What is going on with the housing market? Junk is going fast on the first day. My brother shared with me that one listing had thirty (yes, 30!) bids for the same property. My friend in Utah sold his house within hours for more than its asking price. I’m sure that Realtors and economists have a rational explanation for the exploding housing market, but there’s more to it than a strong economy.
I’m one that believes that if a lie is told long enough and loud enough someone will buy in. No, I’m not suggesting that the uptick in housing sales is a Ponzi scheme; however, I do remember the explosion of the housing market under the Clinton administration. We found out later that loan officers were paid based on how many houses were financed though their hands. Many were willing to then turn their heads and sign off on approval for loans that should never have been approved, sometimes on houses that had no business being on the market. From the beginning, it was clear these applicants didn’t have the financial capacity to make their first house payment, let alone their last, but it didn’t matter. Please don’t take this as a jab at Realtors and bankers. This is but one illustration of how people can get caught up in the hype of the market and message only to discover they purchased a lemon.
Have you heard the term “buyer’s remorse”? This is another way of saying what was promised in the sales department didn’t compute in the service department. I’m not a student of the world of salesmanship, but I know there’s a science and an art to this profession. Statistics show that, based on calculated marketing studies, in the law of averages if you make X amount of calls you can expect a Y result. Og Mandino made a boat load of money on his book, “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” Ironic? Maybe. I wonder how many people actually looked inside before they bought the book or just took the name of the title to be enough?
I’m concerned that the message that is being preached from too many pulpits isn’t truth founded on Scripture but rather is, “Christianity American Style.” This “New Fangled Gospel” rests upon a variety of words that end in -ism. Words like nationalism, exceptionalism, and triumphalism and the “America First” mantra. This “new gospel” is really not new but a re-branding of an old ideology, one that has been preached so long and so loudly that too many people confuse Christianity with the Constitution.
Before you rush to send me an email about how I’m being judgmental or not “American” enough, let me assure you I love our country. I stand for the National Anthem. I enjoy baseball and apple pie, and I hold in high regard our military men and women. What I don’t hold in high regard is the confusion about what is truth from God’s Word and what is one’s own views about country and politics.
There are new voices that are speaking up with a fresh message and are rebutting the political evangelists that have confused the old-fashioned gospel with old-fashioned politics. Respected Christian leaders are seeking to reclaim the message of Jesus without wrapping Christ in an American flag and suggesting Americans are God’s new chosen people. Recently Christianity Today International printed an article titled, “Max Lucado, Beth Moore, and Hundreds of Evangelicals Call for Immigration Reform … Again.” These are respected, conservative evangelical leaders who are blending their voices with other respected national Christian leaders in challenging all of us to get back to the heart of the gospel, to the heart of Jesus.
So in this day of slick advertisements and Madison Avenue techniques that are created to hook our attention and entice us to buy into “the American way,” my challenge is to beware. Beware of the messages that are coming from the White House, State House, and Church House. Before you buy a house or “buy in” to someone’s sales pitch, read the fine print lest you find yourself experiencing buyer’s remorse. Take a good look because messages and messengers can look and sound good from the outside, but on the inside destruction and rot, like termites, are often undetected until it’s too late.
The message we need to buy into is that of reclaiming Jesus Christ, who was born, bled, died, and rose again in order to reconcile us with God, and restore us back to right relationship with the Holy One, despite our sin. I’ll stake my house, my savings, and my life on that, and I won’t ever experience buyer’s remorse.