I am a Christian. I remember singing songs like "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" and teaching children to sing, "My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do."
I get that, but I am also a realist. I know not to cross a railway track when the train is coming. I regularly check the weather report before going out. So what do I do with indicators I see in this world today?
Donald Trump wants to 'make America great again' but what America does he mean? Is he thinking of the 50's, 60's when? Britain recently withdrew from the EU. The Brits chose to duck back into their island home and return to their roots. But what Britain are they looking for? What era? Can they go back to the way it was or must they face a new reality?
In our own Australian federal elections we voted with great uncertainty. Our nation is deeply split. Neither major party impressed and we showed our displeasure.
We may be living in the most tumultuous period in recent history. "The stakes are too high to tolerate business as usual," said Jerome Glenn, CEO of the Millennium Project whose recent study refers to issues like future impacts of artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, organized crime, asymmetric warfare, and how to produce enough food, water, and energy for another 2.3 billion people in just 35 years.The Millennium Project undertakes ongoing research into population forecasts and lifestyle challenges.
They are not thinking about going back but coping with the emerging future. Some of the questions they posed surprised me.Between the years 2025 to 2050 they asked:
(a) "Do we have the right to genetically change ourselves and future generations into a new or several new species?"
(b) "Is it ethical for society to manage the creation of future elites who have augmented themselves with artificial intelligence and genetic engineering?"
(c) "Should elimination of aging be available to everyone or just to those who can afford it?"
(d) "Should artificial life (life-mimicking software, sentient robots, etc.) or animals whose intelligence has been increased to near human levels, have rights?"
They also had two very interesting headings. (1) Principles related to Science, (2) Principles related to Religion and Spirituality.The science group proclaims their path to truth is more reliable than religious faith. The religionists say life is a divine unalterable gift, compassion is required for justice and the family in all its forms is the foundation of social values.
There is much detail in the 299 page report but it raises questions which will be have to be addressed very soon.
Albert Einstein said: "The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking."
We Christians are called to disciple nations so get ready for this."In 1950, whites were 28 percent of world population and Africans 9 percent, a ratio of three-to-one. In 2060, the ratio will remain the same. But the colors will be reversed. People of African ancestry will be 25 percent of the world's population. People of European descent will have fallen to 9.8 percent.
"More arresting is that the white population is shrinking not only in relative but in absolute terms. Two hundred million white people, one in every six on earthâa number equal to the entire population of France, Britain, Holland and Germanyâwill vanish by 2060." (Whites down to 10% of World Population by 2060 â Does It Matter? Patrick J. Buchanan, May 2008)
Buchanan is a veteran journalist-commentator. His report is based on factual statistics. No indicators in his assessment of anything but change ahead.He added this sentence, "The Caucasian race is going the way of the Mohicans." (The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, published in 1826, is a fictional story. It describes the fate of the Mohicans who disappeared as the early colonists moved in).
The Whole World ?
Paul Ehrlich was an American biologist who constantly warned of future population growth and limited resources. In 1966 after a taxi ride he wrote:
"I have understood the population explosion intellectually for a long time. I came to understand it emotionally one stinking hot night in Delhi a couple of years ago... The temperature was well over 100, and the air was a haze of dust and smoke. The streets seemed alive with people. People eating, people washing, people sleeping.People visiting, arguing, and screaming. People thrusting their hands through the taxi window, begging. People clinging to buses.People herding animals. People, people, people, people."
The future certainly appears to be overwhelming unless we truly believe 'He has the Whole World in His Hands.'
In a recent newsletter Dick Leggatt, President of the Derek Prince Ministries offered a prayer. In part he prayed...
Lord, I admit that I have been shaken by what I have seen taking place in the world around me. I repent for wondering whether You are in control of what is taking place in my nation. I ask You to forgive me now for those times when I have doubted You.With this prayer, I affirm the truth of Psalm 2. You, O God, are in control. You have installed Jesus, Your Son, as King forever on Your throne. He is in charge. You are in control.Rather than acting indifferent to that truth, I choose now to offer myself to You in intercession. I ask You now: please give me Your heart for my nation. Help me to see it as You see it. Allow me to be part of Your solution as You bring restoration and redemption to my land.You are in control, O Lord. You have all power and authority to bring the change and breakthroughs that are so desperately needed. Amen.
Love your enemies! Has there ever been a more difficult edict? Every day.
Ron Ross is a Middle East consultant for United Christian Broadcasters (Vision FM). Previously he was radio news editor for Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem, Israel.
His career started at WINTV (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Ross' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ron-ross.html