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Consumerism Sucks

I have some beliefs, and I have some unbelief's. I just don't know what my unbelief's are yet. I believe stuff thats wrong. Ive yet to discover that stuff.

In that context, I want to say that I cant believe how prevalent the "prosperity" doctrine is here in NZ. And it really jars with me. Turning God into some sort of investment pokie machine where you "sow" into your future blessing and then enjoy the fruit. Arggghhhh. And its feels like its everywhere, normally quite subtle, sometimes really overt. I have being surprised this year a number of times when these talks and this theology pops up. In my opinion it butchers scripture, it poops over what Jesus modelled, taught and lived. It doesn't fit with the narrative of scripture from genesis to revelation as I understand it .

From my perspective it is simply morphing the values of the world in which we live and lumping them on following Jesus. And it appeals to my desire for more stuff. Consumerism wins.

William D. Taylor who is the global ambassador for World Evangelical Alliance and the Mission Commission wrote:

Why have younger and appealing heresies, such as the theology of prosperity, had such an impact not only in the rich West, but also in the economically poor South? Might it not be time for us to openly address heresies assaulting (either like a quiet virus or an open attack) Evangelicals that must deal with?

He goes on to say that "wholistic commitment to the Triune God allows us to address these issues of poverty, transformation, advocacy, religious liberty, public engagement and such from a robust theology of God, the world, the church. We must be sure that we don’t lose sight of those aspects. We must deal with a theology of violence, suffering, persecution and martyrdom."

What really bites from my perspective is that young people get hurt... get really really nailed. When you give your little heart out, make a huge pledge that ultimately will probably benefit those running the event or the person speaking... and your new girlfriend doesn't turn up, you don't get your new dream job, your don't walk into financial blessing, your friend still has cancer - well you start questioning whether the whole enchilada is a hoax.

Best case scenario is that these people who get burnt by this excrement (and actually have the courage to journey through the pain of it and not completely bail on Jesus) wind up in churches but are so jaded and cynical about anyone talking about money that they don't do give anything to anyone and consumerism wins again.

Stu (Mr Wisdom himself) said "i don't think that the test of the authenticity of Christianity is in it's weathering persecution, i think persecution distills fortitude in people and will make a cause worth dying for (even if it isn't).i think the test of the authenticity of Christianity is how it weathers through the apathy of affluence. If Jesus can work with that messy substance, then he can work with anything. found at this post

We are meant to give. We need to break the hold that consumerism has on our lives. In following Jesus I would argue we are called to be recklessly, wonderfully generous, especially to the poor. And in doing so live a life of freedom from being owned by the dollar. Its fun being generous, its a great reputation to develop, the poor are better off. And its surprising how simply we can actually live. Two places I would suggest to give some coin regularly; Tear Fund and Amnesty NZ. And support missionaries and YFC (or inceedo) workers and others that live off the generosity of others and blueprint soul survivor workers : ) Comprehensive list of places to flick some coin here Stop thinking about it so much, stop justifying your consumerism, stop being lazy and apathetic and just do it. Just set up the automatic payment, start living more simply. Start feeling the tension of having so much in a world that has so little.

And lastly, a cool little post I just read that is totally unrelated but "hehe" funny as well as kinda true.

The thing about evangelism is this: People can spot it a mile off and they run a mile (so they generally end up two miles from it, depending upon the relative speeds of the evangelism and their running). I have found that evangelism is probably the least effective form of evangelism. If you want to communicate your faith to someone else the best way to do it is not to try.

And read this

You can go now

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“Consumerism Sucks”

  1. Blogger Gareth Bezett Says:

    Thanks, Sam.

    Prosperity Theology gets so far up my nose it makes my brain bleed.

    Where is there anything in the New Testament that even hints that being a faithful believer results in comfort or pleasure in the present age?! Someone's income or health is not a measure of the strength of their faith.

  2. Anonymous Aaron Pierce Says:

    Very nice post, Sam. It's right on. It funny how subtle the prosperity gospel can be and if you are not paying attention, you can buy right into it.

    I have to say, however, that I don't really agree with the last evangelism related quote... I am thinking about the verse (I have it written down at home) that says something to the effect of how will people believe without someone who tells them (horribly paraphrased)

  3. Anonymous Will Says:

    ! Timohy 6: 5-10

    Men of corrupt mind [have] been robbed of the truth and think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

    But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.