Divine Distraction

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2016

consumer-faith

Key Bible Verse: That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Dig Deeper: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Rather than removing our fears and pains, consumerism tries to distract us from them. Goods and experiences are used to keep us amused-anaesthetizing us from the unpleasant realities of our existence. Neil Postman explored this phenomenon at length in his influential book Amusing Ourselves to Death. Amusement, he reminds us, literally means “to not think,” in other words, to be distracted. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

When we absorb this cultural value into our faith, God can be reduced to an instrument of amusement. He, or his church, supplies us with the means of distracting ourselves from our pains and fears. We seek worship experiences every week to soothe the struggles we are having at work or home. And we pray for God’s material blessings that will make our lives more enjoyable or comfortable. Rather than helping us experience the joys, sorrows, victories, and defeats of life more acutely and from a higher point of view, a great deal of contemporary religion is designed to help us just get along, to make us more comfortable on the journey, and perhaps to keep us entertained with music and merchandise designed to be “safe for the whole family.”

– Skye Jethani in With


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