Living in Dystopia
Looking at my unmown yard, I’m reminded of something gone horribly wrong. 5-10 years ago it seemed you couldn’t see movie previews or hear about trending books without at least one telling the story of a dystopian society. The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner series, as well as remakes and their original versions of Robocop and Mad Max are all examples.
“Dystopia, which is the direct opposite of utopia, is a term used to describe a utopian society in which things have gone wrong.” – cliffsnotes.com
*year old, vague spoiler alert, if you haven’t seen Infinity War, skip the next paragraph*
Watching Infinity War, and then End Game, we see a form of dystopia. At first glance, and even living in it for a while, you might not know what went wrong, exactly, but something did. And for those that remember, the signs of what is missing are a constant, haunting, and even debilitating reminder of what should be. But without knowing the one who made the change, and how, there is no real way to know how things are supposed to be, especially once you get a generation or two past the change.
If something went wrong here, in our universe, thousands of years ago, that fundamentally changed things for the future, how could we possibly know how things are really supposed to be?
“…the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.” –Genesis 3:17b-18
When Adam and Eve sinned, everything changed. Work became difficult and painful, including yardwork. Everything now dies. We all sin. We can’t even imagine a realistic utopia, because we know that something is wrong, and something will always be wrong as long as human beings are involved. It’s this imagining of utopia, and then imagining real and sinful people involved, that leads to the imagining of a dystopia. As horrifying as these imagined futures are, they are easier to imagine for our future, because it’s what we know. Something went wrong. Something isn’t right. Even my yard (and neighbors) know.
Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. –Romans 8:20-21
Living in Dystopia we can’t discover Utopia, creation as God designed. All we know and see, all we can observe, measure and experience is distorted under the curse of sin. Living by what we see, experience, hear and observe, apart from God’s Word, causes us to be conformed to the cursed wisdom of the world.
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2
The true revelation of reality is only given by God, in His Word. As we live missionally, we must be changed by God, by His Word through His Spirit, instead of being formed by the curse. His Word is Truth.
Join me, in re-committing to reading God’s Word every day from now through the summer. I’m going to start with a Gospel, then Acts and Romans.
Please share a story of how God is changing your thinking through His Word. Send stories and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s see what He will do!