We cannot ignore what happens today and have to be conscious of what happened yesterday.
We cannot remain isolated and detached from the world. Though, some people try to hide behind their cell phone or computer or television screen indulging in imaginative pictures. Today we have a lot of extraction and ways to exercise our imagination.
Knowledge is situated, being in part a product of the activity, context, and culture in which it is developed and used, and that is often forgotten by people.
We have to face the dualism of society and nature. We cannot ignore the central themes and perspectives that have to do with fabricated uncertainty within our civilization: risk, danger, side-effects, insurability, individualization and globalization.
Today it looks like that everything that matters can be bought and sold. Lots of people do not find it harmful that commitments can be broken because they are no longer to their advantage. The media push everybody to earn as much as possible but also to spend their money just as if it is nothing. On Sundays you can find families to whom shopping has become salvation. At work you can find colleagues to whom advertising slogans have become their litany. You can wonder when our worth is measured by how much we earn and spend if then the market is not destroying the very virtues on which in the long run it depends. The people with money who are literally invested in preventing change may have the majority of power, but they are still a minority of the actual populace. Some of them are also infected with the contemporary decease of greed. The source of greed and very fabric of their society makes it that our society gets being eaten away by crime, immorality, violence and corruption in every sphere of life.
Every disaster is taken by somebody else to make profit out of it.
The earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s north-eastern coast on March 11 of 2011 shattered infrastructure, caused power outages and forced temporary factory shutdowns — meaning shipments of key parts to different countries stopped. Japan being a key supplier of components and equipment used in the assembly of cars, laptops, iPods, refrigerators and flat-screen televisions saw its position weakened and taken over by other countries from the East. Others came to help but found that aid has often come with a price of its own for the developing nations. What we always can see and what we as church also felt when we tried to get our relief supplies to the needy that the aid did not always reach the right persons and often does not actually go to the poorest who would need it the most. Aid amounts are dwarfed by rich country protectionism that denies market access for poor country products while rich nations use aid as a lever to open poor country markets to their products. We cannot give donor tax refunds because we are not sending our materials to the recognized aid funds or to the countries of which Belgium have an agreement with. Large projects or massive grand strategies often fail to help the vulnerable; money can often be embezzled away.
Several groups misuse the situation of others to enrich themselves. They find opportunities to sell products as consumer goods but also weapons. The attitude to the others brings in corruption. At first it starts whit no bad feeling to those living far away but soon it concerns also an attitude of neglect for those close by. Neglect and misuse of his own life has corrupted the stream of human life itself, and left evils which fall on succeeding generations.
The apostle Paul and the people of his time knew it already that all the creatures groan together and travail in pain together until now. (Romans 8:22) Being conscious that all living things are weeping and sorrowing in pain together we have a responsibility in our community. As Jeremiah you can question how long the land shall mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? Lots of lands have grief today, and many plants and animals have already become distinct. Destruction has overtaken the beasts and the birds. Humankind made waste of its environment.
We only can agree with the old writer that it is because a lot of people do not know or do not want to know the Creator of all things. Most of the people say: “God does not see our ways.” Because they don’t want to believe in Him. (Jeremiah 12:4) When He looks down to earth He shall be able to say that men are weeping to Him, being wasted; all the land is made waste, because no man takes it to heart. (Jeremiah 12:11)
Also for themselves humans are not so kind either when we look at the ciphers of the Great War and the Second World War. The time before and after that, measurements were taken and each continent experienced social tensions as a consequence of its choice.
The intellectual history of the last three centuries is full of mostly unfulfilled prophesies of doom. Men has looked for all sorts of answers to come to a solution and tried to find the best help in technology.
Technology can help to solve the problem of food shortages by increasing the rate of production of food. It increases the rate by manufacturing machines to aid the farmers in their daily farming processes (e.g. a tractor for harvesting crops) or by inventing a new farming technology to revolutionize the traditional farming methods.
Technology can help to solve the problem of floods by having the possibility to build mega structures to keep the water out. (E.g. building that magnificent wall in front of Louisiana).
For health scientists are inventing a new farming technology to revolutionize the traditional farming methods and are looking into matters of getting away with diseases. Often people do not notice that they have become too dependent on technology and as a result have become isolated rather than more sociable; an example would be our newest generation of children that spend countless hours playing by themselves video games, computer games or sitting in front of a TV for hours. These children rarely interact with others, except through technology.
Science and technology has helped man created a higher standard of living and jobs among its other benefits and it can contribute to get a better world for everybody.
When earthquakes, tempests, famines and floods are called ‘acts of God‘ because usually there is no other explanation for their occurrence people should go and look into their own hearts. Though we are aware that not all the people involved are guilty to what had caused the problems, but we find that it falls upon all, innocent and guilty alike.
As soon as we begin to question the suffering of innocent victims of these disasters another dilemma is raised. Are we saying that the calamities should be selective in their working, searching out only those who deserve to suffer’?
An Evil or a Symptom?
Please do find out how disobedience of men brought dislocation in the relationship between the Creator and the created.
Men live in a universe in which the consequences of what they do are inescapable, and therefore their responsibility for what they do is equally inescapable. Without this burden of ‘natural law’ man could do as he liked with impunity, and there would be no responsibility.
Such is the extent of world problems today that every individual is in some way affected – in his work, his home and family, and in what he regards a “essential services.” Peace of mind escapes him as the media bombard him with news of the latest world “situation.”
Those who solve more of a given type of problem tend to get better at it—which suggests that problems of any given type should be brought to specialists for a solution. For students of the Bible there is a guide to their daily life. The Word of God gives so many solutions that they can dig in a treasure house full of answers. Those studying the word can develop informed, balanced views.
An article exploring who has benefited most from aid, the recipients or the donors can be read to learn more: “Foreign Aid for Development Assistance”.
For those who seek to serve God, suffering takes on new meaning; they are in a new relationship to the Creator, and will learn to see tragedy in a new light. What is it?
Read more in: Should People be Saved from Themselves?
Related please do read:
- About suffering
- Disappointed with God
- Gods design in the creation of the world
- Gods instruction about joy and suffering
- Gods promises
- Gods measure not our measure
- Gods non answer
- Gods promises to us in our suffering
- Gods hope and our hope
- Gods salvation
- Hope for the future
- Importuning for suffering hearts
- Looking for blessed hope
- Miracles in our time of suffering
- Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
- Promise of comforter
- Seems no future in suffering
- Suffering – through the apparent silence of God
- Suffering continues
- Suffering leading to joy
- Surprised by time in joys & sufferings
- Words from God about suffering
- Working of the hope