I can’t help but think that often Christians in North America, like myself, get discouraged when they regard culture. We tend to see everything that is wrong with it, and idealize other times in the past before things happened.
Sure, there are a lot of things that are wrong in our culture today, mostly relating to respect for life, consumerism and sex, but there are also many things that are going right. Here’s some of what I think has changed for the better:
Without a doubt, our society is much less racist than 100 years ago. Obviously, issues still linger, but generally, it is not acceptable to be racist and that’s a good thing.
World War I was roughly 100 years ago. It seems inconceivable that developed countries would actually be excited at facing this prospect, but indeed they were… until it was over. Today, wars are the object of much suspicion and generally reluctantly engaged in. This has its cons, but overall is something to be praised.
100 years ago, people could not have imagined the sheer wealth of knowledge that the internet has brought to everyone. Again, like everything else on the list, it hasn’t been a smooth ride and there are issues – but the pervasiveness of knowledge in the internet age is a wonderful thing.
This one is perhaps less something within the broader culture, but something within our church culture. It hasn’t been easy for different denominations to get along, but certainly today we are more friendly than at any other time. There is a very real danger that ecumenicism has in some cases overwhelmed a desire to follow the truth of the Gospel, but part of the Gospel message is that we are supposed to be one church.