Everyone is amazed at the way the modern communication skills have been developed all over the world. We are spell-bound at the speed at which the humans communicate one another. There is hardly anyone now without a mobile phone, hardly anyone without a piece of news paper in hand, hardly anyone without a T.V set or internet. It is amazing to watch how over a space of twenty years or so, we enter into Facebook, a world of wonder and bewilderment.
But history has taught that any discovery has its both effects: good and evil, positive and negative. History is a lesson for us. Think of the recent nuclear development for clean energy and atomic weapons? What is happening now at the Japanese islands? How many thousands of people lost their lives and still live in the nightmare of the tragedy that is inescapable?
Increase of Evil/knowledge
When we turn to the Bible, we know its predictions being fulfilled in our own life-time: “Knowledge shall increase” (Dan. 12:4). But in the Septuagint, it is not ‘knowledge,’ but “evil shall increase” in the world, a statement which is in tune with what Mathew 24:12 says: “Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold.” And according to the writings of St. Paul, the work of the devil is a ‘mystery’ that none can comprehend properly (2 Thess. 2:7).
We are just baffled in front of this mystery as it is being unfolded to us recently. And so, some even may ‘faint’ at the sight of it (Lk. 21:26); and the disclosure of this information is given ‘privately’ to the disciples (Mt. 24:3). It seems to many that ‘these are days of vengeance’ (Lk. 21:22). The term ‘faint’ hinges around the human minds that would be constantly expiring with tremors or ‘stop breathing.’ None of us want a type of panic created about the appalling events yet to take place.
Proliferation of shamelessness
We know from history that our mother earth cannot stomach certain iniquities and abominations committed upon her face; and so she begins to ‘vomit out her inhabitants’ through various ways and means (Lev. 18:25). One might probe into those abominations and ask: “what are those iniquities intolerable to the mother earth?” Perhaps they are the blatant crimes and immoral practices of various magnitudes mentioned in the pages of the Bible.
The book of Leviticus describes about the perverse proliferations of shameless acts such as lesbianism, homosexuality, gay-unions, bestiality etc. (Lev. 18:6-23). According to St. Paul, those who practice such abominable things invite the ‘wrath of God’ upon themselves and ‘receive the due penalties’ in their bodies for such deeds (Rom. 1:18,27). Pope Benedict XVI calls such current mentality as ‘the trivialization of the human body and sexual differentiation’ which invariably causes ‘widespread confusion in the sphere of affectivity.’
What was once limited to the bed-chamber is now displayed in every street corner and paraded in every garden park of the city? Privacy and the sense of shame is now lost to the human mind. “Their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things” (Phil.3:19). A shameless deed repeated a thousand times becomes a norm of today! And one loses the sense of shame and moral sensitivity. “They have lost all sensitivity (apelgeo) and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity” (Eph. 4:19).
The word apelgeo implies ‘to feel no more pain at something’ or ‘to be dead or benumb to any feeling’ whatsoever, ‘to be callous’ or ‘despondent.’ Abnormal things become normal and normal becomes to them abnormal. What a paradox of life! Here some become ‘totally insensitive’ and benumb and ‘unconscious’ especially of the sense of shame in life. They ‘do not know that they are naked’ (Rev. 3:17).
At times still worse, they are ‘bold’ and courageous to parade their shamelessness. “The wicked put on a bold face” and a “brazen face” (Pro 21:29). And prophet Isaiah says that “they proclaim their sins like Sodom, they do not hide it” (Is 3:9). And most of our youth, die in shamelessness: “They die in youth, and their life ends up among the prostitutes” (Job 36:14).
Source of the problem
If you dare to probe into the source of certain shame deeds, we cannot but to arrive at the ‘mouth of the beast’ who indulges in misleading the fragile, the un-enlightened and the un informed minds. What does the Bible mean by the clause “mouth of the beast?” And how do we counteract and conquer them? This alone is the heart of the matter!
The unclean sprits (in the media) in the world have their origin from a monster being known as the ‘beast’ that God has allowed to function for a while during its allotted period of time. All those immoral acts and immodesty have their origin in the mouth of the dragon, the ancient serpent, the deceiver of the whole world. “I saw issuing from 1. the mouth of the dragon, 2. and the mouth of the beast and 3. from the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean sprits, performing signs” (Rev. 16:13).
As we all know that our “mouth” is the main means of our communication. Now our mass communication is somehow polluted and pilfered by the ancient dragon, the beast and their false prophets. The ‘mouth’ signifies the media of today, which has a negative bearing upon the young minds. The unclean sprit has a natural tendency to ‘go after different flesh after flesh and to get due penalty for it (Jude 7) in its own body. What would be the apt medicine for HIV and AIDS? Is it not to restrain oneself and the have self-control? “Who will pity a snake-charmer bitten by a serpent? So no one will pity a man/woman who associates with a sinner and becomes involved in his/her sins” (Sir. 12: 13-14).
Satan plans very carefully without coming into light. We have to confront him. What would be the right remedy to counteract the three fold negative “communications” (the mouth of the dragon, the mouth of the beast and the mouth of the false prophet) of the enemy of our life?
A mouth has to be contradicted by another mouth. The divine mouth of the Lord Jesus who issues a ‘sharp sword’ (Rev. 1:16) must alone be able to counteract the mouth of the three malevolent enemies. On the mount of the beatitudes, Jesus sat down with his disciples and he ‘opened his mouth and taught them’ (Mt. 5:2). And man/woman ‘shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4). Jesus is the ‘mouth of God’ for us now.
In our spiritual battle against the ‘mouth of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, the Word of God, and to take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). May God grant to us His servants ‘the sharp sword of mouth’ to defeat the evil ones and the defend our flock from the menace of the media.
– – – written by Fr. J. Eapan SDB