Bill Clinton’s campaign-winning slogan seems almost quaint, 18 years hence. Every day we read of at least one new dimension of economic crisis. Banks are failing, businesses closing, people are losing their jobs, families losing their homes.
Here’s another one: “States are taking on more debt. Here’s your share!“
Governments spend with abandon while nations are on the verge of bankruptcy. Things are so bad that everyone thinks the problems are primarily economic. Yet the root of the problem is not material capital but metaphysical. (For a superb treatment on this subject, see Is America’s Root Problem Economic? by Joseph Farah, founder and editor of WorldNetDaily.)
To accept Clinton’s mantra is to embrace a materialist worldview. That’s a natural move for atheists; unfortunately too many Christians are doing the same dance.
Today’s economic and political problems are rooted in our metaphysical capital – the capital of the mind, the power of a worldview and the moral vision that stems from the same.
Atheistic materialism defines all problems and their solutions in material terms. This concept was born in the European Enlightenment which led to the French revolution and the atheistic vision known today as liberalism or socialism.
Meanwhile, a more recent competitor here in the West is neo-paganism, the repackaged animism of African Traditional Religions, Hinduism, et al. Animism worships nature (a la the blockbuster movie Avatar) and is locked into a fatalistic and capricious mindset. This worldview undermines science, the rule of law, personal freedom and moral responsibility. Its fruit is poverty, material as well as spiritual.
A biblically informed economic system is vital to a society’s health. The core issue in the USA is not economics but worldview, the clash of vision between Judeo-Christian Theism and atheistic materialism. The first understands that all men are “created equal,” birthed for freedom, and designed for internal self government (and thus limited external government). Only on such a foundation is free and virtuous economic exchange built.
As for the vision of atheistic materialism, Jesus summed it up: “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!” (Luke 12:19) Narcissistic self indulgence leads away from God, away from freedom, and directly into poverty and eventually to chaos.
- Darrow Miller and Gary Brumbelow