20th Century: unique in the history of man
A look back at the history of the century just past may suggest that in all the changes which these one hundred years brought there is a basic divide forming which spans the globe.
The Twentieth Century
The 20th Century stands out as totally unique when compared with all previous centuries – particularly in the huge advances in almost every aspect of life upon earth.
The horse and camel more or less set the land speed maximum at not more than 20 mph. At sea, the wind speed was the limiting factor.
Today most people in the western world have the choice to travel by land, sea or air, with speeds approaching 500 mph; with experimental space travel much in excess of that. Transport has altered the lifestyle of millions, while galloping inflation has affected everybody.
Research in every sphere has also brought about change. It is reckoned that knowledge (not wisdom) is now doubling every fifteen years with rapid changes in medicine, surgery, communications, computer science, television and radio, electronics, automation and nuclear power.
[Ed note: cf Dan 12:4]
Advance is so rapid that the camera you purchase today will be superceded within a month or two by a superior and more versatile model.
In many parts of the world, food and water are in short supply yet the population is increasing at a phenomenal rate. World population has doubled since 1960.
Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and causing much suffering and death.
Volcanic eruptions have entered a new phase in that recently aircraft almost throughout the world were grounded because of volcanic ash. Earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding and forest fires and other natural phenomenon are also totally beyond human control.
Despite the persecution of the Jews for over 2000 years and – if we consider the Babylonian conquest – even longer, they have been hounded from most European countries, enduring extreme suffering.
In fact, while the Jewish people are a very small minority in the UK, and only about 0.05%,of world population, 60% of the world's Nobel prize winners are Jewish (in the fields of science, literature and music many others).
The climax of the cruelty to the Jews commenced in the 1930s when Nazi Germany set in motion an attempt to exterminate the Jewish people.
Although it is claimed that some 6,000,000 Jews perished , the Jews succeeded in establishing the state of Israel in 1948, despite strong military intervention by several mid Eastern countries. [Ed note: cf Is. 43:6]
Hitler and Stalin were the principal leaders in the second of the two great world wars of the century. Neither had the power of television to sway the masses, yet National Socialism and Communism made huge inroads with people having disastrous results.
The world emerged in 1945 in totally different form – with the lack of stability in governments and the break up of nations into violent states with the potential some day, of using nuclear weapons to promote their cause. This latter possibility had the whole world in great fear, and strenuous efforts are constantly being made to prevent this happening.
The total number of violent deaths in the 20th Century must be approaching 100,000,000.
After nearly 1500 years of impotence, a new power of colossal magnitude appeared on the scene – ISLAM: a religious system with untold wealth on a worldwide scale; with an increasingly militant wing causing international terror; with an accompanying cost of security and inconvenience.
The total destruction of Christianity would appear to be one of its objectives, and by political and/or violent means to convert all the world to Islam. [Ed note: See article on the Muslim Brotherhood ]
The building of mosques proceeds rapidly throughout the world, while Christian churches in Islamic countries are being regularly burnt down and Christian evangelists forced to recant or be killed. These terrible happenings are not isolated cases and are affecting many true believers in the Lord Jesus.
In this country, many of our churches are closing down because of poor attendance and a total indifference as to what the church should stand for. Even many of our modern church leaders are apostate and would deny the deity of Christ and the inspiration of the scriptures.
While decimalisation in 1973 was introduced for beneficial results, it has no doubt led us to greater dependence on Europe . The UK was always regarded as 'The Defender of the Faith'. The subtle – and not-so-subtle – control from Europe has brought us to our knees in order to meet the demands it has made in many forms.
Human rights are paramount, not God's rights. 'Humanism' is a gradual freeing of persons from many restrictions. Morality – it would seem – is an option not a principle.
As government is becoming weaker, the many problems we face are seemingly becoming beyond us. It might not be a tremendous exaggeration to say the criminal calls the tune, not the law of the land.
The following are a few of the problems facing us :- Drugs, terrorism, rape, murder, the control of mass demonstrations, disposal of nuclear waste, the delicate state of the banking system, spiralling juvenile delinquency as a result of the single parent syndrome from breakdown and disregard of marriage, depletion of natural resources, sexual perversion.
In all of this, the world would appear to be forming into four divisions:-
3. Paganism and Humanism:
What, as Christians, do we think of it all?