... Consumerism, as Pete Ward concludes, “represents an alternative source of meaning to the Christian gospel.”
... in consumerism a desire is never illegitimate, it is only unmet.
... In 1897 one newspaper reader said that in the past we “skipped ads unless some want compelled us to read, now we read to find out what we really want.”
“where religious affiliation is a matter of choice, religious organizations must compete for members and … the ‘invisible hand’ of the marketplace is as unforgiving of ineffective religious firms as it is of their commercial counterparts.” Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, co-authors of The Churching of America, 1776-1990
This explains why marketing strategies and secular business values are pervasive in today’s ministry—we’re in competition with other providers of identity and meaning for survival. We must convince a sustainable segment of the religious marketplace that our church is “relevant,” “comfortable,” or “exciting.”
... The value of shared experience and congregational unity is drowned out by consumerism’s mantra of individual choice.
Formation into the likeness of Christ is not accomplished by always getting what we want.
...surrendering control ensured we received what we needed to mature in Christ, not simply what we wanted.
...Our concern becomes not whether people are growing, but whether they are satisfied.
... Consumerism has stripped the goods I use everyday from their context—they have no story or value apart from my consumption of them.
...It should surprise no one that in our culture God also has no value apart from what he can do for me.
...This god of consumerism shows no resemblance to the Consuming Fire described in Scripture. People may say they believe in Jesus, but the archaic Lord, who calls forth sacrifice, promises suffering in this life, and demands obedience for his glory, the one Barth described as “wholly other” is not what they have in mind.
... teach them
that the core values of consumerism are incongruent with the Christian life.
That making choices to satisfy immediate personal desires is not the goal of life.
The church does not exist to supply comfort, ease, and convenient services to religious consumers. And God is not a commodity that exists to make you feel better. (emphasis mine)
~ "All We Like Sheep" A Reflection of Consumer Christianity by Skye Jethani