Living in a Broken World - 2020 Theme
At the turn of the 20th century (the year 1900) -optimism abounded in the western world. Technology & Science was on the verge of solving many problems that had plagued mankind for centuries. As medical knowledge increased diseases began to be cured and life spans slowly began to rise. Farming technology was leading to increased productivity and a decrease in hunger and starvation. Manufacturing provided cheap goods for everyone. Items such as clothing and shelter became more affordable as well as modern conveniences. Solutions to most of the problems of the previous century seemed to be within reach of mankind.
However, by the end of the 20th century (the term was “Y-2-K”) much of the optimism in the West had been greatly tempered by the reality of two World Wars (ironically the first War was deemed the “War to end all wars”). These wars (along with other conflicts) had combined for a record number of casualties - more deaths than in the previous 19 centuries of warfare combined. The century also witnessed some notoriously evil men coming to power. Men like Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Edi Amin, rulers of North Korea, and on and on you could go. Many of these men became leaders with via governing ideologies that were not just anti-Christian, but outright atheist in their core beliefs.
Not only had world events tempered this optimism but decay in the society in our own country was noticeably present. Divorce rates had skyrocketed bringing an increase in broken homes, abortion had become legal, drug abuse reached epidemic proportions, and crime in general (white and blue-collar) had increased substantially. Safe to say, by the end of the previous century, the optimism present in the year 1900, was greatly diminished.
Christians can look at these things from a different perspective. We recognize the problems at the close of the previous century are the same problems the world has always had: men and women have the same faults and weaknesses, they still sin and rebel, and we still turn our backs on God. In other words, we live in a broken world. And the sad fact is humanity can’t fix it. Only God has the answers. So as we begin this year Benjamin and Ed will be preaching lessons connected to this theme – lessons that address the problems and realities we face because we live in a “Broken World”. - Keith Parks