by Todd Strandberg
God built into all of His creation the survival instinct. Nature employs
distinctive self-defense measures when threatened. This
self-protection became necessary, particularly after the fall in the
Garden of Eden, when sin entered the world and death resulted. Man, the
creature God gave the ability to reason, has throughout the centuries
devised ingenious defensive methodologies.
For example, before the days of electronic sensors, coal miners took
canaries into the mines with them to signal when the air became
filled with poisonous gas. The respiratory system of a canary is more sensitive than that of a human, so they knew that if the bird stopped singing or suddenly dropped
dead, it was time to rush to the nearest exit.
Throughout the Church Age, Christians have acted as moral canaries. When
society has become contaminated with high levels of sin, Church
leaders have stood up and warned the nation to turn away from these various toxins.
In recent years, however, something strange has happened. Continual exposure to the
deadly evils that poison society has caused the Christian "canaries" to
build up resistance. They have slowly developed immunity to the toxins
that permeate society. Because apathy is so prevalent, it is no longer
safe to use the views of the average Christian as a gauge of morality. As humanity heads down the road to perdition, we must use Scripture to determine the danger level.
Below are nine common societal toxins that we believe illustrate the
extent of depravity in our culture today. Listed with them are
Scriptural references that provide positive proof of their hazardous
Toxin #1 - Michael Jackson Pedophilia Jokes
Singer Michael Jackson's bizarre lifestyle has made him the butt of jokes
by the late night comedians. When Jackson became embroiled in
allegations of child sexual abuse, the late night troupe started
poking fun at the abominable activity. Making light of such a
horrendous act is a terrible reflection on our society. We have, as a
society, spiraled downward to the cesspool level since pedophilia is now
considered fodder for entertainment.
We searched several archive sites to show you folks a few examples of the debauched nature of the public airways and cable programs. The jokes, though funny, are an indication of how toxic our society has become:
"After turning himself in yesterday, Michael Jackson was placed in handcuffs. I think he helped his case when he asked 'These are neat, do they come in smaller sizes?" - Jay Leno
The saddest part of this Michael Jackson scandal is that all of this could have been avoided if he just stuck to grabbing his own crotch." - Craig Kilborn
"I guess they got Michael on that new law "3 tykes and you're out." - Jay Leno
"Michael Jackson was arrested yesterday. According to the Santa Barbara Police, Michael Jackson is 5'11 and only weighs 120 pounds. Michael is able to keep his weight down because he only orders off the children's menu." - Conan O'Brien
"Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to
sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual
lust for more" (Eph. 4:19).
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold"
Toxin #2 - Radio Shock Jocks
Radio personalities that are commonly known as "shock jocks" have for some
time now been cheerleaders of moral decay. They make their living by
pushing the limits of acceptable behavior and appealing to juvenile-minded audiences.
These programs are extremely popular. When we
consider they are mostly based on outrageous sex-oriented banter, it
speaks volumes about the debased tastes of today's society.
For many years men like Howard Stern have been playing cat-and-mouse
games with the Federal Communications Commission, the agency whose job
is to enforce broadcast decency standards. Stern claims his show is
protected by the First Amendment through the freedoms of speech and
The FCC has mostly been a toothless lion. Although the commission has fined Stern for
violating its guidelines, the penalties have been only a few thousand
dollars. Considering that talk radio is a multi-billion dollar
industry, these token fines do little to influence the behavior of
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For
men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural
affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers
of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures
more than lovers of God" (2 Tim. 3:1-4).
Toxin #3 - Prosperity Preachers
Television, radio, and the internet are wonderful tools that can be used
to reach millions of people with the Gospel message. It can also be used
by some unscrupulous preachers for personal enrichment.
At one time, it was considered shameful for a minister to own a home that could be
categorized as a mansion. The act of joining the clergy implied an
abandonment of earthly wealth. Today, it is considered a sin within the
prosperity give-to-get movement not to seek affluence. The
wealth of some preachers can be measured by how many mansions they own.
The NBC program "Dateline" once reported on one well-known
preacher who had homes in Florida, Texas, and California.
There is one network that specializes in the gospel of money. You can
flip to it anytime of the day and find someone talking about
the Bible as a source of prosperity. Agreed, the Bible does not say we
should take a vow of poverty. When we realize that many prosperity
preachers spend 100 percent of their time on the subject of money, however, we Christians should discern that error has crept into their message.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but
after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having
itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and
shall be turned unto fables" (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
Toxin #4 - Gay Marriage
There are a lot of sins that the Bible does not mention. We know they
are included in God's Word, however, because they are covered by more
general guidelines. When it comes to homosexuality there can be no
mistake: the Word of God repeatedly condemns this sin as a wicked act.
God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has long been a standard for
gauging the toxicity of homosexuality. Once a civilization decides to
accept so-called alternative lifestyles, we can pretty much write
that society or culture off as doomed. In America's case, we seem
to have taken the extra step of embracing homosexuality.
Several mainline denominations have reached the point of openly
endorsing the practice of gay marriage. The fact that they are able to
ignore such clear guidance on the subject is a solemn indication of how
these so-called Christian organizations have shifted off of their moral
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination"
"Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to
sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They
exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created
things rather than the Creator who is praised forever amen. Because of
this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged
natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also
abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for
one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in
themselves the due penalty for their perversion" (Rom. 1:24-27).
Toxin #5 - Girls Gone Wild
At one time the only way for people to get their hands on pornographic
video tapes was to buy them at adult bookstores or order them through
sleazy catalogs. Today a porn video called "Girls Gone
Wild" is being advertised on prime time TV.
The people peddling this smut use a subtle approach to market this video. They present it as a film showing examples of girls just having a good time. The nudity is but a byproduct of the merriment.
Terry had a sales call from these peddlers. "We will send you videos of naked girls having fun," the salesman told him. "Wouldn't you like to see that--for free?"
Terry grabbed the chance to share the saving message of Christ; he told the salesman he
should know Jesus. The young man said he did know Jesus, to which Terry
said: "You don't act like you know Him, when you offer pornography." The
salesman ended the conversation by asking Terry to pray for him, which
Terry, of course, has continued to do since.
Point is: Christians must confront Satan's subtle--and not so subtle--
attempts to force feed people the toxic sins of this fallen world. We
must sound the alarm whenever possible.
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for
God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Heb. 13:4).
Toxin #6 - "Plain Old Vanilla Sex"
Pornography has always been in violation of many laws that set the moral
code for society. If it weren't for the court system's unwillingness to
enforce clear legal guidelines, we would not have a $10 billion-a-year
Over the years many smut peddlers have gained a strong foothold in the
general culture. Hugh Hefner's Playboy empire is widely regarded as
being as wholesome as apple pie. The typical biography of Hefner shows
the narrator commenting about how enviable it is for a gray-haired,
73-year-old man to be constantly pawed over in a Beverly Hills mansion
by an endless stream of nude or semi-nude models.
Larry Flynt, who founded Hustler magazine, recently noted how his operation has become tame by current standards. He said in an interview, "We deal in plain old vanilla sex. Nothing really outrageous." As long the taxes are paid and the "talent" is over 18, Flynt doesn't expect any trouble from the feds.
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for
light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for
bitter!" (Isa. 5:20).
Toxin #7 - Apostasy in the Church
The Bible indicates that one of the major signs of the end times will be
apostasy in the church. It is doubtful that the spiritual darkness will
be confined to one region of the world. Because Europe appears to be in
a more advanced state of apostasy, it seems beneficial to the rest of
the world to be mindful of what has happened to the European church.
As it currently stands, the number of people in Europe who actually
practice their faith has declined to the lower single digits. The dismal
statistic shows up in the number of people who visit Rapture Ready.
Great Britain has a population 15 times the size of Australia, and yet there are more people who visit the site from Australia
than from the United Kingdom.
The fact that so few American Christians are concerned about the state
of the Church in Europe is one sign that we in the U.S. are not too far
behind that ever-darkening area of the world out of which our nation
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first" (2 Thess. 2:3).
Toxin #8 -Anti-Semitism Infects World
Anti-Semitism is on the rise, especially in Great Britain and
Germany. This is not simply inferred from news accounts. We have recent,
first-hand accounts from people who are citizens of and live in
England, and have reason to observe the growing hatred for Jews. The
sources of our information are, themselves, Jews.
Jesus came in the flesh - Jewish flesh. He was, is, and will forever be
the God-man out of the Jewish people. There is a great movement to deny
the Jews are the chosen people. Even evangelical churches are preaching
and teaching that the Church has replaced Israel in God's great plan for
Prophecy says anti-Semitism infection will spread, until all the world
turns against Israel. Antichrist will be the ultimate persecutor of the
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are
of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby
know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus
Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth
not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is
that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come;
and even now already is it in the world" (1 John 4:1-3).
"The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which
stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth,
and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem
a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be
in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day
will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden
themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people
of the earth be gathered together against it" (Zech. 12:1-3).
Toxin #9 - Prophetic Fulfillment
Most evangelical Christians have always had a positive view of Bible
prophecy. The common belief is that the nearer we draw to the
tribulation hour, the closer we are to the day we will be raptured into
the presence of the Lord.
What gets lost in the optimistic view of the end times is the fact that
the fulfillment of prophecy is actually a deadly thing for the people
who remain unsaved. These people will obviously be left behind, and will
face near-certain doom when the wrath of God is revealed.
As it becomes more manifest that time is short, Christian should be
doubling their efforts to reach out to people who remain in spiritual
"Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce
anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it" (Isa. 13:9).
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to
escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the
Son of man" (Luke 21:36).