24th August 2011
Have we asked why there are double the number of global searches monthly on the Internet (7 million) for “how to commit suicide”, than for “what is salvation?” Is there in this a trend in sociology that we ought to be thinking about? The experts who study these things are particularly concerned with the significant increases in suicides in recent decades among young males in Japan; in several European countries, and Oceania (see:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0447.1994.tb01556.x/abstract).
Suicides are significantly more prevalent among men than among women. The stats show that mothers and daughters are much less troubled by the problem – between three to four times less. We should ask why? Perhaps they are too busy caring for their children to think of taking their own lives. More specifically, a comparison between ten Russian-connected countries shows a total of approximately 600 men of every 100,000 that commit suicide, as opposed to 140 of 100,000 out of ten western-connected countries. Perhaps this indicates that Russia, which has championed a noxious strain of secular humanism, is still bearing the consequences of its secularist controls today – more than four times more Russian-connected men commit suicide than those who have lived with more Judeo-Christian influences.
I did a comparison also of three types of questions asked on the Internet: first, “what is Christianity”; second, “what is life”, and third, “what is death”?The results show the things that are at the forefront of modern thinking. The attached bar chart shows that the sources of the questions are countries more open to Judeo-Christian values – something happens to the human mind that opens up, and is raised up in a Judeo-Christian culture. .
Interestingly, when compared to questions about Christianity, the question “What is death” is asked 1/5th of the time.
The most significant trend for me is the comparison between “Christianity” and “life” over the course of the last eight years. The first question, “what is Christianity” (depicted in Blue in the diagram below), has gone from 80% down to 20%. The second question, “what is life” (depicted in Orange), has gone from 25% to 55% (these are only comparisons relative to one another).
Despite this seemingly negative trend, what encourages me is that instilled in every human is a desire for life that rises above a desire for death (not universal salvation). In spite of the most severe ideological abuses, the human spirit, quests for more of life. The trend away from religion, and with it all forms of legalism, is being replaced by the question, “what is life?” The fact that this transition has fostered a new social revolution in the mid-orient should not escape us, but this is too vast a topic to tackle here. We should not disagree with the need to break free from religions that promote acceptance through correct behavior rather than surrender to God by faith in Jesus. John wrote that everyone who believes in Jesus has eternal life (John 3:16). Jesus brings eternal life, not religion. It was the religionists of his day that crucified him. As then, Jesus is still seeking out the poor and humble wherever they may be. Therefore, as Paul says (comments added),
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing (those who do not believe in Jesus Christ), but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” – 1 Corinthians 1:18-30
We remember that Jesus had more impact among the poor; destitute; blind; ostracized; marginalized; little; humble, and unlearned, than he did among the rich; the educated, and among those who deemed themselves ‘wise’.
I ask, therefore: could we be poised in this century to see a revival of God’s glory among the earnest seekers; the humble, and those little in their own eyes? Might we be seeing the work of the Spirit among unbelievers, in these searching questions about life all over the world? Is God’s intent notstill to use those who would be servants, and are the “least” (Matthew 20:25-28)? Can he not reach those who cry out in their poverty and despair?
We should wonder what the more than 400 million people every month who ask the questions: “what is life” (151 million); “how to love” (185 million), and “what is family” (68 million), are getting as answers. It is certain they will, at some point, assess the nature of God through the love they receive from flesh and blood people who have matured enough in the Spirit to care less for themselves than for the needs of others!
A generation is being raised up humble in their walk; knowing how to let go; with their bibles open, and ready to give 100% of what they have freely received.These are the ones that have been touched by his glory! They say, “my life is given over to Jesus”; “I am forgiven”; “I have peace”; “he has paid for my sins”; “my eternal destiny is secure”; “he has shown me what my life is about”; “he has revealed the meaning of life to me”; “all fall short of the Glory of God”; “all need God”; “all of heaven declares his glory” (Romans 3:23), and “I will live my life to please God in his glory”!
Keep on. Loys