America has become a consumer-oriented society. 70% of our economy is consumption based. This is quite different than earlier times when our economy was production/manufacturing based. This is why when we face economic difficulties as we did in 2008; the scheme from getting the economy going is to stimulate spending. This stimulated spending increases the demand and is supposed to cause the economy to grow versus going through a time of contraction/recession. Many people claim it is good for the government to go into deficit spending because spending increases demand as well as output, causing the economy to grow with positive impact to production and employment. But should we ask where this will take us as a nation?
I recognize government spending is different than a family budget because they can print money and regulate interest rates. However, the new system that has been thrust upon us was not our choosing and may not be the best plan. Today, most modern economists support the easing of monetary policy. They believe their new insights can bring about a different outcome then what history has proven. They believe utilizing knowledge and technology as their guide will provide an answer for everything that ails the human condition even economic hardship. In former times, the traditional thought was production and income should precede spending. This concept gives money real value whether it is economically based or if it is based on a gold standard. Recent economic statistics seem to authenticate these new easing theories, but what will time reveal? I am confident what time will reveal is mankind cannot attain something they haven’t earned!
What Does the Bible Teach?
The principle of scripture tells us life will reward proper stewardship. Stewardship as revealed in the Garden of Eden is based upon what you can produce with what is in your hands. God put Adam and Eve in the garden and instructed them both to guard and cultivate what God had given them. As long as they followed this simple principle of stewardship, they would be able to eat from and enjoy the fruit of the garden.
We need to see that God had to offer an alternative to His ways so that man would have a choice. He placed the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the midst of the garden. This tree seemed to offer knowledge with immediate results. They could forget stewardship and responsibility and simply eat from this tree and with their increased knowledge gain control of their destiny. In a consumer-oriented society, what will we decide when confronted with the choice of stewardship with responsibility or knowledge with immediate results?
Are You Unknowingly a Consumer?
America has put our economic welfare in the hands of the Federal Reserve. They are commissioned to keep inflation low, stimulate the economy and keep people working. The tools we have freely given them are the manipulation of the money supply and in the end manipulation of the consumer. The Federal Reserve is supposedly independent of the government so it is not manipulated by politicians, but in the process its authority gives it leverage to manipulate the system without educating the people or even promoting responsible behavior which really is an irony of modern times. We think knowledge will be our savior. Yet, for this system to work, we must take knowledge and responsibility out of the hands of the people and put it in the hands of the elites. Our trust then is not in our own stewardship, but our trust must be in the hands of others who want us to willingly respond to their manipulation. Sounds a lot like a beast John saw in his revelation.
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:16-18 NKJV)
So what is the beast’s number? It’s the number of man. The translators insert an “a” here, but it is not necessarily in the text. This beast, like the devil himself, receives his authority from man. He personifies man’s aspirations culminating in a system that in the end controls him. The problem is not “a man” but the foolishness of “mankind!” We look for something fast and easy and in the end we are controlled by our choice.
We must be willing to stand up and say give us a system where we have a voice and a choice! Let’s choose God’s wisdom and not settle for our own knowledge!