Is the modern generation better than the previous ones?
There is a lot of talk these days about tolerance, but is it just a question that the line between right and wrong has been shifted all the time?
Now that changes occur in moral areas, many might think that we are headed in the right direction. They might say that these days people are much more tolerant and loving than 50 or 100 years ago. Many people regard themselves as better than their grandparents or our ancestors.
Is that really the case? Are people today more tolerant and loving than the previous generations? Perhaps, it is only the line between right and wrong that has changed, but people today are not any more tolerant and loving than our grandparents. That is, these days people have a positive approach towards things that were previously considered wrong. This can be seen in people’s approach towards extramarital affairs, increasingly more acceptive reactions to divorce, and increased tolerance towards homosexual relationships. Before, these things were considered wrong, but not anymore.
In some sense, the state of the current generation is reminiscent of the time of Jesus. As divorces are more popular these days in comparison to previous generations (Today, nearly every second marriage ends in divorce. Between 1901 and 1910 there were only ca. 125 divorces annually in Finland.), it was also common during the time of Jesus. Hence, Jesus called the generation of His time bad and an adulterous generation:
What does the former mean? Perhaps, the current generation lives in a kind of bubble that blinds one from seeing how we keep falling deeper into wickedness. This should be taken into consideration, since it has been clear that such development takes place in certain areas. We are going to look at a few examples.
TV shows have changed. Everyone knows the movies and shows of the 1950s. They were relatively innocent, clean, and respectful language wise.
There have been some changes in this area, however. The following example discusses the most popular shows in the USA in 1973 and 2014. The shift is visible in the examples. The development is similar to previously mentioned sexual questions:
In 1973, the ten most popular television series in America were: All in the family, Sanford and Son, Hawaii 5-0, Maude, Brigitte Loves Bernie, Sunday Mystery Movie, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Gunsmoke, Wide World of Disney and Ironside.
Compare these to the ten most popular series in 2014: Breaking Bad (contains a lot of drug use, violence and sex), Game of Thrones (fantasy series full of sex and violence), Les Revenants (supernatural crime series), Mad Men (drama series with sex and nudity that is recommended to 14-year-olds and older), Girls (in the series student women take part in many sex scenes, which are being shown in more or less detail), Orange is the New Black (drama comedy situated in prison with a lot of sex and profanities), The Walking Dead (drama series filled with murderous zombies, sex and nudity, and it has for a long time been more popular than football among 18 -to 49-year-olds), Nashville (main character is a teen who has sex with many different partners), Masters of Sex (tells about the sex life of Master and Johnson), and Americans (contains sex, violence, and blood shed). (19)
Schools have also experienced change. Nausea in children and teens has increased, which has also impacted schools. Disciple in schools has diminished and teachers are having a hard time because of it. Before, teachers were not struggling as much, as they were respected.
In relation to this topic, the head title of Etelä-Suomen Sanomat (23/10/2016) on the front page told about a survey answered by teachers. The front page brought up the following points. 74,4 percentage of teachers thought that the behavior of students had gotten worse, not better. The article also refers to the behavior of the parents:
The heading of the front page:
School: ESS poll reveals, teachers subjected to violence, vandalism, threats and parents’ rage
The poll that the teachers took part in:
How do you think the behavior of students has changed over the last few years?
2,6% it has gotten better
23,1% it has stayed the same
74,4% it has gotten worse
The poll of OAJ: Students are the worst bullies to teachers in the whole country
according to the poll 50% of elementary school teachers have experienced bullying over the last year.
Another article relating to schools is a letter to the editor. It illustrates how schools used to be a calmer environment before, as well as health centers. If there has been development, it has not been for the better:
Discipline or cell phones
Schools: Disciple to replace verbiage
Eetelä-Suomen Sanomat (13/10/2016) had news about incidents in a school in Lahti. The subtitle on page A4: “teachers experiences even more bullying.” Alarming content glared at me in the end: “41 percent of answered teachers had experiences inappropriate treatment or bullying over the last 12 months.”
Then a solution that left me terrified: Working condition indicator states that the teaching branch needs a program for well-being and safety. With it, procedures and structures that ensure the well-being of workers in the future is created.”
Instead of the working condition indicator, one should steer their attention to the good old times and adopt the methods that have been proven to work. Instead of empty words, this method is expressed with ten letters and they are d i s c i p l i n e. Discipline.
Let modern parents turn pale in horror. The classes of us baby boomers had over 40 pupils. In the 1950s, the grammar school of Tammela had 44 pupils on the third and fourth grades. I remember a lot of things, but not disruptions during class. There were no cell phones, people were not aware of ADHD. Pupils used to learn in school, because Finland was poverty-stricken and needed generations that could create a welfare state with their labor.
In the 1960s, in Tampere lyseo high school, one was not allowed to say a single word in mathematics and physics classes! Expect when answering the teacher’s questions, of course. People focused on the teaching.
As a result of strict discipline, my peers did not become disturbed adults, but instead professors, graduate engineers, judges, and doctors.
... As a professional in health care, I bring forth the behavior of patients. When I was on duty in the emergency room in the central hospital in 1974, there was no fear that patients could be violent or threatening. Today, it is a constant phenomenon in the emergency rooms. They learnt it somewhere. What happens when no one (from Finland) wants to be on emergency duty – or teach?
As we’ve lost discipline, we’ve also lost civilized behavior. Restoring discipline is simple, if wanted. But the will of people seems to steer towards adapting to the consequences of unruliness.
More resources, more resources, more debt. Well, unruly administrators will get exactly that.
Jyrki Joensuu, specialized doctor in general medicine and psychiatry, Lahti (Etelä-Suomen sanomat 17/10/2016 / from reader)
- (Matt 5:22) But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
- (Matt 5:44-46) But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans the same?
- (1 Peter 2:17) Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
One of the most important things is having respect towards other people. According to the Bible we should respect and value our neighbors, regardless of whether they think like us or not. We should love and respect even our enemies. Not loving and not wanting to respect our neighbors is wrong and opposite to what Jesus and the disciples taught. Unfortunately, we are often far from perfect.
Where is the development headed to in this area? Has it gotten better or worse? There is no need for much thinking here. We live in a society where respect for our neighbors is not as prominent as it used to be. The previous examples about the development in schools and health centers prove it. Although, these days people talk a lot about tolerance and love, we can say the shift has been for the worse. It can be seen in disrespectful Internet forums, in character assassination between politicians, as well as in our approach to foreigners.
What about behavior in politics? Poor behavior and the belittling of others have also found their way into politics. Some say that society is headed towards a more tolerant direction, but this kind of development is not visible. The only thing that has happened is that people have readjusted the line between right and wrong in many different areas, such as sex outside of marriage, abortion, and, homosexuality, but people are not acting more respectfully towards others.
The following rather fresh article (Siitä on lähdettävä, että tähän on tultu” [We’ll have to notice first that this is where we’re at], interview with MP Tapani Tölli) shows how poor behavior has also managed to integrate itself into politics. People no longer take advice from Peter “Honor all men...” (1 Peter 2:17). Similarly, Jesus also talked about the same issue (Matt 5:21,22): ”You have heard that it was said of them of old time, You shall not kill; and whoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
… Tölli is a highly amicable and cooperative MP. That is why the past electoral period has been tough for him. It has become less pleasant in many ways to be in politics, he says…
… Tölli lists: Politics has become shallower. Perseverance is lost. Ability to make decisions has gotten poorer. Perceptions have become more important than facts…
… Tölli is especially upset about the increased coarseness of language. Discussions in the parliament are often like twitter-feuds, where part-takers compete on who comes up with the nastiest insults.
“Sometimes the discussions in the plenary sessions just make me want to leave.”
According to Tölli, the worst part is that the MPs seem to purposefully misread the statements of others – and then comment on those purposefully misinterpreted views.
“It appears to be a discussion, but it is not. It is really tiring. It has nothing to do with taking care of important matters.”
… Tölli is not alone with his views. The same has been said by others who have given up politics.
Longstanding MP of the center -right party, Seppo Kääriäinen, also explained why he stepped out during a critical period in politics. “It is better to give way to the current trends in politics and the forces better suited for the change in this place of shift.”
Lenita Toivakka, from the coalition party, complained about politics becoming more shortsighted and aggressive. Misunderstanding is popular, because it will give you the headlines and clicks.
Politics has changed and divisions have become more noticeable. And not only in Finland, as it is a global phenomenon. (Helsingin sanomat 26/8/2018)
The following quotation will provide a good example of how it used to be, that is, how to respect others and speak more respectfully. It is a text from a book written by an already deceased woman. Nowadays, we have gone to the opposite direction in dealing with people near or far:
(...) There was plenty of restlessness in the world back then, too. But it was not unrest like fearing about war, not yet. I understood that humanity had somehow drifted away from God. People did talk in a civilised manner and had high morals. Drinking or swearing in public was very uncommon then. If there was a party or a gathering, people never cursed or came to the party drunk. People considered such behaviour substandard. Booze and swearing were left out at the times when Finland became independent because people were closer to God, thanks to the times of revivals. This influence lasted until the 30's or even the 40's. People did not talk dirty or rude in public. Everybody was very well-behaved, and polite towards women. Violence was very rare, too. The entire village disapproved if someone hit a woman.
Violence started to increase later on. I understood completely why. When people started to turn away from God, the world started to take the young people in. The devil started to introduce his teachings. People talked dirty, which was unheard of. It still feels bad for me when I hear people in public or in the TV or radio cursing...
A responsible person who has experienced these two eras had to be worried about what was to come. Praise the great Lord that He has not allowed the Word to be lost among us altogether! People started to destroy, and later on even question the existence of God! It was a horrible thing to hear for a person whose life God had guided all the way, to whom God was always talking, always explaining things, and who clearly saw that God exists. Is this how far Finns have come from God? What will happen to the nation if it rejects God this way? (20)
Attitude towards foreigners
- (Eze 22:7,29-31) In you have they set light by father and mother: in the middle of you have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in you have they vexed the fatherless and the widow.
29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yes, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.
30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
31 Therefore have I poured out my indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed on their heads, said the Lord GOD.
- (Eze 16:49,50) Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
Another rather fresh article from the news is mainly concerned with foreigners. It discusses increased hate speech towards foreigners and its other manifestations in society. Refugees and immigrants have it even harder because they experience offences, even physical violence. This shows how respect towards our neighbors has diminished from the past.
There is an interesting related prophecy, which was received through an elderly lady in the late 1960s. Emmanuel Minos received the prophecy, but kept it to herself for decades, as she thought it would not come true any time soon. The prophecy told about, e.g., tv-shows and their change, but also about approaches towards foreigners. Attitudes towards strangers, foreigners, and refugees is one factor that can affect the fate of a society, like in the ancient Israel. It is not about giving refugees everything: expensive homes, cash, and everything, which might easily provoke jealousy in the unemployed and in other underprivileged people. However, uncaring and direct violence can act as one basis for judgment. If society has a negative attitude towards refugees and starts to hate them, it could fill the measure of sins for that society.
People will accept what they see and they will not have only one alternative to watch on TV; instead, they will have plenty to watch. The TV will work just as the radio. We will be able to switch from one show to another, and all of them will be full of violence. People will consider this entertaining. The worst imaginable murders and scenes of violence will be staged for people to see, and such behaviour will spread through society. Sexual intercourse will be shown on TV. The most intimate of things that should only be part of a marriage, will be shown onscreen. This will happen and you will see it taking place. The laws we now have will be broken and amazingly lecherous things will be shown to us.
People from poor countries will flood to Europe. They will also arrive in Scandinavia and Norway. People will not like the refugees being here, and they will be harsh towards them. They will treat them more and more like Jews before the war. This is when the debt of sin will be filled. This will happen right before Jesus Christ returns – and before WWIII. It will be a short war. Everything I have experienced about war will be like child's play compared to this. It will start like a regular war but it will spread and end with atomic bombs. The air will be so polluted that people will not be able to breathe, and this will happen on several continents. America, Japan, Australia – the rich countries. Water will be polluted. We will not be able to cultivate the land in these places. The people still left in the rich countries will try to escape to the poorer ones that are undamaged. They will be treated there like we treat them here, and they will not be willing to accept us. (21)
Now, back to moral and its development. Earlier we noted how many consider themselves progressive, calm, and tolerant. They think they are morally more advanced than their grandparents or ancestors, who had a negative approach towards divorces, relationships outside of marriage (unmarried couples), homosexual relationships, abortion, and euthanasia. These people may not have realized that they have only shifted the line between right and wrong. Now, things that were previously considered wrong, are thought to be right. Thus, there are little arguments for the notion that these days people would be more tolerant and morally more progressive than before. This is not the case, as many indicators point to the other direction. This is demonstrated by diminished respect in schools, health centers, less respect among politicians, less respect towards foreigners, and changes in television series. If there is change, it proves the new generation to be more selfish and worse than the previous generations. What happened in Israel, will soon happen here, as their children did worse things than their fathers.
- (Jer 16:12,13) And you have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, you walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not listen to me:
13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that you know not, neither you nor your fathers; and there shall you serve other gods day and night; where I will not show you favor.
One should also take into consideration relating Bible prophecies. According to them, the development is going to get worse, not better, in terms of moral during the last days. Therefore, when people these days talk about tolerance, it is often merely tolerance towards evil, selfishness, and lusts. Real love and respecting one’s neighbors have not increased, instead people have begun to favor selfish lifestyles.
- (2 Tim 3:1-5) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, has prophesied about similar development. His prophecy comes just over a hundred years ago and it deals with the state of the world and Christianity a day before the Second Coming of Jesus. The prophecy says, e.g., that there will be politics without God, that is, there will be political leaders who do not have a single ounce of respect towards God. Similarly, it is prophesied how people will proclaim forgiveness of sins without repentance. This is a fitting description of the current development where our society and the whole Christendom has turned away from traditional Christian faith even more:
1. "At that time politics is without God. (...) There will be a day when the official state politics of the entire West is of the kind that nobody in a leading position fears God (...) the new generation of political leaders will rule Europe; a generation that does not fear God in the least;
2. Then there will be heaven without hell (...) There will be a day when a great withdrawal of what the Bible says to be "the Gospel of the full truth" will take place. At that time a "gospel" for the itching ears of the people will be preached. The hearers will determine what is preached from the pulpits. Then, the common order for the pulpits will be 'speak mild, sweet words; speak about heaven, leave us in peace so that we would not have to be strained when you preach about hell.'
3. Christianity is full of forgiveness but without repentance. The teaching of the Bible that there is not forgiveness without repentance will disappear from Christianity.
4. The day before the coming of Jesus will be full of the joy of salvation, with people who have not been born again from above.
5. There is a lot of religion without the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:5 Jude 18,19).
1. John Hagee: Kolme taivasta (The Three Heavens), p. 128,129
2. Kerttu Kalmari: Jumalan ihmeitä, p. 12,19,25
3. Prophecy received in Norway and passed on by Emmanuel Minos
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life
Grap to eternal life!