A WORLD GONE MAD – NOTHING IS THE NEW SOMETHING

THE ART WORLD

Just when we thought it couldn’t get crazier… The most egregious example of speculative excess in the art world… $18,000 for ‘air and spirit’… Signing up to get nothing in the financial realm… Ignorance is not a valid excuse… We’re living in the ‘Age of the Emperor’.

For the past year and a half, collectors have been paying outrageous prices for some truly weird works… first, a banana duct-taped to a wall sold for $120,000 in Miami back in December 2019. Then, this past March, an artist known as “Beeple” sold a non-fungible token (“NFT”) of his work – a digital-only collage of 5,000 images – for $69 million at auction. The latest example occurred last month in Milan, Italy… Auction house Art-Rite sold a piece of work by Italian artist Salvatore Garau titled Io sono (Italian for “I am“) for $18,000. With Beeple’s NFT going for $69 million, how does a mere $18,000 sale qualify as egregious excess? The answer is simple… because Io sono doesn’t actually exist. It’s “invisible art.” It’s not there. The buyer got a whole lot of nothing for his $18,000. Instead, Garau issued a certificate of authenticity to the buyer (like the banana-and-duct-tape piece). The artist – and his piece of paper “verifying” it – said Io sono is a sculpture that consists of a 25-square-foot space and that light and climate control are optional.

You can’t sell a certificate of authenticity for something that doesn’t exist without concocting a fantastic story… Garau put together a great one. As he told one Spanish news outlet… You don’t see it, but it exists. It is made of air and spirit.

THE FINANCIAL WORLD – Information from Stansberry Research Digest – Largest USA independent financial research organisation.

Art is the flag of culture. And its excesses are frequently preceded by those in the financial realm, given as it is to stoke the fires of greed.

‘Nothing’ has been on sale in the financial markets for much of the past decade…

The most obvious example is negative-yielding sovereign debt. According to Bloomberg, $13.3 trillion of this debt is circulating around the world these days. Roughly $10 trillion of the total is the sovereign debt of countries like Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and France. (Nearly all the rest is corporate debt.) This is supposed to be the second-safest debt in the world, behind only the debt of the U.S. government. When you buy a bond trading at a negative yield, it means you’re guaranteed to get less in principal and interest at maturity than you paid for it in the first place. In other words, you’re guaranteed to lose money. You’re signing up to get nothing.

Bonds are supposed to be the “smart money”… It’s where savvy investors go to get a much safer return than the stock market. And for a $13 trillion swath of the bond market, that supposedly safer return is a little less than zero today… NothingNadaZip.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s 2020 Fact Book puts the value of the global bond market at $105.9 trillion. So negative-yielding debt – a guarantee to receive a little less than nothing for putting capital at risk – accounts for 12.5% of a massive global market.

And it’s not just bonds, either. The rational expectation for stocks is a negative average return over the next 10 to 12 years. That’s according to the work of often quoted economist John Hussman, Hussman’s return model suggests the S&P 500 is currently priced to return a 7% loss per year, on average, for the next decade. However, reality is that the market doesn’t simply tick down 7% each year for a decade. It falls 50% or more in a great washout that generally lasts somewhere between six months and two years.

Moreover, many would suggest that a great washout is about to occur or put another way the financial bubble is about to burst. In a Bloomberg interview, GMO’s Jeremy Grantham talked about his asset-management firm’s study of 330 bubbles across all asset classes. As Grantham succinctly put it… the last 12 months have been a classic finale to an 11-year bull market. And he cited plenty of data to make his point during the interview, ultimately concluding… The great bubbles by scale and significance… all accelerated late in the game and had psychological measures that could not be missed by ordinary investors. (Economists are a different matter.)

The data, like today, is always clear, just uncommercial and inconvenient for the investment industry and often psychologically impossible to see for many individuals. In other words, all of us “ordinary investors” ought to be like the child in “The Emperor’s New Clothes” who innocently blurts out that the emperor is naked. That emboldened others to say so… eventually making it impossible for the emperor himself to avoid admitting the truth.

We can all see the truth. Our only remaining task is to acknowledge it and act accordingly. But the great herd of investors just can’t do it. The herd is like the courtiers and other sycophantic hangers-on around the emperor. They’re all scared of his ire and eager to gain his favour , prompting them to proclaim the surpassing beauty of his non-existent clothes.

They’re too vested in continuing the charade to notice that doing so is an unsustainable state of affairs.

The greatest charade perhaps of all is in the cryptocurrency called Dogecoin. Dogecoin was created as a joke to make fun of cryptocurrencies being worthless, and not only has it taken off, but it’s such a success that second-level joke cryptocurrencies making fun of Dogecoin have gone to multibillion-dollar valuations. An unabashed ode to the culture of nothingness has wound up with a massive valuation… Dogecoin’s market cap peaked on May 7 at $88 billion and still sits above $32 billion today. Its value has crashed over the past six weeks. But even so, that’s still a whole lotta nothin’.

There’s no fraud going on in these instances at all. Folks are saying, “Hey, sign me up. I want nothing and I’ll pay real money for it!” Nothing is the new something.

Any sane person can see that this cannot end well. In fact, it will get so crazy that the world will be crying out for a Saviour, the scene is set for the entry of the Antichrist on to the world scene. His appearance is the most significant prophesied “end times” sign. As I have said many times before there are far more prophecies about Jesus second coming than there were of His first coming. Are you aware of these prophecies? Are you prepared for what is ahead? For Christians it is a time of intense persecution. We are already seeing the “end times” prophesied falling away in the church from the truth of God’s Word and His moral values. Wake up church, God is purifying His church. Sadly, much of the church is like the church at Laodicea which will be left behind to face God’s wrath.

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.Revelation 3:15-17

It is the Church at Philadelphia that represents the church that is raptured prior to God’s wrath being poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements.

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.Revelation 3:10-11

The Rapture of the Saints prior to God’s wrath being poured out on an unrepentant world with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements

A GODLESS CONFUSED WORLD

The classic story of “Cinderella” is getting a “modern makeover” as a musical complete with the LGBTQ injection of a genderless fairy godmother. 

Entertainment Weekly (EW) reports Camilla Cabello will make her big-screen debut in the title role, and actor-activist Billy Porter will portray her fairy godmother. 

Kay Cannon, the movie’s writer-director told EW she wrote the role specifically for Porter. His fairy godmother role is described by Cannon as a supernatural being who stands for being true to oneself, and who transcends mundane human labels.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

“Billy articulated the idea that magic has no gender,” Cannon said.

This unusual new version of Cinderella will stream on Amazon Prime in September, according to EW

As CBN’s Faithwire reported last year, Hollywood elites claim to be pro-feminism, but this new film sure makes it clear sexism is alive and well in Tinseltown.

Porter called the movie “a classic fairytale for a new generation,” during an interview at the time with CBS News. 

“It hit me when I was on the set last week, how profound it is that I am playing the Fairy Godmother — they call it the ‘Fab G,’” he said. “We are presenting this character as genderless — at least that’s how I’m playing it, and it’s really powerful.”

Porter, the man known for his “gender-bending” outfits at award shows (he often wears dresses), has made headlines for rebuking sexism and misogyny, but not in the way you might think. While there is plenty of sex-based discrimination against women in Hollywood and elsewhere, Porter is busy decrying how he — as a male — is the victim of misogyny because people think it’s weird he wears bodices and elegant dresses flowing with tulle on the red carpet.

He talked about it on ABC’s “The View” last summer, where he got a little help from co-host Joy Behar who opined with Porter that the reason people are uncomfortable with men wearing dresses is that they “hate women.”

ANALYSIS: THE CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

In reality, it’s something more profound than that. Certainly, there are some who still carry with them misogynistic perspectives. But the reality is this: people are uncomfortable with the undoing of the sexes as God intended them — male and female. The erasure of that binary is a rebellion against God’s design, and whether Christian or not, the breakdown of that structure is worrisome because the continuation of humanity quite literally depends on it.

“I think the new generation is really ready,” Porter said of his role in “Cinderella” and of the push toward “gender fluidity.” “The kids are ready. It’s the grownups that are slowing stuff down.”

Writing for Faithwire, Tré Goins-Phillips noted: “It’s pretty ironic to think the progressive Hollywood left — the cadre of people keen on equity between men and women — are giddy overturning a historically powerful female role into a ‘genderless’ part and handing it to a male.”

“The sad irony is what Porter himself proves about this push to suppress the male and female binary: in the end, it only suppresses women more,” he wrote. Meanwhile, Porter is also breaking some other new ground. He just announced he’s been HIV positive for 14 years and that he’s tired of the “stigma” surrounding the disease.

We are living in a world where this Scripture is prophetic of the godless world we see playing out before us.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:28).

GOVERNMENT LEADERS WOULD DO WELL TO HEED BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

Benjamin Franklin was not known as an ardent evangelical Christian, but his friend George Whitefield would often urge the claims of the gospel upon him and it obviously had an impact as during a deadlock at the American Constitutional Convention he called for prayer:

“I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men; and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”

We all know what happened at and to Babel or do we? God confused the language and created the nations at Babel, prior to Babel the world had one language.

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.Genesis 11:1-4

Come, let us (Triune God) go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.Genesis 11:7-9

As in all things concerning God’s world, the true paradigm is that we are creatures answerable to our Creator; the diagnosis is that we are all fallen and rebellious sinners. There is only one solution: we need to repent and trust in Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord. Just as our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus to pay the price for our sins, once we repent of them and accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, the Father sends the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter. He makes it possible for us to live the Christian life. He will enlighten us to the truths in God’s word and help us to apply them to daily living. He will produce the fruit of the spirit in our lives and provide the gifts of the Spirit for ministry. God the Father does it all, how simple and yet how hard!

The wrong paradigm was embraced by the multitude long ago. There is no way that the chattering classes will admit that the basic problem is that they have rejected their Creator God and His commandments are being trampled upon. With sexual morality as an example, for decades, the received wisdom has been that sexual morality does not count as morality at all. Provided all is consensual, basically anything is allowed. Given this paradigm, the media could maintain their moral outrage at the recent antics of parliamentary staffers in Australia’s Federal parliament while continuing to excuse sleazy advertisements and shows like Married at First Sight and Game of Thrones.

Your eternal destiny is at stake

But if your paradigm is wrong, your diagnosis will be wrong, and your proposed solution will be wrong. The world has created its own problems – it has taken morality out of sexual relationships; it sees uniformity as the answer to all ills; and it calls on the law to achieve these goals. The result is more of the same, and a blindness as to what is really going wrong. People get their hopes up that progress is being made when actually the boat is just being rowed around in circles. It is God who declares what is wrong: it is the human heart, for it is corrupt.

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” Matthew 15:19

Only a true believer, one who has accepted Jesus as His Lord and Saviour and received the Holy Spirit as His Counsellor, Teacher and Comforter can truly understand.

Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.John 15:5-7

ATHEIST RICHARD DAWKINS SAYS WITHOUT GOD WORLD WOULD BE LESS MORAL

Richard Dawkins, one of the world’s most famous atheists, has admitted that eliminating God from the public consciousness would pose huge problems.  Dawkins insisted that if religion were to be abolished, it would “give people a license to do really bad things.”  The Oxford University fellow said that, without the presence of a higher being, “people may feel free to do bad things because they feel God is no longer watching them.”  Dawkins warned that people would feel entitled to do what they like because they no longer need to obey a “divine spy in the sky reading their every thought,”, a description he often uses for an omnipresent God.

Dawkins – eliminating God from the public consciousness would pose huge problems

Dawkins told of an experiment he came across which intended to find out whether people would be “good” if they felt someone was watching. He concluded from the results that “it seems plausible that, if somebody sincerely believes God is watching his every move, he might be more likely to be good.”  “I hate that idea,” Dawkins added.  “I want to believe that humans are better than that and would be honest whether anyone was watching or not.” 

In response creationist Ken Ham, said, “Dawkins has spent his life fighting God, but still recognises that atheism doesn’t provide a foundation for morality.”  “Without a biblical foundation, anything goes,” Ham added.  “Who determines what is right or wrong?  Everyone does what’s right in their own eyes.  Dawkins is admitting that atheism is totally morally bankrupt.”

The Bible tells us how to get wisdom and understanding. The benefits thereof and the danger of not doing so:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments.Psalms 111:19

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalms 27:1

“Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.” Psalms 34:9

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8

“An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked:
There is no fear of God before his eyes… the words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; he has ceased to be wise and to do good.” Psalms 36:1-1

“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear God who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28