By Reno Omokri
If you do not know the power of the Internet and those who control it, I suggest you research a UK high street shop called Primark.
During the first #COVID19 lockdown, Primark went from being one of the most profitable UK retailers, with a sales plunge from £650 million a month to zero (yes, zero) sales between March and April 2020.
In case you do not understand what that means, it is that Primark made a £650 million sales turnover in February of 2020, however, after the first UK lockdown was announced on March 23, 2020, Primark made £0 in sales the next month because they did not have an online presence.
The biggest commercial effect of the coronavirus pandemic is that it has caused retailing to move from the high street to the high Internet, and stores, like Primark, who have no online presence may die out, while firms with a massive digital presence, like amazon, will thrive.
Even if we all took the vaccine and became immune to the virus, the deed has been done. Habit is almost impossible to break. And anything you do consistently for at least 3 months WILL become a habit. And most of us are now in the habit of ordering everything, from groceries, to clothes, to furniture, online.
Many people think it is governments or at least an international corporate organisation or consortium that controls e-commerce, but they are wrong.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club are privately-owned organisations, as are Apple, Google, and other online market places. Even Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, which are the three credit agencies that determine your credit worthiness, are private firms. Fitch, KPMG and Standard and Poors, which determine the credit rating of governments, are private firms.
Except for China, North Korea, and possibly Russia, the rest of the world is at the mercy of these private individuals and their organisations.
And it is not just commerce. The media is also privately owned, including and especially social media. And don’t you ever believe that these firms are neutral: No, no, no! They have their agenda.
In Nigeria, we saw how some persons tried to hijack the #EndSARS protests and channel it from a spontaneous movement against bad governance to something more sinister (thank God they failed), that would have prompted an agenda that is contrary to our traditional and religious marital values.
We can laugh when they target politicians and celebrities we do not like. However, a virus that can kill your enemy can also kill you.
That is why Evelyn Beatrice Hall said: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
If these individuals decide to shut you out, there is little or nothing you can do. There is virtually no right of redress. You cannot appeal their verdict (in some cases you can, but as we say in Nigeria, e get as e be). And their standards are not objective or transparent. It is subjective and shifts according to situations and individuals.
I expressed my views on same-sex marriage, which I got from Scripture. And I was banned from the main social media platforms for a week. I did not insult or attack. I merely stated that the lifestyle is not consistent with what Scripture refers to as Godliness.
Speaking of Scripture, many people think the Mark of the Beast, of Revelations 13.18, is literal. It could be. It could also be metaphorical.
We are told in Scripture that a time will come when people will not be able to buy or sell unless they have this mark (Revelations 13:16-17).
Now, take a look at what is happening both on e-commerce and social media platforms. The type of dictatorial and inconsistent policing on these platforms, which are geared towards forcing compliance to standards that are not Scriptural.
If you espouse a conservative Christian world view, you are gradually becoming an endangered specie. The Ayotallah of Iran can post some of the most outlandish and provocative things, and he is allowed to be. Atheists can insult God and they are protected. Others can post things against the state of Israel, and they are left alone.
But if you stand on Scripture and say that marriage is between a man and you know who (if I say it, I may be banned again. I don’t mind being banned, but I want you to read this), you are at risk of being banned.
If you own a confectionary chain and refuse to bake a cake for a marriage that runs contrary to your Christian beliefs, you could be banned from e-commerce platforms. It has happened, it is happening and it will get worse.
If you have a radio or TV show that expresses particular views about trans people, you could (would) be banned, for life.
I ask believers to think again about the warnings that our Lord and Saviour, Yeshua Hamashiach, gave about the last days:
“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”-Matthew 10:22.
These private individuals and corporations who control e-commerce and social media platforms coordinate with each other. They are sly. Forces inspire them. And they have a plan. An agenda. A new world order is coming.
You and I know what marriage should be. You and I know what a man and a woman should be. You and I know that a child is alive from conception.
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But our children do not yet strongly know these things. It is not yet internalised within them. They are still impressionable. And if we are prevented from saying the truth from Scripture on social and traditional media platforms, and if retailers are afraid of implementing Scriptural sourced policies, that could get them kicked from e-commerce platforms, what will happen is that when we die, our children and their children will accept these ways of life and they will be the mainstream, and anybody that does not accept it will not be able to buy or sell, vote or be voted for, or express his or herself publicly.
It is called Pavlovian conditioning in psychology. Research it.
I give you an example. 50 years ago, almost all foods were organic and it was a taboo to eat genetically modified foods. Today, I eat exclusively organic, and some of my friends laugh at me and ask me to stop wasting my money and eat regular food, like them.
Do you see how we have been conditioned? GM food is now ‘regular food’, while the natural one, that God created, is now irregular. This happened in just one generation!
People who insist that marriage should be strictly defined by Scriptural standards would be viewed as hateful, intolerant, fanatics, and extremists.
Soon, they will be rejected for admissions at universities because of their ‘intolerant’ beliefs. Publishers are being pressured not to publish books on Scriptural based morality. Think tanks lose their funding if they invite conservatives to speak.
It may even get to the point where firms that do not give their female employees money to freeze their eggs would be branded intolerant, and shamed and turned into pariahs. And to avoid that fate, they would comply. And gradually, the scriptural concept of marriage would be looked at as passé, because women will no longer need a man to have a baby. A man in a white suit can put your baby together in a lab.
We may even have a world where people of a particular lifestyle are given affirmative action in politics and business.
In essence, we are seeing that the Mark of the Beast may actually be acceptance to an unscriptural world view.
This is an alert. Things are not going to get better. They are going to get worse. Much worse. We know that because Scripture says:
“Mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.”-2 Timothy 3:1.
When my wife was pregnant with twins, there was a complication and a premature birth was an option. I remember the doctor telling us that even though they had incubators, the safest place for a fetus is in its mother’s womb.
Not anymore. Not anymore. Sadly, today, one of the most dangerous places for a fetus is in its mother’s womb. Amongst African Americans, more babies are being aborted than are being born. In New York for example, official records show that between 2012 and 2016 African American women aborted 136,426 pregnancies. In that same period, African American mothers had 118,127 live births. A deficit of 18,299!
And this is seen as “progressive.” If I provide more detail, I may be banned. So let me stop here.
I conclude by saying that 75 years ago, young men and women showed courage via fighting the fascist axis powers during World War 2.
Seventy years later, a woman known as Caitlyn Jenner (born as a man called Bruce Jenner) received the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
I am sure the late Arthur Ashe would be very proud of what his name is now used for.
Gospeller. Deep Thinker. #1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years. Avid traveller. Hollywood Magazine Film Festival Humanitarian of the Year, 2019.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.