Saturday, 29 October 2011

Somebody Has Got to Do Something!

I have written on this topic before, but I feel I need to write about it again; whilst the majority of people in the Western world are not particularly wealthy, we find again and again that prices of this, that and the other are going up, whilst wages are being frozen, people are losing their jobs and there is real uncertainty in many people’s lives in just how they are going to make ends meet and what plans they are to take in life.

The people who helped cause the financial meltdown and the subsequent economic chaos we find ourselves in are living privileged lives, sheltered from the very mess they helped to create.  When the banks messed up, we bailed them out.  So, in effect, they failed but didn’t fail!  Nice for some.  Many millions of people in the United Kingdom are feeling the serious consequences of this economic mess, and are having to make all sorts of budget cuts to all sorts of things they were used to, and we are seeing that things like gas and electricity, the price of petrol, the price of food, transport and many other things are going up month after month, whilst wages and benefits remain the same, or in some cases are being cut.

Shouldn’t a Christian stay out of politics and economics, you might say?  Well, I believe we must speak out where there is injustice, and I believe we have the right to challenge, in a lawful way, the way our country is run.  It is not being run well at this time, but no matter how hard the ordinary person is squeezed, the wealthy and powerful and those who rule and make laws seem to live well beyond the means of the ordinary person.  And whilst many of us are dreading the next round of price rises, the people at the top seem not to care, primarily because those at the top have wealth and high-paying careers to shelter them from the worst of it.

All over the world people are campaigning against sharp practises by the wealthy, corporations and governments that don’t care or who seem impotent to do anything really radical, like tackle the high prices of goods and services, the price of utilities, and the rising tide of unemployment.  The ordinary person has no real say in how their countries are run, if they ever did, but at this time the gulf between the wealthy and powerful and the person at or near the bottom is very wide indeed.

There is a moral dimension to all of this, and if we are to be honest we need to look at and explore the moral dimension.  From one angle, price rises are wonderful; if you are benefitting from them, that is!  From another angle, the price rises are something that many millions of people around the world are dreading.  I refer specifically to the UK: it wouldn’t be so bad if it was just food and household goods that were increasing, but it is so many other things as well, like the cost of petrol, the cost of public travel especially train travel, the ever-rising cost of utilities like gas and electricity prices; there seems no end in sight, and yet our politicians, of whatever political persuasion, and the people who run and own these companies seem unable to do anything about it, and seem less to care, perhaps because they are all wealthy and well-provided for.  It’s the same old story, it seems.  So let’s come back to the moral issue at stake.  The moral issue is that these price rises are, when it boils down to it, an issue of greed.  And I believe implicitly that God does not countenance injustice and does not turn a blind eye to injustice for ever.  Some people may get away with their sin this side of Heaven, but will certainly not on the other.  There is immorality, greed and injustice woven into these price rises and they are at worst making some people’s lives worse than they really need to be.  There will be an answer to this injustice; mark my words.  

It seems that, as ever, we in Britain have the highest prices for food, general goods and services, train travel, petrol and gas and electricity prices; why is this?  Will we ever get a real answer from any politician about why we are always paying more for almost everything than any other Western European country, without the usual bluster and waffle and patronising tone all around?  We can but hope.  But deep down, if we are honest, we know that we are being ripped off and taken for a ride, often by the very people who are supposed to be fighting our corner.  If we can’t get rid of capitalism and I personally don’t want to, then it needs changing.  Firstly, if you have and make lots of money, you can pay more tax; if you are poor or make little, you pay less tax.  It’s that simple really.  We need to redistribute wealth fairly this way, unless we want anarchy on the streets; not in a ‘hippy-dippy’ or Communist way or anything that has links to any political ideology, just a fair and simple redistribution that makes sense and is easy to administer.  Secondly, we need to truly work together, governments, bosses, corporations, businesses and the regular person on the street in making our finances work, and perhaps we all need to stop living beyond our means and stop living on borrowed credit.  Thirdly, we all need to find a purpose in life; I believe that goes beyond normal concerns but is very much the most important consideration in being human.  

There is another problem I feel with Britain too; it seems that too much power and wealth and influence is concentrated in the hands of a relatively few people and also especially in the South East of England.  This reflects history and tradition, but isn’t it time we began to live in a modern nation, one that is based on genuine equality and fairness, as opposed to privileged status and unfairness?

When people give to charity, people from the Western nations to countries like India, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America, no one questions the fact that richer people are giving to poorer people; why should they?  But why, when people are talking about redistributing wealth from the richest to the poorest within wealthy Western nations, is there a complete reluctance?  Why are many wealthy people in the West so greedy and selfish?  The only aim of charity, in any circumstance, is to redistribute wealth and resources from those who have to those who don’t have.

What is the Christian answer?  Well, as I wrote, I believe Christians need a purpose in life, even if at first that is just being obedient to God and walking in His ways.  We also need to ask why there needs to be, in some circles, absolute unlimited wealth, and for others near-wretched poverty. Just what is the purpose of such wealth creation if it only benefits a handful of people?  If a person is living in poverty, or struggling financially in any way, then maybe, and for the first time, they need to pray and ask God for help; He really can help!  I’m not being religious here or anything like that, I’m just telling you the truth; God can, and does, work in the real world.  For Christians, we need to lean hard on Jesus and to ask in prayer that we can satisfy our need before our greed and we need to be honest about ambitions and understand quite simply that if we make a lot, we need to put a lot back, and if we don’t make a lot or if we are struggling and poor we can as I said ask God to make our lives better without the need necessarily to have millions and millions of pounds, even though I believe there is nothing fundamentally wrong with being wealthy provided you use some of that wealth  wisely and to help others and you are prepared to pay a fair rate of tax.

Finally, I don’t believe it’s necessary to be wealthy to be happy, and it’s not necessarily a prime requisite for being a Christian either.  True happiness, and contentment, go beyond wealth creation and is a spiritual kind of wealth, one which lasts and no one can steal from you.  I’m not suggesting either that being poor or wretchedly poor makes you super-spiritual in some way either; who wants to live in poverty after all?  It’s beyond that too.  God will provide, and is able to provide all your needs, regardless of whether you are rich or poor.  It’s having faith in God that enables us to see the bigger picture, and will teach us that money is not the most important thing in the world.


  1. Hi Tim, what is happening in regards to the WORLDS economy is no mystery...

    You see, G-d is true to His Word! If He said something in the Bible you can be sure that it is transcendent and will transpire again in time. G-d works in cycles... We can witness G-d as both the protector and punisher within the Bible in cycles of prophesy, sin and then destruction, (prophesy as the protector, sin as the detachment, and destruction as the punisher).

    For instance, there is something called a "harbinger". This is usually a past prophesy that foreshadows or anticipates a future event. Here in America I believe 9-11's attack on the Twin Towers was one of G-d's harbingers.

    Here was the past prophesy: Isaiah 9:10 - The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.

    What the prophesy implies is that the people have turned themselves away from G-d. So G-d strikes them down, but they still don't see it as a message from G-d that they are doing anything wrong. Moreover, they ignore the message that it had anything to do with G-d at all, and think that they can rebuild even stronger by themselves and with stronger materials. Again, they have missed G-d's message and will be stricken down by G-d again. Not so much that it is G-d Himself doing it, but that He allows evil to work its way.

    When the west side of the Twin Tower fell, it fell on a sycamore tree and was replaced by a stronger conifer (cedar) tree.

    Additionally, a largehewn stone was cut out and placed at ground zero.

    So why did G-d attack the Twin Towers?

    I think He unleashed His harbinger here because America (along with the world market) is rebellious against G-d. The Twin Towers located on Wall Street in New York city is the birth place of the worlds LARGEST stock market. This is the same place where President George Washington signed the agreement (called Buttonwood), which also happened to take place under a sycamore tree.

    Although many can say this is just coincidence. G-d latter follows up with a bold message to the American nation following 9-11 with what's called a Jewish "Shmitah". A Jewish Shmitah happens every 7 years. This Shmitah happened exactly 7 years latter after 9-11 on the day of Rosh Hashanah (the 7th month of the Jewish calendar), the stock market took its lowest plunge at 777 (G-d's number in scripture). The numbers are NO COINCIDENCE! There was no way for man to contrive or have any control over this.

    So if anyone questions why the worlds economy is so bad, it is because we are not heeding G-d's message and warning. Even the president of America has gone against G-d's warning when he took office and addressed the nation:

    Obama’s first address to the nation: “While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this,” Mr. Obama said. “We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”

    To me, G-d's message is LOUD AND CLEAR for the reason the worlds economy is the way that it is. And unfortunately I do not see this situation getting better any time soon.

    Unless one is self sufficient they will not strive.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your comment, and it's certainly food for thought. I believe that all supposed Christian nations, including America, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia and so on, have really turned their backs on God, and even the 'religious' communities in these countries are, at best, more about religious ritual and outer things, than they are really about a simple walk with a divine Saviour, who, as the name implies, really can save us, even from religion itself!

    We've got to ask ourselves, sometimes again and again, just why did Jesus come down to earth? What is the whole purpose of Christianity, on earth and in Heaven? Is it to wag fingers at each other and proclaim our own 'special standing' with God, or is it something beyond that, something few people have ever really grasped? I certainly claim no special knowledge myself, but in knowing my own ignorance on biblical matters, I have understood that even the best of us are merely at times grasping at straws! I certainly have done anyway.

    So, where does that leave us? I think we always need to refer back to the Bible for a start. We need to understand God's nature too. He never acts unjustly, that's for certain.

    Thanks for the wonderful comment; there's nothing like something thoughtful and intelligent to open up debate, and open debate is where it's at!

  3. Hi Tim, many people are furious with my theology about 9-11 and the World Trade Center. They say how can a loving G-d allow this to happen? Or, G-d did this therefore He is evil.

    What I find is that most people are not matured in the understanding of the Lord yet. They still cannot grasp the concept that we are living in a sinful world.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 - For as in Adam all die.

    I don’t claim to know everything either. But what I do know is that when I need to find a reason for the way things are in the world, the Bible always supplies me with the answers.

    John 18:20 - I have spoken openly to the world. I spoke nothing in secret.

    I myself at least have the intelligence (though it be weak) to use the Bible as G-d had intended for us to do. Incidentally which is why I think we have the many “parables” we do in the Bible. You see because not only are parables sometimes riddles, but they are also encoded with key words to further our understanding - to search the concordances (to find the relationship between two or more allegories). This is really ingenious on G-d’s part towards helping us understand the higher spiritual truth (a tool employed by G-d).

    For instance… An example of a parable comparison can be found in the “Old Testament” with its allegory backed up in the “New Testament“. The one you are about to read happens to be of a prophetic nature, which as alleged conveys a higher spiritual truth. Found in the “Old Testament” book of Psalms an expression and quality of G-d is noted.

    (Old Testament) Psalm 78:2 - I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old.

    The Parable comparison to Psalms 78:2 is found in the “New Testament” spoken by Jesus and recorded by the disciple Matthew.

    (New Testament) Matthew 13:35 - That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

    Essentially, without the WORD OF G-D we are lost!

  4. There was a TV program a few years ago on English TV about the Holocaust. Anyway, some of the people who had been through this dreadful and abominable experience, 'passed' sentence on God, saying He was responsible! We know that God doesn't create evil, He is all good, and we know that God does not create death, He creates life. But the question for some remains: namely, why does God allow evil? I believe an answer to this is basically that God gives us freewill to do what we want, and He hopes that we do what is right; some people ignore this, henceforth evil enters the world. And, although it might sound strange, evil in the first instance is really being disobedient to God! That is the first instance, just being disobedient, and if we are honest we have all been guilty of that.

    The world is a fallen place, and even people who are not particularly evil, can be indifferent, and I think that when people are indifferent to other people's suffering, the results of that indifference can be just as bad. Look at the Slave trade, or the Irish Famine, or indeed the Holocaust, to see how people not giving a fig for other people can aid the evil other men do.

    God's Word is essential; it is from the mouth of God, and we ignore it at our peril!

  5. I've always considered myself to be apolitical. But I also believe that as a Christian we must always be aware of what's happening in society. God is basically for people, right? That's why he became man because of His love for us & so He died for us. So as His followers, why should we be different? Apolitical or not, Christians must always have a say about government, policies & economy. It's our lives being affected anyway at the end of the day. So I salute you Tim for writing this piece & putting a Christian view out there on this issue. We must be meek but not stupid. We must be patient but not ignorant. And we must always love in spite of evil in the world. Thanks for sharing!

  6. It's always nice to hear from you Mara, and your considered and thoughtful opinions. As you will notice, I get good comments on my blogs from interesting people with something to say! How lucky is that?!

    I was quite a Lefty for a long time, but I now see the value that all sides can have, as long as people are the first consideration. The problem is, there are many in all wealthy societies who only see the profit margin as the most important thing in life; and it isn't. Wealth is no guarantee of a happy life, and it seems that some people, certainly not all, are so wealth-driven that they can't see the wood for the trees so to speak. Give me a comfortable living and happiness and knowing that I wasn't harming anyone else, rather than absolute wealth and privilege any day.

    If more of us simply count our blessings, rather than worrying about what we haven't got, the world may become a better place.

  7. Hiya TC - been sorting out my health but all will be well.

    In short, money and success are not the same thing. Money and class are completely different things and we don't all dream the same dream or want the same thing...

    You take it easy and god bless...

  8. Hi Daz; really good comment there mate, and you make some very good points. Been a bit depressed myself of late, but feel am over the worst.