This past week, it was in the news that a boy was killed because another boy wanted his tennis shoes. They were a particular brand that is very expensive and highly prized by young men. In this case, one young man wanted to take the shoes from the other and the boy wearing them would not give them up. So, one killed the other.
It is foreign to me that the possession of those shoes was worth more than a life. But it was not foreign to them.
We see this attitude time and time again, and things are getting worse. People are willing to work 10-12 hours a day, seven days a week rather than be home with their spouse and children. They do it because they think that the most important thing in life is a higher position or more money that will enable them to get a bigger house or faster boat, or fancier car or some other stuff.
Again, stuff wins out over the lives of persons.
The airwaves, cellphones, social media sites, billboards, magazines, and newspapers constantly hammer home a message that a person needs more and more stuff to achieve the life they always wanted. How was it that almost all the states in the union have a lottery? Because Americans want a chance to get more stuff with as little work as possible.
There is a war on for the soul of humanity – and right now money and stuff are winning the battles. The church is the only significant institution in the world that is equipped and called to fight this fight. Only in the church should people be hearing a consistent message that the world is lying to them and quietly taking the life right out of them, one dollar at a time. Yet, I do not see us engaged in the fight. In fact, in many instances, we have gone over to the other side simply saying, “Please just give us a small portion of your stuff and we will then leave you alone.” We are traitors to our calling.
How we can Battle Materialism
In my new book, God versus Money, I address our need to go to combat against money and stuff, and the prevailing materialistic culture around us. We must rediscover the power of the pulpit to warn persons of the dangers of stuff and then teach them how to grow beyond their addiction to it.
This is the primary war of our time. We have spent way too much time polishing our crosses, giving historical Bible lessons, encouraging right social attitudes, and sharing platitudes of ‘God loves you’ as our congregations work daily to acquire and acquire and acquire. We are losing their souls from simply not telling them the truth. It is time for our church leaders to focus on the war and try and win it before it is too late.
How often do the people in your congregation hear how in jeopardy they are from their constant striving for stuff? Once a year? Twice a year?
There is a war on! This should be preached at least every other month. That still leaves 46 sermons with another focus. When did they last hear a testimony from the pastor on his/her commitment to Christ over stuff? When was the last Christian Financial Planning class held? How well has it been lifted up that we all are accountable for our estates and not just our weekly offering? When did they last hear that they cannot worship both God and money? There is a war on. Do you want to fight or surrender?
I hope you will look into God versus Money when it comes out in a couple of months. Please let me know if it helps you prepare for the combat ahead.