Church Life and the Mortgage Crisis

Cnn this afternoon points to a very interesting Time article by David Van Biema. In his article Van Biema seeks to answer the question, “Did God Want You to Get that Mortgage.”

His thesis is that many prosperity gospel preachers have put their congregants in very unstable waters by encouraging them to embrace the “blessing” of the housing market for the past few years.

I would hypothesize that this is a problem that defies socio-economic or even denominational lines, but it does raise interesting questions.

For churches, they must ask themselves, “Have we been relevant enough to speak on these issues even though it could hurt us?”

I recently read an article by pastor Jonathan Wolfgang on his facebook page expousing the troubles this is causing in his midwestern congregation. Lee Coate, one of the pastors at my church, the crossing, recently said that the church is retooling the sermon series lineup to address these issues. While I applaud such a quick response (which is incredibly pastoral), I cannot help but once again wonder: why did we as church leaders allow this “elephant in the room” level sin to persist in our congregations for the past few years?

We sit and point fingers at the “fat cats in washington” and the bank leaders as those who are to blame. Yet I cannot help but wonder: where were we as church leaders? Were we caring for and protecting our flocks during this time? Were we above reproach in our own financial dealings during this time?

Perhaps our congregations would best be served by top down repentance. Then they would take responsibility for their irresponsibility during this time. Then, insteasd of finger pointers we would be grace embracers.

Oh God, in this time of crisis, restore Shalom to your church that we might restore Shalom to our country.

matt