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The Church Triumphant

 [Originally Composed and Released: (starting on) April 19, 2006 - See Forum Discussions here]


“Show the World”[1] - The Triumphant Church [=CCh 308.4]
Is Capitalism Biblical and Should (SDA) Christians Be “Going Along” With It?

I. The Crisis
II. The Cause
III. The Root Cause
IV. The Alternative
V. The Resources
VI. Decision Time
VII. The Endtime Mandate
VIII. The Biblical Challenge
IX. The Project
X. Further Information 
                                                             
I. The Crisis
           One of the foremost questions posed by unbelievers concerning Christianity, and God in particular, is: How could God exist when there is so much suffering in the world? Where is "your God" when so many people are gratuitously dying? They cannot reconcile how a loving God can allow all these things to go on. But in reality, the question that should be asked is : Where is God’s Church and His people in this world? Where are his supposed “ambassadors” and “representatives” in the face of the world's humanitarian needs?
There increasingly is over 1 billion who suffer from chronic under- and malnutrition, with millions dying annually. Around 1.1 billion do not have access to clean freshwater, with an additional 1.5 billion not having proper sanitation resulting in a total of over 5.3 million deaths a year. An estimated 1.3 billion people lack access to basic healthcare resulting in the suffering and death of tens of millions each year from preventable and/or treatable diseases. Currently over 60 million babies worldwide are killed every year through the accepted practice of abortion. Many more are: orphans without a proper home; abjectly poor; uneducated and without the hope of a proper, enabling education. Many more are unable to be functional in society due to a disability which, with the proper aids and/or assistance, can be surmounted or coped with. Can God’s Church do something to redress these injustices and downright evils? And if yes, then should it not do it?

II. The Cause
            To state it frankly there is a single, subtle, yet powerful (actually: “empowered”) evil that is preventing the Church from “Triumphing” over these problems. It is “subtle” because no one seems to recognize it as what it really is, or even wants to denounce it. It is “powerful” (actually “empowered”) because it only gets its power from those who consider it to be worth the godlike status that it has been given. What is this hidden evil. Well to find out one simply has to ask "why is the Church actually not doing concrete and significant works that will heal the world of its problems. For example: Why isn’t the Church growing crops to feed the world’s hungry? After all were not Adventist Educational Institution established in areas where agricultural skills can also be developed. Why is freshwater unavailable to so many when the world surface is 70%  covered by water, and that thousands of feet deep? Why is there not a better alternative for women when they are intending to have an abortion for social and/or economic (convenient) reasons? And so on. Well, the primary, if not, the only, reason that readily comes to one’s mind is that: ‘the Church does not have this kind of MONEY to provide such remedial resources.’ And that usually silences that debate. This supposed “reality” is viewed as the final arbitrator in these matters and comes to decide how much, if any, humanitarian work the Church will, or could do. Sure this is the right answer for many in this world, but should it also be accepted as truth by God’s people? Is this world economic’s system a true measure of the world’s (i.e., this planet’s) “economy”, or is it just a subjective spurious system driven by, and at the profit of, those who “have,” at whatever level of this pyramid-like scheme they are on, at the expense of those who “do not have.” In the end, it is those who are at the very bottom of this pyramid who have all the weight come and crush them (i.e., the poor, suffering and dying of the world) for the have’s must get and are “deserving of” getting their cut first.

III. The Root Cause
            Consider this fact. The single most influential factor in any nation’s economy is not the value of raw materials and natural resources, nor the tools and machinery needed to process theses materials, but it is the “human factor.” It is what men and women believe that their knowledge, innovations and services are worth to others. This is tangibly reflected in “labor costs and services” These labor expenses almost always make up 70-75% of the value of an advanced/industrialed nation’s economy. This concretely means, for example, that in a powerful economic engine like the United States of America, if labor expenses were subtracted from its economy, its GDP/per capita value would go from its present value of $41,800 to around $10,000. Furthermore, consider this other fact. In 2005 the U.S. had a $12.5 trillion dollar economy, yet the total value of non-fuel raw materials used domestically during that year was a mere $58.9 billion dollars (source: usgs.gov). That represents a meager 0.005% of its economy. This is all due to the fact that by the time a shapeless raw material has reached a final useful form, it has gone through and been affected by so many cumulative/compounding and varying levels of this “human factor” that it suddenly is now worth up to hundreds of times its primitive value. As a consequence, a house that has a value of well over $750,000 in the American economy actually only has less than $2,500 worth of raw materials in it; or a mid-size car worth around $18,000 has less than $250 worth of metals and raw materials. Compounded to that (pun will be intended), have you ever, or are you having to, pay a mortgage almost 3 times more than what its principle value was. Or does anything justify a professional athlete making in 8 months of work, or rather play, 3 times more than what a surgeon will make in a lifetime. There is a widely accepted saying that claims that: “Money makes the world go round” but the facts clearly indicate that it is ‘People who make the world go round.” All this to say that it is the human factor in economies that has come to make things so unbalanced and so unattainable for many

IV. The Alternative
            What would happen if God’s people pooled their knowledge, know-how and resources, to labor for those in need. For example, what if instead of Seventh-day Adventist working for various secular industries and companies, they instead came together and formed denomination- owned and operated companies/industries. If they in turn did not charge labor cost, but had their needs met by other, similarly operated, denominational companies/industries, then at the base of all of this, and at the very least, only the money needed for raw materials would be externally required. Case in point, nothing prevents one from building a house with only the cost for primary raw materials needed and turning around and renting that house at normal market price. Nothing explicitly prevents one from doing so, but the current capitalistic economy is so “rigged” that it implicitly will counter this except for an independent, cooperative effort.
            So many humanitarian accomplishments could then be made because of such a system by those who would benefit from it:
            -Intensive, and more efficient farms and farming methods (e.g., hydroponic farming) can be established and operated for those in need of adequate nutrition.
            -Proper sanitation and freshwater could be supplied to many. (If the oil and gas industry can extract oil from thousands of feet below the ocean floor, process it and then transport it thousands of miles away by tankers and/or pipelines, overland and/or under sea, with pumping stations and all, surely freshwater can be produced and/or filtered from various bodies of water and distributed to those who need it.)
            -Would-be aborted babies could be spared, by being purchased for adoption through legal means from willing mothers who would also not incur any debt from the expenses related to the pregnancy and birth of the child.
            -The sick and those with health ailments would receive much more medical care.
            -Many would receive an education and would eventually help themselves out of poverty.
            -(And e.g., the addition of a church annex and fellowship hall would not cost, e.g., $4 million at the detriment of the needy who would greatly benefit from these sums of money).
Consider this alternative method as a mega-do-it-yourself project, in essence similar to, e.g., a group of construction friends getting together to freely build a backyard deck for a friend with materials they purchased at a hardware store and equally shared the costs.                                      

V. The Resources
            Of course, one will now ask: Where will all these raw materials come from? Isn’t the world running out of sufficient resources? The answer is actually: no. What the world is supposedly running out of is what economist considered as “economically viable" resources, i.e., what would not demand more effort and better technology to procure. This planet contains sufficient resources to meet this world present and future needs many times over. The oceans alone are a vast reservoir of untapped resources ranging from polymetallic nodules and metal rich sediments to dissolved minerals. While these resources (in International Waters) are freely available for exploitation, the UN Law of the Seas (LOS) requires that developing countries receive (at least) 1%-7% of the withdrawn resources, which is exactly what this project plans to do. Furthermore, if all known technologies today were fully and widely implemented in world economies, the present need of resources would drop considerably. All energy needs would all be met by renewable, clean systems. How much waste is generated annually because things are subjectively considered to be “uneconomical.” Many times it is financially less costly to discard something that requires a trivial repair and buy a new one. The same goes for items and materials that can be recycled but are not. The $140+ billion dollars spent annually in the U.S. alone on (suggestive/incitive) commercial advertisements (as opposed to informative “announcements”) to tame the beast of cut throat competition, could easily feed all of the world’s hungry. All of these wastes are a direct result of revered economic individualism, commercial competition and the profit-making mentality. In actual direct contradiction to the supposed “economical” argument they propose, these actions rather significantly waste and reduce the amount of resources that could be available to help others with.

VI. Decision Time
            Do the people of God have to live that way? Do they have to be constrained by such an unGodly system? Yet we are either convinced that this way is the only way to live by, as if it was God’s own way, or we are supposedly/conceedingly, left with no other apparent choice than to go along with it. Whether we choose to believe in this system or not, it still greatly affect our every day life and also our ability to minister in behalf of those who really need it. How many would like to become missionaries, but under this current economical system, it would not be feasible. How can God’s people help others in need, if they in turn become people in need. Clearly there must be a way to overcome this major, but actually man-made hurdle. And if ever the people of God can rise above this worldly system and live according to the many Godly principles found in the Bible, which are categorically opposed to all of this greed and selfishness, it is now. In this now advanced computer and information age, when the basis of most technologies are in the public domain, (or, if need be, can be licensed at fractional costs), the knowledge, the freedom, the educational resources and the human power (i.e., 20+ million people) are all available to accomplish this through a Biblical, needs-based, others-considering, economy (cf. Acts 2:44,45; 4:32-35 [36, 37]) of Apostolic times that will then fully allow for the mandates of God to be carried out. (e.g., Isa 58:6-12; Mat. 25:31-46). (And no, there would not be a need to "sell all.")

VII. The Endtime Mandate
            It was Christ’s method to meet the needs of the people he taught, and it is his method alone which will give true success in reaching people (MH 143). Surely this is to also be the Church’s method. If we were to present this dilemma to Jesus, He would, as He did before, likewise say: “You give them something to eat.” (Mark 6:37). As “the decisions of the last day turn upon our practical benevolence” (TM 399); and as Isaiah 58 is indeed stipulating the conditions for God’s covenant with His people through the fuller understanding/observance of His Glorious Sabbath (by taking care of those in need); and since Christ's main criteria in separating the sheep from the goats mainly focuses on how those in need are treated (Matt 25:31-46), then shouldn’t God’s people be taking all the necessary means to bring about these works? Indeed: “there is need of a deeper, stronger, more constraining testimony on the power of the truth as seen in the practical godliness of those who profess to believe it.” (Mar 107). Then will the ‘good news of God’s Kingdom’ be fully preach as a witness to the nations of this world (Matt 28:13) as the world will clearly see what healing the principles of God bring. Then will the (benevolent) character of Christ be perfectly reproduced in his people (COL 69; read in its context of pp. 62-69). The world will no longer ask: “Where is your God?” or “What kind of God is this?”, for His people will truly be representing Him on earth (COL 68).

“It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth. This is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the words, "O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him." Isa. 40:9,10. Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. (COL 415)

VIII. The Project
            It may have noticed that such an undertaking takes extensive planning, precise structuring, and efficient organization. Among other things it will require the establishment of a legal entity to “house” and facilitate this project and for physical provisions to be made to accommodate a potential membership/population that can grow, through the project's various ministries, by as much as 65 million people per year. Yet in terms of the required finance and work time needed to implement this project, extensive feasibility studies have shown that each participant in the project, aged 20 and older, would only have to spend up to a total of US$2,800, disbursed as needed, over a period of 7 years; and some would have to work onsite for only 2 weeks per year over this same period (e.g., during a work vacation period).

IX. The Biblical Challenge
            On the one hand there is a worldly system, namely known as “capitalism.” A spurious, unwritten, enslaving, survival-of-the-fittest/richest economic system which encourages unbridled selfishness, greed, strife and oppression. On the other hand there is the liberating, caring, peacemaking, Sabbatical system of God, which reaches out a saving and indiscriminating hand to all those in need. Therefore “choose you this day whom you will serve” (Jos 24:14, 15). If you consider this man-valued system, championed by western nations (of which 80% of their population professedly are Christians) and obediently adhered to or desired by the rest of the world, whether rich or poor, to be worthy of the godlike value it is given, then by all means, do no changes. Give it its “worth-ship”! Let it continue to dictate who will eat or starve, who will live or die, who will hear, understand and experience the Gospel or go to Christ-less grave. Let it continue be to god (1 Kgs 18:21, 24). There is really no difference with this and when ancient pagan nations would themselves mold and shape little statuettes from various metals and then ascribe to them godlike qualities and do whatever these gods supposedly told them they should do, even passing their children through the fire, and then the people of God virtually or actually adhering to these standards in trying to conduct the work of the Creator God. (cf. PK chap. 14). But remember, you actually cannot serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other (Matt 6:24). Hundreds, if not thousands, of times more can be done than what is currently being done. [Matt. 25:14-30]. Case in point, while the Church has a net growth of around 1 million members per year, yet the world has over 134 million new births each year, with another (estimated) ca. 38 million people dying to mostly Christ-less graves. Clearly there is much more that needs to be done in regards to global evangelism. Furthermore a global Church of over 16 million baptized members only has around 16,000 credentialed missionaries worldwide, and much more can be done than only employing 4,600 people for global humanitarian work with the paltry results of reaching out to only 0.009%, at the most, of the actual number of people in need, and with about US$ 7.00 worth of annual aid per person aided (i.e, ADRA).
            In this light of what is not being done to even “one of the least of these” (Matt 25:46), the Church can only expect one judgement if Christ was to bring about the end now. (Matt 25:41-44, 46).[2]
            Under the proposed economic plan of the NJK Project, the output of all of these areas of missions and ministry would be significantly increased. Literally every member would be able to participate in global evangelism, missions and humanitarian work. The annual average of $7.00 per person aided would come to represent at least, as significant $1400 worth of annual aid.
            And in case you have not noticed it yet, “Revelation’s Babylon” does not solely have influence in ecclesiastical matters, but her “sensuous” i.e., contra-God, anti-Sabbath, principles and practices also lead to the rise and propagation of a worldwide spurious economic system (Rev 18). Clearly God considers His Sabbath to be more than a day of Worship or a day off occurring every seventh day. It is also the basis of the everyday lifestyle and "economy” of His people and its inherent Authority is found in the actual, practical and beneficial effects that it full and proper observation of it inevitably leads to. Thus, correspondingly, the Mark of the Beast, to be enforced through economic means by the second beast of Revelation 13, is dependent on more than only a day of the week, as it seeks to completely undermine and obliterate the true character of the Creator God by substituting His Sabbatical economic principles for self-centered, materialistic ones and thus also undermining God’s Authority. The ‘combined, threefold light of the Three Angels’ Message (7BC 985.6) must be given to counter this religiously-based, socioeconomic counterfeit. (This is discussed in further detail in the article on "The Sealing of God’s People - Part 2").

X. Further Information
            To have more information concerning the accomplishing of this endeavor to help those in need, you can go to njkproject.info. If you would like to participate in the project’s web-based Biblical Research and Productions Institute, simply email wbsc400@gmail.com.

...“In God's great plan for the redemption of a lost race, He has placed Himself under the necessity of using human agencies as His helping hand. He must have a helping hand, in order to reach humanity. He must have the cooperation of those who will be active, quick to see opportunities, quick to discern what must be done for their fellow men.” (1 SM 99.5) 
             
It is indeed time to put it all that God has blessed us with into its ultimate purpose of making a difference in the world by coming to the rescue of those who are senselessly dying, and that without a true knowledge, or simply, a knowledge, of God.


Notes
[1] Cf. the statement in the March 12, 2006 “You Talk Too Much (Part 1)sermon (video) [at 29:31-35:57ff] & the March 15, 2009 “Living to Display the Gospelsermon (video) by Francis Chan. See also this exposition (and the rest of that series) by Dave Fiedler.

[2] And to illustrate what many have not been able to see and/or agree with Jesus’ declaration in Matt 25:45 that: “to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me”, even beyond the Spiritual aspect of: “...[Christ] identifies Himself with every child of humanity....” (DA 638.4):
            If a father who usually prepares a homemade lunch for his sons, decided today to give an oldest brother in the 8th Grade the lunch money for his two younger brothers, telling him to buy lunch for them at school that day. If that older brother decides to only buy lunch for the middle brother who is in the 6th Grade, but not for the youngest one who is in kindergarten, betting on the fact that the youngest brother probably would not notice, or really be hungry, or have enough wit to find him in the school and ask for his lunch money, and in fact does not even know that the oldest brother had been given lunch money for him, all so that that oldest brother can spend that money at the nearby arcades with his friends during the lunch break, then that eldest brother may indeed not be held to account by the “witless” youngest brother, but when they all get home, and the father notices and/or finds out that the youngest brother had not eaten during lunch, that eldest brother will have to answer to him, and be punished by him, for not only the tangible offense of having let that youngest brother suffered, but also for the legal offense of having disobeyed him fathers instruct and will. Plus letting that youngest brother starve all day poorly reflected on the father and his parenting care as probably so judged by others who saw that, probably pitiful-looking, youngest brother not eating during lunch.
            In the same way, those who are found at fault in Matt 25:41-46, and who evidently had the means to help others with, (i.e. esp. Christians in rich societies) are not only guilty of having caused physical suffering to people in need, but also for having slandered/blasphemed the name/character of God before others and, last but not least, having disobeyed the clear and expressed will and command of God/Christ on this matter. (1 John 3:4; John 14:15)


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