Impact of the bible on economy
Wrong lifestyles increase society's unnecessary costs by millions of euros, but adherence to biblical principles reduces them
The Bible is full of instructions on how to behave, the most important of them in the Old Testament being the Ten Commandments and in the New Testament the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus' teachings about ethics. These are good instructions for anyone. If we followed them, the world would be a much better place.
What will happen – financially speaking – if we fail to follow the instructions given in the Bible? This is a question people rarely think to ask, but it is important. If we reject the teachings of Jesus and the other useful instructions found in the Bible, our lack of knowledge can be costly for the national economy. Let's study some examples.
FAMILY LIFE. Normal family life is a good way to start studying this issue. One of the most important lessons in the Bible is about marriage: it is permanent, should be a close relationship between a man and a woman, should last for life, be ended only through death, and it should provide children with a chance to grow in a healthy environment. The permanence of marriage is also highlighted in the Ten Commandments: "You shall not commit adultery" and "You shall not covet your neighbour's wife." (Ex 20:14, 17). Jesus also taught many times about the permanence of marriage and warned people not to disturb its sanctity. These instructions are also found in letters written by Paul:
- (Matt 19:3-9) The Pharisees also came to him, tempting him, and saying to him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
4 And he answered and said to them, Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall join to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?
6 Why they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.
7 They say to him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorce, and to put her away?
8 He said to them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
9 And I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her which is put away does commit adultery.
- (1 Cor 7:39) The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
- (Mal 2:14-16) Yet you say, Why? Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet is she your companion, and the wife of your covenant.
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And why one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, said that he hates putting away: for one covers violence with his garment, said the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that you deal not treacherously.
What happens when people fail to follow Jesus' instructions about marriage, and ignore everything else in the Bible about married life?
One good example is found in a family experiment conducted in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. It affected 200 million people. Divorce was made very easy, abortion was legalised, and people were taught that there should be no obstacles to free sexual relations. The consequences were disastrous both financially and socially: crime increased, more and more abortions were done, and families were torn apart. The wrong lessons were sown, and bad results had to be reaped later in the form of social problems.
Very extensive experiments connected to the family institution were carried out in the Soviet Union since the revolution. When in Oneida Community it was a question of 300 persons, in the Soviet Union it is a question of at least 200 million people who also represent perhaps 170 nationalities.
(…) In 1917, in the second month of the new governmental power, laws concerning marriage were published. Marriage in church was replaced with civil marriage. Divorce was permitted if one of the spouses asked for it. The following year these laws were complemented by imposing the birth of a child as the basis of marriage. There was to be no difference between children born in or outside of wedlock.
(…) A more radical change came into effect in Russia in 1926 and immediately after also in other parts of the Soviet Union. According to this change, the registration of marriage was not necessary. (…) Thus, none of the responsibilities and rights of the spouses or children were dependent upon the registration of the marriage. In 1926, divorcing was made even more easy. Either both spouses or one of them could apply for divorce without giving any justification.
(…) At first, there were no laws concerning sexual behavior. In 1920, abortion was legalized. Another law made adultery, bigamy, and incest acts not requiring punishment. The prevailing attitude was that there were to be no hindrances to free sexual relationships and no reactionary morals. Attempts to take contraceptives into use were taken and the idea was to abolish all shame concerning illegitimacy.
(…) The consequence was that divorces became more common (…) the number of illegitimate children increased. (…) The number of abortions, according to some statements, ‘horribly’ increased. Women were in many cases forced to choose between their social status or maternity. (…) When the number of abortions increased, the birthrate in towns decreased. Worried statements concerning this were presented already in 1926. It was assessed in 1922 that the number of homeless children rose to about nine million.
(…) Obviously, however, the breaking up of family relations caused an increase in juvenile delinquency. Many newspapers wrote about this phenomenon, called hooliganism, in the late 20s and in the early 30s. In 1929, hooliganism was deemed the most difficult problem. The number of juvenile delinquents was said to have doubled between the years 1929 and 1935. Groups of young people hanged around the towns and did all sorts of bad acts, such as attacked helpless citizens. There was talk about vandalism, thefts, burglaries, rapes, even murders that had increased over a short period of time.
A turning point in the family politics of the Soviet Union took place in 1934-35. (…) There is no need to clarify here in what way the official way of thinking changed. The main point is that the social defects and decay were acknowledged and powerful propaganda against hooliganism, irresponsible sexual behavior, and abortions was begun... (1)
What about the situation in our own modern society? We are not following and promoting the Bible's teachings as described above. The sexual revolution (that started in the 1960s) and the media have changed people's minds so that they no longer respect God's Commandments in this respect or any other. This means that people get a divorce more and more easily or live in a marriage-like relationship from which they can easily leave if need be. Current laws are such that people can easily leave their spouses and children.
Divorces and broken families are very costly for society, however. The newspaper articles below describe problems in Finland. Finland is one of the countries with a high divorce rate; getting a divorce is easier in Finland than in many other countries. The State of Finland pays for this in the form of ever-increasing social problems and financial expenses. According to one newspaper article, the institutional care of one child can cost around EUR 100,000 per year.
Almost billion euro used in institutional care for children and youth
Problems with children experienced strong rise since early 1990s
The expenses arising from institutional and family care in child welfare are currently increasing by more than 10% per year.
This year, institutional and family care for children and the young will cost around EUR 670 million. If the sum continues to increase, it will exceed the billion euros limit in five years.
The number of children in institutional care has doubled since the early 1990s. Problems with children have increased to such an extent that most custody decisions are now urgent.
There are many reasons why more and more children are in institutional care: drugs and alcohol, crime, mental health problems and unemployment.
Inequality reigns in the society, and the number of poor families with children has tripled.
The institutional care of one child can cost up to EUR 100,000 per year while proactive supporting measures in outpatient care could be offered with a couple of thousand euro.
However, outpatient care in child welfare was shut down during the last economic downswing. (Newspaper Etelä-Suomen Sanomat, 31 October 2010)
Divorce is costly for many
Economist Pasi Sorjonen of Nordea Bank wonders why the financial impact of divorces is not discussed much even though divorces are very common and the financial impact caused by a divorce can be great for the people involved.
A study by Nordea Bank suggests that a divorce can lower the living standard of a family even more than unemployment. It is a very extensive social phenomenon: almost half of the marriages now end in divorce.
"Divorces are very costly to the society," says Executive Director Heljä Sairisalo of the Finnish single-parent family association .
According to Sairisalo, as many as 25% of all single parents have to live on relief. Among the entire Finnish population, 10% live on relief, and the figure is even lower for families with both parents.
In a survey done by Nordea Bank last year, only slightly over a third of families with children estimated that they would be able to live in their old home when one of the parents moves out. A parent living with the children alone needs almost as much room as a family with both parents: after all, the number of bedrooms needed will not change. (...)
"Fixed costs will increase," Sorjonen points out.
Sorjonen also pays attention in the use of time: a single parent has to handle the transport of the children alone because there is nobody to help. This will lower the everyday standard of living and, according to Sorjonen, can even be a threat to the single parent's ability to work: many day-care centres are not flexible in terms of the parents' working hours. (Newspaper Etelä-Suomen Sanomat, 25 January 2011)
The next example also shows how much trouble a broken family can cause. It is usually the father who is missing, and this can lead to a variety of social and other problems. Such problems are less common in families with both parents.
When I was speaking at a certain men's camp in Hume Lake in California, I mentioned that the average father spends only three minutes of quality time with his child a day. After the meeting, one man questioned my information.
He scolded, "You preachers only say things. According to the latest research, the average father doesn't spend even three minutes daily with his children, but 35 seconds."
I believe him because he worked as a school inspector in central California. Actually, he gave me another startling statistic.
In a certain school district in California there were 483 students in special education. None of those students had a father at home.
In a certain area on the outskirts of Seattle, 61% of children live without a father.
The absence of a father is a curse nowadays. (2)
- (1 Cor 7:1-4) Now concerning the things whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render to the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife to the husband.
4 The wife has not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife.
- (Hebr 13:4) Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Families that are falling apart have a financial impact on society, and so do sexually transmitted diseases. For example, 20- to 30% of the adult population in some parts of Africa have the HI virus; this naturally impacts these areas in financial and other ways. The same problems are experienced in all countries where STDs – AIDS in particular – are evident.
What causes STDs? The major cause of STDs is people’s refusal to abide by God's commandments on sexuality. Sexual activity in itself is not wrong – it should be part of a marriage, as proven by the verses above – but sexual activity outside one’s marriage bed is wrong. Such behaviour that goes against God's will is the major cause of STDs. STDs spread because people have sexual relations with several people. One person may have sex with one person only, but if the partner has had sex with dozens of people, STDs can easily spread. The next description about prostitution in India explains this problem further. If sexual relations were limited only to two people – a man and his wife – AIDS and other STDs would experience a radical decrease.
The most important problem in prostitution from the public health perspective is the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases. In India, a great majority of people have gotten AIDS from prostitutes. It has been estimated in India that the probability of catching the HI virus through unprotected sex is less than one per cent if neither of the people involved carry no other STD. However, the risk of getting AIDS is more than tenfold if some other STD is caught at the same time. Since 70–90% of Indian prostitutes have an STD, prostitution can at worst be a very efficient means of spreading AIDS. (...) Therefore, the only effective means of fighting against the spreading of prostitution is fighting against globalisation and destruction of the welfare state. If people have other means of providing for themselves, prostitution will remain a marginal trade with minor significance. (3)
ABORTIONS AND PENSIONS
- (Ps 139:16) Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
- (Gal 1:15) But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
- (Jer 1:5) Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
One of the great problems of modern society is how we will pay for the pensions of future generations. How will we manage when the baby boom generations retire and the younger generations will have to care for them? This will be a topic of discussion in many Western countries for years to come.
Perhaps the greatest reason for this problem is that the population growth curve has become distorted by the increased number of abortions. People have failed to abide by one of the Commandments: "Thou shall not kill." (Ex 20:13), and this has caused this financial problem. It has been estimated, for example, that Finland’s population would have 500 000 more people (10% of the entire population) if nobody had made an abortion. The addition of such a large number of people would surely matter. If those 500 000 people were still alive, there would likely be no such problem with future pensions problems, or at least the problem would be much less acute.
- (Eph 5:18) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
The Bible says that drinking alcohol in itself is not a sin. However, several verses in the Bible warn us that drunkenness will lead to sin. Furthermore, drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9.10).
How do alcohol abuse and drunkenness influence the national economy? It has been estimated that the expenses arising from these in Finland, a small country, are hundreds of millions of euros per year. Furthermore, many acts of violence are committed by people who are under the influence of alcohol; and alcohol abuse leads to a large number of traffic accidents every year. These costly events cause plenty of sorrow that cannot be measured in financial terms. The quote below is about this subject. It illustrates the expenses arising from alcohol and what would happen if the consumption level were to increase (if the price of alcohol was lowered, for example). There would be much more problems and expenses for the society. This happened a couple of years ago when the price of alcohol was lowered due to the EU.
It is important to note that 10% of the Finnish population drinks more than half of all the alcohol. The number of such heavy drinkers doubles if the consumption level in general increases by 20%. What about if the consumption level increases by 40%? This would lead to chaos in the social and welfare sectors, and in prisons.
What would it cause? Finns already drink more alcohol than ever before. If they were to drink double the amount of alcohol, the expenses arising from disadvantages related to alcohol would be more than a billion euros each year. This would mean 3,000 more deaths every year and tremendously more social problems. These are direct consequences of a price reduction. It means that we are paying a huge price for being allowed to be an EU state. (4)
Another fairly recent quote from Finnish financial newspaper Kauppalehti (16 September 2011) refers to the impact of alcohol on the national economy. According to researchers, the abuse of alcohol causes one billion euros in direct annual costs to society, and indirectly it costs society up to five billion euros. The article states that there are around 500,000 Finns who abuse alcohol, and up to a third of the people treated in the national healthcare system are so-called alcohol patients:
Sweeping the alcohol problem under the rug is expensive
Alcohol causes clearly more disadvantages and costs in working life than people generally think. Experts state that "complaisant" doctors make it difficult to see just how major a problem alcohol is when they disguise illnesses caused by alcohol abuse, saying that they have been caused by something else.
- Some sympathetic doctors leave the alcohol abuse out of the patient's anamnesis, says Senior Medical Officer Jan Schugk of the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK.
This is sometimes done because the doctor is worried about how the alcohol-abusing patient will cope financially, or it can be done out of mere modesty. This is why Schugk talks about a hidden problem. He says that much more people among those who receive disability pension abuse alcohol than you could conclude based on statistics.
- Alcohol causes us major expenses, Schugk says.
It is difficult to assess how much additional expenses alcohol causes to employers, however. Researchers of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) state that alcohol causes around one billion euro in direct annual costs for the society. Indirect costs can be up to five billion euro. (...)
- (Gal 5:19-21) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Contentions, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
- (Lev 7:23) Speak to the children of Israel, saying, You shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.
Alcohol may cause major problems in a society, but so can gluttony and revelry, too. The Bible warns us about these, as well. In countries that have a high standard of living, we find a number of illnesses that come from gluttony and the wrong kind of nutrition, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, joint problems, gallstones and other illnesses. In the West, we eat too much, and we often eat unhealthy food. Eating animal fat will clog up one’s arteries, for example. These illnesses have huge costs. If we were to follow the Bible in this respect as well, our healthcare expenses would clearly be lower. This was understood decades ago:
People in medicine have noted in the past few years that animal fat is an important cause of calcification of the arteries. Fat forms small, fatty concentrations of cholesterol in the walls of the arteries and these prevent the blood from flowing freely.
(...) Obesity is another important factor that causes changes in the arteries. Since obese people have a lot of fat in their body, they already have plenty of animal fat under their skin. (...) Statistics show that obese people more often suffer from high blood pressure and their arteries start to calcify at an earlier age. (5)
NEED FOR LOVE
- (1 Thess 2:11) As you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father does his children,
- (Matt 22:36-40) Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
- (Rom 13:8-10) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law.
9 For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
10 Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
- (1 Cor 13:13) And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
One of the problems in modern society is mental illness. Many people in the West suffer from some sort of mental disability that limits their life. They use psycho-pharmaceuticals, end up in mental institutions, or are unable to provide for themselves. This is a major limitation that makes a major financial impact.
What causes these problems? Probably many such problems are caused by the lack of love. The Bible says that the most important guideline for our behaviour and the most important Commandment is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself". We have failed to abide by this Commandment, and this has caused problems. People need love and if they do not get it at home, at school or from other people in some other way, they may end up with a mental disorder and behave in a way that will be expensive for the society. Love and acceptance are the best ways to prevent such problems.
Psychiatrists, researchers and scientists have known for years that almost all criminals, alcoholics, kleptomaniacs, drug addicts, pyromaniacs etc. were not loved when they were children and adolescents.
Lack of love in childhood and adolescence will cause problems later on. (...) Science has known for years that love is a basic human need, and that people need to feel that they are loved from the very beginning of their lives so that the lack of love will not "break" their lives later on. (6)
INFECTIOUS DISEASES. Infectious diseases have caused most destruction in society and have also had major financial impacts. The worst disease at present is AIDS but there have also been other infectious diseases that have taken a lot of lives such as the Black Death, leprosy, cholera, dysentery, smallpox and typhoid. The first two alone killed tens of millions of people during the Middle Ages.
How can we prevent such diseases? Many people fail to abide by the guidelines given in the Bible. The Bible refers to infectious diseases and how they can be prevented with good hygiene. Here are some examples:
· It was common up until the 19th century for people to throw their excrement into the streets instead of burying it in the ground. Thus, flies and other animals were able to spread diseases that killed millions of people. Diseases like cholera, dysentery and typhoid caused huge damage because people failed to take care of their hygiene properly.
How could we have saved these people? Many of them surely would not have died if people had done as the Bible teaches and buried their excrement in a remote place. It is a simple procedure that would have prevented these diseases from spreading.
(Deut 23:12,13) You shall have a place also without
the camp, where you shall go forth abroad:
Diseases can be effectively prevented with proper hygiene. Burying your excrement is one way to achieve this. It is also common knowledge now that it is important to wash your hands and face. This is why people in hospitals, etc. wash their hands before and after treating patients. This clearly lowers fatalities and prevents epidemics. The importance of hygiene was not understood in hospitals until the 19th century, so many people died in childbirth or after an operation. Hospital employees transferred diseases in corpses to living patients because they did not wash their hands.
The Bible does not teach about bacteria or viruses as such. However, the Bible does teach about the significance of human contact and uncleanliness. The Bible says that any person who touches a corpse is unclean.
- (Num 19:13,15,16,22) Whoever touches the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifies not himself… his uncleanness is yet on him.
15 And every open vessel, which has no covering bound on it, is unclean.
16 And whoever touches one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.
22 And whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the soul that touches it shall be unclean until even.
· Infectious diseases and major epidemics have been caused by people coming into contact with other people. If people had lived far away from each other, then diseases would not have been able to spread; after all, an epidemic can only occur if people come in close contact with each other. (This is also the biggest cause of deaths from HIV and AIDS. Millions of people have been killed by this virus that mostly spreads through sexual intercourse, i.e. close contact between people.)
The Bible offers a simple piece of advice relating to this: isolate sick people. The Bible teaches that a sick person must be temporarily removed from the camp. This would restrict the disease to a small area. This advice given in the Old Testament – to quarantine the sick – was later applied to the fight against the Black Death. It saved millions of people.
- (Lev 13:46) All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.
· Cervical cancer can strike women. It is interesting that cervical cancer is not very common in those areas of the world where men are circumcised. Cervical cancer is virtually unknown among Jewish and Muslim women. Circumcision is what God ordained for Abraham and his descendents 4,000 years ago.
Why is it that fairly few Jewish women suffer from cervical cancer? Medical researchers agree that this is because Jewish men are circumcised, and they are circumcised because God ordained circumcision for Abraham 4,000 years ago.
Several recent studies prove this. Jewish women are not protected from cervical cancer because of their race, diet or environment; it is because of circumcision alone. Other convincing studies have been done in India. The Indian population are roughly of the same race, eat similar food and live in the same environment, but there are two religious groups. Those who worship Muhammad, who was also a descendant of Abraham, circumcise their men. The women of this group suffer clearly less often from cervical cancer than women of the same age and same race, even though these women eat the same food and live under similar circumstances. (7)
BELIEFS AND THE ECONOMY. People rarely think about how our view of the world influences our behaviour and the economy even though they are very important in this respect. Our thoughts about our origins guide our lives. If we do not believe that humans are valuable as images of God and we should leave our sins behind, we will soon adopt another philosophy or view, such as Nazism or the theory of evolution. The leading Nazis believed in evolution and the superiority of some races, and this influenced their behaviour. The theory of evolution does not have any moral core; thus, it can easily open the doors to genocide or other evil deeds.
Darwinism in itself did not cause the holocaust, but without Darwinism – social Darwinism and the new eugenics in particular – Hitler and his Nazi followers would not have had the scientific foundation needed to convince themselves and others of the holocaust. Thanks to Darwinism, one of the most awful deeds in history was regarded morally commendable. Darwinism – or at least some of the naturalistic interpretations of Darwinism – succeeded in turning morals upside down. (8)
What about modern beliefs? If we think about the current status in India, for example, we can see that the Hindu philosophy is one of the reasons why the beautiful country is in so much trouble. The first and second of the Ten Commandments state that we shall have no other Gods than our God and we shall not make any images of God (Ex 20:3,4: You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.). The people in India have failed to follow these Commandments. Instead, they have protected rats or other animals because they believe these animals to be holy. People protect the animals even though they destroy large quantities of grain. K. P. Yohannan, an Indian, describes the situation in his home country:
I'm not trying to belittle the social and material needs of the Asian people, but I feel that it is important to point out again that the basic problem in Asia is of a spiritual nature. The Western media focus almost completely on the hunger problem. When the media shows them images of starving children, it is difficult for Americans not to get the wrong idea that hunger is the worst problem.
What causes hunger? Asian Christians know that the awful situation is only a symptom of the actual problem – spiritual slavery in the yoke of Satanic philosophies. The key factor – and the most overlooked one – in understanding the hunger problem in India is the religious system of Hinduism and how it influences the production of food. Most people are familiar with the concept of the "holy cow"; cows roam free eating tonnes of grain while people nearby are starving. A less well known animal protected by the religion, and one that has caused more trouble, is the rat.
According to those who believe in reincarnation, rats must be protected because it is likely that a rat will receive a soul when it starts its spiritual journey towards Nirvana. Even though there are many people who do not share this belief and who try to poison rats, extensive attempts to eliminate the rat problem have been rejected by religious parties. One of the Indian heads of state has said, "The problems in India will never cease until the religion is changed..."
Rats eat or destroy 20% of the Indian grain meant for human consumption every year. A recent inspection in a grain cultivation area called Hapuri in northern India showed that there are in average ten rats in each building. (...)
One could assume that the destruction caused by the rat in India would cause contempt. Instead, rats are protected and even worshipped in some places due to the people's spiritual blindness. One example of such a place is a temple a couple of dozen kilometres south of Bikaner in northern India. (9)
Rabi Maharaj, a former Hindu guru, addresses the same problem. Maharaj believes that Hinduism with its fatalistic belief in karma, reincarnation and false gods is the root cause for the problems in India.
It is impossible to describe India to people who have not seen it for themselves. The misery, poverty, disease and superstition are shocking. The villages are awful too, but only when the visitor sees the millions and millions of people crowding the cities of India will they feel sheer terror. (...)
My heart hurt when I looked at the suffering multitudes of India. I wondered why the western people are searching for spiritual information from India. From experience I knew that Hinduism, its fatalistic belief in karma, reincarnation, and wrong gods was the basic reason for the problems in India. It was the blindness of the western people that made them turn to search for enlightenment from eastern mysticism! There was nothing else but darkness, and the anguish of India proved very clearly how deep this darkness was. Such an enormous deceit could only come from the same devilish, intelligent source that drives millions of people to destroy themselves because of the apparent paradise of drugs. (10)
IMPACT OF REVIVALS ON SOCIETY. Now and then powerful work of God takes place in society. At such times, people see that their way of life is wrong and turn to God. They change from the inside because God enters their lives and gives them new power. This is how a criminal can leave behind his or her old way of life, an alcoholic can stop drinking and a drug addict can give up drugs. A revival can also influence a national economy, provided that a large enough number of people are influenced.
The next quote describes what happened in the 19th century in the United States. Charles G. Finney wrote in his memoirs about how the crime rate decreased in an area even though the population grew. He also described the way in which revivals caused the collapse of wrong philosophies and beliefs. This is always one consequence of a true revival.
I have told that the moral situation changed greatly through this revival. The city was new, economically prosperous and enterprising but full of sin. The population was especially intelligent and ambitious but as the revival swept through the city by bringing large crowds of its most remarkable people, men and women, to conversion, there happened a very miraculous change concerning the order, peacefulness and morality.
I had a talk with a lawyer many years later. He had been converted in this revival and was a general prosecutor in criminal cases. Because of this office, the criminal statistics were thoroughly familiar to him. He said about the time of this revival, “I have examined documents of criminal law and noticed a surprising fact: while our city has grown three times larger after the times of the revival, there has not been even a third of the indictments than there were before. So miraculous an effect did the revival have on our society… (11)
Many doctors were also converted in those great awakenings in which I was. I would think that their studies would make them liable to doubt and to be materialistic. But they are sensible, and when the Gospel is presented to them as perfect, it is as easy to win them as any other person and they turn to God. It is true that their studies have not made them as ready to comprehend the moral principles of God as the study of jurisprudence, but I have, however, found them to be open to contrition, and they are not at all difficult to handle, as far as the great question of salvation is concerned.
Universalism, Unitarianism and generally all kinds major mistakes of people have collapsed in these great awakenings. I have learned again and again that people must only become thoroughly convinced of their sin by the Holy Spirit to be immediately and forever gladly ready to give up those viewpoints. (12)
- (1 Tim 6:9,10) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
- (Matt 16:25,26) For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
What about the leaders of the peoples? When there are financial and other problems in the world, many of them are due to the greed and selfishness of the leaders. Once they have fallen into greed, corruption and injustice, it can disintegrate society as a whole. If they have great power or if there are a large number of such people, it will prevent society from developing economically and in a more stable direction. Many countries in the world have not made progress because corruption and selfishness are common among leaders and officials. If the same people really believed they would be convicted of what they were doing, they would stop their wrongdoing. A worldview that does not take God into account guides their lives.
Loren Cunningham, who has visited every country in the world, shares her findings on the same subject. He cites the reasons that prevent peoples from making progress. The same reasons can also work the other way around, that is, to drive rich nations into bankruptcy if leaders and finance people in power begin to live selfishly and dishonestly. Such developments have taken place in recent years, when there have been major accounting falsifications (the situation in Greece, the Enron scandal ettu), huge bonuses have been distributed to, for example, bankers, and the gap between rich and poor has widened. Such signs have usually preceded worse times.
For over fifty years in my travels I have paid attention to three things that drive the country onto the brink of poverty and make it impossible for people to reach their full potential. These three things make up the “trinity of evil”, that is greed, corruption and injustice, which I mention in chapter 18. All three things are the opposites of God’s nature and opposite to what he created humans to be in the beginning, that our responsibility is to live according to the truth.
The impact of these three evil things can easily be seen in the majority of poor countries. I don’t mean that in these countires every person is greedy, corrupted or unfair, but those characteristics dominate in society. If big enough of a crowd in powerful positions acts blatantly greedy, it is followed by corruption, blackmail and giving and accepting bribes. Injustice inevitably is the consequence of all this.
How big of a portion of the population do we need for this? There is no clear percentage, but I would estimate that around 25-35 per cent of the population is enough. It doesn’t even need to be the majority. You know that a sufficient amount has been reached, when you start to notice a change in the tone of the culture…
… Honesty is an important foundation for economic life. We cannot entrust important tasks, such as building skyscrapers or airplanes, to people who tend to be dishonest. Honesty and strength of character are also essential when dealing with investments, conducting banking or any kind of business. If a person cheats in small things, he is dishonest in bigger ones as well. We do not want dishonest people to build bridges because such bridges cannot last. And we don’t want dishonest people to take care of our pension funds. (13)
1. Matti Joensuu: Avoliitto, avioliitto ja perhe, p. 85-91
2. Edwin Louis Cole: Miehuuden haaste, p. 104
3. Risto Isomäki: Kohti vuotta 1929?, p. 113
4. Pekka Reinikainen: Minne menet Eurooppa, p. 101
5. S.I. McMillen: Ei mitään näistä sairauksista (None of these Diseases), p. 137,138
6. Aril Edvardsen: Rakkauden terapia (Kjaerlighetens Terapi), p. 13
7. S.I. McMillen: Ei mitään näistä sairauksista (None of these Diseases), p. 26,27
8. Richard Weikart: From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and Racism in Germany
9. K. P. Yohannan: Haaste, joka lähtee sydämestä (Revolution in World Missions), p. 130,131
10. Rabindranath R. Maharaj, Gurun kuolema (DEATH OF A GURU), p. 190
11. Charles G. Finney: Ihmeellisiä herätyksiä, p. 245, 246
12. Charles G. Finney: Ihmeellisiä herätyksiä, p. 296
13. Loren Cunningham / Janice Rogers: Kirja joka muuttaa kansat (The Book that Transforms Nations), s. 144,145,147
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life
Grap to eternal life!