A prominent religious leader recently expressed the dilemma that confronts us: "It is not merely that we face problems. It is, rather, the feeling that we have run out of solutions, that we have reached an impasse in public life."
Read your daily newspaper. Regularly our politicians promise us a better life, greater security, more access to health and wealth, and a host of other good things. Groups of us will get together to demand this or that crash program to cut neighborhood crime, force the government to slash a galling tax rate or do something else that we think will improve our lives. Surely, we reason, people power will get the job done—but in the end we must face the grim and disappointing reality that our problems continue to multiply.
Because of inadequate cooperation and commitment at all levels, even the wholehearted efforts of famous media personalities have not been able to make a permanent dent in Africa's hunger and poverty. The poor and dying are also still very much with us in the prosperous Western world. Few human experiences are as disheartening as the stubborn lack of progress in solving many of our most imminent problems. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick," says the Proverb (Proverbs 13:12).
But is it possible for modern technology to ultimately transcend our feeble human limitations? Will its cumulative effects eventually overcome the ingrained, biased thinking that has impeded our human progress from time immemorial? Can the leadership of a computer technocracy provide the answer? Let's put all our technological advancements into a clearer perspective.
Obviously technical advances in the communications field should never be underestimated. They are fast altering our civilization as never before. As a newspaper editorial observed: "We are living through a period of social change at least as profound as the Industrial Revolution, perhaps more so. The new technologies of communication are transforming everything: our working lives, our private lives, and above all our culture—the way we deal with ideas."
Nonetheless, there is no reason for men and women to be intimidated by anything they have themselves thought out and finally shaped and made. As National Geographic wisely commented: "Information technologies, for all the attention they receive, lag far behind the power of the human brain. Researchers estimate that the normal brain has a quadrillion connections between its nerve cells, more than all the phone calls made in the U.S. in the past decade" (October 1995).
Has God long realized what human beings are inherently capable of achieving?
". . . And this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose [or 'have imagined,' KJV] to do will be withheld from them" (Genesis 11:6).
Men and women, both individually and collectively, can achieve incredibly difficult tasks. So much so that, ages ago, God Himself took radical steps to limit human progress at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:5-8). He foresaw that our vast capabilities, when misused, would end up in doing us immeasurable and irreparable harm. Yet, paradoxically, God always envisioned humanity achieving the highest goals as a result of growth in proper leadership.
Does God's plan for men and women involve right leadership?
"'What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.' For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him" (Hebrews 2:6-8, quoting Psalm 8:4-6).
The context is "the world to come" (Hebrews 2:5). God plans to make men and women rulers and leaders in the majestic age to come. However, in this present time "we do not yet see all things put under him" (verse 8, last part).
In the age to come, who will share the supervision of the world with Jesus Christ?
"And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4).
The Bible tells us that the converted servants or "saints" of God will participate in the management of His creation! Restoration and right rulership of this earth are an integral part of God's master plan! He intends the whole world to be like the Garden of Eden of old (compare Daniel 7:27; Acts 3:20-21; Revelation 5:10; Revelation 22:1).
Mankind has long dreamed of utopia—an earthly paradise of peace and plenty. Many have wanted to usher it in through vastly improved human knowledge and technology. But the mass media bear daily testimony to the fact that utopia will not happen without God's supernatural intervention.
However, once all humanity has been brought to true repentance, God's millennial plan will exceed all the utopian dreams ever envisioned by the human mind. For a much fuller understanding, please request our free booklet The Gospel of the Kingdom.