The Future of Today’s Public Vitriol

The future of Public Vitriol's artful cartoon

THE FUTURE

That we live in a society where things are going from bad to worse should not surprise Christians, after all didn’t Paul warn of this? Look at what he says in 2 Timothy 3:13 “Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

If we look at all of chapter 3 we could outline it as follows:

  1. Expect difficult times in the end
  2. Expect to be persecuted
  3. Trust Scripture
  4. Be complete and equipped

Not exactly a harbinger of smiling times, eh?

So what does all this have to do with the public vitriol we see today? Simple!

Let me preface this by telling you that I hope I am wrong. I WANT to be wrong. I would LOVE for you to find this post in 3 years and say, “Mark, you are NOT a prophet! You completely got this wrong!”

THE NEW NORM

That being said, and meant, let me tell you my concern. I believe this public vitriol that we see on the news, in our politics, in our families, and yes, in our churches is becoming the new norm.

Now I’m not concerned about the unsaved “becoming worse” because I expect that. Paul said that above.

Look at my outline above. I’m not focused and therefore concerned about “difficult times” coming and “persecutions” coming. They are a fact of life.  My concern for the church is that we are missing the next two points. I don’t see us “trusting Scripture” and therefore, I don’t see us “complete and equipped” which tells me that we will cave to the pressures and the vitriol of the day when real difficulties and persecutions come our way.

Let me back up in time a few years. There is a reason that the Vision Statement for Common Thread Ministries was written as it is, “Rebuilding the foundations of prayer” (from Psalm 11:3). The reason is that when (not “if”) things get worse in your hometown, if your prayer life isn’t solid you will cave. And THAT is my concern for my Christian brothers and sisters.

Friends, this public vitriol is becoming the new norm, which, I suspect, will be focused upon the Christians before long. And my question is simple, “Are you ready?”

JESUS’ RESPONSE

Forgive me for stepping all the closer to your toes, but I must. If you think the cartoon above is the way to handle public vitriol, namely, giving-it-back just as hard as it comes to you, then you have forgotten Jesus’ example who, “when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23

OUR HOPE

May I give you some hope? The hope comes in a “backdoor sort-of way” from Romans 8:6, which basically says that if I focus on the things of the flesh, I end up with death. But if I focus on the things of the spirit, I have life and peace (that’s a Mark Mirza Paraphrase). I believe that the best way to understand this verse is to look at it in reverse. This is what it is saying. Again, in Mark Mirza paraphrase:

If you do not have peace, I don’t care how “righteous” or “self-righteous” you are, you are NOT focusing on the things of the Spirit.

You might be asking where the hope is, and here’s the hope.

Let the verse be a simple wake-up call to you, that if you are NOT at peace, you simply need to go back to the Lord, go back to His comforting Word, for your focus has become the things the evil one wants you to focus on, namely, the things of the flesh, the angst, and the vitriol, which may soon be the new norm.

Let me take one possible argument away from you before the evil one convinces you to forget my plea to you, okay?

I am NOT SAYING, “do not be aware” of what is going where this vitriol is served up, I am merely saying, “Don’t FOCUS On It!”

DEALING WITH WORRY

Let me end with this. If you struggle with worry, go to my short 3 minute video where I address that subject for ALL of us:

Worry, You Don’t Gotta

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

3 Comments
  1. Author
    Mark Mirza 4 months ago

    Would you allow me some additional ramblings on this post:

    The Lamentations of the prophet are REAL!!!
    — Look at the depth and the sorrow and the hope. Oh Lord, our Lord be majestic in our lives thru Your Word. Open my eyes that I would see and contemplate wonderful things in Your Law.

    The Prayer for Restoration in Lamentations 5 ends interestingly.
    It says, “Lord restore us to Yourself so we may return renew our days as in former times,” and note that there isn’t a period there. This is the last verse: verse 22 “unless You have completely rejected us and our intensely angry with us.” “unless You have completely rejected us. . .” Oh Lord my Lord what does that mean to us in the USA. Have You completely rejected us?

    Verse 17 says something that I put “Praise the Lord” by afterward. It says “. . . because of this our heart is sick” and what is the “this” that is bring talked about? The end of the previous verse says “. . . woe to us for we have sinned.” Father, our heart, in the church, is not sick over the sin in our lives, is it? We’re sick over the sin that others do, but we are not sick over the sin that we do. Oh Lord, again I ask, have you completely rejected us?

  2. Author
    Mark Mirza 4 months ago

    1 more comment from me:

    Thomas Scott’s (1747-1821) Commentary on chapter 5’s prayer is so, pro-church. Brilliant!
    Among other things he says this about the prayer in Lamentations 5
    “In all troubles prayer is our great duty and the means of relief. . . Though our sins and His just displeasure [may] have caused our sufferings; yet we may hope in His pardoning mercy, His sanctifying grace, and His kind providence. . . we should mourn over the miseries of the world and the low estate of the church; yet the true Zion, to which believers are come, cannot be desolated, but remaineth forever, even as the throne of our God in heaven. This inheritance cannot be forfeited or alienated [nor] the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free; taken from us. . . Various tribulations may make our hearts faint and our eyes dim, but our way to the mercy-seat of our reconciled God still is open; and we may beseech Him not to forsake or forget us; and plead with Him to turn, and renew us more and more by His grace; that our hopes may revive and our consolations abound, as in the days of old. For the eternal and unchangeable God will not utterly reject His church or any true believer, whatever our trials fears and lamentations may be. Let us then, in all our troubles, put our whole trust and confidence in His mercy; let us confess our sins , and pour out our hearts before Him, and let us watch against repinings . . . For this we surely know, that it shall be well in the event with all who trust, fear, love, and serve the Lord.”

  3. Author
    Mark Mirza 4 months ago

    Forgive me for continuing to add to this post, but I am concerned of the various aspects and implications of our LACK OF preparation in the church.

    Here is another issue from my verse of the day devo today:

    No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.
    Romans 8:37 HCSB

    — In reading the verses before it and after it, I think we can have confidence that the verse is clearly NOT saying that our victory will be seen by us getting out of these difficulties. No! The truth is that our victory, which is guaranteed by Christ’s rising from the dead (vs 34), guarantees us the continual love of the Son, EVEN IN THE MIDST of “slaughter all day” (vs 36) and all the other things that want to separate us from Him (vs 38-39)

    We often look at the phrase “more than victorious” in verse 37 as a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card/verse. Saying it another way, I believe we use this verse as a way to “shove-a-truth” in front of God and expect Him to deliver us, so that we can escape difficulties. And my concern, especially in today’s church culture for a “Pain-Free-Christianity,” is that we have actually been deceived into setting our “hope” on the wrong things. And so what we are actually doing is setting our hope on the things of the flesh, NOT the things of the Spirit. And this results in us having NO HOPE AND NO PEACE which is the exact opposite of what the experience of God’s love brings us.

    Let me say this more plainly: Our victory doesn’t come because God gets us out of difficulties. Our victory is in the experience of His Son’s love IN THE MIDST OF difficulties!

    I believe the evil one has taken this verse and deceived us into viewing it as a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free verse rather than a verse of incredible hope, true hope, sure hope, IN THE MIDST OF difficulties.

    Remember the admonition of Romans 8:6 when we put our focus on anything other than that which is spiritual we lose our peace and I believe that when we put our hope in this verse as a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free verse instead of a verse about God’s incredible, sustaining, and faithful love IN THE MIDST OF difficulties we’re not focusing on things that are spiritual, but rather selfish. So it is no wonder that in the midst of difficulties, we lose our hope and we do not sense the sustaining love that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, can separate us from. And what is that that we retain, even IN THE MIDST OF difficulties? ANSWER: The love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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