An overview of events and conditions around the world featured in the March/April 2022 issue of Beyond Today.
New study shows marijuana makes you stupider
As marijuana is increasingly legalized in more and more cities, states and nations, with new cannabis dispensaries springing up all over the place, people forget that it remains a harmful drug.
Author Athena Thorne commented at PJ Media on Jan. 31, 2022: “Yesterday, NBC News highlighted a recent study that shows that not only does smoking pot impair numerous mental functions of the user, but these effects can linger for weeks after use has stopped. The Canadian study . . . found . . . that every time someone gets high, they can be dumber for weeks. Hardest hit was the ability to learn from what one hears and to remember things . . . Most of us have a hard enough time keeping up; why on earth would anyone choose to jettison an extra couple dozen IQ points?
“And not only does pot make people stupid, but it can also make them crazy. This is particularly true among heavy users and younger users whose brains are still forming . . . Chronic use of today’s . . . [more potent] weed can induce panic attacks, paranoia wild mood swings, fragmented thoughts, depersonalization (losing one’s sense of identity), and straight-up psychosis” (“Study: Weed Makes You Stupid”).
Biblical principles tell us to avoid marijuana. Scripture condemns drunkenness, a marijuana high effectively being that, and doing anything ravaging to our health (like smoking and inhaling harmful chemicals). Drugs also produce altered states of consciousness, which can open us up to dangerous spiritual influences.
We must all guard our minds and not give in to what is actually dangerous stupidity. “As the squares used to joke back in the day,” Thorne notes, “‘Why do you think they call it dope’?”
U.S. border invasion helped by lawless leadership
Some have noted how strange it is that the United States is preoccupied with securing the borders of Ukraine against Russian ingress while its own southern border is being overrun by what is tantamount to an invasion.
The people crossing into America from many other countries, not just Latin Americans, include possible terrorists and other documented criminal wrongdoers. Worse still, this is being facilitated by the Biden administration even though it is against U.S. law. The nation is at the absurd point that illegal border crossers are allowed to show their U.S. government-issued arrest warrants as valid identification to board aircraft to fly to American cities for resettlement!
Some are rightly standing up. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a Jan. 29, 2022, interview that he brought 12 attorneys general from other states and a former U.S. attorney general to see what’s happening at the southern border. “Because it’s easy to see a media report but not really know what’s going on. To see the devastation, the influx every day of illegals, how the cartels are gaining control, whether its drugs, whether its human trafficking, it’s incredible. And so we announced yesterday we were filing another lawsuit against the Biden administration for more illegal actions as it relates to the border.”
The Biden administration is operating illegally. As Paxton explained: “When somebody comes across the border illegally . . . and they just say, ‘I want to claim asylum,’ then they get to stay, even though under the Remain in Mexico Program, that we have won our lawsuit about, they’re supposed to be deported immediately. But they’re not. They’re not following court orders and they’re not following federal law.”
Paxton further decried what’s “called the Central American Minors Program. What the Biden administration is doing is: people from certain countries . . . when they get in here and they claim asylum, they can immediately have their kids [‘and potentially other caregivers’] flown in with taxpayer dollars to the United States to join them. [It’s] completely illegal. Nothing has been put in place by Congress to allow this, and yet the Biden administration has been doing this.”
The illegal entrants typically don’t have a court hearing for six years—in which time they are scattered to the winds. Meanwhile, the administration has actually been using middle-of-the-night charter flights to transport illegals to other cities to hide what’s being done.
Several days later this report appeared: “Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) is demanding answers from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after the agency admitted it is unsure of the court locations for more than 40,000 illegal immigrants who have received notices to appear. ‘DHS is apparently unaware of the court locations for roughly 80% of aliens that received a notice to appear’” (Just the News, Feb. 3, 2022).
Fox News host Jesse Watters broke down the administration’s immigration policy in these terms: “Joe Biden’s running a human smuggling operation . . . The cartels hand [migrants] to Biden at the border, and then Biden puts them in busses and planes and then just sprinkles them all over the country . . . Illegals come in and help big business keep wages down . . . Just what the donors want . . . Migrants take cash [wages] so [they] can dodge taxes, too. And then they wire the money back south so other families can pay cartel coyotes [for] another caravan. Another batch of . . . voters [for the party supporting this] . . . Isn’t this foreign interference in our elections?” (Jan. 28, 2022).
“Cartels’ human and drug trafficking operations ‘are fattening the bank accounts of Mexico’s most dangerous syndicates,’ he added. These operations benefit the Chinese, too, since they ship synthetic substances to Mexican ports, he said, citing a congressional committee report that Chinese brokers launder Mexican drug money using China’s financial system.
In addition to the 2 million migrants caught entering the United States in the last year, likely hundreds of thousands more crossed the border undetected. Accompanying the skyrocketing illegal immigration numbers are soaring amounts of illegal drugs, fueling more than 100,000 drug-overdose deaths from April 2020 to April 2021, the highest annual number of U.S. deaths ever.
Why would any nation's leadership let this happen? Beyond what we can see with our eyes, we need to realize that unseen spiritual warfare is going on behind the scenes of this world, as we read about in Daniel 9. Satan and his demons are out to destroy the English-speaking nations, which, though unrecognized by most today, are descended from the people of ancient Israel and are fulfilling many prophecies. As foretold, these nations will suffer terrible calamity in the end time, and we can see it coming on many fronts. Be sure to read our free study guide The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy to learn more.
Preaching against immorality being criminalized
As pointed out in another article in this issue, a new Canadian law would outlaw biblical counseling against homosexuality and transgenderism. It is mainly about criminalizing so-called “conversion therapy,” but the broad language can encompass Christian teaching more generally.
We are also seeing increasing legislative action in this regard in the United States, long a bastion of freedom of religion until recently. Tony Perkins, writing for the Family Research Council, comments: “Imagine being stuck in a cycle of depression or an unhealthy relationship and not being able to get help. Well, unfortunately, people in 22 states don’t have to imagine it. Thanks to a string of bad laws, something as simple as sitting down and talking to a counselor about your struggles with sexuality isn’t allowed because it’s illegal . . . Since last November, local leaders have been plotting to pass a radical ordinance that would crush churches and local ministries who are involved in biblical counseling” (“Indiana’s New Going Rate for Biblical Advice: $1,000,” FRC.org, Jan. 21, 2022).
As Steve West reports in World magazine, the statute “defines conversion therapy as any practices or treatments that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.” This would even include praying with people for God’s healing of their minds in this regard.
The Indiana case should serve as a stark warning for those who hold to biblical truth. For a proper biblical perspective on sexuality, download or request our free study guide Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension.
The German question to shape Europe once again
As the United States and its NATO allies in Europe contemplate Russian action in Ukraine, one European country that seeks to avoid involvement in a stand against Russia is Germany. Part of the reason for that is German oil dependency on the Russian pipeline—thanks to the earlier removal of sanctions on this fuel line by the Biden administration. There is also grave concern throughout Europe over the American handling of the Ukraine crisis and a general perception of U.S. weakness.
In any case, it is increasingly clearer to the Europeans, including the Germans, that they cannot rely on American leadership and power to sustain them or keep them out of harm’s way. There is, as we have noted before, an ongoing drive to press for closer integration and a European military.
For some, German leadership of Europe raises the specter of the war-torn continent of the past, as in the initial German unification. Writing on “The German Question,” foreign policy analyst George Friedman observes: “For the rest of Europe, the prospect of a revived Holy Roman Empire,” especially one dominated by Prussian militarism, “was frightening.”
After the two terrible world wars that followed, Germany “became a front line in the Cold War. The Germans didn’t want this; they wanted a united Europe that would bury Germany nationalism under new institutions and create a framework for economic growth. The European Union was intended to achieve both but failed in a fundamental way. Germany emerged not only as the major economic power of the bloc but also as the de facto arbiter of European affairs” (Geopolitical Futures, Jan. 28, 2022).
Now, Friedman continues, “as the crisis plays out along Ukraine’s border, the German question has once again emerged . . . NATO is now a trap for Germany, compelling Germany to cooperate on the one thing it did not want to do: prepare for a potential war . . . Every time Germany tries to escape history, history pulls it back in” (emphasis added).
Late last year, Britain’s Daily Express reported that “the new German government is pressing for further integration with the European Union in a move set to pave the way for a so-called ‘United States of Europe’” (Nov. 27, 2021).
New Chancellor Olaf Scholz, heading a coalition in agreement, “suggested this would be easier because Brexit has been finalized,” stating, “We want to take courageous steps towards integration because we know that time is short and people are waiting for them.” Those behind the British exit from the European Union had warned of such developments (“‘Everything We Feared,’—Incoming Leftist Coalition Govt in Germany to Push for a Federal EU Superstate,” Breitbart, Nov. 29, 2021).
Note the interesting wording from the German leader: “because we know that time is short.” Bible prophecy reveals that in the time soon ahead of us, a final revival of the Holy Roman Empire will appear in Europe—a totalitarian power that Scripture calls “the Beast.” As Germany cannot escape history, neither can it escape prophecy—nor can the rest of the world. (Download or request our free study guide The Final Superpower to learn more.)