Quick to be critical

Westpac has just been hit with a massive $1.3 Billion dollar fine. Earlier in the week, a story broke about how illegal funds in the trillions are being transferred through the mainline banking system. Forget the cash business like the Laundromat or Fish and Chip shop as a way of laundering money.

All of this causes us to lose faith in institutions like Banks. Is this fair?

My own view is this. (Sinful) human nature has a way of abusing any sense of progress, and new developments, and perverting it for selfish and evil ends. If high volume electronic banking provides the opportunity to either steal or hide money – someone will exploit it. While the volumes might be larger, the sin is no different. It’s a question of degree, not kind. People are just as selfish and sinful as ever. We are not slowly getting more enlightened, or progressively more corrupt.

If there is a new trend, it’s the extent to which we lay the boot into institutions. We blame corporations and the powerful. Westpac is not so much being prosecuted for having done anything wrong themselves – rather not preventing others from doing something wrong. The standards of accountability for corporations are very high.

The short-comings of Anglicare and the way it managed Newmarch house, or cruise companies and how they managed COVID outbreaks are similar. Quick to be critical.

Slow to blame individuals. Because that looks judgemental, and holier than thou.

Jesus says to look at the log in our own eye first, not the log in institutions. Being self-critical has virtue. 

David Rietveld

Senior Minister

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