Posts Tagged ‘Volkswagen’

Sermon 09-27-15: “Owning Up to Our Sin”

October 8, 2015

Fight Songs

This sermon is all about repentance: what it is; why we need it; how we distinguish it from remorse; and the role in plays in our lives once we’ve become God’s children through faith in Christ.

Sermon Text: Psalm 51:1-19

Audio only this week. Click the playhead below or right-click here to download an MP3.

The following is my original sermon manuscript.

Many of you no doubt heard the news last week about Volkswagen, the world’s largest car-maker. It turns out, the company rigged all of its diesel-engine cars with software designed to deceive both consumers and regulators into believing that their cars were “greener,” more fuel-efficient, and better performing than they really were. Basically, there’s a piece of equipment inside the car’s exhaust system that filters out nitrogen oxides, which are bad for the environment. The car’s computer would only turn that system on when the car was being tested for emissions, thereby enabling it to pass inspection. And then the computer would turn the system off again when it wasn’t being tested.

Why not run the filtering system all the time, you may ask? Because it takes energy to operate the system, which means your car burns more gas, which means it’s less fuel efficient than it would be if the system weren’t running. “So what’s the harm,” the engineers and executives must have thought, “if we just turn the system off when no one’s looking. No one will find out.”

But U.S. regulators did find out. And as a result, eleven million cars around the world are being recalled… Untold billions of dollars to fix the problem… Plus the inevitable lawsuits, the squandering of public trust in the company, the loss of market share, the loss of jobs, the anger of the company’s customer base, the tarnishing of the reputation of a once proud car maker. The magnitude of this scandal has never been seen in the auto industry. The CEO, Martin Winterkorn resigned, reluctantly, saying that as the CEO he takes responsibility, because he’s supposed to, but he didn’t know anything about the deception, and he did nothing wrong. Many auto industry observers say that given the top-down management culture at VW, it’s hard to believe he didn’t know—that he would have had to go out of his way not to know… to turn a blind eye.  Read the rest of this entry »