The Complexion of Value Extraction

The Catholicist Nation

      In September and October of 2008 I wrote a series of blog posts about the meltdown in the financial markets. Context for this is in a note here at the bottom of this webpage.

Stunned Value Extractors   Tuesday, September 16

 

Before teaching my Advanced Placement U.S. Government class the very first period of the day on Monday, I peeked at MSNBC's news site to catch any up-to-the-minute stories. Here was the headline I saw screeching across the top:

"Markets Stunned by Lehman Bros and Merrill Lynch."

After my students filed into class, I displayed this on my TV screen and told them this:

"I'm stunned that they are stunned. Come on, what were they thinking?"

The they to whom I refer are indeed all the people who misassessed things so much that the current economic collapse is unfolding. I further explained this for my students using an illustration about a lender cheerfully handing over a home loan with $3,000-a-month mortgage payments to a gleefully willing guy earning $1,000 a month.

These people are stunned?

My students laughed at the abject folly of this.

 

Everyone is now beholding the idiocy of valuing things by the World, yet no one knows squat about what to do. Last night on NBC's national newscast, anchor Brian Williams literally toured the CNBC studio and approached four different financial reporters to assess the damage. All looking very dapper yet grim, they proceeded to provide the most elementary spittle about what's going on.

No surprise, this is the World talking.

What is so mind-numbing is that after the skyscraper-loads of financial experts pontificate about how it is this or that, they completely fail to see Who the answer is. Oh, I'll tell them.

It is Jesus Christ.

"Oh but he's just some silly religious figure. Please don't get me wrong, I respect your views, but get your butt outta here with your fantasy blitherings about Jesus."

 

No wonder they can't get it. They're nowhere near getting it, they're sworn agents of Cain, every one of them. After all, God sent Cain out of His presence. It's as if you told one of them there was a nose in the middle of his face and he said, "I respect your beliefs and all, but there's a--what's this you call it, a nose on my face? Ha! Now go away, this is serious business."

And it is serious business. Cain's economic agents are now going bananas trying to get frightened people to stay in the fold. That's what they do. Jesus is no part of it. Caesar is, however. Notice: whenever the feds spurn a failing TBTF (the now axiomatic "Too Big Too Fail") the market tanks. The Dow Jones yesterday dropped 500 points after the government said "No bailout for you, Lehman Brothers." Whenever the feds step up to offer a hand, the markets rebound. Today the Fed issued no change in interest rates, and this was treated as the glorious word that things aren't as bad as they thought they were.

There ya go. Caesar says it, and it is so. At least what we all think is so, we think...

Who are you following? Whose value assessments are you following? If you are following Caesar's, whether it is Congress or the Fed or a super-duper-uber-financial institution, then you are, in the end, toast.

What if, however, you were following Christ's? Yes, what if you actually valued things the way Christ does?

Think about it, a major reason the economy is so shaky right now is so many people thought their home prices would continue climbing. Why did people believe that? These poor, poor homeowners were exposed for who they really were, value extractors no better than the lenders who themselves were yankin' on the system.

Whose value assessment were they trusting? Come on, whose value assessment capacity are you trusting, and if it is not that of the One who made it all to begin with, why are so insane not to? Oh, right, fergot, your Jesus is just a hairy guy in a neat picture on the wall of your church. Sorry.

 

On a Sunday morning interview show former Fed chair Alan Greenspan said that until housing prices stabilize we're going to have this crisis. Guess which agent of Cain helped everyone believe their house values were going through the figurative roof? By pumping the economy full of easy money during his tenure in the 1990's and early 2000's, why Alan Greenspan, of course!

There are so many people who listen to these guys, so many exploitees working like crazy to be exploiters too. So many working, working, working the system so they can carve out value from wherever, from whoever. It doesn't matter who they are, lenders and homeowners jerking each other around, investors and bankers jerking each other around, Treasury Secretaries and massive securities brokerage firms jerking each other around, it doesn't matter.

It's the World at work, fully engaged in big-time human sacrifice.

The worst is not that there are so many doing these things, that's their thing, but that there are so many who say they are Christians doing it too. So many of them are plugged firmly into the World System and doing things exactly the way the World does them that there isn't a lick of difference between the jerkers and the people who really shouldn't be jerking anybody.

It's one thing that all of these financial geniuses are utter fools, it's disheartening that so many who say they believe in Christ are just as foolish for signing up with them. Frequent a church that grips its 501c3 like it can't do without it? Employed by a company chartered and required to register you as a taxpayer? Hold a property "ownership" agreement that grips you like a vise?

 

Why do I go on about it. Why do I exhaust myself saying any of this. I've already written a couple of homepage pieces on my webzine about this--the first is here, and the second is right after it. I'm repeating myself here. Forgive me.

I only do this because I hurt for them. That's all. I see the despair, I see them banging their heads with a frying pan and I just want to tell them about the way it won't hurt anymore.

"Hey, I got it, if you'll allow me. Try this. Maybe it'd help if you stop hitting yourself on the head with that frying pan."

All I get is, ""No, that's not it. Now go away with your crazy ideas."

Wham. "Ouch." Wham wham. "Ouch that hurts." Wham wham...

I know very few people will catch this blog post, if any. There are 57 gazillion blogs and web items out there drawing people's attention. That's cool. I don't really care if no one reads this.

But only if someone gets the idea from whoever somewhere. And that's what makes me saddest. I just see no one seeing this. Am I the only one who is saying anything about it? Because it seems that way is why I write this here, in case someone does by some miracle read this. Ahem, not just read it but get it. There is no way, no way I'm the only one saying get with Christ, get with the One who has the entire universe in His hands and get out of the World with those awful contracts that shout "I'm all about jerking people around no matter how wholesome I look!"

It just can't be.

Just, where are these people?!

Oh, and yeah, I should mention my latest homepage piece is about how I feel it at times. I do tend to let my heart drape itself all over my sleeve. That's here.

 

So What Is It With Stunned Value Extractors?   Wednesday, September 17

 

To get the full context of this post, I invite you to read my post from yesterday. This is sort of an addendum to that piece.

I left my keyboard yesterday thinking about how much I wear my heart on my sleeve. Some of me thought "You blew it Dave. You slipped too much emotion into the issue. Let the facts speak for themselves." The other parts of me just thought, "So what. This is you, what you want, how you feel about that."

I also felt uncomfortable getting across the idea that I'm convinced no one understands the way God's economy works. I have very good friends who I know do get it. The thing that makes me sad (oh no emotions again) is that it is very hard to see where people in some measured way are truly acting on what Jesus said. Actually being ungrafted to the World. I can only think of His words in Luke, there at the end of chapter six: "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?"

Yes, I confess there are times I don't do what He says. I'm still grafted in some ways that dishearten me, even grieve me. I still have a mortgage, for instance, meaning I've put myself in some profound state of servitude to the World System when that service should be to God exclusively. There are all kinds of considerations about my place in all that which I'm not going to delve into now.

I will add that a big part of my expression in any of these venues is so I may connect with ungrafted individuals who've been as wise as serpents and innocent as doves. They have gathered in faithful communities to worship God in spirit and in truth and give deep honor to the gifts He gave us to manifest the Kingdom here. Is that as a large bustling metropolis? Could be. Is that as a quiet pastoral village? Could be that too.

It is just the people are loving because they are Christ's.

And I know that is not happening in grafted churches plugged into the Roman church and Cain's Agency of Law Enforcement by girding 501c3 incorporations. There is one thing I see in those places, no matter how smiley everyone is.

Fear.

 

I caught this on MSNBC.com today, a quote from an unnamed senior investment strategist about the 400+ point drop in the Dow Jones today. “People are scared to death,” he said. But didn't the Fed just pledge $85 billion to AIG to bail them out? I thought everyone was supposed to be all chipper now that Caesar has made another righteous value pronouncement? I thought the stocks were supposed to rebound after that?

People instinctively know when they are being hosed. Even as much as they want to be exploiters they'll fight to the death the exploitation of them. The real frightening thing is that after they scurry off to their holes to protect themselves from the wolves, they'll just plot to do something else to exploit the exploiters, and really just end up with novel ways to do--

Human sacrifice.

This is why sometimes I get stunned by the exploitees being stunned, when really, I shouldn't. Why should I. Those without Christ--or better: those with a straw-man Christ--will do human sacrifice. They'll live scared to death. They weren't in a state of not being extraordinarily exploited before all this economic crap happened, they just did a better job of denying that they were.

This is the essence of why I want to live in a community among authentic Christ followers. This is not to abandon the world at all, but to be the freedom from the fear that people would actually want to have. They just don't know it because there are so many people lying to them and they've lived with it so long they don't know what it means not to lie themselves.

Just part of the fear.

I guess from what that financial guy said, today that fear just hurts more.

My question is, why have it hurt at all?

It's just there is only One Way it can't hurt.

Again, a whole treatise on the way the World does finances is here.

 

The Stunned Value Extractor Show   Friday, September 19

 

This promotional photograph was issued yesterday for the premiere of another boffo Broadway hit. The spotlight hit the rising curtain and... Oooo! There they all were! The star-studded cast* of that spectacular production We're All Really Upset About All This and We'll Really Take Care of Business This Time, Really.
 


                 An historic week on Wall Street has been capped by this entertainment extravaganza. Hey, it's the weekend! They're all there, the SEC chairman, Treasury secretary, and Fed chairman, deftly playing the parts of all the king's men working valiantly to put Humpty together again. Of course headlining the event are the most powerful legislative leaders, center stage, representing Humpty.

Humpty. As in Humpty Dumpty your average Joe and Josephine American, proud World inhabitants.

The story so far: Poor poor Humpty needs to be rescued from his toxic behavior. Because Humpty is so prone to fall off walls, and to push others off walls too, he definitely needs the Caesarian horde to frequently prop him up. The newest wall is called "Resolution Trust Corporation." A wonderful piece of set construction I must say.

I can't wait until the toxic hurricane reaches category eight! Then the most fabulous part of the show occurs: the helicopter (what a set piece that is!) drops gobs and gobs and gobs of rectangular greenish papers on all the stars (including Humpty!) in gargantuan piles reaching to the rafters of the theater. The stars smothered in papers! Gobs and gobs and gobs of papers that look really neat, spilling into the audience! Everyone crushed under the weight of papers that are really neat looking!

What a show!

 

The Stunned Value Extractors Circle the Wagons   Sunday, September 21

 

A good friend of mine is a young financial analyst at Bank of America. We meet for a meal occasionally and talk about the things of the World. I've been interested in particular in his take on what I've written about value assessment. What is interesting is that even as a devout Christian himself, he very graciously confesses he just does not get what I'm writing, all of what I'm saying is just way over his head. He's even told me, "I just look at the plain words of the Bible."

This should bewilder me because this is precisely what I am doing. But I understand. I understand why, as smart as he is, he is oblivious to what the World does:

My friend has been fully indoctrinated in the things of the World by those who are sworn to keep him looking at only the World.

 

Many profound truths have emerged from the economic whirlpool in which the country is drowning right now. I submit that these truths are some of the simplest to understand, but I will say that it does require the mind of Christ to get. I'm no spiritual genius, but anyone may understand if they'd just ask God to share those things with him.

With a $700 billion dollar bailout of financial institutions of all stripes--add this to all the other money pledged and the tab is up to a trillion dollars and change--the latest "Too Big To Fail" entity is the American people themselves. Over and over you hear the most powerful big shots from Capitol Hill and the Bush Administration that they just can't let the economy tank. It is frequently said this way, "We just can't fail the American people."

But it is also quite clear that if you go around rescuing people from the consequences of their foolish choices, you enable them to continue to make those same foolish choices. This is called a "moral hazard," and every educated individual knows about it. It's just...

Few know what is going on as a result of that condition.

And this is where many get derailed from a quite simple, plain understanding of things. Many just cannot see that there are two different realms in which one may live.

There is the World and there is the Kingdom.

In the World is where you have good people in government, banks and investment firms, and even churches who will manage your foolish behavior if you let them do so. In a very real sense, when it is announced that $700 billion is being pledged to bail out whoever and whatever, the World System is simply putting a price tag on its job of sin management. In other words, if you are a sinner refusing to do what it takes to have your sinfulness eliminated completely, then the World must do its job of being your master.

And all week it has been easy to see how pricey that can be.

 

On NBC's Meet the Press this morning, Washington Post business analyst Steven Pearlstein performed with an exquisitely subdued exasperation and said this about the very wealthy financial mavens and the awful decisions they made:

"They were fooling themselves, they weren't fooling us, they were fooling themselves and they were fooling us at the same time..."

Guh?

What is also happening from this is that the most rabidly conservative Ron Paul supporter-types will screech red-faced about how socialist this all is (and it certainly is) and advocate running off to Montana with gold and guns in hand. What they don't get is that if they have Christ's name of their lips they are dishonoring Him by running away from being salt and light to a dying world.

If they do stay amongst those He'd like them to minister to, but they remain in 501c3 incorporations and all the other World contractual obligations designed to keep people's sin in check, they're immersing themselves in the very World they so revile--being abjectly double-minded as James so incisively wrote in the Bible.

This is just not rocket science.

But $700 billion.

There are that many people who just don't get it?

Who just don't get that this amount is dwarfed by Jesus' blood shed on the cross to get rid of it all completely?

 

Stunned Credit Contracters   Thursday, September 25

 

As the current economic "meltdown" progresses, two axioms are confidently spouted by power brokers both political and economic: "We must restore confidence in the market," and "We must prevent a serious contraction of credit." Everyone hears them often and we all breathe a sigh of relief because it seems these guys really know what's going on and they're on the job to fix it.

But what do these two statements really mean?

What exactly is "confidence in the market," as if our trust must be in the place where buyers and sellers meet? For that is all that a market is, a place where buyers and sellers meet. Is there something wrong with that--are the market seats too lumpy? Are the market floors a bit too slippery? The lights in the market just too bright? Air conditioning doesn't work properly?

No, it is not the market that is at fault. It is the people who do business there. And why does "confidence" in those people need to be "restored"? It is simple.

It is because so many of them are liars and so many of them know they are liars that grandiose plans for elaborate regulation are demanded so we can be more sure we won't be lied to again. The point is not so much that Caesar is all over regulation of some kind, but that so many need to be put under his thumb. This from a populace that refuses to acknowledge its complicity in all of this, indeed abjectly dismissing out of hand any suggestion that there is a thing called

Sin.

 

And what about this "contraction of credit" thing? What's with that? The word credit is actually Latin for "he believes." If credit is being contracted, doesn't that then mean that the belief in someone--or better, the widespread belief about a whole bunch of people--is not really what it was thought to be? If "contraction of credit" is feared, then doesn't it follow that this means that, wow, people are worthless, and World inhabitants are simply making note of that? In other words, is it then indeed true that there are that many individuals who cannot be trusted to have the value they said they had or that some thought they had, and to some profound extent they've been lying and doing a really good job of it?

Whup, there's that thing again no one wants to confront.

Sin.

Oh, gee Dave, that's what those in the Middle Ages obsessed about. Go away, you with your Neanderthal religious ideas. We've got real problems to deal with, like trying to get everyone to believe people have value by waving 700 billion greenish rectangular papers in front of their faces.

 

Meanwhile, a group of pastors have decided to speak from their pulpits this weekend to brazenly endorse or reject certain political candidates, a no-no according to IRS rules. The purpose is to create a case for the Alliance Defense Fund to run with so it can challenge those rules in court and provide church leaders with more freedom to address political issues.

What does this have to do with the economic crisis? If you can answer two questions you may be able to connect the dots.

Who makes the laws that govern the World's assessment of value?

Who sets the value of those who've trusted in Christ and His work of salvation, and then committed to live in His Kingdom by His word and counsel?

Are these two the same?

Most pastors seem to think their Jesus assesses value the way the World does. They may say they know about Kingdom value, but I don't know. They get a nice hefty paycheck from the World by being 501c3 non-profit corporations. Interesting, they're engaging in blatant violation of IRS rules just to keep their tax exemptions--they want to spit at the World and stay on its payroll.

No wonder they have no credit.

Everyone running around like Chicken Littles, arms flailing and voices screeching "The market is falling, the market is falling! Credit is shrinking, credit is shrinking!"

Really, come on, this is a surprise?

Unless you take the World's cue and continue lying to yourself.

 

Value Extractors Even More Stunned   Monday, September 29

 

I'd like to humbly recommend a new word for placement in the English lexicon, if I may.

The word is dismendacity.

Please, allow me. Mendacity is the practice of willfully furthering falsehood, and the prefix dis- always means to go against, to reduce, to take apart.

With the new word in place, one may be a bit more edified when analyzing today's World events. Let's look, shall we?

By a narrow margin the House of Representatives voted down the infamous $700 billion "bailout package." Even as they tarried the stock market was beginning its record plunge, ending up 777 points down on the day, a precipitous 7% drop. (What's with all the 7's? Must be something biblical. Well, that in a minute.)

Enough members of Congress refused to bless it simply because they saw that they were about to compel their consituents to hand over gobs of money to enable rank irresponsibility. Financiers and Wall Street gurus of all stripes lent (whoa, lent, how are they doing lending? I dunno. But I digress...) --they lent their two cents worth (a princely sum these days. Oop, I can't help myself...) and it was all fine rigmarole about just what they think about how things will shake out.

Splendidly erudite economese, I must say.

But you won't hear squat from any of them about what's really happening.

 

At about 4:30 today on the local all-news-all-the-time radio station here in the Los Angeles area, USC prof Raphael Bostic was prattling on about the "crisis," and he said something very interesting. He said that the question that is being asked in some form is, "How much are we going to demand from these banking institutions up front?"

Think about that.

What exactly must that thing be, pray tell?

How meaningful will it be for the VAUNTED BANKING INSTITUTION to say, "We're going to pledge our carpeting, by golly. There it is, all 800 square feet of it, a good $57 at least. And hey, we've got toasters we haven't given away yet. Still in the boxes!"

Excuse us, Mr. Banking Institution Guy, but what about your assets, you know, that stuff of value reflected in what your clients have entrusted to you and your stockholders own?

"Guh? What's that?"

Precisely.

This is where the word comes in. Remember it? I'll remind you.

Dismendacity.

It is nothing other than the practice of not lying. Active real practical actual incessant vigorous not-lying, especially about the value of yourself or of others to the extent you would hold no intention whatsoever of carving out chunks of their value. Because in the end, at its core, all of this economic turmoil--all of it--is the result of plain mendacity.

 

In my last post I asked the question, essentially, "If all of this stuff that is going on is true, then doesn't it follow that people are worthless?" This may chafe some, but really, I'm just asking the question. I'm not saying they are. I'm not saying they're not.

What is the truth, however?

Sure people do awesomely wonderful marvelous things. They make neat buildings. They write boffo books. They dance spiffy mambos. Please, I'm not making fun. I love those things.

But really.

If you're dead, what difference does it make.

 

Right now the World is going crazy trying to come up with some solution to the mendacity problem. Look at Congress and the Bushies the past few days. You can almost see the lumps on their heads from banging their heads against the wall, that same wall from which Humpty fell, and they are just not getting how to put him back together again. People have done the exact same thing every twenty years or so for eons and eons and eons.

Lots of banging heads. Bang, bang, bang. What--are--we going--to do--about--this financial--collapse...

"Hey guys! How about this? How about practicing some dismendacity?"

Huh?

Oh, and they're not getting it just because it's a new word--ahem, thank you, thank you very much--but they're not getting it for one simple reason.

They're out of the Kingdom. In fact they're miles and miles and miles from the Kingdom. Not only that, but they like mendacity. All the head-banging is happening only because they've got to find more novel ways to continue doing value extraction. World inhabitants don't approach the mendacity problem to get rid of it, but to make the lie look different. As their heads hit the wall you can hear them slobber--listen close now: How do we do more mendacity but just make it better?

It is only in the Kingdom where you can unashamedly practice dismendacity.

Only by Christ and His love can you know what it means to be genuinely dismendacious.

Actually being transparent about who you are, what your value is (in Christ that's actually a lot, really!) how much you revel in using His gifts to build community and be sure everyone is cared for with all they need to be perfectly content. That, by the way, is a hundred times what the World offers. A hundred times. Jesus said as much, there it is in Mark 10. Look!

These pipsqueaks couldn't even spring for a piddly $700 billion.

Christ would give you the universe and every single thing that is beautiful, wonderful, and glorious in it. He is all over value enhancement, by the galaxy-load.

All it takes is some dismendacity. A breeze with Him.

Impossible with the World.

 

 

The Value Extractors Remain Stunned-Looking   Monday, October 6

 

Today was the first weekday after the federal government finally authorized the dissemination of 700 billion pieces of green rectangular paper to its good-buddy exploiters, and the Dow responded with an appropriate clunk, dropping below 10,000 points for the first time in four years. At one point the drop was 800, a bigger plunge than last Monday's, but it rallied a bit late. Since its high of 14,000-and-change a few months ago, it has lost 30% of its value.

But goodness gracious! I thought Caesar's magnificent decree that worthless people were worth $700 billion was supposed to get people fired up to not be worthless? What happened golly-gee-whiz-whillickers??? Isn't Henry Paulson up to the job of being United States Hedge Fund Manager, deftly pooling the nation's future productive capacity as leverage?

When Congress passed this thing Friday, you heard a whole batch of Congresspersons say pretty-much what U.S. Senator from California Dianne Feinstein said about her affirmative vote: "It would be one thing if we had a choice. But I don't believe we have a choice."

Ahh. You have no choice. All you can do is wave money in people's faces to convince them they've got value. All you can do is offer a spiffy word as if anyone believes you're doing it for anything other than your political sustenance.

Well, Mrs. Congressperson, truer words were never spoken. You're right, you don't have a choice. You have no clue about anything other than the World. All you know is obsequious service to your superior, Caesar, who himself has a superior whooo... you may indeed not know about. This condition is simply a veritable result of Cain's banishment from God's presence millennia ago. Through the eons all who follow him whine "We have no other choice." They wave the rod around whacking many while working very hard not to cut down anyone they like.

 

The fact is any individual not thoroughly given over to the World's Top Executive does have a choice. That choice is between Caesar and God, between Cain and Christ. You may choose to trudge through the World or you may choose to thrive in the Kingdom. You may choose value extraction which is nothing other than nice-looking human sacrifice, or value enhancement which is simply giving sowing charitable love.

You may choose to live by the lie, or live by the Truth. No matter how much that Congressperson or any other agent of Cain deftly make the lie look attractive, it is still disguising worthlessness. Anytime someone says "It was those mortgage-backed securities, that was the core problem," you can tell they only know the World. When they say "Those sneaky credit default swaps are at the core of this mess," you know they can't see very far. Many will cry out, "It was all the easy money in the 90's! That's what's really to blame!"

It is all just mendacity disguising worthlessness.

The only way one can be worthful is by Christ.

But hey. Like the World and its fake worth? Mr. and Mrs. Congressperson like being your friend, so at least you won't be alone in your whining.

 

 

Value Extractors After Putting on the Stunned Look Now Having a Bit More of the Kinder and Gentler Look  Saturday, October 11

 

I enjoy plucking out the front page of the Los Angeles Times and putting it here on the web. I hope that the plain pretext will get people to see the folly of World affairs management. The photograph there was particularly striking.
 


                As the Dow hovered precariously at 8,000 on Friday (oh it seemed like yesterday it was stretching stratospherically past 14,000, didn't it?), all the most powerful of powerful finance ministers were meeting to hash out things. The U.S. guys had already decided they were going to use some of the "bailout" money to buy U.S. banks, so I don't know what's with the screaming headline.

In fact, the U.S. pretty much "owns" every company anyway, whether it's a bank or not. Whenever a business becomes incorporated, it cedes control over itself to the incorporating entity. All the laws and by-laws of the governing authority are now preeminent, and any thought that you have some substantial management autonomy is because you are brilliantly deceived. Sure they'll let you be a bit imaginative and inventive, but Caesar has you reined in with a bridle that you've allowed him to jam into your face.

Sure they often do a crappy job, just look at the financial mess. But if you are surprised this is happening, you haven't been looking close enough. If you're outraged the government is doing this terribly socialist thing, you've been brain dead about how socialist things are already and have been for millennia.

 

But briefly, to the photograph.

I like it. There they are, all the finance big shots, hopping down a few steps to get right down in with the common people. Well, not too far now. See, that's the thing about this picture.

The guys (and a gal) from the ivory tower are willing to come all the way down a whole four--ooo, maybe five--steps to mix it up with you. And, of course, waaay down there at 57,000 steps higher than you rather than the standard 57,005, they'll eventually find new ways to jerk you around. With a smile on their face though. At least there's that.

These are the World guys.

Hey! How about the Kingdom Guy! The Guy who came from heaven and went down into the den of the most wretched people on earth, told them all sorts of wonderful matters, then went even further down, getting hanged upon and nailed to the very iconographic herald of Caesar himself.

Those finance geniuses of the World? Still right there up front, shoving you further into the dirt, telling you they're working reeeal hard to make it feel nicer.

 

Jesus?

He's way at the back, asking you to join Him there, extending nothing but His outstretched arms and open hands.

But, ahem, I wonder. Clamoring, clutching, clawing for your 401(k)s and your tax exemptions and Social Security entitlements like they were torn and tattered security blankets?

Seems like so many though want to stay up front with the finance guys.

It's good to talk with Henry Paulson, he has a nice comforting voice. Or, yeah, sorry, pretend like you're having any real conversation, as if he's really got your best interest in mind. Yes, you may gleefully pretend, no matter how much your teeth are clenched. That's cool, that's your choice.

On the other hand, what of the Kingdom? Where the truly awesome living is happening? Not anywhere to be seen there.

 

The Reality of Value Enhancement   Monday, October 13

 

Today economics columnist Robert Samuelson wrote a piece called "The Engine of Mayhem." In some ways it was one of those typical "This is really what the problem is" pieces, yet Samuelson has a way of plainly elucidating what happens in markets.

He brought up a novel term for the wild misassessment of value going on out there right now. It is appropriate to flesh this out especially on a day when the Dow got the biggest bounce in history, jumping over 900 points, an 11% increase. This exuberance doesn't mean everything's fine, it actually means everything is just as unstable.

Samuelson's term was deleveraging, the practice of too quick a call for capital instead of debt. He concludes by pointing out that the financial system in place now is "inherently fragile" and what is needed is one with "firmer foundations."

What this means most plainly is this.

People are realizing that a whole lot of powerful financial people have lied about how well they assess value. The fluctuating market is simply the barometer for how much everyone can take stock in the answer to the question, "Can I trust you?"

Of course everyone and his cat have been saying "Oh, we must trust one another again." Blah blah blah. What is never asked is how the answer can be considered trustworthy.

World inhabitants can only say, "Wull, we'll just try really really hard to make good value assessments." They'll also turn to the government to rein them in and say, "Look! Government regulation! That's gotta be good!" And a whole lotta people buy it. Sort of.

 

How about this answer to the "Can I trust you?" question:

Yes. Yes indeed you may trust me, because I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Because He loved me by dying for me, I know I can love you. Because he has given me the Kingdom and all the bounty within it, I may invest His gifts within me in what you're doing that's good. And because I belong to Him I cannot disrespect you or your value in any way. Again, I can't.

Because I love you.

How many people can give that answer? How many people are so ungrafted to the World of fearful value extraction, hacking off values from others anywhere they can just to ensure they have something left for retirement?

How many can actually say that?

I'm ashamed. I think it is a tiny portion of people. I think most people in this World think of Jesus Christ as a banal religious figure to give lip service to. Here He is, the Firm Foundation that Samuelson speaks of, and people blow Him off.

Jesus knew about this. He knew people would believe in all sorts of what He called anti-Christs. What is so mind-blowing is how so many people can continue to treat the God of the Universe with such brazen dismissal.

 

I'll even share what I shared above, that Christ is the true foundation for value and reaping the bounty of all we'd ever want, and Christians will just shrug and say, "Yeah, you're right, uh-huh..." and still maniacally protect their useless contracts with the World, those W-4's and 501c3's and mortgage agreements that cede the lordship over their lives to usurers.

What would it look like to have a few more than the 0.01% of the populace fully abandoning themselves to Christ in this way? Communities filled with people invisible to World operatives and sowing tremendous wealth both material and spiritual--right now, in profound abundance? Growing in God's riches and exploding in His pleasure?

Samuelson pointed out that the value of all the world's wealth right now is estimated at $250 trillion. What if what Jesus said is true, that when we abandon ourselves wholly to Him we'd have 100 times what we had when we once prized our World moorings so highly? What would be the value of those things then? It'd be $25,000 trillion, or $25 quadrillion.

Wow.

Some will say they can't imagine an amount that big, so why bother? What's the point?

Sad. They can't even understand that the $25 quadrillion isn't just "stuff," but people.

In fact, Christ's blood makes the $25 quadrillion look like a rusty nickel to a millionaire.

 

The Value Extraction Cure  Wednesday, October 29

 

In looking at the financial crisis upon us I can't stop reading about how the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

And then everyone dives right on into the horror anyway.

"U-u-um, y-y-y-yeah, I'm not afraid-nn-nn-duhduhduh lions and tigers and bears oh my."

All kinds of neat solutions are spit out by World operatives and inhabitants alike, all prefaced by the standard "Here's what really needs to happen," and all falling into one of two categories: (a) a rehashed way to do oppressive World-directed law enforcement--not a bad thing for those who like being whacked by the law, or (b) some foolish idiocy spit out by someone seeking attention.

I've written dozens of times that the only cure to the malady is Jesus Christ. It's not just me saying this. It's flat what it is.

 

The problem is He not the wuss Jesus Christ most people think about, the guy who's just another one of the religious club gods people like to hang on the wall. This is not the effete wienie glowing in church and a fairy tale to all the "serious" economists and scholars who rely on science and reason and really meaningful erudition to fix things.

I'm talking about Almighty God come in the flesh to rescue men from their own harrowing wickedness, especially that smothered in the most erudite-sounding spittle.

But that's all fine and dandy--"Nothing new there" a lot of people would blap. The question they ask is what is it about this ethereal superbeing that would help us now, here, on earth? So what's the real tangible answer to the problem?

It is simple. He merely expects us--and wholly empowers us--to treat one another the same way He treats us.

With self-giving love.

No, not everyone does that, especially when the Guy who gets us to do that is thought to be a fairy tale. "Yeah I like Jesus and all but I can love others myself. Now get outta my face so I can get more more more from my 401(k)..."

Sigh. So many people don't love even in the face of them shouting that they do, so many thinking only of themselves in the face of abject fear without a thought about this pointless Jesus fellow. You'll hear this a lot from them: "Hey everyone, if we say there's a lot of fear then maybe we'll know so much about it being there that we won't fear anymore--brilliant idea, huh?"

Millions of Christians do the same thing, being firmly moored to the World through their World contracts and showing their impotency by having no clue about what's really going on with the world's finances and its benighted value assessment, and off they go joining all the other chickens stumbling around with their heads cut off.

 

If people just valued things the way God does, if we loved others the way He asks us to, the way He moves us to do if we'd just sincerely ask Him--if we loved another with the highest greatest compassion--then we'd have 100 times what the World has. Oh, yeah, you forget so soon. Look there in Mark chapter 10, there in the middle there.

100 times.

What would happen, practically, tangibly, authentically? There'd be a pool of capital available that would dwarf any $700 billion bailout, any $3 trillion federal budget, any $13 trillion yearly U.S. gross domestic product, or even any $250 trillion world asset value.

Christians all around will say, "Ooo, uh-huh, I know about this Jesus."
Then why don't you do what He says.

Why won't you get out of your Catholicist ratholes and off your asses and do missions like they did in the old days, ungrafted to the World. Why won't you stop mindlessly handing over the immense value of your gifts to Caesar or the Wall Street wolves, who just pour it into more and more human sacrifice.

The thing that is so mind-blowing is how simple it really is. If there is a severe lack of credit, it means a whole bunch of people don't trust a whole bunch of other people. Why is that? If you say you believe in God, don't you trust that He will provide gobs and gobs of what you really want? And that this will spill into the lives of others who, I'd think, would also want gobs and gobs of everything they'd ever want?

If on the other hand, you have to check in with Caesar every time you step out to do something, don't you see this is telling everyone "Don't trust me for I need powerful government to keep me clean!" If the law and the banks and the state-churches all supersede Christ's rule over your affairs, then what is Christ for? And why would anyone believe you if you said you knew Him?

When Jesus returns, will He find faith on earth?

It is the answer to that question that's the most frightening thought of all.

 

***

Scripture  |   Homepage   |   Site Map

A Rough Sketch of Human Sacrifice

Value Extraction in More Detail

A Primer on the Meaning of Human Value Transfer

 

      Contextual note: The World has its measure of value assessment, and Christ has His. It is not that this is unusual, the World stumbles around trying to identify what's meaningful and often it looks pretty good. What is noteworthy is how many who say they are Christ's seem to be so clueless about it, and they so fiercely grip their contracts with the ruthless law enforcement enterprise of not only Caesar but his economic agents, the bankers, investors, speculators, and power brokers holding their megaphones, all working industriously to sustain virulent covetousness among the World's populace.

      Value extraction is a term referring to the standard practice of World Operatives to facilitate modern human sacrifice. This is manifest in any number of ways, some of which are explained in "A Rough Sketch of Human Sacrifice" and "Value Extraction in More Detail" linked just above this note. As much as I share my feelings quite openly in these blog transcripts, I must accept that the reason so many don't get it is not because they haven't read my stuff -- as if I were so significant. It is because they can't get it -- even with all of it right there, staring them in the face, any place they look. They have no excuse, for God makes it clear to each person in whatever way He does. Instead they remain completely entrenched in World habitation. They are committed value extractors simply because they want to be.

      These ten entries have been transcribed here in their entirety, with some formatting to accommodate a webzine. Please note that some points may be so emphatic as to be belabored, but that is only because each is a separate distinct entry with the same theme from the blog Wonderful Matters.

 

      *The cast in the photograph from the September 19 post, left to right: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Securities and Exhange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Richard Shelby, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Christopher Dodd, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. It appears the gentleman partially hidden behind McConnell is House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, and the man partially hidden behind Reid is House Minority Leader John Boehner.

 

      *The cast in the photograph from the Los Angeles Times front page in the October 11 post, the various finance ministers or treasury officials of their respective nations or institutions, left to right: James Flaherty of Canada, Christine Lagarde of France, Peer Steinbrueck of Germany, Henry Paulson of the U.S, Tommaso Padoa-Shioppa of Italy, Fukushiro Nukaga of Japan, and Alistair Darling of the U.K. An official who was part of this lineup just following Darling but not pictured was Jean-Claude Juncker of the Eurogroup. The photograph was taken outside the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

 

 

This page was first posted by David Beck at yourownjesus.net on November 2, 2008