Consumerism as Idol

Tony Campolo is an ordained American Baptist pastor, professor emeritus at Eastern University, founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, author of 35 books, and popular speaker. Recently he wrote these challenging words:

. . . the enemy of the Church is consumerism.  We have made an idol out of the things that are being sold.  We bow down and worship the commodities that are paraded before us on television.  We are enslaved to a mindset that tells us that we must possess more and more because we can never have enough.  These are the things that are dragging us away from Jesus.

So What?

Consumerism has been expanding for decades, even into areas that used to be off limits (see my recent review of What Money Can’t Buy).  People who follow the way of Jesus live in a consumer oriented culture, but must themselves not be overcome by it nor allow consumerism to become a default perspective.

  • In what ways is the message of a consumer culture attractive to you?
  • How do you avoid idolizing things or consumerism itself?
  • How do your views about what really matters differ from those of a consumer culture?

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