Tuesday, 22 July 2008

It's life Jim... but not as we know it

It's a month to the day since my last post. The lack of posting stuff is not due to having nothing to say, more about the busy-ness of life getting in the way... to caught up in the doing... and holidays.

But there are a few things that have struck me over the past 4 weeks that deserve comment... we are, if we are not careful, with a massive encouragement from the media, talking ourselves into a recession.
Having experienced the downturn of the early 90's I'm seeing and hearing the same merchants of doom nudging us closer to the downward spiral. Left to its own devices the market would sort itself out. But the need for news stories 24/7 sees the media commentators speculating and magnifying the minutiae... pushing real fear, where there should be none.
However if all you have known is easy credit and 'have it now why wait' as a lifestyle...the position many under 30 are in, then a lack of reference points to the current situation will cause fears to rise. The media feed on the fear that they create.
What we are experiencing is a re-adjustment in the money markets caused by greedy banking lifeforms mostly in the US but here in the UK too. Hedge funds and 'product wrappers'... (the junk bonds of the early 21st century) are vehicles for speculation and making the emperors new clothes, they produce nothing, there is no wealth creation... only seven and eight figure profits for a few individuals. The recession of the early 90's was fuelled by the junk bond markets of the mid eighties. What goes around comes around... where there is money to be made, history is a poor teacher and greed is the BIG temptation.
The biggest issues we will all face as Christians (apart from the fears of recession - we too are consumers in this consumer society whether we like it or not) is that the people we do life with will become very 'me focussed' and turn in on there financial problems... the lack of funds will become as big an issue for them as the 'what shall I spend my money on' issues of recent times... both sides of the same coin of consumer addiction. They will become harder to reach.

The Lakeland Florida Healing Outpouring - Todd Bentley. I'm always amazed at this type of phenomena. I don't have a Pharisaic approach, my Christian teaching has been to question and test preaching and teaching with the Bible as my touchstone. When such an outpouring can be a force for real revival, I just find it sad that what I have seen in probably 20 -30 hours of watching the God channel broadcasting of Lakeland over 5 or 6 weeks is so Bible lite. I have also been struck by the way that the leaders with the mic have 'ordered' the Holy Spirit to do... which cannot be right. I've spent a good deal of the past 25 years working in fields where presentation to large audiences in the secular world have been a major part of the work. I know the tricks of the trade in manipulating audiences, and creating mass hysteria and 'buy-in'. Whipping a bunch of people into a frenzy is not difficult if you know what buttons to press and when to press them... I recognise a great deal of the manipulation stuff happening... it's so sad... even sadder if God was at the heart of the original outpouring.

My wife Yvonne and I had just the best holiday at the beginning of July on the Italian lakes, lake Garda in particular. It is the first holiday we can remember that there was nothing to fault just seven days of real pleasure and 100's of photos of God's amazing creation as memories. We felt really blessed.