are also
social problems in rape, murder, tribalism, AIDS and more that show a
huge need for discipleship. The level of rape in South Africa, almost a
right of passage for men, is painfully sick and depressing.
This is only part of the story and not the most important part. It
is undeniable that all of this so-called "news" is very one sided. There
is so much more that God is doing in bringing people into His Kingdom,
even by signs and wonders in the Muslim world.
Yet the Greatest World Revival is Coming
I have written before in these pages that I believe we will see a great
world revival, a Holy Spirit outpouring connected to the salvation of
Israel. This last revival will be in a time of great darkness and will
lead to the Second Coming of Yeshua. However, it is always possible that
revivals before the last one will lead to national reformations
as they have done in the past, for example in the British Empire and
America (the first and second Great Awakenings). I do not know the
time-frame of the Second Coming. I only know that we cannot focus on the
darkness. One philosopher said that if we "look too long into the abyss
the abyss looks into us".2
I do hope for another reformation of society in the West, but maybe
that will not happen. Maybe the next revival will already be the one
leading to that ultimate clash of good and evil. That revival will pull
the churches out of compromise with the world. This compromise is
happening today in very alarming ways. We have to look at the light.
What we are seeking to foster in Israel is connected to Bible prophecy
about Israel's central role in reversing the darkness. In this
regard, Isaiah 60:1-3 has become a key passage in my understanding and a
"Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is
risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep
darkness the people, but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will
be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the
brightness of your rising."
These verses speak of revival in Israel which is in turn the key to world
redemption. So we pray for revival and growth starting in Israel.
We pray, evangelize, disciple our children and disciple our new
believers. The darkness may be very dark, but the light will overcome it.
Let us draw near to Him and not allow the darkness to shroud our lives.
1 In, for example, Letters to an
American Lady, 1955
2 Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good
and Evil, Aphorism 146 (1886).
Sun rising over Israel