Happy New Year to one and all – regardless of race, colour, religion – or not religious as the case may be - gender or sexual orientation, and whatever age you maybe. What do you hope for this year? Before we look at that question take a look at this link, just for a thought and a reflection, then do with the information as you will: http://evangelicalarminians.org/The-Arminian-vs.-Calvinist-Recall-Notice
I think that most people would want an end to the war(s) that abound around the world. Trouble is the cause of those wars are not resolved or are irresolvable because an ideology is opposite to what we in the west are 'fighting’ for. We are, for instance trying to impose or enable democratic progress to be implemented in areas where democracy is secondary to indoctrination. A whole new set of doctrinal presuppositions have to be understood, and they can be if those in charge wish for it to be so. If those in charge can stop blaming ‘the others’ for their problem and look for ways and means to build and care for their country – not just for themselves and their elect few, but for their fellow, and different opinionated, countrymen, and women. Growth and development has to override the mantra of ‘death to all who do not believe what I believe’. There will always be those of different opinions or beliefs. Try to show by example rather than by the bomb or the bullet – you might be amazed at what happens.
It would be good also if we in the west understood that our actions have an effect on other countries. From slave labour, sex-trafficking, arms and new technological supplies, industrial and financial misdemeanours to dumping chemical, toxic, white goods and IT items on less developed, and or less protected countries. I once read an economics book, one of many I have to say, in case you think I’ve only read one economics book!, that explained the why and then…nothing. Well any body can do that and be right, more or less, in their assumption. The real intelligent thing an economist could do would be to suggests solutions to the so called economic problems. Perhaps 2010 will bring about not just the reasons for why it happens, that in itself is most useful, but as to what remedies there are – and there are remedies, we just might not like them though! For instance, and please forgive the nature of this suggestion, but stay with me here. In the case of the rise of AIDS in the African and Asian countries: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/world-aids-day-warning-on-heterosexual-transmission-20091201-k3z2.html. & http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/world-aids-day-warning-on-heterosexual-transmission-20091201-k3z2.html Behaviour is the first remedy. Prevention, always is better than cure. But there you have the first ideological problem. Cultural difference to behaviour. If missionaries failed to get the word of God through the message of belief and transformation – their first goal it seems, rightly or wrongly, was to say all you folks should adapt to my way and that's that. No acknowledgement that some of the other cultural ways might actually have been beneficial. Ignorance and intolerance and bigoted behaviour on their part yes indeed, but some did learn from that. Some how we have to make a clear message that some actions will result in death, disease, hunger, poverty and war. That of course is the hardest part. Because there are many people who feel that other cultures should be left alone, to live the way they want – regardless of the outcome. But those same people also say we must help them. Indeed we must. But they must also be helped to help themselves. The question I shall impose upon you till my next blog is this: At what point do we start to help those to help themselves, and at what point is part of the helping them to help themselves considered to be imposing our will, or our westernised way of being, upon those who we feel fit to help?
A Happy New Year to you all - SHALOM