Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Bringing God into discussions about Quantative Easing!

Discussions about the solution to our economic woes are everywhere. Opinions are plentiful.

Has Quantative Easing avoided the worst of the recession? (That's printing money to you and me. Obviously the Government wouldn't want to call it that else we might question why they're allowed to do it and we aren't ;-) Will any benefits of QE come at the cost of a long and deep depression and eventual high inflation? Should Banker's bonuses be curbed or should the Government have never intervened in the first place (thus bankers would have been fighting for their jobs instead of fighting for their bonuses and the taxpayer's debt would be a fraction of what we now face)? The list is almost endless. Everyone has an opinion. Discussion heats up. It is tempting for the Christian to turn away from such debates.

Yet, underneath the opinions and arguments, different shades of the same worldview underpin them all. For everywhere it is assumed that man is in control of his destiny and that his destiny is to make money, make a name for Himself and have fun! Very few Christian voices can be heard in such discussions. Those that do enter in, invariably argue for ethics derived from the Bible. Whilst this is not a bad thing per se, I would argue that little headway will be made if this worldview remains unchallenged. I would liken it to a group of Doctors arguing about the treatment of symptoms before they have identified the cause of the illness.

The following is an example of a recent post I made at a financial website where I tried to do this. I don't hold it up as a good example, nor do I expect anything to come from it, yet it was offered for the glory of God. Imagine if christians everywhere were to start asking questions like this at every level of society? If people could no longer just assume that the underlying worldview driving all they say and do is the only valid one?

In the discussion contributors were lamenting the decline in our culture and arguing for less government intervention and a return to a time when people were less self-centred and short-term gain focussed and when good quality, hard work was rewarded - presumably in contrast to the current debate about bankers, who are perceived as those who have got us into the mess, receiving bonuses. Here is what I wrote:

That our work ethics and, indeed, whole culture, have undergone significant transformation in a matter of a couple of generations is undeniable. The emerging implications for our future economic prosperity are disconcerting. More important, however, yet seldom asked and then hotly controverted, is the question: what is the cause?

Any solution seeking to limit the increasing desire for fast, easy gain - whether through tightened regulation at one extreme or a return to full, free market forces at the other - is to attempt to treat the symptom not the underlying cause. All the while the symptoms are screaming at us just how far gone the sickness is!

The reality is that we have bought in to the dominant yet bankrupt worldview of our day - for whom we have blind, so-called 'enlightenment', and post-modern humanist philosophers to thank. Ironically just as the gaping flaws in their reasoning and the recognition that humanism is no less a blind faith than Christianity is alleged to be become apparent, so, at the same time, have the
masses unquestioningly bought into the 'opium' of self-worship. As the Apostle Paul so incisively pointed out, we have refused to honour God or give Him thanks and have preferred to supress the truth about Him. Thus He has given us over to the futility of our own thinking (Romans 1:18-21).

Like the Romans to whom Paul wrote, unless we repent, our downfall is inevitable. We reap what we sow.

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