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19 December 1980. Thought for the Week: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it... 'I am the light of the world; he who followeth Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."'
from The Gospel According to John
LIGHT IN THE GLOOM
The state of the world is, regrettably, as we have predicted it must be, under policies stemming from a humanistic and materialist philosophy which insists that man can be God, and that with enough power in the hands of some "chosen" elite, a wonderful new world can be created. As the world moves towards the end of the first year of the decade of the eighties, genuine peace on earth is further away than ever. The intensification of strikes as the Christmas Season approaches is a manifestation of an Australian society engaged in a type of civil war. The same type of war is being waged in all parts of the world, while nations increasingly seek to solve escalating internal problems by waging export wars. Every day bring further reports of the "fight" for foreign markets.
In the midst of the further major cataclysm
of this century, the First World War, a distinguished British
engineer, with an international reputation, Clifford High
Douglas, turned a penetrating mind to an examination of the
working of the modern finance economic system. Douglas's discoveries
were made against the background of the Christian philosophy.
Even before the guns were silenced in 1918, this towering
genius was predicting that if current finance economic policies
were persisted with, the future of mankind was threatened
by even greater disasters.
Western, Christian Civilisation was doomed unless there were major policy changes. Such changes required an assault on the philosophy of the Anti-Christ, a philosophy that treats the human being, not as one with a divine destiny, the capacity to spiritualise life, but as mere raw material to be planned. Douglas said that the purpose of the Anti Christ was to strive to organise mankind into bigger and bigger mobs, making it increasingly difficult for the individual to emerge as a true person. Douglas insisted that only PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY could regenerate a disintegrating Civilisation.
Peace on earth is only possible by the APPLICATION of Truth. One of the profound truths enunciated by Douglas was that the true purpose of production is consumption and that the true cost of production is consumption. Every technological advance, this only possible because of the discovery and application of truths, means that there is a reduction in the true cost of production - less human effort and energy is required.
A finance-economic system reflecting this truth would automatically result in a falling price level without detriment to the producers. A partial application of the Douglas proposal to achieve this by making new financial credits available to reduce retail prices with consumer discounts was used with outstanding success during and, for a short period, after the Second World War. Inflation ceased. Crippling strikes for increased wages to offset inflation, were unnecessary.
The policy of consumer price discounts as a means of ending financial inflation and creating industrial harmony, is bitterly opposed by all the power groups, including the Marxists. Those who have rejected Christ seek to exploit the turmoil created by their own policies. They fear the light of Truth and welcome the dark. But the dark and gloom can be dispersed when enough people agree to follow Christ in a practical way, engaging in those good works, which Christ constantly stressed.
In rebutting His critics, Christ stressed that it was through His WORKS that "you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." Here is the Light, which offers true salvation for a world in turmoil. Let us be thankful that it is available.
We wish all our readers and their loved ones a Holy and Joyful Christmas during which they may ponder on the true meaning of Christ's message for mankind.
TO GIVE THAT OTHERS MIGHT LIVE
A special contribution by Edward Rock, former Assistant National Director and Action Director of The Christian Institute for Individual Freedom
What greater privilege can we exercise as Christians than to give of ourselves to God? The preacher emphasises this question to the point of repetitiveness which often leaves the hearer unmoved, or at least trying, but failing to grasp the reality of God's greatest gift to us, His only Son. The mystery of the Incarnation and its purpose, to challenge the greatest evil by the greatest good keeps slipping away from us, enmeshed as it so often is in theological clichés divorced from reality. Many of us are now beginning to understand dimly some aspects of this greatest of all gifts.
There are undoubtedly many other aspects we are not privileged to comprehend, but one that we do is that this greatest of all gifts was given to us in order that we might be set free from the lost terrible form of slavery; men enslaved by godless fellow man. Christ came to intervene between helpless men and evil men. The ultimate sanction of evil man was death, the threat and the fear of it. In order to remove that threat and that fear from the lives of His friends it was necessary for Christ to overcome death. This He did by dying and rising to life again as a man.
This He did not only for the reasons the preacher stresses, that sin and evil are now challenged and vanquished, but that it may be necessary for us to do the same. "Greater love hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends." But, we are often told; Christ had strength and courage not given to ordinary mortals. We are weak and doubting, not even sure of what we should do next, let alone take any definite step. We shut our ears to the agony of Christ, excusing ourselves in His perfection. He could do it; we couldn't. And yet that death, the greatest of all gifts, did change mankind. It did establish the spirit of self-sacrifice.
The desire to emulate Christ, however poorly, has led men to be of service to their fellows. This motivation of goodwill has been the generating force of Christian Civilisation. The writer has been privileged in his life to see these attributes from two distinctive viewpoints. Brought up under the wing of the Church after an early family bereavement when there were no social services, life in Church institutions revealed the generosity and self-sacrifice of those whose motivation was to love their fellow man because God first loved us. The other aspect was provided when contact was made with the Christian thought and motivation of C.H. Douglas and those who carry on his work. Here was an entirely different calling to the first.
Alleviating social distress is one thing. Challenging a power structure designed to control mankind, is another, but both should be the work of Christ's followers. It seems that many are called to perform the former, but few choose to be chosen for the latter. That is perhaps as it should be.
The Churchillian cliché that never have so many owed so much to so few has its parallel throughout the continuing social structure. The catalytic few are essential for survival, and God supplies them.
Douglas, and those who have been faithful in discerning the truth in the life of Douglas, is part of God's redeeming work for the world, only made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That Douglas did not discover anything not already there should be self-evident. It is given to some to know the mysteries of God when they reject the claims of the world. Douglas did not discover new truths, but having eyes to see and ears to hear, he comprehended Truth, which escaped others. He then had the self-discipline to devote his life to passing on an understanding of this truth.
Christ died to preserve the right of each and every other individual to love God and to serve Him. To love God is an essentially individual selfless act. No one else can do it for you. But any action or policy, which weakens or destroys that individuality, will diminish the power and will of the individual to love God. Douglas understood as few other men of our time the forces of evil working to destroy that individuality. His mind in tune with God's saw what so many had missed, the way, the truth and the life behind the seemingly complex distortions of the modern industrial and political power systems.
With increasing pressure on the individual, the danger of the loss of individuality on a mass scale has become a direct threat to the survival of creation. Creation is the result of unique diversity. Without it there is only the dust of death as in a desert. Douglas bent his mind as no other has in modern times to promote policies, which would preserve the uniqueness of God's creation. His concern was for the whole of the environment, the harnessing and conservation of resources without waste, but utilising so that God's supreme creation, mankind, received the ultimate in blessing from the abundance available. His proposals undercut greed, power and exploitation so that mankind could flourish in the expansion of his own uniqueness as an individual. He truly devoted his life to the service of his fellow man.
Financing the continuing work of Douglas through the League of Rights remains the responsibility of a relatively small number. There is a possibility that this year's Basic Fund target may not be reached. Put against the providence of God the appeal target is a minute particle. I well understand that the appeal is directed at many whose commitments towards Church and school are heavy. But the purposes for which it is asked might arguably demand a higher priority than any other demand. Such an appeal should be filled in the first week so that fund raising can be put aside and the real work proceeded with. Let it be our prayer that God may be honoured and that we may press on with releasing His abundance.
"Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
A CHRISTIAN PROTEST ON INTEREST
A Victorian actionist has written a letter of protest to Treasurer John Howard on interest rates, from a Christian viewpoint. He makes some appropriate comment which we believe are most suitable for this our pre-Christmas Bulletin. After observing that he wrote as a Christian, and that higher interest rates must intensify inflation and industrial chaos, our actionist proceeded:
"I doubt if you will ever get to read
this letter, so cut off are we the ordinary people who suffer
from your actions. If you do get it, I pray that God will
help you understand its content, and that somewhere within
your heart and mind there will be some reception to what is
said. But I have grave doubts that this will be so. In my
experience men who take such a course of action as you and
your predecessors, along with the captains of power in the
banking and financial world, are so mesmerised by figures
and soulless accounting techniques, that they are incapable
of any real sympathy or understanding of those who are victims
of their actions.
Our actionist went on to point out that money is only a symbol and should reflect reality. He concluded:
"Christ offered to those who would follow
Him the means to turn back from false and idolatrous worship
of inert man-made idols. In modern society money is the greatest
of these, and the real evil lies at the source where those
responsible for its creation by simple accounting methods,
have ensured that the pursuit of a sufficient quantity of
a continuously devalued supply will ensure that every member
of society other than those who through their power can build
up sufficient perks and adjusted pensions etc., will have
to continuously strive without success to maintain their position.
In this situation money must become a false god, and not the
servant it should be.
A Jondaryan actionist (Qld.) sends us
an interesting report from "The Sunday Mail" (Brisbane)
November 30th, by the Queensland economist, H.W. Herbert.
The article was titled - "Tax Pushers in Two Groups": the
interesting excerpts are;
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