It should be no surprise that consuming a constant diet of negative news causes anxiety and distorts our view of reality. It hurts our mental health. If we don’t stop doing this it’s self-harmful; and according to Dr. Rubin, that means it’s self-hatred.
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another #shorts post, and also another End Times post. Today I combine the two again, for a #short End Times.
It’s good to be back in my main series, writing a post about the End Times. I haven’t written one in a while. But I’m not going to make up End Times topics to write on. If I have a valid End Times topic I’ll turn it into a post as best I can, but if I don’t have a topic I won’t write a post.
Today I’m revisiting an End Times topic I’ve written about a few times before. And that would be the topic of, “What if this isn’t The End?? What if the chaos we see doesn’t herald the return of Jesus, but is only human history repeating itself??”
I’ve written about this topic in Part 75, Part 96, and Part 97. Check out those links if you’re interested.
Here on 999online.net, we take it on Faith these are the End Times and Jesus is returning soon. That’s this blog’s stance on whether it’s really The End.
Today I present an interesting view on this topic. It comes from a secular source: The book Compassion and Self-Hate by Dr. Theodore Rubin. In it he talks about the tendency of our culture to always expect the end of the world right around the corner. Today we’ll hear his view. Then we’ll see why it doesn’t change anything we’ve already learned from the Word of God, but how there is still some wisdom we can take from it.
Dr. Rubin says our culture has a masochistic tendency to convince ourselves we’re witnessing the worst times in human history. The worst wars, the worst crises and disasters, environmental destruction, imminent world destruction. His book, Compassion and Self-Hate, was first published in 1975. He says this masochistic cultural tendency does nothing but cause anxiety, confusion, distortion of reality, and is a major driver of stimulation addiction. That part may be true….
But I wonder what Dr. Rubin would say now, if he were still alive. Environmental problems like natural disasters truly are becoming more frequent and destructive. There are also realistic scenarios for true ecosystem collapse in the future. Rubin died in 2019 so he would have known of these issues toward the end of his life.
But maybe he would have said the same thing he said in today’s quote. Maybe he would’ve still said that to focus on and worry about this stuff is self-hatred. After all, worrying only causes anxiety and distorts reality without solving the problem.
He has a point there. Even Jesus warned us not to worry, saying “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27, Luke 12:25)
Anyway, let’s hear what Dr. Rubin has to say about this:
Our culture participates in mass masochistic enterprise in which each generation convinces itself that it is witnessing the worst of times, the most acute crises and disasters, galloping deterioration and imminent world destruction. This kind of disaster orientation functions as a stimulating sadistic goad and is a component of mass addiction to stimulation. Unfortunately, it also has the cumulative effect of producing vast confusion, disorientation, and great distortion.
Yet despite continuing and serious problems, mankind is making progress.Theodore Rubin, Compassion and Self-Hate, Page 271
That final line shows Rubin had faith in humanity to overcome any problem it faces. I don’t share that same confidence, especially not today in 2021. But that’s a difference of opinion between me and him.
One thing we can agree on is that it’s self-destructive and self-harmful to be addicted to what we could call “End Times stimulation.” One form this addiction can take is known as “Doomscrolling.”
Doomscrolling is the act of spending too much time scrolling through the newsfeed on a smartphone, ingesting a constant stream of negative content. News stories proclaiming the end of the world, videos of violence and hatred, and things like that. Doomscrolling creates a diet of constant doom and gloom rather than anything positive. This is very bad for mental health, of course.
It should be no surprise that consuming a constant diet of negative news causes anxiety and distorts our view of reality. It hurts our mental health. If we don’t stop doing this it’s self-harmful; and according to Dr. Rubin, that means it’s self-hatred. This is something we Christians can agree with Dr. Rubin on.
Philippians 4:8 teaches us to watch our thoughts, meditating on what’s excellent and admirable. We should fill our thoughts with what’s positive, what’s lovely and worthy of praise. This is more than some feel-good advice from the world; this is an instruction from Scripture.
(8) From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.Philippians 4:8 (CEB)
Anyway, is this or is this not The End of the world?? Does it do more harm than good to think about it??
I say that for Saved Christians, nothing changes. The return of Jesus and The End of this fallen world is a joyous event we should all desire. The return of Jesus ends with the creation of God’s new, perfect world.
Besides that, our instructions for how to live while waiting for the return of Jesus are clear. Again, nothing has changed. Check Luke 12. Jesus told us we need to keep following his teachings, doing what we know we need to do. We need to continue being good servants for God, so that when Jesus returns He finds us doing our job as instructed.
That’s all; our instructions for how to live while awaiting The End are clear and simple (but not easy). So whether this is The End or not (and on this blog we say it is), our task remains the same.
So let’s focus on today, the day in which we are alive right now, and let’s think about what we have to do today. Because as we also heard from the secular expert today, over-thinking The End of the world is only harmful rather than helpful.
That’s it for #shorts #24. Stay tuned for more #shorts all this month.
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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