Tag Archives: Russian

Prank Caller, Prank Caller…Hang Up!

If you lived in the 90’s, you may remember the “Jerky Boys.” They became famous by prank calling people while using voices and characters they had invented. They recorded the calls, got them played on the Howard Stern show, and eventually sold over 8 million copies of their albums.

Recently, pranksters known as “The Russian Jerky Boys,” have taken it to a whole new level – prank-calling heads of state! They successfully prank called Senator John McCain and Elton John. Their latest victim is Energy Secretary, Rick Perry.

In a 22-minute call, Rick Perry thought he was discussing cyber hacking and biofuel with Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman. They discussed deals on coal exports, fuel innovation, and the Paris accord. But it was all a lie – jokesters masquerading as Ukrainian officials.

No one likes to be fooled. It is embarrassing. And sometimes it can be more than just a joke – it can be downright disastrous.

The Bible tells us to watch out for those pretending to be something they aren’t. Specifically, the Apostle Paul warns:

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Did you catch that? Satan masquerades as an angel of light. And so do false teachers!

So what’s a person to do? How can we know what is true? How do we avoid being duped by a “prank caller” with eternal consequences?

John gives a simple solution: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). And how do we do that? By comparing God’s Word against the things we are told by all teachers and preachers (Acts 17:11).

Want to avoid prank calls? Check the number. Want to avoid false teachers? Check the Word.

Held Hostage By Ice?

Some very unusual hostages are being held by an unusual captor this week in Antarctica. The hostages? 74 scientists, tourists, and crew on the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy. The captor? Ice.

The Shokalskiy, a research vessel studying climate change in Antarctica, fell victim to one of the great dangers of Antarctic travel – ice can close in and freeze around you quickly. Ships stuck in ice are very vulnerable. Icebergs beneath the surface can rip open the hull, severe winds can break ships into pieces, and the pressure of the ice pushing on the hull can crush it.

With all those dangers, several attempts were made at rescuing the crew. “Ice breaker” ships have failed to reach the Shokalskiy, though, because the ice keeps freezing too fast around them and they have to retreat to warmer water! After all, they don’t want to get stuck too!

Ice setting in is a real danger, but did you know that sin often creeps in the same way?

Sometimes we don’t notice sin setting in around us. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ disciples were not being alert. Jesus asked them, “Why are you sleeping?…Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Being idle can cause sin to set in around us.

Other times, sin creeps in when we try to help others. In Galatians 6:1, Paul tells those who are spiritual to restore those who have been “caught in any trespass.” Nevertheless, he warns them to look to themselves so that they do not also fall into the same temptations! The “ice” of sin can close in around “ice breakers” too!

New Year’s is a great time to ask ourselves, “Has sin set in around me?” Or, “Have I gotten stuck in some sin that I was trying to help others avoid?” The passengers of the Shokalskiy are getting airlifted to safety via helicopter this week. And I’m sure those passengers will be safe and warm once they are out of Antarctica. But there is only one way to truly be airlifted to eternal safety…and that is being in Christ.