Is God interested in government? Does God’s word have anything to say to us today about godly governance? Does character matter when it comes to running a nation? Are economic issues related to moral issues? Does the strength of a nation rest only in political and economic matters? These and related questions are certainly very timely, and Christians of all people should address them carefully.
Given what looks like another global financial crisis, tied in with economic meltdown in Europe and the debt crisis and downgrading of the credit rating in the US, along with Britain in flames, we certainly need to think through these matters.
Indeed, given how many people who call themselves Christians were happy to vote for atheists, homosexuals, pro-abortionists, and so on at the last Federal election, it seems that some believers have not been thinking carefully about these matters at all.
When we think about the various leaders running Australia, America, and other Western nations today, and assess them in the light of Scripture, we would appear to be in a very precarious place. Simply consider Australia. Our two leaders, Gillard and Brown, are both hostile to Christianity. Indeed they revel in their atheism and ungodliness.
She is a pro-abortion socialist who is shacking up with her boyfriend. He is a pro-abortion socialist who is shacking up with his boyfriend. Both are living lives far from what Scripture upholds as leadership material. And today we read of another high-ranking government minister who is also publicly flaunting her ungodly lifestyle.
Finance Minister Penny Wong and her female lover have just announced that they are expecting a baby through IVF. This is another nail in the coffin of marriage and family, and is another blow to the well-being of children. All children have a fundamental right to be born into and raised by their own biological mother and father. To deliberately deprive them of this is a form of child neglect, if not abuse.
But this is typical of the leadership we have in this nation. And many other Western nations would also have such political figures running their countries. In the US we have the most militantly pro-abortion and pro-homosexual President ever to hold office.
And of course these nations are now in a real mess. Australia might think it can escape the economic collapse taking place in Europe (especially the PIGS: Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) and America, but in a global economy this will be unlikely. We will all be impacted by the global financial meltdown.
We clearly need to recall the strong connection made in Scripture between the state and fate of a nation and its spiritual and moral condition. The Bible of course speaks to this time and time again. Let me offer just a few passages here:
Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked rule, the people mourn.
Proverbs 11:14 Without wise leadership, a nation falls.
Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”.
When we take passages like this and put them together, we get a pretty good explanation as to why Australia, America and the West is in such a mess today. When we – and especially our leaders – abandon God, indeed, shake our fists at God, we are asking for trouble.
Solzhenitsyn said this decades ago when he looked at the disaster which had befallen the former Soviet Union: “It is because we have forgotten God. That is why all this is happening to us.” Or as Yahweh put it when his covenant people asked why great disaster had befallen them: “All this happened because you people sinned against the LORD and did not obey him” (Jeremiah 40:3).
One American commentator has just penned a piece which also deals with these matters. Michael Brown entitles his piece, “It’s the Morality, Stupid!” He says, “Could it be that there’s more to the story? Could it be that we make a serious and fundamental mistake when we separate economic issues from moral issues? Could it be that we are often treating the symptoms rather than the cause? There was bipartisan disgust as the nation watched the president and both political parties wrangling over a solution to the current financial crisis, and in the end, all we got was a very small, largely ineffective band aid. As one political cartoonist depicted it, the congressional ‘solution’ was like slowing down the speed with which the Titanic was sinking.
“Across party lines, there was a feeling that we were not really getting to the root of the problem, but few, if any were suggesting that it is impossible to separate economics from morality. Eventually, our moral choices will have a definite and direct impact on the money (or lack thereof) in our pockets.”
He mentions four root areas which are having a decided impact on the nation and the economy: “1) Instant gratification. 2) We have become consumers rather than producers. 3) The breakdown of the family. 4) Abortion.”
Consider the last one: “With all the concerns about Social Security defaulting, very few leaders are talking about the 800 pound gorilla missing from the room, namely, multiplied millions of working Americans who are not here to pay into the system and contribute to the economy because their lives were cut short in the womb. Yes, there is an economic consequence to abortion as well.
“Perhaps, then, it would be wise for political candidates who really care about what’s best for America to change their slogan to, ‘It’s the morality, stupid.’ Or is this slogan too true to be good?”
Yes moral, spiritual and cultural issues need to be looked at as closely as we looked at the trade balance or fiscal policy. But most leaders today are secularists living immoral lifestyles, so those are the last sorts of things they wish to consider. They think that tinkering around the edges of the economy, or making crafty political moves will somehow fix everything up.
Sorry, they are deluded, and are deluding the nations they lead. Our problems are far deeper than what these leaders imagine. Until we get our priorities right, and stop leaving God out of the picture, the West will continue to head down the gurgler.
It is time for a massive rethink – and real soon.