From Jim O'Brien
December 06, 2019

From Death to Life

Hi Friend,

In a recent newsletter, "A Time to Tear Down" I reflected on the teachings of economist Adam Smith and some of his disciples. The essence is that a free economy has a natural cycle that includes the "death" of some things in order to achieve necessary growth. It's a very biblical concept.

Mark and Jill Gully are close friends living in Colorado. Jill responded with an insightful observation. She writes:

"I appreciated your recent newsletter and have a few comments along that line....

As you know, I am a big veggie gardener, and experience the "cycle of life" every year as I save seeds from my tomatoes, beans, pumpkins etc. so that I can plant them for a new crop the next year. Without the harvest (death) of one crop, you cannot garner seeds for the life to come the next year.

I also take the Mother Earth News magazine. For a number of years it tilted decidedly liberal and progressive in its 'green' thinking, but in fairly recent years they have taken on board both an editor and a contributing writer with Christian roots. This particular contributing writer also speaks at the various fairs that Mother Earth News sponsors around the country. In a Youtube presentation he mentioned that his 'workshop' at these fairs is to teach people how to butcher chickens for family consumption. After a few events, he noticed how the younger children would push close to the front to see the actual killing of the chicken. One lad finally asked if he could come up and touch the carcass. He hopped up on stage and held up the head of the chicken with an element of glee. The speaker (Joel Salatin) began to realize that most children under the age of about 10 years are not horrified by the death of such an animal, and that the aversion tends to come in teenage years and later, especially when the only meat they see comes in a clean package in an inanimate form at the grocery store....looking nothing like its original form.

He also noted that people have lost the connection with that cycle of life and death that sustains us-the concept that things have to die in order for us to live. He now actively tries to engage young children in his presentations in an effort to connect them to the food they eat. He feels that if they better understand what occurs (death) in order for them to have dinner (fried chicken), they will develop a better respect for their food. He thinks that the current fad of vegetarianism and veganism (often adopted by young adults) comes from a failure to teach them to have that understanding and respect at an age where they form some of their life-long lessons.

Your newsletter made me consider how the breakdown/destruction of WCG and its corporate structure has enabled the refreshing growth of a vibrant community of people who are both willing and able to think for themselves, and can engage in discussion that brings growth and new life to our Christian walk.

Funny how we can allow our attachment to the 'familiar' structure or piece of clothing can prevent us from moving forward to see if there is something better ahead of us!

It also made me ponder the very crucial spiritual lesson that Christ had to die in order for us to have true life. We probably understand that more clearly than we do some of the smaller lessons along the way."

Truly a wonderful message-and a timely one for this generation."

Thanks Jill, for adding this perceptive response.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien