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I have omitted from my list some evils that are difficult to combat by mere human means, such as global warming, the devil, and the Democratic Party.

I’ve also revealed my magnanimous and gracious nature by omitting such ephemeral annoyances as ACLU lawyers, the graduated income tax, and Hillary what’s-her-name.

Here is my summary list in descending order. This will make it easier for historians of Higher Human Thought to cut and paste it into their massive tomes, peer-reviewed journals, and memos to the Nobel prize committee:

  1. Islamism
  2. The oil runout
  3. Nicolaitanism
  4. Massive ignorance
  5. Pandemics
  6. Government bankruptcies

  7. Political correctness (religion of the New World Order)

  8. War

  9. Destruction of the environment and animal extinction

  10. The water shortage
  11. Liberal media
  12. Hunger

Islamism

Is it a peaceful religion that’s spoiled by a few bad eggs? Yes and no. Mostly no. A July poll of British Muslims found that 88 percent feel the Quran doesn’t permit terrorism. That’s encouraging, but why aren’t they issuing any fatwas against bin Laden?

Unfortunately, a majority of Muslims worldwide think that the proper way to interpret the conflicting advice in the Quran is to regard the militant, later-written verses as overriding the peaceful, earlier ones. Others believe the opposite. (Muhammad was militarily weak when he wrote the earlier verses, but he wrote his later verses when he was launching his slaughters.) Most of the wars and conflicts around the world today are caused by radical Muslims, or “Islamists.” As individuals, most Muslims are peaceful, friendly, cordial folks. In packs of activists, they are bloodthirsty maniacs.

There is progress, however. Approached in new and thoughtful ways, Muslims are proving to be quote open to the good news of Jesus Christ. For instance, in Bangladesh alone, an estimated 522,000 Muslims have become Christians just in the past six to seven years. And in the world’s largest Muslim country, Indonesia, there have been so many conversions to Christ (about 30 percent of the population) that the government would spark riots if they announced the true figures. My opinion: You and I may live to see every Muslim nation become Christian … and terrorism cease.

The oil runout

Old oil fields are drying up, and new ones aren’t being found in large enough quantities. Sometimes we have to go down four miles to find oil now – and it’s lower-grade stuff. The last “giant” discovery was in 1976. There will be no more. There were 16 “large” discoveries in 2000. Then eight in 2001, three in 2002, and zero in 2003. When asked about huge new fields waiting to be discovered, David Goodstein, vice provost of Cal Tech, said, “Better to believe in the tooth fairy.”

At the present rate of consumption, all Earth’s oil would be gone by 2029. Of course, that won’t happen – prices will just get higher and higher. By 2010, $200 a barrel is a good bet. Because alternative fuels are apt to take decades to put on line, it’s easy to envision an extremely serious disruption of our way of motorized life.

One ray of light in the gloom: Jerome Corsi and Craig Smith’s “Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil,” makes an excellent case that oil isn’t a fossil fuel at all, but an inorganic, non-biological (“abiotic”) substance that is being continuously produced in the depths of the furnaces of Mother Earth in near-limitless quantities. The catch is, I think, we may need some reallllllly long straws to get it out.

Nicolaitanism

I would have put this one first, but then you would have thought me even crazier than I am. Frankly, if this problem were completely eliminated, then I think most of the other nine could be stopped also.

The Nicolaitans were perhaps the earliest Christian “heretics,” though they appear to have started with faulty church practices, then later on slid into faulty beliefs. They appeared so early that they’re even mentioned in the New Testament (Revelation 2:6,15) – quite unfavorably, I might add.

A Nicolaitan is, literally, someone who controls (nikos) the people (laos) of God. This would include almost all priests and pastors today, though I rush to state that pastors are my favorite people in the church. I feel they’re usually several sigmas ahead of their flocks in both maturity and knowledge.

Nonetheless, pastors need to turn all their people loose and empower them to turn the world right-side up. See “Megashift.” Or George Barna’s “Revolution.” Either will tell you the story.

Alas. Even I cannot solve the world’s biggest problems in 750 words. The other nine problems will have to wait. But I promise: There are solutions.

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