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Written by Jim Jordal   
Thursday, 26 May 2016

DISASTER PRODUCES NEEDED CHANGE

By Jim Jordal

“For if they didn't escape when they refused him who warned on the Earth, how much more will we not escape who turn away from him who warns from heaven,  whose voice shook the earth, then, but now he has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens." This phrase, "Yet once more," signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain.  Therefore, receiving a Kingdom that can't be shaken, let us have grace, through which we serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. “                                               Hebrews 12:25b-29 WEB

 

It seems almost a truism that humans perpetually fail to learn from the experiences of others, seemingly preferring catastrophe as spur to needed change. Professor J. Rufus Fears points this out in his DVD series on The Wisdom of History, an offering of The Great Courses group. Others, like the popular, now-deceased, conservative economist Milton Freidman, put it differently, saying to his classes of economic majors at the University of Chisago, “Only a crisis produces needed change. When that crisis occurs, leaders resort to ideas that are just lying around. Our task is to keep these ideas alive and before the public until what is politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.”

And Canadian journalist Naomi Klein in her best-selling book The Shock Doctrine, reveals the many times that natural and man-made disasters have been used by domineering corporations to force odious free market policies upon unwary and desperate victims. These economic and political policies allow greedy corporations and individuals to gain power to exploit poor cultures for generations.  

It seems as if there’s one gigantic merry-go-round now forcing human society toward the inevitable end of chaos, violence and destruction of cultures and systems built up over centuries for human good. All the parts of this great maelstrom are interrelated---if one suffers harm, they all do, but not to the same degree. Scripture speaks of this as a great shaking of nations and institutions, at the end of which lies the insipient destruction of all humanly-created models and systems not fit for entry into God’s Earthly Kingdom. So God also uses change and crisis as drivers for change.

So if we need a crisis to turn our nation away from greed, moral depravity, and other sins beyond number, we’ve come to the right place. God is the ultimate boat-rocker; He’s the consuming fire, the “great and mighty wind” and the “still small voice” that spoke so loudly to Elijah (I Kings 19). He’s in the business of creating change, be it personal, institutional, or national.

This is where biblical Jubilee comes in. The systems of this world shake because they have ignored the clear word of God concerning the justice, righteousness, mercy and truth that alone are capable to creating a nation or even the entire earth that will respond in obedience to the ever-lasting love of God given, not only to people, but to entire nations. Jubilee is the God-created operating system for the coming Kingdom of God on Earth.

But before Jubilee can take hold, some things need to be wrecked, and that’s what you’re now seeing on the political, social, and economic fronts. The systems developed by the high and mighty to perpetuate forever their advantages in exploiting the poor and needy are being greatly shaken as secrets thought to be inviolable are now exposed almost daily. Perpetrators of monstrous injustice may be able to hide their nefarious deeds from human eyes, but they cannot evade the judgment of God.

So what about us? Just get out of the way! As Mary says, “God is driving the bus,” so all we have to do is hang on in faith that God knows what he is doing.