As I write, four former top bankers are sitting facing the Commons Treasury Committee answering questions about their handling of the finances at their respective banks in the lead up to the economic crisis we are now all engulfed in. From the pictures on the BBC website it looks remarkably like a court-room!
There is a danger for all of us that we might feel a bit of schadenfreude when we see these pictures. These, after all, were among the most powerful men in the country. They have been paid astronomical salaries and, in some cases, even more astronomical bonuses. Only a year ago they seemed to be beyond challenge. Yet here they are sitting (somewhat) contrite before a horseshoe of MP’s publicly acknowledging that they made colossal errors of judgment. One by one they have queued up to say how very sorry they are, effectively before the whole nation!
Before we rush to join the clamour of condemnation can I suggest a moment or two of reflection. I have, thankfully, never been in a position to make the sort of choices these men made on a daily basis. It is therefore unlikely that I will ever have to answer for my errors before a Commons Committee. Had I been in their position and given their level of responsibility would I have been able to see through the hype and park my ego in a safe place while responsibly investing depositors funds at apparently lower levels of return? I really don’t know – and I suspect most readers of this blog don’t know either.
In his letter to the Christians at Rome, the Apostle Paul made a very important point, “For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law” (Romans 2 vs11-12). Paul is making a distinction between how God will judge the Jewish nation and proselytes of Judaism, who had the privilege of being entrusted with God’s Law (the Old Testament scriptures), and non-Jews. God will hold each individual responsible for the knowledge they have been given.
If you have been reading this blog, or elsewhere on the Scotland Needs The Gospel website, then you will be aware that God has revealed Himself to us all in a number of ways: through His marvellous creation, through the inner conscience within each one of us, through the Bible, through the witness of Christians but, most important of all, through the gift of His own Son.
This revelation leaves you with a responsibility. You face the same challenge as Pontius Pilate, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” (Matt. 27 v22). Given such a responsibility, will you accept Him as your Lord and Saviour or will you reject Him? Each one of us will be held to account for the decision we make, “because He [God] has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17 v31).