Several months back, I saw someone talking about having 100 trillion dollars. They proceeded to pull it out of their wallet, and show it. Sure enough, it was a 100 Trillion Dollar bill… from Zimbabwe. So, I decided to search out where I might be able to get my hands on one of these, and sure enough, a few days ago, I found someone online, and purchased my first 100 Trillion Dollar bill…
$100 Trillion. That’s $100,000,000,000,000. That’s a 1 followed by 14 zero’s.
Just to give you an idea of how much that is:
If you spent $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) every single day starting from the birth of Christ until today you still would not have reached $100 Trillion Dollars.
Basically, what has happened is that the Zimbabwe dollar has gone in to ‘hyperinflation(0)‘. According to Professor Steve H. Hanke of John Hopkins University(1), by “November 14, 2008, Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate was 89.7 Sextillion percent.” To give you a comparative picture, the highest that the U.S. inflation rate reached in the past 9 years was only 5.6%(2). Without getting in to all of the boring details, the end result of this going in to hyperinflation is that the Zimbabwe dollar has completely collapsed. There are no plans to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar again until 2010(3). They are forced to use foreign currency for the time being.
Apologist, Dr. Ravi Zacharias, made a point one time about this comparison, referring to there being no point of reference in the Zimbabwe inflation problem and the same with there being no point of reference in our western culture today. I want to take that idea and expound on it in my own words…
Culture. There is a sweeping culture shift over the past many years that is systematically removing the things this country was based on… systematically removing God from the culture and our society. Culture is shifting, thinking it is too mature now for this type of thinking. There is no point of reference for which to know what is right and wrong, true and false. Comments and questions typically get brought up something like, “How dare you come along and tell me I’m wrong,” “How could you possibly know that you are right,” and so on. Our culture today seems to be pushing and pushing towards freedom from anything that restricts.
Mind you, I’m not against freedom. I’m not against having the right to make your own basic decisions. I’m not against you having the freedom to choose your beliefs in God, or no God, or gods, or thoughts transcending reality, or karma, or rebirth, or whatever. You’re free to do that. The problem is that our culture today seems to want to be free from any restrictions; Our culture wants to be free from being told what is right or what is wrong… by anyone; Our culture wants to be free from people telling them what they think the right Answer is; and no one can tell them otherwise lest that person be condemned. But, shouldn’t there be a foundation, a basis, from which to base decisions on? Shouldn’t there be a fixed focal point to which we can look at to determine what is right and wrong, truth and lies? Shouldn’t there be a point of reference in these things? We know what happens when there is no point of reference in something basic like the Zimbabwe Dollar, so what makes us think we, as a mature post-modern culture, can make the results any different by taking the point of reference out of our daily lives and living it as we please? What I am proposing to you that God is that point of reference needed, through Jesus… and nothing less.
“Look at our situation today. You hear so often of the word ‘freedom’. We want to be free. We want to be free from this we want to be free from that. And look at the many ways that man is free today.
Technology has freed him, so that he can travel from one end of the globe to the other and travel through space at thousands of miles an hour.
Industry has freed him to move from one job specialization to another.
Education has freed his mind.
Electronics has freed him to be able to press a button and enter into experiences quite foreign to his own.
Medicine has freed him from sickness.
Chemistry has freed him from his emotions.
Psychiatry has freed him from guilt.
Art has freed his imagination
…and yet the man who wanted to be free technologically, travel at thousands of miles an hour and some of them end up with nervous breakdowns.
Education has become a treadmill.
Television has homogenized our tastes, fastens upon our sensitivities so that 3 million people are forced to the same thing by a pummeling of their minds.
Art has fastened upon us. Drugs have enslaved. Wars have become stalemated. Diplomatic negotiations have become deadlocked. Anarchy has erupted. Law has answered with repression. And determinism is still a reality word in a psychologists lexicon.
In an endeavor to be free we have bound ourselves and man has now been called homo-perturbatus. – ‘restless man’ intoxicated with a sense of freedom he doesn’t know what to do with…” ~Unknown~
1 Prof. Steve H. Hanke, February 5, 2009 http://www.cato.org/zimbabwe