contributed by Celie∞Hilbert, PhD, Research Mathematician, via direct log-in
reviewed by “Episcopal Maenad,” by email, May 25, 2021
confidential, HIPPA privacy protected, & mission-specific collaborations are here
open comments for general public and open subscribers are below
Admin PLB Accountant, R. Roma
in memorial of MTB, 50 year, no-fear, go-anywhere street-worker, recently deceased
The Holy Spirit signed no contract to cooperate with results of studies on degrees of social influence starting with smallest groups.
Studies about degrees of influence go like this. Start with our friends or nuclear families (first degree). Move on to how our friends and family influence our friends’ friends and families of friends (second degree). Next move on to study the influence of our friends’ friends’ friends and family (third degree). And so on. It all starts with smallest groups. The smallest groups are often our nuclear families. These smallest groups, however, can be nuclear groups that are stronger than nuclear family because they are forged together by strongest covenant-bonds for service and obedience – just as Jesus said, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?” Pointing to His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:48-50).
The focus in studies of degrees of influence in social networking , churches, politics, local bar rooms – and for our local mission teams would have us know that the influence of just 20 workers in the field (just one full-time trainer working with just one full-time learner – times 10 = 20) is an effective influence on 160,000 people, whose further networks have an effective influence on another 25,600,000,000 (twenty-five billion, six hundred million).
These measures are generally true. They all start with smallest groups. Not big numbers: but, full-time commitment replicated in others.
True, these studies are true, but are potentially misleading. Misleading because having an influence on 25,600,000,000 people (twenty-five billion, six hundred million) says nothing about the quality and kind of the influence.
Influence? For life? For death?
Or for mediocrity and lukewarmness by camping in ‘safe zones’ in between life and death?
Most full-time trainers here have used The Tempest as an instruction and training media. The Tempest is all about winning battles by prayer alone. In the Julie Taymor version, Prospera recites standard language about using prayer: 1) some prayers to heal, 2) some prayers to harm (harm evil). These two elements of prayer are just basic introductions to prayer. To heal and bless the Good. To destroy and harm the evil. That’s prayer in a nutshell.
The effects of Answered prayers in physical results on earth can be more complicated in because of the number and the spectrum of results of influence on others. The Tempest revisits the mixture – and it is a mixture – of many influences and many effects predicted in the Mountains of Blessings and Curses.
The basic statistical studies on degrees of influence do not show who, or Who gets the benefits of effects of influence – in 25,600,000,000 (twenty-five billion, six hundred million) – effects of influence.
The studies do not show the reasons why. Or the complicated mixtures. Other studies must measure these mixtures.
The Holy Spirit alone authors and knows the real influence of our contemporary “Book of Numbers.” As we have written many times, the Book of Numbers was a census for going to war. Many were counted for war. Very few showed up. Of all those numbered for war, only the smallest handful showed up fully committed and the greatest number in this massive Book of Numbers wandered and died in the wilderness – with their names on the books.
What kind of influence is it to be called to war – and not show up? How to measure that failure to show up for war on that generation? – on their own living children who got to wander with the adults? – how to measure that failure to show up for war on next generations who suffered for their cowardice? – what kind of influence are we having? – especially because our radiating effects in furthermost outward circles really does influence 25,600,000,000 others?
It is a truism among some professional mathematicians that – “God has the Big Book of Numbers, God has All the Beautiful Proofs, God has all Mathematical Theorems.” There are emotional expressions in the scriptures that show God disgusted and wanting to repent for making an earth full of a Big Book of Numbers. In some cases, God is pleased and for the Joy set before Him, He implemented Salvation (Hebrews 12:2).
As to influence, we are not called just to influence others. There is an idolatry in this focus on our influence. We are called to be under the influence of the Spirit – unto obedience.
God knows the degrees to which we are influenced by the Holy Spirit unto obedience.
As MTB said over and over, now recently deceased in Texas, she said to the old forums (2004-2012) – Ananias and Sapphira got numbered for faking and lying about the measures of their obedience. The Barna studies (here) describe people deliberately seeking churches that are deliberately lukewarm and half-committed and growing with big numbers – to avoid full-time commitment.
The simple studies about degrees of influence are generally accurate.
These studies mean that 20 people here, say just 10 full-time mentors and with only 1 full-time student each (10 students), and then each reproducing full-time commitment in kind — these very small numbers can have an effective influence on 160,000 people.
And more generally, this propagation of influence is certain to happen.
For good or ill. Influence happens.
We are either blessed or doomed, as you will, in having influence.
On good days, we hear and obey.
Other days, we don’t care. Enough.