By Todd Strandberg
Most students of prophecy are familiar with the advancement of an end-time event following an exponential path. Jesus laid this out in his prediction that the end would come like labor pains. There is another pattern in Bible prophecy that can be best described as Incrementalism, which primarily is the result of man’s involvement in world affairs.
Incrementalism is a method of working by adding to a project using many small incremental changes instead of a few (extensively planned) large jumps. Logical incrementalism implies that the steps in the process are sensible.
Incrementalism is a term that is not compatible with scripture. God may use situations that involve incremental changes, but his will always calls for immediate action. If Satan had written a handbook guide for how he spreads deception, incrementalism would likely be covered in some chapter.
When Pharaoh attempted to use compromise, Moses would not take what was offered. Moses had faith in God and did not take the seemingly reasonable deal of the tyrant. As the plagues grew worse and worse, Pharaoh used incremental ploys to resist Moses’s call to “let my People Go.”
“So Pharaoh said, ‘I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Intercede for me’” (Exodus 8:28).
“Not so! Go now, you who are men, and serve the Lord, for that is what you desired.’ And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence” (Exodus 10:11).
“Then Pharaoh called to Moses and said, ‘Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you’” (Exodus 10:24).
Ancient Israel has a frequent problem with idolatry. As the worship of Idols would incrementally creep in with moral decay, the solution wasn’t to reverse the process. King Josiah is seen as the best example of how to reform from this sin. He did not put away some idols in order to maybe someday destroy the rest sometime later. He destroyed all idols throughout his land and established true worship.
“Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him” (2 Kings 23:25).
What makes Incrementalism troublesome to us today is that we are seeing it on so many fronts. The devil has been on such a lengthy winning streak, we’ve lost sight of how wicked the world has become. Most people don’t even realize how far we have drifted from the truth.
When I was a kid, most people praised and respected our founding fathers for giving us the greatest form of government mankind has ever devised. In recent years, the left has chipped away at America’s national heritage by dwelling on racial grievances. Lately, the attacks have degraded to pure hatred of everything related to American history.
When former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick told Nike he didn’t like a Betsy Ross’s flag on its footwear, the firm immediately pulled the shoe. The flag had nothing to do with slavery. Kaepernick spouted off because he has animosity toward all American flags. Because Trump has the slogan, “Make America Great Again,” the press has become fixated on publishing articles that seek to lower America’s standing in the world.
One of the most dangerous form of incrementalism is the attack on our freedoms. We have gone from the nation that greatly prized personal liberty to one where the needs of so-called minority group are given a higher priority. When liberals were outnumbered, they wanted special protection for their values. Now that they control large regions of society, their new motto is now “majority rules.”
When it comes to rules, there are no set guidelines. On social media, conservatives are being marginalized for offenses that leftist groups get a free pass to violate. In the past few weeks, several people on the right have been banned for insulting posts. And yet, we have groups like Antifa beating people with crowbars, and their accounts face no restrictions.
When Twitter froze actor James Woods’ account because it just didn’t like his conservative views, I gave up on the site. Woods said he is also done tweeting, saying, “Until free speech is allowed on Twitter, I will not be permitted to participate in our democracy with my voice. As long as Jack Dorsey remains the coward he seems to be, my Twitter days were in the past.” Twitter censorship just marches on. The site says it will start labeling tweets from influential government officials (President Trump) who break its rules.
It is very unlikely that we are going to see any change in the direction of incrementalism. Because we’ve been on this path for so long, the natural onset of reprobate thinking makes the chance of any U-turn a remote possibility. In the face of this madness, believers need to abide in God’s truth and wait patiently for the rapture.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:28).
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).