Friday, April 24, 2009

Dubai: A Microcosm of America?

As the founder of a non-profit educational organization called "Vine & Fig Tree," I'm working to bring about the fulfillment of the Biblical ideal of everyone dwelling safely under his own vine and fig tree.

The Bible also describes this vision as "The New Jerusalem" (Revelation 3:12; 21; 22:1-5;) or a New Heavens and New Earth (Isaiah 65:17-25; 66:18-23; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).

The question I ask most frequently is whether this "Vine & Fig Tree" society comes about as a result of "public servants" in Congress, directing the wheels of industry, or does it come to mankind more passively, as a blessing/gift from God, rewarding a culture that practices the "pure religion" of looking out for the weak and defenseless, seeking first the righteousness of God, and finding all material needs being added, as if an afterthought .

Man was graciously placed in the Garden of Eden by God. Man did not create paradise by an act of Congress and millions of national service "volunteers."

On the other hand, God did not intend Eden to remain a wilderness. It was to be domesticated as man exercises dominion over the land.

I don't think it's either/or. I'm not convinced we have to choose between The New Jerusalem or the New Eden.

Nor do we have to tolerate a mutant form of "capitalism" in order to move to the next stage of "Marx's Revenge:" the socialist "worker's paradise."

But while we must take personal responsibility for exercising "dominion" and building the City of God, we cannot do so using means which violate God's commandments. An obvious and simple concept, but we overlook glaringly obvious examples.

The current economic "crisis," for example, is rooted in a system of currency debasement which is unconstitutional and unBiblical. The cause of the crisis was initially touted as the ticket to prosperity.

Another example, perhaps obvious, but in our self-deception we have come to ignore it. When we want fresh produce from New Zealand, or somewhere else halfway around the world, we also want people to bring it to our door. We want people to sail boats over the oceans, and drive trucks across the continent. How does this affect the lives of people who are away from their families for weeks or months at a time? What kind of people are we if we don't care about the answer to that kind of question?

Dubai was once touted as man's triumph over a hostile desert environment. A gleaming city that seems to have fallen out of the sky onto the harsh desert floor. But it took a lot of architects and a lot of construction workers. It looks pretty impressive.

But what are the real costs?

This article opens the box for viewing.

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