It is tempting to cloak doubting God’s providence as world-weariness, by saying (maybe just to oneself), “That’s just where the world is today.” But one would fail to tell the whole truth, in saying that. World-weariness is, for the Christian, sin. Why? It is sin because it’s failing to trust God amidst cultural darkness and rot. Christian pilgrims are commanded to trust God with all of oneself (cf. Dt 6:5; Ps 73:24-28; Pr 3:5-6).
Perhaps you’re like I—sinfully tempted to despair over the state of the world. In the world of the political Left, one is taught to view “progress” as abortion on demand, state-sanctioned sodomy, lesbianism, identity being what one feels like on a given day, the denial of others’ rights if they conflict with an all-powerful State, and forced distribution of one’s resources via taxing him/her into poverty–but calling it “fairness.”
On the political Right, one is taught “progress” would be seen if the U.S. would reintroduce plaques of the Ten Commandments into its government schools. If they opened with prayer in government schools, then, surely, adolescents would not graduate from high school barely literate. At least they’d be well-behaved, right? And let us not forget blind patriotism for one’s nation; God, after all, must be American at heart, right?
World-weariness comes from disbelieving the providence of God. However, God transcends our cultural rot. He both exalts and humbles nations—whether Egypt, Israel, Sodom and Gomorrah, Babylon, or America. Nebuchadnezzar was humiliated, and it was of God (cf. Dan 4:28-37).
Let us not despair, Christian pilgrims. The postlapsarian world has always been rotten and sin-soaked. God drowned all but eight people in Noah’s generation, because man’s heart was rotten. Rottenness/sin is not new. What is amazing, what is cause for hope, what is historical, is that God raises corpses to life. Lazarus exited his tomb at the word of Christ; the perishing put on the imperishable; and weak self-pitying sinners are restored by virtue of the firstfruits of the resurrected Christ—the “founder and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2).
When Chesterton was asked, “What’s wrong with the world?” he wrote these profound words, “I am.” Exactly. Long before I lament the evil “out there,” I’d do well to remember the evil within. Therein lies the seedbed of the world’s evil.