Is Humanity Growing Increasingly Violent?

Is Humanity Growing Increasingly Violent? September 1, 2017

Does it seem that violent conflicts are on the rise today? Has there been an escalation of violence?

In Our Nature

From our very beginning, it was in our nature to be violent, and it all began with Able, who “was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it” (Gen 4:2b-7). In fact, Cain didn’t rule over it; it ruled over him, and so “Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him” (Gen 4:8b). Things didn’t change much by Noah’s day, except that the violence grew worse, as it says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Gen 6:5-6), so by Noah’s time, “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Gen 4:11-12). Today, it seems as if history is repeating itself, so is escalating violence a sign of God’s coming judgment, like the flood was to all who refused to repent?

AtomicBomb

Growing Discontent

To begin with, if a person has not been born from above, they cannot “rule over” themselves, much like Cain couldn’t rule over his sin, and he murdered his brother Abel. It is only through Christ that we can do anything (Phil 4:13), and without Him, we can do nothing at all with eternal implications (John 15:5), so a person must repent and believe or trust in Christ before they have access to the power of God through the Spirit of God. It is by His Spirit that we grow in holiness, never being sinless of course, but thanks be to God, we have His righteousness imputed to us (2nd Cor 5:21). Only in Christ can we stand. History has proven that human philosophies and practices have utterly and miserably failed, and today, we’re equipped to wipeout every person on the planet, 10 times over! And now we have consistent and sometimes almost daily confrontations between groups opposing one other’s social and political agendas. Recently, masked anarchists attacked right-wing demonstrators, and even the police were overwhelmed and unable to separate them. After several arrests, police confiscated clubs, knives, guns, pepper spray, stun guns, and all other sorts of make-shift weapons. Even bottled water became a weapon, causing one man to suffer a concussion, but you can’t confiscate fists, and hatred, and the spontaneous violence that comes from it. It almost seems there is no contentment anymore. Cain could have tried to learn to be content, but he never even tried. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Phil 4:11-12), so how did Paul remain content throughout all these hardships? He had lots of practice to learn contentment through many trials and tribulations, but He could still say, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). Really, his contentment was in Christ, not in circumstances.

Hate and Murder

Most believers know that Jesus equates hate with murder, although certainly the physical act is far worse, but murder is birthed in hatred and hatched in violence. When we are raised with our parent’s prejudices and bias, we almost unknowingly start thinking the same way. It’s as if we are doing what is “normal,” but normal it’s not. It might be typical, but hatred is not of God. The Apostle John writes, “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness” (1st John 2:9), and “whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1st John 2:11). We will never be known as Jesus’ disciples by protests, hatred, or violence. In fact, we may prove we are not His disciples by our hatred of others! Jesus tells us how we can know who His disciples are, but also how others can t3ell who are Jesus’ disciples. Jesus commands His followers to “love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34b-35). Jesus takes it even further, telling us, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28). We respond to hate with love; cursing with blessings; persecution with prayer. The way you beat hate is with love.

Conclusion

If you are concerned with an increasingly violent world, then think about the Prince of Peace Who can deliver you from the wrath of God. Don’t believe me, but believe what Jesus says: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). You are either for Christ or against Christ (Matt 12:30; Luke 11:23), and to defer to make a decision is to intentionally reject Him. Those who are on the fence will be cast into hell along with everyone else who rejects the only name given to mankind by which they can be saved, and that is Jesus Christ (Act 4:12). There is simply no other way (John 14:6). No, it’s not politically correct, but it is correct, or does society prefer the political over the correct anyway?

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas.  Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

"I am impressed that you know billions of people so well!"

What Jesus Christ’s Resurrection Means
"“...it is more than words can explain.”That has certainly been my experience."

What Jesus Christ’s Resurrection Means
"Oh and don’t demand proof again. It underscores your delusion.You are going to have to ..."

Chosen by God
"I believe Satan has subjected you to strong delusion and you will stay that way ..."

Chosen by God

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Evangelical
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jimmy Yost

    I think Revelation 6:4 fairly well explains why there is this recent upheaval of violence all over the world. Here’s what it says:

    “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” (I copied this from the King James Version).

    But it’s not all bad seeing as how the Lord foretold in several verses of scripture that right before the end there is going to be a worldwide revival. One example is Joel 2:23 in which the Holy Spirit speaking through the prophet Joel foretold two huge outpourings of the Holy Spirit, the first of which happened on the day of Pentecost in around 33 A.D. At the beginning of that outpouring the Apostle Peter quoted Joel 2:23 to identify it (see the Book of Acts chapter 2, paying particular attention to verses 14 through18). The second huge outpouring (i.e. the latter rain outpouring) is yet to come. The Lord revealed it to the Apostle John in a vision in Revelation chapter 14 verses 14 through 16 which say:

    “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, thrust in thy sickle and reap: for the time has come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”

    The Lord himself also foretold it in Matthew 24:14 which says:

    “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.”

    Most Christians today think that verse has already been fulfilled by the televangelists having preached the gospel in all the nations of the world. But what they fail to understand is that there’s a big difference between the gospel of salvation and the gospel of the kingdom, the difference being that the gospel of the kingdom is accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is revealed by a statement the Lord made in Luke 11:20 which is this:

    “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.”

    There are several other verses of scripture that reveal that the kingdom of God is of utmost importance to the Lord, the most telling one being Matthew 6:10 which is the first request in the Lord’s prayer which says:

    “Thy kingdom come…”

    I sometimes think that the Lord considers his kingdom as the most important thing in existence. The only exception to that might be that he appraises his church as being the most important thing in existence. But that’s another subject.

    If you happen to like Jazz music, back in 1988 the jazz group Special EFX composed a beautiful tune titled ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ which glorified the Lord in the jazz community during that time period. In case you might be interested in hearing it here’s the link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaI7MHIFUg8

    I have an idea that the reason the Lord has allowed for a spirit (probably the principality of rejection) to take peace from the earth is because he knows that when people are subjected to stress in the earth realm they start to become more interested in spirit realm things. I think it may follow the same principle as what happens to some garden plants and fruit trees, which is that if they go through a drought near the time that they’re in full fruit bearing that the fruit will be a lot richer and better tasting.

    Before closing I wanted to mention one last thing concerning the end times: There are several verses of scripture that reveal that at some point (I suspect either right after or during the end time outpouring of the Holy Spirit) that the Lord’s church is going to go through a terrible tribulation period. The two most telling verses I can think of are Matthew 24:22 and Revelation 6:9-11. In Matthew 24:22 the Lord speaking in reference to it says:

    “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

    And Revelation 6:9-11 says:

    “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

    The thought that the Lord would allow this is appalling to most Christians (even though most of them would never admit it), but what they don’t understand is that their exposure to the power of the Holy Spirit during the end time outpouring will strengthen them so much that they’ll be well prepared for whatever the kingdom of darkness brings down the pike.

    There is currently a lot of false teaching going on saying that the Lord is going to ‘rapture’ all of the Christians before anything really bad happens to them. And there are so many Christians who are so frightened and weak in the faith that they swallow that deception hook, line, and sinker. I think that the above verses indicate that when the Lord comes back and there is a ‘rapture’ that there probably won’t be very many Christians left alive to see it. And besides, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 the Holy Spirit writing through the Apostle Paul foretold that those who were killed shall rise first. So according to that being killed is more of a plus than being alive when it happens.

    Anyway, these false teachers are doing the body of Christ a huge disservice by lulling Christians into complacency (and worldliness) and distracting them from having a mindset that is geared toward becoming spiritually prepared for some really rough times. The internet (particularly YouTube) is awash with these false teachers who are teaching massive lies about the end times. When the Lord comes back I’d hate to be in their shoes.

    • Jack Wellman

      Exceptional commentary and solid, biblical content my friend that proves your point well. So much for “Your Best Life Now” as a Christian philosophy. I have read that the best is coming (Rev 21:3-4; 22:4).

      • pud

        No it’s not..it’s rubbish. Delusional superstitious rubbish.

    • pud

      Total nonsensical gibberish.

    • pud

      Tell us delusional one how you KNOW that the “lord” told “john” this surreal nonsense in a “vision”…TELL US HOW YOU KNOW THIS TO BE SO….waiting…

    • The book of Revelation has been the subject of more numerous, different interpretations then any other book in the bible. What makes you think that you have the correct view? It is not a crystal ball by which anyone can predict the future. It is alleged to be about “things which must soon take place”, not the far off future. It is written at the end of the first century in the context of Roman power and claims that Jesus is Lord, not Caesar. So it seems to be against empire.

      The pacifist Jesus seems to become Jihadi Jesus with rivers of blood flowing. The non violent Jesus becomes violent. But considering that there are so many contradictory views of this book, who really knows? What makes you think that you are right and so many others are wrong?

  • pud

    “If you are concerned with an increasingly violent world, then think about the Prince of Peace Who can deliver you from the wrath of God” WTF?

    Your imaginary “jesus” IS your imaginary “god”….So tell us confused one…which is it? The “prince of peace” or the “wrathful god”?

    This once again demonstrates your complete lack of ability to reason. Rational people see contradictions and reject claims that have obvious ones…not you!

    ““Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). You are either for Christ or against Christ (Matt 12:30; Luke 11:23), and to defer to make a decision is to intentionally reject Him. Those who are on the fence will be cast into hell along with everyone else who rejects the only name given to mankind by which they can be saved, and that is Jesus Christ (Act 4:12). There is simply no other way (John 14:6).”

    OH NO! The unpardonable crime! Not “believing” the ravings of ancient cult members! Not “believing” demonstrable contradictory nonsense! Not “believing” the absurd claims made by ignorant savages centuries ago who you don’t even know a thing about save that they were religious lunatics!

    Will it be the “prince of peace” or the “wrathful god” (one and the same according to your wacky construction) who will send the “unbelievers” to your imaginary hell? Tell us jackster…how can you worship a made up “god” who could so easily be bruised, so totally dependent on his “creations” believing in him on no evidence that he would inflict eternal torture upon them…something not even the most horrible human being would do to another.

    This is why you and your cult are so magnificently wicked and intrinsically evil.

    Worship or suffer eternal torture!! So sayith the lord! And you dedicate your entire life to this evil celestial dictator eh?

  • pud

    “The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Phil 4:11-12), so how did Paul remain content throughout all these hardships?”

    Because jack, as I’ve pointed out so many times, “paul” was a MURDERER, LUNATIC, PSYCHOTIC who experienced visions….how many other murderers who have visions do you model your life after?

  • I do not know whether violence is increasing or not, but I think that people should do what they can to help minimise violence. Promoting healthy minded thinking, a positive outlook on life, consideration of others, thinking the best about others, wishing the best for them and treating them with dignity and respect would be possible places to start. Compassion, healing mercy and loving kindness with a heart filled to overflowing with gratitude would not go astray, either. Love has wonderful healing, relational qualities.

  • Fact is, the world has never been less violent. We live in the most peaceful, prosperous time in human history.

    • Jack Wellman
      • Maltnothops

        Jack, that link doesn’t help your argument. First, it fails to rebut the “prosperity” argument of Mr. Murrow. SPCL says nothing about prosperity. As for peace, that is going to depend on the relationship, if any, between peace and hate. It isn’t clear to me that hatred always implies violence.

        Second, you’ve got a time period problem. The SPLC report mostly focuses on a one year difference. If your blog post was about violence increasing over only a single year, you surely failed to communicate that limitation.

        Third, you’ve got a definition problem (really, it is SPLC’s problem but you’ve gone and made it yours by citing them). You’ve already failed to define “violence” and now you’ve used the undefined “hatred” as a proxy for the undefined “violence”. The SPLC has, for example, accused someone of “hatred” for denouncing certain Muslims who have called for her murder because of her alleged apostasy. They’ve also labeled certain groups as hate groups because they oppose gay marriage and other equal civil rights for homosexuals. (Nonetheless, I do appreciate you coming out on the side of marriage equality.)

        • Jack Wellman

          Yes, hatred is another story altogether, but hatred is the root of violence, is it not. Anyway, you do make some valid points that will make me think more deeply when deciding for titles. I am still in learning mode, so thanks for the constructive criticism.

          • Maltnothops

            No, it is readily apparent that one can have violence without hatred and hatred without violence.

          • pud

            Yeah…think more deeply…hahahaaa! Ponder the talking snake next week. Fact is, if you could think at all you would be out of a job!

    • Jack Wellman
  • Maltnothops

    “Is Humanity Growing Increasingly Violent?”

    Either the title is wrong or the article is wrong. The author didn’t even attempt to argue that violence is increasing, decreasing, or stable.

    • Jack Wellman

      I cannot see, since my 64 years of life, that it is getting less violent. Recent events dipict a society that is on the verge of fractionalism and extremists on both sides are not only growing in membership, but in confrontaitons with one another. Some comments that it’s more peaceful, now that ever, seem to contradict current events over the last few years, and so comments that there is peace, appear to come straight out of Scripture where they say, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace” (Jer 6:14, 8:11; Ezk 13:10).

      • Maltnothops

        So, here’s a much better way to make your argument:

        First, define your terms. What counts as “violent”? What doesn’t? For example, is speech that includes violent imagery “violent”?

        Second, choose an appropriate time period. Generally, you can’t confidently determine a trend over short time periods. For example, a baseball pitcher who strikes out the first two batters is unlikely to strike out the next 25. The first two were not a trend.

        Third, use data (anecdote is not the singular of data) that is comparable from both the beginning and the end of the time frame.

        Your blog entry did precisely none of those.

        Query: If you were 84 instead of 64, might your life experience seem different? I’ve heard WWII was pretty darn violent if you think of death and maiming as violence.

        • Jack Wellman

          Good point about the range of years being 84 instead of 64. The blog entry is a question to which the answer should be obvious, but apparently not to all. Case in point about hate groups: https://www.splcenter.org/news/2017/02/15/hate-groups-increase-second-consecutive-year-trump-electrifies-radical-right

          • Maltnothops

            I have elsewhere demolished your use of this link.

          • Jack Wellman

            I see no demolition of any link. Hate groups are on the increase and hate and violence are bedfellows.

          • Maltnothops

            That link said hate groups have declined since 2011.

            Hate “groups” are not equal to violence. That report does not say that hatred-inspired violence increased.

            Demolished.

            QED

          • pud

            Schooled him again…lol

          • Maltnothops

            If the time period in question, per the blog entry, is from the days of Cain and Abel, then you have failed to document that we have murder rate in excess of 25% today.

          • pud

            Schooled again eh jack? LOL

        • Jack Wellman

          I also agree on defining the terms and narrowing the time limit, to lets say, global violence resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.28 million people in 2013 up from 1.13 million in 1990. Source:GBD 2013 Mortality and Causes of Death, Collaborators (17 December 2014). “Global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.

          • Maltnothops

            Global population in 1900: 5.3 million.
            In 2013: about 7.1 million. I’m interpolating between 2010 and 2015 and erring on the side of caution. I think 7.1 is a bit liw.
            Percentage increase in human population: 34%.

            Deaths by violence in 1990: 1.13 million
            In 2013: 1.28 million.
            Percentage increase: 13.2%

            conclusion: violence per person has decreased significantly.

  • pud

    Genghis Kan killed so many people that the carbon footprint of humanity fell….Now simple jack…was that more or less violent than today?