Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Morning Musings -- Jan. 22, 2011 (Rush; Youth; Wealth; Prosperity Gospel & more)

Nice Surprise for Epistoli: Well, what a nice surprise to wake up today and find out that I was asking (a day or so ago) the same questions of both Hawaiian Governor Abercrombie as well as B.O. with respect to the latest news that the long-form of B.O.'s birth certificate either cannot be found or won't be brought forward, that WND and now Rush Limbaugh were asking.  "Why not?" indeed.  Click here for the link to their article.  Well worth the read.

Aging vs. Youth: Jack A. Goldstone, Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University, Arlington, Va., had this to say on the issue (in a letter to ForeignPolicy magazine): "The real problem the world faces today isn't aging -- it's that almost 90 percent of the world's youth is growing up in countries that can't offer education, access to capital, physical security, or good governance."  Think of the implications of that statement.  But also think about the fact that we can do something about it.  We can change that percentage downward if we really want to.  That's why I'm heading back to Kenya -- primarily to help the young people that I've been called to help in the Nakuru, Kitale, Matunda areas.  You can help me take them some of the things they need.  Just click here to see what we're up to and get in touch with us.  You may want to come with me.  I can use the help.

Making Us Safer: ForeignPolicy magazine asked this question of top terrorism experts in the field: "What one thing could the United States do to make itself safer immediately?"  The most common answer (14%) was: "No one thing will make us safer." I think they have that right.  More and more people (not just terrorism experts) are coming to the same conclusion these days.  No one "thing" can do it.  But I and many others believe ONE "divine entity" in the Person of God CAN.  Something that more people should muse about.

Some Monetary Comparisons:  According to Carl Pope, the chairman of the Sierra Club, writing in ForeignPolicy, the world's four richest citizens -- Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mukesh Ambani -- together control more wealth than the world's poorest 57 countries.  It isn't clear from the sentence structure if that means the 57 countries together or individually, but either way, it gives you a good idea of both the wealth of these four and the relative (against other nations) poverty of these 57 countries.  It's also the kind of data to get socialists excited about the need to redistribute and share the wealth.  At the same time, perhaps we need to realize that it is a fact; that money does make the world go around from a secular, human perspective; that indeed these four men likely employee thousands and thousands of people through the assets they control; and that at least two of them are giving millions and millions away to help those in real need.  Yet, it is important to realize the magnitude of the resources available and the size of the comparable needs in the world.

On the Prosperity Gospel:  Let me say right off the bat, I am not a believer in the "prosperity gospel" as we know it, and have it promoted on the television and elsewhere.  No, I do not believe that coming to Jesus to get ahead in life financially is what the Gospel is all about.  Here's the closest I can come to this -- 3 John 2.  It says, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers."  Prosperity Gospel proponents will be the first to say "in all things" includes "financial".  It may very well, but the key here is that the area of 'finances' is not the only, or even an important, element of what Pastor John is writing about in this epistle to Gaius.  In fact, reading scripture in context, we need to look in front of the verse under discussion, and in this case in particular what comes after it.  I believe the things Paul is talking about are "witnessing to your truth" and "walking in truth" (vs. 3); "acting faithfully in whatever you do for others", "especially strangers" (vs. 4); "loving the church" (vs. 5); and "not imitating what is evil" (vs. 11).   Yes, God wants us to prosper in all good things.  In that regard, it may be finances -- but success in finances only truly becomes 'good' when money and wealth is ultimately amassed and used for the Glory of God and in His work.

Perhaps you have your own "musings" on some of these things and I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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