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Monday, June 04, 2007


That Hideous Man

This is a helpful post.

Personally my current 'wrestling' is around #6 in your list, trying to faithfully distinguish between 'needs' and 'wants'. One thing I have found helpful is to have a 'fast' from all expose to consumer advertising, or casual trips to last-minute bargains on e-bay! Consumerism is a lie which constantly promises that contentment will follow the 'next' purchase - but always fails to deliver. The promised contentment, like tomorrow, never comes. It is a false god!


THM, wow, I've been going through exactly the same thing. I blogged a few weeks ago about having to stay away from town and shopping malls because of what I want to do when I go there (spend money I ain't got)....I've been chatting with a few other female friends recently and we have been feeling the same thing - that there is much more of a PULL to have, have, have - much more than I ever remember before - or am I getting old!?!?


A great set of questions Brodie that should(?) challenge any Christian group wrestling with scripture. Tony Campolo gave an interview on Christianity and a culture of consumerism in Relevant mag recently.

Q. - For someone trying to break their addiction to consumerism and change their lifestyle, what’s a good place for them to start?

Campolo - It’s got to be radical. You just have to make a decision. It’s like drug addiction. Do you say, “We are going to wean you off this gradually”? “You’re only taking this much heroin a day; we’ll take a little less tomorrow.” No, if you’re going to get someone off heroin, you’ve got to do it cold turkey. And you find something that will satisfy your needs other than the drugs. That’s what Christianity is about. It’s about saying “Don’t spend your money on that which satisfieth not.” And that’s exactly what needs to be said. Everyone wants to go off this thing gradually. You can’t go off it gradually. You’ve got to come to the awareness that Jesus is standing before you and saying, “Do you want to be My disciple? Then take up the cross and follow Me.” And if you don’t want to take up the cross, then in fact you ought to say, “I’m willing to accept your salvation, Lord, but I don’t want you to be Lord of my life.”

I would love to say 'I'm with you', but I know I'm a million miles away from this challenge!


Wonderful topics for discussion. I look forward to hearing what the young ones actually thought about concerning them.


Hey Brodie - can we also encourage ourselves to read these texts as addressed to us as a community of believers rather than individuals (personally blame some forms of evangelical quiet time) and so understand that it is within communities of supportive resistance that we may find the courage, strength, joy etc to be counter some things that are needing a bit of countering (PS what happened about the Coffee we were going to have in a non-consumeristic place - BLAST - blown it already haven't I)


Stuart - your right about addressing these issues as a community - hey that was what we were doing - together we were trying to discover what these texts mean for us and naming concrete practices that we could support each other in. With regards to coffee - I think my email does not like your email, so I'll use another email address to contact you!


Jason - I was surprised that most of the young people watch little reality TV, we even have one kid who comes from a no TV house. They are also medai savey enough to know that these shows collect people who will spark off each other, and they thought that this form of TV should be called, "un-reality TV".
with regards to the scriptures I guess like the rest of us they get the points that these scriptures say but struggle to keep first the kingdom in their thoughts. That said I'm fairly convinced that our ethics flow from character thus it's not about teaching people the "right" choices to make, but helping them develop Godly character in a community of people they can also learn from, be influenced by in a right way etc.


Dave - thanks for the Campolo quote.


Lynn - I think the 'pull' is greater, that society has changed. I think there's been a comming together of a whole load of different things which means that the pull to spend, the pull to consume is not like it has been in any other generation up to this point in history...hmm feel a new post coming on.


That Hideous Man - I think learning contentment is probably one of the hardest things to do in western society today. we live in a society which is constantly in motion, to stop is to be left behind. In business and industry we race to find that next new thing that will give us a compedative advantage, in our home lives we get the lastest thing, well because we don't want to be left behind, we don't want to be out the loop.


Interesting, I wonder if Reality TV addiction is more an American thing because I know a lot of folk online from Europe and Australia and it seems in there areas at least that its really not a big deal. They rather watch a good drama.


........like 24.....?!?!

:::::full of glee:::::::::

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