TIME has selected their Person of the Year for 2019 and much to the surprise to everyone not named Hillary Clinton, it’s climate alarmist and teenager Greta Thunberg.
According to the publication, they chose her because:
“Thunberg is not a leader of any political party or advocacy group. She is neither the first to sound the alarm about the climate crisis nor the most qualified to fix it. She is not a scientist or a politician. She has no access to traditional levers of influence: she’s not a billionaire or a princess, a pop star or even an adult. She is an ordinary teenage girl who, in summoning the courage to speak truth to power, became the icon of a generation. By clarifying an abstract danger with piercing outrage, Thunberg became the most compelling voice on the most important issue facing the planet.”
Regardless of what one may think about the issue of climate change, there’s a certain aspect of Greta’s trek across the Atlantic that should be respected. It’s not every day you see a teenager going to great lengths to make a statement about something they believe in. So, kudos to her in that respect.
That said, however, a young teenager getting help from other activists and her father and a crew to sail across the ocean may be a nice kicker story, but it hardly feels like Person of the Year type material.
Especially when considering a crew of people later flew across the Atlantic in a plane to pick up the boat and return it home, the effort begins to feel more like a PR stunt than anything else.
Since the mainstream media would prefer to prop someone up who sounds the alarm on their pet political issues of the day rather than people out there doing things truly worthy of recognition, here is a list of a few other people the media would likely never give serious consideration to an honor such as this.
The most obvious omission was the protesters in Hong Kong. In fact, they actually won Time’s reader poll but were overruled by the editors. Their inspirational courage in the face of oppression has gripped the attention and hearts of many around the world, especially in America because of all the American flags and songs that have appeared throughout the protests.
That would’ve been a great choice. Here are others who most media outlets will give no or little recognition:
Founder of the Free Burma Rangers, Dave Eubank made national news when he brazenly risked his own life to save a young girl from near certain death at the hands of ISIS. His heroics were caught on camera and undeniable, running across open ground as bullets flew by, to rescue a young girl hiding under the body of her dead mother.
Eubank is no stranger to situations such as these. He has made it his life mission to help those caught up and suffering in war zones and hostile territories in Burma, Iraq, Syria and Sudan.
Most recently, Eubank has been on the ground in Syria helping civilians getting bombarded by Turkish drone strikes after the announced American pullout from northeast Syria. Eubank sadly lost one team member to an attack, and was nearly killed himself in a drone strike that claimed the life of the man standing directly next to him.
Eubank regularly cries out to Jesus and prays fervently, believing in God’s sovereignty over all situations he finds himself in.
Here’s a clip of he and his wife interacting with people in Ein Issa, Syria.
If mainstream media gave Dave and FBR the attention they deserve, there’d be no doubt he’d be in contention for Person of the Year honors.
Asia Bibi, along with her attorney Saif Al Malook, risked their lives to fight extremist blasphemy laws in oppressive Pakistan. Bibi, a Christian who spent 8 years on death row in Pakistan for violating blasphemy laws, persevered and eventually was able to leave Pakistan and end up in Canada.
Now, she has bravely spoken out against draconian laws currently being used to justify and intimidate millions of Christians in the Middle East.
“I pray to God that everyone falsely implicated in blasphemy cases should be released, that they get freedom and God helps them,” Bibi told the Sunday Telegraph. “There should be proper investigation mechanisms while applying this law. We should not consider anyone sinful for this act [blasphemy] without any proof.
“There are many other cases where the accused are lying in jail for years and their decision should also be done on merit. The world should listen to them.”
Bibi was unable to say goodbye to her family before leaving Pakistan, due to security concerns. Despite losing hope on several occasions during the lengthy prison term, Bibi’s ability to carry on throughout all of it and have her faith remain in tact is nothing short of an inspiration to all.
“My heart was broken when I left that way without meeting my family. Pakistan is my country, Pakistan is my homeland, I love my country, I love my soil,” she said.
For standing up to a regime that often brutally oppresses those of differing beliefs, all while surviving nearly a decade in prison unjustly, Bibi would’ve been a worthy selection.
Pastor Andrew Brunson
Brunson is a pastor who was imprisoned by Turkey for two years before finally getting released with the help of the Trump administration, and he is now sounding the alarm against persecution around the globe.
“I don’t think that we’re prepared for what is coming, especially the next generation. I fear that many of us are complacent and we’re unaware, and this means that the people in our churches are going to be blindsided by what comes. You are the ones, as pastors and leaders of churches, who have the task of preparing the next generation.”
Brunson continues to warn about increasing persecution and share his personal testimony about his harrowing time in a Turkish prison.
Speaking during the Southern Baptist Convention in Birmingham, Alabama, the 51-year-old evangelical minister said those who prayed for him and for the nation of Turkey during his two years of detainment “sustained” him and his wife, Norine. “The Lord just made me a magnet for prayer,” he said, according to Fox News, “and I think someday you’re going to see that it was really something tremendous that God was doing.”
Given Turkey’s brazen ongoing attacks and Brunson’s faith and perseverance during a trying time would also make him a great selection for person of the year.
Pastor Wang Yi
Prominent Chinese pastor Wang Yi was arrested along with around 100 Christians in his congregation following threats from government officials to shut the church by the end of the year.
He of course, bravely refused and ended up suffering the consequences.
Later he would publish a powerful letter about civil disobedience, which he instructed to be published should he ever be detained by government authorities for more than 48 hours.
The pastor’s letter frequently references the brevity of life, reminding the Chinese people there is more to come after this life and the sufferings and successes of the present pale in comparison to eternity.
“For this reason, I accept and respect the fact that this communist regime has been allowed by God to rule temporarily,” he explained. “As the Lord’s servant [16th century theologian] John Calvin said, wicked rulers are the judgment of God on a wicked people, the goal being to urge God’s people to repent and turn again toward Him. For this reason, I am joyfully willing to submit myself to their enforcement of the law as though submitting to the discipline and training of the Lord.”
For his unwavering faith in the face of oppressive prosecution, this is the type of person who should be considered in future issues of POTY conversations.
Last but not least…
Kanye West’s dramatic conversion to Christianity has sparked a creative outburst that Kanye says is all for the Lord.
Kanye’s life has taken a dramatic turn for the better, dedicating his life to Christ and directing all of his energy and creativity towards producing music, events and other things that ultimately seek to glorify God.
His “Sunday Service” events have caught fire around the country, despite being started almost underground and with no more promotion than a few cryptic and short clips on social media. Now, they are must-attend events and everyone is trying to find a way to get to one.
In one recent event, West, standing between wooden crosses, performed “Closed on Sunday,” with his daughter North sitting on top of his shoulders.
As Kanye prepared to sing, the pastor on stage said, “Can we hear it for Jesus? He is king tonight.”
Kanye has appeared on all the major shows, and since the name of his album is “Jesus is King” each and every one of them made that profession live on TV.
Kanye has professed Christ boldly and has been open about his personal life and journey since doing so. He’s even been open about discussions he’s had with his wife, Kim Kardashian West, about dressing modestly. He’s also injected his thoughts on controversial issues such as abortion, claiming “thou shall not kill.”
If reporters in the media considered influencing people for Jesus a worthy cause, perhaps they’d be a little more excited about putting Kanye West on the cover of the magazine.
Apparently, however, they feel climate change is a more worthy issue to highlight.
What person do you think should be included on the list, that the media has ignored? Add your thoughts on Facebook or in the comments section below.