Sunday, October 30, 2011

American Boom or American Bust

"The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved."  ~ Jeremiah 8: 20  

The common economic wisdom is that this century will be the Century of China and India just like the last century was the Century of America.

An October 24, 2011 article in the United Kingdom paper, The Telegraph, written by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard entitled “World Power Swings Back to America” states in part…”The American Phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labor gap with China in a clutch of key industries.”

America has become the Number One producer of natural gas, passing by the former #1, Russia. The “shale gas revolution” is occurring. North Dakota is considered the “new North Sea.” Today U.S. supplies a net 395,000 barrels of oil per day; that number will rise by mid-decade to 5.5 million barrels a day; a ten-fold rise since 2009.

I find few articles that are positive about America’s economic future. It was refreshing. The article contained many more factoids that simply I found impressive. We may possess the tools to continue to be an economic power house, but what if we continue to be morally bankrupt?

Our company is in the process of relocating thirty-three commercial tenants from a building so the building can be redeveloped into apartments. Many of the tenants do not want to leave; they love the building but they do not own it. Change is hard for all of us but our experience relocating these long-term tenants has been mostly disheartening.

In this process, which is totally legal and handled in a sensitive manner, has been met with anger and skepticism. People have tried to steal the building conference room chairs; each one is worth $65. Why would a woman in her 60’s do this? She is angry and vindictive towards “the rich men doing this.”

The “Occupy Wall Street” stuff may seem distant to Western Minnesota, but its affect is being felt. The attitude to “take from the rich man” has set in at an amazing speed. We may disagree with what’s being done (re:development of the building) but it does not give any of us a license to steal.

The question I ask is this: “What good is all this economic potential if we as a nation are morally bankrupt? Wake up church (Christians), we haven’t done our appointed task—share Christ with our culture and display His sacrificial love. No, we’ve sat on our hind ends, “gotten into the world big-time,” we may be economically successful but morally bankrupt. If that is the case, we have nothing.

Jeremiah 9:7-9"Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: "See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people?  Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks with deceit. With his mouth each speaks cordially to his neighbor, but in his heart he sets a trap for him.  Should I not punish them for this?" declares the LORD. "Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?""

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