posted on Nov, 1 2020 @ 12:06 AM
Can You Make the World a Better Place?
“Politics cannot begin to put the connecting tissue back in society. It is ill-equipped to reconstruct traditional moral beliefs. The best policies
cannot recover courtship or marriage, make fathers responsible for their children, restore shock or shame where it once existed . . . The vast
majority of moral problems that trouble us cannot be eradicated by law.”
Are you inclined to agree with those words of a former U.S. government aide? If so, what is the solution to the many problems today that stem from
greed, lack of natural affection in families, loose morals, ignorance, and other corrosive factors eating away at the fabric of society? Some people
feel that there is no solution, so they just get on with their lives as best they can. Others hope that one day a charismatic and brilliant leader,
perhaps even a religious leader, will come along and point them in the right direction.
In fact, two thousand years ago, people wanted to make Jesus Christ their king because they perceived that he had been sent by God and would make a
most able ruler. Nevertheless, when Jesus discerned their intentions, he quickly left the scene. (John 6:14, 15) “My kingdom is no part of this
world,” he later explained to a Roman governor. (John 18:36) Nowadays, however, few take the stand that Jesus took—even religious leaders who
profess to be his followers. Some of these have tried to make this world a better place, either by attempting to influence secular rulers or by
holding political office themselves. We can see this by looking at the 1960’s and ’70’s.
Religious Efforts to Improve the World
In the late 1960’s, certain theologians in Latin-American countries took up the fight for the poor and downtrodden. To this end, they developed
liberation theology, in which Christ was interpreted no longer as a savior in just the Biblical sense but in a political and economic way as well. In
the United States, a number of church leaders who became deeply concerned about the erosion of moral values formed an organization called the Moral
Majority. Its objective was to get into political office people who would legislate wholesome family values. Similarly, in many Muslim lands, groups
have tried to curb corruption and excesses by promoting closer adherence to the Koran.
Do you believe that the world is a better place because of such efforts? The facts show that, overall, moral values continue to decline and the gap
between rich and poor continues to widen, including in those countries where liberation theology was prominent.
Because the Moral Majority failed in its key objectives in the United States, its founder, Jerry Falwell, folded the organization in 1989. Other
organizations have taken its place. Nevertheless, Paul Weyrich, coiner of the term “moral majority,” wrote in the magazine Christianity
Today: “Even when we win in politics, our victories fail to translate into the kind of policies we believe are important.” He also wrote:
“The culture is becoming an ever-wider sewer. We are caught up in a cultural collapse of historic proportions, a collapse so great that it simply
Columnist and author Cal Thomas revealed what he viewed as a fundamental flaw in trying to elevate society through politics: “Real change comes
heart by heart, not election by election, because our primary problems are not economic and political but moral and spiritual.”
But how do you resolve moral and spiritual problems in a world where there are no absolutes, where people decide for themselves what is right and
wrong? If influential and well-intentioned people—religious or not—are unable to make this world a truly better place, who can? As we shall
see, there is an answer. In fact, it lies at the very heart of why Jesus said that his Kingdom was not of this world.
The Key to a Happy World
“The single most powerful figure—not merely in these two millenniums but in all human history—has been Jesus of Nazareth,” said
Time magazine. When Jesus was on earth, thousands of honesthearted people recognized, not just his greatness, but his concern for others.
Hence, it comes as no surprise that they wanted to make him king. (John 6:10, 14, 15) Yet, as mentioned earlier, Jesus declined to get involved in
Jesus’ response was based on at least three factors: his Father’s view of expressions of human self-determination, which include human rule;
Jesus’ awareness that there are powerful, hidden forces working against even the best human efforts at rulership; and God’s purpose to establish a
heavenly government to rule over the entire earth. As we examine these three points more closely, we will see why mankind’s efforts to make the
world a better place have failed. We will also see how success will be achieved.
Can Humans Govern Themselves?
When God created humans, he gave them authority over the animal kingdom. (Genesis 1:26) But humankind was under God’s sovereignty. The first man and
woman were to confirm their submission to God by obediently abstaining from the fruit of one particular tree, “the tree of the knowledge of good and
bad.” (Genesis 2:17) Sadly, Adam and Eve abused their free moral agency and disobeyed God. Taking the forbidden fruit was not simply an act of
theft. It constituted rebellion against God’s sovereignty. A footnote to Genesis 2:17 in The New Jerusalem Bible states that Adam and Eve
laid claim “to complete moral independence by which man refuses to recognise his status as a created being . . . The first sin was an attack on
Because of the serious moral issues involved, God allowed Adam and Eve and their descendants to choose their own way of life, and they established
their own standards of right and wrong. (Psalm 147:19, 20; Romans 2:14) In essence, the human experiment with self-determination then began. Has it
been successful? With the advantage of thousands of years of hindsight, we can say no! Ecclesiastes 8:9 states: “Man has dominated man to his
injury.” This lamentable record of human self-rule confirms the truthfulness of Jeremiah 10:23: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his
way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” History has proved that humans do not have the capacity to
rule successfully without their Creator.
Jesus fully concurred. Independence from God was anathema to him. “I do nothing of my own initiative,” he said. “I always do the things pleasing
to [God].” (John 4:34; 8:28, 29) Hence, with no divine authorization to receive kingship from humans, Jesus did not even consider accepting it. This
does not mean, however, that he was reluctant to help his fellowman. On the contrary, he did all in his power to assist people to find the greatest
happiness then and in the future. He even gave his life for mankind. (Matthew 5:3-11; 7:24-27; John 3:16) But Jesus knew that “for everything there
is an appointed time,” including God’s time to assert his sovereignty over mankind. (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Matthew 24:14, 21, 22, 36-39) Recall,
though, that in Eden our original parents submitted to the will of a wicked spirit creature who spoke through a visible serpent. This brings us to a
second reason why Jesus kept out of politics.
The World’s Secret Ruler
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