Gospel and Consumer Culture

01 Sep

A couple of years ago I took a class at Wesley on “The Gospel and Consumer Culture” and ever since this has been a topic that fascinates me.  I have been writing a good bit lately about how we are surrounded by a consumer culture, a culture of 24/7 commercial messages.  But how do we really deal with issues involving money.

Now this is a risky topic for the church, especially if we take a hard-line stance one way or the other on the role of affluence in our lives.  In the United States we enjoy a state of affluence not present in many other places in the world. However, we still have people in our own back yards that do not have enough money to buy food.  The state of the world is the old line of “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer,” which from the eyes of Christians should be painful.

Repeatedly in the gospels Jesus’ speaks of money, and especially the use of our money.  Jesus even tells the Rich Young Man to go and sell all that he has, and that if he does not do that he will not be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven.  The levels of affluence and wealth we see today could never have been dreamed of in the ancient world, so we are not exactly comparing apples to apples.  But I do think there are some biblical ideals that we can all aspire to.

Let me be brutally honest here, this post is as much aimed at myself than at anything else I see.  I have expensive toys that I love, guitars and bicycles come to mind,  and I do not want to give that up.  How can I live an authentic life and still maintain exactly the lifestyle I want.  How can I be real and still do the things I like to do?  There are no “magic bullet” answers, there is no five step plan to make things work.  I am struggling with this week in how to teach this, and am looking forward to the discussion on next Sunday…

Warning this video has very bleak images, but the message is exactly what I am thinking about this week…

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Posted by on September 1, 2010 in consumer culture


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