When I claim that progress is a myth, I think that the first rebuttal would be “what about science?” And this is a fair question.
Since science is so closely associated with progress, especially in today’s technological world, I want to understand: what is the goal of science? I mentioned in my last post that our goal as humans since the fall has been to gain reentry to the garden of Eden. It would seem to me that science is the tool that humans are using to fight our way back into the garden. Science is the vehicle we are using to attempt to mow over those cherubim with flaming swords. We use science and technology to control and manipulate the world around us. I believe in our souls we miss the real connection we had in the garden with God and with people. There was no competition or desire for power keeping us apart…of course until the bite. So in our search for this real soul connection, we seek to be able to always be in connection. Enter social media. As we were created, we were not meant to die. There is a piece of that essence still in our souls that knows that death is not right for us. We were not made to die. That’s why we rail against death at every turn. Enter medicine.
Yes, I would agree that we have made some progress in these areas…I guess. In technology we have made identifying and catching criminals much easier. But we have also given these people tools to perfect their art. Through social media people are now always able to be connected, literally anytime and anyplace. But the competition has increased significantly, and the “real” part of the real connection has been lost almost entirely. We put up false facades which are a buffer to real connection. We are further from this goal than ever.
In medicine we have increased the longevity of life. But at what cost? And more importantly, to what end? Sure, we can control grandma’s diabetes. And that’s good, but what is the point? Is grandma still living? Really living? We can rid the world of malaria. And that would be good! But then people would die from something else. The real truth is that we aren’t fighting malaria or diabetes, we are fighting death. In the world of medicine we have been fighting death so hard, we have forgotten to look at the living. The recent debate over the “Death with Dignity” laws have brought this truth front and center.
I don’t really want to debate these issues individually, at least not in this post. What I am trying to see through to is the aim of it all. If we are seeking progress, then progress towards what? I think that all persons, religious or not, if given a description of the original created order, everyone would agree, with a sigh of relief even, Yes, this is what we’ve all been chasing after. I want the world to know that this is attainable! This is our destined end. God has promised a new heaven and a new earth. We are working ourselves full circle. We will reenter that place of real connection, of pain free, tear free, eternal living. There will be an end to death! But it won’t come at the hands of science. It will only come at the merciful hands of Jesus Christ. He alone can conquer death and the lies that keep us apart. And when this happens God will get the Glory! ALL the glory!
Science isn’t bad. The pursuit of health and wellness on this earth isn’t bad. But when we are talking about real progress: A world where there is lasting peace, no more wars or death, there is only one place to look. There is only one vehicle that will get us there: the cross of our resurrected Savior. Glory to God!