A Life That Gets Better With Age
In a New York Times advice piece to high school graduates a few years ago, commentator David Brooks revealed his initial thoughts after being asked to give a commencement address: “I used to believe life got better as you got older, but now I realize this is untrue,” Brooks lamented. He then lambasted higher education for its woeful inadequacy—though he left unstated the possible connection between these two points.
Brooks pointed out many of the things lacking in modern education: “The most important decision any of us make is who we marry. Yet there are no courses on how to choose a spouse. … The most important talent any person can possess is the ability to make and keep friends. And yet here too there is no curriculum for this. The most important skill a person can possess is the ability to control one’s impulses. Here too, we’re pretty much on our own.
“These are all things with a provable relationship to human happiness,” Brooks wrote. “Instead, society is busy preparing us for all the decisions that have a marginal effect on human happiness” (June 10, 2009). In other words, education today specializes in training young people how to make a living, without regard to how we ought to live.
Think about that: The pillar institution of society that is meant to help us solve our problems and face the future with confidence and optimism is failing us. Brooks is one of several commentators who can readily identify the uselessness of so much of the knowledge peddled by higher education.
Despite the best efforts of our educational system, the world it is creating is far from being the utopia it promises. Not only do we still see rampant division and strife, hatred and variance, disrespect and hostility toward authority, but as Brooks suggests, the state of families, the quality of friendships, even the depth of our own emotional maturity are woefully lacking. Yet this world’s educators cling to the false hope that Christianity today can somehow make this present evil world a better place—even as today’s brutal headlines are sure to be overtaken by tomorrow’s even greater perversities and tragedies.
Make no mistake: The Christianity of the Bible definitely has all the answers to solve the mounting problems of this present evil world. But the plain truth of God’s inspired Word is that He will solve our increasing evils and violence not by repairing or fixing our present civilization, but by building an altogethernew and different world.
Literally hundreds of Bible passages describe this future utopian world. This was the focal point of Jesus Christ’s message when He came to this world 2,000 years ago. God sent His own Son to preach a gospel message—“gospel” means good news—about the Messiah returning as King of kings and Lord of lords, and setting up a world-ruling Kingdom on Earth, headquartered in Jerusalem.
How will He do it? Through overwhelming power and through right education. One of the most important tasks Jesus Christ will undertake upon His return is reeducating mankind. He will use a curriculum that relies on God’s inspired Word as the foundation for the acquisition of all knowledge.
God’s system of education in the World Tomorrow will specialize in the production of godly character—the development of the whole man, as Solomon wrote (Ecclesiastes 12:13). It will provide the indispensable, God-revealed instruction about how to live.
In fact, this wonderfully happy system has already been introduced—at Herbert W. Armstrong College. Here students are held to the highest standard of Bible-based conduct, which teaches them to control the selfish impulses of carnal human nature. The curriculum aims to prepare them for the most important career man can enter: the God-ordained institutions of marriage and family. Armstrong College students are taught to put God and His work above all else in their lives (Matthew 6:33).
Learning to live this way—even now, in the midst of this present evil world—is why our headquarters and college campus in Edmond, Oklahoma, is bustling with productive activity and joyous attitudes. Students and employees interact happily here because God’s way of life is diligently taught, promoted and actively put into practice.
We strive for an overall environment similar to what God intends for every human being to experience—a life that gets better with age!
This education overhaul will be the first step in creating a new world—a world that really is peaceful and happy. In that World Tomorrow, this wonderful system of reeducation will blossom over all the Earth as God transforms waste places and deserts into Garden-of-Eden paradises. Mankind will be joyously singing, praising God and offering thanks for His many blessings (Isaiah 51:3). Finally, all human beings will know what it’s like to experience an exhilarating life of true happiness, success and peaceful prosperity—real abundant living!