The financial crisis, its concrete and deeper causes

The financial markets are currently in an uproar, and independently of if and how these problems will be solved, we should ask what their deeper cause is, and how to protect economy from that. First, regarding the concrete causes, I found the following material to be a good introduction:

Now regarding the deeper causes of the crisis, there are way less people who at least think about that, and way less articles to read about that. I found two ones that seem to be recommendable:

  • “Der Kapitalismus ist zum Spielcasino verkommen”, Spiegel Online, 2008-10-09. An interview with Muhammad Yunus, who got the 2006 Nobel Peace Price together with his Grameen Bank for micro credits as development aid in rural regions of Bangla Desh. He suggests that businessmen turn away from earning money for its own purpose and out of pure profit-maximizing greed, and instead use it for social purposes as a “social company”. His Gremeen Bank seems to be the paradigm he has in mind. The “social company” as a company that helps people and earns money at the same time is, in his eyes, preferrable to “blindly giving” philantropy, because the invested money is not just used up, instead it is “help for self help”, it is used as a catalysator for own economic activity. He says that Adam Smith’s theory of the “invisible hand” (self-regulation of the market) is invalid, and that the current financial crisis shows just that (it’s a “crass market malfunction”).
  • Jürgen Werner: Die wahren Hintergründe der Finanzkrise, WirtschaftsWoche, 2008-10-12. The German philosopher Jürgen Werner thinks that short-visioned desire for more efficiency (in my words: greed for money) is the foe of long-term efficiency, which is provided at best by mutual trust and correct behavior towards each other.

The problem financial markets and the real economy

A financial crisis in itself would not be that bad, but it can have immense effects on the real economy and on politics. During the Great Depression (1929 and onwards), people in the USA even became fugitives, and in Germany it led to the rise of the NSDAP and the Third Reich. The financial crisis of 2007/2008 starts to have effects on the real economy, also (BMW announced that it lost 14% of new car sells in 2008-09).

It definitely feels uncomfortable to be part of an economy that you cannot steer, being doomed to share its fate, be it success, depression or chaos. This has to be avoided, definitely. The fate of a human being should not depend on the fate of his society. So how to achieve that?

Theoretical basics: indirection, complex systems, modularity, centralization …

Here are some basic perceptions of mine (though not formally verified by studies) that I will use later to build my own flavor of economic system on:

  • Money is an indirection: it’s a substitute for material value. As any indirection, it is more flexible (easier to transfer, easier to divide, can be saved up). And as any indirection, it comes with its own rules: it can be traded, exchanged between currencies, it can be creates out of nothing (fiat money), it can lose its worth independent of the underlying material worth, it depends on trust (as the money material is worth nothing), it enables “market rules” as an indirection of money trading, and “market trend” as an indirection of market rules, again with it’s own rules set. All these rules differ widely from the rules applyable to material goods, and as every set of rules, they come with their own set of problems. The current financial crisis shows that we don’t know the rules and how to use them correctly. Therefore, we should search for a more robust economic system.
  • A complex system is one that uses its own result as input (feedback principle). Good architectural guidelines for complex systems are set up by agile system architecture. The best work on this that’s available online is: Dove, Rick K.: Design Principles for Highly Adaptable Business Systems, With Tangible Manufacturing Examples. In: Maynard’s Industrial Engineering Handbook. Ed.: Zandin, Kjell B.; Maynard, Harold B.. 5. edition. New York, NY, USA; et al.. 2001. pp. 9.3-9.26. Here, systems are made up of “self-contained units”, with “plug compatibility”, “facilitated re-use”, “non-herarchical interaction”, “flexible capacity”, “unit redundancy” and “evolving standards”. These principlses seem to be a perfect basic idea for an efficient economic system (even more efficient than current high-tech financial management), and as stable (through reconfigureability, multi-redundancy etc.) that it is, as a worldwide system, undestroyable.
  • As to the morals. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” might have been present in the past, but it vanished into thin air (or worse) nowadays. Why? In my opinion, because, less decisions are based upon personal values (desire for quality, desire to do something for the money you get, desire to spend money only on what you can afford etc.), and more decisons on pure greed. There seems to be a critical threshold of value-based decisions, below which the economy starts to malfunction.
  • Centralization is immensely positive for the development of efficiency, but for robust economies and societies, centralization is negative. Because, where there is only one or a few large things of one type, a defective one will have dramatical effects on the whole society. Therefore, for the sake of world’s stability and on the cost of technical efficiency, I suggest to decentralize everything, from power supply to state laws. By using the agile deisgn principles, the loss of efficiency can be minimized, so that it is bearable even for a technology freak like I am.

Practical proposal: community-based world economy

The following proposal may seem somewhat strange, but propose to me a less strange one that is both capable of being a personal and world-wide alternative to the current greed-based economy (which we call still “market economy”). A central thought is, that in modern Western societies, the “social net” has only very small and very large meshes (the family and the society), and that’s a fault. But let’s see:

The proposed economic system consists of modularized modules (in five layers), each with a special task and the promise of solidarity (in level-specific areas) to its members. Solidarity decreases in intensity from smallest to greatest level, but increases in extensity (that is, higher levels are for the rare, really bad cases in life, while the everyday cases need higher personal commitment of time). Economically, the modules of each level are autarchic, and the degree of autarchy increases from smallest to highest level, while a level of autarchy sufficient for survival shall be available from level 3 on (i.e. groups of 1000 people).

The levels are:

  1. the individuum
  2. the community (10 individuums)
  3. the thousand (100 communities, resp. 1000 individuums)
  4. the million (1000 thousands)
  5. the world community (6000 millions, i.e. all people of the world)

Each module (i.e. each group in the size as described by a level) is able to select its members. For example, a thousand may decide that it wants to include (or educate) two physicians, but no more theologicans. By applying such careful orchestration, te groups become organisms, not just societies which are cobbled together by some laws. And, most importantly: through their autarchy, groups (from the “thousand” size on) can live on themselves, including education and medical care. To do so efficiently, all information must be free by default, shared between all the groups (by using the Internet). Because, if you have all the CAD data on the net, manufacturing your own products is possible in a community of 1000 in an efficient way; and where it is not, the following is possible without sacrificing autarchy: every group uses 10% of its time for a group specific special service or special product, wherewhich it serves other groups. This can be applied to all levels, and resembles the “community service” principle in African societies.

If this proposal is used to create a “personal economy system” as a working alternative to the fragile global economy system, I suppose to found a powerful community of 10 friends, and with them, the “thousand” community. As goods and services are exchanged within the community without any need for money, in direct exchance or with an internal registration system, this “thousand” community is functional right from the start, even when it would consist of unemployed people only.

And of course, as there is only direct marketing of goods and services, and as larger enterprises are enabled through the collection of people as a community instead of the colloection of capital, no financial market with all its drawbacks will be available in this new economic system … .

Some days ago, Google announced on their home page a new project, the Project 10100. They collect ideas and will honor the idea that will help the most people. Practically, this means that the five best ideas are sponsored with 2 million USD on average, to be executed. So to win this contest, I though about how to help basically all the people in the world, that way taking Google’s approach to the extreme. If you have only 2 million USD for that, it’s a big task to help ALL humans, and substantially, of course … but it might be done, if we don’t cure effects, but causes of human problems. Man, I’m an utopist beyond measure today … you might smile at the ideas, it’s granted to you 😉 Here goes the idea I sent to Google’s Project 10100 some minutes ago:

10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)

As all human problems are due to misprogramming of the brain, their solution must start by managing the brain content.

11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)

Comparing “successful” times and times of society deterioration (e.g. in Germany 1955 vs. today) makes it apparent that the deterioration of values, morals, goals and maxims of action (here called: brain programming) is resp. must be the cause.

Of course, the development of societies is complex (i.e. feedback-driven), but still, result and feedback are mainly determined by brain programming.

All other problems are secondary: the world is not scarce on resources, the people in it are wasteful in handling them. And they are wasteful because they want to be (it’s determined by their values). Also, wars and hatred come initially from wrong human behavior that was determined by the programming of the brain. This programming is (for the most part) acquired through life … .

The idea is now, that we need to find the kind of brain programming where societies can build upon and where the world can survive with. If this is found, we need a scientifically proven system how to implement this in people (new and old ones). This requires intense research, as the public school system is in no way sufficient for that job.

12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)

Psychologic dysfunctionality, defined as bain programming whereupon societies and the world can never flourish.

13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)

The upcoming generation in the whole world, more precisely: people before their adolescence, the younger the better, because it’s easy for them to acquire correct brain programming, as new programs must not fight through a conflict with old ones to get in place. Additionally, all future generations, as the good brain programming replicates itself.

14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)

Scientific research into the issue:

  1. Agree on a ISO standard what brain programming (values etc.) societies must embrace in order for the world to survive and be a good place to live.
  2. Experiment with many forms of new learning mechanisms and self-stabilizing social mechanisms that can break the feedback-determined deterioration process of societies.
  3. Introduce these values etc. into international school system.

15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)

The world would be a better place to live, as all people would think in better ways and therefore also act in better ways. As the problem is here taken by its root, the positive effects will follow  automatically.

Measurement: conformance to the previously “values” ISO standard, when measuring the personality of people worldwide.

There is an ongoing discussion regarding the causes of personality disorders (according to the Wikipedia article on personality disorders). Depth psychology emphasizes childhood as the key area, psychotherapy emphasizes adolescence and the identity buildup phase, learning models and behaviorists emphasize that personality disorders are something learned. Globally, they are rather complimentary and support each other well, so that the overall impression (without any detailed knowledge) is that personality disorders develop from a complex interdependency of genetic loading and the environment.

I thought about what (simple) illustration to use for such a complex situation, and perhaps the following might serve well for some aspects: there is a solution of a substance that can crystallize. It does not crystallize however unless crystallization seed is there (e.g. some dust particles). Now I compare the crystallization seed with the genetic loading, and the solved substance with problematic aspects of the environment. The environment has, so to speak, the potential to create personality disorders in a limited number of people, by unloading its problematic aspects unto them. The people that get “struck” by the crystallizing substance are those with some genetic qualities (for example less stress resistance, which would, in a healthy world, be just a harmless side-effect of appreciable qualities like high-degree empathy). In terms of system-theory, the different
kinds of personality disorders seem to me the different self-supporting, self-stabililizing programs that are possible to run on the human brain (within a specific social environment).

The interesting thing is now: to a higher or lesser degree, every (or nearly every) person seems to have a personality disorder. If you don’t yet believe that, go through the
list in the Wikipedia article on personality disorders and find out what symptoms fit for you. At least I found myself in this list … (ICD-10 F60.6) and also friends of mine. Now this does not mean that I or any of my readers needs a therapy … the degree might be far lower than what would need a therapy (note that a society assigns therapy only to those that cannot contribute to the society in a meaningful degree any more … society does not want to help you, it wants you as a tool for its own survival). It does however mean that most people don’t reach their highest personal and social potential because they’re in the grip of their rigid, dysfunctional behavior patterns.

Now it is also clear that healthy social relationships and groups have a curative effect on the personality disorders of their members (at least on mild degrees of those). And I count the relationship to God among the healthy relationships, and a healthy church among the healthy groups (which just means that their curative effect is supposedly a social effect, nothing supernatural). There are persons in my mind who indeed got (nearly) healed by long-term (~25 yrs., in one example) involvement with God and a healthy church!! Which does not mean that every relationship to God or every church is such a place. Most churches seem to be infected themselves by some kind of “group disorder”. Which is not the fault of any single person, but a fixed behavioral pattern that develops in a likewise complex interdependency (in this case, of group attributes and environment) as the personality orders do … .

Ummh … what’s that? How to change a church, about a church in change, a church that changes churchgoers, or all three? I dunno yet, but at the end of this article both of us will 😉

Imagine a little church of 10-20 people, with a culture of intensive mutual education: cheering each other up, praying for each other, hinting each other to ones faults and helping each other to fight them, etc.. Imagine this group stays together for three years (for some yet unimagineable reason … who wants to be part of a group that hints to ones faults). The result would be awsome spiritual maturity … of a whole group, where you now rarely find such individuals. Too romantic? I don’t think so. It’s church as it’s meant to be.

Task distribution: Yours, reader.

When it comes to change & church, first thing to note is that every Christian should be a cause of change for his sisters and brothers, even though every one has a particular gift that determines his particular service to a high degree. Just look at these:

(11) So then, encourage one another and build each other up, as you are doing. […] (14) We urge you, brothers, to instruct those who are idle, cheer up those who are discouraged, and help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. [The Bible, I Thess 5:11.14, ISV]

(12) See to it, my brothers, that no evil, unbelieving heart is found in any of you, as shown by your turning away from the living God. (13) Instead, continue to encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. [The Bible, Heb 3:12-13, ISV]

(1) Now we who are strong ought to be patient with the weaknesses of those who are not strong and must stop pleasing ourselves. (2) Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building him up. [The Bible, Rom 15:1-2, ISV]

(14) I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are filled with goodness and full of all the knowledge you need to be able to instruct each other. [The Bible, Rom 15:14, ISV]

(1) Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him as if he were your father. Treat younger men like brothers, (2) older women like mothers, and younger women like sisters, with absolutely purity. [The Bible, 1 Tim 5:1-2, ISV]

(16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you with all richness and wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and singing to God with thankfulness in your hearts. [The Bible, Col 3:16, ISV]

On being educated: “Hey, should’t change be rather the Holy Spirit’s magic?”

No, character changes are not the Holy Spirit’s magic. Character changes are effected by the service of people with their respective charismata [The Bible, Eph 4:11-13, ISV]. So character change is a process of education. There’s even an explicit biblical statement that change is education, not magic: [The Bible, Tit 2:11-12, ISV]!! Just the origin of the educational tools (the charismata) is supernatural. And because character change (“sanctification”) is the one and only aim behind all the spiritual gifts: a church that doesn’t change people isn’t church … it’s the church’s task to change people.

Now you might say, if it’s an educational change only, how can it work better than “worldly education” by social workers etc.? If it’s an educational change, I cannot just say “because of the Holy Spirit”, as I would again attribute the change to “Holy Spirit magics”. In the “educational change” view, the Holy Spirit changes people mediately: he gives charismata to people which they may employ to change each other, and he reminds people of what Jesus said (perhaps comparable to a “moral consicience”). These ways the Spirit teaches people a new way of thinking; the Spirit does not implant a new way of thinking into people!!

The reason why the Spirit’s education is capable of deeply changing people’s character, whily normal social education is not, seems to me this: it’s because the educated ones accepted God as their authority beforehand. The opposite is also true: for those who don’t accept God as their authority, the Spirit’s education does not work, even if they call themselves Christians. They might accept other human or just their own authority, and both are defeated by the old way of thinking (“flesh”), which is correct when it supposes:  they cannot hinder nor punish you from doing this or that.

The central role of God’s authority can be seen from the fact, that the NT does not suppose “simple human-to-human education”: instead, humans just remind their fellow humans to obey God the way they basically want to, or remind their fellow humans that it’s necessary to obey the leaders if they want to obey God (e.g. in Apostle Pauls case). This act of basically accepting God’s authority is, in my view, what the Bible calls a “conversion” (literally, changing ones mind). Accepting God’s authority is very easy in the  moment we really understand grace: first, seeing what God payed to have us around him makes us want to submit to sanctification, out of gratitude [The Bible, Rom 12:1, ISV]. Second, seeing that God loves useless people and even wants to use them makes us grateful for the possibility to serve him in church (that’s “spiritual service”).

Beyond that basic acceptance of God’s authority, we don’t need to bring anything to be changed successfully in God’s education process. Let me call it by different names to make  clear what it is: an earnest desire to change; the desire to learn, as the disciple of Jesus, being the likeness of Jesus; stark devoutness (i.e. attributing highest authority to God not only in worship service but in personal life); loving Jesus more than oneself (i.e. wanting to become like Jesus more than wanting to continue ones everyday life, see [The Bibe, Lk 14:26, ISV]); bearing ones cross. Please don’t catch on the religious words here, please don’t think about all the theological ballast in your head regarding “bearing the cross” and stuff … . You have the correct attitude if you prefer objeying Jesus to feeling yourself in the right (and, consequently, obeying not, but you won’t notice then).

Now you surely heard people saying that we “cannot live in a holy way out of our own strength”. If it’s all about accepting God’s authority and being educated, what the heck shall this mean? I think it must mean “we won’t arrive at good quality of character without submitting to God and his education process“. That is, we might instead try to become good people ourselves: with the motivation that we want it because we want it, instead of we want it because God wants it. Such an effort won’t succeed, as we have yet an evil thought program running in our brain (“flesh”) and it will trick our motivation easily by saying: “Ok you or people don’t want you to do this, but they cannot hinder you nor can they punish you … so do what you’re up to”.

It’s like you promise to yourself: I’ll give 100 bucks to Wikipedia if I don’t get up at 5 o’clock tomorrow morning. But that morning, on the ring of your clock, you throw away your promise and the whole concept of self punishment, and have managed to stay in bed without any punishment.

On educating: Change = (family + education) · love

After looking at the conditions to match for being changed, this article will close with a list of practical tips what to heed when contributing to changing people. As we saw, in the beginning, it’s everybody’s task … .

  • Change-resisting people are poison. When a group is made from 100% people <span style=”font-style: italic;”>with the desire to change, the result is a self-changing church on the road to Jesus-like character (see [The Bible, Eph 4:15-16, ISV] … the thought is that without accepting Jesus as the head, there is no growth). Practically this means: adding 20% change-resisting people to that group is the lethal dose (my estimation), in that all growth is paralyzed. Not immediately, but in the long run. The result is either a static orthodox immature church, or a static emotional immature church, or a static recreational immature church. Change-resisting people include also those who claim and even teach the desire to change, but manage to keep all unpleasant practical changes outa their own life, by applying tons of “spiritual” explanations and theologies.
  • Get the family virtues. Education works in functional families, because there’s proximity, trust, love, a space for sharing hurts and emotions, a commitment and mutual dependance that makes members stay together in difficult situations also. But, as a blogger friend said, “Cristianity has lost the sense of community and family long time ago and has become an institution, a recreational set off activities and one more religion among many…” [Baba on  wHo’S mY fAmiLy…?!!!]. If the local church is no family, it cannot educate. What adds to this difficulty is that, in highly civilized and highly Christianiued areas, people can afford to break free from the dependance on their fellow church members, by simply going to another church.
  • Appreciate proximity. Christians in highly civilized areay can afford to not tell their brothers and sisters what they need, because there’s no practical dependence left.  This results in mutual hypocrisy as we show ourselfs at our best to each other only, while hiding all weakness. This also unbalances serving out of grace: we serve now because we and others believe we can, not because we’re happy that God wants us to serve though we can’t (and though everybody has experienced that we can’t). To counter this, let’s think about the beauty of proximity: you know these verses in the NT that talk about the holy kiss? What an expression of loving proximity … of which nothing is left today. We have no such sign to say “Dear people all around here, I rejoice in being that near to you all; I rejoice that you all know me that well that you see when I’m depressed without asking, and can cheer me up, admonish or whatever as a matter of what we’re accustomed to do.” Because we never ever have the reason to say so, it simply wouldn’t be true … .
  • Love as authority. A good friend of mine made the experience that people change if you explain months long to them where and why they need to change, and that this
    only happens if you mean something to those people (“have authority”). And I ask, how do you acquire this authority if not by loving these people? For me, the words of those who love me mean the most to me, because only these words justify as “wanting the best for me”. Whereas in other cases “educators” simply might be bitter on me, hurted, unforgiving, or bugged. People who try to educate their fellow Christians and simply have no effect on anybody (e.g. when preaching) may have done it without love. (Perhaps you just preached, but before and after you never have time for the people you preached unto, nor are interested in any of them as a personality?)
  • Love as glue. It’s easy to extinguish a church by “educating” it: throw the sinners out and scare the rest away by authoritarian style. So how will an educating church stay together, though education cannot always be enjoyable? It needs cohesive forces at least as strong as the educational forces. And just as in a family, love is what causes cohesion. For example, nearly all NT verses on exhortation bear the idea of a cautioning, gentle reproach. It’s not brute! See what Paul says: “Remember that for three years, night and day, I never stopped warning each of you with tears.” [The Bible, Acts 20:31, ISV]. “Each of you” is, per the Greek, each in particular, maybe separately. “Warning” is literally “to put in somebody’s mind”: calling attention to something, mild cautioning or rebuke. And remember, Paul says, with tears. For to educate / instruct / encourage between Christians,
    the NT uses the same Greek word as for the helpful, supportive activity of the Holy Spirit (parakaleo). And another quote:

    (1) Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him as if he were your father. Treat younger men like brothers, (2) older women like mothers, and younger women like sisters, with absolutely purity. [The Bible, 1 Tim 5:1-2, ISV]

  • Encouragers and prophets, use your gifts. Encouragement is a spiritual gift [The Bible, Rom 12:8, ISV]! Also, prophecying is “for […] upbuilding, encouragement, and comfort” [The Bible, 1 Cor 14:3, ISV], but these are words from God while the one who encourages has the gift to encourage with his own words. Encouragement is not just to motivate somebody and let him choose what to do himself, but to motivate somebody for something particular. For example see [The Bible, 1 Cor 1:10, ISV].
  • Church is not just meeting for songs and sermons. Church is caring for one another, loving one another as persons, i.e. as entities that exist even beyond the end  of Sunday Service.
  • Don’t correct … remind. Education between Christians is not so much to correct a factual fault, but to encourage each other to take seriously and to accept humbly what the Lord says, in the Bible and otherwise. That’s what Barnabas did to the church in Antioch [The Bible, Acts 11:23, ISV], and what Paul did in the first churches [The Bible, Acts 14:22, ISV]. As the reason for following the exhortations, one will not mention that “church must be functional” or a  good place to be, instead the reason is the mercies of God, which we must answer adequately by taking his will seriously [The Bible, Rom 12:1, ISV]. See also here:

    (10) You and God are witnesses of how pure, honest, and blameless our conduct was among you who believe. (11) You know very well that we treated each of  you the way a father treats his children. (12) We comforted and encouraged you, urging you to live in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory. [The Bible, 1 Thess 2:10-12, ISV]

  • Ingenious Jesus. It’s so difficult to educate: at the same time, you need to be patient and direct, soft and hard, gracious and true … Jesus was ingenious in being that way. By reading the Gospel stories, how he’s educating his disciples and also the Pharisees, and by collecting contemporary instances of people who behaved in the same quality, we can collect those ingenious patterns how to educate in truth and love.

A jailhouse is probably one of the worst places to be, as an inmate, and one of the least positive places, for the society. The more interesting is an example of what can be made out of such a calamity. Here’s a documentary video of Mr. Garcia, manager of the CPDRC prison in the Philippines, and what he made out of his prison.

Just wanted to share this as a motivating example of an ingenious idea what can be done for society even if the starting situation is one of the worst possible ones. I’d like to see such ideas in more men of this world, in men of our country, and in me 🙂

If you liked to watch the dancing prisoners in the clip above, here are all the videos from Mr. Garcias official YouTube account.

In addition to my recent article on Amy
resp. her YouTube videos on “emo”
I wondered how an authentic life
with Jesus could be made known to people like the emos, in a way that
would make them take Jesus seriously. Invitations to any Christian
events are useless if there is not already a personal connection. So
what? Here’s a radically different approach to try out. It is an idea
that’s enabled by the rise of the Internet, esp. web 2.0 social
platforms like YouTube.

The basic idea is: come into individual people’s life without any
invitation. Help them where they need help, and call them to Christ.

The practical approach would be kind of the following, and I am
currently inclinded to try that out once my
expedition mobile
is ready:

  1. Get a community of ~4 authentic Christians who are able to deal
    with conflicts quite well, have good social skills and have sympathy
    for every other kind of freaky people.
  2. Get a community truck, e.g. the expedtion mobile I mentioned.
    This will be the permanent living place of the community.
  3. Search and select interesting, freaky people on web 2.0 platforms
    like YouTube. They should be selected if the community judged that they
    might accept Jesus if they just get to know him really and experience
    that he’s truly God and saviour.
  4. Contact these people and await their invitation to meet in
    person. For example, send links to video clips to them with a stylish
    self introduction of this freaky, nomadic community. This steps might
    also be left out … .
  5. Meet in person. Therefore, visit them with the community truck.
    Stay some days with them, placing the truck near the place where they
  6. Invite them to travel with the community for some time. This will
    give good opportunity to introduce Jesus to them in a way that they are
    able to take seriously.
  7. If they finally want to know Jesus personally as their saviour
    and stay with the community, that’s fine. Perhaps they stay for 3
    years, which is a fine time for character education and transformation
    (also called sanctification). Then they start perhaps their own
    invitational transformational community, and the network grows 😉

Does anybody note the similarity to the way Jesus called his
disciples? They were called and had the chance to come at that very
point of time in their life – that’s different from the “permanent but
shy invitation to Jesus” nowadays, that does nothing but get on
people’s nerves. Also note that Jesus started his worldwide kingdom
with 12 (well, 11) well-educated disciples, not with a multitude of
non-transformed churchgoers who had nothing but heard about Jesus.

Start date: 2008-05-25
Post date: 2008-05-25
Version date: 2008-05-25 (for last meaningful change)

That’s, live an alternative. Let’s critically rethink the way we perceive and live life. I will list alternatives with equal costs, i.e. between one can choose.

Dwelling. My dwelling currently consists of a small room (14m² incl. bathroom) in a multi-party house on the border of a midsize town. I might just as well join an intentional community (large size and urban as JPUSA, or small size and rural as Baba’s White Stone / Mount of Oakes). Or I might move to a 4×4 truck motorhome. Or found a mobile community with a 4×4 truck motorhome. Or drive the world for 40+ years by bike like Heinz Stucke. Or live for 150 EUR/month in Manila, like a brother of mine. Or travel without possessions for three years, like Jesus.

Working. I might do some programming, web design and IT admin stuff like I do now. But I might just as well become a philosopher, a researcher in parapsychology and / or a historian who specializes in contemporary divine miracles.

Community. I might be content with community as “people coming together in one place, engaging in some common activity”. Or I might search for community as “unity in activities, goods and responsibilities and purposes, covering a good part of one’s life”.

Meals. I might live from bread alone (ok, and water). Not that I do, but sometimes it gets near to that ’cause the inefficient one-person buy-cook-eat process sucks. I might just as well join with neighbors and / or other people to prepare the meals together. Canteen food is no alternative, I think. And restaurants are no alternatives (monetarily).

Job. I might go to work, or just as well work self-emplyed, even when on the road.

Faith. I might have, or just as well not accept a usual mediocre level of Christian community and practical life and search for a hundredfold of this.

Miracles. I might just be annoyed by the people who use God’s name for their counterfeit miracles, or search the real ones.

Start date: 2008-02-10
Post date: 2008-02-11
Version date: 2008-02-11 (for last meaningful change)