I think it is a spiritual crisis in the sense that we have, over time, come to trust in an economic system (and the economists and policy makers who interpret it for us) to "save" us. By "save" I mean that we trust that capitalism can assure us of economic progress that will, in turn, meet our need for 1) security 2) personal growth 3) rest 4) meaning. This is a form of idolatry and that is why I conclude that it is a spiritual problem.
As a follower of Jesus I am seeking, in this time, to identify the "false presence of the kingdom of God" and name how this false kingdom manifests itself. My hope is to simultaneously find evidence of the true kingdom. For example, I believe that God created us to enjoy meaningful work, to enjoy community, to live in peace with our neighbor, etc. Unfortunately the MEANS by which we seek these ends are corrupted by an economic system that has come to promise all (or most) of these things but in a way that perverts them. So, we seek security in retirement funds for which we expect returns that are not sustainable over time. Work has become a means to consume rather than a way to fulfill our desire to exercise God-given gifts. And we trade true community building for entertainment experiences in groups of people with whom we need not develop long-term relationships.
Capitalism has favored and enabled these practices--these means that (as Jacques Ellul reminds us) allow us to move ahead at amazing speed (progress!) towards...nothing. In this time I am seeking the wisdom of theologians and brothers and sisters in many faiths who are showing us how to (among other things) 1) live in genuine community, 2) provide mutual support and security and 3) engage in work that finds its own reward each day.
This is a time to engage in symbolic acts (that point to the true ENDS of our yearnings) and tell alternative narratives that will lead us from our silent desperation towards hope.
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