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Q. I appreciated your article on the messed-up world economy and how Americans are being "sold down the river." My only gripe is that while you point up all of the flaws and snares of the world we live in, you offer up no alternatives. For example, what about forming co-ops or promoting fair-trade coffee growers? What about the role of small businesses? What about organizing boycotts against goods from China or Vietnam, etc.? Certainly there are problems. But, there must be solutions as well. Furthermore, these solutions must be realized by actions - not just thought and words.
JG from Houston
Thank you for your excellent, thought-provoking question. I printed it in its entirety because you offered so many good ideas and suggestions.
Financial Tsunami Hitting our Shores
Almost five years ago we wrote an article called "A Financial Tsunami - Coming Our Way?" In that article our staff detailed some steps citizens might take to prepare for hard times.
A Two-Step Process
We have been accused more than once of being too pessimistic. But, doing something about problems is a two-step process. Step 1 is to call attention to the problems - to educate ourselves. Step 2 is to try and figure out what we can do about problems, if anything.
Step 1 is perhaps the most difficult because most people in the USA do not want to see or face their problems, or they are just too busy trying to survive. This can be especially true for Christians. Step 1 can be overwhelming.
To really dig in and start understanding how things work in our world means that we must be open to changing our entire world view and prejudices. Things are never what they seem. We must take the time to do our homework and then educate those around us. But beware, you must choose your teachers well or you can waste a lot of time fighting the wrong battles!
As to Step 2, there are lots of opportunities to do something about problems. God has given each person his/her gifts and windows of opportunity. The trick to Step 2 is to understand which problems exist within your sphere of influence and then dedicate yourself to working on them. There are not too few opportunities - there are too many!
Christendom's True Watchman/Prophet
One of the things we appreciated in writing "A Financial Tsunami" was to introduce readers to one of Christendom's only true prophets (unlike the garish "psychic prophets" on Christian television today). This true prophet calls himself a "watchman" - not a "prophet."
I hold in my hands his 1974 book, The Vision, in which he accurately forecasts almost everything that is happening to America today. I suggest you obtain either a copy of his 1974 book, or the reprint which has additional materials in the appendix about 9/11 and other important events. I also suggest you acquire his book about America on the brink of a financial holocaust, too. In 1998 he writes:
For Sale Signs Everywhere
"I believe that in the not-too-distant future, almost every block on America's streets will be lined with 'For Sale' signs in front of homes. There will be sellers only, and very few buyers. The housing market will collapse - and we could witness in our nation what happened in Japan, Indonesia and other nations of the Pacific Rim. There may be a 70 to 80 percent devaluation in real estate - and a rush to liquidate everything to raise cash. …Banks and mortgage companies will be stuck with billions of dollars' worth of property they can't unload. As Jeremiah prophesies, 'Their houses shall be turned unto others…' (Jer. 6:12).
(Wilkerson 1998, 110).
Natural Disasters&Corporate Failures
In his 1974 publication called The Vision, Wilkerson saw severe future economic problems in Japan, and then in the U.S., Canada, and most other nations.
- He saw credit busts and the bankruptcies of major corporations.
- He saw auto industries folding and union failures.
- He saw major airlines having severe problems.
- He predicted so many natural disasters that insurance companies would become depleted of funds.
- He envisioned interest-only loans, and an "eco backlash" against environmentalists.
- He saw social-aid program cutbacks due to resentment of illegal immigrants, and a vicious anti-American stance by France and then by other nations.
Connecting the Dots
I mention these two books because Wilkerson's seeming crystal-ball reading abilities come straight from the Bible. He simply reads the bible and applies its prophecies to today. He "connects the dots" for us, in today's vernacular.
Spiritual - Not Economic Solutions
Furthermore, Wilkerson's solutions are not economic ones. They are spiritual ones. He doesn't tell us to buy gold, guns, stored-foods, and to hide ourselves in rural, forested America.
No, his faith is in the God of the universe who holds together the trillions upon trillions of swirling galaxies. Somehow, our understanding that this Jehovah God is the "cosmic glue" that binds everything together - our comprehending that Jehovah God is our Rock and our Fortress and our salvation from a future, sure death - is far more comforting than putting our devalued dollars in the right brokerage firm or bank account or small business.
The Panting Prosperity Crowds
In fact, I'm sorry to admit that when I see the panting, prosperity crowds following Joel Osteen and Paula White on Christian television, I almost don't want to divulge the sincere warnings from one of God's truest, timely messengers. David Wilkerson is authentic - they are not.
Sadly, it is an indication that the majority of Christians have completely sold out, knowingly or unknowingly, to the worst our culture offers. We have too often turned our backs on what true Christianity really is - to love God and fellow man - and this to the denial of the "self."
JG from Houston,
I believe that our planet and the universe is playing out a real script that was foretold in the pages of a 2,700 year old collection of books written by over forty authors over a period of at least 1600 years - the Bible. Yet, it is an integrated message system. In fact, much of that book reads like today's news! It beats the prophecies of Nostrodamus, Edgar Cayce or any other psychic in its specificity. And its accuracy rate is 100%. This is because it is of extraterrestrial origin.
A Threatening UFO - or a Little Baby?
I suppose God could have appeared as a UFO who flashed thunderous warnings across the sky for all of us to see. But, He chose not to do that.
Instead, it seems God sort of "cloned" himself in a little baby boy born in poor conditions in a Bethlehem stable 2,000 years ago. He grew up like one of us in a very ordinary way, and then taught us all about God (while he maintained himself in the form of a man).
This was brilliant in its simplicity. As C.S. Lewis says, God became one of his own creatures - a man - to communicate with us.
Death, Our Worst Problem - Not Economics
God clearly gave us a message. He told us what we need to do in order to solve the worst problem in our entire universe: Death - that everything, including ourselves, is dying in this current habitat.
Money problems kind of "dim" in the light of our impending deaths and the coming death of our universe. …
"the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up…" (2 Peter 3:10).
I think that this is probably where we should focus our attention, don't you think?
Some acceptable "proofs" of Yeshua's existence and the Bible's supernatural properties are out there and available to you if you'd like to consider exploring them.
You are not God - but You are His Image
God does His work in this broken world by using willing people who recognize a foundational truth. We are the image-bearers of a Holy and just God. This is a God who is a personal and just God, who gets intimately involved in each person's life.
The Bible makes this clear. So when you decide to take on a stewardship effort to help and not just consume, He will use you! Just fasten your seat-belt first ,however, because it will be a wild ride!
Muncaster, Ralph. 2004. Examine the evidence. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.
Ross, Hugh. 1996. Beyond the cosmos. Colorado Springs: NavPress.
Wilkerson, David. 1998. America's last call: On the brink of a financial holocaust. Lindale, TX: Wilkerson Trust Publications.
—- 2003. The vision and beyond. Lindale, TX: World Challenge Publications. Available from: www.worldchallenge.org.
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