Whatever happened to humility? Where are the meek, the merciful and the peacemakers? Too many people claiming to be good Christians appear woefully short on these biblical commandments.
A Times columnist recently stated that the Earth was created for mankind and therefore concern for the environment was unnecessary. No need to worry about the environment, he said, because God has placed mankind above the Earth and its myriad life forms. God made the Earth for man, not the other way around.
I’m sorry, but this is pure arrogance. Furthermore, it shows little understanding of the interdependence of all life forms. Environmentalists aren’t trying to save endangered species for the sake of the species themselves but for the part they play in the health of the planet.
Even if you believe that God created man on the sixth day, you should remember that God created man out the dust of the Earth (Genesis 2:7). The land and the waters, the plants and the animals all came first. From the beginning, the Earth was infused with life, and it is this life that sustains us all, this life that is endangered by man’s arrogance.
Our arrogance as a species is reflected in our arrogance as a nation and as individuals. Allegiance to family, to culture and to country is laudable, but when it isn’t held in check by allegiance to the Earth and to humanity as a whole, we cross a line into sin and self-destructiveness: in biblical terms, the sins of pride, anger, greed and envy.
Not only is the world biologically interdependent, it is socially interdependent as well. This is why the peacemaker is called blessed. Right now America is at war, and the two men running for president have very different experiences in peacemaking: one a traditional military approach, the other seeking a new and more diplomatic way of dealing with international strife.
As a nation we place a lot of importance on winning, but in reality nobody wins a war. Money is made. National pride is stroked. Leaders rise or fall, but the little people always suffer. Now it appears we’re on the verge of reigniting our old conflict with Russia.
A local man recently gained a certain amount of international recognition when he predicted Russia’s invasion of the Georgian Republic nine months ago. "Watch the Russian stock market," he said. "If it drops, Russia will instigate conflict on its border, probably with Georgia," and that is exactly what happened.
A coincidence? No, Alan Hall based his prediction on socionomic theory.
Hall is an analyst with Robert Prechter and Elliott Wave International located in Gainesville. Prechter’s socionomics is a new science that links social mood with the stock market and other large-scale social manifestations.
However, the interesting thing about socionomics is that it reverses the conventional belief that events move financial markets and change people’s broadly shared feelings. Socionomics says that social mood — the way we look at life — moves the stock market and actually governs other social expressions.
Of course this is counterintuitive and will not be easily accepted, but if it is so — and you can learn more about it at www.socionomics.net — consider the ramifications for society. We ourselves contribute to war and terrorism simply by the way we see the world.
Isn’t this what Christianity and the other great religions of the world have been saying all along? "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace," (St. Francis of Assisi), but this isn’t what we hear around us today.
Just listen to some of the campaign rhetoric. It becomes more aggressive and warlike every day. Of course the country wants a strong leader, but strength doesn’t lie in military might or economic arm-twisting.
Strength comes from the people. People with good jobs. People with strong family connections. People with a faith that goes deeper than words and public posturing.
This kind of faith is not demonstrated in allegiance to any one church or religion. It’s demonstrated in an individual’s relationship to others and to the Earth that sustains us all.
Just the same, North Georgians are a Christian people. What does the Bible say is required of us? "To do right, to love goodness, and to walk humbly with our God," (Micah 6:8).
Let’s just suppose global peace and national security do depend on how we perceive the world. How do we as individuals measure up?
Joan King lives in Sautee. Her column appears biweekly and on gainesvilletimes.com.