[image: More Blossoms, 2010, JA Van Devender]
Job 34:27–28 (NKJV)
27 Because they turned back from Him, And would not consider any of His ways, 28 So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him; For He hears the cry of the afflicted.
Quote below is from Michael Snyder, see HERE, especially the quotes from U. S. Senator Mike Lee. Thanks to my friend Walker for bringing it to my attention.
"Americans have never had less economic freedom than they do right now. "
"Poverty" and "the poor" are still very much on my mind today. I am a bit surprised at myself, I haven't given the subject much thought over the years other than a generalized biblical perspective. It has come up in counseling individuals and I have preached and taught it as an "academic" component of Biblical Ethics. But for some reason it has not come close to my soul before as it has in the past few weeks.
Today the article that Walker forwarded me strikes me as trending toward a very doubtful future. I think it should be seriously asked whether or not this entire country is enroute to "poverty?" As those who are not continuously deluding themselves have noticed, the US has fallen out of top tier status in virtually every measure of comparative stability. Our educational performance is equivalent to 3rd tier countries. As Snyder & Senator Lee document, we are no longer ranked among the top ten in economic freedom (read "flexibility in business/commerce/capital") because of stifling government regulations. Though rate of change of "joblessness" has stabilized a bit lower than a year ago, this is almost entirely due to the flood of workers who have fled the job market... they are no longer counted as "workers" and therefore not counted as unemployed. (See HERE) Thus the lower "rate of unemployment" actually hides a more deadly fact. People are "accepting" their status as unemployed.
All this appears to me to contribute to a fairly deadly "closed loop system" or "death spiral." As the work force declines there is less positive income for people to spend or accumulate. Pressure builds on the lowest end of the social economic spectrum which then causes those who view government as the means for directly off-setting this condition to seek regulatory or direct subsidy solutions. This means an increase in regulation and taxes to furnish the difference. The corollary to these regulations and taxes is the further stifling of business entrepreneurship and inflationary devaluation of the currency.
More people find themselves unemployed, albeit at the lesser rater, but they still represent a 7% increase in the people receiving unemployment dollars and other social helps EACH YEAR. The spiral is obvious. Now the regulations and increased subsidies require even further taxes, etc.
Yes it is reductionist logic and simplistic analysis. But I learned long ago that when too many variables are kept in an equation then the effect is that nothing is done. In mathematics and physics there comes a time when the "minor" variables are ignored so that the "major" ones can at least provide a working model for evaluation and solution. Such is the case now.
Unless there is a major turn around Christians are going to find themselves having to find ways to deal with wide-spread "poverty" within their own ranks (first) and then the social effects in the wider culture also (second). We may very well be on the verge of what the early church in Jerusalem faced. (Without going into the causes of that situation.)
If we are not building a sense of common identity among ourselves, a radical bonding if you will, in our congregations such that the "pain" of one is felt by all, as Paul taught, then the foundation will not be in place if a catastrophic economic collapse happens.
I wonder if the Holy Spirit is moving among us raising these concerns? I fear such an outcome but I cannot simply dismiss it.
The passage quoted above says that those who depart from righteousness "cause the cry of the poor" to come before the Lord. It is very easy to see economic failure in terms of our God judging our nation for its deadly willfulness.