In the past two weeks we have seen something of a meltdown on Wall Street. Some of the biggest investment banks have failed and Congress is debating a $700 billion bailout designed to head off a total financial collapse. Without question it is the biggest crisis faced by our nation since WW II. Most of us are asking, “How could something like this happen? Who’s to blame?”
Affixing blame, however, is simply an exercise in futility unless it focuses on learning from our mistakes and not just denigrating those who are most responsible. In truth, there is enough blame to go around. Some of the most obvious culprits – self-serving CEO’s, greedy speculators, mortgage banks pushing sub-prime loans with adjustable rate mortgages, unprincipled real estate agents, naive home buyers and shortsighted politicians. These all share in the responsibility to one degree or another. Now we must turn our attention to the future, to correcting the underlying causes to make sure nothing like this happens again.
Obviously economics are not my forte, and the intricacies of the current crisis are beyond me, so what I say here should be interpreted in light of that. Still, having said that, I would like to venture an opinion in regard to what should be done; not to solve the present crisis but to minimize the risk in the future.Category: September 2008
I hate to admit it, but I sometimes have a hard time believing that the words I say to God in the privacy of my prayer closet can effect the rise and fall of governments and the course of history. I choose to believe intercessory prayer has that kind of power because the Bible says it does and history has shown it to be true, but it is not easy. So often my prayers feel small and irrelevant, more like an exercise in futility than a world shaping joint venture with God. Reminding myself that when you fill a pond with rocks the first one hundred loads disappear beneath the surface of the water without leaving a trace helps some, but I still struggle. What helps even more is to review what has happened in the last twenty years.
In the 1970’s a minister “prophesied” that the Soviet Union would collapse and that following its collapse, there would be a great spiritual awaking in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet block countries. I managed not to snicker when I heard about his prophecy, but just barely. I told someone that it was a good thing we didn’t stone false prophets or that man would surely be put to death.
As far as I was concerned there was no way his prophecy was going to come true. The Soviet Union was a super power, an atheistic government that persecuted Christians and the possibility of its demise was inconceivable to me. I should have reread Daniel, especially that part about a rock not made by human hands. Daniel put it like this: “This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands...the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever” (Daniel 2:45, 44).Category: September 2008