I have a divine mandate, a calling from God. We all have one, so I’m not that special. However, my calling is pastoral in the sense of shepherding the people of God. Unlike most pastoral people, I don’t decide who shall be in my flock; it’s the flock that decides. In that sense, it is God who decides and leads people to give some regard to my pastoral leadership.
In this virtual setting, most of my leadership is exerted through persuasive writing. I’m trying to keep an eye on ways I can help God’s people get out of Satan’s domain. There is no image here of perfect escape, but of selective escape for certain issues that I have been granted to understand. On another level, it is a calling to understand something of the nature of Satan’s dominion so that people can discern for themselves how to look for ways to be free. Thus, I tend to offer my specific ideas as examples of how to approach the whole question.
One of those issues is the broad cultural trap in which we live. The best ally Satan has in keeping you under his thumb is the social mythology of our Western world.
We know that humans are inherently vulnerable to certain threats. That’s why there is such a thing as bulletproof vests, for example. They are expensive and their effectiveness is limited, while the act of wearing one is burdensome in itself. But if you spend very much time exposed to people inclined to fire bullets at you, it’s worth the expense and trouble.
We are also vulnerable in other ways. That includes a great deal of psychological vulnerability. The human mind remains open to some kinds of threat simply because that’s how we are wired. In order for us to live here in this environment, we have to take certain mental shortcuts. But those shortcuts can be exploited by other people to manipulate us into doing things we shouldn’t. Naturally you would expect the predators to lie and play down that weakness, saying it’s all a bunch of hoopla and scare-mongering. They have allies who dismiss the threats by saying you should simply ignore the manipulation, as if there is no cultural atmosphere that disarms us and makes it too painful to argue about it.
Precious few are born with the will and presence of mind to fight the system. And most of those are intentionally pressured and harassed until they stop exercising that will to resist. Our world makes it terribly expensive, even deadly, to take your own path. Distrust of the system will get you killed, or at least badly hurt. The system itself is predatory and demands that you keep yourself vulnerable.
I am my brother’s keeper; there are lots of sheep who aren’t wired to fight, so someone has to fight for them. I’m not a Darwinian about such things; I care. So it’s natural for some like me with a pastoral bent to make a lot of noise about things you need to consider changing. If I warn you about something the system seeks to do to us to deceive and manipulate, you can blow it off if you like; it’s really your choice. But if God starts knocking on the door of you conscience about this, then get with Him and work it out. If you start making noise about how people should naturally handle such things on their own, then you’ll be classed as an ally of Satan. Resistance has been beat out of them, so it’s my job work at healing the wounds and to provoke it back to life. Don’t be a calloused ass.
Advertising is inherently evil, folks. It’s one thing to let people know what you offer, but you’ll almost never see that in advertising; it’s so rare now you can’t call it “advertising.” Advertising is inherently manipulative, striving to prey on human weaknesses, both native and culturally derived vulnerabilities. By no means would I expect to change the system, particularly on the Internet. We are awash in advertising. What I am suggesting is that you as an individual consider the problem and decide whether God is calling you to act on this problem. I’ll offer ways to bulletproof your mind, both in restructuring the mind’s operations and in in blocking predatory input. There is no moral obligation to consume advertising, so fight it tooth and nail. That’s what Jesus did in resisting Satan in the Wilderness Temptations.
I’m not worried about some tiny slice of Internet users blocking advertising, as if this will bring the whole system down. The vast majority of folks won’t do anything about it. What I am worried about is the very real effort on the part of some to take that choice away from you. Those people are so evil they deserve vilification. These are people who want to hurt you. Given the right opportunity, I would consider taking more assertive action to stop them and removing the threat altogether. However, such opportunities are wholly unlikely, so I’ll stick with making noise about taking control of how you use the Internet. I’ll agitate for a few folks — that tiny slice of humanity who feel drawn to my message — to take more assertive action with how they use their computers.
That’s what God has called me to do.