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November 11, 2008

Financial Crisis 2008
Many of us watched with some shock recently as our financial sector crashed and the waves went throughout the world. Possibly, we are only beginning to feel the impact in "our town". If we doubted the significance of our economy to the world, or the globalization of commerce, this was a wake up call. And many of us are just a little concerned about where it will end.
Then we had a historic presidential election, and some fear the new government will lead us down a path to socialism.
It is fear and anxiety for many; it is literally a recession and hunger for some.

But, before all this, we have watched as our world becomes progressively more, well, worldly. That is, much of the Western world has become post-Christian. As knowledge increased, and we seemingly gained more control over our lives and destinies, it became foolish to many to believe in the personal God of Christianity. Frankly, many of those so affected would say they do very well without God, thank you. If anything, they see belief in God as an impediment to progress and an embarrassment. It has not gone unnoticed that the USA is going down the same road. We, too, will likely become a post-Christian nation.

It seems a little surprising that we are surprised: The common understanding of scripture has always been that these things must be. To me it is still impossible to tell where we are on God's timeline. It is easy to see these things as "end time", but such vision has been the rule throughout history, beginning with the disciples. End time or no, events have shown us how vulnerable we are if we are rooted in the world. It may also show us how easily we can end up a post-Christian nation like France. Not so much a stretch now. We are vulnerable in a global financial complex. One can also see how, given the right circumstances, the whole world could reach out to a "saving force", maybe unbelievable before; not so hard to believe now.
Rooted in the Lord, we need not experience fear and anxiety. We just need to continue to do what we hopefully have been doing. I believe we must continue to follow Christ's commands, serve him, and use our influence for good. We must seek to bring in those whom God calls. We must do these things in a world which will become less and less hospitable to those of us who take Jesus at his word. "The message of the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing." If we become post-Christian and socialistic, it is not because of our president, it is because of us. Some of this is founded in trying to be more open and tolerant than God, to be more helpful than God. We replace God as our god. We would do better to study the true nature of God and Christ, and act accordingly.
I believe it would be wrong to expect less than the best from a president at this juncture. As Americans, we should stand behind his leadership, pray for him, and see what unfolds. Surely, we will be asked to make sacrifices in these times; surely we will not agree on all of our government's initiatives. God is in control. He alone knows the why and how. This is what God has put before us. We should be hopeful- with eyes wide open.