Belief Beyond Boundaries
Many people have wondered throughout the ages how to solve all the world's problems. A world whereby hunger, famine, war, poverty and greed have ceased. As Christians, we believe this will happen when Jesus returns to rule over the world again for a thousand years. I ask you, however, could the wisdom the Lord left us in the first place along with the commandments God delivered Moses be the solution that solves all these problems? The Law of the Lord is perfect (Psalm 19:10) I keep asking why we have to rely on our worldly governments to deliver every need. Is it time Christians begin to come together? Why is it necessary to wait for the Lord to return in order to begin the true work of His Kingdom. Could establishing this true "Kingdom" actually bring the return of Christ right now?
As we read through the Bible, we see so many problems that have already been addressed and solved by God, yet governments fail to solve the problems that have been solved already. Why? Because governments tend to be atheist institutions and value their own humanly knowledge more than the ancient and divine knowledge of God. Let's ask ourselves how God addresses some of these most pressing issues we see in our time and what His solutions are:
Hunger, Need, and Famine
“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.” - Leviticus 23:22 (NIV)
This is an instruction given by God explaining that the leftover edges of our productivity can be used to help others. This goes beyond just fields and instead, is the spirit of how we should conduct ourselves in all things similar. In other words, if you have extra and it benefits you little to withhold what you CAN give, it is important to share with others. This translates into:
“Cannot swords be turned to plowshares? Can we and all nations not live in peace? In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity...Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond...I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?” - Ronald Reagan
I ask you now, is this threat just military war or could this extend to the a war for your attention, your relationships, family, your lifestyle, and your wallet? If the Kingdom of God is not worth all of us working together for the common good and turning our swords into plowshares, I don't know what else would be. As a Christian, you are already a member of that Kingdom and though you may have to work in conjunction with your domestic government, you can and should have a Christian code that you can also live by.
"Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:9-11 (NIV)
In this verse, it is clear that the common thread that can tie us all together is the common thread of His glory, which can be found in His Son, Christ Jesus.
"Do not charge a fellow Israelite interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest." - Deuteronomy 23:19 (NIV)
“If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit." - Leviticus 25: 35-37 (NIV)
How many of the world's problems alone could be solved by just removing greed alone? Interestingly enough, it is the American corporate system, underpinning the world's economy, that is epitome of greed. Think about this for a moment. Corporations have shareholders. It is the duty of the corporate managers and the board of directors to put shareholders first, which involves maximizing profit. The first step is to hire a talented CEO, whom will be paid, most-likely, tens of millions of dollars each year. Next, in an effort to minimize expenditures, managers will demand the highest quality for the cheapest price when it comes to resources, capital, and executive salaries. In an ever growing needs to minimize expense and maximize profit, only political and universal ethics are considered first, not environmental or religious ones, because all humanitarian-centric decisions cost profit and corporations, as a whole, are purely profit driven.
How can the corporate problem be fixed? In a word, private or group-owned companies that are committed to paying employees well, making religious based decisions, taking care of our environment, and are strictly non-profit companies. This doesn't take into consideration small businesses of course, which are the engine of the economy. From that perspective, small business owners can commit themselves to the same by taking a personal vow, committed to running a greed-free business. In the end, the more funds that can be funneled into reinvestment and human capital will only allow the business to become more profitable and valuable.
Lastly, regarding lending money at no interest, it is natural to think that some people will neglect to pay the money they borrow from people back, however, Jews and Muslims have been doing this for hundreds or thousands of years and, in fact, still do this today. This system works on honor and is very effective at helping people rise out of poverty.
How does all this tie together?
As Christians, a time will come when we will need to separate ourselves, to an extent, from the existing systems of the world, coming together, and establish a new paradigm in how we conduct business, grow wealth, and solve world problems. We have a King and his name is Jesus. The question is, when will we begin to take the Lord seriously and begin putting his laws into practice. After all, Jesus said “Do not think that I have come to abolish Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” - Matthew 5:17. When will we allow Him to truly rule over us? Some may say many of these laws are out of date or not relevant. Sure, some of these laws were enacted in a world where animal sacrifice still took place, but most, if we search our hearts, are as relevant today as they were then. Also, we must then ask ourselves if it is the law that is not relevant or if it is our society and our time that is not relevant to what God has commanded. If you find yourself asking how any of this is even possible, you may also want to ask yourself how intertwined your own identity is in the world systems.
In the future, I envision a world where, as Christians, we not only bring the Kingdom to Earth spiritually, but also physically in how we conduct ourselves and truly find our identity in Christendom. Christianity will no longer just define the fact that we go to a Christian church, but also how we as a Christian community come together in honor of our King, Jesus. Whether it be disrupting the war on individuals and nations, business, moral character, or serving each other with our skills in an affordable way (i.e. medical care, legal services, retail, entertainment, or lending), I see a major disruption as the power is taken from the kings of the earth and returned to the true King, Jesus, and His believers. Are you ready for the return?