“Goblin mode” was Oxford Dictionaries’ 2022 Word of the Year. Oxford offered this choice to English speakers for the first time in its history, saying that the “Word of the Year is a word or expression reflecting the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past twelve months, one that has potential as a term of lasting cultural significance.” More than 340,000 people cast their vote.

Goblin mode as a slang term is often used in the expressions “in goblin mode’ or ‘to go goblin mode.”  It refers to “a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.” First seen on Twitter in 2009, it went viral on social media in February of 2022, seeming to capture the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the idea of returning to normal life.

Ben Zimmer, American linguist and lexicographer, said: “Goblin mode really does speak to the times and the zeitgeist, and it is certainly a 2022 expression.  People are looking at social norms in new ways.  It gives people the license to ditch social norms and embrace new ones.” 

Casper Grathwohl (President, Oxford Languages) said, “Given the year we’ve just experienced, ‘goblin mode’ resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point… People are embracing their inner goblin, and voters choosing ‘goblin mode’ as the Word of the Year tells us the concept is likely here to stay.”

I hope each man reading this blog rejects “goblin mode” as part of his lifestyle. Jesus tells us the exact opposite as we come to the end of the age.  In Mark 13, for example, Jesus tells us, “Watch out that no one deceives you” (v. 5).  In verse 9 we are told, “You must be on your guard.”  Later he warns us, “Be on guard! Be alert!” (v. 33).  Then he says, “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back” (v. 35).

As followers of Jesus we certainly need to reject many of our contemporary social norms and expectations. We need to be on guard and alert to not become “self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy.”   Peter gives us good advice when he tells us, “Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted.  Stay wide-awake in prayer.  Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it.  Love makes up for practically anything” (I Peter 4:7-8 – Message).

In Chapter 5, Peter warns about Satan:  “Be careful!  Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour” (v. 8).  Could it be that God is raising up an army of men, who reject “goblin mode” as they hear the trumpet of God? They are warning people of the difficult days ahead. These men are gathering into small groups all over our nation, knowing in their hearts that the time is short.

Men, do you hear the call?  It is a call to action, to warn others being carried away and diluted by the influence of the dominant narrative. Revelation 13 describes in symbolic fashion how Satan gives power and authority to the beast: “This first beast represents governmental tyranny throughout history working against Christ and his church,” notes Nancy Guthrie. “It is political and governmental powers demanding the loyalty that belongs to Christ alone.” 

Men: expose and stand against the forces of darkness that have captured much of the popular narrative in our culture.