To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is square.1964, Paul Harvey
In 1964, Paul Harvey published and recorded his now famous short essay entitled “If I were the Devil.” The essay began as a written piece in his news column, then over time, it evolved into a couple different versions that were both printed and aired as a part of his radio show in 1996. Needless to say, many who heard or read it then, later realized the relevance of the essay and some even heralded it as “prophetic.”
It may have been, but I think in many cases, the modern Christian movement has confused “prophecy” for intelligent predictive analysis, a skill used daily by intelligence, law enforcement and defense professionals around the globe. That’s not to say that God is not at work today and that many Biblical prophecies are not unfolding right before our eyes. Some might say that we are living in the “last days.” I’m not really sure, but the path we are on now might tell us more about the answer, as we journey toward Authentic.
So whether Paul Harvey was prophetic, or he just intelligently interpreted the signs of the times, it’s fair to say, he nailed it. 56 years later, we are living in a full-color screen play that looks identical to his now-famous essay. In that spirit, let’s look at a matter or two that I’ve written on over the last few years concerning the global contagion of social media and the viral spread of social platforms and technology.
Born into War
But first, why the title, “Born into War?” Well, because that’s pretty much how I see the world these days. I was born the year Harvey wrote that essay and it bothers me to some degree that my generation got stuck with the decisions of the generations before us. They called them the “Greatest Generation.” But, I’d call them the generation that didn’t pay attention to the money they were spending, the children they were raising, and the culture of rebellion they were creating. That wasn’t a shot across the bow of our parents or their parents. Unfortunately, it’s the truth.
How different does that description sound from the very things we say today about the Millennials and Gen-X? Well? Consider my friends and I grew up in the middle of the Vietnam War, right on the heels of the Korean War. Recreational drug use skyrocketed alongside the sexual revolution. All the while, the parents of the rebellion scratched their heads wondering why their children were doing the things they were doing and disgracing their memories. You’ll see in a minute that those times were not so different than the times we currently live in, and the parents of today can be seen scratching their heads and wondering what’s going on with their children as well. But, there’s a lot more to the story, as Paul Harvey might have said, or as he did say in his work.
During the 60’s, racism had set the country on fire as the civil rights movement struggled to gain ground. Then, there was Roe v. Wade in 1970 that has now become responsible for millions of lives lost because people’s perceived “right” to do as they please, without regard for the life they created or the effects on millions of women who now struggle with emotional disorders from their “choices.” Millions of families were torn apart by promiscuous behavior and divorce became a popular “solution” for many.
Divorce destroyed my childhood and family and set my own life on a course of uncertainty and fear. I was a kid trying to make sense of all of it while riding a school bus to downtown because “someone” said it would help racial relations. We didn’t even know what “they” were talking about. Who was “They,” and what right did “They” have to make decisions about my well-being? And then, the war on men by women began… you get the picture. I was angry and confused. We were all angry and confused. But, my life changed. I found a secret road map that changed everything!
Journey with me as I take you along a ridge-line looking down into the Valley of Baca (Valley of weeping – or valley lacking water). I think you’ll see that the days and times of my parents were not so different from today. Maybe, together, we’ll realize that in Solomon’s words, there’s really nothing new under the sun.
In 1979, I was standing in a stairwell when my pastor at the time shared his concerns about me being perceived as a “Jesus Freak.” LOL! My life has been full of pain and struggle. Yet, in the midst of it all, I have found a God that is faithful and through the 40 years He has walked with me, He has never a single time caused me to doubt His ability to come through when I needed Him most. Walk with me a little ways…
So yeah, I guess it’s probably fair to say that I was born into war. A time of war and struggle in the United States and around the free world. Our country has been at war more than not throughout my lifetime. It only made sense that I would pursue a career in Justice and intelligence, and develop a determination to study and understand conflict and why we war against one another. While the book of James in the Bible is clear on why we war (See James 4:1, Any version), it seems like it might be worth taking a look at some of the forces surrounding what might be happening as we fall to our own snares rooted in the hearts of men. We are indeed our own worst enemy. Yet, it seems, there is more.
If I Were the Devil’s War Planner
If I were the devil’s war planner, I would have been concerned about news articles like that one written by Harvey in 1964, or more so by books written by Lewis & Peretti, designed to expose my master’s strategy and methods of operation. I’d be considering ways to cash in on the dividends of the post-modern era and convince the masses that right is wrong, wrong is right, and there is no such thing as absolute Truth. I’d wage a deception campaign rivaled by none, that would convince the masses that there is no devil and that the Church can thrive by making itself more like the world. I’d whisper into the ears of church leaders that the people need to be entertained. Well, it worked in Rome, at least for a while, before that great empire fell to it’s hedonistic need for self-aggrandizement.
If I were the devil’s war planner, once I had the masses convinced that each individual had the right to determine his/her own morals and values, and no person had the right to judge another, I’d send my brightest and best dark angels to work along side those scientists working in the defense and intelligence industries. I’d leak out the collaborative designs for social experimentation in networking and behavior management and make sure these ideas were surfaced by idealistic and immoral college students. Platoon after platoon of my special troops would deploy around the world to encourage primarily young people to embrace on-line community and get them excited about the possibilities of moving information so fast that the old folks couldn’t keep up.
If I were the devil’s war planner, I’d launch a campaign of social enlightenment that allowed for every individual to become an expert. They could hide behind an on-line personality and continue to bolster their identity and self-awareness through confirmation bias and force-multiply their personal interests through emotional group think. Whether they were right or wrong would no longer matter. As my generals captured and contained global cultures around the world, I would have additional social technologies arise that could diffuse any efforts by those savvy to my plans. Before anyone was the wiser, I’d have the majority of mankind, at least in terms of the free-world, entangled in my web of chaos and confusion. I’d leave just enough perception that each individual was free to choose and speak as they please, to keep the intelligent and morally anchored folks believing they could have their own private agendas within my social networks.
Once chaos was adequately spreading as a contagion, I would launch my greatest strategy against the Church and in the face of the conservative movements across the United States and Europe. I would manipulate church leaders who had already bought into my entertainment plans by providing them free solutions to mass produce and push their individual agendas. By social and video platforms, I would convince them all that they needed an on-line strategy to keep up with the rest of the world. If I were the devil’s war planner, I would have my cyber teams engaged immediately in creating such division that it wouldn’t matter if it was Republicans and Democrats, or Catholics and Protestants, neither would be able to connect on ideology because their emotional states would be so out of balance, that doctrine, plans and agendas would never see the light of day.
If I were the devil’s war planner, I would have been working for years to slowly surface global disruptions like terrorism and global pandemics. “Accidents” and natural disasters would become suspicious and the emotional tailspins resulting from mass pandemonium would continue to turn brother against brother. An individual’s ability to remain rational will have been stripped through social culture and manipulation and nations like the United States would begin to waver in her ability to lead.
As the chaotic days unfolded over about a decade, I would send my generals out to finish the job by exploiting all of mankind now entangled in my social webs. I’d do this by capturing identities and relevant information that I would later use for other purposes designed to compromise them morally, financially and politically. I’d use all of my free solutions to manipulate them into moral and ethical compromise and lure them deeper into my traps like pornography, gambling and substance abuse. I’d move them along the lines of human trafficking so they wouldn’t even know they were supporting my efforts by their use of my networks. My spies would work diligently to compromise their emotional states on-line so they would be willing to say and do things they would never have done before they signed up for my plans.
If I were the devil’s war planner, I would prepare the United States to become non-relevant on the world stage by dividing the Church and using my social media strategies to keep them bound to emotional decision making and compromise. A global crisis would be all that was needed to send the Church into remission and essentially destroy her ability to remain as that light on the hill that all who followed my master so defiantly hate. A natural crisis and a series of crises designed to even further separate individuals and families would be the final blow. An economic downturn of cataclysmic proportions would eventually collapse the free world’s ability to resist my boss’s ability to create unprecedented division and divisiveness among peoples and nations. A hush would spread over the earth before these birth-pangs began to tremor under the feet of those who at one time stood with torch in hand.
If I were the devil’s war planner, these would be the plans that I would use to topple the kingdoms of the earth that presented any level of resistance. It would be the beginning of the end of a time when men looked to God and God protected them. My master’s kingdom would be on the brink of global domination with a pre-wired network ready for use at any given moment. All the peoples of the earth would be given the technology they need to hear my master’s voice and to connect when we need them.
Since I convinced them not to pay close attention to my efforts and to generally disbelieve in a real devil, my job will have been nearly completed. The stage will have been set and the battlefronts prepared. What the sons of men once knew as unity, they now know as brokenness and dissension. If I were the devil’s war planner, I would have unveiled social media, captured the masses through social addiction, confused the battlefronts of truth and rational thought, and destroyed any remnant of social harmony between opposing views. If I were the devil’s war planner, I would have already accomplished these tasks and had my generals aligning state sponsored conflicts to realign the global landscape for the coming days.
If I were the devil’s war planner, I would be standing in front of my boss today and saying, “Sir, we’ve accomplished our mission. Now it’s time for – the rest of the story.”