History records centuries of misery, interrupted by moments of prosperity and optimism. The early twentieth century was one such hopeful time. Industrialization and expansion brought opportunities to an increasing number of people. H. G. Wells called World War I the war to end all wars. In 1927, the US and France agreed to forever renounce at waging war. Faith in the good intentions of mankind was soon disappointed by new wars. Then the victory of World War II was followed by an amazing increase in prosperity for the average American. At that time, most of us were convinced that we could export peace and prosperity to the rest of the world. So why is it that so many popular movies on the Big Screen feature stories based on doomsday theories?
Many people believed that science, technology, and education were the keys to peace and prosperity. We believed that the United States was inherently good and invincible. If the apparent trend had continued, no one in our country would be homeless of hungry, dictators would all be overthrown, and every country in the world would have a democracy at some level of development. Reality Check! Science, technology, and education have NOT brought peace and prosperity. History shows that all we are doing is repeating history.
The reality is that destructive people are showing up everywhere, even among us. Fewer people can do more damage to more people than at any time in the past. Even if 99.999% of the population agrees to be peaceful, that still leaves seven million out of control. Entire nations desire our destruction. North Korea would love to detonate a nuclear bomb in California. The Pentagon has information about a nuclear torpedo that could possibly travel a thousand miles undetected and reach our coasts with a nuclear bomb. We can’t even imagine all the military might and ill will surrounding us.
Consider all the doomsday stories coming our way. One sci-fi scenario is the zombie apocalypse, and related vampire craze, where mutant viruses take over people and the infection takes over the world. There’s enough science behind it that the CDC published a graphic novel entitled “Zombie Pandemic”.
Other story lines are based on conspiracies deeply embedded in our government, government agencies, or crossing international lines. Often they are wealthy businessmen or companies that can circumvent the law. Confidence in our government and big business is at an all-time low.
Cowboys used to wear white hats and black hats, and the good guys won. Now, we never know if the good guys will win or even if the heroes are good. Sometimes everyone is bad. Sometimes the theme is fatalism and no matter how hard the heroes try, they are doomed to fail in the end.
Global Warming is on everyone’s lips. Whatever the cause, our environment is breaking down. Let’s go colonize another planet!
Even science doesn’t hold the mystique that it used to. In movies like the Terminator, artificial intelligence gets out of hand in the future and enslaves the human race. The science and technology that were supposed to fulfill our dreams are becoming our biggest nightmares. There are more ways the future can go wrong than how it can go right.
Fear of the future is very real and it’s growing. If human nature is not basically good and naturally getting better, then what is the answer? Most people don’t want to hear the answer. They don’t want to consider the alternative. Those who believe that problem come from the human will and the human heart call for a revival. They call for people all over to recognize their failures, admit that they are the problem, and turn to God. There hasn’t been a revival in American for a long time. How bad does it need to get for us to realize that we made the wrong choice? We can’t be good without God.