Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Opus 2012-177, Don’t Be Impressed by the Numbers

Recently I heard a missionary who had been allowed to visit Cuba talking about how a pastor there had to live on $18.00 a month.  We were supposed to gasp and reach for our wallets to relieve his distress.  The problem is that he showed pictures of the pastor and his family.  They were in an adequate home, were dressed well and did not look hungry.  I was forced to come to the conclusion that it must be possible to live on $18.00 a month in Cuba.  I don’t think that was the conclusion he was looking for.

Often we hear about how little money people make in the world.  We need to realize that those people do not live in the United States.  I am not trying to trivialize their conditions but if I grew most of my food, had no utilities to pay, had few clothes and washed them by hand, did not drive a car and paid no taxes, I could live on a few hundred dollars a year too.  I don’t live that way and don’t want to live that way, but it does not mean they are at death’s door.

I came across a statistic about how inflation has changed our costs.  The reference was about how a family could come out of poverty in the 19th century if the fathers would just stop drinking.  The key phrase in here is about half way through where the author says, “which at that time...”
“As a leader of the City Temperance Society, Hartley visited distilleries, debated their owners or managers, and wrote  a temperance pamphlet entitled "Way to Make the Poor Rich." He  pointed out that twelve-and-a-half cents a day spent on drink  amounted to $45.62 a year, which at that time was enough to buy three tons of coal, 1 load of wood, 2 barrels of flour, 200 pounds of  Indian meal, 200 pounds of pork, and 8 bushels of potatoes; ‘into a  house thus supplied,’ Hartley wrote, ‘hunger and cold could not enter.’”
When someone tries to use statistics and numbers to tweak your heart strings or manipulate your thinking, turn on your BS detector.  The numbers may be accurate.  That does not mean the conclusions are true.

Any time a politician quotes numbers, an environmentalist quotes numbers, a health nut quotes numbers, or your children quote numbers turn on your thinking cap.  Get skeptical.  Ask yourself, “Does that make sense?”  And be kind to them when it doesn’t.

Except the politicians.  Those suckers need to be voted out.

November is coming.

Olasky, Marvin.  The Tragedy of American Compassion.  Washington, D.C.:  Regnery
    Publishing, Inc., 1992, page 28 (Kindle Location 395-98)

homo unius libri


  1. I always remember the old saying, "Figures don't lie, but liars figure."

    1. The way people in education use statistics you would think they never went to school. We need to remember that correlation does not mean causation.

      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.