We have had success with appearances, and there always have been certain cities and states that looked attractive and beautiful. But that's easy to do compared to teaching people the truth, and training their inner soul and spirit. This is where the horror show unfolds; in glittering cities like Tokyo, with 1428 annual suicides (almost four per day); and Moscow, with 2331 (more than six per day).
The problem, and fault, must be within ourselves. It becomes clear the more we look that families are the major source and nurturing place of error, ignorance, abuse, and crime. Physical and psychic wounds that parents inflict on their children unjustly (particularly psychic ones) can and will haunt children all their lives. Our sense of justice is inherent, and is even shared by the animal kingdom. Anyone who has raised horses knows that they have a keen sense of it. Elephants also. Physical abuse and injuries can and may be forgotten, but the psychic torture some parents inflict can and will provoke children to murder and mayhem. Not living up to the standards we teach children breeds contempt within them. Contempt for rules, laws, and authority.
Another large-scale form of abuse has surfaced for over a generation now in the western world. It's child neglect, where parents refuse to discipline their children, and allow them to be rewarded with "participation trophies"; which they think will develop their "self-esteem". Instead of teaching their children the real-life skills of competition and the pursuit of excellence, they indulge and pander to them. This failure has caused a surge in mental illness among the young, and an inability to deal with real-life stresses. One in four westerners now suffer, or have suffered some form of mental illness, according to the EU and other western sources.
The Bible considers child abuse to be nearly unthinkable, and aside from warnings to parents, it never mentions a personage who did such a thing. Even the mad King Saul, who sought to kill David, didn't abuse his children. "Spare the rod and spoil the child" is a frequently quoted but misunderstood scriptural phrase in Proverbs 13:24. "The rod" means "authority" in the original text, not a club.
Jesus said, "Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?" (Matthew 7:9-10). Chances are some of you have met or know of parents who would do such a thing. This author does, and it gives us some idea of how purely evil it is to wrong a child. Children are innocent, and need to be taught right from wrong, except in rare cases. Damaged children become damaged adults, and the evil they do reverberates through history from generation to generation. To harm any innocent living thing is a direct affront and a wound to God. Jesus spells it out to all of us that the punishment for this is very grave.
Punishments are not, unfortunately, effective enough to deter criminals; especially if they're far into the future. Most criminals think only of the present, and don't believe they'll be caught. So crime goes on unabated. The world as a whole is getting measurably worse from month to month.
For us now, today, there are only two paths to choose from. One is to join with the world, set aside all moral considerations, and do whatever we can to enrich ourselves and fend off or eliminate enemies. But this comes at a price. We'll never know what true peace is, or the goodness of prosperity fairly earned. In most cases even successful criminals are punished in the end. How many can you think of who ended their lives well?
The other path is the moral one that takes God and His promises into account. An ethical life brings happiness and joy beyond death. There is a much better and more desirable world in store for those of us who have faith.
In addition, we'll also see the true reasons for this world's demise. The escalating power-mad scramble for more and more deadly weapons can't end well. Someone, somewhere, will pull the trigger, and nobody can say when. Consider: if there is no God, we're all in the same boat, and it won't matter. But if God exists, His people, you and me, will find glory and salvation forever.
This is why the world is disintegrating in chaos. For almost two centuries our faith in God, religion, and morality has been under attack by the false religion of science and pure reason. Science and reason are gifts from God, but should never be worshiped themselves. Only our Creator is worthy of worship, not His creation.