In seminary, a professor read to us a letter from a father, complaining about teens today. He explained how spoiled they all act, they don’t respect their parents, they think they’re entitled to everything, they do what they want and don’t obey instruction, etc. After reading it, the professor revealed the author as Socrates (4th century B.C.). Now, I don’t know which of his 3 sons Socrates was talking about, but it’s interesting to see that, even with all the complaints about Millennials and all today, including their purposeless post-election protesting they’re all doing, their behaviors aren’t actually new – nothing changed, even in all those years:
In Romans 1:18-23, Paul explains that it’s the same with sins and behaviors of people of all ages – that they’ve been doing these things since the beginning of humankind:
God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. —Romans 1:18-23 (NLT)
I think that what’s most interesting so far is that all these things that Paul’s mentioned, which as he said has been occurring “since the world’s creation”, is just the same today. In other words, even with the sins of people today, nothing’s new, nothing changed even up to this point in time! When people today say:
- that they’ve chosen not to believe or obey certain things the Bible says;
- or that God’s Words were to ancient people long ago and thus are irrelevant today;
- or that they’re living not by God’s Word but by their human instincts, which they were born with;
- or that they know what God’s Word says but they choose instead to follow their hearts;
…or when they begin to think up foolish ideas of what God is (or should be) like, this is not new! Nothing Changed! Nothing is significantly different!
It’s just like those who take on philosophers’ views for their own (or think up their old views on their own) and think it makes them wise. People have been doing that since the world’s creation, and yet:
- They still never attained salvation by doing so;
- They never became wiser;
- They never understood nor obeyed God;
- They never fully comprehended God;
- They all still died and are burning until even today.
The evil are just as evil. The wicked have always suppressed the Truth. Not to quote or promote the Mormon beliefs of Battlestar Galactica, but as they continued to say in the newer version, ‘all that has happened will happen again’ (paraphrased). Or if you’re an Aerosmith fan, “It’s the same old story, same old song and dance!”
Another part that stood out is how often people, especially those who are gay or pro-gay, either pass over this chapter when arguing their situation, or argue it away with insane and incorrect translations of the Greek (and English). They read God’s Word, they see it plainly, but then they choose to disobey it because it disagrees with what they do or want to believe.
Looking at the culture today, can you add to the list of sins that were common also in history (or when you look at the sins of the past, can you list any that are still common today? Please add them in the comments section below.