This GTS presents us—Christians, churches, but everyone else as well—with severe problems on two levels. The first level is that of usefulness—till now, the defining virtue of technology. The GTS, however, has reached that stage of growth where it is no longer useful. Now, the GTS as a whole is fatally parasitical. It is terminally sucking the vitality out of global societies, cultures, human beings, and ecosystems. It is also worse than useless because it is collapsing and will cause unimaginable destruction and death as it does.
At a more profound level, though, the GTS is even worse. It is destructive of meaning. It is so because it is humankind’s most thorough embodiment of our abject devotion to the six conventional, yet false and destructive, gods of Olympianity. The GTS represents a titanic Olympian counter-creation to God’s good creation. It represents a malignant chaos to God’s ordered good. As such it takes societies, cultures, and personalities and drains them of meaning even as it sucks us dry of energy.
To make matters even more challenging, God is silent. While he certainly continues to speak with scattered individuals, we Christians and churches as a whole fail to live as distinct and meaningful witnesses to Jesus Christ. Our whole way of thinking, speaking, acting, and living, as Christians and churches, continues to be as dominantly Olympian as the gods behind the GTS could wish.
This, then, is just when hope matters most. This hope, however, is not some vague or naïve optimism that things will get better. True hope, in fact, is the adamant rejection of the various illusory hopes, offered to us by any number of false messiahs, which keep us complacent. Jupiter, for example, is the false god of politics. No politician—elite minion of that false god—is going to save us from the ongoing draining of meaning caused by the GTS or its impending collapse. The same goes for the misguided populist leaders of Jupiter, the warmongering generals of Mars, the corporate technological innovators of Vulcan, the glamorous movie stars of Venus, the central bankers of Pluto, and the ad executives of Bacchus. There is no salvation from the GTS from within the GTS.
True hope, in saving contrast, is grounded solely in Jesus Christ. He was and remains the one and only genuine savior of all human beings and the whole of God’s good creation. And this hope is based on the biblical witness to how God has promised to save us, and has fulfilled those promises, over and over again, during the 6,000 years of his relationship with us recorded in the Bible. It is based on Christ’s decisive victory over all the powers of evil, and their wicked GTS, which he accomplished once and for all through his crucifixion and resurrection.
Hope, then, is our lively confidence, our joyful expectation, that today, and again tomorrow, Jesus Christ, by the power of the his Holy Spirit burning brightly in our hearts, will grant us all the wisdom, strength, courage, and good cheer we need to respond creatively to the challenges we face as Christians and churches. This does not mean that Jesus is going to solve our problems. As the GTS just did in Puerto Rico, so it will collapse globally, sooner or later, slowly or suddenly. But before then, and after it does, Jesus will enable us to discern and affirm the right thing to do and the right time to do it—for our good and his glory.
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