America remains at the center of an economic and moral meltdown. As we have long warned, our moral meltdown will cause our economic meltdown, and without real repentance our sins will ultimately contribute to our prophesied destruction. Even well known "Wall-Street insiders" are now beginning to make this connection! When famous hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt spoke at the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit, his condemnation of a nation without a "moral compass" was scathing and largely accurate.
Mr. Steinhardt has business credibility. His investment firm has returned a stellar 24.5% after fees for almost three decades. But it was not his success that Mr. Steinhardt spoke of. Instead, he condemned "those whose deeds crippled the US economy," and stated that "what we really needed a long time ago was a recognition that there were villains apace. The evils of the financial system should have been recognized long before this" (Reuters, December 10, 2008).
Mr. Steinhardt's comments appropriately identified that "evil" does indeed have crippling consequences. And his speech seems even more relevant since the world has learned of Bernard Madoff's alleged $50 billion investment fraud, now considered "the biggest financial fraud ever," surely an example of the "evils" Mr. Steinhardt spoke of.
The Financial Times reports that although many of Madoff's investors were uneasy, the money kept pouring in as people pursued a big return. One financial firm had even "explicitly warned its clients of the danger that his [Mr. Madoff's] brokerage 'could abscond with those assets,' but still attracted $2.75 billion of investor capital" (December 22, 2008).
It is not a new lesson. It appears that many people were suspicious but chose to "look the other way," pursuing (fleeting) riches over ethical principle.
And now, that money has evaporated along with the billions of other dollars of America's wealth that continue to slip away through a collapsing stock market, failing companies and crashing home prices. In fact, as the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors reported, November's home sales price drop was the largest ever recorded and was probably the worst decline since the Great Depression (CNNMoney.com, December 23, 2008).
Indeed, immorality has serious consequences. God is allowing the pride of our power to be broken (Leviticus 26:19), but as a people we continue to "love the world [and] the things of the world" without understanding that "the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17).
As a nation, the overwhelming majority rejects God's commanded Sabbath and His biblical Holy Days. Many commit, or condone adultery, lie and murder and covet; millions of unborn babies are aborted each year; alcohol and drug abuse is a national disgrace and the popular trend seems to be "do what feels good instead of what God says is good."
But are we without a "moral compass" as Mr. Steinhardt suggested? Emphatically, "No!" The Bible is our "moral compass" and God's word is truth! And is there a Church that God has preserved that has long taught these truths, that submits to God's law and His form of government, that powerfully preaches repentance of sin and that God will protect through the coming turbulent times (Luke 21:36, Revelation 12:14)? There certainly is!
It is time to stop being "dull of hearing" (Hebrews 5:11; Isaiah 6:10). It is time to notice what is happening around us and to believe and do what the Bible really says, because there is a great God and our sins are not hidden from Him! He knows our sins and our spiritual harlotry. Our national punishment is only beginning (Hosea 5:1-3)!