The federal government has chosen to rescue major financial institutions with a $700 billion “bailout plan” in the hope of avoiding a national economic crisis. Yet, the government’s solution does not address the real root cause of the problem.
Individuals have bought homes beyond their means. Lending companies have knowingly sold people mortgages they could never afford. Politicians have encouraged such transactions while receiving political contributions from Fannie and Freddie. Executives handed out excessive bonuses while requesting money from the government. The root cause of the problem is not simply one of dollars and cents, but of morals and ethics.
Any financial solution that does not address the mindset and behavior of Americans at all levels will not result in lasting change. No political personality, Democrat or Republican, will be able to save our country from the economic woes caused by corruption and greed.
Instead, our nation is in need of an economic “baptism of repentance.” Long ago a true maverick and instrument of change came on the scene and transformed the landscape of his people. His name was John the Baptist. His message was simple, “Bear fruits worthy of repentance.” (Matthew 3:8) He told the tax collectors not to “collect more than what is appointed to you.” (Luke 3:13) He told the rich not to be greedy but to share their wealth.
The gospel is the ultimate model for true change. John the Baptist preached a message of repentance to pave the way for the ultimate bailout plan, salvation through Jesus Christ, who bore all of our sin debt on the cross. In the same light, unless our government restrains their assistance to cases where there is evidence of true remorse over wrong and personal accountability, we will continue down a path of even greater fiscal recidivism.
A problem of morals and ethics, not dollars and cents
Published in the Bucks County Courrier Times on October 31st 2008