It doesn’t take much observation today to come to the realization that we live in a broken world. One doesn’t have to look too far to find some kind of crime, scandal, or human downfall. It can even get downright depressing to watch the local and national news sometimes. We live in a world that is broken, and many people don’t realize it.
A common misconception that has built traction in recent times is this belief that people are inherently good. Yes, we like to think that we are good people, and that we do great things. Just look at the great technology that we have built to make our lives easier and more convenient. And yet, look at the ways that we have come to use technology to anything but benefit humanity.
In class today, we were talking about some of the events of 9-11 and how the world has changed. I asked the question of the students- “Why is it that the world has events like 9-11? The answers varied from, different cultures, different beliefs, and so on. I asked them to think about it for a minute and asked, what do all bad events like 9-11 throughout history have in common. The realization we came to is that they happen through people, sinful and broken people.
It can be tempting to think that we have progressed to a better or greater state. With the things that we have invented we can easily surmise that we are somehow different from the people of ages ago. After all, our ancestors would be amazed at how far we have come. At the same time, I suspect that they might be horrified by some aspects of our world today.
The common thread throughout the history of mankind is that we are inherently sinful. We daily betray God and others in thought, word, and deed; by the things that we do and by the things that we leave undone. The technology has changed, but the sin is still there. No matter how far we advance, the words of King Solomon will ring true:
“What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
‘Look! This is something new’?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 New International Version).
But the story does not end there. There is one that has been and will be remembered for generations. He covered the brokenness and made it right. The Son of God on the cross paid the price and “for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 English Standard Version).
When we go to Him in baptism, we are made new. When we go to Him in confession and asking forgiveness, He forgives. When we come to His table he renews us. Because He died for us “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 English Standard Version).
Why would we not speak of the one who makes us new in our classrooms and in all of our subjects? Can you truly have a well rounded education without acknowledging the creator of it all? I propose that you can not. I believe that this is what C. S. Lewis spoke of when he stated that “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”