Fascination with wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
Wisdom of Solomon 4:12

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Consumerism & Contentment?

I was born on the communist island of Cuba in 1962, right in the midst of the Cuban missile crisis. It was a time when the island’s communist leadership had begun to take all private property from individuals and make them the property of the state. The new found profits were then distributed among the new elite within the communist party. All of this was done with the motto “everyone equal.” History has shown us that some were more equal than others. In any case, the drive for equality proved to be huge enough to hypnotize the population into acquiescence. The dream sold by the communists and bought by the people was one wherein everyone would be equally able to consume to the point of contentment. Obviously, that never happened. What has happened is that the Cuban economy is ruins and the people live low on the global poverty level. The dream of consuming to point of contentment became a nightmare.

As a reward for disagreeing with the new system, my parents and their children (myself included) were exiled from the Island nation. We settled in the U. S. where a totally different paradigm ruled. The American dream appeared to be one wherein a person could, if they desired work hard enough, consume one’s way into contentment. Consuming was for all intents and purposes the new path to salvation, it was that thing which would make all other things right. Now, this was obviously too crude to state outright, but it was nevertheless the reality for just about everyone I knew. And thus, consume we did. Unfortunately, it never produced the much sought after contentment, and left us with a great deal of debt. It did not take very long to figure out that something was very wrong!

The American dream has not always been to consume ourselves into contentment, nevertheless, it is not difficult to show that this has been our nation’s underlying goal since WWII; consuming has been our gospel. Nevertheless, it seems that the era of hoping for salvation through consumption may be drawing to a close. One need not have a degree in economics to note that the shifts in our prosperity are monumental, and everyone realizes something is severely wrong!

We may be entering into the most gospel hungry era in the history of our nation. Are the preachers of our nation ready for this? Are the churches ready to come out from under the yoke of consumerism, or is our gospel too contaminated with the gospel of the past 50 years? It is time that we take the words of our Lord seriously; there is no other gospel than that of Christ. There is no contentment except that which is found in the death of this world and the birth of the world to come.

Repent (metanoeo: redirect your understanding) for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (within reach).

Mat 4: 17

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