How Satan Uses Social Trends to Corrupt Man
When did social trends come into existence? Did they only come into being in the present day? One could say that social trends came to be when Satan started corrupting people. What do social trends include? (Styles of clothing and makeup.) These are things that people often come into contact with. Styles of clothing, fashion, and trends—these things make up one small aspect. Is there anything else? Do the popular phrases that people often come out with count too? Do the lifestyles that people desire count? Do the music stars, celebrities, magazines, and novels that people like count? (Yes.) In your minds, which aspect of social trends is able to corrupt man? Which of these trends is most alluring to you? Some people say: “We’ve all reached a certain age, we are in our fifties or sixties, our seventies or eighties, and we can’t fit in with these trends anymore and they don’t really hold our attention.” Is this correct? Others say: “We don’t follow celebrities, that’s something youngsters in their twenties do; we also don’t wear fashionable clothes, that’s something image-conscious people do.” So which of these is able to corrupt you? (Popular sayings.) Can these sayings corrupt people? I will give an example, and you can see whether or not it corrupts people: “Money makes the world go round”; is this a trend? Compared to the fashion and gourmet trends you mentioned, is this not much worse? “Money makes the world go round” is a philosophy of Satan, and it prevails among the whole of mankind, in every human society. You could say that it is a trend because it has been instilled in the heart of every single person. From the very beginning, people did not accept this saying, but then they gave it tacit acceptance when they came into contact with real life, and began to feel that these words were in fact true. Is this not a process of Satan corrupting man? Perhaps people do not understand this saying to the same degree, but everyone has different degrees of interpretation and acknowledgment of this saying based on things that have happened around them and on their own personal experiences. Is that not the case? Regardless of how much experience someone has with this saying, what is the negative effect that it can have on someone’s heart? Something is revealed through the human disposition of the people in this world, including each and every one of you. How is this thing that is revealed to be interpreted? It is the worship of money. Is it hard to remove this from someone’s heart? It is very hard! It seems that Satan’s corruption of man is deep indeed! So after Satan uses this trend to corrupt people, how is it manifested in them? Do you feel that you could not survive in this world without any money, that even one day without money would be impossible? People’s status is based on how much money they have, as is the respect they command. The backs of the poor are bent in shame, while the rich enjoy their high status. They stand tall and proud, speaking loudly and living arrogantly. What does this saying and trend bring to people? Is it not true that many people make any sacrifice in the pursuit of money? Do many people not lose their dignity and integrity in the pursuit of more money? Moreover, do many people not lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Is this not a loss for people? (Yes.) Is Satan not sinister to use this method and this saying to corrupt man to such a degree? Is this not a malicious trick? As you progress from objecting to this popular saying to finally accepting it as truth, your heart falls completely into Satan’s grasp, and therefore you inadvertently come to live by the saying. To what degree has this saying affected you? You might know the true way, and you might know the truth, but you are powerless to pursue it. You may clearly know that God’s words are the truth, but you are unwilling to pay the price or to suffer in order to gain the truth. Instead, you would rather sacrifice your own future and destiny to resist God to the very end. No matter what God says, no matter what God does, no matter whether you understand how deep and how great God’s love for you is, you would stubbornly insist on having your own way and pay the price for this saying. That is to say, this saying already controls your behavior and your thoughts, and you would rather have your fate controlled by it than give it all up. Does not the fact that people act in this way, that they are controlled by this saying and manipulated by it, illustrate that Satan’s corrupting of man is effective? Is this not the philosophy and corrupt disposition of Satan taking root in your heart? If you do this, has Satan not achieved its goal? (Yes.) Do you see how Satan has corrupted man in this way? Can you feel it? (No.) You have neither seen it nor felt it. Do you see Satan’s evil here? Satan corrupts man at all times and in all places. Satan makes it impossible for man to defend against this corruption and makes man helpless against it. Satan makes you accept its thoughts, its viewpoints and the evil things that come from it in situations where you are unknowing and when you have no recognition of what is happening to you. People accept these things and take no exception to them. They cherish and hold on to these things like a treasure, they let these things manipulate them and toy with them; this is how Satan’s corruption of man grows ever deeper.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique V” in The Word Appears in the Flesh