These TimesVolume 27 No. 1
Young people are increasingly challenging gender “stereotypes.” In a recent US survey of 1,000 18–34 year-olds by Fusion, a multi-platform media company that targets a young and diverse audience, fifty percent believed that gender is not binary—that is, limited to male or female.
When The Guardian, a British daily, invited millennials to define their gender, they received a variety of responses: “My gender is an evolving thing, like my sexuality; the more I explore it the more it changes. The only reason why I feel I should put a label on it is just to make it easier for other people,” said Peyton Quinn, 24.
“Cam, 20, from Ireland has experienced as many as 10 different genders, including male, female, bi-gender and agender. ‘Yesterday I came across another word: fluid flux. This fits with me because I experience several genders but they vary in intensity. They are socially constructed genders inasmuch as I would probably have described them differently in another civilization, but the feeling is still innate.’”
So, how many subjective “gender identities” currently exist? Tumblr, a social media site has listed 112 genders and 70 sexual orientations. The site encourages users to “feel free to mix and match your own prefixes and suffixes to create the identity that best describes you.”
Defining one’s gender based on self-perception is rapidly gaining acceptance with governments, academic institutions, and the business world. The UK’s National Health Service website states that, “Biological sex is assigned at birth, depending on the appearance of the genitals. Gender identity is the gender that a person ‘identifies’ with or feels themselves to be.” It explains that gender dysphoria is a mismatch between one’s biological sex and gender identity.
When gender is defined as a feeling, not as biology, there is no end to the ensuing confusion, and we are plunged into a world void of any meaningful reality. Gender fluidity is also a direct attack on God who created both male and female to express His image. See Genesis 1:26.
Earlier civilizations who turned aside from God’s express commands about sexuality and gender experienced the natural consequences of this rebellion: “God gave them over to a reprobate mind (a mind void of conscience, lawless) to do those things which are not convenient (fitting).” Romans 1:28.
As we witness this rapid descent into the darkest forms of human thinking and behavior, we must love the confused, but we must not join their confusion. “The gender-fluid generation: young people on being male, female or non-binary,” The Guardian, March 23, 2016.
GLOBAL INFLUENCERS PARTNER WITH THE POPE
The 2016 Fortune/Time Global Forum, featuring the theme, “The 21st Century Challenge: Forging a New Social Compact,” will be held in Rome at the Vatican on December 2–3.
During the two-day event, select global Fortune 500 CEOs, members of the Time 100 and non-profit, academic, religious and labor leaders will address the pressing need for an international economic system that encourages growth and spreads its benefits more broadly. Pope Francis is a central figure in the call for social justice and regularly speaks out on issues such as global economics and the growing wealth gap.
The Forum will conclude with an address by Pope Francis I.
This cooperation between the Pope and the world’s glitterati is unprecedented. “Time Inc. is honored to present this unique gathering of global influencers and to facilitate discussions around some of the most critical issues of our time. We are hopeful that this rare event in partnership with the Vatican has the potential to impact the way the world thinks about these issues,” said Joe Ripp, chairman and CEO of Time Inc.
Prophecy assures us that this partnership will be highly productive; for the merchants of the earth and the Papacy are forging a dynamic relationship of mutual benefit that will be used to boycott God’s faithful people. “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:17.
That both parties will benefit from this unholy partnership is seen in the merchant’s lament at the fall of Babylon in Revelation 18. Yet even as this partnership is forged, we must give the call, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4. “Pope Francis to address gathering of world’s wealthiest and most famous,” lifesitenews.com, September 7, 2016.
THE WAR ON CASH
From country to country, nations as diverse as Argentina and Australia are seeking to reduce or eliminate the use of cash in their economies. The reasons they cite for doing so are similar, despite their economic differences.
Cost: The expense of maintaining a supply of cash to circulate in an economy is huge. Reusable debit and credit cards, or the use of digital devices for payment are way less expensive. Most governments are even glad to let private banks supervise the storage and transfer of electronic balances, which would eventually eliminate the role of a government providing currency at all.
Traceability: The ability to track financial transactions could virtually eliminate tax evasion, criminal activity, and financial fraud.
Portability: There would be no need to carry large supplies of cash when traveling or shopping. Cards and portable devices are easier forms of payment than counting and carrying cash.
Less Chance of Theft: Retailers have plenty of reasons to get rid of cash. It’s less chance for clerks and flight attendants to steal. Cash is an invitation to robbery (that’s why many people don’t carry much cash). No need to count change or balance the cash drawer.
Critics of this trend point to very real problems with a largely cashless or totally cashless society, however. Theft of electronic balances does happen, and hackers will be even more incentivized to devise means to pull off digital heists. Cyber warfare by one country disrupting an enemy’s economy could bring a nation to a halt.
Where the choice of banks are few, the power of banks to manipulate the economy would be largely unstoppable and the service charges to maintain private and corporate electronic balances could be nearly impossible to challenge or negotiate. This would incentivize nations to eliminate private banks and justify national banks, threatening the democratic process.
The poor, the homeless, and other marginalized peoples would find economic survival even more difficult. Individuals or groups that were considered dangerous or suspected of criminal activity could be quickly isolated and closed out of an economy.
Cashless societies pave the way for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy that laws will restrict buying and selling for those who disobey national and international worship laws: “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:17. “The War on Cash: A Country by Country Guide,” The Corbett Report, January 27, 2016.
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