A Little Perspective

Ever so often I hear people say, “I don’t know if I want to bring kids into this world. It’s gotten so bad.”

I also see people post this on Facebook on a very regular basis, “What is this world coming to?!”

I apparently have a lot of fortune teller friends on Facebook because I also see declarations of the end of the world on a regular basis. What’s the cause of such declarations? It’s various insane things like weather, Obama, and Twinkies going out of business (granted they came back but they did leave us for a hot minute).

I don’t know if it’s because of reruns of Leave It To Beaver, the Cosby Show, and or any other wholesome family from TV past but when people make those statements they imply that the world has gotten worse.

Has it really?

At one point there was such a fear of gas attacks that this was a real invention…

Yes that is for a baby.

Have you ever heard of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919? A young black man, Eugene Williams, paddled into a white only section (WHITE ONLY SECTION…Do WHAT) of Lake Michigan and was drowned after he was hit by a rock thrown from a white man standing on a bridge. When a group of African Americans reported it to the police they ignored it and the riots started when a mob of African Americans attacked the police officer. From there things get crazy. White mobs attacked African Americans riding on trolleys and beat them with baseball bats and iron bars.

Attacks on schools seem to be a modern thing but the worst attack on a public school happened in 1927. A former school board treasurer bombed a public school and killed 43 people.

Think America is a scary place to live now? Today has nothing on the 1960′s which included…

  • The Cuban Missile Crisis – a 14 day stand off almost lead to a nuclear war.
  • JFK, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Robert Kennedy were all assassinated.
  • Multiple riots including…
  • Nothing says America like attacking another American citizen with the American flag. Sense the sarcasm.

Do you think that there is negative peer pressure for kids today? Well, Fred Flinstone and Barney used to take smoke breaks while their wives did all the house work.

Think college kids today are way  more Jersey Shore than academic? On March 2, 1952 on the University of Michigan close to 600 men stormed a woman’s dormitory with the sole purpose of stealing their undies. This became a trend known as panty raids. alkfja. That word is gross and causes me to spaz as I type.

I’ve heard some blame Hollywood for how crazy our world is. Um…

Halloween crazyThat’s scarier than anything Hollywood has come out with in the last ten years and apparently it was just a typical Halloween night.

Think people were innocent way back in the day? I received a complete compilation  from the 1950s Superman comic strip that ran in the newspapers. It contains this interesting panel…

Can you even imagine the outrage if that comic was published today?

So what’s the point of all this?

The point is that as long as their have been humans there has been bad, crazy, end of the world type events.

Humans are bad.

They always have been.

We aren’t getting worse. We’ve always been capable of all kinds of evil.

Today is not worse than when Hitler was in power and ordering the holocaust. Today is not worse than the wild west when they would publicly hang people. Today is not worse than when notorious gangsters like Al Capone ruled the streets.

Today people are still broken, hurting, and in desperate need of Jesus. So often Christians pull out of society because it’s “getting worse” and then it’s no wonder things actually get worse. Christians are called to shape the culture. To influence. To make a difference. To be in the world and not in a holy huddle.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message)

Have you ever felt like times are worse today? Why is it so hard for Christians to be the light of the world?

 

 

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

25 Comments

  1. December 11, 2013

    We remember the good times and like to forget the bad, craziness. We also like to think present circumstances are worse than the past. Distance seems to diminish how bad things are.
    We have trouble being the light because we don’t spend enough time in the Light.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2013

      Larry, that last line will preach! Also my mom gave you a shout out in her comment. I love that she called you Larry the Deuce.

      Reply
  2. Brian Burk (@Cledawgs)
    December 11, 2013

    I go around and around on this alot…are things worse or do we just hear about it more?

    Good post.

    Brian

    Reply
    • December 11, 2013

      Thanks Brian! I do think we hear about it more. There are also more people to create more messes. Maybe they were just tougher back then but whenever I watch a western I think about how awful it would have been to live back then. Indians scalping people, white people killing indians, cowboys shooting up the town, and people settled disputes with gun fights. That’s crazy! Not to mention that they wore leather chaps and didn’t have AC. We’ve come a long way since the wild wild west.

      Reply
  3. December 11, 2013

    I am one of those who tends to think we as a people are getting worse and worse as time goes on, just due to the sheer number of reports of our outrageous and evil acts. However, you are spot on here.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2013

      Thanks Daniel! I think the news doesn’t help. Drama sells ratings. The news highlights the bad and rarely focuses on the amazing.

      Reply
  4. December 11, 2013

    Rob, this was such a good and timely post. I ponder these things sometimes and had not taken the time to consider how far we’ve come in some areas. Can you imagine some of the biblical atrocities?!?! The people of Nineveh were vicious.
    So often we forget that simple acts of common courtesy shine a light. In the darkness, the smallest of flames shines bright.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2013

      Barb, you are exactly right. Biblical times was straight awful! It’s crazy to think how the human race has lasted as long as it has.

      I think the simple acts are often the brightest lights. Loved your last sentence!

      Reply
  5. DP
    December 11, 2013

    Word.

    Reply
  6. Gayle
    December 11, 2013

    I think the reason we feel like it is worse is because we have such expansive and immediate access to information today. When we were growing up, you didn’t see or hear “news” unless you actually stopped what you were doing, went and bought a newspaper and sat down to read it (I know, crazy? right?) Or spent an hour watching the news on TV. Now, it’s everywhere – whether we are looking for it or not. You can access information at any given moment (and “like” it or “share” it so all of your friends see it)

    Often, I long for the days when I was happily oblivious to the evil in the world. It sure does break my heart these days.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2013

      Gayle, I agree. We have instant access to news which often highlights the crazy because it sells. For me, there are times where I hang out in the holy huddle for so long I actually forget how bad the world is. Christians have their issues but they know how to hide them better. Once we can afford it again I want a gym membership just so that I can build relationships with others.

      Reply
  7. Crystal
    December 11, 2013

    This is such a relevant post. I have definitely been on the negative side of this before. When we focus on the darkness of the world, it’s really easy to get caught up in a pessimistic view of society. You make a very great point — humans are broken. We always have been. As Christians, we have a choice– we can bring others closer to Jesus or push them further away. Hiding in our Christians circles is not going to bring people to Jesus, but loving them can.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2013

      Crystal, that’ll preach. Loving people is what Christians are called to do.

      Reply
  8. shepherdmim
    December 11, 2013

    Right on! Larry the Deuce also hits the mark that distance diminishes the impact. Things we read about in history books or even times we lived through as kids do not have the impact that processing events as an adult have at the moment. I do not think human nature or violence is any worse. However, I am concerned that economically the U.S. could be headed toward a fall worse than the 30s and today’s pampered children (including myself) may awaken to deprivations that other countries of the world already suffer. Hope I am wrong and can envision some changes that could happen, but not taking anything for granted.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2013

      Mim, I hope not for the US’s sake. I know I for one am not prepared for the end of the world.

      Reply
    • December 11, 2013

      Thanks for the shout, Mim. I have to call you Mim after seeing you on here for so long.

      Reply
  9. December 11, 2013

    “Spot On” with this post Rob! I think a lot of people dont see how well they have it till its gone or threatened. I think your post the other day on negativity and Gayle’s above comment led me to think up a cool quote! …

    “Negativity…It’s easier spread than DONE!”

    (your welcome)

    Reply
    • December 11, 2013

      Oops..i take that back! Not that cool after re-reading it…i forgot that “done” has a multi use function to it! Lol

      Reply
    • December 11, 2013

      Lu, thanks man! I haven’t heard that quote but I like it.

      Reply
  10. December 11, 2013

    You brought up some superb examples! Is it the word “panty” that you have a problem with? Or is it “panty raid?” I think we think it’s worse because of technology. As soon as something happens, the entire world knows about it. Well, at least all of the world with Interwebs. I think we think it’s worse because we hear about more than we used to. This gets our panties in a wad.

    Yes. I did that on purpose. MWAHAHAHAHAHA. . . .

    Why is it so tough for us to be “light?” I’m not sure. Perhaps we are too dazed by the fake light that the world displays. And it’s getting harder and harder to convince the world that it needs any light.

    Reply
  11. December 11, 2013

    I think it is sort of funny when people talk about the “good old days.” Say what? Sure life might have been simpler but tell those who went through the Depression they were the good old days. Loved the post Rob. Made me chuckle and think.

    Reply
  12. December 12, 2013

    Because the world has a broken lightbulb?

    Reply

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