Russell Brand is an actor, comedian and icon to many young people today. He was interviewed recently by Jeremy Paxman, and he expressed his disenchantment, disaffection and disillusionment with the the current political system. I appreciated his passion: people need to fix this broken world! I noted the difficulty in finding a solution: broken people are the root of the problem!
In the movie A Beautiful Mind there's a powerful line that drives home this dilemma. The main character, Nash is struggling with mental illness, yet he is determined to use his mind to figure out the solution. His doctor responds,
"You can't reason your way out of this!"
"Why not? Why can't I?"
"Because your mind is where the problem is in the first place!"
How can people be the source of a revolution that will bring justice and peace to this planet when people are the source of the problem? In the interview, Brand could only anchor his hope in a hypothetical group of benevolent administrators. Appearing from where? Appointed by whom? Accountable to how many? We don't know the answer to these questions, neither did Brand.
Now this blog is not intended to bash Russell Brand. Indeed, I was deeply moved by his care and concern. I applaud his passion for justice. There are a lot of things I really like about the guy, and he echoes a generation that is lost and looking for hope in a world without hope. Put your faith in people, particularly those in positions of power and responsibility, and British historian, Lord Acton reminds us where this breaks down: "All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." The nature of the problem? Human nature!
So what do we say to the "Russell Brands" of this world? We need to appreciate the fact they see this world is broken, and then we should applaud their desire to do something about it. But then we need to turn the tables - not upside-down but outside-in. Ravi Zacharias once recounted a story about a man was troubled by the brokenness of this world, but he was stopped in his tracks when a friend reached out, pointed to his heart and said, "...what are you going to do about the brokenness in there?" This is the true litmus test. This is the point many choose to walk away.
This world is broken. We ought to be concerned about the problem on the outside, but we need to start by turning our attention to the brokenness on the inside. Only God can heal the human heart, and he sent his son, Jesus Christ into the world to bring hope into a world without hope. Jesus is the one who ultimately makes a difference in this broken world, and he does so by restoring broken people - one person at a time...
Author and speaker.