Of Monsters and Mars: How Brian Zahnd is Saving Evangelical Faith (A Review)

Of Monsters and Mars: How Brian Zahnd is Saving Evangelical Faith (A Review) September 19, 2014

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It would be a mistake to call Brian Zahnd’s new book, A Farewell to Mars, “a book about pacifism.” It would be an even bigger mistake to call it “a book about Christian pacifism.” Brian says as much when he clarifies that he doesn’t claim the pacifist label at all. He is not a pacifist but a Christian – a follower of Jesus, including Jesus’s radical and very political ideas (Ch. 1).

In other words, the gospel of peace shouldn’t be thought of as some extraneous add-on to Christian identity, best left to the social justice-y liberals and dreadlocked new monastics. However, labels aside, I think that even the idea of Christian pacifism, or nonviolence, or what have you, simply doesn’t get at the totality, and the import, of this book. What Brian (my pastor-at-large) has given us here is not just another argument for nonviolent theology. It is much bigger than that. It is a sweeping case for the survival – and, I believe, the thriving and flourishing – of evangelical faith in our time, and it is one that just may galvanize a resurgence among those who have been floundering amidst the changing tides.

In other words, A Farewell to Mars has the potential to save evangelical faith.

It has been instrumental in saving mine.

Why Evangelical?

Brian Zahnd is a charismatic. Or a Pentecostal. Or whatever. And so am I, having roots in the same soil Zahnd springs from, the soil of the Jesus Movement of the 1970’s and the explosive renewal that followed in the evangelical church (and beyond, ecumenically) throughout the 1980’s and 90’s. I’m not sure if Brian would agree with this assessment, but “evangelical” was not a term that was ever used in my charismatic upbringing – or if it was, it was used somewhat pejoratively to refer to those churches that were not “Spirit-filled.” Spirit-filled churches had it right; those evangelicals had it wrong. However, our energetic spirituality, revitalizing as it was to a formerly “dead” church, was yet a representation of evangelical faith. In the good sense, we had faithfulness to the Scriptures, a passion for personal relationship with Jesus by his Spirit, a belief in the centrality of the church, and a mandate for evangelism and service at the core of our identity. In the bad sense, we had conservative politics and militaristic narratives and narrow-minded biblicism and exclusionary moralism right there at the same core.

The subtitle of Brian’s book tells us more than we might think: “An Evangelical Pastor’s Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace.” This is an important watchword to the wise reader, lest she assume the author is just another in a long line of defectors, of those who are now spiritual but not religious, or perhaps just proudly progressive (or another variation on that theme). That is not to say anything about the latter, but simply to make the point: it is a thing to leave evangelicalism.

But here, from the outset, we see that there is evangelical identity and, more to the point, intention behind this book. A Farewell to Mars is a book for the future of evangelicalism, an evangelicalism journeying toward something but also not abandoning itself in the process. Indeed, the thing it is moving toward is that gospel of peace, given to us by that Preacher of peace – and that is a remarkable thing given the compromised (recent) history of evangelicalism. Certainly, there is now a glut of information from the perspective of post-evangelicalism, deconstructing and critiquing the all-too-Constantinian marriage of church and political power, mostly of the conservative variety. But what is likely missing in the post-evangelical critique is precisely what Zahnd’s present work is offering us – not merely an analysis of what lay behind but a discernible vision of what lies ahead.

Thus, this book avoids the twin tendencies of carelessly abandoning evangelical identity and obsessing over its deconstruction with no vision for the future. It is faithful, and it is looking forward. Perhaps one other thing is of note here. As someone who has studied and lived the emerging/missional church story of the last decade and change, Brian’s book feels unbelievably timely. To those detractors who don’t sense this, I can only say the prophetic word here is perhaps most poignant for a particular tribe, and that tribe happens to have been engaged in all kinds of theological and ecclesiological struggle and warfare since the turn of the century. Evangelicalism has been caught in a hurricane, a dust storm (or maybe a rummage sale, in gentler terms), with Christian identity itself up for grabs. And the release of A Farewell to Mars hits at a moment when the dust seems to be settling, and the storms that have hollowed out the existing theological creekbeds into wider and deeper forms have subsided, leaving the streams to fill and flow again.

While many who began in evangelical waters now find themselves swimming elsewhere, Zahnd is signaling a renewed, healthy waterway for those seeking to remain faithful to scripture, passionate about personal relationship with Jesus by his Spirit, committed to the centrality of the church, and focused on evangelism and service – while also moving beyond the unholy compromise of evangelicalism and empire.

It’s a deeper and wider evangelical stream, flowing decidedly toward the gospel of peace.

The Objections

The objections to Christian pacifism are at least as old as Constantine, and they are the same objections that people have brought against the present work. If arguments in favor of nonviolence are not new, neither are the arguments against it; and it just may be that the thrust of Farewell is saying something new if we have ears to hear. Brian anticipates the objections right off the bat, but draws our attention to the deepest root:

Can humanity possess the capacity for self-destruction and not resort to it? The jury is still out. But this much is certain— if we think the ideas of Jesus about peace are irrelevant in the age of genocide and nuclear weapons, we have invented an utterly irrelevant Christianity!

Because the stakes are now so intolerably high, people with a modicum of common sense have come to realize we must at last talk seriously about how to live together peaceably on our little blue planet. Our capacity for self-destruction demands this. (Ch. 1.)

There are certainly great tensions around questions of “how to deal” with atrocities at the hands of ISIS or IDF or Russia, but if we take a few steps back we must recognize the ultimacy of the cycle of violence: it will always, only, beget more violence. Today’s rebel freedom fighters armed and trained by Western nations will become the next decade’s terrorists or genocidal maniacs and turn their guns back on “us.” The oppressed who fight back in great revolutions will become tomorrow’s oppressors, subjugating those who threaten their security. The bombs meant to defend the innocent end up killing innocent others and thereby become the seeds that will spring up into violent retaliation in time.

Sure, you can argue that violence is an immediate necessary evil.

But does Christianity say anything to this ultimate reality which has the potential to destroy us all? Or is it irrelevant?

Godwin’s Law always makes it into conversations about pacifism, and Brian anticipates this too. In reference to the necessity of the Allied response to German genocide, Zahnd writes:

We should think deeply upon the fact that the Nazi blitzkriegs were waged by baptized soldiers. Had the church held to pre -Constantine convictions, Hitler would never have gotten off the ground. Before we appeal to Hitler as the ultimate argument against Christian nonviolence, we first have to ask how Hitler was able to amass a following of Christians in the first place. After all, it wasn’t atheists and pagans who formed the German Christian movement that lent support to Hitler in the 1930s. (Ch. 7.)

And beautifully, in Ch. 2, he reflects on the work of Holocaust survivor Emil Fackenheim, who went on to write To Mend the World: 

The title comes from the Jewish theological concept of tikkun olam—“repairing the world.” Tikkun olam is the idea that although the world is broken, it is not beyond repair— that it’s God’s intention to work through humanity in order to repair his creation. In To Mend the World…Fackenheim tells his fellow Jews they must now add one more law to their ancient Torah— a 614th commandment. Commandment 614 is simply this: Thou shalt not give Hitler any posthumous victories. Elaborating on the 614th Commandment, Fackenheim says, “We are forbidden to despair of the world as the place which is to become the kingdom of God, lest we help make it a meaningless place in which God is dead or irrelevant and everything is permitted.”

He ends that chapter with this:

We refuse to conspire with the beasts of empire who keep the world confined to the death culture of Babylon. There’s always another Armageddon looming on the horizon, threatening to perpetuate the bloody ways of Cain and throw more Abels in a mass grave. But we are not to cooperate with that vision. We are to resist it. We are to anticipate a future created by the Prince of Peace through the very lives we live. We are to work in concert with Jesus Christ as he labors to repair the world. Yes, tikkun olam!

Evangelicalism and Empire

The two greatest accomplishments of this book are identifying evangelicalism’s problem as empire, and identifying empire’s problem as violence. More can be (and is) said about both evangelicalism and empire, but these are the main issues; and in recent history they have been all but overlooked. In fact, evangelicalism, the kind I grew up in, traces its issues all the way back to the days of Constantine – when Christendom, the merging of Christ and the military kingdoms of man, was born.

Brian hits these themes hard from the first chapter on, beginning with a compelling view of the biblical narrative as centering on violence (Cain kills Abel) through empire (Cain builds a city). He works out that narrative through the life of Jesus, and the particular political climate in which his earthly life took shape, one in which an empire ruled and God’s people were tempted to fight the empire just like the empire. He poetically expounds the Sermon on the Mount. He tackles the Gospels and the gospel in the Epistles, and traces the preaching of peace even through the eschatalogical finale of Revelation. But perhaps it all comes into sharpest focus in the personal narrative of Chapter 4.

There, Pastor Brian talks about his regrettable “war prayer” after 9/11, in which he invoked God’s endorsement on U.S. military retaliation, much to the delight of those present. He talks about how he preached a sermon once called “Jesus, Jerusalem, and Jihad” and declared, “We are at war with Islam.” And he talks about how war becomes sacred when evangelicalism embraces the violence of empire:

My new direction was that I began to see the kingdom of Christ as God’s alternative society. My new direction was to believe that peacemakers are the children of God. And I learned a bitter lesson. I learned that it is much easier to unite people around a Jesus who hates our enemies and blesses our wars than it is to unite people around a Jesus who calls us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. It broke my heart to learn that people are not as easily drawn to a gospel of peace as they are to a rally for war. But I couldn’t blame them. I had been the same way. I had endorsed war in the name of the Lord. I had prayed war prayers. I had preached war sermons. And if people became angry when I started praying peace prayers and preaching peace sermons, I couldn’t be surprised . I had been the same way. Believing in a war-waging Messiah is easy. Believing in the Prince of Peace is hard.

But believing in the Prince of Peace is precisely what will save evangelical faith.

Moved to Resist the Crowd

It’s interesting that the most moving, and enlightening, chapter for me was Chapter 3, “Christ Against the Crowd.” I’ve written about this before, so I won’t belabor it here. I will say, though, that what moved me most about this chapter was the way in which it brought empire violence into the everyday, exposing the currents that ripple all around – and through – us all the time.

Having experienced this as both a participant in the crowd’s activity and a recipient of it, I can say that Brian’s father and Soeren Kierkegaard are correct: the angry and fear-driven crowd is indeed untruth, and its scapegoating mechanism is the single greatest force for empire violence in God’s world. It is satanic, the tool of the accuser – even if it is aiming at the good:

Jesus does not lead his people to join an angry crowd. Jesus never leads anything other than a gentle and peaceable minority. Jesus hides from the triumphalistic crowd that tries to force him to be their war-waging king. Jesus weeps over the nationalistic crowd whose hosannas are meant to egg him into violent revolution. The crowd is antichrist.

And it is here that Zahnd reveals the essence of the gospel itself, a truth about the cross that our evangelical faith must recover if it is to be saved:

Jesus died for our sins. Jesus died at the hands of humans under the satanic impulse to blame. Jesus died as an innocent victim of the demonic scapegoat system that the crowd always resorts to. And he died with forgiveness on his lips. Jesus took the blame to do away with blaming. Jesus bore the accusation to do away with accusing. Jesus became the scapegoat banished to the wilderness of death. But then something new happened.

The banished scapegoat came back! Three days later Jesus was vindicated by God the Father in resurrection! But in his return from the wilderness of death, Jesus did not speak of revenge; instead he spoke of peace and forgiveness. (See John 20: 19– 23.) Yes, Jesus forgives us, but he also calls us to forsake the evil practice of turning people into scapegoats. Jesus says to a humanity that has built its civilizations upon the blood of sacrificial victims, “I forgive you, but we’re not going to play this way anymore.” No more cruelty. No more blame. No more scapegoating. No more sacrificing. No more trying to shape the world by the violent sacrifice of collective murder. Jesus is the Lamb of God who ends sacrifice!

Two Debates and a Conclusion

Recently, my pastor-at-large participated in two debates, one about the atonement as explained above, and another about Calvinism’s version of the gospel. Like A Farewell to Mars, these debates were significant beyond their primary subject matter. They were significant because they deal with the matter of evangelicalism’s very survival.

Is God is the kind of Monster that demands sacrifice above all else – including the sacrifice of his son – in order to not torture the entire human race in hell for eternity? Is he the one who predestines only a select few for mercy, and predestines the vast majority for fiery torture? Is God the one who sanctions wars for the righteous nations, slaughtering his scapegoated enemies? Is God like Mars, the one soldiers might worship in temples shaped like fighter jets, filled with icons that sacramentalize weapons of war (Ch. 8)?

We have reached a clear impasse, I think, at which the storms of cultural change have exposed the great compromise of evangelicalism with the empire. At the core of the gospel and atonement, in the expectations of eschatology, on the subject of God’s very character, there has been a clinging to violent power that we know, deep down, is only and ultimately destructive. As Brian’s famous saying goes, God is like Jesus; God has always been like Jesus; there was never a time when he was not like Jesus; we haven’t always known this; but now we do. Our evangelical faith must begin to look like Jesus again. It must be the faith of that Preacher of peace, or else it will not be saved. It simply will not be.

In reading this book I, too, “caught a glimpse of truth out of the corner of my eye” (Ch. 1). It is the truth of my own abiding commitment to biblical authority, a vibrant relationship with Jesus by his Spirit, the centrality of the church, and a passion for evangelism and service, despite the storm that has been raging, despite the changing tides (and despite my own tossing about from time to time).

It is the truth that after witnessing the compromise of evangelicalism and empire all my life, I can yet see a way forward, a way of peace.

And even if it is only a glimpse now, it is…beautiful.

Here’s the final stanza of Pastor Brian’s poem from the end of Chapter 1:

I glimpsed this truth out of the corner of my eye.
To believe this truth will set you free.

And you thought it was just Sunday school banality or empty religious sentimentality to pray
Thy Empire come
Thy Policy be done.
You had no idea it was dissident and subversive,
because every empire of men is built upon a lie.
The lie that the empire has God on its side.
I glimpsed this truth out of the corner of my eye.
And if you ask me my politics, I will say, Jesus is Lord!

I glimpsed this truth out of the corner of my eye.

"I'm a proponent of the "random servants view" of the parable. 😂"

I ain’t your prodigal son
"As I say the prodigal son story is for those who believe the (older brother) ..."

I ain’t your prodigal son
"The story is aimed at the believers and not random servants"

I ain’t your prodigal son

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  • Olivia Mae

    “Having experienced this as both a participant in the crowd’s activity and a recipient of it, I can say that Brian’s father and Soeren Kierkegaard are correct: the angry and fear-driven crowd is indeed untruth, and its scapegoating mechanism is the single greatest force for empire violence in God’s world. It is satanic, the tool of the accuser – even if it is aiming at the good:

    ‘Jesus does not lead his people to join an angry crowd. Jesus never leads anything other than a gentle and peaceable minority. Jesus hides from the triumphalistic crowd that tries to force him to be their war-waging king. Jesus weeps over the nationalistic crowd whose hosannas are meant to egg him into violent revolution. The crowd is antichrist.'”

    wow. I think many know this to our core, but it’s been so twisted and intellectualized and argued out. Doubt follows, and confusion and then dilution of the truth. Much to think about. Gotta read it. Thanks.

  • At last! What took you so long? 😉

  • (BTW, for anyone who’s interested, here’s my review from back when the book released: http://www.faithmeetsworld.com/review-a-farewell-to-mars-by-brian-zahnd/ )

  • Herm

    To your entire review I say, “AMEN!” I have read “A Farewell to Mars” and will reread it. Our beloved Guide in my heart and mind insists that I continue to glean from Pastor Zahnd’s offering made available to us. Thank you for such an in depth and right on offering of the book. Thank you even more for highlighting the availability of the Spirit of joy, love and “peace” to all who ask, seek and knock. There is an alternative to any attempted Christian, Muslim or Jewish (all proud tribes of Abraham) caliphate and that is to accept the right now available Kingdom administered by God daily from within whatever community on Earth that we may reside and/or have been carnally born into. Forgive me, I get carried away as the Spirit focuses the picture I am trying to share. Thank you!

  • Herm

    I read your review, also, and say thanks. Some of us need to savor the essence before we can invite those we love to share in the feast … or we are called to be the King’s taster and have to see first if we live after digesting before sharing with those we love. :-0

  • haha dude i know. i wanted to do it justice and kept having trouble finding the time! staying up until 3 in the morning did the trick though ;).

  • Thank you, Herm!

  • Deborah Henry

    A good review and a lot to cover! As we anticipate a future of the return of the Prince of Peace, it is good to hear the the Gospel of Peace as presented in my Pastor’s Book, “Farewell To Mars”. War is death and war-related deaths are sacred. As we continually pray for peace, we know that there will always be war and rumor of wars. I am of a military family. Our armed forces, the military symbols, the way of war is heartbreaking. It is a cycle of never-ending violence. To say farewell to the God of War is to say hello to the Jesus way of peace. Our next generation and their future depends on it. As an American, our flag has been torn and worn by war. If I never have to see another casket covered with an American flag, that would be beautiful. We must take better care of our planet; we have failed miserably and have done too much irreversible damage already. Pastor Brian Zahnd teaches a message of faith, hope, love and peace. Only love will remain; it will come in the form of our peacekeeper, the Lord Jesus Christ. This book is a story of a journey of pain and change. It is also a mandate to be peacekeepers and spread the gospel message of peace. It took a lot of heart and courage to write this book. May the story continue to unfold for our future generation. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. With God as our father, brothers all are we, Let me walk my brothers in perfect harmony. Let this be the story now. With every breath I take, may this by solemn vow.” Thank you, Pastor Brian Zahnd.

  • Justin Carver

    YES! (stands and claps)

  • Benjamin Martin

    Just like “everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die,” another saying would be similarly true, “everybody wants peace, but nobody wants to give up civilization.”

    Humans are not naturally war-like.

    Is it natural for humans to make war? New study of tribal societies reveals conflict is an alien concept
    independent.co.uk/news/science/is-it-natural-for-humans-to-make-war-new-study-of-tribal-societies-reveals-conflict-is-an-alien-concept-8718069.html

    War is simply a symptom of civilization. Anthropologists have been saying this for years.

    “Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home.” ~Stanley Diamond (1981) In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization, p.1

    I recommend reading Zerzan, who thoroughly documents how war started.

    Zerzan, John. “On the Origins of War.” Green Anarchy 21 (2005–06): 12–13, 15.
    [bottom of the page under “Articles for further reading”]
    jesusradicals.com/anarchism/war/

    If you like civilization, you may as well be consistent in your desire and pick up a rifle.

  • Herm

    What you propose is interesting and apropos. I find it interesting, also, that archaeology and anthropology has found evidence of mankind back as far as three million years on Earth. Until ten thousand years ago the population had remained stable due to the food source being predominately dependent upon hunting and foraging which limited hoarding. Since that time applied farming and ranching has increased the amount of food source available and the world’s human population has increased to an apparent imbalance as we grow more. To subsist comfortably following the food sources the average work day prior to ten thousand years ago might be no longer than four hours long. Today the average work day exceeds eight hours a day and there are more starving because they cannot afford the food. The biggest draw for ISIS is that they provide all food, clothing and shelter free of charge as long as you submit to their concept of God. God left to His own devices provides the same without our intervention. Might the fruit of the tree be symbolic of when we no longer trusted God to provide our needs and began to grow and breed our own? Food for thought.

  • Benjamin Martin

    You’re thinking is brilliant, just like a Mennonite theologian that I really appreciate. He argues persuasively that the Garden of Eden represents primitive lifeways, living in the hands of the gods, and that “The Fall” was mankind’s neolithic (agricultural) revolution.

    Ched Myers. (2005) The Fall. Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature. Edited by Bron Taylor. NY: Continuum. chedmyers.org/articles/ecology-faith/%E2%80%9C-fall%E2%80%9D-and-%E2%80%9Canarcho-primitivism-and-bible

  • Herm

    Thank you for the flattery, I’ll give you $20.00 and 20 minutes to stop that. The fact is I’m not that swift but I do have a great Councilor whispering in my heart and mind. Sometimes I’m quiet enough to hear. You do now have me interested in the linked Sabbath Economic train of action, thank you for that, also. My biggest concern today is that all of mankind to be equally living comfortably with God and just not just the healthy wealthy or the theologian with the gift of a higher education … all people fed, housed and clothed with time free from hunger pains and environmental discomfort so as to enjoy a day of rest each week solely with their Lord. I have that and it is good. You have helped me to a new next step toward my being a part of the solution to my biggest concern. It seems like all I’m doing on this blog is thanking, this too is good, so thank you very much.

  • cajaquarius

    While I dislike the cost and environmental harm, I would argue that war and Civilization will be essential to our survival as a species (and perhaps the survival of many other species as well on this planet). Civilization and war have given us almost every major invention we enjoy. The sharper the swords, the better the plowshare as it were.

    Make no mistake: the alternative is the eventual death of everything. Every animal, every plant, and the entirety of the planet being reduced to cinders by our dying sun (assuming a comet or a rogue planet doesn’t collide with this doomed rock first). Civilization and technological advancements are the only thing that give us a chance of kicking down the door to this floating tomb call we Earth and surviving what will eventually come.

    I hope that, with advances in medicine and space exploration that someday sooner than later mankind can turn it’s ambition towards the stars rather than on each other. Until then, however, I feel the sacrifices made are necessary for the greater good of our ultimate survival.

  • Benjamin Martin

    Space travel will end humanity much faster than a dying sun could.

    Peter Farb famously wrote, “Intensification of production to feed an increased population leads to a still greater increase in population.”

    
No matter how much we intensify production, it is mathematically impossible to feed a constantly growing population with finite resources and land.

    We cannot win the food race even if we colonize other habitable planets to obtain more resources and land.

 With the current 1.2% annual population growth rate, humans will have filled our entire Milky Way galaxy by the year 3950, assuming every star has a habitable planet.

    Within just 2900 years, humans will have filled the entire universe, much less time even the evolutionarily short 10,000 years agriculture has existed.



    Here are the math calculations supporting such a conclusion, which assume the following:

    (a) The current world population growth rate is 1.2%

    (b) At 1.2% growth rate, the population doubles roughly every 50 years.



    (c) Our Milky Way galaxy contains roughly 400 billion stars, I assume each galaxy has many more, precisely 549,755,813,888 planets per galaxy, simply for the sake of easy calculation.

    (d) Our Universe contains roughly 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe, I assume our universe has many more, precisely 274,877,906,944 galaxies, simply for the sake of easy calculation.

    

(e) Every star in the universe has a habitable planet. (Unlikely, but making the calculations as optimistic as possible.)

    (f) For the sake of easy calculation, the year 2000, with a 6 billion population, is the starting point for colonizing other planets.

    Year 2000, 6 bil. pop., 1 planet
    Year 2050, 12 billion, 2 planets
    Year 2100, 24 billion, 4 planets
    Year 2150, 48 billion, 8 planets
    […]
    Year 3950, 549,755,813,888 planets = 1 galaxy
    Year 4000, 2 galaxies
    Year 4050, 4 galaxies
    Year 4100, 8 galaxies
    […]
    Year 4900, 274,877,906,944 galaxies = 1 universe

    Humans must discover an evolutionarily stable way of life before venturing into space and laying waste to a whole universe.
    ______________
    Farb, Peter. (1978) Humankind. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 121.
    Population Reference Bureau prb.org
    Wethington, Nicholos. (2008) How Many Stars are in the Milky Way?universetoday.com/22380/how-many-stars-are-in-the-milky-way/
    Cain, Fraiser. (2009) How Many Galaxies in the Universe? universetoday.com/30305/how-many-galaxies-in-the-universe/

  • cajaquarius

    I think assuming we maintain a 1.2% growth rate is a bit generous/optimistic. As you said yourself; food will limit us one way or another. If not food, then violence and war.

    [Humans must discover an evolutionarily stable way of life before venturing into space and laying waste to a whole universe.]

    We have a way and have had it for over two thousand years now – we just haven’t been mature enough to employ this method. The reason we have over population is poverty. First world, highly educated people have an average of two children while people in war torn countries or who live in poverty have many more. If we handle poverty we handle overpopulation. IQ is increasing and people are becoming more empathetic to poverty issues so, hopefully, this will coincide with the moving towards the stars things and we will get this under control.

    We will inevitably get there and be alright, I think. My worry is it may take a catastrophe, another major war, or some other senseless tragedy to push us there. Hopefully not though.

    For more information, vids, data links, and such: http://borgenproject.org/poverty-and-overpopulation/

  • Herm

    Your hypothesis would be correct without the many ifs you make our mutually desired solution contingent upon. As proven from what remains of 3 million years prior to the Garden of Eden the world population was stable and there appears to have not been the abject poverty we know today.

    He who controls the food, healthcare, clothing and shelter today dictates the degree of poverty the world suffers. If we actually accepted Jesus the Christ as our Lord in charge we would have no poverty except by those who chose to live impoverished. If we had world leaders in the model of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet we would have no poverty except by those who chose to live impoverished. As long as food, healthcare, clothing and shelter are meted out only according to the agenda of a few rather than all of mankind as a whole body we will have a majority impoverished.

    A simple beginning for all to read free if you don’t mind PDF format is the Ishmael trilogy by Daniel Quinn. This is only a beginning to accept that we aren’t really in charge. As long as we keep trying to ignore the opportunity graced upon us prior to our IQs and self-centered pride expanding we will be living only on the disappointing what ifs rather than the what works. Human life worked long before us attempting to dominate with our agenda in place of the agenda of the obvious creator of the world.

    I can only understand this as true by associating my childhood when I knew too many times I could do so much better than my parents. I know now I was wrong when looking back because I was clearly not mature nor knowledgeable enough to function with the vision and judgment necessary to raise me. I can only hope we look back to realize that running away from the maturity, knowledge, vision and judgment of our creator Family might not have been such a good idea.

  • thanks bro! (delayed reaction)