I write in the midst of the worst economic crisis in anyone’s recent memory. Greed, carelessness, incompetence and other things have forced the government to consider, and us to accept, a mind-blowing IOU from the U.S. tax-payers to bail out various and sundry financial enterprises, and in time the US economic enterprise as a whole. Though a "bail-out" proposal has now stalled for a second time, triggering a massive drop–or is it a free-fall?–on Wall Street, I remian reasonably confident a plan will be approved.
But it’s got me thinking about the whole notion of a bail-out, and what kind of bail-out most coheres with a Kingdom-of-God perspective. From that perspective, while the current bail-out plans seem necessary given the economic turmoil we’ve created, another bail-out seems equally necessary given the realities of God’s Kingdom.
Kingdom realities suggest that we should, by all means, consider a bail-out of hugely massive proportions for the poor, vulnerable, weak, and defenseless among us, and around the world. No one familiar with the story of God’s way with humanity, climaxing in Jesus, could argue how dear the poor and company are to the heart of God, nor how critical their care is to any people claiming to share the passion of God’s heart.
Before the chorus of objections to taking such a bail-out with any seriousness becomes deafening, please consider this. In recent years, we have demonstrated beyond doubt that if we feel threatened enough by enemies who might harm us or if we become fearful enough of the possible implosion of our economy, there are virtually no limits to the cost we will assume. Thus, it’s not really about the money. It is about our values. it is about what or who captures our heart. And it is about what we have the will to do.
Brothers and sisters, here is the question that distrubs me–as I feel angst about the economy, as I anguish over who will receive my vote, as I seek to be a truly Kingdom-person: How can we abide the current calls for massive expenditures of our money for the cause of our country, and yet not feel compelled to consider massive bail-out measures for those whose voice will never find a forum, but whose cries daily register in the Throne Room of the One we claim to serve?