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By Akin Ojumu
02 July 2020   |   3:05 am
Ever since the day Adam and Eve fell for Lucifer’s deception, the root of evil was planted deep in the soul of mankind.

Ever since the day Adam and Eve fell for Lucifer’s deception, the root of evil was planted deep in the soul of mankind.

From the moment man engaged the slithering serpent in a conversation, wickedness became woven into the fabric of our universe. There remains for a man no hiding place from evil. The shades of evil will always be found everywhere you go and in every corner, you turn.

The silhouette of evil casts a long shadow over the affairs of mankind. No matter what we do and however much we try, we are never going to rid the world we live in of evil. While from time to time, God in His mercy stays the hand of evil from coming near our dwelling and He’s able to stop the long claws of evil from piercing our habitation, God will not banish evil from our world.

That is until such a time when the events in the calendar of God for the world has been fulfilled. Our world is a wicked place and that is the reality of our existence. Nevertheless, in the midst of pervading evil, God has established righteousness. Through the dark clouds of vileness, the ray of goodness always shines through. The goodness in our world is seen in all the things that bring reprieve from all our sweat and provide us with relief from our toil. Goodness can be found in the things that lengthen our days and make our days on earth a little bit more tolerable. Goodness in our world is the advancement in science and technology that has transformed communication, education, and transportation. Goodness is the innovation in medical science and medical engineering that has led to the eradication of many sickness and diseases and provided a cure for what once was a death sentence; as a result of which people are living longer and more productive lives. The goodness in our world includes revamped banking system, modernized financial market, and a more equitable social system. Goodness has revolutionized the reach and access to information. The way we entertain ourselves to release the stress of our daily existence has also been touched by the goodness that exists in this world.

A traveller (R) sanitises his hands in compliance with measures at the bus terminal to curtail the spreads of COVID-19 coronavirus following the ease of interstate travels at the Ojota bus terminal in Lagos, on July 1, 2020. – Bus terminals across the country have commenced business following the removal of restrictions placed on interstate movements outside curfew hours by the government as measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

You see, technological and scientific inventions in and of themselves are not inherently evil. There is nothing nefarious about vaccines by which the world has been able to eliminate some of the deadliest communicable diseases that afflict mankind and have given some of the poorest children of the world a new lease on life. The internet and the worldwide web are not satanic inventions. They are tools that provide access to an abundance of information that we erstwhile never had, and because of them, our knowledge and wisdom have taken a quantum leap. Living in a world that is interconnected through the ingenuity of technology is not a bad thing, it is just another evidence that despite being prone to iniquity man is still capable to use their mind to achieve a greater good. Aeronautical engineering and air travel have shrunken distances between far-flung places and turned the world into a global village of intermingling and cohabitating souls. This has been a much welcome boom for the spread of the Gospel for it has made it possible to bring the good news of salvation to billions of otherwise unreached people. Technology has simplified banking and commerce.

Gone are the days when banking transactions required a visit to the bank. But now that we are able to bank online, we can avoid having to stand in line. Retail giants like Amazon and Walmart are technological disruptors who have turned online shopping into a thing of joy. Broadband internet and wireless networks have produced major improvements not only in entertainment but also in learning and commerce. Tele-education and remote learning have made the attainment of a higher education a possibility for many. Telemedicine has brought healthcare to the remotest outposts in the world. Labor productivity has risen, and job satisfaction increased, by technology like Skype and Zoom that make telework and telecommuting possible. With more people working from home there are fewer cars driving on the highways which in turn diminishes carbon emission that protects our environment. Less time spent on driving also translates to fewer road accidents and the associated morbidity and mortality.

The transition from 4G mobile technology network to a next-generation 5G is not the anti-Christ showing his evil hand. It is only a proof of the residual goodness in the heart of man shining through causing him to seek to make the world a better place. The 5G mobile technology has the potential to positively transform our world in immeasurable ways. It is billed to provide a much faster and more reliable internet and mobile connections for users. “5G could even usher in a new era of “smart cities” in which energy grids, traffic signals, and emergency services are linked to reducing inefficiencies” (NBC News). With its ultra-low latency, i.e. the short lag time between a device pinging a network and getting a response, remote surgeries between two distant locations become a possibility.

For instance, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) can remotely perform surgery to separate a pair of conjoined twins at University of Ibadan’s University College Hospital (UCH), giving these kids the opportunity to achieve a good quality of life, attain to their God-given potentials, and grow up to become productive citizens as adults. Creating an individualized digitalized identity program, either through vaccines or some other platforms, to ensure that the millions of poor, vulnerable and displaced people of the world can “access essential health and social services, apply for jobs, open mobile money accounts in their own name, and buy what they need most for themselves and their families,” is nothing diabolical, and it actually improves the wellbeing and standard of living of many.

Among all of God’s creation, Satan is a master imitator and counterfeiter. The devil does not have the seed of creativity in him; only the man into whom God breathed the breath of life can create and produce something good. But because the nature of the world is inherently evil, the goodness in our world is always subject to corruption by the devil. Satan’s speciality is to twist, imitate, and pollute everything good that is created.

For every pure and pleasant thing that exists in this world, Satan always works to make impure and rotten. He pollutes the goodness of science and creates a counterfeit of technology. And his counterfeit is always odious and so, it is with the new 5G mobile technology and ID2020 initiative both of which have become foils for conspiracy theorists within the Church and the secular world. A vaccine with microchips is not the mark of the beast. It is yet another novel technological feat that introduces greater efficiencies and more robustness to childhood immunization programs. Instituting a digital ID that enables individuals “to prove who they are across institutional and international borders and across time while giving them control over how their personal information is collected, used, and shared,” is not a machination of the devil for secret surveillance and mind control.

Already we live in a microchipped world, and there’s hardly any technological device that does not have a microchip in them. Airlines, automobiles, artificial intelligence devices like Amazon Alexa, mobile phones, computers, CCTVs, televisions, home security cameras, and luggage scanners at airports have microchips. Likewise, lifesaving medical devices, laboratories equipment, passports, credit cards, etc. all have some type of chip or the other installed in them that make them function optimally. These devices are already in use to heal, shop, travel, monitor, surveil, secure, and collect terabytes of data that go on to be used for sophisticated analytics, quality control, quality assurance, quality improvements, and planning. That is the reality of living in a digitalized world.

To live and thrive in this world we have no choice but to use these stuff. When we are warned in Scriptures about the coming and reign of the Anti-Christ and his sidekick with two horns like a lamb who spoke like a dragon, it isn’t a summon to fight and resist the advancement that science, medicine, engineering and technology bring to the world.

The prophecies about the end-times are not a condemnation of technological inventions, neither are they a call to arms against scientific innovations. Rather, it is God telling us to be wise and understand the ways of Satan. Because the devil cannot create, he counterfeits and pollutes everything that is good making them crooked and unsavory. These warnings are to unmask Satan’s modus operandi, which is to corrupt everything that is good and profitable. God is merely calling on us to always let the goodness within us overcome the evil in our world.

Coronavirus, a deadly virus, is on a rampage in our world, our ways of life have been put on pause, lives are being lost, jobs are vanishing, means of livelihood are disappearing. As of this writing, as many as 4.8 million people have been infected across 188 countries. And of those, close 320,000 have died. In Nigeria alone, more than 6,000 confirmed cases and almost 200 deaths have been reported. Nobody knows when life will get back to normal or whether it ever will. Many governments are clueless, incompetent and impotent in stopping the disease. And few, if any, have ever seen anything like this. So, understandably people are scared and petrified. Who isn’t? Denying that Coronavirus is real or asserting that those sick or dying from COVID-19 are actually victims of 5G irradiation is a baseless, irrational, and idiotic fear-mongering not founded on science or commonsense. The notion that all these pain and suffering have been deliberately unleashed on us all just for the purpose of global domination by a few powerful people, or to establish a one-world government, or to usher in the anti-Christ, belies incredulity. It is a conspiracy theory that can only be plausible in the mind of the insane.

As a leader or someone who holds influence over people’s lives and values human lives, what you don’t do when people are frightened is pour an accelerant on the fire of fear. Compassionate and empathic shepherds of God’s flock would not heighten the fear by dabbling in an area they don’t have expertise. No one occupying a position of authority who is in their right mind would present as fact a mish-mash of disparate and unrelated information which is nothing but lies and concocted conspiracy theories. Those who shape opinions would choose their words carefully and not mislead people or give false hope. A pastor who cares about the souls of men would not bewitch men and hold in captivity the people they lead.

No preacher with sound knowledge of Scripture and steeped in eschatology will call on other Christians to rise and stop the anti-Christ from emerging. We can no more halt the events of the end of the universe or delay the coming and activity of the anti-Christ than stop a high-speed freight train simply by stepping in its path. To think we can is arrogance informed by ignorance. Whether we like it or not, the events of the end-times will happen and there is nothing we can do about it. God’s agenda cannot be stopped, His calendar cannot be derailed, it’s foolish to think we can. God does not tell us not to think or use our brain. He hasn’t asked that we suspend commonsense – which apparently is not so common. On the contrary, He wants us to be ready and prepared, living our lives holy, and exercising wisdom and sound judgment. All God asks of us is to watch and pray.

Ojumu, MD, MPH, of US National Institutes of Health, wrote the United States of America.