Two Sides of a Coin

0205. Two Sides of the Same Coin

In our previous thought, we had discussed how we live in a culture of deception. However, have you ever wondered how we ended up in this position? It is not like somebody snapped their fingers, and all of a sudden we were in Deceptionville. There have been many subtle things going on in the background for many years that has gotten us into this predicament. Let’s examine the ways deception is being carried out.

Prior to the popularity of electronic transfer of money, most people carried cash in their pockets in the form of bills and coins. If you have a coin lying around, pick it up and examine it. The most obvious feature of any coin is that it has two sides, heads and tails. Even though it is only one coin, there are two different sides, each being opposite from one another.

Another way we can think about this concept is a criminal jury trial. In a trial, there are two principal sides: the prosecution and the defense. The jury listens as both sides argue opposite positions about the case and evidence. Then the jury decides which side has made the more compelling argument, leading to a verdict. Even though the case and evidence may be more pronounced towards one side or the other, each side is given a fair chance to argue their case in an attempt to sway the jury in their favor.

These are simple examples demonstrating that in order to understand the complete picture of any situation, both sides of the situation must be examined. However, the culture we live in today works against this concept. Here are a couple of examples:

At the end of 2021, cryptocurrency was the talk of the financial world. Bitcoin had hit an all-time high and the rest of the alt coins were riding its coat tails. Despite the lack of regulations in this financial space, fortunes were being made, and the media was encouraging ordinary citizens to join the party. Financial programs watched by millions were told all the potential cryptocurrency had, and would be the savior of the financial system. Social media influencers with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and millions of views all said the same thing: cryptocurrency was the future, and if you wanted to be rich, then you needed to be part of it. Any search on the internet and you would find this narrative.

Then there is Molly White. A software engineer by trade, she noticed that through all the hype, there were also negative stories regarding cryptocurrency. However, none of these stories got heavy press, or were spun by the proponents of cryptocurrency as aberrations. The problem was that Molly noticed these stories weren’t going away, and decided to document them. Starting at the beginning of 2021, she created a site called Web3 is Going Just Great, and tracked all the negative stories that no one else was paying attention to. She did it without fanfare, and while the other side had their subscribers and viewers, her following was a fraction of the size. That would begin to change at the beginning of 2022, when the cryptocurrency bear market began, and prices began tumbling. When coin after coin began failing, and ordinary citizens began watching their investments tank, questions finally started being asked. And of course, the FTX bankruptcy just added to the mayhem. How could investors like Kevin O’Leary and Tom Brady be played like that? Molly White simply points to her site and says that the emperor was naked all along, it is just that nobody cared to look. Her following has grown quite a bit in 2022, and while she is still not on an even footing with the other side by a long shot, she has clearly exposed the dark side of cryptocurrency for all who want to see.

Our second example examines the sex industry, which is one of the biggest economic engines in the world today. It is embedded deeply on both the legal and illegal sides of the economy and our culture. It can be subtle like the music videos you watch, or downright bold as online pornography. The prime narrative is that it is sold as a glitzy and glamorous lifestyle that everybody should embrace. One of the main marketing strategies is to evoke sex appeal, not just for things like clothing and cars, but also things like burgers and bodywash. And it generates billions of dollars every year. But at what cost? That is the mission of Harmony Dust Grillo. A survivor of sex exploitation, she graduated from UCLA as an honor student. She founded Treasures Ministries, a non-profit organization to help former women in the sex industry transition to live healthy, flourishing lives. It reveals a dark side of the sex industry that few see, and will ever understand. However, much like Molly, their battle is an uphill one, as the cultural narrative is heavily skewed against them, and the other side has billions of industry dollars at their disposal to counter any progress. Harmony recently had her TEDx talk banned arguing against the legalization of prostitution because it was deemed too controversial, despite the fact multiple other talks in support of the proposal were permitted.

The point that these two examples illustrates is that if the cultural narrative on an issue is heavily skewed in one direction, the narrative can easily deceive the masses because the other side of the story is being passively or actively suppressed. It is like gluing the coin to the table and then telling everyone there is only one side to the coin. And since most people like being spoon-fed their data to them nowadays, they take the narrative at its word and never bother to question if there is another side to the story. When in reality, the other side actually does still exist, but since you need to pry the coin off the table to see it, few will ever take the time or effort to do so.

However, the ultimate deception that the enemy has pulled off in today’s culture is that neither he nor God actually exists. In other words, there are actually no sides to the coin at all, it is all an illusion! It is all about humanity, and religion is an old superstition that should give way to more enlightened thinking and philosophy. It is by far one of the greatest maneuvers pulled off by God’s adversary, and is costing us more than we can possibly imagine. For 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (CSB) states: “But know this: Hard times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people.” And sure enough, this is what the ultimate deception has brought to our culture today.

So how do we avoid this trap and prevent from being deceived? 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (CSB) states: “but test all things. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.” But with all the varying opinions and thoughts floating around out there, how can this be accomplished? There are two steps involved in this process:

  • Flip the coin over. If the cultural narrative on an issue seems a little too one-sided, chances are it is not all roses, and that thorns are hidden. In order to not be deceived, you must be knowledgeable about both sides of the story. In the movie Minority Report, Tom Cruise’s character is told that if he wishes to exonerate himself from a crime he believes he is being framed for, he must search for the minority report, the small chance that the case against him is all just one big deception. Our mission should be the same, by looking for the Molly Whites and Harmony Grillos of the world, to get their contrarian take of the issues. If you are inclined or biased towards the cultural narrative, it may be difficult to listen to the opposite point of view. But it is essential that we learn to be open and not have blinders on.
  • Read what the Bible has to say about a particular issue. Since some issues may not have related back to biblical times, it may be difficult to search the Bible for a relevant passage. However, technology is here to help. The Topical Bible at lists many modern topics to which to search relevant bible verses and passages. The list is quite extensive and only quotes Bible verses and references. Therefore, it is up to you to take those verses and do your own research about what God has to say in the matter.

By following these two rules, you cannot possibly be deceived, for you will have seen both sides of the coin and also know what God’s word has to say about it. Only after that will you truly have free choice to decide what is faithful and true to God. Anything less than that, and you could be deceived. Ponder that this week.

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