Wealth+No Spiritual Life=Depression and Discontent
It is an amazing fact that wealthy western 'moderns' suffer from more depression, insecurity and discontent than the average family living in near-poverty in the African bush.
The level of suicides in affluent societies has long confused sociologists and statisticians. We are told that someone commits suicide in America every 15 minutes, and the World Health Organisation claims that suicide accounts for at least 2 per cent of all Western deaths. The rate of suicide in parts of Sweden has risen by 250 per cent during the last 40 years just as unparalleled prosperity has become available to almost all.
This whole wealthy modern western society is quite a paradox. While, ostensibly, exerting much energy to help extend life, and to protect from disease, we continually seem to concoct new ways to destroy ourselves.
Medical researchers in research laboratories all over the world continually seek ways to eradicate all disease and to extend human life and anti-suicide groups like the Samaritans spend thousands of telephone hours counselling would-be suiciders, begging them not to take their lives. Yet - at exactly the same time - abortion runs at record levels and the demand for euthanasia 'rights' just grows and grows.
Many believe that euthanasia pressure and lobbying groups will not give up their determined quest and that euthanasia, as an entirely legal option for both terminally ill and older people, will be with us and become widely accepted and largely unquestioned within 50-60 years. Horrifically, some even believe that - unless modern society radically changes its course - the whole concept and existence of 'extreme elderliness' will disappear within 250 years at most. That is, there will be no elderly people, who will be looked upon as an expendable drain on human resources much needed by young, successful 'high earners.' Therefore 'easy option' euthanasia will be freely offered for perhaps, ten years of older age before it becomes mandatory. If that sounds too crazy and unbelievable, just consider that societies have already plummeted such moral depths in the recent past (Nazi Germany performed imposed euthanasia rather freely on several groups including the deformed and the mentally handicapped).
So we see the human race involved in the strange paradox of begging itself not to kill itself, even while more and more legal options for death are demanded by 'human rights' campaigners. Does it make any sense? Where can it lead?
Jesus of Nazareth complained that certain people would not go to Him that they may receive 'life' (John 5:39-40). At first that might seem a strange comment, but Jesus already knew what thousands are now learning, that is, that life is not something that can be grasped and then held on to, even by those with great power, prestige and wealth. Why? Because true life is a spiritual commodity, whereas modern men and women only see life as the absence of death, and something to be grasped. Such modern men and women, who largely consider it unfashionable and 'socially awkward' to profess Christ, attempt to grasp life through wealth, power, beauty and fame. It cannot be done! For True Life includes spiritual contentment - it takes away that continual thirst. And even that is only the beginning, for true spiritual life in Christ leads to Eternal Life; that is: genuine continual existence for eternity, in unbounded joy, and in the very presence of God!
Too many 'moderns' believe that 'life' only concerns the opportunity for enjoyment, ease and the pursuit of hedonistic pleasures. They are wrong. THIS is why such people not only fear death, but are actually overly-fascinated by death:
DEATH IS SIMPLY WHERE THEIR CHOSEN PATH LEADS!
As clear evidence of that, a society which has now rejected its former Christian path, is already in the process of destroying itself. Any society which will self-destruct must first destroy its future citizens. Millions of tiny babes in the womb have been destroyed, and continue to be destroyed, by 'socially enlightened' moderns; yet these are the very children who should have perpetuated western society. Realising that a horrible mistake has been made (but refusing to ever acknowledge it or to admit it publically), social planners saw large-scale immigration (from countries where abortion is often illegal) as the only solution to halt rapidly declining western population levels. But at no stage have these things ever been openly admitted publically. These people are the unseen social planners and movers whose names we never learn. We see the politicians - we don't see these people.
But for a group of nations who formerly could not get enough of the Name of Christ, or of the Christian gospel, but who have now turned their backs on that, the human destruction will surely continue and intensify. Nationally things look increasingly bleak - yes, even amidst that deceptive material prosperity.
But - on a personal level - Jesus Christ still offers life.
"...I came that they may have life and have it to the full." John 10:10, NIV.
Robin A. Brace, 2007.