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July 26, 2021 - The Best Laid Plans

Here are the following words of a man who, truly, whatever his personal flaws, wanted to do good for others.

He said: “So here’s the Great Society. It’s the time—and it’s going to be soon—when nobody in this country is poor. It’s the time—and there’s no point in waiting—when every boy or girl can have all the education that boy or girl can put to good use. It’s the time when there is a job for everybody who wants to work. It’s the time when every slum is gone from every city in America, and America is beautiful. It’s the time when man gains full domination under God over his own destiny. It’s the time of peace on earth and good will among men.”

Thus spoke the 36th president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, who, however good his intentions, will go down in history as the president who dragged the United States into the morass and ultimately failed (at least for the U.S.) Viet Nam War, which left more than 50,000 American soldiers dead, hundreds of thousand wounded, and millions of Vietnamese suffering the same. So much for “peace on earth and good will among men.”

With the exception of the first and last few chapters of the Bible, the world presented in Scripture is like the one we face now: wars, turmoil, poverty, suffering, and death. And, considering that things are going to get only worse, including a “time of trouble such as never was (Daniel 12:1), it’s no wonder all utopian hopes and dreams have failed.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t, in every way possible now, seek to be a force for good and to better our world. We have been told by Jesus to do just that (see Matthew 25:34-40). It means only that our ultimate hope must be in God, not in humanity, no matter how well intended those humans are.

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