Sermon 15-7-12


Am 7: 12 to 15:

Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it [is] the king’s chapel, and it [is] the king’s court. Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I [was] no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

Are we living in times like these again? Are we trying to make our wise men to conform with what we want instead of what they know?

Is it wise to have competition in our society or would it be better to have cooperation? Doesn’t every football coach know that, if every player on his team tries to be the top scorer, that then the total number of goals is probably going to be very meagre.

There is a very successful business advisor in the US Stephen Covey. This man made a fortune advising capitalist companies on ways how to increase their profits. He was very successful. These companies would not hire him, if his methods would not work. He has written a book called ‘The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People.’ There is a chapter in it called ‘Systems’ (p. 229 to 232). On p. 230 he wrote, ‘Competition has its place in the market place or against last year’s performance – perhaps even against another office or individual where there is no particular interdependence, no need to cooperate. But cooperation in the workplace is as important as competition in the market place. The spirit of Win/Win cannot survive in an environment of competition and contests.’

Why then should a whole nation or the whole world function better with internal competition instead of internal cooperation? It’s easy to understand that, if everybody coordinates his efforts, the final achievement will be greater than, if everybody worked against each other.

Yet, even Stephen Covey rendered lip service to the bull god of Wall Str. when he started the above quote with, ‘Competition has its place in the marketplace. ….’ People who champion competition say, ‘Only the strongest shall survive,’ because that is nature’s way. Have you ever thought this through to the end?

Yes, this is nature’s way, but is this humane? Are not most efforts of human endeavour in science, particularly in medicine and pharmacy, directed at making people survive about who nature has ruled they shall die now?!

Nevertheless, the Great Commandment ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’ (Matt. 22: 39) seems to be reserved for Sunday morning. Some people go to Church and give a donation but nobody who would suggest to make this commandment the principle of our everyday lives and interaction with those with whom we share the earth would be taken serriously at all. When we speak about our weekday work our business we speak of competition and survival of the fittest.

And we see how the world becomes more and more restrictive in letting people express themselves. Nobody is to speak against the law of the bull god of Wall Str.. Anybody who wants to be heard in the media must believe in and promote survival of the fittest (only)!

And when we hear this, does this fill us with an inner desire to be the fittest or the strongest instead of a longing for neighbourly love? Do we go to the gym for that reason?

Does anybody think God will be pleased with us, if we try to be bull – god ‘good’ and compete? Or could it be that God will punish us, by lack of friendship, unhappiness, helplessness, depression, and later, if we really pursue survival of the fittest and if we let our population grow uncontrolled, will we see two people fighting over a plastic bag full of groceries and only the stronger will survive?