The Temple of Doom
My guess is that you are probably wondering whether it is possible to extract some understanding of economics, investments, speculation and market crashes from the Bible. I had written this article, on 30th December 2009, as a chapter of my book “The Art of Recession” and I thought it would be interesting for you to understand how closely we imitate the Lord God’s words but for an alternative purpose. Hence I reproduce the whole article without modification below:-
The Temple of Doom
This is the last part in the five part series that explains why the crash was so severe. Actually, I have digressed from the original plan and will talk about something more important. Prevention is the best medicine. So instead of talking about what precipitated economic crisis I will give you a tongue in cheek explanation of how to prevent future crisis and hopeflully you will understand what led up to the current crisis.
My quotation is from the NIV Bible, Exodus 20:24-26.
Remember this is the Exodus and there is a mass migration of people out of slavery, out of bondage, out of hardship, out of suffering. They are going to a new place where they will be free. And the Lord God says to Moses:
“Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Where ever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.”
Our modern day god is money, money, money, … more money, … much more money … did I mention money? We made an altar to the god of materialism at its temple called Wall Street. In the first part of the above passage the Lord God says to Moses “Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle.”. The Wall Street Temple is made of Silver, Gold, Stocks and Shares instead of earth and we sacrifice our “burnt offering, sheep, goats & cattle” which is our savings or cash.
In the next part of the passage the Lord God says to Moses “Where ever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.” It is the Lord God who causes a place to be honored and He does it for His name and this place is a place of worship. And at that place of worship He will come to us and bless us. We have to go to His Temple to receive His Blessings but we go to Wall Street Temple as we have more faith in the Temple of Wall Street. We call upon the traders and brokers at Wall Street Temple to bless our sacrifices of cash and savings and we hope they will bless us with more money. We literally worshiped them and honored them and not the Lord God as if they had some power to turn a few of your dollars into millions just by exchanging shares…. just by exchanging shares!
And the Lord God says “If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.” When you dress up the stones you are actually covering up the reality underneath. You are dressing up poor performing counters and defiled the reality. They made them out as prized counters to be grabbed at every opportunity. They used many tools to do this. They had charts, they had interest rates projections, they had fundamental analysis & technical analyses which are techniques that are blind as bats. All the news coming out of the temple is “buy, buy, buy” not many tell
you to sell. They pitch you fantastic stories of gold and riches in years to come, when you are too old to enjoy the money or when you are too old to remember what they promised you. If they tell you to sell, their careers are penalized and they fall from grace just like the fallen angels. Search out these fallen angels for they hold the truth in their hearts.
The last part of the passage the Lord God says to Moses “And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.” There are a few parts to this, if we examine the first part “And do not go up to my altar on steps”, there are few possible interpretations.
Firstly, have you ever been to a church or temple? The closer you get to the temple the more excited you get as you will soon meet your maker and he is the one who can bless you with riches (what else have you been praying for?) and solve all your problems, right? So when you are going to Wall Street Temple, I bet you, as you approach you have been planning how much more you should invest because the more you invest the more riches you will get back! Every step gets you more excited and more greedy and your dreams become bigger and bigger.
The second explanation would be that a temple always has a main entrance. This is because the temple keepers can control and track who comes and who goes. From their vantage point they can prepare a pitch as to how they can make you part with your money. They can show everyone entering a common picture of events so everyone repeats the same story. Since everyone is saying the same thing then it must be true, isn’t it? So the more believable the story becomes, the more you invest. Just for once, why
don’t you not use the main entrance and go behind the temple and see the true picture, the picture behind the scenes?
The third explanation for “And do not go up to my altar on steps” is that, put the temple on the ground, at ground level. Be practical; be grounded in your ways. Don’t put the temple up in the air (no foundation!) or on top of a mountain where people from afar be tempted and can admire the temple and worship the temple and not the Lord God. The Wall Street Temple is not the end, it’s the means. The temple is not to be venerated; it is the Lord God who has to be worshipped. ‘Being grounded’ means that you have to manage within your means. Don’t borrow money in your attempt at veneration, wonder and awe, and sacrifice it at the Wall Street Temple. Remember, the Wall Street Temple will not come to help you in your hour of need.
The last part of the passage is “lest your nakedness be exposed”. You can only expose your nakedness if the cloth covering your balls is very small. This means you have not spent much money on cloth and you are offering all you savings to the Temple of Wall Street. You are not spending in the Real Economy and if everyone is like you most of the shops & factories will close and many of you will be out of jobs. Then the markets will crash and you offering of cash and savings will become “burnt offerings”.
“lest your nakedness be exposed” also means your balls are showing. You have the balls to throw all your savings into the stock market? Where did you get such big balls?
– Dr.Peter Achutha, 11 May 2010.