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Written by Jim Jordal   
Thursday, 10 July 2014

WHAT IF?

By Jim Jordal

“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”                      Isaiah 11:9

What if the U.S. was to renounce war as an instrument of national policy and instead use the trillions spent on the military machine for peaceful uses like rebuilding our infrastructure, making certain that everyone got an adequate education, providing housing for all Americans, and facing the battle against obesity with new vigor and resources? We now spend more for militarization that most of the free world put together. What if renounced this idiocy? What could be the result?

The result could be an infusion of national pride and well-being that would sweep the land. Our potholed streets could be reclaimed. New schools could be built for everyone. We could discover cures for diseases and conditions far beyond current expectations. We could almost literally be reborn as a people, with fallout from our renaissance covering the earth.

Of course the friends of the military could claim this rash act would open the doors to dictators and their captive but dysfunctional governments to move upon us with the aim of capturing our resources and ending our freedoms. They could also point out the loss of perhaps millions of jobs in defense industries, without mentioning that these jobs could transfer to the peace sector with much more visible results, and far fewer lives destroyed.

And what if our entire culture was suddenly to begin valuing people over profit? Jesus said that the abundance of life did not consist in our many possessions, but in the joy and meaning arising from fellowship with God and man. Businesses would then produce for people rather than for profit and labor would be for conserving rather than destroying the earth. Money would then be what it was intended to be: a medium of exchange to simplify trade, not an instrument of oppression as it is now.

The outcome of this transfer of affection and loyalty from profits to people would greatly reduce if not eliminate most social problems now besetting us. Violence, family dysfunction, abuse, addiction, homelessness and crime in general seem rooted directly in poverty and hopelessness. Consider the uncontrolled illegal immigration problem now threatening to overcome some border states. People in some Central American countries are so desperate because of their fear of violence uncontrolled by corrupt, ineffective governments that they are willing to pay thousands of dollars to “coyotes” to take their unaccompanied children to what they view as virtual utopia in freedom and opportunity in the U.S. This evolving disaster could be largely eliminated if the landholding situation were rectified in many of the countries where a few percent of the people own most of the land, leaving peasants to operate as virtual slaves---with all this condoned and supported by American policy.

And what if American churches began to understand what Jesus really meant when he said the greatest commandments were to love God totally and our neighbors as ourselves? What would we begin to preach and model if we did this? What would happen to church organizational and doctrinal structures devised over centuries mainly to propagate the church structure rather than to preach truth to the people?

The outcome would be resurgent public interest in the things of God rather than the passive acceptance of the status quo we see now. We’d be saving nations and entire peoples rather than a few individuals. We’d be building the reality of God’s kingdom here on earth rather than ethereal glories of heaven in the sweet by and by. And we’d be serving Jesus in the highest manner possible by doing rather than just speaking his will.

These blessings are all possible if we would simply do what God’s word says. We need to hear what God says, think about and consider it, then actually do it. This would unleash upon earth the greatest transformation since the Renaissance and the Reformation.