It’s interesting, even entertaining, to watch the political gyrations of presidential candidates attempting to respond to our anemic economy (no wonder many citizens have given up on politics in exchange for the news about sports who’s wearing what at the Oscars). Still, it always catches my attention when I hear critics from both political ideologies decry candidates who talk about religious or moral issues. The critics want candidates to focus on fixing our economic policy in order to bring back the days of wine and roses. I’m not an old fuddy-duddy who longs for a complete return to the good old days, but based on my reading of the Bible and history books, there definitely is a connection between the morals of people within a nation and economic prosperity. I know that’s a hard concept for unbelievers to get their head around, but it’s true. Even if unbelievers refuse to acknowledge God’s existence, it’s undeniable that declining morality eventually creeps into the way business leaders conduct business and political leaders govern. Immorality manifests itself in more ways than abortion or a highly sexualized culture.
I don’t know for certain that our current national malaise is the result of sinners in the hands of an angry God, but I can’t help but be a little anxious that we, as a nation, may be on thin ice with God’s patience. There are numerous examples of people groups in the Bible that lost their moral moorings. They indulged all sorts of sensual and pagan appetites. The thing that always seemed to rile God the most was their dalliances with other gods. I think God cuts us a lot of slack, except when we drift away from him. The modern American shift away from belief in God is worse, in some ways, than believing in false gods. Why? Because the only god left to worship in an atheistic culture is man. And we were designed to worship something. Are we going to worship ourselves?
If you want a solution to our current economic problems, I’ll give you the only one likely to have a lasting positive outcome. Here it is: The economy has a much better chance of improving if the majority of people in each class—the poor, middleclass, and wealthy—believe there is a moral God who cares how we live our lives. That’s it. That’s the fix. Oh, and it would also help if the majority of people in America loved God more than anything else. This solution is simple, but not easy. Until our politicians, and the rest of us, recognize that the root of our economic problems ARE the social issues, not much will change. Oh they might be able to come up with some economic band aids to place on the wound, but they won’t cure our problem.