Thursday, May 29, 2014

A better world?

A reader wants to know if the world is now better or worse than it was in Billy Graham's youth...
Q:As you look back over your life do you think the world is in better shape than it was when you were young, or is it worse? And what do you think it will be like 100 years from now?
The answer kind of depends or what we mean by 'better'. But by and large, I'd say that it is a better world now than it was even when I was young.
A: Only God knows the future, of course, and ultimately our future is in His hands. However, I pray for a better world for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and I hope you will, too.
Pray for a better world? Even though earlier this month he talked of Satan blocking all the prayers for world peace? So are we supposed to pray for something that Billy said won't happen until Jesus puts the beat down on the Devil?
In some ways, today's world is better than it was when I was a child. I think, for example, of all the advances that have taken place in medicine; many of us wouldn't even be alive if it weren't for them. Things like the Internet or television or jet airliners were unheard of only a few generations ago. God has given us an amazing ability to harness nature and create new things for our use.
No, don't thank God... Thank science! You know, that little truth machine that  the religious seem to embrace when it helps them, but denounce when it contradicts their beliefs.
Tragically, however, we haven't always used our God-given abilities to make a better world, and in many ways the world today is worse. Think, for example, of the countless millions killed in wars during the last century. Terrorism, drugs, gang warfare, corruption, random violence, pollution, weapons of mass destruction - the list is almost endless.
Yes, lets think of the many wars and acts of senseless violence that were entirely or partially motivated by religion. Sure, it's not the sole source of conflict. But it's a big one, and one that tends to reach the flash point faster than most everything else.
What is our real problem? Our real problem is within us - within our own hearts and minds. Paul's indictment of his own generation is true of ours, as well: "They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity" (Romans 1:29).
Sure, the problem is within. Some are too greedy, some oppress others, and others take their religion far too seriously. When someone feels that their religion is the unquestionable final law for all, and then give them the power to force it on others or commit violence in it's name and trouble is going to brew.
This is why we need Christ, for only He can transform our hearts and give us the desire to do what is right. And someday He will come again to destroy all evil and make the world a perfect place. Is your faith and hope in Him?
We do need to do what's right. But that involves letting go of religious superstitions that are standing in the way of making this a better world. At least in the United States, the acceptance of evolution and the Big Bang are far too low.  This stands in the way of progress.

The biggest problem I see right now is climate change. There are those that claim it isn't real because God promised not to flood the Earth again in Genesis. Politically, the religious right has adopted the stance that science is the bad guy, and works against it. Then there are those that believe in climate change, but see it as something that is bringing along the end times. Rather than wanting to do
Yes how arrogant to believe in science that's backed with evidence,
instead of your religious myth that has no evidence at all.
something, they look forward to the end. All these lines of thinking imperil future generations to come.

So yes, while science helps give us a better world, so does the letting go of religious thinking. In my lifetime, changing opinions have already begun to grant gay Americans the rights they should have had all along. And if we can do what needs to be done, we just might save humanity as well...


-Brain Hulk

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