Thursday, August 27, 2009

Are We Living in the End Times?



This is a question I’ve pondered some in the past few days. Recently, I read Are We Living in the End Times? by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins, the authors of the popular Left Behind series. In the book, the two men assert that sin has increased substantially in recent years, and as a result, the end times are nearly upon us.

As evidence they point to changes in sexual morality, which has of course changed. Homosexuality is accepted to a much greater degree. Cohabitation, premarital sex, and looking at porn are common behaviors among the current generation.

But is the current generation really more sinful than previous ones? I’m not even sure that what traditional Christianity would call sexual sin is on the increase. People have always committed adultery and had premarital sex. The only difference is that those behaviors are more acceptable in society.

Even if we grant that society is more sinful in some ways, it can’t be in others.

Let’s take a look at history. Are we really worse than the generations that enslaved millions of Africans? Are we worse than generations that violated treaty after treaty with Native Americans and took their lands? There can be no doubt that society is more tolerant of minority groups than it was centuries ago. Working to treat all people fairly, including minorities would please Jesus, I’d think. Similarly, he must have been angered and saddened by chattel slavery, or the use of deception to drive people off their lands.

Here’s a truly interesting question: are we worse than the generation that crucified Jesus? That generation (if you believe the Biblical accounts) was one so wicked that it rejected the only begotten son of God who performed miracles in front of its very eyes.

So while I’m no expert on end-times theology, I just don’t see that sin has gotten any worse in recent years.

2 comments:

  1. I agree!! We are not getting more sinful: we are already totally messed up! Every generation has someone saying that the end is nigh. In 1987, there was a famous book/pamphlet called 88 Reasons for '88, which was a treatise giving 88 reasons why the world was going to end that year. In 1988, they came out with 89 Reasons for '89. They made a pretty penny.

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  2. LaHaye's interpretations of Revelations and other prophetic Scripture are bunk anyways (I say LaHaye because he is the theologian and Jenkins the writer). We may not fit the evidence of the end times as they see it, but they're wrong about what that evidence is in the first place.

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