Copyright © 2014 by Gun Lap
We think that we live in violent times, and of course, to some extent, we do. The evening news regularly carries stories and images of war, terror, or murder. But the big question is whether violence is going up or down. Because if violence is not going up, how can we be in the end times?
Stephen Pinker, author of the 2012 book The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined has studied the trend of violence in history and his data shows, surprisingly to many, that violence is going down!
According to Pinker, whether we believe it or not, we may be living in the most peaceful time in human history. People who think violence is going up don’t realize how much violence there was in the past.
The bible does not say that we are in the end times now; it does not give a date. It only gives us signs to look for. One of the major signs is that of violence. (“You will hear of wars and rumours of wars”—Matt 24:6). The Churches of God have been telling us that violence has been going up. Herbert Armstrong lived during the time of two major conflicts: World Wars I and II. In such a time it was easy to conclude that violence was going up, and for those few years, it was. But we need to look at the whole picture (we were always told to “get the big picture” in any situation) and do the math. We must not assume. The second world war ended a long time ago (69 years ago, in 1945). Since that time violence has gone down, not up. We might now be living in the most peaceful time in history! This comes as a great surprise to people who live by impressions and short-sighted data rather than by historical trends. People rely too much on sensationalist daily news, which focuses on current events and other short-term trends. Some people will refuse to believe that violence is in decline. They will not look at the actual data. The two world wars of the early 20 century were temporary “blips”. They did not lead to the end, and they were not signs of the end. And there are no conflicts in the world today even close to that scale.