Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wall Street and Babylon

I know that Wall Street is not Babylon, but does anyone else see some similarities between the recent news on Wall Street and the description of the fall of Babylon in Revelation 18?

"Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

'Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
Give back to her as she has given;
pay her back double for what she has done.
Mix her a double portion from her own cup.
Give her as much torture and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
"I sit as queen; I am not a widow,
and I will never mourn."
Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

'When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry,
"Woe! Woe, O great city,
O Babylon, city of power!
In one hour your doom has come!"

'The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more--cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.

'They will say, "The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered." The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn...'"(Revelation 18:4-15).

Is Wall Street being judged like Babylon from Revelation 18? I don't know, but I see some disturbing similarities. Like Babylon, Wall Street has been living in luxury without concern for those who could be affected by their policies. Who cares if Chinese Christians are being imprisoned and forced to make goods through slave labor? Who cares if American employees are working without health care insurance? Who cares if Central American employees are working in dangerous and even deadly situations? Who cares if our customers are becoming addicts to something harmful? Who cares if our toys are covered in lead paint?

The current economic crisis should not be a time to merely re-think accounting procedures and mortgage qualifications. This crisis should call us to repentance. This crisis should cause American and international businesses to reconsider how people should be treated, from their employees to their customers. This is a time for corporate repentance on an international level. It's time to love our neighbors as ourselves. It's time to consider the needs of those who have not been considered, those who have not been treated justly. It's time for repentance at the highest levels of our society.


Christy said...

I agree and disagree. I think it's PAST time! Is it too late, though? I'm not sure. Part of me thinks so, but then of course part of me says it's never too late, that God is merciful, patient and kind. He is indeed all of those things, but just as in the days of Noah, Sodom and Gommorah (sp?) He does have a limit.

Terry said...

I see things the same way, Christy. I don't know if it's too late or not, but it's always a good idea to turn to God. Wall Street may or may not be lost, but individuals can be saved. Thanks for the insightful comments!

Mike said...

Sadly people ae the last thing that is being thought about.

I agree with you thoughts on Rev. This has been coming for a while now.

Terry said...

Good point. Sometimes I hear people say, "Companies are in business to make money." As if that were the ONLY purpose of a company. A careful reading of prophetic literature (such as Isaiah, Amos, Micah, and Revelation) would show us that profits must not blind us to the needs of people. As you said, we must think about people in our business dealings. Thanks for the comment!