The church official document, economic life entitles the work an individual does, their income, and the amount of consumption relative to the savings. It also shows the dimension of economic life that describes the way people view each other in the community. Diverse inequalities are today evident with many living comfortably while others continue to lack even in the basic human requirements. The main concern of the American Lutheran church is on these inequalities.
Globalization of the economy has brought with it intensive interactions between economies. For example, the United States generates a lot of money within and this money can be spent within the country or outside. This globalization has created opportunities for some people in terms of business opportunities and better quality of life. On the other hand, globalization has increased misery to many people. For example, many companies due to increased global competition, relocate for survival benefits, this leaves many people jobless.
According to the American Lutheran Church, human beings are supposed to control the economic; life in a responsible and accountable way. Today the practices and market based human thoughts eclipse other pertinent issues like religious, social, politics and economic well-being. Mandates in terms of the economy call for sacrifice especially to the less fortunate in the community. This might render the issue of the economy a “god-like” menace that will rule over people, communities and economies at the expense of faith.
The church believes that when the economy rules over the society, this is the beginning of sin and un- Godliness. This creates a situation of placing one’s trust and hope in the economy other than God. According to the church and the biblical scriptures, putting trust in something other than God amounts to sin. It also disrupts the relationship between human beings and God, between human beings themselves and the relationship between human beings and the other creatures. This is the cause of exploitation and socioeconomic injustices.
On this issue, the church admits that it has fallen short of strong grounds in terms of submission to slavery of sin. The church has become materialistic, and all the focus is on wealth and how to generate the same. God is not given enough of the church time, and the church today is blind on the needs of other people. Therefore, this issue recounts that the church takes assumptions, policies and earthly practices that do not accommodate the good of all human beings.
The church should move out of the economic bondage and primarily base their trust in the principles of the Lord Jesus Christ. With the believe in his persecution, death and resurrection the church receive a new identity and cannot be defined by captivity in economics. The American Lutheran Church believes that the First Commandment in the Bible can be fulfilled through faith. Faith allows the church to stick into God’s principles of love; love your God and love your neighbor as you love yourself. This issue reveals the humility and justice associated with the Kingdom of God. The church believes that Jesus came for the poor and those under bondage. This should be replicated in the Christian lives through feeding the hungry, preaching massage of freedom from, for example, economic bondage and consoling those neglected by the current systems.
According to the Lutheran Church, God’s reign intersects and transforms the human perception on how they view the current systems of the world. With faith, the church has the power to criticize any earthly system that does not meet the required Godly standards. Some earthly systems that do not meet the intentions of God are; economic disparities among people, poverty, greed driven consumerism and excessive accumulation resulting from evil acts like corruption. The church believes that it cannot keep silent while these injustices are continually perpetrated. Economic life is the way God’s purpose to human beings and other creations is expressed. Human decisions and eventual actions impact on the economic life of the day. Economic life should be handled in a way to glorify the reign of God.
There are several ethical issues that arise from this document. Human dignity is one aspect to which this document pays significant attention. The church through the scriptures believes that God deliberately created humankind in his own image. Therefore, human beings are social animals who have dignity and worth conferred by God. Work should not be used as criteria to grade people. Exploitation sets in when the few earthly wealth makers tend to describe human beings in terms of work. This is abusive given the Godly nature with which human beings are created.
Employers should at all times respect and show some dignity to their employees. This should be reflected in salaries and wages, working environment and security of tenure. Employers should ensure that the working environment does not violate the dignity of the employees; it meets health and safety standards. They should also receive just remunerations relative to their input in terms of labor. Employees should also ensure that they work to the best of their abilities. They should show some sense of responsibility when executing their assignments. Employees should uphold decent working habits, practice intimate attitudes towards their fellow workers and to the employers.
The American Lutheran Church believes that human dignity empowers people to actively participate in making decisions that impact directly on their lives. A society that upholds human dignity does dictate on certain decisions but allows active contribution by the members. Human beings should be able determine 6their lives without external interference and independently. The current economic and social policies do not protect human dignity in work. In order for employees to protect their interests and rights they should be given the right to associate and complain in case of poor work environment.
In striving to defend and respect human dignity, the American Lutheran church in this document, stipulates some declarations. The church will ensure that no discrimination based on race, age, gender, ethnicity or disabilities. They will compensate their employees sufficiently in order to allow them and their families live in dignity. Encourage inclusive and participatory decision making regarding workplace ethics and codes of conduct. The church will allow and honor the employees’ organization for the sake of their grievances.
In conclusion, I personally agree with the position this document has taken. Economic life is becoming today an excuse for the greedy and corrupt people to exploit the poor and economically unstable peoples in the society. Economic disparities are the main causative agent of the current injustice. The church should be in the forefront in defending the weak and the poor in the society as required by the Holy Bible. If the church assumes this role effectively, then socioeconomic inequalities will be sorted out once and for all.