The Subtle Lure of Cultural Pressure

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, May 16, 2022, and this is Episode #20 of Series 2022. This episode is titled “The Subtle Lure of Cultural Pressure”.
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We’ve all heard of peer pressure. Our parents warned us against it. If we heeded our parents’ warnings, we avoided a lot of suffering. If we did not heed our parents’ warnings, we paid dire consequences, many of which may still be operative in our lives today. 

Well, peer pressure isn’t just something young people need to guard against. Peer pressure is a tactic that Satan uses throughout our lives. And, if we are not aware of it, we will end up in some serious trouble.

Peer pressure has a lot of different names. One of the most common today is “political correctness.”  To be politically correct is to go along with a culture’s political and social agenda. Just look around. So many people–even so-called Christians–have caved in to the anti-Biblical, political and social agenda that is being blatantly and brazenly proclaimed throughout our country and throughout the world. We are witnessing active and arrogant rebellion against God and His Word. Opposition to God’s commandments has run wild, with the result that lawlessness prevails and deception runs rampant. 

The Bible calls peer pressure and political correctness “the fear of man.” Take a look at Proverbs 29: 25: “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”  A snare is a trap. So, the Bible is saying that when we fear man –in other words, when we worry about what people think–we fall into a trap.

What kind of trap?

A trap that leads to death and destruction.

Isn’t that what we’re seeing around us?  Death in the form of abortion, infanticide, increase in homicides and suicides? And destruction in the form of drug addiction, alcoholism, domestic abuse, and child abuse? Are we not seeing looting, shoplifting, vandalism, attacks against our law enforcement officers?

Indeed, we are. Our country has gone crazy because we have allowed ourselves to be taken captive by social and cultural pressure. We have caved in as a nation to putting more stock in what others think than in what God thinks.

Are you giving in to the peer pressure of societal lies? Are you sliding down the slippery slope that leads to death and destruction? Are you opposing God and exalting yourself?

Yes, that’s what peer pressure ultimately does. It exalts the Self over God. And, bottom line, that’s what’s wrong with our culture today. We have become a society of mini-gods, each one doing his own thing, each one deciding for himself what’s true and not true. Each one establishing his own rule of moral conduct.

Relativism is the name of the game these days. My truth is my truth, and your truth is your truth.  Well, how far has that gotten us? It has led only to mass confusion, societal and family division, and a people who can no longer think straight.

I urge you to take a hard look at yourself.  Are you supporting a social agenda that violates God’s commandments? Yes, I’m talking about abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, euthanasia, greed, vandalism, looting and shoplifting, theft, homicide, crime, rebellion against authority, and hatred among people?  All of these things are contrary to God’s design for our lives. God will bring severe judgment on those who do not forsake their sin and repent.

What about you? Do you love the praise of men more than the praise of God? If so, you will never see the Kingdom of God. Are you willing to take such an eternal risk? Do you want to spend eternity–that’s forever–separated from God and tormented in Hell? Is the approval of others more important to you than the approval of God? If so, you are in grave spiritual danger.

My friend, I pray that you take this message seriously. 

Years ago, I heard a quote that has stuck with me. It is this: “Observe the masses and do the opposite.”  The crowd is heading in the wrong direction. If you want to be safe, don’t follow the crowd. Go in the opposite direction. 

Jesus said this in Matthew 7: 14: “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Do you want to be one of those few who find the way to life? If so, you must do things God’s way. For only His way leads to life.

The first step on the road to life is to accept Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord. He desires a personal relationship with you. Won’t you accept his invitation?

If you do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I urge you to establish one now. All you need to do is to repent of your sin, ask Jesus to forgive you, and invite him into your life. Please pray this simple prayer after me:

Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner. I admit that I have been going the wrong way, my own way and not your way. I recognize that my sin put You on that Cross where You died for me. So, I repent of my sin, I turn away from it, and I ask You to forgive me. I invite You into my life now. I receive You now as my Savior and my Lord. Thank You for saving me. Make me what You created me to be. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, welcome to God’s family! Please write down today’s date. It is your spiritual birthday. And please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a free PDF booklet titled After You’re Born Again. This booklet will help you to get started in your walk with Jesus.

I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He teaches you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers. It is critically important in these last days to fellowship with other believers who are mature in Christ and who can guide you as you grow in Him.

If you did not pray this prayer with me, please reconsider. Jesus Christ is coming back soon to remove from the earth all those who follow Him. The rest of the world’s population will be left behind and will face the most horrific time in human history under the dictatorship of the AntiChrist. If you do not believe me, do your own research. 

Thousands of years ago, the Bible predicted exactly what is happening in our world today. Everything is coming to pass exactly as the Bible predicted. The Bible has never been wrong. I have been following Jesus for 52 wonderful years, and He has never failed me. Nor will he ever fail you if you choose to follow Him. 

I urge you: Follow Jesus Christ. Accept Him into your life. He is the only way to be saved.

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Until next time, remember that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word!
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THE DEADLY TRAP OF TOLERANCE

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23

Would you consider yourself a tolerant person? We tend to define “tolerance” as being broadminded, open to the opinions of others, willing to embrace ideas different from our own. In today’s society, this is looked upon as a good thing—the sign of an intelligent person on the cutting edge of culture. 

But is it, really?

When I look at Jesus in the Bible, I don’t see much tolerance. On the contrary, I see quite a bit of intolerance. For example, Jesus had zero tolerance toward sin (1 Corinthians 15: 34). Zero tolerance about the way to be saved (John 14: 6; Acts 4: 12). Zero tolerance toward the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23: 25).

So, why is it that the Church as a whole champions tolerance? Have we succumbed to the ways of the world, to our peril?

I would like to posit that the Church as a whole champions tolerance for the following reasons:

1–The Church does not know the Word of God. Many, if not most, Christians get their knowledge of the Word only from their pastor’s Sunday morning sermon. To know the Word of God requires daily and diligent study on one’s own, including meditation and memorization of the Word. We must hide the Word in our hearts so that we will not sin against God (Psalm 119: 11) and so that we will make wise decisions (Psalm 119: 105).

2–The Church does not obey the Word of God. If the Church does not know the Word of God, how can the Church obey the Word of God? We cannot obey what we do not know. Obedience is the bedrock of the Christian life. We must not only hear the Word; we must also obey the Word (James 1: 22). Otherwise, we will deceive ourselves (ibid.).

3–The Church does not truly love God. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey Him (John 14: 15).  But how many of us are truly obeying the Lord’s every commandment? And if we don’t know what His Word says, we won’t know what to obey. Hence, we will disobey, even if it is out of ignorance. But this is no excuse.

While there is a place for tolerance in the sense of give-and-take in a relationship and in bearing one another’s burdens, there is no place for tolerance when it comes to following the narrow way of Christ.  In Romans 12: 2, Jesus warned us against conforming to the ways of the world. One such way is the way of tolerance.

Don’t be caught in its deadly trap!

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  Are you caught in the deadly trap of tolerance? How will you get out? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

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Are You a PC Christian?

How can you tell?

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Are you a PC Christian? And I don’t mean one who uses a Personal Computer. 🙂

I’m talking about Political Correctness. The Online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines political correctness as follows:

  1. agreeing with the idea that people should be careful not to use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.
  2. conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated.
Interestingly, when I searched for the definition of political correctness in Webster’s original dictionary–called Noah Webster’s Dictionary and published in 1828–I could not find the term.  Nor was I surprised. Although some people throughout the centuries have been afraid to offend others, this fear is particularly pronounced in our day when speaking out could cost us our livelihood, our reputation, and–yes–even our very lives.
 

Stop Sign Asking For The End Of Political Correctness

So, my question to you is Are you a politically correct Christian? How can you tell? 
 
Here are a few signs that you may be a politically correct Christian:

1-Are you afraid of telling family and friends about their need to be born again because you are afraid of alienating them or of angering them or, worst of all, of losing your relationship with them? Are you afraid of sharing the Gospel with your co-workers because you may lose your job?  Are you afraid of telling strangers about Jesus because they might think you’re weird? If so, listen to what the Word says about that attitude in 2 Timothy 4: 2: “Be ready to spread the word whether or not the time is right. Point out errors, warn people, and encourage them. Be very patient when you teach.” 

We are commanded to spread the Word whether or not the time is right. We are to warn people and encourage them to pursue a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. How many of us are doing that every day of our lives? If not, why not?

2-Are you afraid to stand up for what is right when the whole world is against you? For example, are you speaking out against abortion, homosexuality, and transgenderism? Are you speaking out against adultery, fornication, and co-habitation before marriage? Are you speaking out against all sin, no matter what it is?

Or are you keeping your mouth shut because you’ve been deceived into believing that what other people do is none of your business? Well, it is your business. And mine. Why? Because if we allow evil to advance unrestrained in our culture, we will, in essence, allow our country to collapse. We will, in essence, be a willing and knowing participant in bringing about the downfall of civilization as we know it.  We will, in essence, leave a legacy of destruction, defeat, and despair to our children and grandchildren.

3-Are you afraid of being ridiculed and called a religious fanatic? A crazy, right-wing conservative? An intolerant bigot? If you stand up for Jesus, you will be called all of those things, and more. So be prepared. Those who pride themselves on being tolerant are tolerant only as long as one agrees with their lies. If anyone disagrees with, or, worse yet, outright opposes them in their lies, their tolerance soon turns to terrorism. Eventually, it will turn to tyranny of the worst political kind. We are seeing the beginnings of this even now.

In talking about the end times–and I believe we are in them–Jesus said that many would be offended upon hearing the Gospel: “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another” (Matthew 24: 10).  So why are we surprised that this is, indeed, happening?  The Cross of Christ offends all those who refuse to believe in Him. Consider what the Apostle Paul said; “If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended.”

Another term for political correctness is the fear of man. Proverbs 29: 25 says this about the fear of man: The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in and puts his confidence in the Lord will be exalted and safe.  In Isaiah 51: 12, the LORD says this: “I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear?

As the days grow darker, let us remember this promise found in Psalm 118: 6: The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?
Purpose in your heart now that you will stand up for Jesus. Then, when persecution comes–as it surely will in one way or another–you will be prepared to face it boldly and without fear.

YOUR TURN: Have you been persecuted for your stand for Jesus? If so, please share your experience with us.

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The Great Deception

Are You Being Deceived?

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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If you are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, you will know that a great pall of deception has covered the earth.  Indeed, I believe that Satan has unleashed a multitude of spirits of deception in a last-ditch attempt to capture souls for his dark kingdom.

A bold, bright gold "TRUTH" arises from a gray background consisting of the word "LIES" repeated many times a different depths.

Signs of this deception abound for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear:

1) Insanity has infiltrated the thinking of our culture. What is right is now considered wrong; what is wrong is now considered right.

2) Lawlessness abounds and few are doing anything to prevent it. Consider the New Year’s Eve assault on women in Germany.

3) Poltical correctness has generated cowardice because of fear of retribution. Our nation has lost its spine.

What are we to do? We are to advance the Kingdom of God with courage, boldness, and love. We are to take a stand for righteousness at every opportunity. We are to speak the truth in love, fearlessly and with great concern for the salvation of souls.

To do this, ask yourself these questions:

1) Am I being deceived in any way? Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you any areas of your thinking in which you are being deceived. Then repent of the deception, renounce it, and replace it with the truth found in God’s Word.

2) Am I deepening my relationship with Jesus Christ? Only Jesus–Who is Truth–can keep us from deception. The closer you are to Jesus, the less you will be deceived. 

3) Speak out when you see deception and enforce the truth. Remember the Lord’s words to Jeremiah: “Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1: 8).

Our culture is captive to Satan because it has believed its lies. Only the truth can set our culture free (John 8:32).

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