Explorations in Theology

The series explores a theology that is human friendly! Jesus as the true human shows us who God is, and because of his consideration for us ('who are we, that God should make note of us?') defines who humanity was created to be. The nature of sin is to fall short of the glory of God. The glory of God as revealed in the truly human one - 'we beheld his glory full of grace and truth'. This volume is a foundation for the other volumes. And there are ZOOM groups available...
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So what?

I posted a video of some sight for 2023 with the major focus being on currency changes, but preceded that by a few ‘so what?’ comments. This was provoked by clicking on a link about a major scandal that is still unfolding within the EU parliament. It resonated with something I had said about what was to come in 2022 (I had said it would relate to a company scandal and affect multiple nations with resignations… to date there is no mention of a ‘company’ involved – but there is more to come on this, and of course it affects 27 nations within the EU.)

I came through to speak with Gayle and to reflect with her on this. I also reflected on a number of other situations, both from 2022 and from other situations, some of which are really hard to reconcile, but most leave one with a ‘so what?’ kind of response. Assuming that there is genuine revelation involved, there remains the ‘and what good does the revelation do?’.

If we are interested in ‘knowing something someone else does not know’ then we have the answer to the ‘so what’ question, however, information for the sake of information is not what God trades in. Transformation is the work of heaven, not the dispensing of information. That is the huge difference between occult foretelling and any element of foretelling within prophecy. One releases a measure of bondage and ‘fate’ the other the wonderful flexible destiny of a God who works in all things for the good of those who love God and are called according to that divine purpose.

So we have to rule out ‘giving of inside knowledge’ as part of the ‘so what’ answer. Sadly I think this is often part of the deal when people give their ‘what I see for the coming year’ proclamations. Long term (maybe short term) this can only release problems. Other problems arise when (often because of political or theological reasons) we connect the dots too quickly, or as unbiased as we think we are that our bias gives us the interpretation.

Any foretelling will be a focus for prayer, though one of the challenges here is that when something is foretold the expectation is often different to that of the outworking. (I have a colleague who prophesied in Madrid prior to the election in 2004 that there would be ‘an explosion in the city that will turn the expected outcome of the election’. Within a few days the Madrid train bombing took place and the election result was the opposite of what was anticipated. She told me ‘never once did I think that this would be a literal explosion’. So of course one can say, information fuels prayer… but when we are on the wrong track already it might not make a lot of difference.

Signs. Now we get closer I think. Signs in Scripture are semi-sacramental, and of course the ‘sign’ of the elements (for Protestants) is indeed fully ‘sacramental’ for others. Signs point. They are sign posts to help us set direction, set direction for our sight. ‘When you see these things happen…’ lift your eyes. We look higher than the sign, we look beyond the sign. So if I am correct to place ‘currency’ as a main focus this coming year what would be beyond that – ‘economy’ not in the sense of the GDP of a nation, nor simply at how do I look after my money. The sign might necessitate what we consider doing with money, but it is pointing beyond money.

Signs. Even when we do not understand what is beyond the sign to look for, signs also pull what they point at to the physicality. They draw the spiritual reality / value into the physical. Hence with the ‘currency’ issue we will see that somehow economy / economies will feel the affect greatly of what is taking place. And when we consider that money / perceived wealth is at the centre of what is shaken when there is a significant spiritual shift (consider Ephesus in Acts 19 where it seems all the signs come together, and if Ephesus is a first city, then we expect to see there the clarity that is often hidden elsewhere) we should be anticipating something accelerating.

[Acceleration seems to be where we are at… when Liz Truss was established as PM of England I know that a number saw her as a ‘re-incarnation’ of Margaret Thatcher. Some of my connections of course saw this as a restoration of something good… I, however, said if she goes quickly it will be a sign that elements of the past are being emptied out quickly. I might have my bias but I think I was motivated by we are not looking to re-establish the past – not the past with Churchill nor with Mrs. T. This has been, for me, what COVID has highlighted. We are not to return to a ‘back to normal’. That which we thought was normal was largely un-normal, and un-natural. We are not looking to go back but moving on into land we have not been in.]

Whatever we see in the sense of ‘God is removing’, ‘this will be shaken’ has to be expecting that there will be something that comes through the shaking, or comes up from the buried place into visibility that cannot be shaken (Heb. 13 helpfully give us elements that have to come through).

We are to expect space to be occupied that is cleared, often, though, with chaos being the first state. God creates out of chaos. Other creation stories might have ‘god’ defeating the chaos monster, and our story is both far removed from that version and also not so far away from it. God creates out of chaos. So we might not expect something to instantly replace what has been shaken out of its place. A too-quick replacement might see something substituted but carrying the same spirit – that is my concern with so much of the ‘Chrstendom under a new label’ approach. We replace what has been dominating with a Christian presence that… dominates!

Maybe we have to live with chaos first, then comes boundaries, then comes ‘this is good’ to fill it.

A ‘so what’ for 2023? Sow our two coins (and coins can be representative of time – a better economy) where we want the world to go.

We are rapidly coming to the time when the body of Christ will be central to the purposes of God by not centring itself on itself. The survival of the ‘church’ is not the goal, but the presence of God in and through all things. ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth’ (a whole new creation) but within the ‘new Jerusalem’ John says that he ‘saw no temple in the city’.

What will take place in these (now) next 17/18 years? When we look back we might realise that we had no clue about the ‘so what’, but I suspect if we can free ourselves from desiring knowledge that we will be amazed at what is new.

A footnote: ecological renewal… now that involves a new economy.

4 thoughts on “So what?

  1. I confess, I haven’t had time to watch the video so I am responding only to what you have said here. I have been nose to the computer crafting web pages for a course on Applied Ecology geared to young, first year university students who dream of being urban planners. They have no idea what a tough profession that will become.
    Of course the course is divided into 2 sections. The first on climate change and disaster planning. The second on the biodiversity loss and ummm. . . more disaster planning. No actually, it isn’t all disaster planning. There is also planning for adaptation and resilience building.
    So new currencies. Interesting idea. Crypto (as in currencies) appear to have mostly been a fraud. Not surprising. When I see the call for new currencies I think of local communities. Many communities around the world have local currencies that allow local people to trade for goods within the community. They can be quite inclusive and allow for barter and for trade of skills and services for goods. I would like to see those come forward as they will help increase community connections which enables community resilience.
    We are definitely in an acceleration. That is true of climate change. Whereas it appeared to move very slowly it will now ramp up very quickly due to feedback loops reinforcing the change. And yes, it will create chaos. Massive chaos. Ongoing chaos for the rest of our lifetimes and for the lifetime of anyone on the earth today.
    We can still mitigate to remove some of the chaos. We have to adapt to survive it. And we must regenerate the planet so it too can withstand the shaking and remain habitable by us. Lots of work to do. No time for laziness or denial or deferral. Everyone needs to do what they can, where they can.
    Whatever currencies and structures we create within and beyond this emergency should act to allow us to work together better. We need social and political currency that removes the obstacles to right action. We need sufficient funding to make necessary infrastructure improvements while also enlisting volunteer labor to do many other things. We all have to be mobilized and involved to build something good from the chaos.
    Local and small but linked together across the globe.
    A local engineering prof was talking to me about the price of change. I told him everything we can do to mitigate and adapt right now is cheaper than the alternative. Nothing to help slow this down costs more than a failure to do so. To fail to do so really does mean our extinction as a species along with many other species who did not contribute to this situation at all. So no cost is too high. And we need to get on it.
    This same engineer told me that engineers often don’t involved with climate change as it has been so politicized. Well too bad. Grow up. Your children need you to do so. That is no excuse, especially for engineering. Engineering has facilitated that which is killing us right now from CO2 emissions to nanoplastics. Time the profession redeemed itself with a dedication to more moral work. So no excuses for any one. We are all needed in this immense task. We can all contribute. . . even or most especially engineers.
    PS: I’ll go watch the video now.

    1. Once again we agree Anne. As you say and I’ve said, we can’t afford not to. In a recent report that I and a team helped with, we quite strongly said, it’s about time we started getting on with what we know needs doing before we run out of time. Not often will a group of experts actually state things so strongly but they are getting desperate to see results, not more talking shops.

  2. Hey Joanna: Keep on keepin’ on. That is what we all must do. I know most of my students and young adults I speak with appreciate honesty and truth. I also try to give them hope. There are lots of good people doing lots of good things right now. Are we at a tipping point towards what needs to be done? Perhaps we are close, closer than before. The transformation will occur as we have no choice. If your climate changes, then everything changes. So we have no choice but to change. The only real issue here is the cost of delay. It comes down to a moral issue – who gets sacrificed to promote the delay. And what and who determines the outcomes of the transformation?
    I marvel sometimes at humans. A study was done years ago that showed that about 150 people sit on the same powerful global boards. They just swap seats around. And so all these powerful corporate entities are overseen by the same small number of people. And it is this small number that determines our fate. Why would 8 billion people allow that? Baffles me but there you go.
    I suspect our transformation will mean that most of those corporate entities and high level boards disappear. A new and less stable climate will not support centralized power structures (both in terms of humans and energy). Keep on with the good work. We may not be around for all the outcomes but we can sow good seeds.

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