Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The 'End' of Greed 2008
Once again we are experiencing the impact of the playing out of a cycle in the economy created by the greed that permeates a fallen culture driven by an out-of-control desire for greater wealth and accumulation. The economic crisis of 2008 has many causes but the primary cause is sin. Sin is such an antiquated and difficult word to use in the 'naked public square' without being ridiculed, but it IS the root cause of the woe's of our world including the recent credit crisis.
With a few noted exceptions our entire culture participated in creating the credit crisis. In this decade we have experienced unbelievable spending and consumption while US households actually had a negative savings rate. From Congress and entitlements and stimulus checks (paid for by issuing debt), to the White House and the "off-budget" funding of a war, to credit agencies looking the other way at bundled mortgage backed securities, to neighbors and the under-employed being encouraged to mislead lenders in order to qualify for more debt than they could afford - a good case can be made that The Influence of Affluence in this case is negative - and now the price must be paid. Will we simply borrow more and extend the deadline for debt or will we begin to look with wisdom at this situation?
Although we may not be able to effect change on a macro-economic basis and our White House and Congress may continue to try and fix this problem by more borrowing - the church (that's us individually and corporately) should look upon this crisis with wisdom and speak truth in our words AND how we live. If we refuse to participate in a culture drunk on the desire for more and live as wise stewards we will have a testimony that means something and peace that comes from obedience and a world view that refuses to follow the culture. Reform of culture begins with one person making a decision to follow God and his principles regardless of the culture. Though "The 'End' of Greed" will not come until Christ return economic crisis and times like these give us opportunity to show the Truth to our families, culture and the world.
As James Madison said:
"If men were Angels, we would not need government."
and as my friend Kendall Hewitt said this morning,
"Freedom requires internal government coupled with endless checks and balances. "