Avoiding Idolatry


In the end the idol is always intended to be the servant of the idol worshipers and their desires. Thus it is humans themselves who are the universal idol, and that is why Paul calls covetousness idolatry. In coveting I elevate myself to the position of having my way and getting the things I want – regardless of others. But idolatry, of whatever kind, never works out well, because it is precisely a flight from reality and often, from knowledge of reality. – Dallas Willard: Knowing Christ Today

In my work in the financial services industry there are certain things people say to me on a regular basis that make my hair stand on end and my blood boil. Inevitably they come down to sentiments of greed and covetousness which at the end of the day are both forms of idolatry.

greedy man

It’s subtle but it’s unmistakable. People will say things like; “I want my money to last as long as possible so that I can live the life I deserve.” Or “I want to avoid paying too much in taxes because the government is just going to waste my money anyway.” The entire financial industry is built on messages greed, selfishness and entitlement. “What’s mine is mine”; “I deserve it” and “don’t let the government take any more of my hard earned money than they have to.”

All these messages point to the same thing.

It’s putting yourself, your needs, your desires and your personal opinion above everyone else. It’s making yourself into your own personal God. It is covetousness and idolatry plain and simple.

We worship the things that give us what we want and make us feel good about ourselves. We fight for our “rights” and attempt to oppress and defeat those people and things that infringe on our ability to live the way we see fit. Psychologically it is exactly the same as the ancient savages who alternately worshiped the gods of rain and the gods of sun depending on what they needed for survival at certain times of the year. At the end of the day the ancient gods were set up to serve mankind.

How is our secularized world any different? Today we don’t worship a sun god but we do pay tribute to capital and the markets in a similar way. And we do it completely out of self interest.

At the Meekonomics Project our goals are different. Yes we want you to be financial secure, not so that you can live the high life but so that you are productive and not a burden to others. But if your focus is outward facing, toward society, toward the needs of others, once your own basic needs are met it’s time to give the rest away. Or in financial services speak – to leave a legacy.

penny hands

Our mission is simple –

“To help people reconcile their relationships with God and Money through Education and Empowerment, to teach them to live Debt Free, Build Wealth and Leave a Legacy.”

It’s that last point that is the key in not allowing your life to become idolatry. We are not teaching you to build wealth for wealth’s own sake; we are teaching you to become an effective steward of what God gives you so that you can bless others and give it all away.

For us that’s what meekness, especially as it pertains to finances, is all about. It’s how we inherit the earth.

For more information on effective stewardship and philanthropy, write to: themeekonomicsproject@gmail.com

I Wrote a Book!


writing

That’s right, me, a shy, awkward kid from Southern Ontario who had to take remedial classes in spelling as a child. I wrote a whole 150 page book! All by myself!

I wrote in the early hours of the morning. I watched the sun rise as ideas flowed through me onto the blank page. I love writing in the morning. There is a sense of stillness to that time of the day, of peace and endless possibility. As the rest of the house started to wake up and the sounds of life slowly invaded my thoughts I would close the laptop and go about the rest of my daily routine.

I held down a day job throughout the process, still do. At times as many as three. Writing doesn’t pay the bills. To date I have barely made a dime but that’s not why I write.

My book is called; “Meekonomics; How to Inherit The Earth and Live Life to the Fullest in God’s Economy.”

What’s it about? My life, write what you know, right? But it’s a bit more complicated than that.

You see, I went bankrupt in 2005. The experience broke me, in more ways than one, pun intended.

I am an entrepreneur; I have been running businesses since I was 10 years old.   Before my bankruptcy, when it came to business, I was always the smartest guy in the room. Or so I thought. That is until I lost everything.

I don’t know who suggested it first, maybe it was my bankruptcy trustee, or my pastor, or maybe the idea just came to me all on its own but as I began the healing and recovery process I decided to start a journal. And I started reading everything I could get my hands on about business and finance.

Early on in my reading I noticed something. I noticed an awful lot of business books touched on philosophy and politics, so I started to read that too. And who can read philosophy without also reading theology and religion?

Oh did I mention my dad was a pastor? I was raised in the church. For a time I forgot that part of myself. The journaling process helped to bring that aspect of myself back into focus. In a weird way losing everything saved my soul.

What was it Jesus said? “What does it profit a man to gain the whole word and lose his soul?” I figured out what that meant.

So as I started to put my life back together I would write in my journal about the things I was reading and learning. Slowly my confidence came back. One day while I was flipping through the pages of my journal I noticed a pattern that had developed. The world is polarized along two divergent lines. Broadly speaking we can separate all of the world’s writing on business, finance, politics and philosophy into two camps; Rulers and Caretakers, Individualists and Collectivists, Capitalists and Socialists. And it’s been that way from the very beginning of time.

In my journal I started to wrestle with these two very different paths. Which was the right one? Which should I choose?

And then I started to read the book of Genesis.

“In the beginning God created mankind to rule over creation…” Great, that settles it! But wait; just a few verses later “In the beginning God created mankind to take care of creation…” What? Now I am thoroughly confused!

It wasn’t until I started to understand the nature of sin and brokenness that I began to see how it all fit together. These two divergent paths that mankind has chosen, they were never meant to be an “either or” proposition, God designed them to be “both and”.

We are designed to be both Ruler and Caretaker of creation because we are created in the image of God and God is Love. The many ways in which we messed that up, from both a scriptural and historic perspective and all the things we have tried since to live life and build societies absent of God’s Loving Direction are the subject of my book. In the end Meekonomics is about learning to show God’s Love to a fallen world and live out of our forgotten Love Mentality.

It’s been almost ten years since my bankruptcy. The first few years were rough. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I thought I had it all together. I thought I was smart but I lost it all through nothing more than my own arrogance and stupidity.   It wasn’t until I learned the truth of God’s Love and the Love Mentality that I was able to forgive myself and move on.

In 2012 I decided to convert my journal into a book. It’s available on-line at www.CreatSpace.com/4836022 , directly through this website www.themeekonomicsproject.com/products and at fine Christian retailers everywhere. If you’ve ever wondered what God has to say about money and our current economic system check it out, I think you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Just Have To Get This Off My Chest


chest

 

Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
Plead the case of the widow.
[Isaiah 1:17]

Despite what some on the extreme right might think, Christianity, and indeed pretty much all religion for that matter, is a social justice movement.

Having just returned from a mission trip to Africa a friend of mine taught me a new word.

Ubuntu, it means, “I am because we are”.

The word “ubuntu” captures perfectly an irrefutable truth about humanity. We are all connected.  If there were no we, there could be no I.

And because we are all connected, we cannot stand idly by while those of us who are weak are mistreated, oppressed or simply ignored by the strong.

To call defending the oppressed Social Justice is a misnomer. All justice is social justice.

In a week were the news headlines have been dominated by racial violence in the U.S., religious war in Iraq and Syria and political ideological tensions between Russia and the European Union over Ukraine, we need to be remember this, now more than ever.

But how to we achieve justice?

I believe we need to go back to the very beginning and start looking at the world the way God originally intended. In the beginning God created mankind in his own image. That means everybody. It means that no matter what, or whom you are facing, every person on this earth is an infinitely valuable image bearer of the divine. Full stop, no if ands or buts about it.

If our starting point for negotiating on all matters concerning justice is that point, the entire argument changes. Negotiations about justice always start in the wrong place and end up leading down a path no one want to go. Negotiation is always about compromise and usually one party, sometimes both are left feeling cheated. But when you start negotiating from a point of fellow image bearers, it is no longer a question of balancing competing interests or compromise. It is a questions of how best to bring honor to our creator.

God is Love, not a socially acceptable compromise or negotiated settlement.  And He is certainly not about the killing of innocents or the oppression of minorities.

Sorry for the rant, I just had to get that off my chest.

I Wanna Be a Duckman


I’ve made my share of mistakes and realize that a life without forgiveness is a life filled with guilt, bitterness and misery no matter how many sins you’ve committed or which ones they are. Once I became a Christian I viewed being part of the forgiven as synonymous with being a forgiver – Jase Robertson; Good Call, Reflections on Faith, Family and Fowl

jasebook

I like to watch “Duck Dynasty” on A&E.

I realize by saying that a lot of you will automatically place me in a certain category. Your mind’s eye will likely conjure up some image of a right-wing, God spouting, gun loving redneck, with a beard driving a beat up pick-up truck to buy ammo at Wal-Mart and then going off to kill something for supper. But the fact is nothing could be further from the truth. I shave every day, live in the suburbs, wear a suit to work and drive a sub-compact Ford. I’m what Phil Robertson would call a yuppie, even if I do still like to shop at Wal-Mart.

No I watch “Duck Dynasty” because it is an honest portrayal of family in a way that you just don’t get on regular TV. I like it even more because these people, as flawed as they are and as much as I tend to disagree with a lot of their theology, are open about their faith in ways that I envy. It’s just who they are, day in and day out, take it or leave it.

This summer, thanks to the leadership in my home church I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about systematic theology. I’ve learned fancy words like Zoeology, Soteriology and Pneumatology, all academic terms for the different ways we can look at the various aspects of God. And while going through all of this I also picked up a copy of Jase Robertson’s book on faith and family. It has made for an interesting juxtaposition, an academic study on the one hand, coupled with a redneck’s take on the other.

When it comes to the study of soteriology, how our salvation get’s worked out, Jase and the academics have a lot in common. You see, it all comes down to justification, sanctification and glorification.

Justification is the act of God declaring us not guilty, the trial is over we are freed from the sins of our past. We are sanctified, freed from the power of sin over us and free to submit to the will of God. And we are glorified, freed from even the presence of sin in our lives so that our will can be unified with His.

The apostle Paul put it this way;

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy (justification), to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed (sanctification) by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (glorification). [Romans 12:1-2]

Charles Wesley, the brother of John Wesley and a great leader and theologian in his own right, wrote one of my favorite hymns.   So completely does “And Can It Be?” sum up a life of forgiveness and justification that I can rarely get through the fourth and fifth verse without tears in my eyes.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast found in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused and quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness Devine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Justified, Sanctified and Glorified! Just like a Duckman.

How do you approach the eternal throne?

 

Extra – Extra!


It’s Here!

Please excuse this deviation from our regular schedule of updates.

I couldn’t wait to tell you all the news!

The updated version of my full length book “Meekonomics; How to Inherit the Earth and Live Life to the Fullest” is finally complete and ready for sale on www.createspace.com/4836022
Meekonomics

I am so excited I can hardly contain myself!

Now I really want to host an official launch party and get this thing out to as many people as possible but in order to do that I need to raise some money for printing and marketing. I figure about $1000 ought to do it, so here’s the deal.

Buy the book! I worked hard and I’m really proud of it. I think you’ll enjoy it.

And tell all your friends to buy it too. If we sell 100 copies through CreateSpace we will have made enough money to finance a proper launch. I realize that’s a lofty goal, so there’s another way that this might work too.

As you also no doubt know I recently launched the “6 Steps to Financial Freedom” booklet and financial coaching program. The booklet sells for just $5.00 but the full 12 week (6 session) financial coaching program is $294.00. So, if you are carrying any kind of debt or know someone who could benefit from some financial coaching, go to the product page and sign up for my one-on-one financial coaching program. I’ll teach you how to live debt free, build wealth and leave a legacy! If just 3 or 4 of you sign up for that, we can finance the launch!

Of course we have to put a deadline on things. There are certain times of the year when it’s easier to get people’s attention. I want to launch on Oct 4, 2014, that’s right in the middle of the fall, just after the back to school rush and before everyone’s attention is stolen by Christmas. In order to have enough time to arrange a venue and order enough books for that we need to lock things down no later than Sept 1, so don’t delay. Buy the book and sign up for Financial Coaching today!

Thanks – Lauren

Becoming a Man (or Woman) of Issachar


The other day while listening to a religious podcast I heard about the Men of Issachar.

From Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command; [1 Chronicles 12:32]

To be honest even though I’ve read the Bible all the way through several times, this was the first time I had ever heard about these men. It’s a pretty obscure reference and I think it’s the only time these men are ever mentioned in the whole Bible. But when I stopped and thought about it for a second I realized that in a way The Meekonomics Project is really about calling us all to be a little more like the men of Issachar.

The men of Issachar are immortalized in the list of people who joined David’s army at Hebron to overthrow Saul and install David as King. But it’s not the military aspect of the story that caught my attention. It’s the way in which these men are described other than their military usefulness. According to the account in Chronicles these were men who “understood the times and knew what Israel should do”.

issachar

The Meekonomics Project is in part about educating and empowering people to do what they know it be right in the area of finance and ethics.

Do you understand the times? Do you know what you and your family, your community and even the broader society should be doing? Are you willing to take a stand? Do you even know where to start? Are you Man (or Woman) of Issachar?

Yesterday I received a draft copy of the booklet and e-book “6 Steps To Financial Freedom”. I am now in the process of going through and making corrections to the manuscript so that it can be ready for a full release in the near future. If you can excuse the spelling and grammar errors I’ll send you a free .pdf of the draft anytime, just drop me a request via e-mail to themeekonomicsproject@gmail.com.

These 6 steps are, to my mind, a Men of Issachar moment. We live in a time of socioeconomic turmoil. Many anthropologists and sociologist have started to refer to the current age as the “Post-Christian era”. As Christ-followers in this new Post-Christian time the world needs us to be like the Men of Issachar more than ever. The world needs to see men and women who “understand the times and know what must be done,” with our finances and other resources in order to save the credibility of Christianity and be lantern bearers for a better way.

salt and light

There are very few things that speak louder about our values than the way we handle money. If we are to be salt and light, in a darkened and tasteless world there is no better place to start than with our bank accounts. For more information on The Meekonomics Project or to get your free copy of the e-book “6 Steps To Financial Freedom” write to themeekonomicsproject@gmail.com

 

Meekonomics – Second Edition, (excerpt 2)


This weeks excerpt comes from the end of Chapter One in which I lay out God’s original design for human society and socio-economic ideal we never really got to experience before at all went to hell…  Say tuned for more weekly updates and excerpts in the run up to the release of “Meekonomics – A Journal of Economic Recovery” coming soon.

Naked and Unashamed

At the end of Genesis Chapter Two we are left with an image if idyllic utopia that has never since been matched. At the zenith of God’s Perfect Economy we read this;

Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. [Genesis 2:25]

That one sentence sums up the nature of God’s Perfect Economy completely. But not necessary in the way church history has taught us to think.

Brian D. McLaren in his book “A New Kind of Christianity” [1] argues that ever since the Romans sanctioned Christianity in the third century the meaning of the stories in the bible have been distorted and hijacked by a Greco-Roman philosophy that is incompatible with the Hebrew philosophy that gave them birth. Contrary to the way it has been interpreted by everyone from Saint Augustine to Calvin, Luther, Wesley and even present day theologians like John Piper and R.C. Sprole, the bible is not a Greco-Roman story. It is a Judeo-Hebrew story. Unless and until we understand the difference we will never understand the overarching narrative story of scripture.

The Idea of being “Naked and Unashmed” then, must not be read with a Greco-Roman understanding of perfection and utopia. To return to what I said at the start of this chapter; both the ruler mentality and the caretaker mentality are incomplete. They are in fact artifacts of Greco-Roman philosophy that have no place in a Judeo-Hebrew story.

Greco-Roman philosophy can be traced to the classic argument between Plato and Aristotle over the existence of ultimate, non-material and unchanging reality, as Plato taught or Aristotle’s idea that the only constant is change. Those who held with Plato could only conclude that ultimate reality was perfect and unchanging and anything else was by definition broken and inferior. When this idea is superimposed upon the biblical narrative Plato’s view of unchanging reality can be made to fit neatly within the story of creation as how life was supposed to unfold in the Garden of Eden. After the fall we now live in a broken and inferior world waiting for the day in which God will return to restore creation and condemn all those who do not fit within His definition of perfection to eternal damnation.

But Judeo-Hebrew philosophy tells a very different story. First of all, nowhere in the first two chapters of Genesis is creation called “perfect” as Plato would have it. Creation is declared “good” and “very good” but never perfect. Good leaves room for improvement while perfection does not. Good allows for change, not just change from the point of view of mankind but also allows God room to maneuver through love and grace.   Perfect, does not. There is simply no room for grace if the goal is perfection.

The full implications of this Judeo-Hebrew understanding of goodness versus the Greco-Roman heresy (yes I called it heresy!) of perfection and how it plays out from a socio-economic point of view, is the subject of the rest of this book. For now; regardless of where we ultimately land on the continuum between ruler and caretaker, what is clear from both Genesis One and Two is that serving God is the primary purpose of mankind. When we recognize that God is owner and master of all of creation then the two seemingly conflicting reasons for the creation of mankind, whether we are meant to rule over or take care of creation, boil down to the fact that we were created to serve God without fear or shame.

And how do we do that? When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, in essence, how do we best serve God, his answer spoke volumes about God’s Perfect Economy.

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” [Matthew 22:35-40]

Money is not the primary mover of God’s Perfect Economy, Love is. And Love, among other things, is the absence of shame.

Loving and serving God is inseparable from loving and serving your neighbor. From the point of view of economic theory mankind’s ruler and caretaker mentalities are only useful when taken in context with a love mentality.

Mankind’s love mentality is meant to supersede both the ruler and caretaker mentality. But sadly, nothing is regarded with more suspicion or contempt than a man who, out of nothing more than love will do things that make no sense in the context of ruler or caretaker.

For example, I am constantly amazed at the reaction many so called Christians have to well meaning economic charities. Even though there are over 2000 direct commands in scripture in regard to caring for the poor and disenfranchised, giving to the poor is too often seen by the so called Christian Right as socialist income redistribution and somehow actually a disincentive for the poor to work. The Protestant Work Ethic which so deeply permeates western society and gives some credence to the notion of charity as a disincentive is actually an artifact of the aforementioned Greco-Roman philosophy and is predicated on a subtext of shame. The Protestant Work Ethic says in essence, “If you do not work as hard as your neighbor, if you do not contribute to society you are somehow less deserving”. This notion of works based ethics (not to be confused with works based salvation) would have been completely foreign in the Judeo-Hebrew context of the Garden of Eden.

Call it what you will, Social Gospel, Income Redistribution or out-right Communism, mankind’s love mentality leads to some very counter intuitive, counter cultural action. To be naked and unashamed then means to accept our vulnerability, accept our limitations, and accept our need for God and each other in community.

God’s Perfect Economy is an economy based not on power, (ruler), or works (caretaker) but on love.   It is love that holds everything in balance and since God is love, when we reject Him, love is also removed from the equation. Without love our ruler and caretaker mentalities are set in conflict with one another causing the whole thing to fall to pieces.

Before we get ahead of ourselves we need to spend a bit more time understanding how God’s Perfect Economy fell apart. How did we go from life in the garden, where God was there in physical form walking with us and guiding us to become the balanced creatures he intended, capable of holding both the ruler and caretaker mentalities in each hand and acting out of love and grace, to where we find ourselves today?

Read on…

 

 

[1] McLaren, Brian D., “A New Kind Of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith” HarperCollins 2010

Without Love…


My friend Tim Day recently published his first book.  As far as I know it’s only available in a few very select locations, mostly through the book store at our Church and on-line but I hope very soon it will be out in wider distribution.

Tim book

He wrote this book as a starting point for members of our church, The Meeting House, to be more intentional about evangelism.  It’s a summation of the story of the Bible as regards who God is and how He enters humanity.  At least that’s what I got out of it I hope I didn’t miss the point.

It should come as no surprise when I say that I’m always looking for the economic principles and implications in the things I read, it’s kind of my thing.  Even though I count Tim as a friend, reading his book was no exception so I was happy to find this comment buried within the pages of what is decidedly not a book on economics.

The problem with any leader we choose to put in charge is that they have the same issue everyone else has.  Unless that person’s heart is changed, the prestige and power that come with leadership will quickly corrupt even those with the best intentions.  [Tim Day; God Enters Stage Left]

Tim makes this comment when talking about the many failings of the kings of Israel, specifically those of Saul, David and Solomon.  Each leader starts out with a lot of promise and although each has a very different leadership style they are, by all accounts fairly effective kings, at least in the beginning.  But they all fail spectacularly in one way or another.  Tim hits the nail on the head when he says that it’s because they all have the same issue as everyone else.  In my work on economics I would theorize it this way:  They all have an over developed ruler mentality that is in conflict with their caretaker mentality due to an under developed or outright absence of a love mentality.

Remember what God said to the prophet Samuel when He appointed the first king?

And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. [1 Samuel 8:7]

By rejecting God as their king Israel as a people are doing exactly the same thing as all people have done since the story of the fall of mankind in Genesis Chapter 3.  In so doing they are disregarding the one thing that can hold their two competing realities in balance.  By rejecting God, they are rejecting the love mentality that balances their internal ruler and caretaker.

This is a theme near and dear to my heart and it forms a large portion of my writing both on this blog and in my own book; Meekonomics; Kingdom Economics From a Love Based Mentality.  God gave us the capacity to rule over creation and govern ourselves but he did so with the assumption that He would always be there to teach us to Love, for without love everything else is worthless noise.  [1 Corinthians 13:1-3]

If you’re interested in learning more about the overall narrative of scripture and how it points to the person of Jesus check out Tim’s book – “God Enters Stage Left”.  If you are interested in learning more about our God given Love Mentality and how to tap into it and influence the economy buy my book or write to themeekonomicsproject@gmail.com

Anger, Compassion and Meekonomics


I think that revolutionary anger, like all anger, hides a deeper, slower sadness about the essential human condition, and it is through contemplation, not action, that we can come to terms with it.

Combat, territoriality, conflict, sickness, aging, dying: these are not foreign to human life, they are inescapable parts of it.  We are capable of evil as well as good; greed is in our nature along with altruism.

We cannot run from tragic aspects of ourselves; we can only conquer them by facing them squarely and incorporating them into our knowledge of ourselves as whole.

We must slow down.  We must move from our heads to an examination of our hearts.

The true revolution is an honest respect for the differences of others; forgiveness of their sins because their sins are ours.  We must, above all else learn compassion.

How can we learn compassion from anger?

Only through time.  Stephen Rechtschaffen, “Timeshifting; Creating More Time to Enjoy Your Life”

I apologize for the long quote that opens this post.  I don’t often incorporate such large chunks of other people’s work within my own but Rechtschaffen’s comments on anger, violence and the root of conflict hold such profound truth that to edit them further would have been doing a grave injustice to both you the read and Mr. Rechtschaffen himself.

I also apologize for taking so much time in this space lately to pull things out of Rechtshaffen’s 1996 book on the spirituality of time.  This book obviously moved me in unexpected ways, this is the last post on it though, I promise.

The quote above comes toward the end of the work.  Rechtschaffen is beginning to sum up his theory on reclaiming time and he hits on what I think is a profound truth about conflict and anger that we all experience.  Anger, according the Rechtschaffen “hides a deeper, slower sadness”

How many times have you met an angry person and thought to yourself, “how sad?”

How sad that someone is harboring such negative emotions?  In many cases in my experience it has been obvious to everyone around that the angry person is really just masking and avoiding a deeper, more personal emotion.  It comes out as anger when they don’t want to appear weak or afraid but some form of pain or sadness is usually at the root of it.

I haven’t talked much about the core concepts of Meekonomics lately.  Mainly because I’ve been focusing on the latest round of edits in preparation for the release of the second edition coming this spring, but this latest reading has helped me refine another aspect of Meekonomics, namely; compassion and understanding.

To be truly meek you cannot be sad or angry.  As I have defined it many times meekness is a willing submission of power in order to achieve a greater good.  To be meek you must set aside your own agenda and work with people of various backgrounds and opinions.  In order to do that you must come to terms with your own anger, inner sadness and conflicts.  In my book I call it the Love Mentality which is only achieved when we understand and conquer our innate Ruler and Caretaker Mentalities.

Rechtschaffen rightly states that in order to integrate our internal conflicts into a functioning whole we must slow down.  We must be willing to experience our emotions in order to work through our internal conflicts.  Don’t fight them, don’t rush past them – meditate on them.

Meditation is not to be confused with dwelling on your emotions however.  Dwelling on your emotions is to simply repeat over and over that you feel a certain way until it wells up in you and you explode in a burst of violence or collapse into a deep depression.  Mediating on your emotions on the other hand tends to be a much deeper experience.  Mediation goes beyond the mere feeling and asks the question, Why?.

It is not until we stare into the why of a feeling that we can move from our heads to our hearts and are truly able to learn from the experience.  Meekonomics theorizes that when we learn that on an international, macro-economic scale, we can change the world!

For more information on the general theory of Meekonomics write to: themeekonomicsproject@gmail.com or buy the book “Meekonomics; Kingdom Economics from a Love Based Mentality” here or from Amazon.

Political Ping-Pong


What Phil Robertson Reminded Me About Politics

phil

I am really getting tired of the polarized political debate we are currently facing in North America.

Gay marriage, income inequality, Obama Care, oil pipelines, corporate bail-outs, hanging chads, global warming, whatever, it’s seems it’s being going on forever and it’s never going to stop.

It’s nothing more than a game of political ping-pong.

ping

To be honest I’ve never played much ping-pong so my analogy may fall apart but here’s the way I see it.  Ping-pong is at its heart a very simple game.  You bounce a ball back and forth across a table with a paddle about the size of a dessert plate.  Two players of equal skill can go on bouncing that ball back and forth forever with neither one scoring any points. (The longest rally in history lasted for over 8 hours). More often, one player will be caught off balance and the ball will slip by resulting in the other player scoring a point.  When both players are equally matched this happens on both sides pretty much an equal number of times.  The official rules of ping-pong state that the game is won when one player reaches 11 points but if both players reach 10 points the game continues until someone wins by 2.  Again, when players are equally matched the game can in theory go on forever.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest ping-pong match in history took place in 1971 and lasted 59 hours and 30 minutes.

Here’s the point.  The endless debate between the political left and right has become nothing more than a marathon ping-pong match between two equally skilled players and it’s getting really boring.

At the end of the day nobody has a corner on the truth.  When someone tries to appeal to some higher law, such as they might find in the Bible (a – la Phil Robertson’s comments this past week) or science (a – la Global Warming) they are branded as uneducated, in-tolerant or bigoted.  To quote another popular TV series from a bi-gone era, “The Truth is Out There”.  But we’re too busy trying to score points in a game of political ping-pong to see it.

The truth is not subject to your political ideology, it just is.

Global warming is a fact; the climate data does not lie but according to many seeing that makes me a lefty pinko who hates capitalism.  Gay marriage is wrong, at least from a religious point of view, but that makes me an uneducated bigot who’s on the wrong side of history.  But wait, I made a distinction between religion and the legal status of two people united in Love and socio-economic reasons, by separating marriage from religion and placing it in the sphere of politics and the economy I’m back to being a relativist firmly ensconced on the left.

Or am I?

Maybe I’m [*gasp*] a centrist!  Which as we all know is just another term used by people on both sides describe an equal opportunity bigot.

Here’s the big idea.

When Phil Robertson states that he believes Gay marriage is wrong because it goes against what the bible teaches, he’s making a statement of truth.  The question isn’t, do you agree with Phil Robertson, the question is do you agree with the Bible.  We can quibble over the underlying meaning of the scriptures and whether or not certain passages that seem to support equality and freedom of choice supersede others or whether the bible should be used to influence what is essentially a socio-economic issue unique to this point in history, just like we can (and should) continue to test the science of Global Warming.  But at the end of the day, the truth is the truth and even as we continue to push the boundaries we must remain cognizant of those who have gone before us.

While our forefathers (is that politically correct? maybe I should just say our predecessors) may not have had all the facts, they too were searching for truth and they did the best they could with what they had.  As we continue to search for truth in our time maybe, just maybe we need to accept the idea that our forefathers (sorry, predecessors) had it right all along.

PS – I hate ping-pong!