Digital material and the mark of the beast

In the 1970’s we began to understand how the government and companies could control money through credit cards.

In the 1980’s and beyond, credit cards continued to gain popularity along with debit cards and on line banking.

In the 1990’s we were introduced to the internet and growing dependency on computers.

2000 brought more technology and more eyes and ears on everything we do by companies and governments.

Beyond the obvious issues of a cashless society and constant surveillance, let’s look at another angle of “end times”.

I love the digital world.  It is convenient and life changing.  I use a lap top, wireless internet, digital download music, Kindle (it goes everywhere with me), online Bible, dictionaries, encyclopedias, Skype, oh and yes I still use email.   I am not negative on any of this but there is a danger – we don’t control any of it.

In the 1930’s and ’40’s Hitler confiscated personal possessions from the Jews.   They had to go door to door to remove items from homes.  The Communists did the same thing in the 40’s and beyond.  Books and possessions can be stolen and burned but they can also be hidden.  They also need to be physically removed house by house.

In the digital age, everything and I mean everything can be turned off.  I was reminded lately that I don’t “own” the several hundred books that I “bought” on my Kindle.  I don’t “own” the music on Spotify or itunes.  I don’t own the material I write on here, on Twitter, Facebook, or even material that is published on Amazon.   All of that can be turned off by someone else for any reason at anytime.

If you don’t believe it, read the small fine print.  Even if it is turned off unintentionally, there is a fight to get it turned back on.  At this point in history, it is normally a technology glitch but read on:

Most of us consider Facebook and Twitter friendly social sites where we share pictures and comment on our lives. They have been fabulous tools to stay connected with people all around the world.  What happens when the social sites really don’t like what we say?  Will they shut us down?  Do they monitor what is said?  At what point will acceptance turn?

Recently a popular columnist posted comments about the Rancher Cliven Bundy in Nevada that upset the Facebook monitors.  The monitors not only deleted his post but also froze his daily Bible verse posts and his entire site.

“We removed something your page posted,” Facebook told him in a rather unpleasant message. “We removed the post below because it doesn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards.”  This same columnist has been censored for posting about Chick Filet, God, the Bible, Paula Deen, the National Rifle Association and more.

Shocked?  Don’t be.  Facebook and other internet sites are private companies that can permit or ban behavior that they deem inappropriate.  One night I thought it would be fun to connect with all the “Brian Fulmers” on Facebook.  Facebook didn’t think it was fun and promptly stopped me from asking anyone to be a friend for weeks.

We often think of censorship in terms of porn, obscene language, violence and religion.  We now need to think about political correctness and the new societal norm.   By living under digital control, we have assigned “monitors” to everything we say, do, write, listen to, and share.   I can whisper to my neighbor that I don’t approve of _______ but if I “post” it I am in danger of censorship.

What are the rules to “Community Standard”?  Who is monitoring the monitors?  I know what you are thinking – it is good that there are rules for appropriate behavior.  Well, sorry, you can post the following (you may want to close your eyes) since the Facebook monitors feel they are appropriate:

“F*** Conservatives”

“F*** Mitt Romney”

“Tea Party Can Kiss My A**”

“Rush Limbaugh is an Abject A******”

The most shocking and disturbing is a site on Facebook called A.R.A.B. – Ann Romney’s Amputated Breast.  

Facebook is not the only company to push their agenda.  Amazon has censored right wing material while the national media is constantly making their positions known.

What can start with publishing posts can certainly lead to a general shut down of readership and use as well.  We know that these companies monitor everything we do so it won’t be hard for them to hit a kill switch on anyone  who strays to far from the “common good”.

We began to see how the “mark of the beast” could control us in the 70’s.  It is now becoming more and more evident as we develop the grid in every corner of our lives.  If I need to run to the mountains some night, I will make sure to bring my actual Bible and leave my Kindle, cell phone, and lap top behind.

PS: I hope WordPress doesn’t censor this!

Revelation 13:17

so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

666

 

 

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