Because there is such a dearth of family-friendly movies, I took my son to see the George Clooney movie, “Tomorrowland.” On the one hand, the film was very uplifting. I’m sure the people behind thought they were doing a great thing. They were telling people (especially young kids) that so long as enough poets, artists, scientists, doctors, and other creative people kept their dreams alive, then humanity would make it. The only true threat to the world was if the forces of cynicism and doubt became self-fulfilling prophecies and crippled humans from solving–through technology and compassion–the genuine problems facing us. John Lennon and Walt Disney would have loved this movie.
This message of optimistic, secular humanism is diametrically opposed to the message of the Bible. In this book, we see a picture of humanity bound for utter destruction if left to its own devices. It’s only through the intervention of God Himself (ultimately through His Son) that any can be saved.
For whatever reason, it was only until fairly recently that I realized why so many people reject Christianity: It’s not simply that they “don’t believe in fairy tales,” but for many people they are offended to hear that they need a savior. “How dare you suggest I’m not basically a good person. If there were a heaven, I’m sure I would qualify. I don’t go around raping and murdering! Look at how well I stack up against some of the real scumbags out there!”
In this post I don’t hope to challenge such a view with a head-on assault. Instead, let me make a simple observation. Some of the wisest, most observant students of the human condition–I’m thinking of wits like Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken, but also currently living people whom I won’t mention by name–were extremely cynical and downright misanthropes. Indeed, when I encounter young libertarians who have just discovered the theoretical works on a free society, or who are gushing on Facebook about the latest “liberty candidate,” I sigh with regret because I know they are going to have that enthusiasm knocked out of them by 20 years of learning how stubborn and cruel humans really are. I’m not even that old, but from my vantage point I think it would take a miracle to save the human race.
But that’s why I can still have the hope of victory, and go to the trenches to spread the truth as I see it, regardless of the short-term prospects. Because I believe in miracles.