Dominant Scripts in the "Christian" Home

I am doing research for my master's thesis regarding the co-opting of the church by consumerism. Here is a reflection that I made recently: my students from non-Christian homes know that they live in two worlds: one framed by the gospel and one framed primarily by consumerism. However, my students from Christian homes are often very unaware of this. A reason I see for this is the syncretism that has been created in today's Christian home between gospel and consumerism. Christian parents go to the church and are often morally upstanding people; however, they seem to lack the the critical skills to assess other areas of their lives in light of their faith such as social policy issues, money issues, the stereotypes of others, etc. Because of this, many of my students from Christian homes believe in a "bent" gospel-- one that is about them (heaven later, forgiveness now for my moral faults, and the pursuit of the American Dream). I see this playing out in our so called "Christian" churches as well-- do we speak against the dominant script of consumerism. How much of so-called Christian ideas are truly formed by the gospel rather than consumerism? I see the social policies that so many Christians seem to endorse and vote for and wonder what gospel so many have believed in.


My Crazy "Economic" Viewpoint of War

It may be interesting to look at Iraq and ask, who is the one with power and who are the people being oppressed? We have spent approximately 247 billion dollars on Iraq. The population there is approximately 26 million. That is 9500 dollars per person. The average Iraqi makes appoximately 1000 dollars per year. We could have given every Iraqi their annual income for 9 1/2 years. Not that I think giving everyone their financial dreams is a wonderful idea-- too materialistic and consumeristic for my soul-- however, I would imagine that the people of Iraq would have done better with such a strategy over the current violence, lack of electricity and clean water, and lack of access to jobs.


The Satiation of God's People in America

Last Sunday, I preached out of Amos 2:6-16. This was the text that I was assigned to speak out. It is mostly a text about arrogance and social justice. I have been reading Walter Brueggemann's renown book Prophetic Imagination in which he discusses what he calls "royal consciousness" as opposed to the alternative community of Moses. One of the more important sections is his discussion of the satiation of God's people so that they no longer are concerned about creating this alternative community. Here is a quote from page 37 of his book:

The royal consciousness with its program of achievable satiation has redefined
our notions of humanness, and it has done that to all of us. It has created a
subjective consciousness concerned only with self-satisfaction. It has denied
the legitimacy of tradition that requires us to remember, of authority that
expects us to answer, and of community that calls us to care. It has so
enthroned the present that a promised future... is unthinkable.

I find that we seem to be in a similar situation today. Our faith has been hijacked by American consumerism. Our dreams have been taken captive by "2 cars in every garage and a roast in every oven" type of thinking. We have confused the present with the future God is dreaming. What we need is repentance-- a change from one way of living life to another way.