Sunday, August 7, 2016

The false god Economy

It has been a very interesting few weeks in politics in this country which has and will have an effect of the lives of each and everyone who lives here. One of the characteristic parts of the debate was the focus by people on the economy and immigration. 

As I listened to more and more heated debate around these subjects I began to think that economy has become the false God of this generation. If you examine the language that is being used around economy then it is very similar to the language used around and Old Testament God. For example 
we don't want to do anything to upset the economy as if it is some mythical creature 
we have to keep doing things to keep the economy on our side so we can prosper
we don't wanna do that it might upset the economy. 
And of course we all have to make sacrifices - jobs, livelihoods - even lives are sacrificed as we must not spend too much on the NHS as it might upset the god economy.

In short - nothing must be done to upset the god economy. 
The god economy has it's own high priests - economists.
And of course the god economy has temples to worship in - for example banks, building societies and areas of commerce like Meadowhall.

The interesting thing was, that for the first time in a very long time people disregarded the false god economy. Many ignored the dire warning of impending doom. I suspect largely that for all their sacrifices, the god economy had done nothing for them. Perhaps people have started to rumble that economy really is a false god - that offers much and delivers little.

Of course the false god economy will increasingly fail to satisfy because our expectations become ever higher. The bar for what we want as a basis for living goes up, so although we may be classed as poor in this country we are rich by global standards.

The false god economy strives on scarcity - because scarcity gives value - immense value. 

If we look to God - the one true God - we see a different way of living - one that cares for everyone, does not seek scarcity but seeks abundance because then everyone can have it, value is not in profit but in provision. This is a way of life that makes sure all flourish not just an elite who benefit from good education and privilege. 

This means that if we want to glimpse God’s Kingdom here on earth we need to change our mindset, stop worshiping the economy and consider how we can always be generous with our time, money, talent and not seek profit or gain but seek to help to build up to see others flourish. 

This is the way of the Kingdom. An extreme example is the early church that when faced with food shortage, all would fast until there was sufficient for all. No one eats until we all eat.

As we enter a time of rest during August let us pray about how we live and can we change how we live so we see ever more of God’s kingdom. Let us stop worshiping the false god economy and turn again to the one true God.