Then and Now

Non-Christian worldviews (especially humanism) have influenced the beliefs, assumptions, and daily lives of Christians in America and other western nations. We have changed more than most people realize.

To get some idea of how much our thinking and behavior has changed, let’s compare some modern beliefs and behavior with those of times past.

Go back to 1950. That’s 58 years ago. If you weren’t alive then, you can get some idea of what things were like by watching movies from that period or reading books about it.

In 1950, the most common disciplinary problems in the schools were talking in class and chewing gum. The overwhelming majority of people were virgins when they got married. Divorce was highly unusual. When people got married, they expected to stay together, no matter what.

Back in 1950, watching sex was not an acceptable form of entertainment. In the movies, if there was a love scene, you saw the couple together and then the picture changed or faded out. You might see a kiss, but that was it. Parents back then would have been appalled if their children saw the kinds of things that have become commonplace in movies and television today.

Charles Spurgeon preached until his death in 1892. That was 116 years ago. When he preached, every seat in his church was filled, and people who couldn’t get seats stood in the aisles. Some people walked for miles to get to his church, stood for a two-hour service, and then walked home again. And they were grateful to be able to do it. There was no fellowship hall, no coffee, no smiling greeters at the doors, and no opportunity to shake the pastor’s hand or talk with him. Back then, people took God seriously. They prayed and read their Bibles at home, and when they went to church, they went there to do business with God—not to socialize.

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