Merica’s gods: Greed & Consumerism

I’ve spent the last several months thinking about the utter waste in our nation. We waste resources, education, and effort on a wealth of idolatrous pursuits that are at the epicenter of American culture. It makes me sad. It is deeply sinful. And one of the saddest parts about it is that the American church has done or is doing very little to call it’s people to repentance. Shame on us.

Greed is the root of all evil. Every type of evil imaginable can be traced back to greed. Pride is essentially having a greedy opinion of yourself and wanting others to as well. Envy is the greedy instinct to desire something not in your possession. Sexual addiction, gluttony, and theft are all sinful results of greed.

In many places around the world greed takes the form of another idolatrous monstrosity known as consumerism, but perhaps no one demonstrates it as obviously as America. We don’t know how to separate want from need, and even if we did we probably wouldn’t have the self control to bother with it. We pursue possessions. Having and buying are at the heart of what many think it means to be American.

Sadly, this same mentality is too often reflected in the Church. We “shop” for places of worship and evaluate them based on ideas of what we “can get out of it” or how well “we are being fed.” It’s deeply tragic when we place value on a place of worship based on the scope of their facilities, size of their budget, or compartmentalization of their programs.

Because we consume so greedily, often there is little left from the church budget to things of incredible significance, like outreach. We spend selfishly.

What would our Church look like if we were generous, and not so self centered or glutinous in our spiritual consumption? What if Jesus wanted us to stop thinking of ourselves entirely?

More posts in this series:

Etiquette, Etican, Etican’t

Football, Athletes, and Idolatry

Mirrors, Models, and Muscles

Education

Sex

Culture Wars

Religious Tradition and Dissidence

Intolerance

Greed & Consumerism

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