Sunday, February 01, 2015

The toleration of evil

From James Burton Coffman's commentary on chapter 16 of Revelation, after he has pointed out how much Western society - in particular his own American culture - has become so debased.  

We do not offer this interpretation as meaning that "the end of time is upon us" or that the final judicial hardening of the race of mankind has already occurred. Nor, are the things we have pointed out intended as an affirmation [of the last days], for it is not true, that all art, music, literature, publications, entertainment, etc., are evil. Thanks to the God of heaven through Christ, there are still many wonderful, beautiful, and uplifting things available in every one of these fields; and it could be that the complete fulfillment of this prophecy lies yet a great distance into the future, or that the things we have understood as pertaining to the whole world could be merely the astounding perversions that mark the decline of our own isolated culture in America. Therefore, we make no claim whatever that this bowl of wrath, or any of the others, is totally fulfilled by the aberrations noted.

However, our interpretation is that the bowls of wrath mean exactly the type of moral and spiritual pollution of the total human environment that we have attempted to point out. It is not merely that lust, vulgarity, pornography, violence, perversion, and obscenity are present in our culture. They have always been present in greater or lesser extent in every culture. What is alarming today is the toleration, acceptance, and justification of such things, even to the extent of their being advocated and encouraged by and political institutions; and that is what signals a frightening new aspect of such wickedness today. It could be later than we think.
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