The movie the Book of Eli is a violent action thriller directed by the Hughes brothers; Albert and Allan – no relation to me. It is not for the faint of heart. Bloody severed heads and limbs flying is not really my cup of tea but I was intrigued by the curious theme about a anarchistic post-apocalyptic world where only one copy of the bible remains. Eli, played by Denzel Washington, receives a message from above to find and to transport the one and only copy of the bible west across the American wasteland. For 30 years he soldiers on, basically killing everyone that tries to stop him. Ironically he ‘religiously’ reads the scriptures every night. The world is in absolute chaos. Violence and anarchy are the order of the day as the filthy nuclear war survivors will do whatever is necessary to survive.
What was really fascinating, for a movie coming out of Hollywood, was the notion that the educated few that remained in this chaotic world knew that the only real hope for mankind was the teachings of the bible. The mix of violence and religiosity was a bit off-putting at first but it accomplished it’s goal. It got me thinking about what the world would look like without the bible. It would no doubt be a sorry place indeed. Worse yet, we are already going down that path.
Last night I was listening to Michael Moore on Larry King say that those who oppose gay marriage are on the wrong side of the cultural momentum and it is just a matter of time before the issue is resolved the other way. Unfortunately, he is 100% right.
The fact is most Christians let their bibles sit on the shelf all week long while they listen to the likes of Michael Moore, Larry King, Ellen Degeneres, Bill Maher, Oprah and Whoopi Goldberg. Abraham Lincoln once said of the bible, “This Book is the greatest gift that God has given to man, without it we would not know right from wrong.” Truer words have never been spoken. We are completely lost without it. We so quickly take on the bankrupt values of our world.
Our culture is experiencing what I would call moral entropy. Entropy is the second law of thermodynamics which states that in a closed system everything will move from a state of order to disorder. Much like if you drop an ice cream cone on the sidewalk on a hot day it will take on a simpler and less ordered state. It will never evolve into a higher more appetizing form. Only with outside influences can something move from a chaotic state to an ordered one. In Genesis 1 the earth was without form and void and God said, “Let there be light”. God invaded the the disorder of the universe and brought structure and order.
With the decline of religion and the lessening of the church’s influence, our world is suffering from moral entropy. Rampant divorce and remarriage, common law marriages, epidemic internet pornography use, legalized abortion and gay marriage, are all just symptoms of a greater problem.
In the Book of Eli evil-doers tried to eradicate every bible on the planet. They knew that by doing so the world would degenerate into a chaotic cesspool that could be ruled by violence and despotism. This is not merely the stuff of science fiction. In the 18th century French atheist and philosopher Voltaire who, destroyed the faith of many people, boasted that within 100 years of his death, the Bible would disappear from the face of the earth. Voltaire died in 1778. Fifty years after his death the Geneva Bible Society purchased the historic home of Voltaire and used his printing presses to print thousands of Bibles. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away but my word will never pass away.”
The Good news is that God watches over His word. If we were somehow down to our last copy of the bible, God would preserve it and it would make a come back with such force that whatever moral decline that had taken place would be reversed in a staggering display of His providence. God will once again look down and say, “Let there be light.” We have seen it in our own day in China. During the Cultural Revolution of 1949 Mao Tse Tung expelled all missionaries, imprisoned all pastors and burned every known bible. The underground church guarded their remaining bibles with their very lives. They carefully separated out the pages and let believers share them one page at a time. They devoured what the scripture said and instead of the church disappearing it has grown from 50-75 thousand to 50-70 million believers. The church today is growing faster in China than any other nation on earth.
I am an optimist. I see great hope for our world, but it all depends on Christian people beginning to live like our bible is the last copy left in the world and, that the future of the human race depends on it… because it does!