GODLY SOLUTIONS TO GREED/INJUSTICE
What are the solutions to the horrible injustices of greed? The Bible has over 30 principles of economics that are the best solution and Ellen White says that no devising of man has ever improved on them (WM p. 195). Dr. Paul Mills with a Ph.D. from Cambridge shows how they are the best economic system now (http://www.jubilee-centre.org/the-divine-economy-by-paul-mills/). Here are a few of the best solutions.
1) CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Being an active member of church is one of the most valuable solutions to these economic problems since the agnostic scientist Dr. Cnaan has shown that for every $1 contributed to churches, the community receives ~$4.77 in benefits (http://www.haloproject.ca/phase-1-toronto) and sometimes up to $10 (depending on how biblical the church is). Another study found that when all the volunteer work, crime reduction and other effects of churches are considered, the average church generates ~$2 million every year.
2) SUPPORTING MISSIONARIES: Research by Dr. Woodberry has found that missionaries are responsible for over 50% of positive development such as religious liberty, mass education, mass printing, voluntary organizations, etc. So supporting evangelism/missionaries in your own country and abroad, especially in China and the 10/40 window is extremely important (***
3) HOME OWNERSHIP: The Bible and Ellen White and economic research repeatedly emphasize that helping people own their own homes is one of the best ways to build wealth, improve peace/safety and prevent injustice. God said, “During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety…each family had its own home and garden.” 1 Kings 4:25 (NLT). Ellen White said that “In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land, with sufficient ground for tilling…no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan. To the world’s departure from it is owing, to a large degree, the poverty and wretchedness that exist today.” (WM, p. 195) She acted on this personally too, “I am straining every power I possess to help different families to obtain a spot of land, where they can support themselves and obey the truth.” (Lt 72, 1898) and she said this was crucial for mission work, “There are multitudes of poor families for whom no better missionary work could be done than to assist them in settling on the land and in learning how to make it yield them a livelihood.” (MH 192.2).
Research from many economists and countries shows that land ownership is one of the most crucial factors in protecting family wealth, avoiding all manner of evil, and promoting national stability and development. This is because when people lose their homes, they lose ~30-70% of their salary (minorities lose more), then they lose ~10-50% of their salary because they usually can’t grow gardens and have to buy their food. Because they don’t have their own land, they need a job and this requires a car, that needs gas and insurance. Then they have less money to pay for education at Christian schools, less money to give to the church and more. There are about 20 ripple effects of people not owning their own land. Church leaders and administrators are wondering about how to solve financial challenges. We would do well to heed Ellen White’s suggestion to national leaders.
4) HEALTH/NEWSTART: SDAs emphasized NEWSTART and scientists have paid tribute to us for improving the health of the world. But SDA members need to understand that health impacts much more than longevity. Bad health habits cause ~41,000,000 deaths a year, cost the world ~$6.5 trillion, are the #1 cause of bankruptcy, damage brain function, harm the environment and more. Scientists say that even just the habits of eating nutritious food (esp. vegetarian), not smoking/drinking, regular exercise can prevent up to 80% of deaths. Good health habits extend life, double people’s money by their 50s, improve brain function dramatically, solve many environmental problems and at least a dozen major problems for our world overall.
5) MARRIAGE: Staying married can help people save up to $500,000 over their lifetimes and researchers say the simplest way to stay married is to say yes to your spouse’s requests ~87% of the time (fulfilling Eph. 5)***
6) LOCALIZING: The Bible has many verses telling us to do good first to the household of faith (Gal. 6:10), help God’s people in need around you (Rom 12:13) and in foreign countries (Rom. 15:26) and anyone who is poor and has a good character (Deut. 15:11, Prov. 3:27). If we can help people be independent so they can contribute to the church and stopping injustice, that is ideal. Research is showing that if every family just bought $10 more from local believers/community members, it would return $9.3 billion to local economies and help solve many problems. Math based on this shows that if SDA families just spent ~$100 more very month on other church members, it would bring ~$340 million for local believers/community and $34 million in tithe.
Michael Shuman (an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur).
“The best way of reducing poverty and increasing equality is going local.”
7) EDUCATION (STUDY AT SDA SCHOOLS & FOLLOW GOD’S HABITS FOR BEST BRAIN FUNCTION
There are at least 20 Bible habits and principles that affect brain function. Scientists say that following many of these habits can help students make up to 50% better grades on average than not following them. Since “…a college grad will earn nearly $600 for every lecture they attended, about $25,000 for every C or D, and about $42,000 for every A or B”, Bible habits for brain health, can be exceedingly valuable.
8) GARDENS FOR GOD: When God created people, He put them in a garden. When Israelites all had their own homes/gardens, they had peace and safety (1 Kings 4:25). It’s a simple idea but extremely powerful. In an eye opening TED talk, Roger Doiron talks about a massive food crisis our world faces, where we have to grow more food in 50 years than all human history combined. His solution is for people to start gardening. He unknowingly confirms a lot of Ellen White’s instructions about the importance of gardening for most people and shows how gardening is quite a subversive action that can actually help save the world. But while they follow modern methods of growing, God gave Ellen White methods of gardening and farming that have far greater and phenomenal results. Trees have up to 20 times more volume while tomato plants that usually produce ~6 pounds, can produce 80 or even 100 pounds in a year. Gardening God’s way helps solve over 15 world problems including dramatically improving health/reducing diseases, improving brain function, very significant economic benefits, dramatic reductions in pollution and damage to the environment, stopping/reducing injustices/crimes/wars, increased witnessing/evangelism opportunities, solution to the coming food crisis, support for justice and activists, strengthened communities and much more. Activists for justice and peace have said that gardening is one of the most revolutionary things a person can do and is sort of like printing money for free.
Growing gardens can bring major improvements in family/church finances. Some people and churches are making $10-100,000 dollars a year from gardens. It could also likely increase financial contributions to the church from those who grow gardens and others. Many people agree that gardening is really important.
- “The Garden of Eden was a representation of what God desired the whole earth to become, and it was His purpose that, as the human family increased in numbers, they should establish other homes and schools like the one He had given.” Education p. 22.
- “The more nearly we come into harmony with God’s original plan, the more favorable will be our position to secure health of body and mind and soul.” Adventist Home p. 135 •
- Kim Yong Gi, the hero of Korea’s development, said: “Farming is the least toilsome and the most comfortable work. Nothing is freer and more creative in this world than farming…In the case of rice farming, if we sow a grain of rice seed in the spring and cultivate it for only six months; it will yield as much as 1,200-1,800 kernels…A grain of Italian millet seed will yield 7,000-8,000 kernels…A seed of zucchini will yield 300 small zucchini… A melon seed will yield 12-14 melons.” Kim Yong Gi, pioneer of the Canaan farm movement which helped Korea go from 1% Christian to ~30% Christian and revolutionized Korea from poorest in the world to top 15 richest and #1 in many technologies I’ve summarized some of the history of how Korea grew from dire poverty to top rankings and from 1% to 30% here: http://blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/thrive/koreas-rise/).
- “Seeing as each plant produces around 25 pounds of tomatoes each harvest, you could very well get over half a thousand pounds with a single seed packet. Talk about a return on your investment.” https://gardener.guide/14-tomato-plant-care-tips/12/
- “I believe growing food is one of the most dangerous occupations on the face of this earth, because you are in danger of becoming free.” Jules Dervaes
- “All the world’s problems can be solved in a garden.” Geoff Lawton (https://permaculturenews.org/2008/08/30/geoff-lawton-all-the-worlds-problems-can-be-solved-in-a-garden/) In what other investment can you put in 1 thing, and get 100X or 1000X your investment in one year or less?
9) SCHOOL GARDENS
Ellen White said,
‘Had all our schools encouraged work in agricultural lines, they would now have an altogether different showing. There would not be so great discouragements. Opposing influences would have been overcome; financial conditions would have changed.’ 6T 177
A school in Jamaica was having difficulties a couple years ago. They began having difficulties because of finances. But the read Ellen White and she said that gardening could help solve financial problems as well as others. This is a little of their story:
“The SOSTIC initiative of NEJC started two years ago as the conference leaders read through the book Education and other counsels on education in the Spirit of Prophecy. Their schools were struggling to stay open because of financial difficulties. They realized that Agriculture was the very focus that had been neglected and saw promises like:
Yale University “More than 40 percent of the ingredients used to prepare the 15,000 meals served at Yale every day are locally grown, organic, or both,” their site explains. A lot of that comes straight from the Yale Farm, which was created as a part of their sustainable food program. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/30-colleges-best-campus-food-173600413/photo-p-more-40-percent-ingredients-photo-173904888.html
10) LAWNS TO GARDENS
Every year the lawn care industry in America makes ~$77 billion. Since their profit margins are ~10-20%, that means hundreds of billions is being spent on grass and a few other things. GRASS! God created people to live in gardens and some methods of gardening take much less time and money than a lawn does, AND produce a lot more benefits. If people follow the way of gardening that God gave in the Bible or through Ellen White, they can produce ~10-20 times more food, food that is far healthier and tastes better.
11) ROOFTOP GARDENS: While in China, I found that many people love growing gardens. Many grow them in apartments, on walls, on rooftops and in many other places. Some Americans are catching on to this incredible value as well. The Javitz Convention Center in New York is saving $3,000,000 per year in reduced heating and air conditioning costs, helped relieve stress on the city’s water purification system, reduced pollution, provided a better environment for insects and birds, reduced some disease agents, reduced pollution, reduced waste water, reduced heat in the city, improved air quality, grew a large amount of food, largely by having gardens on the rooftop of the convention center. What if many SDA churches and schools were doing this? How much could we save?
The EPA says
“Green roofs provide shade, remove heat from the air, and reduce temperatures of the roof surface and surrounding air. Using green roofs in cities or other built environments with limited vegetation can moderate the heat island effect, particularly during the day….Green roof temperatures can be 30–40°F lower than those of conventional roofs and can reduce city-wide ambient temperatures by up to 5°F.1,2 In addition, green roofs can reduce building energy use by 0.7% compared to conventional roofs, reducing peak electricity demand and leading to an annual savings of $0.23 per square foot of the roof’s surface.1,3
Another good article on this is:
What a Green Roof Costs You on the Way to Saving Everything
Planting a garden on your roof provides insulation in the winter and cooling in the summer, saves money and the Earth and might just keep you healthy as well.
“Maybe Bilbo Baggins was onto something, living in a house built into a hillside, its roof covered in grass and flowers. In The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Bilbo was one of many Hobbits living in homes that today would be viewed as cutting-edge eco-friendly…But in today’s world of global warming, dwindling natural resources and increasing utility costs, a green roof has taken on a new and increasingly popular appeal for businesses and homeowners from Massachusetts to California and beyond. A green roof comes with numerous benefits for the property owner and community at large…
according to the National Research Council of Canada, a green roof can reduce air conditioning demand in the summer by as much as 75%…By lowering air conditioning demand, green roofs decrease production of associated air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There are also numerous additional benefits, according to research from Michigan State University, including that living or green roofs improve stormwater management by reducing runoff, reduce noise pollution, increase urban biodiversity by providing habitat for wildlife, provide space for urban agriculture, provide a more aesthetically pleasing and healthy environment to work and live and improve return on investment compared with traditional roofs…Another important financial benefit is the reduction in home maintenance costs. “They prolong the life of the roof underneath it. They protect the roof from sun, which can wear down the roof, and from snow and rain. They have been proven to increase the length of roof life,” Glazer says….The type of plants used is also key, Glazer says. “The goal is no matter where you live, the type of plants should be native to your region,” he says. “And then you don’t have to irrigate at all. Find out what plants are natural to your region.” The EPA estimates that the cost of installing a green roof starts at around $10 per square foot for simpler extensive roofing, and $25 per square foot for intensive roofs. Annual maintenance costs for either type may range from 75 cents to $1.50 per square foot.
Two of the most insightful and most highly ranked documentaries in the world now are, “The Economics of Happiness” and “Ancient Futures”. I don’t think the makers are Christian, but they confirm the numerous Bible and Ellen White statements about the importance of land and growing gardens to independence and peace. They point out that when people are forced off land and into cities and can’t grow their own food, they become dependent on others for jobs and livelihoods. In time, it creates conditions that often lead to conflict and sometimes violence. Two excerpts are
“Development in Ladakh…it’s the same everywhere in the world. It’s a process of planned change. And what it’s done is to systematically dismantle the local economy, local self-reliance. And the first victim is the small farmer whose entire livelihood is completely undermined.” Helen Norberg-Hodge
“In Ladakh, Buddhists and Muslims had lived side by side for 500 years without any conflict. But with the advent of the new economy, unemployment increased exponentially and so did competition for the narrow range of new commodities like kerosene and coal, cement and plastic. The end result was friction, conflict and ultimately violence. After only about a decade, Buddhists and Muslims were literally killing each other.” Helen Norberg-Hodge
To summarize, agriculture/gardening enables self-reliance, empowers justice, enables generosity (1 SDA farmer is feeding 600 families from his farm), improve finances and many organizations and individuals are earning $1000s or even millions of dollars per year from it. Since we have massive food and economic crises bearing down on us, if SDA members and organizations follow God’s ideas in health, gardening, economics and other areas, we can benefit ourselves and be a crucial solution to major world crises. This will help attract many thoughtful people to belief in God.
Do Cities Need More Green Roofs? | NPR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlJoBhLnqko
They are saving $3,000,000 per year, reducing electricity use, reducing pollution, reducing waste water, reducing heat in the city, improving air quality, improving the area for wildlife and more, just by having gardens on the rooftop of the convention center. What if most SDA churches and schools were doing this? How much could we save? Ellen White gave us a very smart solution when she said to grow gardens and told us God’s method. We just need to use it a lot more.
In an eye opening TED talk, Roger Doiron unknowingly confirms a lot of Ellen White’s instructions about the importance of gardening for most people and shows how gardening is quite a subversive action that can actually help save the world.  But while they follow modern methods of growing, God gave Ellen White methods of gardening and farming that have phenomenal results. Trees have up to 20 times more volume while tomato plants that usually produce ~6 pounds, can produce 80 or even 100 pounds in a year. This is a crucial solution to the food crisis our world faces.
Another reason it’s quite important is freedom. Fannie Lou Hamer was a civil rights activist in the 1960s who argued that southerners could only be really independent if they had their own land and grew their own food. She explained that this is quite significant in enabling people to speak against problems in society more forcefully,
“When you’ve got 400 quarts of greens and gumbo soup canned for the winter, nobody can push you around or tell you what to say or do.“
10) HIRE GODLY WORKERS
Ellen White tells us that Solomon’s choice to hire a man whose main aim was greed, not God, was a main cause of apostasy throughout his kingdom. “The baleful influences set in operation by the employment of this man of a grasping spirit, permeated all branches of the Lord’s service, and extended throughout Solomon’s kingdom…In the far-reaching effects of these influences, may be traced one of the principal causes of the terrible apostasy of him who once was the wisest of mortals. The king was not alone in his apostasy…The poor were oppressed by the rich; the spirit of self-sacrifice in God’s service was well nigh lost.”
11) COMPOST AND DON’T WASTE FOOD
12) Follow and share Wesley’s wise advice to gain all we can so we can save all we can so we can give all we can and it will bring
Ellen White says,
“I dreamed I was visiting those who believe the truth; and I saw in their houses trinkets and ornaments. But while I felt like weeping like a little child, over the future prospects—on account of lack of means—in regard to advancing the cause of Present Truth, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I said, “In this house are many idols.” If these things that can do your souls no good were sold, and the money put in the Lord’s treasury, there would not be the deprivation of any of your comforts, and the means would help advance the cause of God.” I went from house to house and pointed out the needless things that the Lord’s money entrusted to his stewards had bought. That very means could have been a great blessing to help build our school buildings in the land, also our meetinghouses, that as churches are raised up we must hire. There are many campmeetings to be held in new places, and how to obtain the means is a problem.
If household ornaments could be disposed of and money invested in the work and cause of God, they would be as rivulets to swell into a large stream to carry forward the work of God. My heart aches to see the work advance so tardily, the little done and the great work to be done.
I implore all who have ornaments or trinkets that they could exchange into money or even into useful articles, to do so in order to help us here and to help the needy cause in America as well as in foreign countries. Let all church members individually consider what each can do now while mercy’s voice is pleading, now, while the four winds are being held, now while heaven’s opened door is ready to receive every repentant soul. SpM 82-3
Study at Biblically based schools. incredible progress to God’s cause (1 John 3:17, Luke 6:38, etc.).
SABBATH: The reason the Sabbath is so important is because it has connections that remind us of the solutions to most of these problems. Sabbath has powerful connections to physical, mental and spiritual health. The scientific field of chronobiology has found 7 day circaseptan rhythms all over nature which are deep in our metabolic, hormonal, and neuronal networks. When people rest every 7 days, they have optimal performance. Scientists like Dan Buettner of National Geographic found that the Adventist habits of Sabbaths with worship, music, time for rest, prayer, exercise in nature and strengthening communal relationships bring quite significant benefits to physical and mental health in reducing diseases, delaying cognitive decline and more.
The Sabbath reminds us of God’s act of creation (Exodus 20:8-11) which means we are all equal. Sabbath explains why SDAs believe in creation science more than other denominations. Creation is the foundation of every other major Christian doctrine and influences us to think of marriage, health, economic justice and principles established then. It is a reminder that God sets us free (Deut. 15:15). Sabbath also reminds us of justice in economics since Sabbath is part of Jubilee economics and is mentioned 6 times in Lev. 25 alone (which deals with land rights). In Isaiah 58, the verses about calling Sabbath a delight are in the context of social justice for everyone. Sabbath reminds us that we were created to live freely in a garden raising our own food, not dependent on others. This is another crucial solution for modern times. In short, Sabbath is the greatest reminder of the most important solutions for our time of earth’s history. That is why Satan attacks it so much and that is why we must emphasize it as a God given solution to the world’s problems.
 Cnaan, Ram. “Calculating the Economic Halo Effect of Sacred Places”. www.endowedparishes.org/download_file/view/2154/.
 “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy”. Robert D. Woodberry. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/american-political-science-review/article/missionary-roots-of-liberal-democracy/3D96CF5CB2F7FEB19B1835393D084B9A
 Bissell, Bryan. “Greed—the Root of All Evil (Literally). blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/greed/. (see especially the section: THE RIPPLE EFFECT CONSEQUENCES OF GREED”
 “Noncommunicable diseases” http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs355/en/. “The Incredible Value of God’s Health Habits.” http://blog.truth-is-life.org/health/health/
 Salguero, Michael. “Why Buying Local Is Worth Every Cent [Infographic].” Dec 06, 2017, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-buying-local-is-worth_b_4310520.
 Michael Shuman: Localising Finance
 “Here’s How Much Your Degree Will Help You Earn Over A Lifetime”. Libby Kane. https://www.businessinsider.com/how-college-impacts-earning-potential-2014-10. Oct. 27, 2014.
 “My subversive garden plot”. Roger Doiron, https://www.ted.com/talks/roger_doiron_my_subversive_garden_plot
 Back to Eden (2011)—a Bible based film about how many people and churches are growing gardens easily with Bible principles and producing much better food. It answers most major questions about how to do gardening easily. www.filmsforaction.org/watch/back-to-eden-2011/, How to Make $100,000 Farming 1/2 Acre You Don’t Own. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP5bOr0aC58
 Jamaica Report, https://www.adventistag.org/training/jamaica-report
 “My subversive garden plot”. Roger Doiron, https://www.ted.com/talks/roger_doiron_my_subversive_garden_plot
 “The Hidden Radicalism of Southern Food”, John T. Edgemay, The New York Times, May 6, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/06/opinion/sunday/the-hidden-radicalism-of-southern-food.html
 “Science has discovered . . . The Amazing 7-Day Cycle”. Kenneth Westby. www.godward.org/archives/Special%20Articles/7-Day%20Cycle.htm.
 “How to live to be 100+”. Dan Buettner. https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_buettner_how_to_live_to_be_100/, September 2009.
 “The surprising links between faith and evolution and climate denial — charted”. Chris Mooney. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/05/20/this-chart-explains-why-faith-and-science-dont-have-to-be-in-conflict/?utm_term=.70349c744d02. May 20, 2015.
 “Famous evangelical apologist changes his mind”. Tas Walker. https://creation.com/famous-evangelical-apologist-changes-his-mind-rc-sproul. May 21, 2008.