Trust Fall ∙
Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.
– Matthew 24:12
Ecclesiastes 8:11 When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.
2 Timothy 3:12-14
12 Indeed, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
13 But evil people and impostors will go from bad to worse. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.
In the 21st century, there has been a significant decline in trust. It has been labeled a universal Trust Fall. This loss of trust is not exclusive to any particular social class within society. The two major institutions that have experienced the most significant decline in trust are the government and the media. How ironic that the government is tasked with making changes while the media often acts as its cheerleader.
For a society to operate effectively, social trust is crucial. This refers to the belief that other individuals will behave the way they are expected to, for the most part. Webster defines trust as assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. Social trust is having confidence in the individuals that make up a community. Ed Batista developed a simple formula for trust.
Trust = Motive + Reliability + Competence
Throughout most of the 20th century, Americans demonstrated significant confidence in their institutions. In 1964, for example, a pinnacle was reached when 77% of Americans expressed their trust in the federal government to carry out the right decisions most of the time. However, after numerous ethical failures and moral convulsions, just three decades later, in 1994, that number had plummeted to a mere 20%.
Something catastrophic occurred in the 21st century: the Trust Fall transformed into Explosive Distrust. Explosive Distrust is not simply a lack of trust or apathetic detachment. Instead, it involves hostile animosity and a desire to destroy. Those who experience Explosive Distrust believe that anyone who opposes their viewpoints is not just incorrect; they lack legitimacy (Linda Huang, The Atlantic).
Distrust sows distrust. The distrust mindset is considered a spiritual state that has been dubbed anomie. Anomie involves the erosion of standards and values. An erosion of social bonds between an individual and the community results in a sense of disconnection from society, a perception that the system is corrupt. People are considered invisible and not valued. It devolves into the notion that the only person one can wholeheartedly rely on is oneself (Emile Durkheim).
Explosive Distrust is chilling and threatening. The Lord Jesus Christ speaks of such a disastrous situation rampant in the days leading up to His return.
REFLECT & PRAY
Children of the King are to be alert. They are to resist becoming lethargic and chilled by selfish lawlessness.
Father I desperately need Your help to resist the oppressive force of lawlessness in our present age. How easy it is to allow my love to grow cold.
Matthew 24:3 Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?
Lawlessness is one of the many prophetic strands which characterize the buildup to the eschatological climax, the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When the disciples asked the Lord Jesus Christ about the coming destruction of Jerusalem, He responded with a preview of the general conditions of the earth that precede it and also lead up to His return. He likens them to birth pains.
Matthew 24:12 Because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold.
The Greek word translated as increase or abound is plethuno. Plethuno connotes more than being enlarged. It means being multiplied in the American 21st-century colloquial slang supersized.
Lawlessness has a chilling, profoundly demoralizing effect. “Where lawlessness prevails selfish interests, and personal concerns completely overshadow a loving regard for others” (Chouinard). “By definition, the lawless person is motivated by personal, selfish concerns, not by any regard for others or for the rules that govern our intercourse with one another” (Morris).
The Greek word rendered as grow cold is psycho. Psycho means grow cool or cold, but, in connection with the imagery of fire or flame, go out, be extinguished, be snuffed out . . .. The verse has in view the failure rather than the weakening of love” (John Nolland). The Greek verbal form is passive. Which means “the many” do not initiate the action. It simply happens to them. Their love is snuffed out, extinguished. What a somber and bleak picture of things to come.
Betrayal, suspicion, and hating one another are close companions of lost love (Matthew 24:10). What an awful climate to live in.
It is truly remarkable, seemingly incredible, that the Scriptures so accurately describe many of the characteristics of the 21st century. According to the Lord Jesus Christ, the events leading up to His second coming will resemble birth pains, marking the end of the current age and ushering in the age to come.
“It’s cross now, crown then. It is labor now, delivery then. So be patient. Endure. Breathe in; breathe out. Trust that God will work everything for your good. That baby is soon to be born. And the hard and long labor will then all seem worth it” (Donnell).
Revelation 3:2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.
© Dr. H 2023
One thought on “Trust Fall ∙”
Though not a regular reader of the Atlantic, this is the most sensible thing I have read from a traditionally more left of center publication than I prefer.