THE BBC’s economics expert, Robert Peston, is now looking ahead to after the global economic crisis. A ‘New Capitalism’ is what he and others are predicting, a capitalism that is more moral and ethical.
However things turn out though, Utopian optimism is always disappointed. Ninety years ago the talk was that we’d just finished the war to end all wars. People believed it and at the same time lost sight of God.
An interesting story told in Anna Funder’s book Stasiland, illustrates where the root of our problems lies. She relates how when the Berlin Wall was erected to separate East from West Berlin, the recognised demarcation line between the two zones included an awkward bend.
So the wall simply followed along the nearest street, leaving an island of land on the western side. No-one in the West knew what to do with it, not wishing to provoke the East, and so it was left alone: No-man’s land.
In due course a Turkish family fenced it off and grew vegetables there! When The Wall came down in 1989 no-one else laid a claim on it. As recently as just a few years ago the vegetable patch was still there.
The irony is that two members of the Turkish family (possibly brothers?) who had cultivated the patch had a falling out. It must have been quite a dispute because they built a two meter high fence down the middle with no access between the two!
What caused both The Wall and fence to be built was our inability to live as God intends. Anger, murder, lies, lust, envy, stealing and fear cause barriers to go up.
Utopia is not going to happen through New Capitalism nor anything else other than in God’s own purpose.
Yes, God does promise a ‘heaven on earth’. An integral part of this coming about is the tearing down of the barrier which exists between us and God.
This tearing down opens the way of reconciliation with God. This is the salvation which Jesus came to secure that first Christmas.
Shirley Baptist Church