I don’t know what to make of this and this. Feel free to make your own opinions, but when the panic reaches the mega-church pews, it may be time to buy.
So, what do you really think? How should believers respond to economic doom saying?
To answer my own question, which is always in bad taste, an economic slowdown is something we should expect after our people have been living on consumer credit for 15 years.
At some point the play money runs tight and no one is left to buy stuff they didn’t really need.
So, is it bad to pray for our economy, as it affects so much of our individual lives? It seems to me that a good economy is good for everyone, including churches. Not that it trumps many other things, for I do not believe that it does. I’m not sure it’s worthy of posting on a pastor’s blog as Dr. Floyd did. But at the same time, is it really all that bad to pray for our national economy to thrive?
I would’ve voted, but there’s not a “Haven’t been praying, but just started today” option. Honestly, until yesterday, I’ve not been concerned about the economy. Yet, as I stated in today’s post (honestly, this is not an attempt for a shameless plug, but an attempt to summarize something I’ve said previously), the economy is something we as Christians should be concerned about. Yes, God is our provider, but we also can’t just throw everything to the wind and trust God will make it work out. We are to be good stewards of how we spend and save money and the example we set for others.
The economy is something that affects our lives – both directly and indirectly – everyday, and if we have a recession or depression, it will affect how we go about our daily lives. As such, I believe we have a responsibility, at the least, to pray for those who watch over our economy that they would have the wisdom and foresight to make decisions for the good of the country.
Is it going to be as serious as the headlines make it out to be? I don’t know; I’m not an economist. But, I tend to think that the doom saying is a bit much. As you stated, recessions are normal. All we can do is wait and see, all the while seeking the Lord’s face in this and being wise stewards of what He’s given us.
IF we’re going to be praying for the economy, what we ought to be praying for is that this sinful system of debt will be eradicated. It destroys families and individual lives because of the flagrant and unwise use of it.
Not to say it is ever wise to have debt, but our economy is currently structured in such a way that it is nearly impossible not to use it for some things, such as buying a house and possibly a car.
Tim – Thanks for your comments, and I think you are right. Prayer is good. I was glad Dr. Floyd affirmed God’s guiding hand and called people to prayer. That’s why I read his blog.
But if the downturn is a natural consequence of our lavish debt-funded lifestyles and general wasting the wealth we have on endless entertainment, then perhaps confession would trump petition. It’s a big and complicated issue.
It’s like me praying for an “A” in Greek class after not having the self control to study.
Danny – Good point, but my polls are always too narrow minded
Stephen – I do believe in economic injustice, and consumer credit may qualify as a mild example.
I agree wholeheartedly. Confession is definitely in order in our society in terms of financial irresponsibility.
After 200 years of the (extremely well-funded) American Experiment, only 4% of Americans hold a biblical worldview (Barna Research).
I can’t really imagine the success of our economy is something God’s particularly interested in hearing about.
A downturn in the economy always hurts some and helps others.
Our Christian brothers in Canada are enjoying tremendous purchasing power on American goods.
Should I pray that they not be so blessed in order that I might be more blessed?
I’m neutral on the economy.
>I can’t really imagine the success of our economy is something God’s particularly interested in hearing about.
I cannot disagree with you more. Just read through the prophets – both major and minor – in the OT and you will see that God cares a lot about the economy. God chastises Israel for their cheating and lying in the markets, their unfair weights, their unfair taxation (especially on the poor), etc. Scripture is clear how one is to treat his neighbors, and I believe how an economy is run falls under this mandate.
>After 200 years of the (extremely well-funded) American Experiment, only 4% of Americans hold a biblical worldview (Barna Research).
This argument in no way refutes the claim that God does not care about the economy. Does God care only about those nations that have a majority of people with biblical worldviews? I think not. If that were true, God would not have judged other nations as we see in the OT; He would have only focused on Israel.
Let’s not allow Barna research to dictate what God is concerned about and what He is not concerned about.
We are commanded to pray for the leadership of our nation (so that we may live in peace.) A major component of leading any country is economic. To neglect to pray that our leaders would be wise in handling the nation’s money is a sin.
The economy may get a mention in my prayers occasionally. More than that though, I would pray for the response and attitudes of the church and its members within a declining economy: that we would care for those who may suffer, be better stewards of our resources, and would be generous even in our own times of need, that we would become a church with the heart of the church in Acts 4.
Danny… I don’t think we disagree, although you may have misunderstood what I was saying. I couldn’t agree with you more about the biblical mandates for justice WITHIN the overall economy. My point was… I don’t see God as thinking “Oh my gosh, I need to help Americans (in general) be able to buy more stuff, look more prosperous, build their church-buildings bigger, and get some digital billboards flashing the good news — otherwise they’ll never get the Great Commission done in the U.S…. much less done in the rest of the world.”
And the mention of our 4% effectiveness had nothing to do with being WORTHY of a great economy. Quite the opposite. We deserve an economic disaster. Despite available funds, we’re failing miserably at our mission. Surely God cares more about that, and less about seeing to it that we’re comfy.
>My point was… I don’t see God as thinking “Oh my gosh, I need to help Americans (in general) be able to buy more stuff, look more prosperous, build their church-buildings bigger, and get some digital billboards flashing the good news — otherwise they’ll never get the Great Commission done in the U.S…. much less done in the rest of the world.”
Okay, got it. I completely agree with this. I don’t think God favors our economy over others and has to intervene when we’re in trouble. I also agree that we are not worthy of a great economy.
Sorry I missed your point! But I see where you’re coming from and completely agree.
I do think that, because this is the country we’re in, we do have a responsibility to pray for our leadership in government, even those over the economy (as Bill mentioned above).
Puritan-of-the-Month Richard Sibbes tells us, “Men must not be too curious in prying into the weaknesses of others. We should labour rather to see what they have that is for eternity, to incline our heart to love them, than into that weakness which the Spirit of God will in time consume, to estrange us.”
Floyd hasn’t come near to denying the essential doctrines of the faith, yet I still find myself having to mortify my sinful tendency to “missile lock”. O wretched man that I am!
Y’know, I’m no more excited about financial hardship than anyone else, but I’ve been studying the letter to the Laodicean church in Rev 3, and have come to the conclusion that maybe the churches in America would actually benefit from having their/our comforts stripped away, if even just a little bit. Imagine having to depend on God. Zoinks!
Then again sometimes an economic crisis like now could be a test as to whether or not we trust God in these times.