The Crunch and the Moral Implications

December 3, 2008

From the October 2 issue of Reuters comes this article entitled: “A Moral Reason Behind The Crunch” so I want you to listen to this.

Evangelicals see moral decline in Wall St. woes, says Ed Stoddard.

Conservative U.S. Christians say their culture has gone wrong and has taken the economy and Wall Street down with it. It is a view which outsiders may find puzzling but has wide resonance in the U.S. heartland: the notion that moral decay and a lost sense of responsibility has brought on the worst banking and credit crisis since the Great Depression.

Such a view helps explain the unpopularity in conservative Christian circles — which have a big influence on the Republican Party — of a $700 billion bailout plan which the U.S. House of Representatives first rejected, rocking financial markets.

Mounting consumer and household debt as housing prices fall is one of the main reasons behind the current crisis — a crisis that religious conservatives say has moral roots.

The narrative goes roughly like this: the “collapse” of the traditional family, widespread divorce and a “permissive” culture have led to a disregard for personal responsibility.

A culture focused on instant gratification — through the overuse of credit cards to buy consumer goods, for example — has also lost other “traditional values” such as thrift and hard work.

“You can’t have a strong, vibrant society when you don’t have strong, vibrant families. It’s a crisis of commitment, it’s a crisis of responsibility,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

“If you don’t live up to your responsibility you are going to see that in the broader culture. You see this on Wall Street,” he said. It is a view that has been echoed by other conservative commentators, on Christian radio stations and on popular “Talk Radio” programs.

“To spend more than you’ve got is not the way we brought up our kids…

You have a whole credit industry that grew up around people wanting what their parents had without working 20 years to get it,” said Gary Ledbetter, spokesman for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

Tying “values” to economic problems is one way that religious conservatives can keep some focus on the “culture” issues they have long fought over as public attention is riveted on Wall Street, job security and house prices. Upholding “traditional” values which they say have been under assault since the 1960s informs much of their outlook, ranging from their opposition to abortion and gay rights to a professed aversion to heavy debt loads.

“Although debt is not a sin, it also is not a normal way of life, according to Scripture… debt is a dangerous tool that must be used, if at all, with extreme caution and much prayer,” says the conservative evangelical advocacy group “Focus on the Family” on its web site.

End of article.

Whether you like it or not, history has shown us that all major civilizations have fallen not because of outside attacks but because of internal moral decay. We need to learn the lessons of history. There will always be an operational cause and effect principle at work. Whatsoever you sow you shall reap.

Watch out for decay.

And the way to deal with this is to be familiar with Scriptures. Not only with what the Word of God says but with the God of the Word as Lord and Savior. This world has offered a lot of empty and false promises. Many things you read about are untrue. This is why you need to read the Bible, because by doing so, it prevents truth decay.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. rose ignaci

    your blog post today gave me understanding of the global financial crisis. Yes, it is true that credit cards have also contributed to the fall esp to people who relied mainly on those rather than sweating to give rewards of their fruit of labor.
    Thank you. More power

  2. Madz

    Hi Francis, fully agree that the root cause of all these sad events is – our internal moral decay: we failed to use our power of choice wisely, we were not serious in building our armor of Godly truths in really reading, seeking and understanding the Word of God. Thus, when events, situations, circumstances appeared that tested our core values, we lost clarity of what is good and beautiful. As they say, what is beautiful is not always good. But what is good is always beautiful.

    For me, each moment is a struggle to live and behave honorably with the many hats that I wear. This may be true for some people perhaps. May God continue to bless you Francis, your family and in all that you do, so more men and women will be reconnected with HIM and restore us to moral wellness.

  3. Jean Alva

    I totally agree. I have been monitoring the way the stock markets have been manipulated by inside trading, how government leaders manipulate or favor certain businesses, how futures commodities trading lure people into speculating about products that are not yet in existence… the price of selfish motives anmd improper gains. We need to teach our children the basic virtues of honesty, integrity, impartiality and fairness with our daily interactions with our neighbors. These seemed so insignificant in the world of high finances such that investments nowadays almost look like gambling and bigtime swindling. Credit cards likewise lure people into believing that anything can be had with just one swipe. Credit is not bad but it should be handled wisely, just like cash. These things must be taught in school. Financial intelligence is good but Spiritual maturity with Moral responsibility is key !

  4. Bo

    Good day Francis,

    Very much true. People never learned the lessons of history. Instant gratification is always being pursued. It’s the money literally that is being valued not the real value of money, which I think is being a good steward of it to help others as well as oneself.

    Thank you and more power.

  5. Editor

    The developments of the last six months have been so dramatic that they must be leaving an imprint in our collective subconsciousness. Like with any significant experience, we learn lessons from it and change our judgment in future events. Read more about this angle on

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