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Posts Tagged ‘consumerism’

I used to make the mistake of thinking that networking was about figuring out what someone else could do for me. Now I understand, true networking is about the heart. Networking is just meeting people, listening to people, and caring about people. Jesus was the best “networker” ever!

II Corinthians 12:14a
Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. . . .

In years past, I have participated in a lot of mapped out “evangelism” programs that focused on getting the “client” (poor sap who answered the door in neighborhood canvassing), to YES. It was like a business transaction. It was my job to lay out the situation (sin) and what I had to offer to solve that problem. Accept Jesus and those problems will be covered by the blood and you get an all expenses paid trip to heaven at the end of the whole shebang.

It never occurred to me (back in the day) that “Evangelism Explosion” or the presentation of the “Four Spiritual Laws” or handing out bibles at the mall or tucking tracts into crevices at public places was a long way from relationship.

It takes time to reach the heart. It takes time to earn trust.

People who are in need of help do not require coercion or convincing. This is one reason people, who are poor, hungry, sick, and terrorized, respond easily to the outstretched hand of a loving God.

But our American culture is filled with “stuff.” We have bent ourselves to the lure and trappings of comfort and possessions. We are like two year olds: No! I can do it myself. I don’t need your help. Me. My. Mine. My way. More, more, more.

Who needs God when we have all the stuff? As long as someone thinks it’s about the stuff, he/she will not need to hear me.

I can only speak out of the heart for that is what makes me uniquely “me.” And in that time, I want to know that person. And if, in that exchange of selves, we discover a place of authenticity where I can offer the story of what I have experienced in Christ and how that relationship meets me daily at the point of true need, then that is a glory moment.

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Do I do this? Do I participate, even unknowingly, in the rituals of the demonic? In the same way that idols are temptations, then couldn’t the foods that fuel evil be equally prevalent. It’s a type of consumerism and an attitude of entitlement.

I Corinthians 10:20-21a
. . . the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too . . .

I am not alone. We live in a culture of wanting it all.

The other day, I heard a talk show on WYPR Baltimore about the world’s dependence on oil (these conversations abound in the shadow of the BP gulf oil disaster). In this interview with Robert Bryce, author of Power Hungry, they talked about the unwillingness of the world’s consumers to stop using oil, which is comparatively cheap, relatively plentiful, and has the best energy density.

There are alternative energy sources, but none of them are as easy to glean from the earth. There would be a huge sacrifice to make this change and basically, the world’s population is unwilling to do it. Even with the new “green” initiatives, the transition will always be a painful one and most will not make the change willingly.

This is a drink we take every day. We drive fuel-hungry cars, we use plastics without a thought, we consume oil like candy. This drink has crept steadily into our lives and many can’t even see it.

Over the years, many people have pointed out how missionaries of the past have ruined cultures by imposing their belief systems on various native people around the world. And I cannot disagree. But I say, culturally, we are doing the same thing. We are introducing consumerism and dependence on oil. We are teaching them to “be like us.”

Oh yes, there is a price to pay when drinking with the demons of today.

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