Most people are aware that we are facing some very serious crises in our world in many areas. Scholars like Dr. Homer Dixon are very concerned about these. In his 2006 book “The Upside of Down” he writes that 5 of the most serious ones are the crisis of not having enough energy for people’s needs, economic stresses of the top 1% owning more wealth than the 99% (which leads directly to debt slavery, chattel slavery, sex slavery/trafficking and other forms of exploitation), population/disease crises, environmental crises such as pollution (that kills ~13 million people a year), and climate stress. He warns that these are interlocking issues and so if comes more serious, it contributes to worsening several other crises.
Even more serious is the health crisis which causes up to 41 million people to die every year and costs the planet ~$6.5 trillion a year and is a factor in many other problems but which God’s health principles solve.
Then there are the political crises, with the widespread use of deception (in both major political parties) and propaganda and the subsequent loss of trust. There are crises with many broken families with kids raised more by Hollywood than their own parents. Underlying it all is a chronic spiritual and moral crisis that has been worsening over decades.
Research and history show that these crises and others have their root in greed, especially the rejection of equitable land rights and materialism, the last stage of civilizations that are collapsing into various forms of exploitation and/or totalitarianism. This confirms the Bible’s claim that greed is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10).
Now in America, Barna Research indicates that only 9 – 10% of Americans and 17% of Christians and 4% of Generation Z have a biblical worldview in even bare bones basic area like belief that God is the Creator of the Universe, Jesus is fully God, the Bible is inspired and accurate, there are moral absolutes, salvation is a free gift by faith, etc. If the surveys included Bible economics, Bible health principles and Bible psychology, it would be far less. Focus on the Family reported:
“A recent nationwide survey completed by the Barna Research Group determined that only 4 percent of Americans had a “biblical” worldview [and for] “born- again” believers in America, the results were a dismal 9 percent.”And that’s based on people answering yes to just these questions (which ignores doctrines that God, prophets and apostles spoke of in 1000s of verses such as Bible economics, justice, poverty, health principles, marriage/family principles and more, principles that scientists have shown affect 10s of millions of lives with life and death consequences as well as trillions of dollars per year):
- “Do absolute moral truths exist?
- Is absolute truth defined by the Bible?
- Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
- Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
- Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
- Is Satan real?
- Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
- Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?”
One big cause of this is that many Christian pastors themselves don’t have a biblical worldview. Only 50% of Protestant pastors have a basic biblical worldview (since many denominations accept the deceptions of legalism or anti-nomian which the Bible strongly opposes (Eph. 2:8,9, Jude 3,4) and don’t teach a full biblical gospel).
*** When bad leaders are chosen, it is because people did NOT listen to God. This is not an opinion. It’s a biblical fact. “Now Israel pleads with me,‘Help us, for you are our God!’ But it is too late.The people of Israel have rejected what is good,and now their enemies will chase after them. The people have appointed kings without my consent,and princes without my approval.By making idols for themselves from their silver and gold,they have brought about their own destruction….Even though I gave them all my laws,they act as if those laws don’t apply to them.” Hosea 8:2-4 (NLT) Notice what it says, God allows hard times, enemies chasing people when they what? 1) “The people have appointed kings without my consent.” 2) “Even though I gave them all my laws,they act as if those laws don’t apply to them” Sadly, much of western Christianianity has rejected God’s laws using the tragic fraud of anti-nomianism which is forbidden by numerous Bible verses such as Jude 3, 4; 1 John 2:4-6; Ephesians 5:1 and others. Jude actually says that if we use grace to argue that obeying God’s law isn’t important, that we are denying Jesus. Legalism of course is another damaging fraud on the other side as Eph. 2:8,9, and many other verses say. What’s happening is that many Christians are being deceived into discarding the Bible and its truths by various deceptions. It seems that the pseudo Christianity of many American Christians is being exposed as being very corrupt, harmful and in fact rebellion against God. This is not a new thing. It has been this way to a large extent for at least a century or so. They sowed an evil wind and now they are reaping the whirlwind. But as the Bible teaches in Rev. 12:14;14:17, there are a remnant of people who do actually take God’s laws of freedom seriously. They are the ones who will survive this time and speak truth to power and be there to help pick up the broken families and broken lives from yet another form of rebellion against God. Maybe the nation can learn from its abominable mistakes in time, or maybe God will come back before that. Whatever, the main thing that Trump is going to accomplish is giving a lot more wealth to a few of his buddies and impoverishing the rest which will result in a lot more broken lives as has happened throughout history. The one good thing about that is that more and more people will stop trusting people’s ideas to make a good future and come back to realizing that God’s ways are best. That’s happening in China where I was in June. The church is growing there at ~10% per year and China will in a few years have more Christians than any other nation in the world.
3) LOVE JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS: National leaders should love justice and fairness, ensure that natural resources benefit everyone, defend the poor and crush their oppressors:
“Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. May the mountains yield prosperity for all,and may the hills be fruitful.4 Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. Psalms 72:1-4 (see also v. 12-14)
Pagan people and national leaders had this responsibility too:
“King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.” Daniel 4:27 “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” Ezekiel 16:49
God repeatedly instructed leaders not to rule with prejudice. They must judge all fairly and objectively.
“True justice must be given to foreigners living among you and to orphans…” Deuteronomy 24:17 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.” Leviticus 19:15
4) LEADERS SHOULD NOT BE GREEDY OR PLAYBOYS/NO HOARDING: The Bible tells us that greed is the root of all evil. And it also repeatedly warns people, leaders and businessmen against greed and making money an idol above people. It specifically warned kings against amassing large amounts of wealth or many wives:
“The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the Lord. And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself.” Deut. 17:17
This was not just a principle and warning for Israeli people, but also for pagan people and government leaders. “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” Ezekiel 16:49
It’s not only in the Old Testament either. Jesus and apostles frequently warned against greed and concentration of wealth and warned that it would be a virulent evil in the last days before Jesus comes: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT) “Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’” Luke 12:15 Greed doesn’t just harm the poor, but the rich too.
“I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners.” Ecclesiastes 5:13
“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.” James 5:1-3
Godly leaders and people are supposed to prevent extreme inequalities and hoarding of colossal sums . Economic experts like Dr. Richard Wilkerson from the University of Nottingham are now showing that there are a myriad of harmful effects when there are major inequalities in societies. He points out that because America has in recent decades experienced very extreme wealth gaps, that, “If Americans want to live the American dream, they should go to Denmark….there are endless problems with social gradients [crime, health, infant mortality, education, mental illness, trust, divorce, etc.) that are worse in more [economically] unequal countries — not just a little bit worse, but anything from twice as common to 10 times as common. Think of the expense, the human cost of that. …in the more equal countries on the left — Japan, Finland, Norway, Sweden — the top 20 percent are about three and a half, four times as rich as the bottom 20 percent. But on the more unequal end — U.K., Portugal, USA, Singapore — the differences are twice as big. ” Dr. Wilkinson (in his TED talk)
Wilkinson reports evidence that suggests that if we halved inequality (in the UK specifically, but it would apply similarly elsewhere):
- – Murder rates could halve
- – Mental illness could reduce by two thirds
- – Obesity could halve
- – Imprisonment could reduce by 80%
- – Teen births could reduce by 80%
- – Levels of trust could increase by 85%
This may help people understand why the Bible says things like this: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 “Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken. The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” Proverbs 22:8-9 I’ve experienced quite a bit of debt slavery due to greed/injustice and the far worse damage it does to families. But there are millions who have suffered even more I’ve seen how it cruelly ruins and rips apart families and I know from experience and science how that causes all sorts of dysfunctional people and addictions that just profit the elite and cause much grief and misery for billions.. That and being in poverty movements for decades and doing a great deal of reading the research and studying the Bible intensively on this topic to see God’s solutions are probably why I understand the enormous evil that it is more than most others. The highly respected Christian aid agency Oxfam cites over 40 references about the reality of massive economic injustice around the world and its destructive consequences.
https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/cost-of-inequality-oxfam-mb180113.pdf And this is only a small part of the iceberg including it being a cause of sex slavery, chattel slavery, debt slavery, most wars, ~95% of terrorism as a study by Dr. Robert Pape at the University of Chicago has found(showing that it’s cause is NOT religion as the media often reports..people in desperation due to poverty just turn to something other than government that seems to be offering some solutions). There are MANY more. Much research reaffirms the Bible’s repeated warnings against hoarding and high concentrations of wealth and its statement that the root of all evil is greed (1 Tim. 6:10). The research shows that high levels of inequality (especially where the top 20% have more than 9 times more than the bottom 20%) has a myriad of destructive effects that include: *increased levels of violence, crime, civil unrest, *more problems with mental health problems, infant mortality and obesity (for the poor, middle class and rich). *Lower social mobility, people being unable to move into a higher economic status no matter how hard they work. *Lower economic growth since a billionaire simply has no need to buy 1000s of items that people in 1000s of families would need. If just $1 billion of 1 billionaire were given to 1000+ families instead of welfare for the rich, they could buy 1000+ houses, cars and numerous other things, vastly increasing economic growth, creating many jobs, supporting small businesses and improving the flow of money throughout the economy as well as driving down inequality. “The growth of the Asian tiger economies like Korea was achieved whilst reducing inequality and meant the benefits were widely spread across their societies.” *High concentrations of wealth along with greed in the elite lead to to policies that benefit the richest few and not the poor majority, even in democracies. *”Richer people are happier and healthier if they live in more equal societies” * “Extreme inequality increases damage to the environment.” How do we reduce inequality? There are many well known ways: A) LAND EQUALITY “The World Bank has shown that countries with more equal distribution of land are more equitable and more efficient,and grow faster40.” B) FREE SERVICES “Free public services are crucial to leveling the playing field. In countries like Sweden, knowing that if you get sick or that you will receive good treatment regardless of your income, is one of the greatest achievements and the greatest equalizers of the modern world. Knowing that if you lose your job, or fall on hard times, there is a safety net to help you and your family, is also key to tackling inequality. Similarly, access to good quality education for all is a huge weapon against inequality.” C) REGULATE CORPORATIONS/THE WEALTHY
Finally, regulation and taxation play a critical role in reining in extreme wealth and inequality. Limits to bonuses, or to how much people can earn as a multiple of the earnings of the lowest paid, limits to interest rates, limits to capital accumulation are all only recently-abandoned policy instruments that can be revived. D) NO WELFARE FOR THE RICH Progressive taxation that redistributes wealth from the rich to the poor is essential, but currently the opposite is the case – taxation is increasingly regressive and the poor pay higher effective tax rates than the rich, a point recently highlighted by Warren Buffet among others, who has called for greater taxes on the rich48. E) NO TAX HAVENS Cracking down on tax avoidance and tax evasion goes hand in hand with more progressive taxation. Closing tax havens and ending the global race to the bottom on taxation, for example with a globally agreed minimum rate of corporation tax would make a huge difference It is estimated that up to a quarter of all global wealth – as much as $32 trillion – is held offshore.” If that was taxed at the rate the middle class is taxed, it could end poverty worldwide over 100 times, easily. This explains why “all of the major religions caution against the pursuit of excessive wealth at all costs and prescribe sharing of income with less fortunate members of the community.” https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/cost-of-inequality-oxfam-mb180113.pdf Atheism unfortunately has no warnings or human rights standards in economics or on any other topic. But neither do anti-nomian Christians who have robbed so many Christians of crucial knowledge in this area and are guilty for propelling Trump to the White House…and propelling Clinton would have resulted in similar problems.