Don't Go Down with the Ship!

As a man sows, so shall he reap.

If only we could sow love, the kind of love that selflessly gives all, what kind of world would we reap? People would be glad to live a life of working hard caring for the earth and one another. People would be thankful and content with simple food, clothing, and shelter. No one would be selfish and exploit other human beings and the earth for their own gain. All human relationships, along with the earth and all her creatures, would thrive and increase as a well-tended garden. Can you imagine a people living this way?
Now imagine a world where what most people are sowing is the pursuit of their own selfish desire, plundering other human beings and the earth, while giving as little as possible. What would the earth be like if people had the heartlessness to live this way?
Look around. It is this way.
The whole world runs on fear and self-seeking.
Hardly anyone knows how to be content with simple food, clothing, and shelter. Forgetting that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things that he possesses, the vast majority of people run after more and better stuff that they imagine will somehow make them happy.
The world is being overrun by selfish people who exploit other human beings and the earth for their own gain. As a result, people are finding themselves becoming more and more disconnected from their consciences, from one another, and from the earth. Human selfishness has become so destructive that it is even breaking down the very planet we live on. To quote a recent newspaper article from the India Business Standard:

The global population has grown from around 3.5 billion in 1972, to more than 7 billion today. Industrial production has gone from an index of about 180 in 1963 to more than 400. The index of world metals use has gone up more than 50%. The concentration of carbon dioxide has gone up increasing in 30 years by as much as in the previous 220. Mankind’s “global ecological footprint” has gone from a sustainability level of about 90% of the earth’s capacity, to 120%. We are beyond the sustainability point. We have not realized that we have crossed the sustainability limit because we are drawing down on nature’s bank balance and that cannot go on indefinitely. We have already used up half that grace period. The challenge now is the population must stop growing, and we must change our consumption, because we cannot continue to make today’s claims on the environment. India wants to get their income levels up from $600 per capita to at least $2,000, at which level there is no absolute poverty left. If you factor in what that will mean for energy and other non-renewable resources, it seems pretty obvious that what we have already seen in the markets for oil and iron ore are a foretaste of what is to come. Oil may already have reached the level of peak production, and what that means for the global economy is frightening. Does that mean that India and China should not aspire to what the developed economies have delivered by way of standards of living? It seems an unfair question when the west is unwilling to change its consumption habits. If neither happens, and even if some technological fixes can buy us some time, the message is straightforward. Things cannot go on as before.1

But the uncomfortable truth is this… most people, the vast majority of people, will continue to go on as before. Once the Titanic hit the iceberg, it was going down regardless of who the captain was. It didn’t matter how they arranged the deck chairs. It didn’t matter whether you were rich or poor, traveling in first class or in steerage. Jumping into the freezing ocean was just as sure a death as clinging to the sinking ship. The only hope was to climb into another boat. This world system of selfishness is like the Titanic. It has hit the iceberg and the ship is sinking. It is going down and there is nothing that can stop it.
People use the earth and use one another, instead of caring for the earth and loving one another. We all know it’s true. But are we willing to face it?
What will the final end of this selfishness be? The Creator spoke through the prophet Isaiah 4,000 years ago, foretelling where the earth is heading:

The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, for Yahweh has spoken this word. The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away. The haughty people of the earth languish. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. (Isaiah 24:5-6)

The earth is being “entirely emptied and utterly plundered” by human selfishness and lust. It is being “defiled under its inhabitants” to the point that we are racing toward destruction like a runaway freight train. Who really has an answer for peaking fossil fuel flow rates? Critically degraded ecosystems? Global warming? An exploding global population? Accelerating mass extinction of species? Deforestation? Desertification? Alienation? Loneliness? War?
All of these problems may seem very complicated and impossible to solve, but the truth is, their cause is very simple.
Most people are unwilling to live a life of working hard, caring for the earth and one another. Most people are unwilling to be content with simple food, clothing, and shelter. Most people are selfish and exploit other human beings and the earth because of their lust for selfish gain.
The Titanic has hit the iceberg and is going down… and the iceberg is the fear, greed, lust, and selfishness of the human heart. We have met the enemy… and the earth has met the enemy… and the enemy is us.

Love has a Name

What is the answer? Is there anything that can change us from being our own and the earth’s worst enemy?
There is an answer. We who write this paper have tried every supposed answer under the sun and have found the only one that works. The answer is love.
And love has a name. His name is Yahshua, the one most English Bibles refer to as Jesus. His life was and is the very definition of love, real love that persuades us to deny ourselves for the good of others and the earth we are responsible for. We know love by this: that He laid down His life for His friends. There is no greater love than this. This is the love the sincere of heart seek for.
His way is the only hope for human beings and the earth. This is not Christianity we are speaking of here. This is the real Yahshua and the trail He blazed that when followed will set mankind and all creation free from death and the bondage of corruption that the selfishness of man has put on everything he has touched in this fallen world.
Just more religious talk? Who needs it? Good question.
Do you long for a world where people devote all their heart, soul, mind, and strength to caring for one another, and caring for the earth, giving to one another and giving to the earth, and take no thought for getting. What would the earth be like if people actually lived this way?
You don’t have to imagine it. You can come and see. This life is beginning to sprout as a foretaste of the age to come, in real homes and communities, clans and tribes around the world. This life of love and unity and true friendship exists as the verifiable evidence that the goods news I am sharing with you is real and true and you can come and see it. And once the reality of it persuades you and you have faith to leave everything else behind… you can be part of it.
The world is perishing. Your world is perishing. Leave it all behind and come and see where real love lives. May it be that His love would win your heart, that His life that we live together would win your heart. You can be in love all of your days, and never leave. Together, we can be healed by His love, and heal one another and the earth also.
What else is worth doing? The Titanic is sinking and you’re going down with the ship. Come and find out more about the real solution we’ve found.

  • 1. August 14, 2005 Business Standard (India)

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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