Consumerism is idolatry

It’s encouraging to me, to see more and more influential Christian groups name consumerism as a spiritual danger, especially in the US (arguably the most Christian and most consumerist nation on earth). Just recently a group called The Gospel Coalition met (involves leaders like Tim Keller, DA Carson, Mark Driscoll, CJ Mahaney and others) and this is from their preamble.

“We have become deeply concerned about some movements within traditional evangelicalism that seem to be diminishing the church’s life and leading us away from our historic beliefs and practices. On the one hand, we are troubled by the idolatry of personal consumerism and the politicization of faith; on the other hand, we are distressed by the unchallenged acceptance of theological and moral relativism. These movements have led to the easy abandonment of both biblical truth and the transformed living mandated by our historic faith.”

and this from their Vision…

“The gospel opens our eyes to the fact that all our wealth (even wealth for which we worked hard) is ultimately an unmerited gift from God. Therefore the person who does not generously give away his or her wealth to others is not merely lacking in compassion, but is unjust. Christ wins our salvation through losing, achieves power through weakness and service, and comes to wealth through giving all away…Indifference to the poor and disadvantaged means there has not been a true grasp of our salvation by sheer grace.”

“There will be calls for radical Christian community in which all members share wealth and resources and make room for the poor and the marginalized.”

Amen. Let’s hope the call is answered.

HT: to Josh Harris

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2 Thoughts to “Consumerism is idolatry”

  1. Anonymous

    So then why are some of these guys so concerned about “branding” and building their own personal media empires? You can’t really succeed at that without “consumers” and “consumerism.”

  2. Phil

    Interesting point, obviously I can’t answer that for them. I’m guessing they would say that a consumer attitude in or to church is a bad thing.

    Do you think using media and developing an ‘identity’ for your church means that you’re essentially treating/communicating with your church as consumers? How would a church interested in discipleship that wasn’t consumerist go about presenting itself?

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