A Change of Priorities: Witness

Written by A K Whitehead

A Change of Priorities: Witness by A K Whitehead

Brought up an active Catholic, a number of things went wrong in life shortly after being married. Nothing to do withrepparttar relationship between my wife, Iris, and myself. But I blamed God, either directly or indirectly for what happened. Of course, blaming God for things soon turns into doubt about God, and doubt is thenrepparttar 126948 second step into unbelief.

So forrepparttar 126949 next twenty-plus years I found myself without any real belief in God. I was not an atheist. I could not say that God did not exist. But I could not say that he did exist either. For all that time I was really an agnostic. But I continued going to church - just as insurance! In case he did exist. I though I would then be okay. Both a foolish and illogical position, but...

Without any belief in God my values became determined by self interest. I began studying again and then went to university for three years, to read economics. That was followed by a years Postgraduate Certificate in Education to qualify for teaching. I moved into university level teaching and worked for a Master of Philosophy, a research degree. So I became almost totally focussed on my career as an academic.

All that mattered was making a reputation, promotion, publishing learned papers, earning more money and so forth.

After a piece of prolonged research, I felt that I needed a temporary change and knocked-off for a short while. Suddenly, after years and years of having my mind preoccupied in sorting out academic problems of one sort or another, my mind was free. But all these mental problems had been rather like a hand holding a ball down belowrepparttar 126950 surface of water - as soon asrepparttar 126951 downward pressure was taken offrepparttar 126952 ball shot torepparttar 126953 surface. The "ball" wasrepparttar 126954 problem of God's existence.

The problem had always been there but I had never allowed it to get inrepparttar 126955 way of allrepparttar 126956 other things to which I had given priority. In Mass one Sunday, one ofrepparttar 126957 Scripture readings included Luke 11:9 where Jesus tells his disciples to: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock andrepparttar 126958 door will be opened to you".

It was as if I had never heard this before. Perhaps I never really had. But then, of course,repparttar 126959 reading went on, because Jesus added that "everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks,repparttar 126960 door will be opened".

It seemed to me that, if God did exist, then these promises should be worth all that they claimed. So I said to God, quite literally: "Okay, I'll take you at your word. I will seek, and ask, and knock. But if I don't find you, it will not be my fault. It will be yours, because you will not have kept your promises. So you will not be able to take me to task for not doing what you wanted".

My first problem was: how do you find God, find whether he exists or not? As a Catholic,repparttar 126961 first thing that occurred to me was to begin going to Mass each day. I did that surreptitiously, without telling Iris. She had always had a very close relationship with God and I felt a bit self conscious about what I was trying to do.

What else? It occurred to me that I had never actually readrepparttar 126962 Bible through from one end torepparttar 126963 other. So I decided to do just that. We were coming towards Christmas and when my two sons asked me what I wanted as a present, I told them, "A Bible". They thought it was hilarious that I should want a Bible! I suppose they did not consider me to be quite repparttar 126964 bible-reading type. But I began reading it at night when everyone else was in bed.

I sometimes had a strange experience inrepparttar 126965 New Testament part. I would read and, although not understanding much of Paul's letters, for example, nonetheless it was as if my mind took over and began to explain to me what I was reading. How that happened, I did not know.

Two and a half years after I had begun this search Iris developed a serious illness: emphysema. Her lungs were filling with fluid and, because of other conditions,repparttar 126966 doctors could do nothing. They gave her six weeks to live.

Onrepparttar 126967 Friday of Pentecost a nun from our parish persuaded us to go to a healing service at a Catholic church about twenty miles away. We went and my wife was insantaneously healed fromrepparttar 126968 emphysema when she was prayed over byrepparttar 126969 parish priest, Fr Lenard May. She "fell inrepparttar 126970 Spirit" and was down for about half-an-hour. It was as if allrepparttar 126971 excess fluid in her body was evaporated away for, when she got up, one could see a damp outline of her body onrepparttar 126972 floor around where she had lain. Our doctor was staggered byrepparttar 126973 event: it subsequently led to his own conversion.

Can Christians Be Capitalists

Written by A K Whitehead

Can Christians Be Capitalists? by A K Whitehead

For reasons of space, we have to be very concise in this article. By Christian we mean people who put Christ first in their lives as their guiding principle. These are not those who call themselves Christians but who live independently ofrepparttar Body of Christ.

What Is A Capitalist A capitalist is one who owns capital. From an economics perspective capital is not money or finance. Capital is what is used to produce goods or services: machinery, tools, equipment, etc. It used to be said thatrepparttar 126947 distinctive feature of a capitalist is that he can wait, in distinction from a worker who cannot wait because what he acquires from his work is what he needs to live from week-to- week or month-to-month.

Labout And Capital To be a capitalist, therefore, one must haverepparttar 126948 means to wait. Mainly this is because goods and services all come into being only through some process of production. And such processes inevitably involve time and therefore waiting. This isrepparttar 126949 initial source ofrepparttar 126950 capitalists market power, andrepparttar 126951 inherent cause of labour's market weakness. One sees this power struggle in every industrial dispute, especially when it engagesrepparttar 126952 ultimate strategy ofrepparttar 126953 strike, when called by labour, orrepparttar 126954 lockout, when called by capitalists.

Capitalists And Markets There is another aspect attached to waiting which is central torepparttar 126955 question we are discussing. How do capitalists behave within a competitive market environment?

Behaviour is considerably determined byrepparttar 126956 market. His basic objective is to survive. What does his survival depend on? Profits. Without profits he will not continue intorepparttar 126957 long run.

On what do profits depend? There are many parts to this answer, butrepparttar 126958 principle components are efficiency and establishing a market advantage. The latter, in turn, depends on out-thinking and out-performing competitors. That means producing at a high quality level or, what amounts torepparttar 126959 same thing, a lower real price level.

This takes us torepparttar 126960 real nub ofrepparttar 126961 question we are addressing. Where markets are highly competitive, out-performing competitors is difficult. So long term survival is difficult because every organisation will be pressured into usingrepparttar 126962 same most, efficient technology and prices will be competed to levels which produce relatively low levels of profit.

No-one likes this kind of situation because it is constantly threatening to repparttar 126963 long term objective of survival. Yet, conditions of uncertainty arerepparttar 126964 norm. And market capitalists do not like uncertainty. They have always and will always attempt to reduce uncertainty. They do that by, one way or another, getting rid ofrepparttar 126965 competition. It is a remarkable paradox that repparttar 126966 greatest argument in favour of a market system, its competitiveness, isrepparttar 126967 one thing which market participants spend their time trying to get rid of.

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