SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Truth in the Time of the Signs

People’s Attitudes

There is no doubt that our society in the UK, as well as many others around the globe, is breaking down; there is more violence, less tolerance, more greed, less satisfaction, more ‘pleasure’, less love, more foul language, less respect, more arrogance, less humility, more ‘self’, less ‘everyone else’.

Domestic Abuse 

  • An estimated 2.0 million adults experienced domestic abuse in the last year, according to the year ending March 2018 Crime Survey for England and Wales, up from 1.1 million in 2017.
  • The police recorded 1.2 million domestic abuse-related incidents and crimes in the year ending March 2018 and of these, 50% were recorded as domestic abuse-related crimes, up from 1.1 million and 46% in 2017.[1]

Child Abuse

Figures show that 3,171 offences have been recorded in England and Wales since a new anti-grooming law was introduced last year which criminalises sexual communication with a child.  This amounts to almost 9 grooming offences on average per day.

Where police disclosed the gender and age of the victim, records also reveal:

  • Girls aged 12-15 were recorded in 62% of cases
  • Under-11s were recorded in nearly a quarter of cases.

We don’t know how many children and young people are affected by online abuse. Children often don’t tell anyone because they feel ashamed or guilty, or may not know who to tell and even may not realise they are being abused.

  • 1 in 4 children have experienced something upsetting on a social networking site.
  • Around 1 in 8 young people have been bullied on social media.
  • Almost 1 in 4 young people have come across racist or hate messages online.[2]

Knife Crime

  • High-harm incidents, including offences involving knives, are on the rise.  In 2018 there was a 8% increase in following a 22% increase in 2017.
  • There were 1,299 stabbings in London up to the end of April (2018), according to official statistics from the Met Police.
  • VIOLENT crime across the Britain is being blamed on a glut of cocaine flooding the country, a leaked Home Office report has said.

Theft

  • Statistics show that from 2013/14 the number of police-recorded shoplifting offences in England and Wales has been increasing, peaking in the most recent reporting year (2017) at over 382,000 offences.
  • One area saw an increase of over 30 per cent in shoplifting offences and another over 70 per cent in mugging.[3]

Family

  • There are around two million single parents – they make up nearly a quarter of families with dependent children.
  • 67.1 per cent of single parents are in work.
  • 47 per cent of children in single parent families live in relative poverty, around twice the risk of relative poverty faced by children in two parent families (24 per cent).[4]

Swearing

  • The average Britain uses up to 14 swear words a day, according to new research…. obscenities have become more commonplace than ever.  Rather than watching our language Britons are turning the air blue with expletives making up at least one in every 1,700 words used in both spoken and written British English.  Our favourite curse is bloody followed by f***ing, f***, bugger and bastard, according to The Times.  
  • According to The Times.  ‘Almost anything goes: the C-word occurred in a recent episode of ‘Wolf Hall.’
  • A new study of 2,000 drivers has revealed that drivers typically swear 41 times for every 100 miles they drive on the road.

Loneliness

Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a Minister for Loneliness (a Minster for Suicide Prevention has also been appointed)in a drive to tackle social isolation, a problem endured by 9 million Britons.

  • According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics, 2.4 million adult British residents – of all ages – suffer from chronic loneliness.  That number, combined with research highlighting the medical dangers posed by loneliness, could see the condition being recognised as the UK’s most dangerous health issue. 
  • Loneliness has long been linked with psychological problems like alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders and depression. 
  • Analysis of 300,000 people in 148 studies found that loneliness is associated with a 50 per cent increase in mortality from any cause. This makes it comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and more dangerous than obesity.
  • Loneliness has reached epidemic proportions in the UK, where researchers estimate that up to one in four people suffer from it. This number will certainly rise as the population ages, as more people live alone, and workplace automation further weakens bonds between people.[5]
  • Younger adults aged 16 to 24 years reported feeling lonely more often than those in older age groups.
  • Women reported feeling lonely more often than men.
  • Those single or widowed were at particular risk of experiencing loneliness more often.
  • People in poor health or who have conditions they describe as “limiting” were also at particular risk of feeling lonely more often.

Fidelity

In 2017 infidelity became even more common, perhaps spurred on by modern technology and online website. Recent statistics reveal that in over a third of marriages, one or both partners admit to cheating at some point in the relationship and 45% of men and 22% of women say they have cheated on their current partner, according to a survey commissioned by Italian website incontri-extraconiugali.com.[6]

Murder

Police-recorded homicide offences in England and Wales from 2002/03 to 2017/18 show for the majority of this period the number of homicides has decreased, although the numbers have started to increase from 2015/16 onwards, reaching 736 homicides in 2017/18.

What does this mean?

Our current social situation is not a surprise.  Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul told us 2,000 years ago that a time such as this would arrive;

Matthew 24: 12– Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.

Romans 1: 29 – 31– They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.  They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

2 Timothy 3: 1 – 4– But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

What does the Bible tell us about?– The Future

What does this mean for you?– Good News


[1]Office for National Statistics

[2]NSPCC

[3]The Telegraph – 18thJanuary 2018

[4]Gingerbread – 20thSeptember 2018

[5]The Independent – 30thApril 2018

[6]Daily Star – 27thDecember 2017

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