The environment is controlled by the newsmen

Holding a bible and wearing an expensive suit, does not make one to be on the side of the Lord. Also praying in tongues and performing wonders does not, necessarily, make one to be on the side of the Lord. Holding the Bible and praying in tongues could be done by those on the side of the Lord. Yet the enemies of the Lord could also do such things and even more. There are a few indicators, which Jesus highlighted, as enabling distinction between the two sides.

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:12-15) (NIV).

For those eager to be associated with truth, so far as Christianity is concerned, the above passage of Scripture sums it all. One could as well forget everything else, as long as applying what Jesus taught. God’s enemies are clearly revealed in verse 15. “They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Witch-hunting is unnecessary—when making an assumption, concerning who would be right and who would be wrong.

But there is a need to know that the gate, leading to life is narrow and only a few find it. The understanding is arrived at by knowing what is right as compared with what is wrong. Obviously, if the gate can only be found by a few, careful analytical research is necessary. Rather than indulging in the fantasy of pointing fingers at others, this merely requires focusing on truth, as compared with falsehood.

The only reason why the majority choose the wider gate is craving for comfort in receiving rather than in giving. The golden rule is: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Doing unto others is different from doing unto self. There is no religion intended, as this sums everything to do with the Law and the Prophets.

It is only recently that I discovered that in our environment, there are people who seem to promote chaos, rather than order. There is consideration of promoting violence, more than promoting peace—so long as one makes money. In this world, businesses are premised on the same philosophy: profit-making. It is true that businesses can be categorized according to ethical conduct. But the aim of every business organization is profit-making.

As a starting point, let us consider the media industry. Why do newspaper headlines appear as highlighting violence, more than they should highlight what is progressive? The answer lies in what drives the market forces. No-one could succeed, when not following the trends as promoted by the market forces. What drives the market forces is a general demand from buyers downstream.

Image result for the newsman picture

What pushes the common man, is achieving that which is considered as a success, in the environment. A successful individual is considered as being one driving a very expensive car and living in high-class suburban areas. The media industry is, accordingly, within the stream of profit-making, when targeting violence and other vices in society. Such negative effects are characterized in the main headlines of our newspapers. Generally, people buy newspapers when the headlines are anti-survival, rather than pro-survival.

For instance, any headline that highlights some scandal, committed by a popular politician, attracts buyers towards that newspaper. The headline that promotes anything positive about the same politician is shunned. This disregards whether such reportage would be factual or false. Most men of, apparent, good standing in society, avoid public offices, in order not to risk being targeted by the media.

What drives those, apparent, men of good-standing to avoid publicity, is the preservation of being regarded as good (self-centeredness). As long as not being targeted by hostile reportage in the media, such people feel comfortable. Their shadow undertakings—on activities considered as lucrative—makes them feel safe. This is as long as the ‘hostile’ reportage would escape them.

Apparently, this is what promotes popularity in bad news, rather than good news. The common man on the street is interested in the exposure to scandalous activities of the high—profiled individuals. Hence, the media realizes high profits in such negative reportages rather than positive reportages. However, the more negative news is highlighted, the more such negative occurrences multiply. What is evil gets promoted, through the media, more than what is good gets promoted.

Businesses exist, in order to make profits. There is no other purpose of engaging in any type of business rather than profit-making. Thereby, being regarded as successful in society. Success is wrongly defined as identifying with living a better life than the rest, in the community. The common man wants to be regarded as successful. Hardworking is recommended, and encouraged, only when making one achieve that which is wrongly considered as a success.

I suppose those Ecclesiastical leaders, in sheep’s clothing, label such successes as projecting God’s blessings? Their favorite Scriptures being about tithing—implying giving ten percent of one’s income to the Church. The congregants are, mostly, tithe-payers—focusing on blessings, promised to those tithing, faithfully. When each of them fails to tithe consistently—those congregants feel uncomfortable. But their pastors remain comfortable, as long as other regular tithers are used as bait. The common goal is to achieve what is considered a success, in the environment.

One is successful, as long as holding possessions not accessible to the rest of the community. The common man, representing the majority, is unable to access wealth. The false preachers, conveniently, select what Jesus taught: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 5:13-14)

Through such treachery, only a few become rich, while the majority typify the effects of poverty, among those mega-churches. This is notwithstanding that it would be the majority, whose collective tithes—benefit the minority. The explanation for the failure to access such riches would always be attributed to not being consistent in giving tithes.

Meanwhile, the minority become scandalously super-rich. The ordinary congregants view that as exemplifying God’s blessing for the selective few. However, let us now consider what Jesus, actually meant, when analyzing the entire Scripture in its context.

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:12-15) (NIV).

Apparently, doing unto others, as one would like them to do unto him, has nothing to do with driving expensive cars when others walk on foot. There is no record of Jesus having acquired properties for His own comfort, ahead of everyone else. The record that was left by Jesus is that of service and sacrifice. Jesus had a different definition of the word ‘success’:

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:  ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.  And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple’” (Luke 14:25-27) (NIV).

Jesus commanded large followings, due to the services He provided to the public. But Jesus did not seek to please them with lies. There is also no record of Jesus ever abusing people, advising them that they would receive blessings after giving their tithes. His teachings were focused on God’s Kingdom. But He did not instruct anyone to tithe:

 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23-24) (NIV).

As indicated, the more important matters of the law, are justice, mercy, and faithfulness. The only way to understand matters of justice is when appreciating that all humans were created in God’s image. There cannot be anyone said to be superior or inferior to others. Hence Jesus instructed: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12) (NIV).

The matter of mercy is the one following after justice. A person loses his own dignity, as soon as discarding these precepts when dealing with other fellow humans. A religionist who insists that other people should pay him tithes, in the pretext of doing so towards God, misses the mark. The consideration of mercy overrides everything so that all problems affecting other people’s well-being need addressing ahead of one’s own interests.

Faithfulness is possible when one fully understands the binding effects, associated with justice and mercy. Those practicing the three concepts in their business of livingness are not different from God. As God thinks, so would such people think? This mind pattern should be regarded as superior to being too technical about law-keeping. Such people embrace the significance of the spiritual man, as identifying with God. It is impossible for a person whose mind is driven by justice, mercy, and faithfulness to be regarded as the enemy of God.

Yet it is easy to distinguish God’s enemies when using the behavior of Jesus as standard for His followers. Naturally, this requires changing the definition of the word ‘success?’ The definition of success ceases to mean focusing on a more comfortable life than others. But a person becomes truly successful when other people’s lives are changed for the better, due to his/her benevolent existence. This points to the opposite aspirations.

The issue of going to Heaven should not be regarded through some form of guesswork. It is a reality that can only be measured according to any person’s mindset. Living a comfortable life makes one feel good. But what is more important is appreciating comfort, when realized by others, through a person’s endeavor to do what is good. This is the way of humanity that Jesus came to portray.

It leads to the reversal of human behavior. The newsmen seek to highlight everything bad in the environment, as resonating with the suffering humanity. This is as such news reporters realize huge profits, only when there is bad news in the environment. Jesus initiated the gospel—which implies good news to humanity. It should be humanity benefitting, rather than the newsmen.

The gospel is about the good news of God’s coming Kingdom. Those used to publishing bad news, have to change and focus on publishing good news, more than bad news. In other words, God’s coming Kingdom is wrongly reported as would bring more suffering to humanity. This creates anxiety for uneducated humanity. Focusing on peddling bad news implies that what currently prevails should be regarded as normal, instead of abnormal.

In short, God’s enemies are those desiring that the current suffering of humanity should be regarded as normal and maintained, accordingly. Why would a newsman desire to see the environment change for the better when being sustained by profits coming from negative publicity? Why would a funeral undertaker desire the reversal of deaths, in society, when making good profits out of the casket-making industry? Why would an arms manufacturer desire to see stoppages in war fronts, when realizing good profits in ammunition sales?

The negative viewpoint is cascaded down to other conditions of living as driven by a desire for profit-accumulation. It should be regarded as unethical to make profits where the rest of humanity languish in abject poverty. While described as a success, the accumulation of wealth goes against the advancement of the gospel. This is the time that humanity is taught to promote the good news of peace, rather than promoting bad news about chaotic conditions.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.

The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com  for $6.99

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