In September and October of 2008 I wrote a
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
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
"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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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--
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
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
It's just there is only
One Way it can't hurt.
Again, a whole treatise on
the way the World does finances is
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. As in Humpty
Dumpty your average Joe and Josephine American, proud
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!
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 were fooling
themselves, they weren't fooling us, they were fooling
themselves and they were fooling us at the same time..."
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
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?
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
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
Whup, there's that thing
again no one wants to confront.
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
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
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
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
Unless you take the
World's cue and continue lying to yourself.
I'd like to humbly
recommend a new word for placement in the English
lexicon, if I may.
The word is
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 event. 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.
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
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?"
This is where the word
comes in. Remember it? I'll remind you.
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.
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.
"Hey guys! How about this?
How about practicing some dismendacity?"
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
On the other hand, what of
the Kingdom? Where the truly awesome living is
happening? Not anywhere to be seen there.
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
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
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
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
Some will say they can't
imagine an amount that big, so why bother? What's the
Sad. They can't even
understand that the $25 quadrillion isn't just "stuff,"
In fact, Christ's blood
makes the $25 quadrillion look like a rusty nickel to a
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.
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
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
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
It is the answer to
that question that's the most frightening thought
Homepage | Site Map
A Rough Sketch of Human
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
*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.