Very serious

I have been (when was I not) thinking about the challenge to the powers and to the systems; elections all around the world are probably some indication as to whether there are ‘real shifts taking place’. Moves to the extremes (right or left) are not a good sign. We can read it as – and I do – a shaking and a sign of collapse beyond the polarities, nevertheless are we very serious about getting wholesome shifts? A note first on the collapse. Something that does not simply leave those with the power intact but marginalises yet further those who are disadvantaged I would consider a healthy shift (no, that is not a ‘socialist’ comment’ but in line with OT social legal instructions and the ethics of the NT). There is a collapse coming, I have no real sight as to when but for some 8-9 months I have been seeing even a day coming when the population of the earth will decline significantly, perhaps aligned to critical food shortages and pandemics that overlap. Harbinger of bad news? Simply a pessimist? Hope not – our hope is in the God who has never abandoned the planet that we were given jurisdiction for.

So how serious are we? I do believe that ‘money’ as we have it – founded on debt – is a manifestation of the infiltration of powers (mammon included) into our world. We have to find a new way in this battle area, where people who have power to buy and sell feel they have no option but to set profit as the bottom line. Some years back… probably almost 2 decades back I asked for those who were on the property ladder and well settled in to pray with me that we would see a rebalancing of prices, so for us in a privileged state we would be expecting our properties to reduce in value. I had no volunteers to join me. Maybe I was simply stupid. But I was serious about seeking to make a contribution. How serious are we? Checking how much our property has gone up in value, checking our pension funds (now what were they invested in again?) I don’t think indicates we are very serious about bringing about a shift, but are probably happy that we are benefiting from the status quo (as Gerald Coates said ‘Latin for “the mess that we are in” ‘). I am not so smart on things economic but can certainly say that on the property front that our personal bank account was affected. I don’t know how, but when I went to the bank, one I had been with for 30 years, to ask if I could open a mortgage with them, they looked at all my figures and said – you already have a mortgage with another bank, stay there, for given your figures we cannot offer you anything. In those few preceding years we had been able to help three separate people enter into the property market. God has a way.

I understand how anxieties arise, and if you are reading this and are struggling financially, this post is not for you. Not all Scripture is for all time nor for all people – ‘sell all you have’ was biblical for that one person. Anxieties are real, but many anxieties are not based in reality. Gayle and I could certainly not sell what we have in Spain and move back to what we once lived in – we could not even purchase half of it. It is irrelevant – we are not moving back today. If tomorrow we were to move back then, and only then, it would become a real issue.

Anxieties are real, but as they relate to the future they are very powerful, and powerful spiritually. Paul instructs us not be anxious about anything but that in everything we present our requests before God. We are to be people of the future, hence how we relate to the future is important. I do see the whole economic basis of debt (borrow from a future that has not yet happened) contributes to a present manifestation of war and the taking of life (including abortion). Maybe I am single issue focused, the same charge that is often brought against the evangelical wing of Christianity, but my single focus seems to me to be a very central focus of Scripture.

Maybe Jesus will return and bail us all out? However, as much as I pray maranatha, I also pray let your kingdom come on earth as in heaven. And it is seldom when contemplating the powers that the shift that takes place is in some realm distant to me. If the shift takes place within me I think the powers have to give way.

3 thoughts on “Very serious

  1. Lot to unpack here Martin but I want to focus on thoughts about the future. Do we need a complete system shift? Absolutely. Its coming anyway. We determine how it goes. Who ‘wins’ and who ‘loses’. Does the future have to be terrible? Not at all. That’s up to us.

    I listened to an interview today with a Jeff Goodell who wrote a book ‘The heat will kill you first’. Now that appears to be quite a downer. However, he made a point at the end of the interview to speak about how he is in Texas – state of wildfires, floods, and heatwaves at this moment – and yet believes, if we want to, that we can move forward into this new climate and create a better world. This is a man who knows all the data, and sits in the reality of a new extreme climate daily and yet believes we can choose to make things better. Its up to us.

    The world of extremes is not going away in our lifetime (I turn 67 next month), though it may go away sooner than we think if we would get off of fossil fuels. And to that end a report in the Guardian today spoke of global polling that found that the vast majority of world citizens, especially those living in petrostates (looking at you Canada, my home), want a quick and decisive transition off of fossil fuels and into clean energy. Amazing. Now we just need a few leaders to take them up on it and craft policies to enable it justly.

    I do realize that we are living in an apocalypse right now. It is the end of our world as we know it. And a new one is emerging with quite a few birth pangs. The labour is difficult and messy to birth this new world. I figure the stress and uncertainty is fueling much of the belligerence and aggression worldwide. We do know hot weather increases the level of violence. Hot brains don’t think well.

    So yes, I see social breakdown. A collapse of the systems we have levered into place more or less. But how that occurs, the effects it has, the adaptation we can put into place to feed everyone, keep the lights on and health services available, and the resilience we can build at a community level, rests on our shoulders. One world is ending. We begin the new one.

    Everyone right now has an essential job to do. That is to craft a future that works for the planet, all species, and other humans. Build an ark, some vehicle that helps others transition to the new world. That vehicle could be anything. . . your home, garden, job, volunteer organization, community garden. Whatever you have been given you can invest it in the future for others. And use it to enable the transition. Shift powers? Yes, we must. Otherwise those who don’t care about others, who see life as a ‘win/lose’ proposition and are happy to use violence, will take control. They yearn for that. Are driven by their own anxieties to craft a solution for themselves even if it cost the world.

    We together must build something better for all. What kind of future do you want for the generations that follow us? How do you intend to get there?

  2. Wow Martin that’s so challenging!! I don’t know if I’d even think of praying that property prices would go down not that I approve of their increase! It’s just shows how caught up I am in the economic system, those spiritual forces related to wealth and mammon etc.. Instead thinking of leaving a financial legacy for my child rather than a spiritual legacy to advance the kingdom. I try to be generous with my giving but that is not the same thing and doesn’t require a shift in perspective? Your shift and collapse prophecies sound very scary! I know God will have to deal with what we have become in the west though and we better brace ourselves.

  3. Hi Martin. I’m just a random Christian on the other side of the world, but I thought I would share that God has also been talking to me (for several years) about a collapse – of financial markets and populations – involving war and famine, possibly disease. I believe, and have experienced in my own life, that God has been raising up people in his kingdom who will be prepared at that time to reach out to some of the many people who are hurting and to offer places of refuge. These will look different in different places but the important bit, I think, is that God knows exactly what will be needed and is preparing his people even today. I don’t know how this fits into Christ’s return, but I do think we are reaching a point where (soon?) God is going to say ‘No! This far and no further.’ to much of what is going on in the (especially western) world – I’m thinking of the destruction of the environment, the potential harm of AI, the development of ever more lethal weapons, the loss of sexual ethics, the harm caused by pharma industry (while recognising the great benefits of the same! Not always black and white). The tower of Babel is not going to continue being built forever, and God is not going to allow the West to slide completely out of his grasp, but it’s going to take a big wake-up call for this culture to return to him. Sadly death and disease sometimes have a way of doing that..

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