Would You Ever See This from a Group of Evangelical Leaders?

Gospel opposition to homosexuality & transgenderism

This weekend, white nationalists homosexuals & transgenders will descend on Tennessee, in both Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, for a “White Lives Matter” rally  “Gay pride” parade. As Christian leaders in Tennessee, we declare ourselves in resolute opposition to this expression of racism and white supremacy  distortion of God’s good design for human sexuality and we denounce and repudiate white supremacy  homosexuality and transgenderism as a work of the devil, designed to dehumanize and divide. Ideologies that declare the white race as superior  homosexuality and transgenderism as legitimate are an assault against the Word of God, which declares that every human being is created in the image of God and worthy of dignity and respect (Genesis 1:26-27; 1 Peter 2:17; James 3:9). These ideologies stand in opposition to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which reconciles, in Christ’s body, people from every tribe, tongue, and nation (Ephesians 2:15; Galatians 3:28; Revelation 7:9) every sinful lifestyle (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

Racism and white supremacy  Homosexuality and transgenderism are, sadly, not extinct but present  promoted all over the world in various  white supremacist civil rights movements, sometimes known as “white nationalism” or “alt-right.diversity or anti-hate movements. History shows that indifference, by the church, allows such evil to flourish. We must not only declare racism homosexuality and transgenderism to be wrong, we must oppose specific acts and movements that would degrade and dehumanize our brothers and sisters in Christ. allow such things to gain acceptance in our culture and in the church.

We call every follower of Jesus in the state of Tennessee to speak out against white supremacy  homosexuality and transgenderism in all of its forms, and to pray and work for racial unity a restoration of biblical sexual morality in our communities. We also pray for those who advocate racist ideologies homosexuality and transgenderism and those who are thereby deceived, that they may see their error through the light of the Gospel, repent of these hatreds  sins and come to know the peace and love of Christ through redeemed fellowship in the Kingdom of God.

Gospel Opposition to White Supremacy

Should Payday Loans be Controlled by the Government?

According to a recent article in the Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) is partnering with several other organizations to “target” payday loans. They see these loans as an abuse of the poor and want the federal government to “put an end to the predatory practices of payday lending.”

So what exactly does that mean? Do they want all businesses who provide short-term loans to be forcibly closed by the government? Do they want the federal government to fix prices for this type of loan? For all loans? Do they want the government to force these lenders to give preferential rates to people with certain incomes, regardless of credit history? Do they want government to force banks and other traditional lenders to provide loans to those who otherwise would not qualify (can you say sub-prime mortgage crisis)?

One of the problems with social justice crusades is that social justice is hard to define. What exactly is a “just” interest rate or a “just” price for a car or a loaf of bread? The Bible verses referenced in the BP article quote 0% when they reference interest, is that what they’re suggesting?

There’s also a fundamental misunderstanding of the free market and of economic principles behind this push. Interest is not a random number. Interest is a price. It is the price of money. Price is where the interests of the consumer and of the business intersect. General Motors cannot charge anything they want for a new Chevrolet. They can only charge what people are willing to pay. If they cannot make a Chevrolet for less than what the public is willing to pay for it, they will stop making Chevrolets. If these payday lenders are simply greedy predators out to make as much money as they can on the backs of the poor, why don’t they charge twice or three-times the rates they currently do? After all, they’d make more money that way.

Many a social justice crusader has tried to use government price fixing to help the poor. Unfortunately, when the price a business can charge is set below the market rate, the poor (and everyone else) soon find the store shelves empty. Try to buy a television or a roll of toilet paper in Caracas these days.

The truth is these lenders provide a service that is needed – otherwise they wouldn’t exist. One of the unintended consequences of forcing lenders in high risk markets to artificially lower their rates is that such lenders will soon disappear. Then the people who use their services to help make ends meet, instead of having a short term loan at a high interest rate, will have their car repossessed or their electricity cut off or be evicted from their homes. Thomas Sowell goes into this in more detail in an excellent article called “Predatory Journalism on Payday Loans and Price Controls.” Sowell says in part:

…demagoguery against “predatory” lending might well be called predatory journalism — taking advantage of other people’s ignorance of economics to score ideological points and promote still more expansion of government powers that limit the options of poor people especially, who have few options already.

It’s easy to demand that the government force businesses to assume additional risk in order to satisfy your sense of social justice. But, if you really believe payday loans are too expensive, start or invest in a company that provides such loans at 6% per annum. If that’s a workable business model, the meanies charging too much will soon be out of business through the invisible hand of the market rather than the iron fist of government.