Christian BoyLove Forum #66309
offers an interesting argument that we are being manipulated by commercial forces using fear to pursue their own agendas. Because this has been happening for quite a long time now, in order to achieve the same effect, the volume is being turned up. Combined with the effect of the news industry always looking for stories to fill the bandwidth, lots of stories in the past that would have been ignored are getting significant visibility, creating an atmosphere of general paranoia.
However to interpret that as evidence for the 'last days' is surely a mistake. A case can be made for there being some things in place that give some credibility to such claims - but very few of the 'headline' issues are those. As Mordechai argues, on a worldwide perspective we are currently doing very well, with unprecedentedly low levels of poverty and ill health. Even crime has been falling in most of the developed world - for reasons that continue to elude criminologists. It IS possible to identify worrying trends, but that's nothing new.
There's an interesting further point in all this however, which is about how far Christians who are doing pretty well can come to downplay the bad stuff, and those who are having a bad time focus on the negatives. The challenge for Christians is to ensure we don't allow our security to be in what we have in this world (a temptation that I struggle with - I'm physically very comfortable!). What we need to be doing is listening to God - and that's HARD!
The final question - which is one I always want to ask when a theological topic emerges - is 'what difference does it make to how you live?'. Are you going to live differently because of your belief? SHOULD you be living differently. For example Mormon teaching calls for its members to have a year's supply of food stored away; if you never use it, then this is a waste of God's provision for you. And that's always the danger of these 'interesting' beliefs: they lead us to do things that really aren't good.