Andrew Sandlin’s mention of the waste of time and money on trials has got me thinking…
In terms of economic analysis, the problem is “misallocated resourcs.” Such misallocations are commonly caused by disruptions in pricing.
As I have argued before (“Machen’s Warrior Children Were Subsidized”), one problem is that the price of making false accusations in court is kept artificially low. At least when the pamphlet technology was used during the Reformation to overturn the powers that be, the writers and purveyors of the pamphlets were taking real risks. While the blogosphere is the more efficient development of the pamphlets, it is not accompanied by real accountability. As I wrote awhile back:
So by filing a complaint, culled from incredibly biased attacks on a man, one could get a free pass to only care about tearing down a man’s reputation and having virtually no responsibility for considering contrary evidence. What organization will survive a period of time in which accusers are given this kind of institutional cover? Jesus claimed that even Satan knew better than to allow this sort of internal conflict. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.
But in addition to making attacking the brethren artificially inexpensive, we also ought to ask if somehow other avenues of Christian ministry are being made too expensive or if they seem too expensive.
We could go in several directions here. Sandlin mentioned “people who waste time on trivialities while Western civilization burns.” But perhaps that explains the economic motivations. If putting out the fire engulfing Western civilization looks impossible, frustrating, and dangerous, this itself could encourage an inward turn.
Is there stuff “out there” that seems to demand too high a price? If so, is there anything we can do about reassessing the values and potential rewards?
I can’t help but wonder if there might be an amillennial v. Postmillennial issue here, since Postmillennials believe that the fire will indeed be quenched by the Spirit and the Gospel.
But what else is there that diverts time and resources away from other tasks and into the manufacture of accusations?