“The Occupy Wall Street slogan, We are the 99%, refers to income inequality and wealth distribution in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population.” (Wikipedia)
The OWS movement promotes a Marxist version of “social justice” and is not Christian in the least.
“Early Christians, for example, demonstrated how a system of distribution could be set up to meet the needs of everyone within a local church community (Cf. Acts 2:43-45, Acts 5:1-11, Acts 6:1-6). This communal sharing was a voluntary method of meeting pressing needs within the church. Of course, this was a far cry from the politically driven socio-economic Marxism, communism, and socialism that exist in present times, all which grant citizens the right to possess a large share of society’s burdens but only a small (though equal) share of its benefits.” – See more
Christian, if you have become involved in movements to donate money to causes which strive to render poverty non-existent (Bono’s ONE, for example, or Passion stamping out sex trafficking cause) or any other cause that uses your God-given money to stamp out social ills, especially to the neglect of giving to your local church, then shame on you.
For does not God raise up rich and poor? Install kings and depose them? Place each one of us in their own nation, state, sphere?
Job, Abram, David, Solomon, Paul, Nicodemus, Lydia, Susannah, Joseph of Arimathea, the three Magi, Matthew/Levi, and so on were in turn very rich. Were they somehow ‘wrong’ to be rich? Job’s fortune increased to a high degree, then God took it away, then God restored it. Was God wrong to make Job rich again? Could he have not given what Job had to the poor who existed all around him?
Jesus even raised up and used rich men for His name who were not believers, Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar, and used them for His name.
In terms of Occupy Wall Street, I am the 99%. I am very poor. I have a minimal income. It has actually gone down in recent years, due to the school system rendering furlough days on us. (Unpaid days). I skip grocery shopping twice a month now, choosing to shop only bi-weekly. To save gas, I don’t drive anywhere except work and church. I have no savings and I live paycheck to paycheck. I buy nothing for myself, except very occasionally, a book, and new socks. According to the world’s standard, I am the working poor and part of the 99%.
Does that entitle me to another guy’s money? NEVER! I would not have it so. I don’t need it!
Because in fact, I AM THE 1%.
I don’t judge my lifestyle according to the world. I am satisfied with Christ’s provision. I always have enough to eat. I have a nice, clean, safe place to live. I have clothes and a vehicle and a job. I am cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I have books to read, the bible to study and friends to share with.
I have Christ.
He is all I need. His provision of His blood, freely given on the cross, is all the treasure I need or want, Because that is all there is
Christian it is always good to remember that we are not of this world. If you are in Him, you are spiritually wealthy and of the 1%.
“I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
There is a Facebook meme going around attached to this photo:
Whenever anything is promoted that is this inflammatory, so obviously designed both in picture and in word to generate a gut reaction instead of an intellectual response, I go on alert. Because it was associated with Occupy Wall Street, I was downright suspicious.
The meme-promoters likely hope to generate a response along the lines of, “Of course non-violent protesters don’t deserve to be shot! Those bastards! Look what they did!” Well, before jumping into the fray, I needed context.
My initial response is that though this one may seem like a no-brainer to answer ‘yes’, there really are two sides to the story. Many OWS protesters are “violent” in other ways, such as illegally occupying private property, violating zoning rules, illegally using generators, failing to follow proper food handling procedures (putting eaters at risk), consuming or selling illegal drugs, destroying private property, etc. The list is long. I would need to know what this woman was actually doing before I determined whether she “deserved” to be hit with a rubber bullet…
And that is the other thing to note: the word “deserved” implies an emotional judgment is necessary on behalf of the viewer, but of course not on behalf of the law enforcement officer who made the call to fire the bullet.
Within 5 minutes I found that the photo, though titled ‘occupy.jpg’ has nothing to do with the Occupy Wall Street Protests. It was from an event that occurred in 2003: Police Attack California Anti-War Protesters It is an AP article and here is the original caption of the billet ridden woman: “A protester, who refused to give her name, bears the wounds after she says was hit by Oakland police weapon during a anti-war protest in Oakland, Calif., Monday, April 7, 2003 outside the port area. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)”
The sympathy the meme-promoters hope to garner is an imagined scenario of the hapless and innocent protester writing on the ground and screaming in righteous wrath from her injuries. But she looked pretty conscious, sentient, and ambulatory here:
“More than 500 protesters gathered around 6 a.m. at the entrances to APL and Stevedoring Services of America (SSA), two shipping corporations that have military-related U.S. government contracts. Protesters said APL, an Oakland-based company, ships military cargo to Iraq. Seattle-based SSA won a $4.8 million contract last month to handle the aid cargo arriving at the Umm Qasr seaport in Iraq. … Monday’s demonstration was the culmination of four days of anti-war action held around the nation and came on the heels of Saturday’s rally and march in Berkeley and Oakland, during which 9,000 people protested without conflict with police.”
“Danielle Ashford, spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department, said police officers on Monday opened fire on protesters after warning them to disperse. She said most protesters heeded the command; those who did not, however, were fired on with what she called “less lethal weapons,” including wooden “bullets,” bags filled with small metal balls, and sting balls, which disperse rubber bullets and a minuscule amount of tear gas. Ashford said police force was necessary because protesters refused to disperse and were throwing rocks, metal bolts and small pieces of wood at officers. She added that many protesters climbed on trucks attempting to enter the port gate. “There is a difference between a peaceful protest on Saturday and this one,” she said. “This was a direct action to deliberately shut down the port.”
One commenter on a gun forum said, “The instant a “demonstration” becomes a “riot”, however (or the instant a single rock/bottle/whatever gets thrown), it’s on like donkeykong and if you’re caught in the middle it just plain sucks to be you (and it’s your own damned fault).”
People, watch out for emotional manipulation, partial, or even false information from the Occupy movement folks. The above is a classic example of propaganda. “Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one’s group. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda is often biased, with facts selectively presented (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented.”
The “did she deserve to be shot” poster is pure propaganda and that poster exactly fits the definition.
The last years in this age on earth will be ruled by an evil dictator over a global economic empire: The Antichrist and the one world economic system. The current economic turmoil, riots, ‘occupations, and wealth transfer is part of that last days scene, soon to be fulfilled. Before we look forward to examine these things, let’s take a look back.
First, let us go to 2008. Obama is a Presidential candidate, campaigning. Many people suspected his socialist leanings from having been associated with socialists, (duh), allied with ACORN, with community organizing, and when he said to Joe the Plumber, “let’s spread the wealth around.” There was a severe pooh-poohing when the normal-thinking people said “AHA! Socialist! We knew it!” Socialism was dismissed as passe and Obama’s connection with it ignored.
Nowadays, socialism is far from passe. It has become de rigueur. Imagine that. It is accepted, desired even, by these thousands of ‘Occupy’ folk. In just three short years, capitalism and corporation have become dirty words while socialism has been dusted off and given a new shine.
Let’s go back even further to 1919-1920 and the rise of Italy’s Benito Mussolini. Mussolini became a dictator at home and an international ally of Germany’s Hitler throughout the Thirties and the Second World War.
“The Socialists, which by then had become the largest party, spoke theoretically of revolution, alarmed the conservatives, who quickly associated them with Communists. Thousands of agricultural and industrial strikes in 1919 and 1920 created a climate of class warfare and continual violence. Mussolini quickly shifted from leftist to rightist politics and began to gain support from middle-class industrialists who were fearful of working-class agitation and who objected to the agricultural strikes.” Sound familiar? (Source: “Western Civilization: Since 1300 By Jackson J. Spielvogel.”)
What is socialism? And what is its connection to the current violence in the Occupy Wall Street protests and riots? More importantly, is there a connection to the Tribulation and the last economic system yet to be fulfilled?
First, what is Socialism? “It is an economic doctrine, egalitarianism is the driving force behind socialism and communism. It is economic egalitarianism that seeks to remove the barriers of economic inequality by means of redistribution of wealth. … The problem with this doctrine is … a mistaken premise in economic egalitarianism which asserts that the rich have gotten their wealth by the exploitation of the poor.” (source GotQuestions.org). We’ve certainly heard enough about that lately. They say “greedy corporations” are to blame for the mess we’re in. They say ‘evil banksters’ put us here and we need socialism to get us out, because capitalism ain’t working, they say.
The Tribulation will have a one world economic system. There will be very poor people, working all day just to buy a loaf of bread. (Rev 6:6). There will be the very rich possessing vast wealth, (Rev 18:17a) able to live luxuriously and trade in luxuries at will. (Rev 18.) The Occupy Wall Street protesters’ hated “1%” will not disappear, but get wealthier and stronger.
The problem is, the Occupy Wall Street misguided are barking up the wrong tree, and in the end will not bring about their desired reforms but are in fact providing the platform for the Antichrist to appeal to the masses who clamor for ‘social justice” (code for ‘I want your money’). They will simply be on the losing end of a great wealth transfer, which history shows us happens every time socialism is attempted. Their grimy faces, currently spouting Hate Capitalism at filthy parks will soon be grimier, clutching the bars of the estate begging for scraps, much as Lazarus did at the Rich Man’s gate, and the dig licked his sores. (Luke 16:19-31). Such will be the fate of Occupiers who call for evil corporations to be done away with. The Antichrist will comply- and then take the money for himself. But I get ahead of the story.
The connection to the current violence in the Occupy Wall Street protests & riots to the end time is seen in the following videos. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. (Winston Churchill)
You didn’t know that America was engaged in violent class warfare in the Depression-era, did you? It was about Labor gaining a foothold, then a stranglehold on corporations. But it was not just about that. The Cleveland riots began as protests against foreclosures and evictions in a depressed housing market. By February of 1931 “Food riots” begin to break out in parts of the U.S. In Minneapolis, several hundred men and women smashed the windows of a grocery market and make off with fruit, canned goods, bacon, and ham. One of the store’s owners pulls out a gun to stop the looters, but is leapt upon and has his arm broken. The “riot” is brought under control by 100 policemen. Seven people are arrested. The Humboldt Park 1932 riot was over rotten food.
The point is, and this should come as no surprise, “Research Shows That Austerity Can Lead to Riots“. Writer Alain Sherter said in that article of austerity and anarchy, “Such events have many causes, of course. But one key contributing factor is economic shocks.”
Even the language is the same. Skulls cracked then, skulls cracked now. Though ostensibly these altruistic Occupiers want financial justice for all, what they are really showing us is that they’re poor (in their own eyes), or they’re lazy, (relying on government programs which are now in danger of being cut, and/or a simple refusal to work for their wage) and they want what you have. And they’re gonna get it, even if they have to break the law to do it.
I’d posed three questions, What is socialism? What is its connection to the current violence in the Occupy Wall Street protests and riots? Is there a connection to the Tribulation and the last economic system yet to be fulfilled?
In the third question, yes, there is a connection. The Tribulation is about wealth transfer, because the time period is first ruled by the antichrist under the influence of the devil, (Rev 13:5-8) and later is ruled by the devil himself. The devil wants to kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10). So of course he wants to steal your money, your comfort, your hope, and eventually your life. So, yes, he wants to destroy all the world’s governments, economic systems, values, and finances. His plan for your life is to either take all from you or get you to sacrifice God’s blessings on you. The protests in America now are not directed against the President, they are directed against God’s blessings on this nation.
This effort will culminate in the Mark of the Beast, (Rev 13:16-17) which forces a person to accept the mark of worship and be able to participate in the last economy, or to refuse the mark of worship and starve or be beheaded, whichever comes first.
Between now and then, the economic situation will become more dire, which sparks more people to violence, which diverts resources of police and municipalities, which allows for higher crime elsewhere, while thousands are occupying parks and refusing to contribute to the very economy they want to become healthy again, and end up in freeloading and perversity, yearning for a leader with an answer. It is a downward cycle we saw with Mussolini, Hitler, and will find its culmination in the antichrist. It is not only started already, it is well on its way toward that imminent fulfillment:
This week the Pope called for economic justice and a centralized world bank. Funny, because the Vatican already IS a vastly wealthy centralized government. However, corporatism and big government go hand in hand. “The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises. A major document from the Vatican’s Justice and Peace department should be music to the ears of the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators and similar movements around the world who have protested against the economic downturn.”
As for the violence, Jesus said, “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” (Mt 24:12). The rise of flash mobs and the helplessness of store owners to stop them is a smaller version of what has been given rise now: Occupy Wall Street mobs who practice lawlessness in an entire city or large parts of cities, and outnumber the police. Instead of fifty unruly teens storming the store against one store owner, it is 5000 unruly freeloaders storming a city block against an entire police force. Even HotAir said that resistance is futile. Futile was their word.
“The fences came down at Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza Wednesday evening during a general assembly meeting among “Occupy Oakland” protesters. At least 500 protesters gathered at the plaza to reclaim the site of their encampment, which was raided by police early Tuesday morning… At 7 p.m., around 50 to 100 protesters succeed in tearing down sections of the fence on the opposite side of the plaza from where the meeting is taking place. … With public officials facing pressure from all sides in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, and other “occupied” cities, the lesson from Oakland will most likely be that action will largely be futile without a large police presence extending for considerable time to come.”
So we have economic depression, austerity abhorrence, riots, impotent municipal government to keep law and order, calls for wealth re-distribution, and disdain of capitalism. These conditions gave rise to evil dictators in the past, only too willing to exploit the misguidedness and greed of the people in prior times, and it will do so again. Except this last dictator will be the personification of evil.
In 2008, Obama got elected and the economy crashed. Both of those events’ later dissections showed us that there was rampant voter fraud, and rampant government and banking fraud. People may become disappointed when their favored candidate loses, but overall acceptance of the system remains intact for one important reason: they trust it.
In 2009 people started to get angry. Their trust that though the people within the system may be flawed, the overall system is a good one was being tested. Scandals from Lehman Brothers in the form of outrageous bonuses and handouts and bailouts, to other banking institutions’ revelations of rampant corruption, mortgage fraud, insurance fraud, nepotism and favoritism, and general malfeasance took root as a germ of anger in the American psyche. We don’t mind the rich getting richer, as long as they do it fairly. The American Dream was still alive, then.
As more news came out about these things, the American people began to get really angry. CNBC Pundit Rick Santelli seemed to capture the spark of anger and ignite it in his soon to be dubbed “Shout Heard Round the World” a reference to the phrase “The Shot heard Round the World” regarding the historical events at Lexington and Concord which ignited the American Revolution.
Santelli’s rant was 4 minutes of reverberating truth that captured the hard feelings about the injustice and corruption in the American system of governance and finance, and it sparked the Tea Party. For the first time, Americans began to think of a wholesale, instant change to the system, rather than incremental change from within the system. Protests were ongoing from 2009 to 2010.
Then in 2011 a series of other protests started, called “Occupy Wall Street.” Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing series of demonstrations in New York City based in Zuccotti Park, formerly “Liberty Plaza Park”. The protest was originally called for by the Canadian activist group Adbusters; some compare the activity to the Arab Spring movement (particularly the Tahrir Square protests in Cairo, which initiated the 2011 Egyptian revolution). (source Wikipedia).
The suspicion of the inherent corruption in the system had morphed to overt anger and calls for violence, something the Tea Party had never ventured so far as to do. The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) anger is evidently deepening, while at the same time, the focus of the anger is widening from mail in a tea bag to Congress to illustrate that it is still the people in charge, to peaceful protests at known locations against big government, to the OWS general mayhem of protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government, among other concerns. Many other concerns.
Speaking of divergent demands, in an ongoing series in the National Review on the Occupy Wall Street protests, the latest posting shows us this: An Occupy Wall Street protester wants college paid for because that’s what he wants. “But nothing had prepared me for meeting this gentleman, who wants his college paid for because, well . . . that’s what he wants. He has perfectly articulated a sentiment I have heard repeatedly but was struggling to distill with anything like the clarity he achieved: That being that if there is something someone doesn’t like about their life, someone else somewhere should change it. And if they don’t, well then, the American Dream is dead:”
Though we know that in the Tribulation, peace will be taken from the earth, (Revelation 6:4), and that the very wealthy will live in gross luxury while most of the world starves, (Rev 18), there is a deeper root for the current OWS protests. The Christian Post explains:
“Like most protests, the Occupy Wall Street folks are better at identifying something that is wrong than identifying a way forward that is right. But even if the protesters don’t understand much about financial economics, they have a clear sense that something is wrong. That something, however, lies deeper than the behavior of a relative handful of Wall Street moguls. That something, I believe, is a sense of material entitlement that has crept into the American psyche. This sense of material entitlement has infected our personal choices, our politics, and our financial system.”
“The crisis has spiritual roots. Jesus warns his followers, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15, NIV). But a syncretistic form of Christianity has emerged in our country, a syncretism that mingles genuine New Testament Christianity with the consumer materialism of the American Dream.”
The reality is, ““In America, you are the 99%, but in the rest of the world, you are still the 1%,” reads one image that’s been making the rounds, juxtaposing the protesters with starving African children. … “As it turns out, the bottom 99 percent of the United States doesn’t make the top 1 percent of household incomes worldwide — but it comes surprisingly close. Branko Milanovic, lead economist for the World Bank research group, sent me this comparative analysis based on household income or consumption surveys worldwide, adjusted for purchasing power differences. Those at the 34th percentile of income in the United States are at the 90th percentile globally, and those at the 50th percentile in the United States are at the 93rd percentile globally. Even the very poorest Americans — those at the 2nd percentile of income in the United States — are at the 62nd percentile globally.”
In other words, by world standards, we are rich, even the poorest of us. Yet we want what we want. Like that young man in the video above idling his time away at the protests with a hand made sign asking someone to pay his tuition.
That mindset is not one which sacrifices for others, as the bible calls us to do. That mindset is opposed to the notion that we are poor in spirit and not worthy of anything good except what God in His grace gives us from above. It is the result of a corrupt American spirit rejecting Christianity because Christianity doesn’t give us anything and expects us to give what we have to others. The bible is clear that God does not promise ease to us. The notion of love under trying circumstances, giving, sacrificing, and humility is at odds with what we see on the streets these days. The nobility of a Christian character being purified through a Godly life is anathema to American entitlement culture today.
However, the last shall be first. The persevering will find satisfaction. The troubled will be eased. The tearful shall weep no more. “Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” (Is 49:13).
Entitlements. Pfffft. I’m only entitled to judgment and hell for my crimes against Jesus. But He pardoned them at the cross and rose again to extend that pardon to me. I believed on Him and now have been adopted into the family of God.
These protests may or may not spark a Second American Revolution, but we know for sure that the Tribulation will bring sin to the fore, and will be rife with violence as peace is taken from the earth. By His grace all believers can remain apart from the corruption of the world, knowing in secure promise that we will one day be living in a perfectly just, pure, and wholesome system of finance, governance and lifestyle for all eternity.
What are people thinking about these days? Here are a few short blurbs for you.
One thing people increasingly have on their mind is UFOs. Unidentified Flying Objects have fascinated people for a long time, ever since the late 1940s when the Roswell NM newspaper reported that the Air Force had captured a flying saucer with extra-terrestrial occupants. The mystique of off-planet life visiting us has been in the forefront of science fiction, movies, books, and television (and radio) for decades since. Yet until recently (the last three years) the genre has been marginalized, a notion discussed by the fringe element and not proper living room conversation. At least, if you didn’t want to be considered crazy.
Yet over the last three years UFO sightings have increased 67%, according to an article in Huffington Post. These sightings have occurred in broad daylight, or have wowed thousands at the scene, or have been captured live by cell phone video and photography and uploaded quickly to flickr, youtube, facebook, and other social media. People want to know, what ARE these things?
The HuffPo reports (on their Weird News section) that the White House has opened up a section on their website called ‘We the People’ in which people can pose a question on a petition and the petitions that receive the most signatures will be looked into by White House officials. The article is titled, “Will White House Come Clean on Extraterrestrial Visitation?“
“Political activist Stephen Bassett of the Paradigm Research Group posted the petition on September 22, and five days later breached the 5000 signature mark. His petition reads: We, the undersigned, strongly urge the President of the United States to formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race and immediately release into the public domain all files from all agencies and military services relevant to this phenomenon.”
“Retired Air Force captain Robert Salas has offered up a more subtle petition, asking the Obama administration to “reveal the reality of the UFO phenomenon to the public and disclose information held by government agencies.” He is adamant about the reality of UFOs because he says that in 1967, while in an underground nuclear launch facility at Malmstrom Air Force base in 1967, UFOs approached the facility at the same time the missiles malfunctioned and went offline. He says the malfunction has yet to be explained.”
India came out in all out support for a Palestinian bid for membership of the United Nations as a Security Council committee met behind closed doors to begin considering its application. UN panel held its first meeting on Palestinian statehood bid Friday. After the closed-door meeting of the council’s standing committee on admitting new members, which comprises all 15 council members, Lebanese UN Ambassador Nawaf Salam said the committee unanimously agreed to continue meeting at the expert level next week. That means the US agreed to meet again next week, kicking the Palestinian Authority request to the next level on the track.
Britain is having the warmest September on record. This follows their coldest summer record. It’s actually been hotter than Hawaii in the UK right now. Yet tornadoes are predicted to batter Britain, and one actually did set off over Brighton this week. “Weather forecasters are warning that things aren’t about to get any better following the coldest summer for 20 years, with torrential rain, winds of up to 65mph and even tornadoes set to batter Britain in September.” Topsy turvy weather for sure.
Volcano experts are globetrotting with increasing frenzy these days. Volcanic action is heating up across the planet. For historical data and trends, you can check here, “USGS/Smithsonian GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity“. Erik Klemetti’s Eruptions blog at Big Think is moving to Wired Science. Be sure to follow Erik over there to keep up with volcano news.
The reports from the Canary Islands are interesting. Dr. Klemetti writes, “We’ve been closely watching the earthquake swarm at the Canary Island’s El Hierro since the middle of the summer and it looks like there has been a dramatic increase in the number and intensity of the seismicity at the volcano. Since mid-July, the small island, which is the top of a shield volcano built by the Canary Hotspot, has registered over 8,000 earthquakes – check out the excellent video of the changing depth and location of seismicity put together by Eruptions reader Lurking…” Islanders are on standby to evacuate the island. “Expert Juan Carlos Carrecedo said: “There is a ball of magma rising to the surface, producing ruptures, we don’t know if it will break through.”
This level of quake activity at a known seismically and volcanically active region is not only of interest in and of itself, but because volcano El Hierro is an island adjacent to the Canary Island of La Palma, home of the predicted ‘island splitting in half and creating a mega tsunami to wipe out US Eastern seaboard’ legend. Though the geology suggests that the prediction is not really legend, it has a basis in reality. Cumbre Vieja is the most active volcano in the Canary Islands. The mountain is actually splitting in half, with movement dividing one flank from another as much as 6 inches per hear. Scientists “fear that the mega-wave — know as a tsunami — could be generated by part of a mountain twice the size of Britain’s Isle of Man crashing into the sea following an eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma, in the Canary Islands — part of the Spanish island chain off West Africa.”
The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has swept the nation. it is still going strong and getting stronger. Clint Reilly writes, “Are the barons of high finance ever called to account for their avarice, or for the billions squandered by their schemes? I own a San Francisco real estate firm with more than two hundred million in assets. But had I made dumb choices that destroyed my equity in my properties, I would have lost them or gone bankrupt. The financial elite, it seems, plays by a different set of rules. And that’s what has people shaking their heads today. Three years after Wall Street collapsed in a greed fueled conflagration, people from all classes, all ethnicities, and all generations are camped out at Liberty Square in New York City to protest the continued fleecing of America by big banks and corporate chieftains. Other demonstrations built on the same highly-organized model have sprung up in 70 other American cities, including San Francisco, Portland, Memphis, Louisville, Miami, Sacramento and Boston.”
Discontent in the form of protests and riots are sweeping other nations too. This report from Madrid, “Hundreds of thousands of disillusioned Indians cheer a rural activist on a hunger strike. Israel reels before the largest street demonstrations in its history. Enraged young people in Spain and Greece take over public squares across their countries.Their complaints range from corruption to lack of affordable housing and joblessness, common grievances the world over. But from South Asia to the heartland of Europe and now even to Wall Street, these protesters share something else: wariness, even contempt, toward traditional politicians and the democratic political process they preside over.”
As satan increases his grip on the world and as the Lord lifts His hand, that discontent from the human heart to the earth’s core will only grow. I know that people want to hear of the peace of Jesus and the love of Jesus, and those things are unparalleled, to be sure. But my focus is the human sinner. The reason Jesus came to us is to make a way to reconcile ourselves with Him through Him. We sin. He doesn’t. The twain would never meet unless He provided for us through His grace, His shed blood, and His love. Pastor Steve Lawson of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church Mobile, AL preached a stirring and convicting message recently. You can find the video here. Below is one excerpt.
“He is not coming to play games. He is not coming to be docile. He is coming to dominate. He is coming to slaughter. He is the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. And at the end of this age, He will bolt out of heaven on a white steed and His garments are dripped in blood. The blood of His own enemies and He is coming back to conquer and to damn. You need to make terms of peace with this coming King or you will be subjected in damnation forever and Jesus Christ has made terms of peace. You need to settle out of court with Him. You do not want to go into that final day of conflict with Christ…”
Did you know that thousands of people are in New York city now, protesting on Wall Street? Fox News reports, “The “Occupy Wall Street” protest is entering its second week. Demonstrators said Saturday that they are protesting bank bailouts, the mortgage crisis and Georgia’s execution of Troy Davis. The Troy Davis thing was added into the protest recently, but the Occupy Wall Street movement has been planned for a while and it focuses on the people’s displeasure in this nation’s finances and economics. Bankster bailouts are especially at the center of the protests. People from all over the country arrived at NYC to do their part to let the Administration and the top influence makers know they were not happy. They are upset, in pain, on the verge of poverty. They want a say and they want someone to hear their pleas for change and justice.
They were greeted by fat cat bankers in tuxedoes on balconies, eating canapes and toasting them mockingly with glasses of champagne.
In case you can’t watch a video, here are some stills from the protest as the crowd went by 55 Wall St.
There were a LOT of people there protesting. They were concerned, making a statement with their feet and their voice as we are still allowed to do in this great country. Yet I am ashamed for the people on the balcony. My opinion at the end, but first, the bible-
I’ve been talking for a while about the phenomenon called wealth gap, or wealth skew. Anyone who has visited or lived in a Third World nation knows this is not a new thing. The very rich have always lived alongside the very poor. But in America, we have had generations of a thriving middle class, and the obvious gaps between the very rich and the poverty stricken have not always been so obvious. In many other nations, too, a middle class has arisen that allowed a majority of their populations to live in relative comfort.
In addition, people seem to think that the Tribulation will be filled with 100% poor, moaning in the streets as dogs lick their sores, like the poor man Lazarus outside the rich man’s house. (Luke 16:19-31). But the situation will be very much like Lazarus and the rich man, because there will be rich men living in the Tribulation too. The only difference is that there will be zero compassion. There will be the very rich during the time of Jacob’s Trouble, known to the Gentiles as the Tribulation but they care nothing for the poor. They care so little the rich even fail to pay their employees, thinking nothing of it. (James 5:4) That a thriving trade in luxuries has been ongoing is evident from Revelation 18:9-14 and the kings of the earth, the rich, the mighty men, those that lived in splendor exist too. These are the people who buy the luxuries
Lament for Babylon “And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more— cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them.”
The Lord has a lot to say about greed, cheating, and squandering resources for your own gain. 1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
–Just balances (scales)-“You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:36) –“A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress.” (Hosea 12:7) –“Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights?” (Micah 6:11)
The scene at the balcony sickens. It sickens us for so many reasons. I am a capitalist and I like earning my pay through hard work. I admire people who come to America and by sweat of their brow, make it in this country and provide for their family. My great-grandfather came here from Italy in 1899 with some money in his pocket and by the 1920 census he had a wife, 6 kids, and a solid business. That business provided for three generations of his American descendants.
But the people on the balcony, or people like them, we discovered all too devastatingly at the 2008 crash, did not make their money honestly. Through false real estate deals, nepotism, bailouts, inflated bonuses, stolen pension funds, junk bond manipulation and the like, many of them cheated honest people to get where they are.
The people on the ground are marching because they are in economic pain, losing their standard of living, they know someone who is hungry…and the people on the balcony did not even have enough compassion not to mock their concerns and stay inside, never mind ponder their future and how they got to where they are. Compassion for others and honest introspection seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird.
The verses in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 are being fulfilled now and will continue. And in another place, Paul said, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” (1 Tim 6:9). James 5:2 predicts, “Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.”