Welcome to the Torch Leadership Foundation’s Cross in Culture Podcast where we consider different perspectives on what is happening in our culture and apply a biblical worldview. I am your host, Daniel Whyte III. This is episode #28.
This episode is titled, Hearts of Darkness Exposed for All to See
The last couple of years have seen the rise of a disturbing, horrifying trend: murders, rapes, bullying, and beatings being broadcast live on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
In France this year, an ISIS sympathizer broadcast himself murdering a police officer and his girlfriend — and then, standing over their dead bodies, he debated what to do with their three-year-old child.
In Ohio, an eighteen-year-old girl has been charged with broadcasting the rape of a friend on Periscope. The prosecutor said the girl was “caught up in the likes” on the video and was “giggling and laughing” throughout.
In England, a group of young people beat up a middle-aged woman and then took selfies with her battered body.
In Chicago, the sexual assault of a teenage girl by several teenage boys was broadcast on Facebook. Most chillingly, nearly forty people watched the live stream and not one of them called police.
Thankfully, the documentation of these crimes often helps police find and arrest the perpetrators. But law enforcement and social media providers are scrambling to figure out how to stop criminal acts from being casually broadcast to audiences of potentially millions.
For decent people everywhere, the rise of broadcast crime is repulsive and disheartening. We would prefer to look away and pretend it doesn’t exist — or that it happens only in rare instances. But we can’t. Such crimes happen far more frequently than we hear about in the media. And the rise of social media only gives diabolically-minded individuals a platform that exposes their hearts of darkness for all to see. Media psychologist Pamela Rutledge said, “Social media is the new way of bragging for those who commit crimes to gain a sense of self-power or self-importance. The audience is larger now and, perhaps, more seductive to those who are committing antisocial acts to fill personal needs of self-aggrandizement.”
While the secular culture would have us to believe that people are basically good, broadcast crime only reinforces the Bible’s teaching that all men are sinners and that our hearts are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”
In the West, it is easy to be lulled into complacency over the human condition — especially if you live in a nice, quiet neighborhood where crime is indeed a rarity. But, behind the walls of every nice house is a desperately wicked sinner. This knowledge should spur us on to share the good news of the Saviour who came to rescue sinners from themselves and from eternal Hell. While Satan prowls the earth, inciting crime and violence, it is easy to wall ourselves in behind our churches and our circles of Christian friends. It is easy to look the other way and say, “That only happens to those other people.” It is easy to think that such sin is scarce. But it isn’t.
When he spoke about the desperate wickedness of the human heart, Jeremiah asked, “Who can know it?”
With crimes being broadcast on social media, now we can.
In closing, let me leave you with some Scripture and a quote to think about.
Psalm 140:1-3 says, “Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips.“
Galatians 1:4 says, “Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”
The British philosopher and political strategist John Stuart Mill said, “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to accomplish their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”
In light of what we have discussed today, I want to remind you that in our ever-changing world, there is one Person who never changes. That person is Jesus Christ. The Bible says that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is not subject to the whims of society or popular opinion. He has an unchanging, eternal love for you. If you do not know Him as your Savior, I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thank you for listening to this Torch Leadership Cross in Culture Podcast.
Visit us online at www.torchleadershipfoundation.com
Until we meet again, remember to keep Christ first in our ever-changing culture.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.