Shamans Shamed – Part I :: by Wilfred Hahn

Many commentators around the world today decry the results of poorly-regulated financial industries, cronyism, imbalanced wealth distribution and, of course, unbridled greed. Some of this rising criticism is no doubt the result of the ongoing Global Financial Crisis (GFC). We still use this term, though it has virtually disappeared from the media. Why? Everyone wants to believe that the crisis is over…in the past…and that humanity is back in its global ascendancy.

In our view, the GFC continues. It is not over; only changing its spots. The West—namely the countries that have had significant Christian populations in the past, most of which are Roman-Offshoot countries—is likely in a steep decline. Based on our view that we are in the very last days, as God’s timepiece (Israel) has begun to revive, it is highly likely that all of the economic and financial maelstroms being witnessed in the Western world will drive the geopolitical processes that produce the final “10-king” period of world rulership.

Most observers do not recognize the problems that are now unfolding in Europe as being part of the GFC. They believe that since America has been relatively stable of late (but hardly in solid shape), as compared to the debt and banking crises of Europe, that the GFC is over. Not at all. The reality is that only the beginning chapters of the GFC have ended. Others have yet to play out. America may have been the “ground-zero” and the catalyst to the GFC starting in 2008, setting off contagions that radiated all across the globe. But, there are more chapters ahead and the focus will again move back to the U.S. at some point…possibly before year-end.

Yet, where is the real “ground zero” that underlies all these different and rotating crisis zones in the world? Most policymakers and economists specializing in macro-economic policy and political economics are stumped themselves and have no definitive answers.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the current gridlock in geopolitics and policy is unprecedented in the annals of mankind. Why unprecedented? The issues that are being debated are not only grave, but also are taking place in a forum that is more globalized than ever before. International transnational groups are meeting more frequently, frantically searching for solutions. The G20 has been meeting as many as 3 times per year. The Europe Union now has had 18 meetings since the “euro” crisis erupted in 2010.

Despite the well-documented despondency and heightened state of crisis, very few identify the root of the problem. Why? There are a number of reasons: We will list some of them.

1.      The Bible says that “blindness” is effectively the “consensus view” of world. The opinion of the majority is taken for truth, and indoctrination without critical examination.  However, spiritual lies have repercussions in the real world. Says Paul: “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18).

2.      Many people are simply too harried, trying to live and survive from day to day. They are hardly inclined to ponder the greater significance of the problems and policies of the world.  Perhaps, the cares of this world have consumed them (Matthew 13:22).

3.      Many people are given over to indulgence and temporal amusement (Luke 21:34)…the proverbial “couch potatoes” of modern consumer culture. Or, in their narcissism, they simply do not care about anything other than their own fleshly satiation (Luke 8:14).

4.      Deliberate misinformation and deception—this is a societal condition in godless cultures…one that characterizes the entire world in the last days.

5.      And finally, the world does not have a Biblical worldview and does not accept the cosmological agenda that is underway. They reject the Lord. Therefore, they are without benchmarks and guidelines.

We have put this latter point last, so as to comment on it further. Critically, it should be first in the list. Readers no doubt seek to adopt a Biblical worldview, and in so doing can recognize the world’s populist and secular views. Though the Bible and its claim to absolute truth may be increasingly rejected and banned, it remains the only reliable benchmark of both truth and human conduct on earth. Of course, such a view is outright ridiculed today. Moreover, people holding such views are being openly attacked.

But, which perspective will be proven true—the world’s or that of the Bible? There is no other ancient historical document with such documentation, accuracy, consistent causality, and pedigree. While critics search for its flaws and make mountains out of small, irrelevant copyist errors, secular academia remains awed by its historical accuracy like no other ancient document of its scope.

Moreover, while the Bible may not be liked (Why? Because the Lordship of the God of Israel and the Bible is rejected); and though doubts and attacks have been heaped upon it over the millennia, it has never been conclusively disproved. To those who choose to accept its words as they are written and meant—whether they be academics, intellectuals, laypeople or babes—God’s inspired communications to mankind are thoroughly satisfying as Truth. It holds infinite depths that even the most brilliant humans cannot fully grasp. It is also true that, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

As far as concerns the future, the Bible has never been shy to position itself contrary to the supposed wisdom of mankind and its elites. It has never suffered self-doubt. It doesn’t need to have all of its prophecies and wisdom validated over the next week or year. Whether over a human lifetime or a millennium, it can wait to prove itself. It has proven true and reliable to date. Impatience and a penchant for immediate fulfillment have always been the vulnerability of mankind, which has wanted to only hear what is pleasing and to have the predictions of its soothsayers come true right away.

Most certainly, a Biblical worldview provides the most truthful information and predictive insights, though not forecasts timed to the hour or the day. Of course, such a statement again will only prompt guffaws from the world’s “wise.” Especially so the economics community. This faculty of “fraudulent science” has worked hard to eliminate all admission of morality, concepts of right and wrong, the consequence of human action (i.e. wages of sin), and the basal, sinful nature of the lusts of mankind. Political economists are prime candidates as the modern-day equivalent to the false prophets of Old Testament times. More to the point, though revered as “scientists,” they are really behaving as godless shamans.

Today’s Shamans Defrocked

Economists, who cast themselves in the garb of the “wise men of prosperity”—providing consulting to high governments and institutions—are really the shamans of this age. They hold themselves out as the high priests of the religion of Mammon. After all, “prosperity” is the dominant religion today. It may take many forms; nevertheless, its views are both fraudulent and woefully temporal. How so?

Much macro-economic theory and political economy today, revered as it may be, is wrong. Its disposition is fundamentally godless. Consider these statements:

1.      It is a secular field of study subject to the whims of human psychology (which is also not a science).

2.      Moreover, today’s economic wisdom makes no reference to morality or the fallen nature of man. This is virtually never admitted.

3.      It is fraudulent in that it treats the behavioral choices of mankind as a science and ignores the metaphysical nature of Money and human affections.

4.      Additionally, it endorses the humanist prescriptions for the “happiness” of man.

Not only is its frame of reference godless, but also the errors and failures of modern-day theories of political economy and macroeconomics, are both manifold and well documented. The track record of the predictions of establishment economics is abysmal. There is no correlation to correctness whatsoever. This, of course, is no different than would apply to anyone who attempts to prophesy, whether by the reading of chicken entrails or complex econometric models of human behavior.

This allegation also applies to so-called Christians who are prophesying extra-biblical views, or even speculative interpreters of Bible prophecy that go beyond what Scripture actually says. It is only God’s prophets who spoke truth and whose pronouncements came to reliable fulfillment. And, moreover, these prophets were never sleeping lapdogs or hardly ever inclined to pander to people’s fleshly appetites.

But, let’s get back to today’s favorite “false prophets”…the modern-day world’s version of lying prosperity merchants. As a profession, economists have been woefully wrong. As John Kenneth Galbraith once quipped: “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” Their predictions are completely unreliable and often fraudulent and immoral, as we will yet show.

A staggering example of this was the eruption of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008. The macroeconomics community did not see it coming. Instead, they continued to prophesy prosperity (as some still continue to do today). That said, there is not a small number of economists who are concerned about the complete failure and invalidation of their profession. To date, there still is no consensus among them as to the causes of the GFC and why it was not anticipated, though its roots are plainly seen by anyone with a measure of common sense.

However, the folly continues and worsens. That the financial and systemic problems around the globe remain serious, no doubt has contributed to an environment of urgency and desperation for policymakers seeking solutions. As such, even though macro-economic advisers have been resoundingly unfrocked and discredited, they still continue to have the ear of governments and transnational organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and others. Their prescriptions are therefore today even more ridiculous and corrupt, even overlooking the base immorality in the prescriptions of “modern-day political economy.”

The Laughable Advice of the False Priests

There were many causes of the Global Financial Crisis, some of these building up over decades. Policymakers had been spitting into the face of obvious consequences for decades. Eventually, this being several years ago, the breaking point arrived. But when we say that the causes are common-sensical—discernible to anyone with any common sense and moral fiber—we don’t necessarily mean to imply a simplistic analysis.

Did anyone ever really believe that aging populations would not have a serious effect on economic healthfulness? Just who thought up the great lie that financial markets and pensions systems would surely absolve societies from low birth rates? Just what basis was there for the belief that heightening debt levels and ever-widening wealth distribution imbalances would have no consequence? Wouldn’t supposedly intelligent economists know that the inflating of fictitious financial wealth only provides a false illusion of real wealth? Like a loaf of bread pumped up with yeast to several times its original size, it has not one iota more of caloric value than its unleavened version.

The source of all productive wealth (outside physical creation itself and everything else being equal) is human labor. Without humans and without labor, there could be no such thing as wealth. The Bible says “Children are a gift from the LORD; a productive womb, the Lord’s reward. As arrows in the hand of a warrior, so also are children born during one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them!” (Psalm 127:3-5). Of course, people are free to make their own choices with respect to the choice of their “treasure.” However, doing so, one also chooses consequences.

In all seriousness (as this may be thought a joke), many economists today continue to argue that more debt is the solution to current economic problems. Without a doubt, soaring indebtedness and its handmaiden—the increasing concentration of wealth—has played a foundational role in setting the stage for the ground-shaking crisis now raging throughout the Western world. Therefore, would more debt and even richer elites be the solution? Actually, yes, say quite a number of economist scribes.

Even more remarkable, such policymakers as Dr. Ben Bernanke (head of the U.S. Central Bank) and Mario Draghi (head of the European Central Bank). These two most powerful central bankers in the world, are celebrated today for their actions of massive illicit money printing and contributing to increasing government indebtedness. In this they are considered to be acting lawfully, and moreover are considered geniuses for having supposedly forestalled deeper economic recessions.

However, the cheering section celebrates much too soon. The final and most terrible consequences have yet to come. Observers and commentators confuse the pleasures of sin with the wages of sin. Short-term deferrals only lead to greater consequences over the long-term. The Bible outlines the folly of denying these truths. The world is assured that it will reap what it sows. “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction” (Galatians 6:8).

Not surprisingly, such views are not to everyone’s liking. Public protests are therefore rising around the world. People are rejecting the solutions to past excesses and mistakes. Why? Because such actions are inconvenient and too regimented. Now that the harsh consequences of spendthrift ways, reckless and deceitful policies, have arrived, they now blame “austerity” policies for their hardships. If one has borrowed too much, is it then unjust suffering to be required to pay it back? If an individual or government has been a poor steward, living beyond their means, is it unreasonable to reduce one’s spending? Apparently so, according to the popular mores of societies today.

We see this same attitude displayed during the Tribulation period, according to Bible prophecy. Rather than acknowledging that the judgments are due to God’s wrath against their sins and idolatries, they continue to curse God. They do not connect the wrath to their wrongdoings. (See Revelation 16:9 “[…] they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.” See also verses 11 and 21.)

Ahab, King of Israel, took the same confused perspective, accusing Elijah of being the “troubler of Israel” (1 Kings 18:17). Elijah responded with the truth: “I have not made trouble for Israel…But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals” (verse 18). Jeremiah’s warnings to the remnant of Judah who had fled to Egypt, was refuted with this same perverse thinking.

“We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD!  We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine” (Jeremiah 44:16-18).

In the same way, the world rejects the consequences of liberty misused. To this end, the world finds for itself lying “false high priests” that provide the sanctification and/or justification for their lawless ways. Not only can such distortions be found in any religion, it applies to all human belief systems. “Pleasant” prophecies (i.e. economic forecasts) are sought and correction is rejected. In this sense, we have the lapdogs of Wall Street and its sister industries around the world, that provide inventive sophistries to support any optimistic outlook no matter how dire the situation may look. Very few of them will bark when trouble approaches.

Like conditions described for Israel and Judah in the Old Testament: “[…] they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:24), we can certainly acknowledge that we are living in a time very similar: “[…] the Lord laughs at him because he sees that his day is coming! (Psalm 37:13). As in spiritual matters, so in all matters of human wisdom: “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20).

Next, in the final part of this series, we will outline the Bible’s view on today’s global economic conditions and its outcome.