What makes a thought better than another thought? There are so many ways to think, but I have to believe that there are better ideas than others. The one who poisons a well is not as great a thinker as the one who provides the antidote. And the one who heals has greater thoughts than the one who maims. What would qualify a thought on God as the best thought? We think about God, and I have to imagine that our thoughts on that being are higher than our thoughts on ourselves. To imagine God as less than ourselves would be to make him far less than he is, in our minds. To imagine God as something less than a super-super-being would be, again, to make him less. God is greater than what we can imagine. What would be a higher thought than that? It must be that our highest thoughts are the thoughts we have of God. There is no greater meditation than on the person, thoughts, character, being of God.
What is the greatest thought, idea in the economic world? In the academic study of economics, what is considered the highest, best idea? Certainly we have seen the end of Austrian economics, Marxism, and others. The remnants of these ideas remain in pieces, and some nuanced considerations come of the philosophy of Marx. However, it seems that we have arrived at “the best we can do” at the moment. If the economic world were a person, what would that person say? What would be the highest ideas and spoken word of that system?
I wonder the same for our political system. Certainly in the political world, we can imagine Democracy as our capacity to speak with one voice. Everyone has the potential to have their voice heard through a voice. However, it seems that the external controls have limited the voices of our people. In any case, what would be the greatest thought of our political world, the greatest idea from that body? Again, I am wondering, if a system could speak, what would it say, and what is the greatest thing it could say? We know that the economic system has a behavior code, and the system itself seems to behave in a certain way. The free market is often anthropomorphized on MSNBC or whatever stock market channel one chooses to follow, as if the free market were a human with feelings, fears, goals, ideals. What would be the ideal of the economic system? To what would that person aspire?
Finally, I arrive at my point. We unintentionally, and sometimes intentionally imagine these different systems as “persons.” That is useful for many reasons, but for the purposes of this post, I am wondering how God works through these persons. I don’t imagine that God is unable to work through the economic system, and I am tempted to say “he must.” God working through the economic system would be a restoration of values, ideals, thoughts, behaviors, to some degree. It would be a conversation with a greater person, restoring, pruning, eliminating, and adding what is needed in order to be the way it was designed to be.
Churches have a voice. Local churches understood as persons have a collective culture, a collective politic, a way of relating to their peers, and a spirit. The Church Catholic or Universal has a way of relating to the world right now that is clear from the outside. The differences from one church body to the next are almost invisible to the people who do not regularly attend or engage. What is the highest, best idea of the Church? If the Church were a single person who spoke, what would they say? Parallel the economic and political systems, the voice of the Church is known. It is written in the Word, what kind of things Jesus’s body would say to the world. We have a documented, clear idea of what the highest idea of the church is and how the church is to implement this in the world. We sometimes get to see it in action.
Imagine the church as a collective person, speaking to the collective person of the economic world. This, as a pattern, repeated to the political, academic, cultural, and social world. What would we say?
How does one “convert” an economic system? The same with a political, academic, or social system, we must consider how do these systems change?
The same way that individuals change. Helping professionals, such as counselors, doctors, teachers, and others are immersed in the science of “change.” How do people learn, grow, develop? Counselors are experts, usually, in individual change, whereas teachers tend to specialize in group learning and development. I am suggesting that the church has a collective voice, by which we can communicate with the collective person of The Economic System, and The Political System. Our singular voice can interact with these systems in order to speak restoration, peace, hope, redemption into these persons. This is the intent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, that we would be able to speak with a single voice to the systems of the world and bring about the conversion that we so desperately need.