Nothing New Under the Sun?

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Is it true that things are getting worse in the world? Is this an even “wickeder” and more “perverse” generation than the one before it and the one before that? It sure seems that way sometimes.

Even though it’s before my time, I love music dated from the 60’s to the 80’s. I grew up on the Beatles, the Eagles, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Journey, and the like. It seems like music today just isn’t of the same quality. It’s quite a subjective matter I understand, and I know that there is good stuff out there today… but something about it just seems… Inferior. This probably just has a lot to do with my personal bias, and perhaps I’m a little delusional in seeing such glaring differences between music of the same century. But let’s take a step back farther and to the side, from Modern America to Europe back in the day. Is hip hop really as good as classical music, in the most objective way possible?

And then there’s the morals of society. Everyone’s favorite subject. Watch a movie from the 40s. Watch a movie from today. It’s not rocket science. People used to censor, dance around things, leave to the imagination. And now entertainment is often shameless. As we strove towards portraying gritty reality in media for the sake of believable art, we long ago crossed the boundary and entered into a realm of senseless debauchery. And in doing so, I think we are also beginning to abandon those basic truths that have given movies their magic, replacing them with raunchy details that fail to carry their weight when it comes to illustrating the true nature of the human spirit.

Yet I’m not sure if that says much about the phenomenon that supposedly exists of each generation getting worse than the last. Are people essentially any worse? I think that media has a negative effect, but there are also positive influences all around. The changes in the media are not necessarily an indication of a change in the people. No doubt that the media is more dangerous, that it has gotten more comfortable in its own skin, that it is content to take off its clothes in the living rooms, bedrooms, bus stops, and offices of this fine nation. But are people really any worse? In Ecclesiastes it says that there is nothing new under the sun. Since Adam took a bite out of that fruit, the world has been a crazy place. There has been hatred, war, violence, idolatry, greed, extra marital sex, adultery, jealousy, cursing, homosexuality, selfishness, and most importantly, indifference towards God. All through the centuries. We can’t forget that.

The good old days seem good to us, I understand that. A time when things were less complicated. Sure. The world seemed less artificial back then. We’d all like to get back. No one likes all the crazy, prophetic stuff going on in the world now that seems even crazier than anything that’s ever happened before. But was it really, truly, better, and is the future really truly going to be worse? I doubt it, but I could be wrong. It seems to me that people are just always finding new ways to sin, but isn’t sin sin no matter how you smear it in lipstick? I could be wrong. Maybe kids today are truly rotten, and it will only get worse. The end times, after all, seem pretty bleak. There will be the anti Christ and the mark of the beast, that seems like rather unprecedented evil. But there will also be more Christians (I think) and there will be signs and miracles. That’s a plus. So what’s better? I don’t know, I think I’ll just throw out the measuring cup and call it a day. The point is that people sin and people always have sinned. The point is that you’re either for or against God so it doesn’t matter how quantitatively moral you are if you don’t have God. The point is that there’s always hope and there’s always joy.

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