Category: Society, Culture & Sinful Lifestyles

The Negative Effects of Social Media

In an interview at an Axios event, Sean Parker, the former president of Facebook spoke about how the Facebook social networking website is designed to prey on a psychological vulnerability within people. Sean Parker said the Facebook app which is used by over 2 billion people around the world takes advantage of human vulnerabilities and the human need for social-validation and is possibly re-wiring human brains.

There is no doubt that there are great benefits or advantages of using social media / networking websites. Social media sites can be beneficial both to an individual and for an organization.
Such benefits include:
Connectivity – people can connect and communicate from all over the world at a very low cost
Promotion – people can promote themselves, their ideas, and their businesses to a specific or wide range of audience.
Education & Awareness – people can learn and be updated on what’s trending and have updated information on various topics much quicker than before.
Help Communities – people can socially and spiritually help each other in various areas of life.

However, it appears that there is a darker side of social media that has been gradually emerging for years and its effects have been visible through the rising number of cyber bulling, revenge porn, cyber-crime and mental issues that appear to be growing as a result of excessive and improper use of social media.

So the question is this: What are the psychological vulnerabilities that social media sites like Facebook prey on? What are the mental health issues associated with the use of social media? Does the Bible say anything about how to deal with the negative effects of social media?

Addiction
Social media can become addictive to the point that it disrupts productivity and normal daily routine. Teenagers are the most affected. Social media activities can occupy the mind unnaturally and may waste a person’s time when that particular time could be used more productively. The addiction further creates a lazy mind as one ends up having a low attention or retention span because of social media.

Triggers Jealousy & Depression
A certain study showed that of 1500 Facebook and Twitter users surveyed, 62 percent reported feeling inadequate and 60 percent reported having feelings of jealousy from comparing themselves to other users. Such jealousy leads to feelings of inadequacy and eventually depression due to comparisons with other users.

Narcissistic Behavior
Social media can cause people to have a narcissistic or conceited personality. People begin to either secretly or openly crave attention and admiration from others because of social media. Social media is designed to make us crave for more “Likes” and more “Comments”. Therefore it creates and exploits our desire to be validated and accepted by others. This causes a person to judge his/her self-worth and significance based on the number of responses or acceptance from followers.

Reality Not Truly Reflected
Pretension and hypocrisy can be prevalent on social media. The information posted on social media sites does not always reflect the reality on the ground. For example, Facebook or Instagram pictures and posts by an individual do not always reflect the true reality of circumstances in that particular person’s life. Another example is that, having more “friends” on a social networking site does not always mean that one is more sociable. Therefore true characters / personalities / circumstances are not entirely reflected through that person’s social media posts.

 

What Does The Bible Say?
The Bible addresses the negative effects of social media such as making comparisons, having jealousy and being narcissistic.
Galatians 6:4-5 and 2 Corinthians 10:12 discourages us from comparing ourselves with other people. Our significance or self-worth is not found in comparing ourselves with others or by attempting to be “better” than others – but our self-worth is found in having a relationship with Jesus Christ. In the eyes of God – we are all equal. Therefore, we need to see ourselves as how God sees us and not as how man sees us. God’s opinion of us is far more important than how others view us.
James 3:16 and Proverbs 14:30 are examples where scripture discourages people from breeding envy or jealousy towards others. Envy turns into anger and strife if it is not dealt with. Envy can also cause depression. Instead, we need to always focus on the positives in our lives. We always need to be thankful in all circumstances and have an attitude of love towards our neighbor.
Philippians 2:3 says “Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves”.
Therefore we need to be careful of the attention-getting craves that social media can breed within us. We need to always have a humble spirit rather than an attitude that seeks to grab attention or to be better than others.

 

Conclusion
Social media clearly has some positive aspects. However the negative aspects of using social media need to be heeded and care needs to be taken that we do not fall into the trap of being in bondage to the negatives associated with using social media.

 

 

Sex Before Marriage – 6 Problems with Premarital Sex

Is sex before marriage right or wrong? With the exception of various Muslim nations such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey or Jordan, most people in many other nations have taken a more relaxed and tolerant view regarding sex before marriage. Most societies and cultures believe it is acceptable for a person to have sexual relations with one or more people before committing to marriage. In fact, if you’ve never had premarital sex or if you’re a virgin, then you’re more likely to be ridiculed, frowned upon or disbelieved.

However, does the fact that society has normalized premarital sex mean that sex before marriage is a good thing? Aren’t there any problems that are associated with premarital sex? Also, what does the Bible say about sex before marriage?

It’s an undeniable fact that sex is pleasurable and sex is meant to be enjoyed. However there are Biblical guidelines from God that relate to sexual relationships.
According to the Bible, premarital sex is considered to be a sin. Scriptures such as Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3, Mark 7:21 and Colossians 3:5 highlight fornication as being an unacceptable act or lifestyle in the eyes of God.

People might be tempted to believe that God is just a “killjoy” who doesn’t want people to have a “good time”.

So the question is this: If sex is meant to be enjoyed and if sex is pleasurable – then WHY would God prohibit two consenting individuals from having sex just because they are not married?
The truth is – having sex before marriage has caused many social and spiritual problems in society.

Too often people focus on the “enjoyment” and “pleasurable” part of sex without understanding the other aspects of sex, such as procreation, the Biblical guidelines and also the negative effects of having sex outside of marriage.

If the Bible’s message on sex before marriage were obeyed by society, then we would have very few of the following problems:

  1. We would have few abortions or unwanted pregnancies
  2. We would have few sexually transmitted infections
  3. We would have few teenage pregnancies
  4. We would have few divorces due to mistrust caused by previous sexual relationships
  5. We would have fewer children who grow up with single mothers.
  6. Premarital sex also creates spiritual problems in relation to a person’s relationship with God. If one is not repentant, a person can distance himself from God simply because of guilt and shame.

However, God is a forgiving God. If we receive Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior and confess our sins, God is just and faithful to forgive us of every sin – including sex before marriage (1 John 1:9).
Therefore, even if a person has had premarital sex, that person still has an opportunity to repent and start focusing on obeying the word of God in that area.

 

Is Masturbation a Sin?

Masturbation is when a person stimulates themselves in a sexual way. It’s when a person attempts to please himself / herself sexually.
Does the Bible say anything about masturbation? The Bible does not mention the word “masturbation” nor does it say whether or not masturbation is a sin.
However the Bible does speak about sexual lusts; it does speak about sexual immorality and it also speaks about the lust of the eyes.
For example, Jesus said that if we look at a woman with lust then we have committed adultery in our heart (Matthew 5:27-28). Therefore God tells us to guard our heart and mind from having impure or inappropriate sexual thoughts.

Therefore, because masturbation is a sexual act, it’s important for a person to examine the actions and the deep-rooted motivations that lead to masturbation.
If masturbation is motivated by pornography or lust or any kind of immoral sexual fantasy, then masturbation becomes a sin. And so the real question is – can a person masturbate without having lust or without being sexually aroused by any pornographic material?

Now, in certain cultures – there are some who would say that masturbation is normal and it doesn’t harm anyone. However, objective studies do show that masturbation has several emotional & psychological side-effects.

  1. Masturbation can lead to guilt because of cultural or spiritual beliefs
  2. Masturbation can become addictive to the point of interrupting your normal daily routine.
  3. Masturbation can breakdown your self-control so that you’re controlled by your feelings and temptations rather than by your mind and reason.
  4. Masturbation can negatively affect your sexual relationship with your spouse by causing you to lose interest & the desire for intimacy with your partner.
  5. Masturbation can affect your soul and your spiritual relationship with God.

 

 

So if you’ve been struggling with masturbation and have been experiencing the side effects of masturbation – you will most likely discover that whenever masturbation is connected to lust or immoral thoughts then masturbation becomes a sin.
Therefore, the only way to deal with a masturbation problem, is to deal with the problem of lust.
If one deals with the problem of lust, the less one will have a desire to masturbate.

2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to flee from youthful lusts, while 1 John 2:16 tells us that the lust of the eyes does not come from God but from the world.
We should therefore conform to God’s values and not the standards of the world.
Pornography and other lustful activities are widely accepted in today’s culture.
However, in society one will discover that such factors like pornography, sexual relationship problems and lust issues can be temptations that eventually cause people to masturbate.
Dealing with these factors will reduce or completely remove the desire to masturbate.

 

What Did Jesus Say About Transgenders & Gay Marriage?

Did Jesus talk about homosexuality or about gay marriage? Did Jesus also talk about the issue of people who are transgender? Would Jesus disagree with Paul’s writings and perspective on LGBT issues?
These are questions that various liberal thinking people bring forth in order to minimize the Biblical perspective of the LGBT lifestyle. They argue that if Jesus didn’t talk about LGBT issues then Christians should not be so concerned about homosexuality, transgender people or about gay marriage.

However, there are many words or topics that Jesus did not specifically speak directly about.
For instance, Jesus didn’t specifically mention the word “beastiality” or speak specifically on the topic of beastiality.
Neither did Jesus mention the word “masturbation” and then begin to speak specifically on the topic of masturbation.

Therefore, just because the words were not mentioned by Christ, it does not mean that both Jesus and the rest of the Scriptures are not in agreement in relation to those issues. Neither does it mean that Jesus did not outline His principles and values regarding these very same issues.

If you read Mark 10:6-9 you will discover that Jesus speaks on 3 major issues that are hotly debated today.
1. Jesus speaks on the issue of Gender
2. Jesus speaks on the issue of Marriage
3. Jesus speaks on God’s creation of both Gender and Marriage

These 3 issues above which Jesus mentioned interestingly address the issues of transgenders, homosexuality and gay marriage even though Jesus does not mention those specific words.

Mark 10:6-9
But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.

 

The Gender Issue – According to Jesus
In Mark 10:6 Jesus addresses the issue of how many genders exist. Jesus mentions that “from the beginning of creation”, God only made 2 genders – male and female.
Therefore God only recognizes 2 types of genders because God Himself creates people as being either male or female.
Transgenderism is an ideology and lifestyle that God does not recognize or accept because it’s a lifestyle that disagrees with God’s original intention and creation plan.
Transgenderism is a creation of man and not of God. When a man decides to have a sex-change, that person is disagreeing with the way God made him. The person is in fact, saying that God made a mistake.
Therefore the transgender lifestyle does not honor God. The ideology that people can choose their own genders defies common sense and it ultimately spiritually and psychologically destroys the transgender person.

 

The Marriage Issue – According to Jesus
In Mark 10:7-8 Jesus defines marriage as being the union between a male and a female. Therefore in Jesus’ definition of marriage, the issue of a male marrying another male does not apply. Neither does the issue of a female marrying another female apply to Christ’s definition of marriage.
Again, in context, Jesus mentions that marriage has always been defined between male and female “from the beginning of creation”.
Therefore based on Christ’s definition of marriage, there is no room for homosexuality or gay marriage because in God’s mind, marriage does not involve 2 people of the same sex, but according to the Scriptures only 2 people of the male and female gender can marry and become one.
Even if a government or nation votes to redefine marriage – God’s definition of marriage will not change.
The principles and values of God stand far above the laws and values of man because God is above all.

 

God’s Creation of Gender & Marriage
The entire context of Mark 10:6-9 reveals that God Himself is the creator of both gender and marriage.
It is not the duty of man to redefine or recreate genders. Therefore the issue of sex-changes or any type of gender modification is not accepted by God because “from the beginning of creation” God never intended that man should disobey God’s principles and biological order.
It is also not the duty of man to redefine marriage.
Therefore to redefine what God has created in relation to gender and marriage is an insult to God.
Jesus also shows us that because God is the Creator of the male and female gender – when a male and female get married, they are like 2 sides of the same coin. They are different genders but they are one.

 

Did Jesus speak about homosexuality, gay marriage or about transgenders?
He may not have spoken the specific words, but He did speak on the issues just by simply defining the issues of gender and marriage and how God is the Creator of both.

 

If you are a transgender or homosexual there is always hope in Jesus Christ. God does not like our sinful lifestyles but He does still love us and He is able to help us to live according the righteous life that He intended.
The issue of gender identity is becoming a growing psychological epidemic and it’s important to receive prayer and spiritual counselling when facing this problem or trying to deal with these issues in your life.
Also by ultimately putting your trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, you will be able to overcome and live free in Christ Jesus.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below

Why Are People So Evil? What Makes People Do Bad Things?

Why do people cause mass shootings? Why are people abusive & vengeful? Why do people lie, steal, commit adultery and do so many evil and wicked things in the world?
If you listen and observe very closely, you will realize that every single day, there is evil happening around the world.
You only need to watch the news on TV or to read about a terrible story on the internet to understand that not only is evil everywhere – but you will realize that wickedness & evil is constantly happening every single day.
So the question is – where does evil come from? Who is responsible for evil? What makes people do bad things – and how can be people be so evil?

The Bible says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
The Bible also says “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19).

So what is it – that makes a person to kill and murder innocent people? What makes a person commit adultery? What is it that makes a person abusive and brutal towards others?
The Bible tells us that the condition of the human heart is why we have the problem of evil. The Bible tells us that man is sinful and his heart is not only deceitful above all things – but man’s heart can be desperately wicked. Therefore in many situations in life – the evil deeds cannot be separated from the evil doer.

2 Timothy 3:1-4 says : But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

The Bible also tells us that before a just and holy God we have all sinned against God.
Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
Romans 3:10 says “None is righteous, no, not one”.
Therefore before a just and holy God – there is no one who is innocent.

The Bible teaches that the only remedy for the evil condition of man’s heart is for man to receive a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26-27). The only way that man can receive a new heart is by receiving the heart of Jesus Christ through believing and receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come”.
When God replaces our sinful heart and gives us the heart of Christ, only then are we able to express the nature of a loving God towards one another. Through Christ, society can hate what is evil and cling to what is good.

So someone might ask – why doesn’t God immediately deal with the problem of evil? Why does He allow evil to reign and exist in the world?
2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but He is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance”.

If God has not cleansed the world of evil, it’s only because He is still giving people a chance to repent from their sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
God’s patience, God’s mercy and God’s grace is at work right now in order to give people a chance to receive a new heart and to reconcile with Him.
Has God given you a new heart? Have you received Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour?
If not – ask Christ to become your Lord & Saviour today.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below

 

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