But it would have been a much easier transition if it hadn’t been a Lenovo. Does that ring a few bells with the techie crowd? In 2014, Lenovo began building a third party adware program called "Superfish" into its consumer PCs. If you have read anything about it, you already know where this is going. There was so much adware embedded in this thing we couldn’t even read a line of text without pop-ups flooding the screen. If the cursor ran across a magic word, another would instantly appear. And the thing kept track of every website you visited, producing even more ads. Sometimes they popped up so quickly that when you were trying to click on something on the legitimate page, you wound up clicking on an ad instead. We couldn’t even load our desired programs for all the pop-ups. But this wasn't the worst of the problem. This adware made it much easier for hackers to break through HTTPS entirely, and such an attack occurred shortly after the program became public.
As far as I know, we were never hacked, but this stuff was so deeply embedded that it took at least three trips to Geek Squad to get it out. And after every scrub, we had to spend time loading the programs we wanted yet again. The first four months we were actually able to use the computer about 4 weeks. Finally on September 5, 2017, Lenovo settled the lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission agreeing to procure affirmative consent for any future adware programs and to have audited security checks for the next 20 years. They also agreed to pay $3.5 million as part of a state level settlement.
Satan embeds his adware into our culture the same way. When you can’t even watch a hamburger commercial without “soft” porn invading your living room, when the teasers for the shows you avoid include language your mama would have washed your mouth out with soap for using, and when we are constantly told that we aren’t hip, cool, smart, happy, or the most interesting people in the world without beer, hard liquor, cigarettes, or dancing the night away in skimpy clothes on a rooftop somewhere exciting where whatever you do stays, then you need to watch out for your souls more than ever before.
The world will laugh at you if you mention Satan. He isn’t real, we are told. Only the ignorant believe in a mythological character like that. If you are a Christian, you must believe in Satan. If you don’t accept that part of the Bible, why would you accept any other part?
Growing up I thought the only New Testament verses that mentioned Satan were the ones around Jesus’ temptation and the good old roaring lion in Peter. Imagine my surprise when I looked it up. I counted 19 outside the gospels, less one for the Peter passage we all know, for a total of 18 others. Then there were the ones who called him something else like “the god of this age,” and “the Devil.” And many of them talk about his “adware.” Check a few of these out.
2 Cor 2:11 mentions the “devices” of the devil. Eph 6:11 speaks of his “schemes.” 2 Cor 4:4 tells us he “blinds the minds.” 2 Cor 11:14 tells us he “disguises” himself. All I have to do is look around and see those devices and schemes every day, not just on television but in the speech and behavior of people who have already been taken in. Have you ever seen the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers?” Some days I feel exactly like Kevin McCarthy, looking over my shoulder to see where the pods are, and wondering which of my neighbors have been replaced.
One of Satan’s devices are his ministers. The New Testament warns again and again of false teachers, false messiahs, false prophets, and false apostles. They fashion themselves as “ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:15). Not only do they appear to be doing good, they even look good. False teachers on the whole are good-looking and charismatic. A lot of what they say sounds good and is, in fact, good. But 90% of rat poison is good too. It only takes the 10% to kill the rats. When you keep finding the good in a man you know is teaching error, maybe Satan’s adware has taken hold of your heart already.
Our culture has become embedded with evil masquerading as good. We had to have our computer “scrubbed to the bones” to get rid of the adware. Maybe it’s time we all used a spiritual scrub brush on ourselves before we are taken in too.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 2 Pet 2:1-3.