In Vishal Mangalwadi's compelling book, Truth and Transformation, he opens with a discussion about a visit to a dairy in Holland. He visits it with a Dutch friend and is stunned when his friend takes his milk from the case in the empty shop, puts his money in an open basket, and removes his change. Mangalwadi is struck by his friend's level of honesty. In his experience, an Indian would take both the money and the milk.
As he thought about it, he realized that a culture that is not based on honesty requires higher levels of oversight that add no value to the product. In a dishonest culture, the dairy farmer would need to hire a sales girl to protect the money, a supplier could add water to the milk, so consumers would need an inspector to check the milk, and if not honest, an inspector could take bribes. None of these people add value to the product. Mangalwadi says, "In paying for the extra workers, I simply pay for my sin: my propensity to covet and steal my neighbor's milk and money. The high price of sin makes it difficult for me to buy ice cream; that is to say the price of sin prevents me from patronizing genuine economic activity."
Mangalwadi says that moral teaching in the West came from religious reformers like Martin Luther, John Knox and John Amos Comenius who universalized education to civilize generations of Europe. They based education on Judeo-Christian ideas such as "God is holy; He has given us moral laws such as the Ten Commandments; obedience to God's Word is the source of good life; disobedience to God's moral law is sin that does not go unpunished, and sinners can repent and receive forgiveness."
This teaching became the intellectual foundation of the modern West, the force that produced moral integrity, economic prosperity, and political freedom.
Mangalwadi's comments that modern educators reject divine revelation and seek to discover truth with the human mind alone. But, without divine revelation, the human mind is incapable of knowing whether the universe is moral. Mangalwadi believes the West will follow India into corruption as moral teaching is dismissed.
What can we do?
Choose to live morally.
In Genesis, God tells Abraham that He is going to destroy two wicked cities, Sodom and Gomorrah.
Abraham asks God, "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing--to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
The Lord replies, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
Abraham then asks if God would destroy the city for 45, then 40, then 30, then 20 righteous people. In each instance God affirms that He will not destroy the city for the sake of the righteous.
Then (Abraham) said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?"
God answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."
I pray that we will be righteous people who will change the course and destiny of our Nation.