These times

These Times

A penetrating look at current events in light of Bible prophecy.

Increased Cannabis Usage Despite Risks

The federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has not been accepted for medical use and has a high risk of being abused. Despite this stance, many states have legalized its use; the message that marijuana is harmless now inundates society, including our children. 

Who is behind this message of the harmlessness of cannabis? Unfortunately, its money-making potential has propelled businesses and tax-earning local governments to downplay the negative side of marijuana, even promoting it as a health product.*

The experiences of a large number of marijuana users reveals otherwise. Since the legalization of marijuana in certain states, the number of people using the drug on a daily or near-daily basis has increased by almost 50 percent.

This increase in cannabis users has had many unintended consequences. For one, the number of people with “self-described cannabis-use disorder” has increased. These individuals report the way in which the addiction to cannabis controls their lives, particularly affecting their mental capabilities, such as “concentration, short-term memory, and motivation,” according to Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University. The loss of motivation impacts the ability of these cannabis users to maintain their jobs and relationships, provide for their families, and keep healthy through proper diet and exercise. Those who have fought the battle to quit have experienced withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, nausea, and irritability. 

Cannabis has been made out to seem harmless when it indeed has major public health risks. Its use is one of Satan’s means to cloud the minds of people to truth.

*It should be noted that some choose to use CBD (cannabidiol, a harmless chemical compound extracted from cannabis) for managing chronic pain and other health conditions. This extract does not have the psychoactive effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, a chemical in cannabis responsible for its addictiveness) which contribute to the risk of cannabis usage.

“America’s Invisible Pot Addicts,” The Atlantic, theatlantic.com, Aug. 20, 2018.

Methodists Support Plan to Split Over LGBT Issues

After 47 years of struggle over LGBT issues, the United Methodist Church (UMC) has made the decision to separate since its leadership was not able to come to an agreement.

Last year, the UMC voted against allowing same-sex marriage or gay clergy within its denomination. However, many churches continued to function contrary to the vote. To bring about a resolution to the problem, the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation was proposed to “resolve [the] differences [by] allowing each part of the Church to remain true to its theological understanding while recognizing the dignity, equality, integrity and respect of every person.”

Though not yet approved, the proposal has been well received by the UMC’s legislative body and its representatives. Many of the leadership see the agreement as a way forward to set “each other free to do ministry as we believe God would have us do.” 

As Christian churches depart from their biblical foundations to conform to culture, we are seeing a fulfillment of 2 Timothy 4:3, 4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth.”

“Methodists Agree to Compromise to Split Denomination,” Christianity Today, christianitytoday.com, Jan. 3, 2020.

Children Experiencing Anxiety Over Climate Hysteria

To promote the environmentalist agenda, activists have honed in on children. A key way in which they have done this is through the promotion of teenage Greta Thunberg’s school strikes and her dire messages about climate change. Her example has impacted other young people to act in similar ways.

Though we don’t know whether Greta Thunberg has actually delivered any results in her efforts to counteract climate change, we do know that the effects of the overall movement have been damaging to the mental health of children.

A survey of 2,000 children from ages eight to sixteen focused on finding out how children felt about climate change.  The majority reported that they felt “anxious about the effects of climate change on their future.” Some had also experienced nightmares related to the climate.

What we’re seeing is that environmentalists are targeting children and using fear to motivate them to jump on the climate agenda. They know that “when all else fails, focus on the children. If you have the children, you have the future.”

“Study: Children Are Experiencing Nightmares, Anxiety Amid Climate Hysteria,” The Western Journal, westernjournal.com, March 4, 2020.

“What shall be the sign of Thy coming,
and of the end of the world?” Matthew 24:3

Watching Pornography Rewires the Brain

Since the emergence of the internet, pornography usage has drastically increased. In 2018, people made 33.5 billion visits to just one free porn site!

Despite the initial pleasure of viewing pornography, the practice poses negative consequences to mental health and affects the neuroplasticity of the brain—its ability to adapt and form new neural pathways.

The way in which pornography causes these changes in the brain is through the release of dopamine—a neurotransmitter in the brain that forms its reward system. Dopamine is the same hormone that is released in the brains of drug users, resulting in a rush of pleasure. Unfortunately, in order to get the same level of pleasure each time, the intensity of usage must increase. With porn, this means viewing increasingly extreme and perverted forms of pornography. As a result, the dopamine reward circuitry of the brain becomes damaged.

What are some of the other negative effects of porn usage? Porn users tend to experience sexual dissatisfaction with their partners and suffer from depression and anxiety. The use of pornography also poses the risk of increased sexual violence in real life due to the effect of mirror neurons in the brain: when an individual views an activity, the same neurons are firing in the brain as though that individual were actually carrying out the action.

Perhaps the most significant impact of pornography on the brain is in the area of moral development. The last region of the brain to develop is the pre-frontal cortex which “houses executive functions like morality, willpower, and impulse control.” When individuals view pornography, they are destroying this part of their brain, in essence reverting back to “a more juvenile state.”  

The devil knows the importance of having sound moral reasoning powers. For this reason, he is tempting many people to damage this part of their brains through the use of pornography. Sadly, the satisfaction of pornography is short-lived, while its effects will damage the brain and hurt lives for the long term.

“Watching Pornography Rewires the Brain to a More Juvenile State,” The Conversation, theconversation.com, Nov. 27, 2019.

envelope-oclosechevron-downshopping-cartfacebook-squarebarsinstagrammic