I have to begin with a confession. I am an addict. Well, at least a partial addict. I confess that I love those grisly true life crime story on I D- the Investigation Discovery channel. Some of my favorites include Evil Stepmothers, Wives with Knives, and my absolute favorite, Fear Thy Neighbor. Perhaps it’s because we live in such an apocalyptic age that the most sordid and depraved aspects of human nature hold a special fascination for us. Maybe this genre of reality tv has taken the place of the horror movie genre we used to love. Or perhaps there’s a more frightening and troubling reason for this interest. Maybe it’s the terrifying reality that the psychopaths and sociopaths that we see displayed on these shows are coming ever closer to the reality of our own lives.Whatever the reason, the motives of the insane protagonists in these dramas show symptoms of psychosis that all of us are far too familiar with.
It starts with little things…
To illustrate this, we begin with my favorite, Fear Thy Neighbor. This show seems to encapsulate so many of the disturbing tendencies we have all seen in our neighbors at one time or another. It begins with an obsessed neighbor. They may be obsessed with any number of little things. And that’s particularly disturbing. They are such little problems with an easy solution – if only the two parties involved were willing to work together and find a solution. But alas, there is always one party that cannot be placated no matter what solution is offered. In my own experience, I find the issue of picking up dog poop to be especially irritating to neighbors. Now of course I always pick up after my pet immediately and sometimes the poop of other dogs,( since it is so unsanitary and inconsiderate of other pet owners). But even with this, there are neighbors who take offense to your dog even walking over the edge of their lawn. And if your dog does his business, they are not satisfied that you have picked it up forthrightly. The law says that we will pick up after our pets or face a fine. What’s wrong with the people that imagine that you haven’t? They may threaten to report you to the city and refuse to believe you when you point out that it wasn’t your dog. These instances are far too familiar to all of us. And it makes you realize just how fragile civilization is when the average citizen can be so incredibly volatile and explosive over such little things.
Then escalates into full blown Psychosis
What is also stunning is the fact that these crazy reactions are all reactions against lawful and normal things. The law allows us to have pets. We are allowed to walk them on a leash. They will defecate and urinate, but we take care of this. Not enough for some people. One of the episodes of Fear Thy Neighbor involved a woman who was freaking out over kids in her cul de sac playing basketball. They were too close to her driveway she said. Even after all the efforts to cooperate to solve the problem, it continued. Eventually it escalated into a brawl that involved everyone in the neighborhood taking sides and tragically resulted in the woman killing the neighbor’s husband as he rolled on the ground in a fist fight with her husband. And the source of this tragedy was this psychopathic woman’s reaction to kids playing in the street. Completely natural and necessary. Kids have to play. And one of the most tragic decisions that school boards ever made was the decision to cut recess from the school curriculum. It was a direct violation of nature and natural law. Kids simply have to physically play- for their physical, mental, and spiritual development. Another grotesque example of this is the violent reaction some people display to the sound of a crying baby. As Christians we should all empathize with the plight of a mother struggling to keep her fussy baby quiet during some important event. Yet there are those self-centered sociopaths who imagine themselves to be the center of the universe and just find “that crying baby is driving me crazy” Poor dears. Here is another example of rebellion against nature and worse even, against the more innocent aspects of childhood. Things like road rage are scary enough, but at least it’s anger directed toward another adult. Babies will cry. It is their only form of language at this stage.
Reason Not Allowed- Today evil needs no Reason
As born again Christians living in admittedly the worst time in human history, what are we to do? Solomon once wrote, “A soft answer turns away wrath” In our day, the application of this proverb is valid and tested severely at the same time. Yes we are to “turn the other cheek”- and most of the time this will suffice. At the same time, we must be very sober and take stock of the reality that Satan is pouring out his final salvo of evil on the world in an effort to terrorize and intimidate believers into final submission and surrender. Since we are a church that readily accepts the call to spiritual warfare we gladly take up the fight and take on the forces of darkness fearlessly in an all out war on the enemy and his legions.
It’s not nuclear annihilation, it’s other people
It is interesting to note that when it came to describing the last days, Paul pointed out the most dangerous and terrifying aspect of the end time would not be nuclear war, pestilences, earthquakes or an asteroid hitting the earth. This would face those who had to go through the tribulation to be sure. But for the born again believer, sealed for the rapture, the greatest peril would simply be what humanity would become, and that people would more resemble demons than people. “In the last day, perilous times will come” wrote Paul, and the worst thing was that people would become “lovers of themselves”. Paul then proceeds to list all the evil traits we see magnified in the world today. As a country, as a government, as a community and as the church, we are all under this evil curse and must fight it to the bitter end. As Jesus told onlookers during his crucifixion, “If they do these things in a green tree, what will they do in a dry?” Well, we are witnessing firsthand the level of depravity that Jesus alludes to here, and in all areas of society. Slander and character assassination are the order of the day. Psychological dismemberment of the other person to destroy and stomp on his soul- this is the modus operandi of so many today. They are “treacherous” and without “natural affection”. They are constantly angry, bitter and violent, having no peace in their souls, and “tossed to and fro, like the raging sea”. As believers we are called upon to ascend and transcend our circumstances as never before. We must live in His presence constantly, knowing that, as we are more isolated from the world
, that our eminent rapture out of evil world becomes more and more certain. We serve a God who knows how to deliver us and always provide a means of escape. There are many instances in scripture that tell of the faithful and how God hides them from destruction. The prophet Jeremiah comforts us with the fact that in the last days, there will finally be no hiding place for the wicked. It is best that we should, just as Jesus told us , “comfort yourselves with these words”